July 4, 2020

Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme Closed Weekends Through Labor Day Due to Environmental, Safety Violations

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Land Trust (OLLT) Board of Trustees has announced that the Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme will be closed to all visitors from 7:30 p.m. on each Friday until 8 a.m. the following Monday from June through August. On Labor Day weekend, it will remain closed until 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

These closures are to address continued preserve use violations, which damage the environment and pose safety concerns.

The board states in a press release, “This decision to limit access to Watch Rock has been a difficult one. We recognize that the beautiful Watch Rock setting has long provided significant enjoyment for many visitors who abide by the posted rules.”

The release continues, “However, increasingly frequent and serious incidents of littering, OLLT signage vandalism, theft of newly planted native shrubs, open campfires, and late evening loitering have necessitated visitor access restrictions during the weekend periods when most of these issues occur.”

Noting, “This situation will be closely monitored, including by the police,” the board adds,  The effectiveness of the summer weekend closures will be evaluated to determine if additional steps are needed to prevent misuse and harm to this conservation land.”

In closing, the board says, “We are grateful for the continued understanding and support of all visitors, especially our members.”

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Sale of Delicious Donuts Starts in Sound View Today; Proceeds Benefit Shoreline Community Center

OLD LYME — UPDATED 07/03: It is now possible to preorder delicious Sound View Donuts. The Advance Donut Order Form is at this link. 

There are three ways to place your order:

  1. If you would like a Word document of the form, request it via email from Gail Fuller at gfuller2@aol.com
  2. Print the form, complete it, scan it and return it to gfuller2@aol.com 
  3. Email gfuller2@aol.com with your name, beach address, phone number, details of order, and which day you will be picking them up (Saturday, Sunday or Labor Day.)

Advance orders must be picked up by 9 a.m. on the day requested. The order cannot be guaranteed after 9 a.m.

The Sound View Beach Association, Inc. (SVBA) in Old Lyme is a community organization and usually only holds events from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day. However, due to restrictions from the Coronavirus pandemic this year, the SVBA is unable to hold their usual activities.

The SVBA’s main fundraiser is selling doughnuts on the weekend, which volunteers will begin to do on the July 4th weekend. Doughnuts will be sold Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day.
The freshly-made, delicious doughnuts will be on sale at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave, Old Lyme, from 7 to 10 a.m. or until sold out.
All sale profits benefit the Shoreline Community Center.
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Another COVID Case Reported in Old Lyme Raising Total to 23 Including Two Deaths

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message Monday, June 29, that another new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Old Lyme. This additional confirmed case is a 48-year-old female.

There are now 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities. Eight of these surviving cases are male and the remaining 13 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old male.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
April 2514
May 115
May 1517
May 2618
June 819
June 1020
June 1421
June 2222
June 2423

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed cases to date are now as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 48
  11. Female, age 85
  12. Female, age 95
  13. Female, age 20
  14. Female, age 43
  15. Female, age 48
  16. Male, age 70
  17. Male, age 67
  18. Female, age 68
  19. Male, age 73
  20. Male, age 21
  21. Female, age 48

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that Ledge Light Health District must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case is a 34-year-old male.

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Flo Gris Museum Now Open to Members, Reopens to Public, Tuesday; New ‘Fresh Fields’ Exhibition on View

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum reopened to members July 1 and will reopen to the public July 7.  Admission will be limited and by 24-hour advance online ticketing only. Check the Museum website for admission requirements and details of how to purchase tickets.

Café Flo opens July 7, by reservation only.

Childe Hassam, Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme, 1904. 25 x 30 in., Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of the Vincent Dowling Family Foundation in Honor of Director Emeritus Jeffrey Andersen.

Visitors to the Museum will be greeted with a new exhibition, Fresh Fields, which is a celebration of the Museum’s most beloved landscape paintings created by Impressionist artists who visited Old Lyme. The exhibition opens July 7 and runs through Nov. 1.

The selection highlights major recent acquisitions, such as Childe Hassam’s Apple Trees in BloomOld Lyme (1904), and emphasizes ongoing research about the local landscape that informed development of the Artists’ Trail.

Paintings, drawings, archival materials, and photographs will shed light on the history and ecology of Old Lyme, which caused it to become a gathering place for artists.

The exhibition also calls upon the knowledge and viewpoints of outside experts to build an interdisciplinary understanding. In addition to the Museum’s own curators and art history scholars, contributors will include an ecologist, members of the local Native American community, and experts on women’s history and African-American history.

Fresh Fields relies on those with expertise in these areas to help create a more complete understanding of the human history, culture, and values that shaped these Impressionist landscapes.

Editor’s Note: Remember that the Museum grounds are open and in bloom now — no need to wait for the reopening of the Museum to enjoy them!

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Old Lyme BOS Votes to Hold Summer Fireworks, July 25, Despite No Midsummer Festival This Year

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display traditionally rounds off Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival. The festival is not being held this year but the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted June 30 to hold the fireworks display July 25 regardless.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday afternoon (June 30) at a Special Meeting to hold the annual fireworks celebration that normally takes place in the evening following the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival.  This is a significant decision since the Midsummer Festival itself, scheduled for Saturday, July 25, will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selectmen’s plan is to hold the fireworks on the evening of Saturday, July 25, with a raindate of Sunday, July 26.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, however, clarified to LymeLine in a text this morning that the event is still subject to a number of caveats, stating the fireworks will be held, “… subject, of course, to state and local requirements.” and also that, “We have verbal permission from the school but we must be sure the new solar panels are not harmed.”

Griswold confirmed that, assuming the fireworks go ahead, there will be no shuttle bus service this year due to social distancing constraints.

He added that the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen, ” … believes the fireworks will be a welcome family event for the people of Old Lyme!”

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read our earlier story published June 22, titled, “Will There Be Fireworks in Old Lyme This Year?”

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Offers Small Group Eco-adventures in Lyme, Old Lyme for Ages 10-15

“Ponding” with RTPEC instructors is always an educational and fun experience. Photo from RTPEC.

LYME-OLD LYME — What lies beneath the water? How can you find your way in the woods? Can you use cabbage to create art?

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) is offering small group, in-person programming to explore these questions and more beginning July 13 and following all current COVID-19 safety procedures. The RTPEC building on Halls Rd. will, however, remain closed.

Join in hands-on activities while discovering local biodiversity, using scientific tools, and creating beautiful natural art pieces. Morgan Allen, a RTPEC teacher-naturalist, will lead participants in outdoor, experiential field programs focusing on different daily topics in different locations.

Pond Exploration at Jewett Preserve in Lyme 
Monday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Tuesday, July 21, 3 – 5 p.m.
Join Allen in exploring what plants and animals may live in the pond using nets, solar microscopes, and more. Discover the chemical characteristics of the pond by learning how to take temperature and pH samples. Test the water quality using our Creek Critter app to identify macroinvertebrates and learn how to become a citizen scientist. Bring close-toed water shoes, a towel, and wear clothing that can get wet.

Hiking Adventures at Beckett Hill State Park in Lyme
Wednesday, July 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Thursday, July, 23, 3 – 5 p.m. 
Take an adventure into the woods. Learn how to use binoculars, solar scopes, and field guides to identify plants and animals. Use a soil sieve to discover what’s hiding in the soil.  Not sure which way you are traveling? Learn how to use a compass to navigate your way. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.

Art in Nature at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme
Friday, July 17, 10 a.m – 12 p.m. and Saturday, July 25, 3 – 5 pm 
Release the artist within! Over these two hours, Allen will teach participants how to create a variety of natural art pieces including designing a seascape with sand and shells, clay pressings using natural materials, and making your own natural tie-dye. Wear clothing that can get messy and something to tie-dye.

To register and for more information, visit https://www.ctaudubon.org/rtp-programs-events/
Register for one, two, or three days. There is a 10-person maximum for each day.
The price is $30 RTPEC member/day, $35 non-member/day; $75 RTPEC member/three days, $90 non-member/three days.

Each child should bring a water bottle daily.

Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

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Lyme Church Offers “Hate Has No Home Here” Yard Signs for Sale, Next Opportunity to Buy is Sunday

Selam Olson.13, displays one of the yard signs being sold by the First Congregational Church of Lyme. Selam is the daughter of Susan Olson, who serves as the church Pastor. Photo submitted.

LYME — The First Congregational Church of Lyme is partnering with Hate Has No Home Here to sell yard signs to members of the community. The signs show the message in a number of languages.

Lyme First Congregational Pastor Susan Olson notes, “While we’re a church, the movement is not related to a religion or political party–everyone can participate.”

Asked why the church decided to start selling the signs, Olson explains in a text to LymeLine, ” I came across the Hate Has No Home Here Project while doing some research for a sermon a few weeks back. I liked the origin of the project. It comes from a residential neighborhood in Chicago, mostly focused on families in walking distance of one particular elementary school.”

She continues, “A third grade child coined the phrase and the neighbors created the signs. The idea has spread like wildfire across the globe.”

Pointing out, “The project made sense for us at Lyme Church. We bought 100 signs to resell because we know that 100 signs denouncing hate will make a big splash in the Lyme area, whereas in a larger town like Hartford or New Haven, it would be harder to see them as part of a movement.”

“As Christians,” Olson adds, “We are deeply concerned about current events, about the deep stain of racism, and how hatred in all its forms is poisoning our communities and our world. We wanted to respond in a way that includes the whole community–not just our church–and the sign campaign seemed to be a good place to start.”

She concludes, “We hope that many of our neighbors and friends will join us in saying that hate has no home here.”

The signs are being sold for $6. The next opportunity to purchase signs will be Sunday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the church parking lot.

Those wishing to buy a sign should bring a check payable to First Congregational Church of Lyme or exact change. Distribution of signs at the church will be contactless. The church’s Facebook page states, “Drive up, pop your trunk, drop your money in a box outside your window and off you go. We’re spreading love, not germs!”

Once a sign has been obtained, people are invited take a picture of their family with their sign and the church will post it (with appropriate permissions) on the church’s social media accounts.

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Saint Ann’s Nearly New Shop in Old Lyme Reopens for Sales

The Nearly New Shop of Saint Ann’s Parish.

OLD LYME — The Nearly New Shop of Saint Ann’s Parish will start accepting consignments again Monday, June 22. The Shop will be open every day next week through Friday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

The Shop will reopen for sales starting Wednesday, July 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Henceforward, it will be open every Tuesdays through Saturdays at the same time.

Clothes for consignment should be clean, wrinkle free, and on hangers. Forms should be filled out with item detail or can be provided at the time of your visit.

All customers are reminded that properly worn face masks must be worn at all times while visiting the Nearly New Shop and similarly social distancing must be practiced at all times.

The Shop is located  at 70 Shore Rd. (corner of Shore and Mile Creek Rd’s.)

The Shop management says, “We are beyond excited to be opening our doors once again. Although you won’t be able to see our smiles when you walk in the door, know we’ll be grinning ear to ear under our masks!”

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Lyme’s Traditional Fourth of July Parade Cannot be Held This Year Due to COVID-19 Crowd Size Restrictions

Lyme’s Fourth of July parade will not take place this year. File photo from a previous parade by Michele Dickey.

LYME — At their meeting Monday afternoon, the Lyme Board of Selectmen discussed whether the Fourth of July parade, which traditionally takes place on Cove Rd., should be held this year. First Selectman Steve Mattson stressed “It is not a Town of Lyme function,” but rather, “A community function … whoever shows up walks, rides or whatever.”

Mattson said, “It is my opinion that the event should not be held this year.” Selectman John Kiker agreed, saying, “I just think it’s too soon,” and Selectman Parker Lord added, “I agree it’s the thing to do.”

In addition, recognizing the revised restrictions imposed by Governor Lamont in terms of the size of public gatherings, the Town has now posted the following announcement on their website advising residents, “The traditional Cove Road July 4th Parade cannot be held this year, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order #7TT, which prohibits public gatherings of more than 25 people during this phase of the pandemic.”

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Sound View’s Traditional July 4 Parade Cancelled, Also No Beach Summer Concerts In Old Lyme This Year

Cheerfully leading a previous year’s Independence Day parade through the streets of Sound View in Old Lyme was the ever-smiling Joann Leishing. Sadly, there will be no parade his year.

OLD LYME — Frank Pappalardo, who serves as Sound View Commission Chairman, told LymeLine in an email yesterday, “The Sound View Commission has canceled their events and activities for this summer, including the concert series.”

He added, “The Sound View Beach Association (SVBA) has cancelled the Independence Day Parade for this year, other events are pending.”

Asked about all the other summer happenings that the SVBA traditionally hosts, SVBA President Gail Fuller responded in an email, “We are still not sure what we’re doing with our other  activities yet.,” noting that she would keep LymeLine posted, “as soon as I know what we’re doing.”

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Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Hosts Pre-College Academy for High School Students, Middle School Academy for 11 to13-Year-Olds

Kimberly Monson will teach a week-long Drawing course for Pre-College students starting July 6. A few openings are still available.

OLD LYME — This summer Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is hosting a Pre-College Academy for high school students and Middle School Academy for ages 11 -13.

High school students aged 14 to 18 with beginning to advanced level art training can enroll in an exciting series of week-long, daytime courses starting July 6 that further explore and expand their technical skill and abilities. Each week of classes costs $375.00 per student and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  All the courses will be taught by talented college faculty and aim to foster creativity, build artistic skill, and mentor personal vision in young artists.

The courses on offer include:

Drawing
Instructor: Kimberly Monson
July 6-10
$375.00

Illustration Essentials
Instructor: David Wenzel
July 13-17

World Building
Instructor: Jon Sideriadis
July 20-24

Oil Painting
Instructor: Michael Viera
July 27-31

Animation
Instructor: Roland Beccerra
Aug. 3 – 7

Sculpture
Instructor: Bruce Wallace
Aug. 10-14

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Neviaser “Very Pleased” with Governor’s Plan to Reopen All CT Schools in Fall 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

OLD LYME — Asked his reaction to Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona’s announcement yesterday that all schools statewide should plan to reopen to all students in the fall of 2020, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser told LymeLine exclusively by phone this morning that he is “very pleased with the Governor’s plan.”

The plan calls for mandatory mask-wearing by students and staff with certain exceptions, cohorting so that teams function independently as much as possible, and social distancing combined with heightened health and safety protocols.

The full press release from the Governor’s office is published in its entirety below.

Neviaser said, “I’m especially glad to see that they’re giving local flexibility … one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to schools … schools are different sizes, have different populations … or to put it another way, we’re different from Old Saybrook and East Lyme … and Hartford.”

Regarding next steps, Neviaser explained, “We have two committees already in place that have been anxiously awaiting this guidance.” He said that apart from the full return to school option, they have been looking into “remote learning” and also “a hybrid model with students coming into school on alternate days.”

Now the committees will work intensively to determine the optimum ways to implement the Governor’s plans specifically for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Neviaser said, “Ideally, we’ll get everyone back [to school] in a way that follows all the guidelines to keeps students and staff safe.” He added that LOL Schools will be working with the local health departments to ensure they comply with all health and safety guidelines.

Asked whether he thought the fall sports program would take place, Neviaser responded, “We intend to [have it in place] … the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) does too [for all schools in the conference] — we just don’t have any details yet.”

Finally, Neviaser noted that he does not know yet whether LOL Schools will have to supply masks to students and faculty, if the state will supply them or if students and faculty will be required to supply their own. Indicating he awaits further direction on that, he said that in the meantime, “I just have no idea.”

The following is the full press release issued by Governor Ned Lamont’s office yesterday, June 25:  Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced details yesterday of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model.

While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Governor Lamont said.

He continued, “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families, students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives. The department conducted a review of nationally and globally published school reopening plans. The importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, safety, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning.

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” Commissioner Cardona said.

“Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time,” noted Cardona, adding, “In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

In addition to the framework released today, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.

**DownloadExecutive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
**DownloadPresentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning

Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year
Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations. School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations

Cohorting

  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teacher (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.

Transportation

  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators wear face coverings.
  • Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.
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Lyme Art Association Reopens to the Public with Two New Exhibitions

‘Sea Sparkles’ in oil by Jacqueline Jones is one of the featured works in the Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show exhibition opening June 26 at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association (LAA) welcomes the public back to the gallery today, June 26, with Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show. This is a juried show of LAA’s talented member artists that celebrates the unique beauty of the open water, shorelines, rivers, and all the activity and life that accompany these settings.

The juror for Wind, Waves and Water is Russell Kramer, ASMA.

John Traynor’s ‘Grazing By The Bay’ (oil) is another featured work in the LAA’s upcoming exhibition.

This year the Association welcomes back the Hudson Valley Art Association for their 87th Annual Juried Exhibition. This show always includes exceptional award winners from artists across the region.

Both shows will be on view from June 26 through Aug. 14. There will not be an opening reception.

The Lyme Art Association is located in Old Lyme, at 90 Lyme Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and by appointment at other times. All visitors are requested to wear a mask.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the town’s historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival Now Accepting Submissions for 2021; Positions as Directors, Readers Also Open

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse has announced their Fifth Annual Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival (IWPF.) Submissions of one-act plays by women playwrights are sought.
The IWPF provides the four writers whose work is chosen paid travel to Ivoryton and housing while there, three days of intensive workshops with a director and actors for play development and participation in a staged reading festival in February/March 2021 (actual dates to be determined).
There is also a $500 stipend.
Ten-minute plays are acceptable, and all plays must run no more than one hour.
Completed manuscripts must be submitted by email only.  Closing date for submissions is Aug. 30, 2020.
Interested playwrights should email a completed manuscript, (for musicals include a script and music file), with name and contact information.
The IWPF also seeks resumes from directors (Connecticut residents only), and those interested in being readers, both men and women.

Play submissions, resumes from directors and interested readers should be emailed to Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director at jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org

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Old Lyme Library Celebrates Phoebe’s 122nd Birthday with Ice Cream, Smiles

All photos by Martha Shoemaker.

OLD LYME — The Phoebe Griffin Noyes (PGN) Library in Old Lyme celebrated its 122nd birthday yesterday by serving 122 ice creams — well, actually it was around 200!

Smiling library staff and volunteers were out in force on the grounds of the PGN Library fronting onto Lyme St. waving signs …

… saying how pleased they were to see community members again and encouraging those who were driving or walking by to stop and accept a brown bag, which contained …

… an ice cream and a book mark about this year’s Read. Explore. Learn! summer program.

Ably supported by the Old Lyme Police Department, people of all ages cheerfully accepted brown bags from staff.

Phoebe herself, aka Mary Dangremond, stopped by to take in the festivities. Dangremond has been portraying Phoebe for many years at numerous events.

Established as a free public library in 1897 and dedicated in 1898, the building construction was funded by the generous gift of Charles H. Ludington in honor of his mother-in-law, Phoebe Griffin Noyes.
In the photo above, Eleanor Hufford carefully hands a bag to Library Director’s daughter Maggie Huffman.

Asked how she felt the event had gone, Library Director Katie Huffman replied enthusiastically, “It was such a heartwarming day! …

… We were so pleased to share a bit of fun with the community and to say thanks for their support. And of course, it was fabulous to see some of our patrons after all these months of isolation!”

The ice cream was supplied by the Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe and …

… sponsored by the Old Lyme Historical Society and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

The PGN Library itself remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 and ongoing interior renovations.

If you need assistance using their online resources, help connecting to local or regional services, or general research assistance, call 860-598-0490 and a staff member will assist you from home.

The Library will begin accepting returns on Monday, July 6. All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours in compliance with state and CDC requirements.

Due to this, the book drops will remain closed, but materials may be dropped off at the Library during the following times:

  • Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The PGN Library staff and board anticipate reopening in a limited capacity later in July once the shelving and collections are back in place.

 

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Lyme Ambulance Association Seeks IT Volunteer, Four Hours Per Month

Carl Clement (left) accompanied by George Mooney and other members of Lyme Ambulance Department march in the 2017 July 4 parade. File photo by C. Judy.

LYME — Lyme Ambulance Association is looking for a volunteer Information Technology Person to assist with a variety of tasks including simple web updates (training is available), interactions with the hosting provider and monitoring the donation widget.

The approximate time requirement is four hours each month, but could be longer if desired.

For further information, contact Ariana Eaton at 860.510.2815 or deputychief@lymeambulance.org

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Will There Be a Fireworks Display in Old Lyme This Year?

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display traditionally rounds off the annual Midsummer Festival. Since the 2020 Midsummer Festival is cancelled, many are wondering whether there will still there be fireworks this year? File photo.

OLD LYME — At the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s June 15 meeting, Selectman Christopher Kerr asked whether the Town would be hosting the fireworks display that traditionally takes place on the Saturday evening of the Midsummer Festival, even though the Festival itself has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Griswold responded that he needed to reach Commissioner Lehman to discuss details of what might be permitted under the state’s reopening guidelines. Lehman is the Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD.)

Griswold mused as to whether the event could be held using “the same formula as the beach” with regard to social distancing. He said there would obviously be “no buses,” but, “if we could get clearance [from the state], we could space out.”

The three selectmen agreed after a brief discussion that the average turnout for the event was around 900.

Griswold concluded the discussion saying, “We are still entertaining the idea of still having it [the firework display.]”

Following on from that meeting, LymeLine asked Griswold on Friday whether any progress had been made towards a decision. He responded by text that information from the Governor’s office, “States that, as part of Phase 3, fireworks with proper separation may be held with no cap.” Griswold indicated that he believed that in this context, “cap” meant maximum capacity.

He ended his text saying, “I will poll the Selectmen and the Fire Marshal with a recommendation that the Town proceed with preparations for a Saturday, 25 July event with a rain date of the 26th.”

As soon as we hear the final decision from Griswold, we will report it on LymeLine.com.

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Old Lyme Town Hall Reopens to Public Monday With New Protocols in Place

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold

OLD LYME — UPDATED  6/22: Speaking at the June 15 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting, which was held virtually via Webex, First Selectman Tim Griswold said exuberantly, “Come the 22nd, we’ll be open for public access.”

He was referring to the fact that the board of selectmen has set the date for town employees to return to work at Memorial Town Hall as Monday, June 22, which is the same day that it will also open to the public — but in both cases with many new restrictions.

The most significant change is, in Griswold’s words, that, “the front door will remain closed,” with a lock-box being used for tax payments, beach passes, documents for filing with the the town clerk and so forth.

He explained that people coming to town hall will, “Use the double-doors by the Meeting Hall and must have a face mask. They will be met by a greeter.”  The greeter’s role will be to determine when sufficient space is available to maintain social distancing guidelines at the department the person wishes to visit.

Adding, “If someone wants to speak with a particular person, they will have to call for an appointment,” Griswold also noted that hand-sanitizer will be available at numerous locations throughout the building.

He concluded, “There’ll be a period of getting used to this new way of working.”

In an email to staff, Griswold had previously explained the precautions being taken and the new protocols that will be in place for intra-staff interactions as well as those between staff and members of the public.

Griswold states in the email, “Personal protective equipment such as masks and gloves will be provided to employees and I ask that staff wear masks when in hallways and other common areas.”

He then lists the measures that are being implemented to protect both the health of employees and the public.

In terms of foot traffic entering the building, the main Town Hall doors and lower level doors will remain locked.

People will enter through the double doors in the foyer next to the meeting hall (at the left of the building as one looks at it from the road) where two Parks and Recreation “Greeters” will meet them and take the temperature of each member of the public entering the building. These “Greeters” will also ensure that each person is wearing a mask and if no mask is present, one will be provided.

Parks and Recreation Director Don Bugbee will serve as the manager of the Greeters.

The Greeters will then direct the public to the office they wish to visit.

In the event more than two or three people are requesting access to a specific office at the same time, the Greeters will ask members of the public to wait in the Meeting Hall. The Greeters will use walkie-talkies to communicate with the larger volume offices.

Once the line is sufficiently reduced, the Greeter will direct the next person waiting to proceed to that office.

The public will have access to the main floor restrooms only. There will be no public access to the lower level.

Regarding general sanitizing facilities and procedures, there will be hand sanitizing stations at the main entrance and in other locations in Town Hall. Dutch doors with built-in counters will be installed in the  First Selectman’s and Assessor’s office doorways. Plexiglass barriers will be placed in the doorways above the counters.

Plexiglass barriers will also be installed in the Town Clerk’s office and in the Building and Land Use areas on the second floor.

Tape will be used to show the public where to stand so that they remain six feet apart while they are waiting for a staff member.

The Town Hall cleaning contractor will continue daily sanitizing of common areas.

Business interactions will see a number of changes. Beach passes, tax payments, and dog licenses will only be accepted by drop-off or in the mail (except for cash payments). Beach passes will not be issued in person.

Griswold notes in his email, “We are strongly encouraging members of the public to conduct their business by phone and/or mail to reduce the number of people entering Town Hall,” adding that a front door lock box has been installed and will be utilized for people to drop off items outside of regular hours.

He also stresses that all meetings with Town Hall staff will take place by appointment only in the immediate term. and that boards, commissions, and committees will continue to meet virtually until the State changes restrictions on in-person gatherings.

Griswold concludes the email, “I appreciate your patience and flexibility as we adapt to doing business differently for the foreseeable future.”

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Wyman of Old Lyme Appointed Community Music School Executive Director, “Thrilled to Come Home”

Dr. Richard Wyman, the new Executive Director of the Community Music School based in Centerbrook.

OLD LYME — Dr. Richard Wyman of Old Lyme has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Community Music School (CMS) located in Centerbrook. He took over the reins of the organization in the mid-May after serving for several years as Musical Masterworks General Director.

Wyman has a long history of involvement in both playing and conducting music professionally along with community-based music learning. He began his music studies at the prestigious Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y., where he obtained his undergraduate degree in music education and then moved to the University of Illinois to pursue a masters degree in music.

Subsequently, he moved back East when he joined the US Coast Guard (CG) Band  as a baritone saxophonist in the late 1990s. Back then, Wyman also taught saxophone for a number of years at CMS but in 2004, he was appointed Assistant Director of the USCG band and opted to focus on his new position along with studying conducting at the University of Connecticut where he earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts.

In his role as USCG Band Assistant Director, Wyman led educational concerts for thousands of students.

After retiring from the SCG in 2018, Wyman first took the position with Musical Masterworks and now he has come full circle back to the CMS.  He is still continuing his music education, however, since he is currently studying arts administration at UConn.

Wyman says he is, “Thrilled to ‘come home’ to CMS,” and is looking forward to all the challenges and opportunities that the job offers. These latter involve continuing to run the school’s teaching program online and running the spring “Friends of Note” campaign, which is devoted to “COVID-19 Relief” for CMS through the summer. He points out that a gift to this $50K campaign will, “Provide payroll (for staff and instructors), mortgage payments, maintenance of our facilities, and … most importantly, support of the wonderful instruction and music-making,” by CMS faculty and students.

Asked to explain his passion for both music and music education, Wyman says, “Throughout my adult life, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with understanding music’s essential role in the living of a fulfilling life,” noting, “Whether it was through performing as saxophonist in amusement parks (which he did at both Disney World and Busch Gardens many years ago), conducting/hosting USCG Band educational performances, or witnessing the joy music brings to members of the CMS “New Horizons” Band.”

Wyman lives in Old Lyme with his clarinetist/pianist wife Erin and their three boys, the eldest of whom has just graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS). The younger two are respectively at LOLHS and Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School and all three, in Wyman’s words, “Study music as important parts of their educations and lives.”

Editor’s Note: Community Music School is located at 90 Main St., Building 4, Centerbrook, and also 179 Flanders Rd., Ste. 3 East Lyme. For more information on CMS, call 860-767-0026 or visit the school’s website.

If you wish to donated to the “Friends of Note’ campaign, call Wyman at 860-767-0026 to discuss giving opportunities, or donate online at cmsct.org/support.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Award Four Scholarships to LOLHS Seniors


OLD LYME — On Wednesday, June 17, the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions awarded four $1500 scholarships to deserving Lyme-Old Lyme High School Seniors in the Meeting Hall at the Old Lyme Town Hall.

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold, right in photo above, presented the scholarships and was assisted by Michael Kolar, President of the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions, left in photo.

Also pictured in the photo above are, from left to right:

  • Kyle Myers, recipient of the Don McCue Memorial Scholarship, which is offered in memory of Donald McCue, a man dedicated to his community
  • Evan St.Louis, recipient of the Lew Krouse Memorial Scholarship, which is offered in memory of one of the greatest Lions to belong to the LOL Lions Club. In honor of his profession, the primary criteria for award eligibility is a desire to pursue an undergraduate degree in communications. Other criteria that will affect the decision include community service, academics, and athletics.
  • Julia Stout, recipient of the Harold Nickerson Memorial Scholarship, which is awarded based on a combination of scholastic and athletic achievement.
  • Elizabeth Cravinho, recipient of the Ralph Kehoe Memorial Scholarship, awarded to a graduating senior with a solid academic record, who has been accepted as a full-time student at a post-high school accredited institution and involved in some community and/or school activities.
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