December 4, 2020

Death of Julia Balfour Announced; Celebration of Life Planned in Lyme, Sunday

Julia Balfour

LYME — Julia Balfour, who founded and led the integrated creative agency now located in East Haddam that bears her name, passed away Nov. 30, 2020. She ran the agency for many years from her home in Lyme.

The sense of shock among the local community and throughout the extensive business world in which she worked is profound.

Julia was a remarkable woman, whose very presence was not only incredibly powerful but also irresistibly magnetic. There was never a dull moment with Julia — her laugh is universally unforgettable. She was extraordinarily talented and has been taken from us far too young.

Julia’s colleagues at the Julia Balfour agency have published a beautiful tribute to their beloved boss.

Here at, we extend our deepest sympathies to Julia’s family, friends, business colleagues and clients. She will be missed so deeply.

There will be a socially-distanced bonfire at Ashlawn Farm, 78 Bill Hill Rd. in Lyme on Sunday, Dec. 6, starting at 2 p.m. to celebrate Julia’s life. All who loved, liked or worked with Julia are welcome. Also, everyone who admired her or wished he or she had known her better is invited.

Come share a story, listen to a story, or just be together with a large group of her fans.

Wear a mask, dress warmly and BYOBubbly.


Learn How to Make a ‘Kissing Ball’ in Zoom Presentation, Thursday; Register by Tomorrow

LYME — On Thursday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m., the Friends of the Lyme Public Library, the Lyme Garden Club and the Hadlyme Garden Club present “Design & Create a Holiday Kissing Ball,” a Zoom presentation by Nancy Ballek.

Plan and design your own holiday Kissing Ball with the provided selection of  greens, ribbons and decorations. Ballek will begin with a demonstration to teach you how to shape and decorate the kissing ball.

All participants will complete a beautiful 8” Kissing Ball of their own composition using the materials provided.

Class will be limited to 20 participants and the materials  fee is $15 per person.

Register for the program to receive the Zoom invitation by Saturday, Dec. 5 at or call the library at 860-434-2272

Collect your workshop materials at the Library  from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Dec. 9 or  10. Your box of materials will be ready for pick up at the library entrance with your name on the box. Keep the materials in a cool  place until you are ready to make the project with  Ballek on Zoom, Thursday.

This workshop is limited to 20 participants and there will be a  $15 fee for the materials due when you pick the box up at the library entrance. Make checks payable to: The Friends of the Lyme Public  Library (FLPL).



Support the Lyme-Old Lyme HS Class of 2021’s Safe Grad Party! Eat From/Dine at Teddy’s Pizza, Thursday

pizzaSupport the Safe Grad Party for the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2021 by eating at or buying take-out, Thursday, Dec. 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Teddy’s Old Lyme Pizza Palace, 264 Shore Rd. in Old Lyme.

The restaurant is donating part of the proceeds for the entire day, eat-in or take-out, to the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2021 Safe Grad Party fund.

To place your order or for more information, call 860-434-1517.


Old Lyme’s Kindness Committee Launches Holiday Decorating Contest for Home Exteriors

Who will win the inaugural Holiday Decorating Contest launched by Old Lyme’s Kindness Committee? Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — In an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Old Lyme Kindness Committee is hosting a holiday decorating contest to spread cheer and joy in a socially-distanced manner throughout the town.

Old Lyme residents are invited to participate by decorating the outside of their homes, following the directions below.

A list of all participating homes will be maintained on the Town of Old Lyme website so that the public can drive by and enjoy the decorations. Naturally, residents are welcome to decorate for whichever holiday you celebrate.

It is hoped participants will have fun decorating their homes and all residents will look forward to driving around town to check out the displays.

Entering the Contest:

To participate in the contest, email and provide your street address. Residents must register to enter the contest by Thursday, Dec. 10, and have their decorations in place by that date to be included.


Voting will be held online from Dec. 16 through Dec. 30. The top three winners in terms of votes received will be announced shortly after voting ends.


The Hangry GooseThe Chocolate Shell, and The Bowerbird have each generously donated a $20 gift certificate as contest prizes. The first place winner will choose the gift certificate of their preference, the second place winner will follow suit, and then the third place winner will receive the remaining gift certificate.


Lyme Church Invites Community to Virtual ‘Blue Christmas’ Service, Dec. 9

Photo by Kacper Szczechla on Unsplash

LYME — The First Congregational Church of Lyme invites the community to its virtual Blue Christmas service scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.

This simple service is one that recognizes all those that mourn, worry or wait during the Christmas season. It is a service of candles, music and prayer, and is open to all.

It will be held via Zoom at this link:

For more information about the First Congregational Church of Lyme, visit the church’s website.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Moves to Fully Remote Learning due to New COVID Cases, Plans to Reopen Dec. 7

Lyme-Old Lyme High School is moving to a fully remote learning model for week commencing Nov. 30.

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sent out an email Friday afternoon to faculty, staff, students and parents saying, ” Over the last two days we have become aware of two other probable cases of COVID-19 at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS.)”

He continued, “As such, LOLHS will move to a full remote learning model beginning Monday, Nov. 30, and will plan to resume full in person learning on Monday, Dec. 7.



Lyme Church Urges Community to ‘Light a Candle for Hope’

LYME — Light a candle for hope!

As the days get shorter, and life during a pandemic gets more and more wearisome, many of us are looking for signs of hope anywhere that we might find them. Lyme Church would invites all residents of Lyme to join what is hoped will be a community-wide celebration of hope by lighting a candle for hope throughout the month of December.

You might light a candle inside your home, but church leaders would also like you to consider lighting a candle outside, so that others driving or walking past might take comfort in your hope, as well.

Don’t have a luminary? Check out the simple directions to make one with common household items at this link: These tin-can luminaries can be lit with battery powered candles or even fairy lights to make them more fire-safe.

Lyme Church leaders hope you will join in sharing the light of hope all over the community, and hope that, in turn, you will feel growing hope in your own hearts in the weeks to come.


Lyme Ambulance Members Help Brownies Earn First Aid Badge

Brownie Girl Scout Troop 67074 members listen attentively to Lyme Ambulance Deputy Chief  Ariana Eaton and EMR/Driver Erik Eisensmith during a presentation related to the girls’ efforts to obtain their First Aid badges. Photo submitted.

LYME — Members of Lyme Ambulance Association met with Brownie Girl Scout Troop 67974 from Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) to teach the girls about first aid, 911 calls and how to act in case of emergencies.

Erik Eisensmith, EMR/Driver, and Ariana Eaton, Deputy Chief, had an ambulance on hand to show the tools and equipment ambulances carry to help the LOL community and what the different colors of lights mean in emergency vehicles.
This training session, during which all COVID protocols were followed, helped the Brownie Girl Scouts earn their First Aid badges.

SECWAC Presents ‘America and the World in the Biden Era’ with Peter Beinart, Dec. 9

Professor Peter Beinart

LYME/OLD LYME — Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents its final program of 2020 when Peter Beinart discusses “America and the World in the Biden Era,” Wednesday, Dec. 9, at 6 p.m.

This will be a virtual program via Zoom. Registration is required. The link to join will be emailed with your registration confirmation. If you are new to Zoom virtual meetings and would like to learn more about how to join, visit for more information. Also feel free to call 860-912-5718 for technical advice prior to the event.

It will not be possible to resolve issues during the meeting. A link to the recording will be shared via email following the meeting.

Professor Beinart will outline his thoughts on key foreign policy issues that await President-Elect Biden, including that China will likely dominate his term as president and that he will attempt to return to the Iran deal.

In the former, there is a tension between his desire to be tougher than Obama and the need for cooperation on climate change, while the latter will likely produce a huge fight with Republicans, Israel, and the Gulf States. One area where Biden feels he can make progress is with an aid package for Central America.

Beinart is Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York. He is also a Contributing Opinion Writer at The New York Times, a CNN Political Commentator, Editor-at-Large of Jewish Currents, and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace.

His books include The Good Fight (2006), The Icarus Syndrome: A History of American Hubris (2010), and The Crisis of Zionism (2012). Beinart has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the Boston Globe, the Atlantic, Newsweek, Slate, Reader’s Digest, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and Polity: the Journal of the Northeastern Political Science Studies Association.

The Week magazine named him columnist of the year for 2004. In 2005, he gave the Theodore H. White lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.  He has recently launched “The Beinart Notebook”, a newsletter comprising a digest of his recent writing and commentary to be found at

Beinart graduated from Yale University, winning a Rhodes scholarship for graduate study at Oxford University.  After graduating from University College, Oxford, Beinart became The New Republic‘s managing editor in 1995.  He became senior editor in 1997, and from 1999 to 2006 served as the magazine’s Editor.

Editor’s Note: SECWAC is a membership organization. A guest of a member may attend once as a complimentary guest. Thereafter, there is a $20 walk-in fee. Annual membership is $85 per person, or $25 for Young Professionals under 35. Membership is always FREE for students and educators. Corporate memberships are available for $1,000 (unlimited memberships for employees of member organization – contact us for more details). Learn more and download the application here.


Boost Your Immunity with Program from Old Lyme Library, Dec. 9

OLD LYME — What we eat matters!
Boost your immune defense in the kitchen. Learn nutritional strategies to maximize your immune system’s potential as we head into the winter months.
Join the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 6:30 p.m. for a presentation by Trish Lynch, a registered dietitian, to learn about the benefits and attributes of different foods.
Click here to register for this virtual program and receive a Zoom link.

Musical Masterworks Presents Beethoven String Quartets, Tickets on Sale Now for Video Available in January

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will play the cello in the Beethoven works being performed live in a December concert and also recorded for release to ticket-holders in January. Photo by Hak-Soo Kim.

OLD LYME — Musical Masterworks celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday in December when Edward Arron, Artistic Director and cellist, along with his colleagues James Ehnes, violin;  Amy Schwartz Moretti, violin; and Che-Yen Chen, viola, will perform three string quartets by Beethoven, spanning nearly 30 years of his life and demonstrating the full arc of his remarkable compositional evolution.

This performance will be filmed in mid-December and the link to the virtual concert will be made available to ticket buyers Jan. 2, 2021.  The video can be enjoyed for three weeks and watched as many times as one wishes. 

Ticket holders will be able to experience Musical Masterworks in a whole new way. The group’s audio-video production team will create an intimate concert experience, providing a virtual front row seat featuring the performers’ artistry.

Edward Arron shared his thoughts about this concert, “We are honored to dedicate this performance to the great master. While under current circumstances, we are not able to reconstitute the full cycle of quartets that we had planned for last spring, we are delighted to provide this fascinating window into the extraordinary compositional mind of Beethoven.”

In 2021, Musical Masterworks will welcome back many favorite artists, including Rieko Aizawa, Todd Palmer, Jeewon Park, Randall Scarlata, Gilles Vonsattel, and Tessa Lark, featuring music from Bach to Corigliano.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2021.  To purchase a video mini-subscription ($100 each), individual video tickets ($40 each), or student tickets ($5 each), visit Musical Masterworks at Musical Masterworks at or call 860.434.2252.


Signed Copies of Ron Breault’s ‘Voyaging with Marionette’ Now on Sale at ‘The Bowerbird’

The display stand at ‘The Bowerbird’ featuring signed copies of Old Lyme resident Ron Breault’s book, ‘Voyaging with Marionette.’

OLD LYME — Signed copies of Ron Breault’s book, Voyaging with Marionette, are now on sale at The Bowerbird in Old Lyme. Breault is a resident of Old Lyme and his book is being marketed as prt of the store’s “Local Author” series.

Visit this link to read a wonderful review of the book written when it was published by our regular book reviewer here at, Felix Kloman.

Voyaging with Marionette records the 25 years of life experiences Breault shared with his boat.

Those of you who have rescued/restored or built your own boat, fully understand the special relationship that develops — how the two of you meet when the expected/hoped for experience and goals are the main menu.

The dessert is those experiences not expected — a mostly unspoken conversation, motions and sounds as you sail along — the understanding between you of what you can do and have done together. It is also the places visited and interesting people you meet, which, in turn, bring a new dimension to your life.

This book is a collection of those stories demonstrating what can be done as one gets older, which opens doors, motivating and sustaining new and stimulating opportunities. It is also a reminder that life is a continuing, expanding experience … if one just makes the effort.


‘Deck the Walls’ Opens at Lyme Art Association

‘Filtered Light’ (oil on aluminum) by Janine-Robertson is one of the featured pieces of artwork in ‘Deck the Walls.’

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association’s annual member show and sale, Deck the Walls, featuring more than 200 works of art in all themes, sizes and mediums, opens Friday, Nov. 27. All the artwork is appropriately priced for holiday gift giving.

The show and sale continues through Jan. 7, 2021.

‘Montmartre Memories’ in oil by Sarah Stifler Lucas is one of the featured paintings in the ‘Deck the Walls’ show on view at the Lyme Art Association.

The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Road.

For more information, call (860) 434-7802 or visit


‘The Magic of Christmas’ Opens at Old Lyme’s Florence Griswold Museum

There are now four palette trees to hold the more than 200 hand-painted palettes on display in this year’s ‘Magic of Christmas.’

OLD LYME — Even this year the holiday season is something special to celebrate at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, Conn.!

After all, Miss Florence was born on Christmas Day, 1850. The Museum will be decked out in its holiday finery for the Magic of Christmas celebration from Nov. 27, 2020 through Jan. 3, 2021.

Twelve new works of art have been added to Miss Florence’s Artist Trees. Since 2004, noted artists from across the country have donated works to this one-of-a-kind holiday icon – so many that now four trees are needed to hold the works of art.

One of this year’s new palettes is ‘Florence Griswold Summer Garden’ by Jeffrey Saverine.

The idea of contemporary artists creating paintings on artists’ palettes is a nod to the Museum’s history as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, and alludes to the door and wall panels the artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago.

The palette artists’ styles and subject matter are as varied as the individuals. Oils, acrylics, watercolors, ceramics, glass, and collage are used to transform the palettes into traditional holiday scenes, delightful landscapes, and more than a few surprises. The palettes are displayed on four trees in the Krieble gallery, along with the current exhibitions, Expanding Horizons: Celebrating 20 Years of the Hartford Steam Boiler Collection and Centennial of the Lyme Art Association Gallery.

All ages can enjoy the beautiful Palette Christmas Trees at the ‘Magic of Christmas’ exhibition

The decorations in the historic rooms of the Florence Griswold House feature a new twist on the traditional décor. Imagine a fictional mantel-decorating contest in the Griswold boarding-house between the historic Lyme Art Colony artists. Inspired by their paintings, they rummage through their studios as well as old trunks in Miss Florence’s attic for festive objets d’art and holiday decorations.

Miss Florence (with the help of votes by visitors) will decide on winners and award ribbons on her birthday – Christmas Day. Watch the Museum’s social media accounts for the news.

In addition to the traditional decorations, three Fantasy Trees add bespoke sparkle in the historic house – two created by Museum staff and a third by Candice Hunsinger of Ivory & Iron in Essex.

And just for fun (and a great photo opportunity), Santa’s sleigh filled with presents will be stationed in the Rafal Landscape Center.

Many special events and programs are held in conjunction with the Magic of Christmas.

Christmastime Teas are among the most popular events. Delectable scones with clotted cream, assorted tea sandwiches, and cookies prepared by Gourmet Gallery, a caterer known for their delicious flavors and impeccable presentations, are accompanied by “Miss Florence’s Tea,” a special blend from Sundial Gardens in Higginum. Miss Florence’s Tea is a special blend of superior Ceylon and China black tea enhanced with a touch of delicate spices. The tea celebrates the camaraderie and creativity of the Lyme Art Colony with each cup.

Teas are held Dec. 1 through 30 on Tuesdays through Saturdays at 2 p.m. Call 860-434-5542 x 118 for information and reservations.

Unique gifts from The Shop and memberships to the Museum make thoughtful holiday and hostess gifts. Purchases can be made at the Museum or online.

When you visit the Museum during the Magic of Christmas, consider bringing a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries.

Located on a 12-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open April through December Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 4pm and January through March Saturday from 10am to 4pm and Sunday 1 to 4pm. The Museum is closed Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under. Note that admission is available with 24-hour advance online ticketing only.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website or call 860-434-5542 x 111.


Ledge Light Health District Offers Free Flu Shots in Local Area

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

LYME/OLD LYME — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) will be hosting free flu clinics for area residents. The LLHD includes both Lyme and Old Lyme.

Flu shots will be provided for adults 19 years and older. Flu Mist will be available to individuals 19 years and older who are healthy and not pregnant.

All participants must wear a mask and practice social distancing.

The times and locations of upcoming flu shot clinics are as follows:

  • Sunday, Nov. 29, from 12 to 2 p.m: Thames Club Parking Lot (290 State Street, New London) Turn right from 290 State Street onto Washington Street
  • Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m: St. Vincent de Paul Place (120 Cliff Street, Norwich)
  • Saturday, Dec. 12, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m: Wheeler Library (101 Main Street, North Stonington)

A flu consent form is required for each participant. Forms can be downloaded at or obtained at the clinic. It is recommended that people wear a short sleeve shirt or loose-fitting clothes for easy access to the upper arm.

If you have any questions, call 860-448-4882.

In addition to Lyme and Old Lyme, Ledge Light Health District serves as the local health department for East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington, Stonington, and Waterford.


Giving Thanks During a Pandemic

Come ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home . . .

Well, maybe not this year.

It’s 2020 and starting back in March, our lives changed as the pandemic started spreading across the land. We sheltered in place, incessantly spritzed with hand sanitizers, and began wearing masks every time we dared to venture out in public.

Now it seems that 2020 will be a demarcation date on our timelines. Do you remember what it was like PC (Pre-COVID) when you could hug your friends and meet them for dinner at a favorite restaurant?

More importantly, who could have imagined that nine months later the COVID crisis would have worsened with a death toll of more than a quarter of a million Americans and still spiking? And now it’s Thanksgiving—a time to gather round the table with family and chow down on favorite foods. But many of us will not be celebrating the traditional way in this “annus horribilis” — as Queen Elizabeth would say.

Yet I have plenty to be thankful for (a song by Irving Berlin, by the way.)

I am grateful for my health and that of my family, that I have a roof over my head, and that I go to sleep with a full tummy at night. Especially now when I know so many are suffering, grieving for loved ones, or wondering how to put food on the table.

And I am thankful for all those working on the front lines—from health care workers to those stocking grocery shelves—who have helped us to keep the home fires burning. The heart I placed on my kitchen door last spring is still hanging there and there are many heart signs still in place around our town.

The thoughtfulness of family and friends have also been blessings in my life this year.

Sure, there are days when I’ve been depressed and it was difficult to keep my sunny side up. But how heartwarming it has been to have neighbors text, “Do you need anything at the store?” To receive phone calls from old friends asking, “How are you doing?” Or to have my niece stop by with a “care package” from Sift Bake Shop (my favorite chocolate croissants!)

Since I am a senior citizen and have feasted at many turkey dinners, I will add “Thanks For The Memories” of Thanksgivings Past.

In days of yore, my family would receive a package of pecans from Louisiana at the beginning of each November. They were from the trees in my aunt’s yard and it was a sign that it was time to start baking pies. As I child, I remember rising early with my mom to start cutting up the celery and onion for the stuffing and the periodic basting of the bird. And, oh, that tantalizing aroma of a turkey roasting for hours!

Though I am sad that I can’t be with my family for Thanksgiving 2020, I am counting my blessings and thinking of the song lyrics:

Someday soon, we all will be together
If the fates allow
Until then, we’ll have to muddle through somehow . . .

Editor’s Note: Linda Ahnert is a resident of Old Lyme and former Arts Editor at the now-departed ‘Main Street News.’

She is a long-time docent at the Florence Griswold Museum and has volunteered for numerous local art organizations.


After Two COVID Cases Identifed at Lyme-Old Lyme HS, One at Mile Creek, Contact Tracing Completed; Both Schools Will Reopen Monday

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser informed parents by email Tuesday afternoon that, subsequent to two positive COVID-19 cases being identified at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Monday, the “contact tracing protocol” has now been completed.

As a result he stated, “All members of our school community who must quarantine,” have been notified and the high school, “… is currently scheduled to return to full in-person learning on Monday, Nov. 30.”

Lyme-Old Lyme High School had moved to remote learning for Tuesday, Nov. 24, since there was insufficient time Monday to complete contact tracing after the cases were identified.

Neviaser added, “Today [Tuesday] we were informed of a positive case of COVID-19 at Mile Creek School. We were able to complete our contact tracing in that situation and all individuals who must quarantine have been notified.”

He announced in the email that, “Mile Creek will also continue with full in-person learning,” Monday, Nov. 30.

Stressing, “Containment of this virus will continue to require us all to follow best practices of mask-wearing, hand washing/sanitizing, staying home when sick, and physical distancing, Neviaser emphasized, “Everyone needs to do their part so we can continue to provide a safe learning environment for our students.”


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Moves Temporarily to Full Remote Schedule Today Due to COVID Cases

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser. (File photo)

Reopening Depends on Results After Protocols Completed

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser announced Monday in an email to faculty, staff, students and parents that on Tuesday, Nov. 24, “Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) will temporarily move to a full remote learning model.  All other schools will remain open for full in person learning.”

Neviaser stated, “This comes as a result of a report of one positive case and one suspected case of COVID-19 at LOLHS.”

He explained that, “Due to the timing of our receipt of this report, we cannot complete our contact tracing before school is scheduled to open tomorrow,” adding, “Once we have completed that protocol, we will determine when we can return to full in person learning at LOLHS.”


Volunteers Decorate Gillette Castle State Park for the Holidays

Laura Borg decorates the courtyard around Gillette Castle.

EAST HADDAM, Conn. – Members of the Friends of Gillette Castle State Park spent a recent weekend decorating the grounds and exterior of the late William Gillette’s mansion at 67 River Road.

The group included Jack Hine, the park’s supervisor, and staff member Sarah Lucey, as well as Friends members Laura Borg, Lynn Wilkinson and Dorothy Millen. Borg purchased the decorations and donated them to the effort.

The mansion itself is closed to the public but visitors may stroll about the grounds to view the decorations from 8 a.m. until sunset daily through Jan. 2, 2021.

Harold “Tyke” and Theodora “Teddie” Niver also are expected be on hand Sunday afternoons during the holiday season to greet and entertain visitors while portraying William and Helen Gillette.

The popular tourist destination is nestled atop the “Seventh Sister” hill in the towns of East Haddam and Lyme along the Connecticut River.

The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park is a nonprofit, all-volunteer group dedicated to the preservation, conservation and educational activities of the building and its grounds.

More information may be found at


Region 4 Asks Valley-Old Lyme Co-op Football Coach to Resign

Action from a Warriors game against Old Saybrook played on the Lyme-Old Lyme Varsity Field in 2016. File photo,

AREAWIDE — The press and social media are currently swirling with articles*, opinion pieces* and comments relating to the requested resignation of the extremely popular Valley Regional High School (VRHS) football coach and gym teacher Tim King by the Region #4 Superintendent Brian White.

Region 4 comprises the middle and high school-age students of Chester, Deep River and Essex; each of the three towns operates their own elementary schools.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) students play football on the VRHS ‘Warriors’ team in a formalized co-operative arrangement, which has been in place for some 10 years. Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained, however, that the co-op arrangement does not mean LOL Schools had any involvement in the recent actions of the Region #4 Superintendent.

Neiaser said by email, “In our current cooperative football agreement with Valley Regional, Region #4 employs the head coach. Therefore, any action or proposed action is independent of the Region #18 [Lyme-Old Lyme Schools] Board of Education.”

According to news reports, the issue that prompted White to ask for King’s resignation was King’s presence at an Independent Football League practice held in Lyme, which included players from both VRHS and LOLHS. The League was formed in response to the cancellation of the high school football season by the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

Since he is the VRHS/LOLHS football coach, King was not permitted by Region #4 to coach in the Independent Football League. According to numerous reports, King submits he complied with that ruling and many witnesses have substantiated that statement.

Neviaser noted in his email, “Region #18 has no involvement in any independent sports programs that are not a part of our annual budget.”

The captain of the VRHS/LOLHS co-op football team Jack Cox started a petition on, requesting that Tim King should retain his positions at Valley Regional High School. As at 12 a.m., Nov. 23, more than 2,760 people had signed the petition.

Editor’s Note: *Articles and opinions referenced for this article include:
Three local teams to compete in 11-on-11 Independent Football League by Ned Griffen, published Oct. 23, by The Day.

Players, parents upset that Valley/Old Lyme coach King being forced to resign by Ned Griffen, published Nov. 21, by The Day.

Coach asked to resign for involvement in independent football league by Sean Patrick Bowley, published Nov. 21, in the New Haven Register.

Tim King has the community — and the truth — on his side by Mike DiMauro, published Nov. 23, by The Day.

Valley Regional high school coach asked to resign by school district for involvement in independent football league formed during the pandemic in The Courant.