January 21, 2021

Our Top 10 (Non-COVID) Most Read Stories in 2020

LYME/OLD LYME — It was an interesting experience delving into our analytics for 2020 because 2020 was — for want of a better description —  an interesting year.

Usually, when we undertake our review of the previous year each January, we find stories covering a wide range of topics in our Top 10. This year was different in that every single one of our Top 10 Stories (and beyond) related directly to COVID-19 data.

Rather than publishing all those articles full of depressing details of the spread of the virus in our towns, we have chosen to publish our Top 10 non-COVID-19-related stories and these, we submit, provide a balanced overview of the remaining priorities of our community after the obvious dominance of COVID-19 as our top concern in 2020.

The most read article was — and we think this is a first —  a ‘Letter to the Editor.’

  1. In July, the Senior Ministers of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme led by Senior Minister Stephen Jungkeit (pictured right) wrote an Open Letter to the Old Lyme community setting two challenges related to the expansion of affordable housing in the town. The letter was written in response to the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent events organized locally to address the issue of systemic racism, “… that continues to plague our country.” The letter sparked a great many comments and several more that we chose not to publish. Sadly, we lost some subscribers to our newsletter after publication of the letter, but fortunately, we gained many more. Take a look at the letter now six months on and see what you think. A great deal has happened since then with regard to affordable housing in Old Lyme.
    Letter to the Editor: An Open Letter to the Old Lyme Community … with Two Challenges

    This tree at Saint Ann’s was one of the many casualties of Tropical Storm Isaias.

     

  2. Remember Aug. 4th, 2020?  That was the day that Tropical Storm Isaias tore through our towns knocking out power to almost everyone. Our story, which focused on photos sent in by readers, was our #2 most read article.
    Trees Down, Power Out All Over Lyme, Old Lyme; Lyme Estimates at Least Three Days Before Power Restored

Julia Balfour

  1. In third place was the profoundly sad announcement of the death of the brilliant, vivacious, and remarkable creative designer Julia Balfour, who passed Nov. 30, at age 42 after a lengthy battle with cancer. She lived and worked in Lyme for many years before moving to East Haddam.
    Death of Julia Balfour Announced; Obituary Now Added

    Hundreds gathered on the lawn in front of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme to hear a number of speakers after marching down Lyme Street from Memorial Town Hall.

  2. Saturday, June 6, saw hundreds turn out to “Stand Up and Kneel Down” for racial justice. Our report on the unprecedented event, which includes many of the speeches given, came in at number four.
    Hundreds Turn Out to Join Peaceful March, Rally for Racial Justice in Old Lyme

    Ready for the rush. Old Lyme Beach Rangers stand ready and waiting for the anticipated crowd when the beach reopened at Sound View.

  3. We all love our beaches so when the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen closed them down in an effort to contain the COVID-19 virus, people were very concerned. But when it was determined the beaches could reopen for Memorial Day, everyone wanted to read about it and that became our fifth most-read story.
    Old Lyme Beaches Closed Today, But Set to Open Memorial Day Weekend
  4. Teddy Anastasiou (pictured right) has been running Old Lyme Pizza Palace forever, but he doesn’t just make great pizza — he also gives back to the community in innumerable ways. When he was announced as the winner for July of the Old Lyme Kindness Award, there was an outpouring of support for the choice and the story notched sixth place in our most read list. 
    Old Lyme Committee Names OL Pizza Palace’s Teddy Anastasiou as Latest ‘Kindness Award’ Recipient

    Mary Seidner, LYSB Executive Director

  5. Similarly, when State Rep Devin Carney announced his selections for ‘Local Heroes’ in his District, there was strong support for his choices in Old Lyme. Jen Datum (pictured left) and Mary Seidner (pictured right) were the honorees for their exceptional work in the early days of the pandemic. The community agreed and made the story about their selection our seventh place story.
    State Rep. Carney Names Two Old Lyme Residents ‘Local Heroes;’ Datum, Seidner to Receive Official Citations

    The sign at Sound View Beach informs the public that the beach is closed.

  6. We have already mentioned how important our beaches are to this community so,’ when they were initially closed due to COVID, not everyone agreed with the decision. Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold found himself having to explain it and people wanted to read about his reasoning, causing this article to take eighth place in our ‘Most Read Stories.’
    Griswold Defends Decision to Close Old Lyme Town Beaches

    A view looking south down the Connecticut River with Watch Rock Preserve to the left. Photo by Edie Twining.

  7. There is no question that the Lyme-Old Lyme community cares passionately about the environment, so when the Old Lyme Land Trust closed down Watch Rock Preserve at weekends due to the damage being caused by humans, there was strong interest in the story. Our article on the topic came in at number nine.
    Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme Closed Weekends Through Labor Day Due to Environmental, Safety Violations

    In this undated photo, the Mervin E. Roberts life saving boat is shown moored at Mystic Seaport. All photos are courtesy of the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association.

  8. Our 10th-placed story was one of our favorites and has become even more so with the passing of Mr. Roberts, aged 98, at the end of the year. We are proud to have played a small part in this wonderful story since we were the initial point of contact for the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA) of Kittery, Maine. The WILSSA President Sam Reid reached out to us after reading our story by Michele Dickey about Mr. Roberts published in May. Mr. Roberts gave what he said would be his final homily after 50 years service as Old Lyme Fire Department Chaplain at Old Lyme’s Memorial Day ceremony since he needed to pass the torch to someone younger. Mr. Roberts’s words turned out to be true for a different reason.
    Reid had found a boat named the ‘Mervin F. Roberts’ for sale on the internet, which the WILSSA wished to acquire, and wondered if our Mervin F. Roberts of Old Lyme was the same Mervin F. Roberts after whom the boat was named. We connected Reid with First Selectman Griswold and the story really takes off from there.
    Griswold Launches Effort to Raise Funds to Purchase Unique ‘Mervin F. Roberts’ Rescue Boat for Maritime Museum in Maine
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Public Hearing for Old Lyme’s Planning Commission’s Conservation, Development Plan Draws Most Comments on Town’s Housing Needs

Old Lyme Planning Commission members and visitors participated in a virtual Public Hearing Thursday on the commission’s proposed Plan of Conservation & Development.

OLD LYME — Old Lyme Planning Commission Chairman Harold Thompson opened Thursday evening’s Public Hearing for the ‘Adoption of the 2020 Plan of Conservation & Development (POCD)’ by noting, “This has been a long road with some difficult times.” Adding that the Commission had held 15 workshops to discuss the document, which is published on the Town of Old Lyme website, he went on to detail the required timeline for gaining its approval in order to  submit it by the mandatory deadline to the state.

He then opened the virtual (the meeting was held via Webex) floor to comments from the public. First to speak was Halls Road Improvement Committee Chairman Edie Twining, who initially quoted from comments she had submitted in writing to the Commission prior to the meeting.

She stated, “The Halls Road Improvements Committee has initiated a Halls Road Plan which is currently being created by the BSC group. This is a significant, town-approved, and town-funded planning initiative that will guide any future development in the Halls Road Commercial area. The plan will include recommendations for significant capital investment by the town to create new sidewalks, bike paths, pedestrian lighting, and landscaping in the Halls Road area.”

Continuing, “It will provide studies on the market needs of this area, the infrastructure options, CT DOT constraints, and documentation of all existing conditions to provide recommendations for changes in zoning, uses, and design guidelines,” she added,  “This report will lay the groundwork to aid in maintaining our town’s commercial center with the introduction of mixed use.”

She then stressed, “In keeping with clearly expressed public sentiment, it will steer away from the current “strip center” aesthetic of 60’ setbacks. Instead it will promote a return to the original small town character of Old Lyme’s town center, as found on historic Lyme Street.”

Twining concluded her comments in her own words, “We feel the town’s 10-year Plan of Conservation and Development should include a reasonable discussion of the largest formal planning effort currently underway under the town’s auspices and at the town’s expense,” noting, “I have delivered an outline of specific pages where I see a need for changes in order to correctly represent the Halls Road Planning effort. I would like to request that these changes be included in your document.”

Finally she thanked the commission for their, “time and consideration of this work.”

Howard Margules, Old Lyme Economic Development Commission Chairman, then questioned whether the issue of blighted structures in the town should be included in the document. He also quoted from a general description of a strip mall, which Thompson agreed bore a strong resemblance to Halls Rd. Margules pointed out that it states in the POCD that strip malls are not permitted and therefore suggested there might be a “disconnect” in the report on that matter.

Margules further suggested the commission should confer with the new leadership at Lyme Academy to update information in the plan regarding the Academy and then concluded by saying how much he appreciated the commission’s work.

Thompson responded he had already had a lengthy phone conversation with Michael Duffy, the new board chair at the Academy.

Stephen Jungkeit, Senior Minister at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, thanked the planning commission for their work, adding, “This is a really well done report.” He said he wished to “affirm interest in [a variety of types of] housing,” which had been mentioned in the report, noting that, “from his vantage point,” this was a major issue in the town that he felt needed urgent attention. After noting that he hoped that the POCD represented, “… the beginning of a wider look at the issue,” he ended by saying simply, “I’m just saying thank you for that.”

Commission member Stephen Ross expressed the opinion, “that what would benefit the town a lot would be a broader survey of what the town needs in terms of housing.” Remarking that a house near his own on Shore Rd. had been vacant for one and a half years, he said, “We need to assess the actual demand [for housing] as opposed to the perceived demand.”

Twining responded that the HRIC was doing a “market study looking into some of those things,” and had reported that, “only one apartment was available in the whole town.”

Ross disputed that finding saying, “There’s a heck of a lot more than one apartment available,” noting that there was a need to look into all rentals.

Jungkeit suggested any survey should also include research into housing needs emanating from outside the town. Ross then stated, “It’s all about inventory.”

Margules agreed that “drilling down further into housing needs” would be beneficial, noting that, for example, the needs of seniors downsizing and young people moving into town “need to be addressed as well.”

The Public Hearing concluded with a unanimous vote to continue the hearing until Feb. 9.

 

 

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Jan. 13 COVID-19 Update: Cumulative Cases Climb by Six in Old Lyme to 203, Lyme’s Rise by Two to 66

This map shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. 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.

LYME/OLD LYME — Old Lyme’s case numbers broke the 200 mark in yesterday’s Daily Report issued by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH), which shows an increase of six cases taking the cumulative total since the pandemic began to 203.

In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past several weeks.

As of the Jan. 13 report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Kent, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 198 confirmed COVID-19 cases and FIVE probable cases, making a TOTAL of 203 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of SEVEN in the number of confirmed cases (191) reported Tuesday, Jan. 12, and an DECREASE of ONE in the number of probable cases (6) reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 4,089.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 13 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 19 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan.7, 2021.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 29.1, reflecting an increase from the previously reported two-week rate of 21.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 60 confirmed cases and six probable cases, making a TOTAL of 66 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of ONE in the number of confirmed cases and an INCREASE of ONE in the number of probable cases from the numbers reported Tuesday, Jan. 12.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 1,081.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 13 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Lyme had one case in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan. 7, 2021.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 36.7 reflecting a increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021.

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Jan. 12 COVID-19 Update: Cumulative Cases Rise by 13 in OL to 197, Lyme’s Increase by Two to 64

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Connecticut’s single-day COVID-19 positivity rate reached 10.7 percent yesterday (Jan. 12, 2021), which was the first time since May 2020 that the state’s rate exceeded 10 percent. Old Lyme’s case numbers again reflect this situation showing their single highest daily increase in cases (13) since the pandemic began, breaking the previous day’s record of 11.

In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past several weeks.

As of today’s report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Kent, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 191 confirmed COVID-19 cases and SIX probable cases, making a TOTAL of 197 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of 10 in the number of confirmed cases reported Monday, Jan. 11, and an INCREASE of 3 in the number of probable cases reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 4,066.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 8 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 19 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan.7, 2021.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 29.1, reflecting an increase from the previously reported two-week rate of 21.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 59 confirmed cases and five probable cases, making a total of 64 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of TWO in the number of confirmed cases and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases from the numbers reported Monday, Jan. 11.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 1,068.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 8 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Lyme had one case in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan. 7, 2021.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 36.7 reflecting a increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021.

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Jan. 11 COVID-19 Update: Cumulative Cases Jump by 11 in OL to 184, by 9 in Lyme to 62

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Yesterday, Connecticut recorded its highest weekly positivity rate since the spring. Lyme and Old Lyme’s case numbers reflect this situation with both towns showing their single highest daily increase in cases since the pandemic began.

In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Monday, Jan. 11, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 10, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past several weeks.

As of today’s report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Kent, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 181 confirmed COVID-19 cases and THREE probable cases, making a TOTAL of 184 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of 11 in the number of confirmed cases reported Friday, Jan. 8, and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,998.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 8 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 19 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan.7, 2021.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 29.1, reflecting an increase from the previously reported two-week rate of 21.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 57 confirmed cases and five probable cases, making a total of 62 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of NINE in the number of confirmed cases and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases from the numbers reported Friday, Jan. 8.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 1,040.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 8 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Lyme had one case in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan. 7, 2021.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 36.7 reflecting a increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021.

 

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Jan. 8 COVID-19 Update: Case Rate Increases in Both Lyme, Old Lyme; Cumulative Cases Climb by 4 in OL to 173, Lyme’s Rise by 3 to 53

This map shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. 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.

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Friday, Jan. 8, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 7, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past two weeks.

As of today’s report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Kent, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 170 confirmed COVID-19 cases and THREE probable cases, making a TOTAL of 173 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of FOUR in the number of confirmed cases reported Thursday, Jan. 7, and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,946.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 8 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 19 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan.7, 2021.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 29.1, reflecting an increase from the previously reported two-week rate of 21.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 48 confirmed cases and five probable cases, making a total of 53 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of THREE in the number of confirmed cases or and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases from the numbers reported Thursday, Jan. 7.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 1,022.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Jan. 8 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/20 through 01/02/21, Lyme had one case in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Jan. 7, 2021.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 36.7 reflecting a increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.3. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Monday, Jan. 11, 2021.

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Jan. 6 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme Cumulative Cases Rise by One to 163, Lyme’s Increase by Two to 50

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 5, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past two weeks.

As of today’s report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Salisbury is the only town in the ‘Cream Zone,’ while Wilton is the only town in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • The cream 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 5-9.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases and THREE probable cases, making a TOTAL of 163 cases.

This represents NO CHANGE in the number of confirmed cases reported Tuesday, Jan. 5, and an INCREASE of ONE in the number of probable cases reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,881.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 31 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/13 through 12/26, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 31.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 21.3, reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week rate of 26.2. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 45 confirmed cases and five probable cases, making a total of 50 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of TWO in the number of confirmed cases from the numbers reported Tuesday, Jan. 5 and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases reported the same day.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 997.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 31 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/13 through 12/26, Lyme had five cases in Week 1 and one in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 31.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 18.3 reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 30.6. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Schedule Vote on Artificial Turf Field at Tonight’s Meeting, Playing Surface Recommendation Changed

This image, courtesy of Millone & McBroom, shows the current field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School and the proposed synthetic turf field.

LYME-OLD LYME — The Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) meets this evening, Wednesday, Jan. 6, for its regular monthly meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the BOE Conference Room in Center School.

The BOE agenda includes under New Business: Approval of Multipurpose Artificial Playing Surface.

The following comment is published in the General Overview  of the project on the Region 18 website under, Playing Surface Options: The original presentations focused on a crumb-rubber infill, a recycled product that can also be repurposed at the time of replacement. We are also looking at alternative infill options. Some options such as cork/coconut blends, walnut shells, etc. are no longer being considered based on the high cost of installation and yearly maintenance or irrigation needs that can’t be met. That still leaves a handful of other infill options currently being explored.

In view of that comment, LymeLine asked Ian Neviaser, Superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, whether the proposal had changed from that discussed in a number of presentations with both Lyme-Old Lyme Schools audiences and various Old Lyme commissions. He responded by email, “The proposal from [the Facilities ] committee has been adjusted to include Brockfill instead of crumb rubber.”

Adding that the final decision on the playing surface will be made this evening, he also noted that if a change to Brockfill were to be made, it does not require the proposal to be resubmitted to any commissions in Old Lyme.

A live stream of the meeting will be available at this link:
http://region18.devosvideo.com/show?video=bf6143e600f1&apg=db58a112

In-person attendance is also possible at the meeting, but masks must be worn and social distancing respected.

Anyone wishing to make public comment virtually may use the following Zoom link: https://region18.zoom.us/j/83527766795; Meeting ID: 835 2776 6795;
+16465588656,,83527766795# US (New York).

Those choosing this option will be required to follow the same expectations for those making public comment in person. After being recognized by the chairperson, participants must state their name and place of residence before making their comments to the board.

Related articles published by LymeLine.com:

Old Lyme Zoning Approves Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Proposal for Turf Field — With Conditions Dec. 21, 2020

Old Lyme Zoning Delays Decision on LOL Schools’ Proposed Artificial Athletic Field Pending Drainage Review, ‘It’s All About Drainage’ (Cable)  Sept. 17, 2020

Old Lyme Zoning to Discuss Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Proposal for Synthetic Turf Field Tonight Sept. 14, 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme $2.28 Million School Turf Field Moves Forward (from The Day) May 26, 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Move Forward with Plans for $2.3 Million Artificial Turf Field Dec. 11, 2019

Engineering Firm to Present Work to Date on Turf Field Project at Tonight’s BOE Meeting, Public Welcome Dec. 4, 2019

 

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Jan. 5 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme Cumulative Cases Climb by Four to 162, Lyme’s Hold at 48

Map of Connecticut dated Jan. 5 showing both Lyme and Old Lyme 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.

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 4, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past two weeks.

As of today’s report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Salisbury is the only town in the ‘Cream Zone,’ while Wilton is the only town in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • The cream 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 5-9.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 160 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a TOTAL of 162 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of FOUR over the 156 confirmed cases reported Monday, Jan. 4, and NO CHANGE in the number of probable cases reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,863.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 31 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/13 through 12/26, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 31.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 21.3, reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week rate of 26.2. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 43 confirmed cases and five probable cases, making a total of 48 cases.

This represents NO CHANGE in the number of confirmed or probable cases from the numbers reported Monday, Jan. 4.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 987.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 31 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/13 through 12/26, Lyme had five cases in Week 1 and one in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 31.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 18.3 reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 30.6. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021.

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Jan. 4 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme Cumulative Cases Climb by Three to 158, Lyme’s Rise by Four to 48

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Monday, Jan. 4, 2021 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Jan. 1, 2021 shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past two weeks.

As of today’s report (see map above), five towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Salisbury is the only town in the ‘Cream Zone,’ while Wilton is the only town in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • The cream 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 5-9.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 156 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a TOTAL of 158 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of TWO over the 154 confirmed cases reported Saturday, Jan. 2, and an INCREASE of ONE in the number of probable cases reported the same day

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,839.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 31 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/13 through 12/26, Old Lyme had 11 cases in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 31.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 21.3, reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week rate of 26.2. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 43 confirmed cases and five probable cases, making a total of 48 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of THREE in the number of confirmed cases and an INCREASE of ONE in the number of probable cases reported Saturday, Jan. 2.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 973.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 31 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/13 through 12/26, Lyme had five cases in Week 1 and one in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 31.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 18.3 reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 30.6. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Tuesday, Jan. 5, 2021.

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Old Lyme Says Poignant Farewell to the ‘Ever Thoughtful’ Mervin F. Roberts (Neel Roberts)

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

OLD LYME — Mervin F. Roberts, 98, of Old Lyme, who passed away in the early hours of Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020 was laid to rest in a poignant graveside ceremony held Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021 at Duck River Cemetery in Old Lyme.

The Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD), of which Mr. Roberts had been Chaplain for 50 years, played an integral role in the ceremony, transporting Mr. Roberts’s coffin down Lyme Street with an honor guard in front and a procession of firetrucks behind.

The procession of firetrucks passes the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Photo by Gregg Jacobson.

This was the eulogy read by Mervin Roberts’s daughter, Martha Delana McNair, at the graveside service for Mr. Roberts. It was written Thursday, Dec. 31, 2020 in Chiang Rai, Thailand, by Mr. Roberts’s son Neel Roberts, who has been with the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) since 1987. Neel Roberts was unable to attend the ceremony in person due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Donations in Mr. Roberts’s honor can be made to OMF at this link. Neel’s wife, Chalor, works with the tribal Shan community in Mae Sai, Northern Thailand, where they cross over from Myanmar, often destitute after losing their farm and water buffalo to the Burmese military. Chalor uses donations to provide scholarships the children need to enroll in public school. She helps them register for school and buy books and uniforms, while taking nothing for herself since she is supported along with Neel by the OMF.

The firetruck bearing the coffin travels down Lyme Street. Photo by Gerry Graves.

I will not try to summarize an active life of 98 years in 10 minutes. Mervin Francis Roberts, whom I will call Dad for convenience sake, wrote several memoirs for family and friends. If you have come to the funeral, you probably already have a copy or can borrow a copy from someone who has one or two.

The earliest known quote attributable to my dad was, “I’m not Mervin, I’m obnoxious.” When he got older he claimed, “I am all charm.” Strictly speaking both statements demanded some poetic license.

He, like most people was multifaceted. He memorized the periodic table when it only had about 100 elements. In his 90s he could look at a stone or piece of porcelain or a fuel additive or solvent for glue and describe its qualities based on the molecular structure of its parts. This was a man who could count fish and differentiate what species they were as they poured out of the water-cooling discharge pipes at the Connecticut Yankee power plant. As an engineer / naturalist / scientist he was a stickler for details. When it came to personal history, he was a bit of an un-licensed poet.

He was an only child, but he grew up surrounded by cousins whose families were a major part of his life until the very end. He lived on the outskirts of New York City and later spent a fair bit of time under the city when he was chief ceramic inspector for the Port of New York Authority while the Holland Tunnel was being dug.

Alfred University was the university of choice for him. His father’s choice. Evidently, his father made the right choice for him. He learned much about ceramics and the care of horses, and while there he found his future wife, Edith May Foster. It seems that she was not as certain as he was about whether he was Mr. Right but he staked his claim by buying an army surplus jeep for $50 and parking it in front of her parents’ house and thus persuaded the other suitor that she was already claimed.

Together they established a home where love and respect reigned for 60 happy years of marriage. In her old age he would often buy her chocolates. My dad did not spare the rod, but I only saw him fly off the handle once. I once made the mistake of using the words mom and dumb in the same sentence. Very big mistake. Lesson learned.

A smiling Mervin F. Roberts of Old Lyme is pictured here Oct. 31, 2020 at his home in Old Lyme.

Dad was the most unsentimental person I have ever known. Therefore, I hesitate to use the word love in sentences like, “He loved the ocean.” He very much enjoyed the ocean and was especially attracted to those places where the ocean met the land. He was very interested in all the life forms that were to be found along the shore and especially in the marshes. So it was natural that when career choices allowed him to choose a place to call home, Old Lyme became the place. He spent nearly 60 years here. Old Lyme was the perfect setting for him.

It was not only that it was surrounded by water. It was also full of people who had time for people. I almost started to write about his friends and neighbors but realized that would be redundant. He made neighbors into friends. On some occasions he helped them to deal with snapping turtles that were laying eggs in their back yards. On other occasions he blessed them with his home-made snapping turtle stew. The friendships were mutual. When the family that had received the stew moved away 2 years later, they returned the stew to him in its original container.

He placed a high value on volunteerism. At the start of World War II, he volunteered for the Navy and as a reward picked up some friends for life. Years later he became a volunteer fireman and again gained lifelong friends.

For over 50 years he was the chaplain in the Old Lyme Fire Department. For the first 20 or more of those years, he was often one of the first responders, driving one of the trucks and blowing the horn if he passed our house for the benefit of his son, our brother, Billy. If you want to know how to volunteer, you should go up and ask a fireman today. Dad would certainly appreciate that.

Dad was not a politician, nor did he have much interest in politics. He had a great interest in the well-being of the town and therefore gave much time to both appointed and elected roles.

Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD) Chaplain Mervin Roberts pictured in his OLFD uniform at home in May 2020.

One of his big causes was sewer avoidance.

When he was 91, he was sounding a bit discouraged in his crusade to have each householder take responsibility for his own ground water. I told him that at his age he could pass the baton on to someone else. Seven years later, a few months before his death he was still fighting the good fight for sewer avoidance and Connecticut River oysters that would be safe to eat. So he didn’t take my advice but I am proud of him for the fact.

I should note here that he stuck with the various boards and committees in large part because he had friends who were equally concerned in the community. It was part of his core philosophy which I think he picked up from reading about Ancient Athens: that the well-being of a community is the responsibility of its citizens.

It is to be hoped that at this memorial service this sense of responsibility will not become a mere passing note but might be imparted in fuller measure to all who wish to honor his memory.

He wrote many books about pets and never grew attached to any particular snake, turtle, ferret, lovebird, gerbil or guppy. His key to success in writing and making the photographs for these books was that he showed respect for the experts. Those who knew more than he did would be given due credit in his books and therefore they not only freely shared their own hard-earned knowledge, but also made lasting relation with him as well.

As an author, whether of “The Tidemarsh Guide to Fishes” or of a letter to the editor of a local newspaper regarding some inane behavior of a bureaucrat in a corner office, he never shot from the hip. He thought, wrote a draft, corrected the draft and then always handed it to someone else to check the grammar, content and tone of voice. The final products showed his confidence in his statements precisely because he valued the input of others. On the other hand in a normal conversation where differences of opinion appeared, he might close with “bunkum”, or “you’re all wet” but he never said that until he had given the other party time to express their opinions.

Old Lyme Fire Department Chaplain Mervin Roberts reads what turned out to be his final Homily at the 2020 Memorial Day Service held in Duck River Cemetery.

While Dad was not sentimental, he did love people very intentionally. I never saw him shed a tear. He may have, but I never saw one. Love was a conscious decision and required much thought. And he was ever thoughtful.

In his later years he was involved in charitable activities in India and South America. Here he combined his scientific knowledge with his people skills. His background was aquaculture – the art of raising fish for food. But in some cases, he realized that the expressed need was not the real need. He would take time, days in reading the technical literature, days in contacting experts in other places, days in travel. He knew that a problem like hunger or poverty could not be solved by simply throwing money at it.

One of the last projects he was involved with began as a fish project but in the end, it was changed into a goat project because he as the fish expert, after careful study, came to realize that goats and not fish would help the people of that particular community in Southern India. Even here he did not simply recommend goats. He invested much time in learning how families in that community functioned, what laws existed about grazing animals, and how to address communal issues that delayed the original success of the project.

It was not enough that something had been done for the poor. He stuck with the people who were promoting the project until it became clear that the real people in need were the ones benefiting from it.

Dad had a sense of humor. Growing up in New England I never experienced an earthquake until one day in my teens the windows began to rattle. I rushed downstairs only to discover that my dad was watching a Peter Sellers Pink Panther movie on TV and was laughing so hard that the house shook. He didn’t tell jokes about in-laws but it was not infrequent that he would hear a good joke at the barber shop and come home to make a long-distance call to one of his brothers-in-law so that they could hear it too.

Dad was definitely an evolutionist. His ways of expressing his theology or views about God evolved too. We strongly suspect they have evolved considerably more over the past few days than in all his previous 98 years.

There were however a few core principles in his theology that went back to his college days when he joined the church in Alfred. One was that through prayer the peace of God would guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. I was on several occasions amazed when tragedies struck that he appeared unshaken. He was not unfeeling. He did feel pain but it did not cause him to forget that others needed his strength and clear headedness in the crisis. His heart was guarded. His actions proved that his mind was on how he might help others, be they family, neighbors or even strangers in their times of need.

The second principle which was merely another aspect of the first was expressed at our dinner table several thousand times in prayer. He would often end a mealtime prayer with this phrase, ‘help us to be mindful of the needs of others, around this table, around Old Lyme and around the world.’

It was a prayer that he saw answered in his own life on countless occasions and I believe we are all the beneficiaries of that prayer.

The Old Lyme Fire Department formed an honor guard at the head of the funeral cortege. Photo by A firetruck proudly flying the Stars and Stripes in Mr. Roberts’s honor stands at the entrance to Duck River Cemetery. Photo by Gregg Jacobson.

This is Mr. Roberts’s official obituary:

With his wife, the former Edith May Foster, Mervin Francis Roberts first came to Old Lyme in 1960. He and Edith May became active in church, government, fire department and town life.

Merv was born in New York City in 1922. He was a Naval Officer during WWII. He served in the Navy for four years, and then in the Reserve. He was awarded 4 campaign medals, two with Combat Stars. After his service, he returned to complete a degree in Ceramic Engineering at Alfred University.  He served as a Merchant Marine Officer, Scout Master and Commissioner, Town Shellfish Commissioner, Water Pollution Control Commissioner, Sunday School teacher, Counselor to the Governor of Connecticut for Marine Resources, Selectman of the Town of Old Lyme, Chaplain of the Fire Department and Justice of the Peace. He also was a Consultant of Aquaculture, worldwide, and a Counselor to two bishops in South India, concerning animal husbandry for women to alleviate poverty. For years he was the Tender of the Gate at the Old Lyme Cemetery. He was awarded Town of Old Lyme Citizen of the Year, and American Man of Science, American Legion’s Legionnaire of the Year, 2015-6. He was a teacher and lecturer, gunsmith, inventor, pioneer photographer of high-speed animal movement, waterman, duck hunter, and last but not least, he got his haircut at Seckla’s Old Lyme Barbershop.

Merv wrote 50 books and pamphlets on pets, natural history, and animal husbandry. 

He and Edith raised 6 children: Edith Ann Main, Robin Frances Roberts, Martha Delana McNair, Nancy Jean Briggs, Neel Foster Roberts, and William John Roberts. He is survived by a multitude of beloved nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. 

In his words, “Don’t mourn my death but rather celebrate my life for surely I’m glad to have been around.” 1997.

The firetruck bearing the coffin enters Duck River Cemetery. Photo by Gregg Jacobson.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold gave the following tribute to Mr. Roberts exclusively to LymeLine.com:

With the passing of Merv Roberts, Old Lyme has lost one of its most remarkable citizens. He was a Town Citizen of the Year, a Town Selectman, Chaplain of the Old Lyme Fire Department and active in so many other ways.

As his body became more frail, I think his mind became sharper. Just last September, Merv, as a Shellfish Commissioner, wrote a letter to the National Railroad Corp. asking whether any toxic ingredients would be used in the concrete, paint or steel used to build the new railroad bridge over the Connecticut River.  Not bad for a 98-year-old.”

We shall miss his interesting speeches at the Memorial Day Parade observances. I feel privileged to have known Merv and thank him for all he did for Old Lyme.

Mervin Roberts (first from right) attended the funerals of the children murdered Dec. 14, 2012, at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn.

Michele Dickey of Old Lyme, who was in the same grade as Mr. Roberts’s daughter Martha through their time together at Old Lyme Schools until they graduated together in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 1970, sent us these personal recollections of the graveside ceremony for Mr. Roberts:

I attended with my husband, Mike; we were joined first by our daughter, then my cousin-in-law, Dorie Smith, who is a friend of Edie’s, and her daughter, Meghan. We were joined for a while by friend Diane Losea Roeder, another classmate of Martha’s and mine, who came down from Northampton, Mass.

Mike noticed the wide range of people in attendance: lots of young people and lots of oldsters as well, many using  canes and walkers or requiring some assistance, even elderly fire fighters on the arms of friends. 

A firetruck proudly flying the Stars and Stripes in Mr. Roberts’s honor stands at the entrance to Duck River Cemetery. Photo by Gregg Jacobson.

 It was significant that a ladder truck with a huge American flag suspended from its raised ladder was outside the gate of Duck River Cemetery, where Merv acted as “gatekeeper” for many years and has since passed the torch to son-in-law, Ken Main. (Should you ever get locked in after dark, as we did just last week, don’t worry—the gate is held closed by a bungee cord, not a chain and padlock.)

Shortly after we gathered at the grave site, a color guard entered, followed by family members in front of the fire truck bearing Merv’s coffin. The rest of the Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD) marched behind.

After the coffin had been taken off the truck and situated, contrary to the details in the program, military honors took place immediately by a Navy color guard: rifle shots, taps, the removal and folding of the flag draping the coffin and presenting it to the family.

Following this was a sweet young girl’s rendition of “The Sailor’s Hymn”; the program attributed this simply to Elle, of Duck River Lane.

Martha McNair read a long eulogy for her father written by brother Neel Roberts, a missionary in Thailand whom the pandemic prevented from attending. This eulogy was so complete! Informative, poignant, funny at times. Unless you were an immediate family member, you probably learned something about Merv when you heard this.

And when the fire whistle rang in the middle, Martha stopped reading to ask, with a little laugh,  “Does anyone have to leave?” No one did, which was surprising because the town’s whole force seemed to be there paying their respects.

We heard later that a truck each from Lyme and East Lyme took part as well.

Robin Ritze, Merv’s granddaughter and daughter of Edie Main, sang “Amazing Grace” and was joined by many present, whether we were supposed to sing along or not.

Skip Beebe of the OLFD next offered, “Reflections on a Life Well Lived.”

All present were asked to join next in the reciting of Psalm 23.

This moving, hour-long service concluded , as would the service of any firefighter, with the ringing of the bells. Skip explained that firefighters are called to a fire by the ringing of a bell, and when all is over, the bell is rung again to signify that the emergency is over.

Therefore, at the conclusion of Merv Roberts’ funeral, the OLFD bell was rung three times to indicate that a job well done [Mr. Roberts’s life] is now completed.

At the cemetery. Photo by Gerry Graves.

Olwen Logan, publisher of LymeLine.com, commented:

I feel so privileged to have known Mr. Roberts. Both “a scholar and a gentleman,” he was an extraordinary man and such a mine of information. He wrote several op-ed’s for LymeLine and was never hesitant to give his opinions on a wide range of topics. Mr. Roberts led a truly amazing life and wrote many books. He gave me an autographed copy of ‘The Tidemarsh Guide to Fishes’ and it is one of my most treasured possessions to this day.

Michele Dickey wrote a wonderful article about Mr. Roberts in May of last year in which he reflected on his 50 years service as Chaplain of the Old Lyme Fire Department. We also published an article including a video of Mr. Roberts reading his final Memorial Day Homily aloud.

Finally, through a recent fortuitous series of events, LymeLine.com helped connect a boat named the ‘Mervin F. Roberts’ with the Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA) in Kittery Point, Maine. The President of the WILSSA, Sam Reid, came to Old Lyme to meet in person with Mr. Roberts. The boat has now been transported to Maine to be restored in the WILSSA Maritime Museum and we know Mr. Roberts was very happy with that outcome.

A fundraising campaign is underway locally to assist with the expense of moving the boat. Read our article covering the whole story of the boat, why it is so named, and why it is such an important find for the WILSSA at this link.

The flag flies at half-mast in Duck River Cemetery in honor of Mervin F. Roberts, a scholar and a gentleman. RIP, Mr. Roberts.

 

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Acclaimed Singer Brian Cheney of Lyme Performs ‘A Century on Broadway’ with Pianist Cathy Venable; Free on YouTube

Brian Cheney of Lyme, Conn.

LYME — One hundred years, 11 decades, and over five hours of performing!

Those numbers represent the efforts of internationally-acclaimed crossover artist, Brian Cheney of Lyme and Broadway pianist, Cathy Venable of Tulsa, Okla., who, in a remarkable collaboration, have recorded an entire catalogue of a century of hits from musical theater.

The finished product, titled A Century On Broadway, is now available as a YouTube Playlist at this link.

Asked in an interview conducted electronically how the project came about, Cheney explained, “In the beginning of April I discovered a platform for artists to perform and broadcast from their homes. It’s called Stageit and it’s been ideal for me to use.” It’s a “Pay What You Can” site and I typically perform half-hour concert programs.”

He continued, “Since April, I have performed 25 individual programs ranging from opera, operetta and classical art song to Musical Theater and wonderful music from Movie Musicals. After my 10th program, I discovered a way for me to collaborate with one of my favorite artists.”

Cathy Venable of Tulsa, Okla.

Cheney went on to to say that the artist’s name is Cathy Venable and note that she is not only, “a Broadway pianist and conductor,” but also, “Someone I have performed concert programs with many times in the past.” Working together — but geographically separated — during the COVID-19 pandemic in their home studios respectively in Lyme, Conn., and Tulsa, Okla., Cheney and Venable determined to give the concept of a joint venture “a try.”

Their first performance was, in Cheney’s words, “A wonderful English Song Cycle by Ralph Vaughan Williams called “The Songs of Travel,” and from the moment that was completed, Cheney says enthusiastically, “We’ve never looked back!”

The critically acclaimed duo have now completed 11 segments of Broadway songs with each one spanning a decade from the 1910s through the 2010s. Each decade can be accessed separately on the YouTube link and each offers a variety of numbers — some well-known, others less so — from that decade.  View the full list of songs for each decade at this link.

Perhaps unexpectedly, the complete works are offered on YouTube at no charge. People can enjoy them as many times as they wish at no charge. Asked why he and Venable had made the decision to do that, Cheney responded, “Cathy and I realized that once we started performing different Musical Theater Decades programs that it would be a wonderful idea for us to look at an entire century of the evolution of the Broadway Musical. We premiered each program on Stageit to amazing audiences and some really fantastic industry people as well.”

Noting that, “In attendance were people like, Andy Einhorn (an incredible music director on Broadway) Ron Young (an original cast member for Hello Dolly) and many more, Cheney added, “We realized that we had something very special and so we decided to offer it for free on YouTube … it’s a wonderful retrospective of how the Broadway musical has evolved and changed over a century.

Described as a “crossover” artist, meaning he is “a student of style as well as having a very strong command of vocal technique,” Cheney can move effortlessly across different styles of music. He credits Jerry Hadley, whom he describes as, “my mentor and [a] legendary tenor,” with his own ability to move seamlessly between opera, Broadway musicals, and other musical genres.

Cheney, who moved with his family to Lyme in 2012, is sought-after opera singer both nationally and internationally. He has also immersed himself in the local community, directing musicals in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, singing regularly at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, and supporting numerous local non-profits including High Hopes with sold-out performances.

With The Daily Gazette saying, “Cheney’s voice was like spun gold,” KUSC Los Angeles stating that Cheney is, “The next great tenor,” and Broadway World commenting, “When Broadway opens again, there will surely be a spotlight begging for Brian Cheney,” it seems certain that A Century On Broadway will be a major success.

We heartily recommend readers to take this special opportunity to enjoy a real gift of music!

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Dec. 29 COVID-19 Update: Cumulative Cases in Old Lyme Increase to 142, Lyme Stays Steady at 41

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Tuesday, Dec. 29, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Dec 28, shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past two weeks.

As of today’s report, six towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Scotland, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Woodbridge and Salisbury are the only towns in the state in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 140 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a total of 142 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of ONE over the 139 confirmed cases reported Monday, Dec. 28, and no change in the number (two) of probable cases reported the same day. 

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,784.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 28 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/06 through 12/19, Old Lyme had 18 cases in Week 1 and 9 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 24.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 26.2, reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week rate of 33. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 38 confirmed cases and three probable cases, making a total of 41 cases.

This represents no change in the number of confirmed or probable cases reported Monday, Dec. 28.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 936.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 28 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/06 through 12/19, Lyme had five cases in Week 1 and five in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 24.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 30.6 reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 33.6. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Wednesday, Dec. 30.

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Dec. 28 COVID-19 Update: Cumulative Cases in Old Lyme Increase by Eight to 141, Lyme’s Rise by One to 41

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 28 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.

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new weekday update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Monday, Dec. 28, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Dec 27, shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are still in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ where they have been for the past two weeks.

As of today’s report, six towns in the state — Canaan, Colebrook, Cornwall, Scotland, Union and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Woodbridge and Salisbury are the only towns in the state in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 139 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a total of 141 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of SIX over the 133 confirmed cases reported Thursday, Dec. 24, and no change in the number (two) of probable cases reported the same day. 

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,778.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 28 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/06 through 12/19, Old Lyme had 18 cases in Week 1 and 9 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 24.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 26.2, reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week rate of 33. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 38 confirmed cases and three probable cases, making a total of 41 cases.

This represents an INCREASE of ONE in the number of  confirmed cases reported Thursday, Dec. 24.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 931.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 28 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 12/06 through 12/19, Lyme had five cases in Week 1 and five in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 24.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 30.6 reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 33.6. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Tuesday, Dec. 29.

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Dec. 21 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme’s Cumulative Confirmed Cases Climb to 131; Lyme Holds at 38

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 21, 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.

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new daily update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Monday, Dec. 21, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Dec 20, shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ Old Lyme was ‘red’ for the past two weeks but Lyme had moved into the gray (lowest) zone. As of today’s report, only two towns in the state — Canaan and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Barkhamsted is the single town in the state in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 129 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a total of 131 cases.

This represents an increase of THREE over the 126 confirmed cases reported Friday, Dec. 19, and no change in the number (two) of probable cases reported the same day. 

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,604.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 18 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 11/29 through 12/12, Old Lyme had 17 cases in Week 1 and 17 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 17.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 33, reflecting a significant increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.4. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 35 confirmed cases and three probable cases, making a total of 38 cases.

This represents no increase in the number of either confirmed or probable cases reported Friday, Dec. 18.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 862.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 18 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from11/29 through 12/12, Lyme had six cases in Week 1 and five in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 12.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 33.6 reflecting a significant increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 12.2. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Tuesday, Dec. 22.

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Old Lyme Zoning Approves Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Proposal for Turf Field — With Conditions

This image, courtesy of Milone & MacBroom, shows the current field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School (left) and the proposed synthetic turf field (right.)

OLD LYME — At their regular monthly meeting held virtually last Monday, Dec. 14, Old Lyme’s Zoning Commission members unanimously approved Lyme-Old Lyme School’s Special Permit Application to “modify the playing geometry ” of the athletic field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School and change the “playing surface from manicured lawn to synthetic turf.”

The motion to approve the application did, however, have one significant condition.

At the November meeting, commission members had requested that Tom Metcalf, the engineer for the Planning and Zoning Commission, should review the project plans and report back to them.

Commission Chair Paul Orzel was expecting Metcalf to be on the phone during the meeting but Metcalf was not present. Commission member Jane Marsh reminded Ozol that Metcalf had submitted a letter to the commission with details of his review.

Ozol then requested that Marsh should read the letter aloud for those present and everyone attending the meeting virtually.

Marsh noted that in the letter Metcalf stated he had reviewed a set of project plans prepared by Milone & MacBroom, Inc. and recently visited the site to view existing conditions. 

His comments read verbatim by Marsh were as follows:

  • Presumably the synthetic turf is a proprietary product. The project plans do not specify the synthetic turf type or manufacturer. Therefore, I assume the details associated with the synthetic turf and collector (drainage) pipe system shown on Sheet SD2 are compliant with the synthetic turf type and manufacturers requirements and specifications for the application proposed at the Lyme – Old Lyme High School. ] suggest the applicant confirm this. Additionally, it appears the Sheet SD2 details for the synthetic turf and collector pipe system are general in nature and do not provide sufficient information for construction/installation purposes. While perhaps not necessary for permitting purposes, Prior to construction, I suggest the applicant provide the Town with final construction plans and specifications for the project.
  • Similar to the synthetic turf installation, additional information for the turf stone grid pavers (detail on Sheet SD-2) should be included on final plans to facilitate construction.
  • Additional information and details for the French Drain System” should be included. The information and details should include elevations, materials and construction details to facilitate installation. Reference: Sheet UT. 
  • Although Grading Note 3 on Sheet GR and the existing conditions shown on Sheet EX acknowledges the presence of the existing geothermal well system within the project area, presumably the layout and design of the synthetic turf field and associated drainage have considered potential conflicts and impacts to these proposed improvements as well as to the existing geothermal well system. 
  • I recommend that the construction/installation of the synthetic turf and associated drainage be monitored/inspected by the design engineer to assure improvements are satisfactorily constructed. Additionally, I suggest that an asbuilt survey/plan (horizontal and vertical/elevation) be prepared of the drainage system to verify improvements have been constructed per design plans and for future reference. A copy of the as-built plan should be provided to the Land-Use Office.
  • Given the lengths/runs of the 12″ perforated collector (drainage) pipe (873 linear feet and 170 linear feet) and the inclusion of angle/bend points along the lengths/runs, consideration should be given to placing manholes and/or accessible cleanouts along the pipe length at critical locations to facilitate future maintenance.
  • I did not review the playing field(s) layouts, slope and dimensions or the associated fencing for the fields. I assume the field layouts and fencing were developed in conjunction with the school and meet their use needs.
  • An elevation bench mark should be included on the plans to facilitate construction.
  • To avoid any misunderstanding of the intent of final landscape plantings, you may want to confirm the size, type and number of shrubs. Reference: Sheet LA.
  • Presumably the 8 fiberglass hand-holes shown on Sheet LA are associated with the electrical conduits to be placed around the field perimeter as shown on Sheet UT.
  • Plan graphics of existing drainage pipes and flared end sections at the Detention Pond should be checked. (FES inv. = 7.6′ is outlet from pond through the pond berm; FES inv. = 7,4′ is outlet from pipe through pond berm). Reference: Sheet EX. Accordingly, the proposed 18″ HDPE outlet pipe from the manhole to the Detention Pond should include a flared end section or other suitable outlet type and suitable scour protection at the pipe outlet. Reference: Sheet UT.
  • Construction sequencing, procedures and timing is unclear. I suggest the plans include basic construction sequencing, procedures and timing information. In addition to facilitating construction, this information is necessary to assist with implementing temporary erosion control measures during construction.

Metcalf concluded by asking Old Lyme Land Use Coordinator Daniel Bourret to forward a copy of his letter to the design engineers Milone & MacBroom, Inc. and the Regional School District since he did not have their emails.

Bourret reported that he had not complied with that request since the Public Hearing was closed and rules prohibit the applicant from supplying more information after that point.

Marsh commented that in the past it has been permissible for the engineer to talk with Zoning staff in order to resolve outstanding issues. She then proposed that in this case, since the project had been under their review by the Zoning Commission for some time, that the commission should approve the project with the condition that all the requirements stated by Metcalf are met. Further, as part of her motion, she said Bourret would be required to ensure the condition were enforced.

The motion with the condition passed unanimously.

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Nosal Again Raises Resolution Against Racism at Old Lyme BOS Meeting, Griswold Agrees to Further Review But With No Agreement to Sign

OLD LYME — At the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s (OL BOS) meeting, Monday, Dec. 7, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal again raised the issue of the board signing a Resolution stating Racism is a Public Health Crisis (see draft at the end of this article.) She ultimately received a commitment from First Selectman Timothy Griswold that he would look at the wording of the Resolution again, but no agreement to sign it.

Pointing out that she had been requesting this since August (see LymeLine.com reports of the Sept. 8 OL BOS meeting and the Sept. 22 OL BOS meeting), she informed the board that the Old Saybrook Board of Selectmen (BOS) had now approved the Resolution that she had previously presented.

First Selectman Timothy Griswold expressed surprise at the Old Saybrook BOS decision.

Explaining that the resolution is, “a framework for the town,” Nosal continued, “[It requires us] to look at everything with racial equity. I think because we are white people, we think everything is fine.”

Noting the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities is supporting the Resolution, which has already been approved by numerous towns in the state, Nosal commented, “As white people, we are not trained to think something is happening because it doesn’t happen to us. Data supports the fact that our systems support certain people but not everybody.”

Then, urging the board to make a decision, she said, “We need to move forward. It takes courage,” adding, “I’m asking us again to do the right thing. It takes political courage to do this. To ignore this, it boggles my mind.”

Nosal informed the board that she believed the next legislative session will take up the resolution, and said she felt, “It would be helpful for [State Rep.] Devin Carney to have our experiences.”  She stated firmly, “I’m here to help.”

Griswold agreed to look at the Resolution again, but commented, “I don’t have a whole lot of time,” adding, “I’m not comfortable with some of the things it’s setting us up to do … I’m not comfortable with the language.”

He concluded, “We’ll look at it again,” noting that Nosal was, “persistent.”

***

The following is the original DRAFT Resolution that Nosal presented for discussion. She has since offered other versions of the document with amended wording.

WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions: individual racism that is interpersonal and/or internalized or systemic racism that is institutional or structural, and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks;

WHEREAS race is a social construct with no biological basis; 

WHEREAS racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources; 

WHEREAS racism is a root cause of poverty and constricts economic mobility; 

WHEREAS racism causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment, and criminal justice, and is itself a social determinant of health; 

WHEREAS racism and segregation have exacerbated a health divide resulting in people of color in Connecticut bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and mortality including COVID-19 infection and death, heart disease, diabetes, and infant mortality; 

WHEREAS Black, Native American, Asian and Latino residents are more likely to experience poor health outcomes as a consequence of inequities in economic stability, education, physical environment, food, and access to health care and these inequities are, themselves, a result of racism; 

WHEREAS more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and 

WHEREAS the collective prosperity and wellbeing of TOWN depends upon equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin: 

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the TOWN Board of Selectmen

(1) Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut; 

(2) Work to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, by continuing to identify specific activities to enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across our leadership, staffing and contracting;

(3) Promote equity through all policies approved by the Board of Selectmen and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development and public safety;

(4) Improve the quality of the data our town collects and the analysis of that data—it is not enough to assume that an initiative is producing its intended outcome, qualitative and quantitative data should be used to assess inequities in impact and continuously improve;

(5) Continue to advocate locally for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color, and support local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism;

(6) Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional, and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis;

(7) Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and authentically with communities of color wherever they live; and

(8) Identify clear goals and objectives, including periodic reports to the Board of Selectmen, to assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity.

 

 

 

 

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Dec. 18 COVID-19 Update: Lyme Moves Back Into ‘Red Zone,’ Re-joining Old Lyme; Cumulative Cases in Old Lyme Climb to 128, Lyme at 38

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 17 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.

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new daily update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme. The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Friday, Dec. 18, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m. Dec 17, shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are once again in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ Old Lyme was ‘red’ for the past two weeks but Lyme had moved into the gray (lowest) zone. As of today’s report, only two towns in the state — Canaan and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Barkhamsted is the single town in the state in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • 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.
  • 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 10-14.
  • 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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 126 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a total of 128 cases.

This represents an increase of FOUR over the 122 confirmed cases reported Thursday, Dec. 17, and no change in the number (two) of probable cases reported the same day. 

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,563.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

The Dec. 18 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 11/29 through 12/12, Old Lyme had 17 cases in Week 1 and 17 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 17.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 33, reflecting a significant increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.4. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 35 confirmed cases and three probable cases, making a total of 38 cases.

This represents an increase of ONE over the 34 confirmed cases reported Thursday, Dec. 17. The number of probable cases has also increased by ONE.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 839.

The Dec. 18 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from11/29 through 12/12, Lyme had six cases in Week 1 and five in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 12.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 33.6 reflecting a significant increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 12.2. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

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Zoning Commission Approves Change of Use for Bee & Thistle to Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center

Old Lyme’s Zoning Commission has approved plans for the former Bee and Thistle Inn to become the new home of the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center.

OLD LYME — At their monthly meeting held virtually Monday evening, the Old Lyme Zoning Commission approved the applications by the Connecticut (CT) Audubon Society that will enable the former Bee and Thistle Inn at 100 Lyme St. to be converted to the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center’s (RTPEC) new headquarters.

The CT Audubon Society had submitted both Special Permit and Municipal Coastal Site Plan Review Applications requesting that permission be granted for the use of the property for non-profit and educational activities.

Michael Cronin, the Society’s attorney, told the commission that Tom Metcalf, the engineer for the Planning and Zoning Commission, had reviewed the site plan and approved it. Cronin noted that his client, “is not proposing to do anything different to the exterior of the property.”

Asked to describe the RTPEC plans for the interior of the building, Cronin responded that the first floor would comprise a Discovery Center, a general “laboratory,” and display rooms. He added that the second floor would be designated as offices while the third floor would be a storage area.

Cronin stressed that use of the property as ‘educational’ is a conforming use and also that the Society was seeking rapid approval of its request since, “a condition of sale of the property is that it must close before Dec. 31 [of this year.]”

Commission member Jane Marsh asked whether there were any plans for residential use of the property since Old Lyme Fire Marshal David Roberge had identified that a cottage on the property could be used as a residence. Cronin replied that if residential use were desired in the future, a separate application would be made at the time.

Cronin went on to say there was “major support” for the conversion of the former inn to the RTPEC Educational Center and headquarters. He mentioned that the Florence Griswold Museum — the immediate neighbor to the south — had offered “enthusiastic support,” and the Hamilton and Noyes families respectively to the north had written “nice letters of support.”

Torrance Downes of the Gateway Commission had also expressed his support while Ledge Light Health District had confirmed they did not see the proposal as a change of use.

Cronin then called on Claudia Weicker, chair of the RTPEC Regional Board and wife of Connecticut former governor Lowell Weicker, to speak. She said, “The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is very much excited about the property. This opportunity to combine the outside environment with an indoor facility offers space for scientific studies and exploring the latest thinking.”

Weicker added, “Here on the banks of the Lieutenant River … art, science and the river come together,” and will provide, “a legacy to the community … a place to turn to nature for distraction from the world around us … to find meaning in this world.”

She concluded that the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center is set, “to become something important in the town of Old Lyme.”

The commission approved the proposal unanimously noting the requirement for a traffic study was waived, the approval of 49 additional parking spaces was deferred until they were required, designation for water-dependent use was deemed adequate and that no residential use is permitted at this time.

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Dec. 17 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme’s Cumulative Cases Rise to 124, Lyme’s Reach 34

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new daily update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme. The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Thursday, Dec. 17, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m. Dec 16, shows the following:

Old Lyme remains in the state-identified ‘Red Zone,’ but Lyme is still gray joining only five other towns in the state at that lower level.

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.

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.

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

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 122 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a total of 124 cases.

This represents an increase of TWO over the 120 confirmed cases reported Wednesday, Dec. 15, and no change in the number of probable cases reported the same day. 

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,544.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

The Dec. 10 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 11/22 through 12/05, Old Lyme had eight cases in Week 1 and 11 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 10.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 18.4, reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 19.4. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 34 confirmed cases and two probable cases, making a total of 36 cases.

This represents an increase of TWO over the 32 confirmed cases reported Wednesday, Dec. 16. The number of probable cases remains at two.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 829.

The Dec. 10 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from11/22 through 12/05, Lyme had one case in Week 1 and three in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 10.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 12.2 reflecting a decrease from the previously reported two-week-rate of 24.4.  A case rate of less than five cases per 100,000 population or less than five cases reported places a town in the state’s ‘Gray Zone.’

Ledge Light Health Department Weekly Report

Ledge Light Health Department (LLHD) issued their most recent Weekly COVID-19 Report, Friday, Dec. 11.

Stephen Mansfield, LLHD Director of Health, prefaces the report with this statement, “Our contact tracers continue to report that they have observed many COVID cases associated with family and social gatherings, as well as a significant increase in cases associated with long term care and assisted living facilities. We encourage everyone to remain diligent and take appropriate precautions throughout this holiday season.”

The report shows that in the past two weeks, Old Lyme had 19 new confirmed cases and Lyme less than five.

It also details that 779 Old Lyme residents had molecular tests and antigen tests in the past two weeks while the equivalent number for Lyme residents was 232.

The report offers this link to the Connecticut COVID Data Portal, which provides centralized access to data on the COVID-19 emergency and response.

The next Weekly Report from LLHD is due Friday, Dec. 18.

Neither the LLHD nor the Connecticut Department of Health (CT DPH) reports give any details of the age of those infected, their gender, or the date the case was confirmed.

The COVID-19 metric report is issued by the state once per day, every Monday through Friday. The report that is issued each Monday contains combined data that was collected on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. The state will issue its next report Friday, Dec. 18.

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