June 17, 2021

June 3 COVID-19 Update: No Towns in State Now in Red Zone, No New Cases in Lyme, Old Lyme

This map, updated June 3, shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the (lowest) Gray Zone. (Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.) Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper. Details in italics are the same for each of the maps shown.

LYME/OLD LYME — UPDATED 06/05: The report issued Thursday, June 3, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks shows another dramatic improvement for the state as whole with not a single town remaining in the Red Zone (indicating the highest COVID-19 new case rates) and just one, Waterbury, in the Orange Zone.

Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Gray (lowest rate) Zone for two-week new case rates. It is the fourth week for Old Lyme in that Zone, but Lyme is in the Gray Zone for a 12th straight week. It is very encouraging to see this number increase from 110 towns last week to 145 this week.

Neither Lyme nor Old Lyme reported any new cases in the June 3 report meaning Lyme holds steady at 107 cases and Old Lyme at 342, and in more good news, no COVID-19 deaths have been reported statewide in the past two days.

Twenty-one towns are now in the Yellow Zone, down from 48 last week. They are: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Bloomfield, Brooklyn, Coventry, Cromwell, Derby, East Hartford, East Haven, Granby, Hamden, Hartford, Manchester, New Britain, New Haven, New London, Putnam, Rocky Hill, Shelton, Waterford and Windsor.

  • The Gray category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is less than five or less than five reported cases.
  • The Yellow category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between five and nine reported cases.
  • The Orange category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between 10 and 14.
  • The Red category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town exceeds 15.

In all cases, this rate does not include cases or tests among residents of nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.

Below is the map from last week that showed one town in the Red Zone, Putnam, and 10 towns in the Orange Zone.

This map, updated May 27, shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme were still in the (lowest) Gray Zone. (Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.) Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper. Details in italics are the same for each of the maps shown.

Compare the maps above with the one we published Dec. 18, 2020 to see the remarkable progress that has been made with controlling the spread of the virus through expansion of vaccination rates and improved mitigation strategies.

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 17, 2020 showing both Lyme and Old Lyme now in the CT DPH-identified ‘Red Zone.’ This is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is over 15.

Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) also issued their latest weekly report of COVID data for the municipalities within their District.

Lyme, Old Lyme and North Stonington remain the only towns in the nine-town district, which are reported to have less than five new cases in the past two weeks.

Ledge Light Director of Health Stephen Mansfield prefaces the report with the comment, “We are happy to see a continued decrease in the number of new cases throughout our jurisdiction and encourage everyone to get vaccinated!”

Mansfield also notes, “The demand for vaccine is declining, and many providers are reporting that they have unfilled vaccination appointments at scheduled clinics. At this time, LLHD is vaccinating all individuals 18 and older.”

He adds, “Information regarding vaccination opportunities and other relevant information can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Vaccination rates in Lyme and Old Lyme are also extremely encouraging with 80.22 percent of the population in Lyme having received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine and the equivalent number for Old Lyme being 71.63 percent.

These are some of the highest percentages in the state.

‘Lymes Creative Arts’ Kicks Off Summer Arts, Music Programs for Students

Teens and preteens here will have a variety of ways to participate in visual arts and m
usic this summer thanks to a new collaborative effort,
Lymes Creative Arts. The initiative presents in one place all available arts and music opportunities in the two towns, including several new programs created based on feedback from a student survey.

The initiative is designed to reduce barriers to participation such as access to program options, time availability, and financial hardship.

Lyme-Old Lyme High Schools Art Department Head Will Allik will lead a Caricature Workshop during this summer’s Lymes Creative Arts programming.

Programming includes an outdoor arts studio, music club, and workshops such as a Caricature Workshop directed by Lyme-Old Lyme High School Art Department Head Will Allik, and a Ukulele Workshop led by Braiden Sunshine.

All programs can be found at https://lysb.org/TeenArts

The initiative is the creation of Sustainable Old Lyme and Sustainable Lyme, and partners with numerous organizations in the two towns including Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB), the towns’ public libraries, Music Now Foundation, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, and Lyme Parks & Recreation.

The initiative began with a survey of 6th to 12th grade students in the two towns to see what arts and music programming students interested them, what programming they currently participate in, and reasons why they may not participate.

Forty percent of respondents replied they did not know how to find arts programming they would be interested in, 33 percent felt they were not talented enough to pursue the creative arts they were interested in, and 15 percent felt their family could not afford outside-of-school arts programming. 

“It was important to us that those students, who may not have the resources to participate, could easily do so without a lot of hoops to jump through,” said Cheryl Poirier, Sustainable Old Lyme’s chairperson.

“There are kids who rely on parents to know their interests and find fun things to do in the summer, and there are other kids, who don’t have that advantage. Our goal has been to make the program accessible to all,” she said.

‘The Voice’ finalist Braiden Sunshine will teach a Ukele Workshop this summer.

With the help of interested students, new summer programming was developed for all levels of ability, affordable options were created, and a communications plan was developed to get information out to students where they can find it, including social media and in-school posters. 

“This has truly been a community collaboration ꟷ from local arts institutions to our Student Advisory Committee, we have tried to craft a program that will have something for everyone,” said Liz Frankel, the Sustainable Lyme Action Lead.

She added, “Having students involved at every step, from developing the needs assessment survey, to including them in our planning meetings, and engaging their input on the initiative name and marketing, has been an invaluable inclusive process,” she said.

The program comes at a time when educators and youth service providers are concerned about the well-being of children and young adults following the increased social isolation during the pandemic.

Grant funding for summer programming to address the issue has become available through the American Rescue Plan. Lymes’ Youth Service  Bureau (LYSB) is the distributor of the local funding. 

This summer more than ever our teens need a creative outlet,” said Mary Seidner, LYSB’s Executive Director.  “LYSB is pleased to help facilitate the funding and scholarships for Lymes Creative Arts to offer creativity and community engagement for our middle and high school students. said Mary Seidner, LYSB’s Executive Director. 

Both Old Lyme and Lyme have town-wide efforts to achieve certification levels with Sustainable CT, a state-wide initiative that highlights municipalities that embrace a variety of sustainable practices, including community engagement with the arts.

One of the “actions” municipalities can embrace toward their certification is Arts Programming for Youth. Sustainable CT also rewards inclusive processes and collaborative efforts between municipalities, such as the one Lyme and Old Lyme have taken with Lymes Creative Arts. 

To learn more about the Lymes Creative Arts programming, visit https://lysb.org/teenarts or email LymesCreativeArts@gmail.com. Additional programming is expected to be added throughout the summer and updates will be posted on the Lymes Creative Arts Facebook page.

To learn more about Sustainable CT go to SustainableCT.org.

Powers Runs ‘The Perfect Race’ (Daquila), is CIAC Class S 400m State Champion, Sets New Lyme-Old Lyme HS Record

Aidan Powers is the 2021 Class S 400 meter State Champion and also the new Lyme-Old Lyme High School 400 meter record holder.

LYME-OLD LYME — Senior Aidan Powers set a new Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) record in the 400 meters today with a blistering time of 51.3 seconds at the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference (CIAC) Class S championship, which was held at Willow Brook Park in New Britain, Conn.

Additionally, Powers is the Class S state champion in the 400 meters after finishing in first place in Class S.

Asked how he felt about this remarkable result, LOLHS Track Coach Aron Daquila responded exclusively to LymeLine, “Aidan is such a smart runner and has so much grit. He ran the perfect race yesterday.  The 400 is a long sprint and requires strategy.  He started strong, but in control, and when he hit the back stretch, he really exploded off the turn. He’s been training all season for that race and all that hard work really paid off.”

Daquila added, “But Aidan doesn’t quit. He turned around after that individual performance to run the anchor leg of the 4×400, where he gave his all, again, and helped his team earn a spot at the state open next week. It truly was a team effort, Aidan, [fellow senior] Gabe Lavioe, [junior] Nevin Joshy and [sophomore] Dylan Sheehan each ran great legs.”

As a result of these placements, both Powers and the relay team will now advance to compete in the 400 m and 4 x 400 m races at the CIAC State Open next Wednesday.

Powers plans to attend Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in the fall.

Huge congratulations to Aidan and the relay team, and good luck on Wednesday!

‘Witness Stones Old Lyme’ Holds Installation Ceremony, Features Music, Poetry

This plaque commemorating the life of enslaved person, Jack Howard, is located at 5 Lyme Street, which is the parsonage of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Celebration to Highlight Installation of Plaques Marking Sites of Enslavement in Old Lyme

OLD LYME – The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership will hold an installation ceremony Friday, June 4, from 10 to 11:15 a.m. celebrating the town’s newly installed Witness Stones—historical plaques commemorating the lives of 14 individuals, who were once enslaved on Lyme Street.

The project expands the understanding of local history and honors the humanity and contributions of those formerly held in bondage.

Members of the Old Lyme community will gather tomorrow on the lawn of the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library to honor these people, who collectively represent just some of the individuals once enslaved along today’s Lyme Street:

  • Cato
  • Lewis Lewia
  • Humphrey
  • Caeser
  • Jack Howard
  • Jenny Freeman
  • Luce
  • Crusa
  • Nancy Freeman
  • Temperance Still
  • Jane
  • Pompey Freeman
  • Samuel Freeman
  • Arabella.

The program will include music, poetry, and words from community partners. World-renowned soprano Lisa Williamson will sing the spiritual, Deep River and the hymn, Amazing Grace.

Twelve members of the Old Lyme Middle School chorus, led by Laura Ventres, will also contribute to the program.

Distinguished Connecticut poets Antoinette Brim-Bell, Marilyn Nelson, and Rhonda Ward will read new works that capture the unheard voices of those enslaved in Lyme.

From left to right, poets Marilyn Nelson, Rhonda Ward, and Kate Rushin examine gravestones in the Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme, where Jenny Freeman, Nancy Freeman, Pompey Freeman, and six others who lived enslaved in Lyme are buried.

These poems, by Antoinette Brim-Bell, Marilyn Nelson, Kate Rushin, and Rhonda Ward and created with support from a Health Improvement Collaborative of Southeastern Connecticut (HIC) Partnership Grant for Racial Equity, bring vividly to life experiences, attitudes, and emotions long ignored and then forgotten.

Seventh-grade students from the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School will read biographical poems they wrote to tell the life stories of Jenny Freeman and Lewis Lewia. Using primary documents, the students researched these two enslaved town residents, making the story of local slavery tangible, personal, and relevant to their own lives.

Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Director of Curriculum Michelle Dean commented, “The collective level of engagement and discovery of the students on this project is something you don’t get to see that often.  They have done a wonderful job.”

Meanwhile, LOL Schools Social Studies teacher Health Saia, noted, “It has been thrilling seeing the a-ha moments the students are having as they go through the primary documents and meet Jenny Freeman and Lewis Lewia.”

Olivia Hersant, a LOL Schools Language Arts teacher,  added, “It’s been exciting. The students are learning and thinking deeply about topics that we didn’t learn about until we were adults.”

Each Witness Stone on Lyme Street includes the name of an enslaved individual, along with important details about their lives and circumstances derived from land records, emancipation certificates, and other available historical documents.

These four Witness Stones are on the lawn of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

The small brass plaques, embedded flush with the ground, have been placed primarily on the west side of the street for pedestrian safety.


An interpretive sign, pictured above, has also been installed on the lawn of the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library providing a map of the Lyme Street enslavement sites.

The Old Lyme Witness Stones Partnership’s goal is to expand the understanding of local history and honor the humanity and the contributions of those formerly enslaved in the community.

The partnership’s founding members include the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, the Florence Griswold Museum, the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Community partners include the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center, St. Ann’s Episcopal Church, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, and the Old Lyme Historical Society.

Editor’s Note: For further information on the Witness Stones project, visit their just-launched website at this link.

Still Time to Register for Lyme Church’s Mental Health First Aid Class, Starts at 5pm Today

LYME — The First Congregational Church of Lyme is offering a Mental Health First Aid class in two sessions on Friday, June 4, from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday, June 5, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

You must attend the full eight hours to receive the certificate.

The church is hosting this class for the whole Lyme community. Pastor Susan Olsen stresses, “It’s not a religious class–please invite anyone who might be interested.”

This is an eight-hour class designed to help laypersons recognize the early signs of mental health crises, and take some steps to offer support until more advanced help arrives.  It is an engaging, interactive course that teaches important skills for members of communities and families.

Bring snacks or meals as you wish to either/both classes.

RSVP to pastorsusanolson@gmail.com.

Cost is $10. If that presents a hardship, simply ask and scholarship funds can be found.

Join a Community Work Day in Riverside Preserve to Celebrate CT Trails Day Tomorrow

Photo by Sue Cope.

LYME — The Lyme Pollinator Pathway, an initiative of the Town of Lyme, and the Lyme Land Trust invite readers to celebrate CT Trails Day by participating in a Community Work Day at Riverside Preserve tomorrow, Saturday, June 5, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The Preserve is located on Salem Rd. in Lyme.

The objective of the Community Work Day is to improve the site of a Pollinator Meadow and nature trail at the Lyme Land Trust’s Riverside Preserve, a haven for butterflies and other pollinators along the bank of the Eightmile River.

Learn to recognize the native and invasive plants in the meadow. Native wildflowers that benefit pollinators will be identified and nurtured. Find out which plants are invasive and help us remove them. Leave with the knowledge and resources to create a pollinator patch of your own.

Bring tools: a pair of work gloves, clippers/loppers, a shovel, and a water bottle.

Email Sue.Cope@lymelandtrust.org to ask any questions and/or confirm your attendance


Old Lyme Library Hosts Virtual Presentation on ‘The Nut Museum’ Tonight; All Welcome

OLD LYME —  Tomorrow, Wednesday, June 2, the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library presents The Nut Museum – The Visionary Art of Elizabeth Tashjian from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. via Zoom.

Do you remember Old Lyme’s Nut Museum?  Elizabeth Tashjian (1912-2007) opened the Nut Museum in 1972 on the ground floor of her Victorian home in Old Lyme. The museum featured Miss Tashjian’s original artwork devoted to nuts, her collection of nuts, and, for her museum visitors, a capella performances of her songs about nuts.

Beginning in 1981, Miss Tashjian appeared regularly on late-night television talk shows, including twice on The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. In response to her new-found celebrity status, Miss Tashjian transformed herself from an academically-trained painter into an avant-garde visual and performance artist.

This talk explores the unique trajectory of Elizabeth Tashjian’s life and her eclectic artistic career.

Christopher B. Steiner, PhD, Professor of Art History & Anthropology at Connecticut College, will talk about the rescue mission and the archival process of preserving Miss Tashjian’s unique collection.

To register for this free program, visit this link.

Take a Champlain North Hike and/or Join ‘Hiker’s Happy Hour’ Today at Old Lyme Inn

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Land Trust (OLLT), the Old Lyme Open Space Commission and the Old Lyme Inn are sponsoring a “Hiker’s Happy Hour” on Wednesday, June 2.

A guided walk will leave at 4:15 p.m. from the red trailhead in the Champlain North Open Space, located at the end of Wyckford Lane, just north of the I-95 exit 70.  People preferring an easy, level walk can just go a short way to the Barbizon Oak, a 300-year-old historic landmark.  

All are welcome.

After the hike, people will re-group at the nearby Old Lyme Inn for a 5 to 7 p.m. friendly happy hour, with half-price drinks the first hour. You need not hike to enjoy the event; the happy hour at the Inn will begin at 5 p.m. for hikers and others alike.

Additional “Hikers’ Happy Hours” are scheduled for Sept. 1 and Oct. 6, with locations to be announced.

Information on the Champlain North Open Space and its trails may be found at: https://www.oldlyme-ct.gov/open-space-commission/pages/champlain-north.

Hikers should wear comfortable walking shoes and bring insect repellent.

In the event of rain, meet at the Old Lyme Inn for Happy Hour instead of the trailhead.

Death of Thomas M. Long Announced, Father of Maureen Sturm of Old Lyme

Thomas M. Long, age 83 years, of Plymouth, died Tuesday, May 25, 2021, at Beth Israel-Deaconess Hospital in Plymouth. He was the husband of the late Martha F. (Loring) Long and the son of the late Edwin and Marjorie (Hallett) Long. Born in Hyannis on November 22, 1937, Mr. long was a United States Navy veteran …

… He will be forever missed by his children, Thomas A. Long and his wife Patricia of Barnstable, Timothy E. Long and his wife Cheryl of Eastham, Joseph D. Long of Woodbury, MN, Kathleen M. Johnston and her husband Douglas of Seminole, Florida, Karen E. DeMartino of Duxbury, and Maureen A. Sturm and her husband Thomas of Old Lyme, CT …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published May 28, in Old Colony Memorial.

Lyme Veterans Host Memorial Day Ceremony at Monument by Town Hall, All Welcome

LYME — Join the Lyme Veterans Committee this Memorial Day to honor the men and women, who fought for our freedom.

The event will be held rain or shine at 9 a.m. by the monument at the Lyme Town Hall.

All are welcome.

Death Announced of Judith Fay Lightfoot of Lyme; Nationally-Recognized Civic Leader, Former President of High Hopes, Lyme Public Library, Numerous Other Organizations

Judith Fay Lightfoot

LYME — Judith Fay Lightfoot, civic leader, mentor, friend, and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, died on May 19 at age 81 at her home in Lyme, Connecticut. Intelligent, caring, generous, and grateful until her last breath, Judy moved in the world with deep optimism, love, and grace as she tirelessly and determinedly worked to make that world a better and more beautiful place. A natural leader with a brilliant, ever-present smile, she inspired all who crossed her path, whether family, friend, colleague, or stranger, to discover and share their best selves. As one family member wrote, “Saying she had a way with people would be a tremendous understatement. She showed us the way with people.”  

Born September 14, 1939, in New York City, Judy was the adored daughter of Robert L. Fay and Margaret Leavenworth Fay and older sister of Robert L. Fay, Jr. She attended public schools in Rye, New York, and Wallingford, Connecticut, and the Day Prospect Hill School in New Haven, where she was valedictorian and class president. She attended Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. In 1959, she married Richard Lightfoot, moving with her new husband to Hawaii, where he was teaching, and then to Massachusetts so he could attend law school. In 1961, she wholeheartedly embraced her role as a mother with the arrival of their first child, Alexandra, who was followed in short order by Elizabeth, Ann, and John. 

Even as she was busy providing idyllic childhoods for her four children, and later providing worlds of joy and magic for her 13 grandchildren, Judy found time to make a profound difference in the communities around her. Long active in civic matters, she served as president and trustee of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding of Old Lyme; president and trustee of The Lyme Public Library; president and trustee of North American Riding for the Handicapped (now PATH International), Denver; president and trustee of Horses and Humans Foundation, Cleveland; trustee of Day Prospect Hill School, New Haven; secretary and trustee of Hopkins School, New Haven; secretary and trustee of Lyme Public Library Foundation, Lyme; and president of the Westchester, New York, Council of Junior Leagues. In recognition of her service on behalf of people with disabilities, Judy was invited to the White House for the 1990 signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act and in 1995 was honored with the James Brady Professional Achievement Award, which recognizes contributions made in the field of equine assisted activities and therapies. In 1998, she was cited for her public service by The Hartford Courant, and the Board of Directors’ conference room at the Lyme Public Library is named in her honor.

Although Judy’s list of accomplishments is long, it was her gift for galvanizing others to work together to create lasting change that made her presence in any community so invaluable. As an early volunteer for what was then known as LCVERA (Lower Connecticut Valley Educational Riding Association) and later became High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Judy saw the transformative potential of therapeutic riding and helped the program grow into the international leader it is today. In her roles at NARHA and Horses and Humans Foundation, she elevated the conversation about the human-animal bond and skillfully and strategically engaged others in this work. During her 31 years of service to the Lyme Public Library, most of them as Board President, she helped the library win multiple awards for excellence, obtain important collections, and raise funds for the construction of a new, 6,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art library and community center, an undertaking she first championed and then helped shepherd through construction and completion. 

Together, Judy and her partner-in-all-things, Dick, spearheaded countless friend- and fund-raising events to support the nonprofits they believed in, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars and engaging thousands of new volunteers and friends so these ventures could live on and grow well beyond Judy’s and Dick’s involvement. A natural-born teacher, Judy was brilliant at inspiring others to hone their own special gifts, encouraging them to share their talents in collaborative support of the common good. A friend and colleague who worked with her on a local board described Judy as a “community icon.” Another who served alongside her on a national board wrote about her “boundless kindness, leadership, analytical ability, and humor,” adding that she was “unmatched as a mentor and a role model for many of us.” 

Outside of her public roles, Judy was a great friend to all children, giving every young person she encountered the gift of unconditional love. A true baby-whisperer, she was able to calm the most colicky infant and redirect the most obstinate toddler, and among her greatest joys was welcoming a new family member into the world. Even in her last days, Judy was never happier than when she looked into the eyes of a baby, whether those eyes were in a photo or on the face of her first great-grandchild, at whom she beamed with unbridled delight in the days before she died. 

Dick and Judy started out their married life in Honolulu and, over the last two decades, enjoyed spending winters on the island of Molokai, which reminded them of the Honolulu of the late 50s. Throughout their marriage, they enjoyed travel to destinations across the globe, including Brazil, Egypt, Greenland, Kenya, Niger, and Thailand. 

Much as she loved Hawaii and discovering new places and people, though, Judy loved her home in Lyme the most. Her fervent wish, expressed repeatedly over the years, was that she be able to spend her final days at Twin Brooks Farm, the bucolic property she and Dick have called home for 35 years. Her family is thrilled that she got her wish, and they thank her caregivers, Larissa Kilassonia, Siba Sibiya, Mary Mather, and Lynn Farrell, for their invaluable assistance in making it possible. 

Judy is survived by her husband of 61 years, Dick, and their four children and their spouses, Alexandra Lightfoot (Thomas Kelley) of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, Elizabeth Lightfoot (Nicholas Clements) of Lyme, Ann Lightfoot (Faulkner Hunt) of Lyme, and John Lightfoot (Apollonia Morrill) of Berkeley, California. Also surviving her are 13 grandchildren, Bowen, Aidan, and Hugh Kelley; Graeme, Isabel (Kevin Smith), Alastair, and Honor Clements; Joab, Henry, Agatha, and Beatrice Hunt; Rose and Olive Lightfoot; and one great-grandchild, Finn Smith. Her brother, Robert L. Fay, Jr. and his wife Carolyn, of Northford, Connecticut, and their family also survive her. 

A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, Connecticut, on Sunday, June 27 at 3 p.m. Masking and social distancing guidelines will be in place. The family invites donations in Judy’s memory to High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, 36 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371, the Lyme Public Library Foundation, 482 Town Street, Lyme, CT 06371, or Molokai College and Career Club, 2140 Farrington Avenue, Hoolehua, HI 96729.

Obituary: Thomas J. Rozanski Jr. (Tom), Lived Most of His Life in Old Lyme, Volunteer Firefighter

Thomas J. Rozanski, Jr.

OLD LYME — Thomas J. Rozanski Jr. (Tom) passed peacefully in the presence of his family on Friday, May 21 at the age of 78. Tom was born August 17, 1942, in New Britain, Connecticut, to parents Thomas J. Rozanski and Helen Rozanski (Kolodziej). He lived most of his life in Old Lyme, Connecticut, before retiring to Florida and South Carolina.

Tom was a Veteran of the U.S Navy, a law enforcement officer and volunteer firefighter for the town of Old Lyme, and worked many years as a meat inspector for the U.S.D.A.

Tom enjoyed cooking, shooting, fishing, and spending time on his boat. He had a special place in his heart for his Bernese Mountain Dog, Sammy, and loved watching the manatees from his lanai.

He is predeceased by his parents; his wife, Patricia Rozanski (Burlingham); and his sister, Elizabeth Yuknat (Rozanski). Tom is survived by his three children: Barbara Rozanski; Thomas Rozanski III and his wife, Jennifer; and Elizabeth Lucas (Rozanski) and her husband, Robert; eight grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and his companion, Elaine Mierzejewski.

Services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Save the Manatee Club or the Bernese Education and Rescue-Northeast Region (BERNER).

Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Host Food Drive, Eyeglass Recycling Event Today at OL Shopping Center

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions are holding a Food Drive and Eyeglass Recycling Event Saturday, May 29, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Lyme Shopping Center.

Drop off your used eyeglasses for recycling and a canned good to benefit Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries.

The LOL Lions box up the eyeglasses and send them to New Eyes for the Needy, a non-profit organization that cleans, recycles and sends the glasses overseas to developing nations.

In the last year, Lions have sent off more than 180 pairs of eyeglasses.

Email foxglovefarm@sbcglobal.net with questions

Old Lyme Donations Fund Transport of Historic ‘Mervin F. Roberts’ Rescue Boat to Maine to Form Working Museum Exhibit; Video Link Included

Ben Clarkson at the helm of the ‘Mervin E. Roberts’ in 1997.

OLD LYME — We reported back in November 2020 that Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold had launched a campaign to raise funds to move a boat named the ‘Mervin F. Roberts’ from Old Lyme to Kittery Pont, Maine.

We noted then that we had connected Griswold with Samuel ‘Sam’ Reid, who serves as president of the non-profit Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA) of Kittery, Maine. This organization is currently working on a major project to restore the 112-year-old life saving station, which was originally part of the US Life Saving Service (a forerunner of the US Coast Guard.)

Reid said recently in an email to Griswold, “The story of how WILSSA found and then bought the 1930s wooden rowing boat, the Mervin F. Roberts, this past fall is really interesting. It is a very rare US Coast Guard rescue craft, just like those that were at Wood Island Station. Learning the history of the boat, and how it related to Wood Island, was like taking on a puzzle or a scavenger hunt. We didn’t know what we would find, but in the end, it was really special.”

Reid then noted, “The story was so cool that WILSSA decided to have a short movie made so we could let everyone know.” The professionally-produced movie lasts 25 minutes and we are delighted to share the link with our readers so that they may view it at their leisure..

A smiling Mervin E. Roberts of Old Lyme is pictured here on Oct. 31, 2020 at his home in Old Lyme during a visit by Sam Reid, president of the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association. Mr. Roberts presented Reid with this piece of artwork during the visit.

The movie describes the fascinating tale of how a random Facebook advertisement by a man selling a boat in Essex, Conn., connected our own Mervin Roberts of Old Lyme to WILSSA with steps along the way via Olwen Logan at LymeLine.com, Ben Clarkson, who previously lived in Old Lyme and ran The River School,  and Tim Griswold, all of whom are mentioned in the movie.

Another wonderful piece in the puzzle, which is included in the movie, is an Oct. 31, 2020 visit by Reid and a videographer to Mr. Roberts’s home in Old Lyme. There is a passage in the movie depicting Mr. Roberts detailing to Reid the history of the boat and how it came to be named after him.

As many readers will know, sadly, Mr. Roberts passed away Dec. 30 at age 98.

We are delighted to report now that 19 local admirers of Mervin Roberts, including the Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD), donated a total of $6,875.00 toward the acquisition of the boat and the cost to transport her to Kittery, Maine.

The firetruck bearing the coffin of Mervin F. Roberts begins its journey to the Duck River Cemetery.

Mr. Roberts served as Chaplain of the OLFD for more than 50 years and his poignant graveside service at Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme was preceded by a procession through the town led by a fire-truck bearing Mr. Roberts’s coffin.

Reid explains in his email to Griswold that the boat is to live in Wood Island Station as part of the maritime museum WILSSA plans to operate there. It will travel into and out of the building on the soon-to-be-restored marine railway.

He notes, “A massive restoration has begun for this lovely old boat and she is expected to be back in the water late this [2021] summer,” adding, “Restoring and reusing Wood Island Station, of course, are WILSSA’s goals. But having a historically accurate rescue craft that is fully operational at the Station will take this project to an even more remarkable level.”

Reid states, “There are no other life saving stations in the USA with an operational marine railway and historic rescue craft.”

The “historic rescue craft” in question is the Mervin F. Roberts. What a wonderful tribute to an amazing man, who we remember so fondly — especially at this time of year since this will be the first year that he will not be here to give the Homily at Old Lyme’s Memorial Day Parade — a tradition he continued right up to and including last year, even though there was no parade last year.

If readers would like to add to the local fundraising effort to restore the boat, they may donate at this link or send a tax-deductible contribution to Wood Island Life Saving Station Assoc., P.O. Box 11, Kittery Point, Maine 03905.

Here is a history of the Wood Island Life Saving Station reprinted from the WILSSA website.

At the mouth of the Piscataqua River in Kittery Point, Maine a graying old structure of unknown purpose and history was slowly crumbing on a small island.  

The Wood Island Life Saving Station has stood watch for 112 years.  It housed men, brave “surfmen”, that were part of the US Life Saving Service (a forerunner of the US Coast Guard), who would wait with small rowing boats to go out to help mariners in distress in terrible conditions year round. 

The owner of the 1908 Station, the Town of Kittery, tried to demolish the unfortunate place a half dozen times after ignoring its basic maintenance for decades. 

Our charity, the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA), formed in 2011 to oppose that demolition and offer to raise all of the funds and expertise to undertake a historically accurate restoration. 

We are making outstanding progress. After five years of construction, and $3.8 million so far, the entire building has been cleaned of hazardous materials, the structural elements rebuilt, the exterior restored and both the north and south sea walls and the historic shed rebuilt. 

We are working hard on a new pier and a restored marine railway.

A historically accurate rescue boat from the 1930s has recently been secured. 

Editor’s Note: The WILSSA website offers links to a number of videos that tell the story of the extraordinary efforts of the charity to restore both the building and the ‘Mervin F. Roberts,’ rebuild the marine railway line, and create and open the maritime museum to the public.

Lyme-Old Lyme Techno-Ticks Complete Successful ‘Lymelyte’ Cube Satellite Test Launch

The weather balloon is carefully filled with helium.

OLD LYME — On Saturday, May 15, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s FIRST Robotics Team 236-TechnoTicks  gathered at the practice field behind high school for a second test launch of their “Lymelyte” Cube Satellite (CubeSat) prototype.

The weather conditions were perfect, with minimal wind.

The balloon reached the team’s target test height of 500 ft.

The CubeSat and harness were attached to a carefully-inflated weather balloon and launched via tether (much like a kite).

TechnoTicks team members were able to monitor the data transmitted from the CubeSat.

The balloon quickly rose to the target altitude of 500 ft., sending data back to a laptop on the ground via the attached CubeSat.

The TechnoTicks were able to monitor temperature, air quality, air pressure and other data.

The balloon and CubeSat prototype were reeled in and safely landed./or

The CubeSat will ultimately work in tandem with the team’s “Trailyte” app to provide information about conditions at various hiking trails in the Lymes.

Editor’s Note: FIRST Robotics Team 236-Techno Ticks offers students from Lyme-Old Lyme High School and East Lyme High School a creative way to learn about robotics, design and computer programming. Visit the TechnoTicks  website and/or follow the team on InstagramFacebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all the team’s latest news.

Sen. Formica Applauds Passage of Expanded Gaming for Connecticut

Sen. Republican Leader Pro Tempore and State Senator Paul Formica (R)

HARTFORD – On Tuesday, May 26, the Senate passed HB 6451 in a 28-6 vote which contains the agreement between the Governor and the Tribes to enable expanded gaming (online gambling and sports betting). The measure is one step closer to becoming law and now heads to the Governor’s desk for his signature.

Sen. Republican Leader Pro Tempore Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), whose District includes Old Lyme, released the following statement in support of the bill’s passage:

Today’s vote recognizes long-standing partnership the state government has had with the Tribes [who are] owners and operators of the two largest casino resorts in the world, and have grown to be one of the top job providers in our state attracting thousands and thousands of visitors each year.

The State of Connecticut realizes over $260 million produced by slot machine revenue each year to support the state budget and today we took an important step to enable further revenue opportunities, job creation and advancing industry in Connecticut.

Beyond revenue, the Tribes’ provide so much for our state through their philanthropic activities, the tens of thousands of jobs they continue to create as a result of their continued excellence of these two casino resorts, the largest in the world, located right here in Eastern Connecticut.

I am glad to see members from both sides of the aisle vote to support modernizing how Connecticut operates. This agreement should serve as a beacon and reminder of the potential positive outcomes when all involved parties work together to explore new opportunities. The outcome has provided solutions to expanding revenue sources and keeping Connecticut competitive in this ever-changing world.

Investing in this new online technology and continuing the state’s partnership with the Tribal Nations will protect Connecticut jobs, support our communities and continue to provide for all their employees in Southeastern Connecticut.

Old Lyme Town Hall Says Farewell to its “Greeter,” who “Performed Admirably … Added New Dimensions” to the Position (Griswold)

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold stands with Town Hall Greeter Chris Kirk, whom Griswold described as having, “Served admirably.” Kirk left his position Friday to pursue new ventures.

OLD LYME — Chris Kirk, a recent graduate of Lyme-Old Lyme High School, has been serving as the Old Lyme Town Hall “Greeter” since December, 2020. The newly-created position was required due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Kirk left the job last Friday to take up a job at a summer camp in New Hampshire and a celebration in his honor was held in the town hall.

The fact that the celebration was held reflects not only Kirk’s efficiency in his work as the “Greeter,” but also his universal popularity among town hall employees and members of the public with whom he interacted.

Asked to comment on Kirk’s service to the town, Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold said, “He has performed admirably. His polite and friendly manner motivated numerous visitors to Town Hall to tell me how refreshing their experiences were when dealing with him.  He uniformly went beyond what was expected to make sure they received excellent service.”

Griswold continued, “During slow times, Chris was a voracious reader of second-hand books from the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Book Cellar. The books covered a wide variety of subjects and he enjoyed talking eloquently about them.”

Noting that Kirk often exceeded his official job expectations, Griswold mentioned, “During a February snow storm, Chris took it upon himself to grab a snow shovel and cleared the sidewalk leading to Town Hall,” adding with a chuckle,  “That was certainly not part of the job description!”

Speaking on behalf of all the staff at town hall, Griswold wished Kirk, “All success as he moves on to his next endeavor,” noting, “He has added new dimensions to the “Greeter” job description and we thank him for performing so well.”

Duck River Garden Club Hosts ‘Heirloom Gardens’ Zoom Presentation Tonight; All Welcome

Photo by Tim Cooper on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — This evening, Tuesday, May 25, at 7 p.m., Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) presents a virtual program titled, Heirloom Gardens.

The program will be presented by Linda Turner.

This DRGC presentation is open to the public and requires advance registration.

Virtual socials take place at 6:30 p.m., presentations at 7 p.m., followed by a business meeting for members.

To register for this free program, call or email Karen Geisler, DRGC president, at 860-434-5321 or karengr007@gmail.com. You must have the free Zoom app to see this virtual program; phone call-in also available.

Check DRGC’s website and the club’s public Duck River Garden Club of Old Lyme Facebook page for any changes to planned programs.

DRGC welcomes new members, who can join via the membership form on the website. For further information on membership, contact Karen Geisler. Attendance at DRGC virtual programs counts toward the required two meetings for prospective club members.

Old Lyme’s Historical Society Wins Award from Print Industry of New England for 2021 ‘Then & Now’ Calendar

Shown accepting the PINE Award of Merit award are Essex Printing’s President, William McMinn and calendar designer, James Meehan of James Meehan Art & Design.

OLD LYME — The Print Industry of New England (PINE) announced May 5, that Essex Printing and the Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHSI) have received an award in PINE’s New England Regional Awards of Excellence competition.
Judged anonymously on its own merit in a category with similar printed pieces, the 2021 PINE Award of Merit was presented to Essex Printing and OLHSI for the society’s 2021 Then & Now Calendar.
PINE’s Awards of Excellence Competition attracted hundreds of entries from printing and imaging companies across New England competing in a variety of printing and graphic communications categories.

Tonight SECWAC Hosts Zoom Presentation on ‘Crisis in the Uyghur Region’

Joshua Freeman

LYME/OLD LYME/AREAWIDE — On Tuesday, May 25, at 6 p.m., the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Joshua Freeman of Princeton University speaking on Crisis in the Uyghur Region: Xinjiang, 2017 to the Present.

The presentation will be online via Zoom.

Registration required.

The event is free for members, the fee for guests is $20.

The link to join us will be emailed with your registration confirmation. Zoom meetings will be used:

Freeman is a historian of 20th-century China and Inner Asia. His research centers around official culture and nation formation in China’s northwestern borderlands, and in particular the cultural history of the transborder Uyghur nation.

He received his Ph.D. in Inner Asian and Altaic Studies at Harvard University in 2019, where his research received support from the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright-IIE, and multiple centers at Harvard.

On the basis of his dissertation, he is currently at work on a book manuscript titled “Print Communism: Uyghur National Culture in Twentieth-Century China.”

Drawing on cultural, literary, and political history, this study demonstrates that socialist policies, implemented in northwest China’s Xinjiang region from the 1930s through the late 20th century, enabled the small Sino-Soviet frontier community of Ili to transform its local culture into the new Uyghur national culture.

Examining this process offers insight into the nexus between socialism and nation formation at the intersection of the Chinese, Soviet, and Islamic worlds.

Freeman’s work as a cultural historian is informed and inspired by the seven years he spent living in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

In addition to working extensively there as a translator, he completed a master’s degree in Uyghur literature at Xinjiang Normal University with a thesis on Uyghur modernist poetry, which he composed and defended in Uyghur.

He has translated (link is external) the work of a number of Uyghur poets into English and has published widely in American literary journals.

At Princeton, Freeman lectures on Chinese and Inner Asian history in the Department of East Asian Studies.

If you are new to Zoom virtual meetings and would like to learn more about how to join the event, visit zoom.us for more information. Also, feel free to call 860-912-5718 for technical advice prior to the event. It will not be possible to resolve issues during the meeting.

A link to the recording will be shared via email following the meeting.