September 22, 2020

It’s National Voter Registration Day! All You Need to Know to Register, Apply for an Absentee Ballot and VOTE!

LYME/OLD LYME — Today, Tuesday, Sept. 22, marks the 9th annual National Voter Registration Day – a nonpartisan and collaborative effort that involves partners of all stripes and sizes across the country to register voters ahead of the November election.

One in four eligible Americans is not registered to vote, and National Voter Registration Day seeks to make voter registration calls to action impossible to ignore, so that as many citizens as possible are empowered to participate in our democracy.

There are two simple ways to register to vote:

  • You can register online here.  To register online, you must have a current, valid driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver photo ID card issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a signature on file with DMV.
  • If you are a Lyme resident, you can register in person any weekday during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Lyme Town Hall at 480 Hamburg Road.
  • If you are an Old Lyme resident, you can register to vote Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Registrar’s Office or in the Town Clerk’s office if the Registrars are not available.

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check your current voting status by visiting the link here and entering your name, town of residence and date of birth.

Latest Information on Absentee Ballots for Nov. 3 Election From our Towns

Town of Lyme

The Secretary of the State’s office has mailed absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in Connecticut for the November 3, 2020, General Election.  Registered voters in Lyme began receiving their absentee ballot applications in the mail on Thursday, September 17.  If you wish to use the absentee ballot application you received in the mail, follow the directions on the insert included with the application, which are also listed here:

  1. Check that your personal information is correct in Section 1.
  2. Select a reason for voting by absentee ballot in Section 2. All voters may choose “COVID-19.”
  3. Sign your application in Section 3.
  4. Seal it in the envelope and drop it in the secure Official Ballot Drop Box at Lyme Town Hall on the sidewalk (preferred) or mail it in the postage-paid envelope included.

Things to remember:

  • If you have already submitted an absentee ballot application to the Lyme Town Clerk for the General Election on November 3, please destroy the application you receive from the State.
  • If you submitted an absentee ballot application for the Primary in August, that application was only for the Primary. If you wish to vote by absentee in the General Election in November, you must submit an absentee ballot application for the General Election.
  • Be sure to sign your application in Section 3, not Section 4. If someone assisted you in completing the application, that person would sign in Section 4.  You will not receive a ballot if you do not sign the application in Section 3.
  • Deposit your application in the Town of Lyme Official Drop Box only, not in the drop box of any other town. Residents should only deposit their applications in the drop box for the town where they are registered voters.
  • Absentee ballots will be sent out starting October 2.

Should you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk by phone at 860-434-7733, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Town of Old Lyme

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, all voters will be permitted to vote by absentee ballot rather than appear in person in the Nov. 3, 2020 Election.

For those who wish to appear in person, the polling place located at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, 53 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day to cast your ballot.

The Secretary of the State’s (SOTS) office will be mailing Applications for Absentee Ballot to all registered voters beginning mid-September.  The completed Applications can then be sent to the Town Clerk’s office and absentee ballots will be issued by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office.

You may also drop your completed Application in our Official Ballot Drop Box located in the front of the Town Hall.

The Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will begin mailing out Absentee Ballots on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

As great numbers of voters wishing to vote absentee are anticipated, the following is recommended:

  • Do not use the Application for Absentee Ballot which was mailed to you for the Aug. 11, 2020 Primaries as it will be rejected. You will receive a new one specifically for the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
  • Applications for Absentee Ballots will be mailed to you from the SOTS beginning mid-September.
  • If you do not receive your Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election in the mail by Sept. 30,  contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or you may visit the link here to obtain one.
  • If you have previously filed an Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election with the Town Clerk’s office, disregard the one received from the SOTS.  Your initial Application will be processed.
  • Completed Applications for Absentee Ballot can be mailed to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or dropped in the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.
  • Absentee Ballots will be mailed by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office beginning Oct. 2, 2020.
  • Once you have received your Absentee Ballot and cast your vote, you may mail it to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or drop it into the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.  As time is of the essence, do not wait to deliver it to us as the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will need time to process it.

Should you have any additional questions concerning the upcoming election, contact the Town Clerk’s office at (860) 434-1605 Ext. 220 (Vicki) or Ext. 221 (Courtney).

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Old Lyme Library Presents Zoom Program Tonight on CT Chestnut Trees

OLD LYME — The Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library presents ‘Connecticut Chestnut Trees’ via Zoom on Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 6:30 p.m.

The presenters will be Jack Swatt and Jack Ostroff, who are respectively President and Treasurer of the Connecticut Chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation.

Hear about the history and current status of the  American Chestnut tree and the efforts to restore this iconic species to its native forests.

Learn about past and ongoing endeavors to pollinate the special tree on the grounds of the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

To register and receive a link to this program, email kbalocca@oldlymelibrary.org

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Lyme Library Hosts Zoom Meeting Tonight with Holocaust Survivor

Endre (Andy) Sarkany

LYME — The Friends of the Lyme Public Library are sponsoring a Zoom meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.

Endre (Andy) Sarkany was born in Budapest, Hungary on October 31, 1936. The building he lived in was located inside the Budapest ghetto, which is where he remained during the Holocaust.

The building housed a nursery/kindergarten on the ground floor. The school was affiliated with the Jewish Agency of Hungary and was led by Mr. Eugene Polnay. The building also housed on the top floor a dance, acrobat and ballet studio.

These facts were significant in Endre’s survival and that of at least 150 orphaned children. Endre’s father was taken to Mauthausen concentration camp in the spring of 1944, fortunately he survived.

After WWII, Hungary became a communist nation. Although Endre graduated high school in 1955, he was not accepted to university because he was deemed an undesirable element of society. This label was given to anyone
who owned a business before the communists took over the country.

Endre was fortunate to escape Hungary after the October 1956 uprising and was able to immigrate to the United States. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tusculum College in Tennessee and his Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Endre worked for both the McDonald Douglas Corporation and the IBM Corporation.

Over the past 10 years, Endre has been speaking to students about his personal experiences during the Holocaust, living under the brutality of the Soviet regime in Hungary, and finding a home in the United States.

Mr. Sarkany is married, has a daughter and son, and five grandchildren.

For more information and to register, email programreg@lymepl.org. You must be registered to receive an invitation to join the meeting.

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Duck River Garden Club Holds Inaugural Zoom Meeting Tonight, Features Federated Garden Clubs of CT

The Duck River Garden Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

OLD LYME — Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) hosts its first online program via Zoom, Tuesday, Sept. 22, starting at 6 p.m. The meeting is open to the public but you must register in order to obtain the Zoom link.

The meeting will follow this approximate timing:
  • 6:30 p.m. Online Social
  • 7 p.m. Program – Everything You Wanted to Know About Federated Garden Clubs of CT
  • 8 p.m. Business Meeting for DRGC members
Meet the executive board of the state’s Federation of community-based Garden Clubs (FGCCT). Learn about FGCCT’s history and mission, programs and awards, and how the DRGC club supports and benefits from being part of it. This presentation is a great orientation for potential DRGC members, and counts as one of the required two meetings for membership.
This DRGC program is open to the public — to receive a Zoom invitation, contact Karen Geisler, DRGC president, at karengr007@gmail.com, no later than Monday, Sept. 21.
For more information, visit www.oldlymeduckrivergc.org and follow DRGC on Facebook.
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Diebolt to Discuss His 200+ Unit Housing Proposal for Old Lyme – Includes Affordable Housing – at AH Committee This Evening

The boundary marked on this map indicates the perimeter of the land owned by Mark Diebolt, which is the site an approximately 220-unit housing development being proposed by Diebolt.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee convenes this evening at 5:30 p.m. for its regular monthly  meeting to be held via tele/video conference.

One of the agenda items is: “Development project overview: Mark Diebolt, guest (discussion only, not for action.)”

Diebolt has indicated that he is planning to submit a proposal for the development of around 220 apartments on a substantial piece of land off Hatchetts Hill Rd. towards the eastern perimeter of the Town of Old Lyme. A percentage of the housing will be designated as affordable housing.

The wording of the agenda item indicates he plans to discuss his proposal with the committee and that no action is planned by the committee.

To join this meeting, visit this link: https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m57b4a3bee1b098d1156b5a or dial 1-408-418-9388 and enter access code: 173 360 8182. The meeting will also be recorded.

For more on this story, read our earlier article published Sept. 4, Old Lyme Land Use Official Confirms Diebolt Has Discussed 200+ Apartment Proposal Off Hatchetts Hill

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‘Coastal Cleanup’ at Old Lyme’s White Sand Beach Generates 78 Pounds of Garbage

Help to keep White Sand Beach beautiful. Join a Beach Cleanup on Saturday, Sept. 19!

OLD LYME — UPDATED Sept. 21: After the Clean-Up Event was held this past Saturday, Sept. 19, organizer Marie Ryan expressed her thanks to all who volunteered, saying on her Facebook page, ” Many, many thank you’s to all the wonderful people who volunteered in the International Coastal Clean Up Day, Save the Sound at White Sand Beach today.”

She added, “We collected 78 pounds (!) of garbage and truly made a difference for our lovely beach and coastline.”

Are you concerned with the state of our environment? Do you want to help do your part to preserve our coastlines? Will you commit to ‘Strive to Stop the Spread of Litter in the Long Island Sound’?

Then join Marie Ryan of Old Lyme and Reynolds’ Subaru of Lyme in a volunteer coastal cleanup of White Sand Beach in Old Lyme on Saturday, Sept. 19, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. For further details, contact Marie at mcargr@aol.com or call her at 860-304-3334.

This volunteer event is part of Save the Sound’s annual coastal cleanup efforts.  Save the Sound organizes cleanup events every fall. The Connecticut Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which takes place each year within the months of September and October. Volunteers are needed to remove trash and collect data that will be used to help stop debris at its source. 

There are additional opportunities to assist this effort apart from at White Sand Beach. Find a complete list of cleanups throughout the state at this link, choose your beach and then register. Save the Sound will follow up with details about how to connect with your beach’s Cleanup Captain on the day of the event.

For more information about Save the Sound’s Coastal Cleanup program, visit www.savethesound.org/2020Cleanup or call Save the Sound’s Volunteer Coordinator, Annalisa Paltauf, at (203) 787-0646, Ext.116

Last year, Save the Sound’s Coastal Cleanup program helped bring together 2,554 volunteers, who removed 6,017 pounds of trash from over 78 miles of Connecticut shoreline. Volunteers will remove trash and collect data that will be used to help stop debris at its source.

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Partnership for Social Justice to Hold March, Teach-In on Desgregating CT, Wednesday in Old Lyme

Signs were held high at a previous rally as the marchers crossed Main Street in Old Saybrook.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Partnership for Social Justice and the Old Saybrook March for Justice are co-hosting a march and “teach-in” focused on desegregating Connecticut on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in front of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Participants will meet at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Rd., then march to Old Lyme’s Memorial  Town Hall, where the “teach-in” will take place. All are welcome.

All are requested to wear masks at the event.

Speakers anticipated to address the crowd include:

  • Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens from CT Fair Housing
  • Luke Reynolds from Desegregate CT
  • Tony Lyons from the HOPE Partnership
  • Sadie Frankel, a local high school student
  • Dave Rubino, candidate for District 23 State Representative
  • Rev. Steve Jungkeit from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

The LOL Partnership’s mission is to educate residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social-justice efforts. 

For more information, visit the Partnership’s Facebook page at this link or send an email to LOLPartnership4SJ@gmail.com

The Old Saybrook March for Justice is an inclusive and welcoming coalition of friends and neighbors, who care deeply about basic human rights.

Their mission statement states, ” We are outraged by centuries of structural racism in this country. We stand with Black Lives Matter. We listen, learn and act. We understand that silence is not an option. We aim to be allies and antiracist. We are respectful, nonpartisan and inclusive. We welcome all who share our values. We educate ourselves and join in weekly marches.”

The schedule for subsequent marches is as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 30:  Deep River – in front of Town Hall with speaker Professor O’Leary.

Wednesday, Oct. 7: Old Saybrook – in front of the Kate with speaker Professor Blight, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Frederick Douglass.
All marches are on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
For further information and to raise any questions, email osbmarch@gmail.com with any questions.
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Old Lyme Selectmen Discuss Resolution on Racism Presented by Nosal; Griswold, Kerr Express Reservations

Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (File photo)

OLD LYME — At the Sept. 8 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal again raised the question of whether the board would be willing to sign a Resolution on racism, which she noted several other towns in Connecticut have already done.

She had originally introduced the idea with a draft Resolution at the Aug. 8 meeting but it was not discussed further in the Aug. 17 meeting.

Nosal summarized the draft Resolution, which is printed in full below and originated from the Town of Windsor, Conn., noting, “There’s a lot of community support to do something,” and reminding her fellow board members that, “Our nation is talking about this.”

She also emphasized that the discussion was “only a first step,” and that some comments on the wording of the Resolution had already been received.

Nosal also mentioned that when she had first introduced the Resolution, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold had expressed a concern about the tone of the document. Selectman Christopher Kerr echoed that opinion when he gave his comments on the Resolution, saying, “I somewhat agree with Tim … it seems like your saying the town is racist.”

Nosal responded immediately, “Where do you see that?” Kerr answered, “It has that tone,” adding, “Maybe there are ways to tone it down.”  Nosal asked Kerr what he would suggest to which he responded, “I don’t know,” saying he would have to read the Resolution again along with a new draft from a different source that Nosal had brought, and see if he could perhaps amend them together.

When his turn came to comment, Griswold said, “It seems to me we’re a small town. I think we have a very good record in our town,” adding he had “trouble” with use of the expression, “Racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut.”

He stated, “I just don’t see the link like that unless it’s very indirect,” summarizing his opinion as, “I just hesitate to have the board sign onto this … it’s very negative about our country.”

Expanding on his view, Griswold continued with the question, “Can we all do better?” to which he responded firmly, “Yes,” noting, “We all want to endorse the idea of harmony,” while acknowledging, “There are instances where there are terrible situations.”

He concluded, “It seems this is more than we need to do … It’s hard for me to accept this.”

Nosal took a conciliatory tone after Griswold and Kerr had commented, saying, “I think it’s unusual for a board of selectmen in Old Lyme to deal with this. I’m proud of us that we’re facing the fact that it makes us uncomfortable. It’s not an easy subject for any of us to talk about.”

She remarked, “Once we start talking about it and addressing it, it will become better … our society will be better.” She urged the board to keep discussing the subject because, “Our objective is to look at what we can do to make our community healthier.”

Next steps were not agreed specifically but seemed likely to include further review of the wording of the Resolution.

Nosal concluded positively, “I appreciate the board looking at it and considering it … and acknowledge it makes us uncomfortable.”

The following is the DRAFT Resolution that Nosal presented for discussion:

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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Free ‘Introduction to Photography’ Classes via Zoom Presented by CT Valley Camera Club

Richard Spearrin will teach the upcoming free ‘Introduction to Photography’ classes.

LYME/OLD LYME — Have you ever wanted to take better pictures? Or wondered why your pictures are not always sharp? Or perhaps you are overwhelmed with all the adjustments of your camera?

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CTVCC) will host two virtual tutorials to enable beginning photographers to start taking better pictures and enjoy using their cameras. Classes are free and will be offered through Zoom.com software.

The instructor is Richard Spearrin from Essex, a member of the CTVCC Steering Committee.

Spearrin started learning the successful elements of photography during his high school years working for a small CT newspaper. Most recently he has become extremely active in exhibiting at multiple area venues, arranging photo shoots for the camera club and mentoring beginning photographers.

The first of the two sessions, “Principles of Photography,” will concentrate on understanding the basics of good photography: exposure, lighting, focus and composition. In addition, attendees will understand how to use their digital camera more effectively.

The second session is titled, “Fun Principles of Photography,” and will discuss specific photographic activities such as capturing fireworks; creating silky streams and waterfalls; capturing light streaks; stopping action and extreme close up. Flash photography is also included in the second session.

Each session is scheduled for one hour and 30 minutes to accommodate questions and answers. And it does not matter if you use a smartphone, a point and shoot camera or a high-end adjustable camera.

As Ansel Adams, renowned environmental photographer, said, “A camera did not make a great picture any more than a typewriter made a good novel”. A good photograph is based on the heart, eye, and soul of the photographer.

Classes are free and will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

To register, send your name and email address to Richard Spearrin at wrspearrin@yahoo.com.  You will receive an invitation to attend the Zoom meetings prior to the first class.

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

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 — The Old Lyme Zoning Commission listened patiently in their meeting held Monday evening via Zoom to a presentation by representatives from Milone & Macbroom on the proposed synthetic turf multi-purpose field, which Lyme-Old Lyme Schools plan to build to the rear of Lyme-Old Lyme High School. The first part of the meeting constituted a Public Hearing for the project.

The new field, priced at approximately $2.5 million, will be built on top of the existing geothermal system and the presenters agreed the selected contractor would have to perform, “Pre-construction tests to make sure the the geothermal system isn’t compromised.”

They also detailed how, “The premise is that water is going completely through the carpet [the synthetic turf]” and then drained away through a vast system of pipes.

Asked whether there was any danger of pollution from the drained water, the presenter replied, “Because of the way we design the system, the water running off is clearer than the rain going in,” adding, “There’s chemicals in there, but the materials do not ever leach out. We don’t see any environmental impacts.”

He noted that the use of recycled tires for the production of synthetic turf also, “Saves tires going into landfills.”

Asked by commission member Jane Marsh how long the artificial field could be expected to last, the presenter responded, “Eight years is the expected life … I’ve seen up to 14 years. He concluded, “The fields should easily last 12 years.”

When the time comes to replace the field, the presenter explained, “All the infrastructure below the turf [the geothermal system] will remain. Just the turf will be replaced.”

There were no questions or comments from the public and so the commission voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing.

The commission then went on to discuss the project as an item of business in their regular monthly meeting and that was when things took an unexpected turn. Long-term commission member Jane Cable stated, “I don’t feel competent to evaluate the drainage. This should automatically have gone to Tom [Metcalf – the Town Engineer.]”

Commission member Maria Martinez agreed with Cable saying, “We should do due diligence and double-check.”

Cable said pragmatically, “It’s all about drainage.”

Marsh added, “My breath is being taken away by the cost of this thing,” but Martinez reminded her that the commission’s job is not to consider the cost of the project but rather, “We have to approve [its] safety.”

Members of the commission concurred that the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands Commission had already approved the project but with a condition relating to the permeability of the walkway. They requested that Land Use Coordinator Dan Bourret should send the plans to Metcalf for his review, to which Bourret agreed.

Cable then proposed a motion, “… that we put our decision off to next month to get the review from Tom.” The motion to continue the discussion to next month’s meeting was unanimous.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link for more information about the proposed synthetic turf field, 

 

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Win a Subaru! High Hopes Hosts a ‘Raffle for a Cause’

A 2020 Subaru Forester 2.5i is the first prize in this year’s Raffle for a Cause sponsored by High Hopes of Old Lyme, CT and Reynolds Subaru of Lyme, CT.

OLD LYME — High Hopes Therapeutic Riding is holding a raffle in which the first prize is a 2020 Subaru Forester 2.5i. The second prize is an Apple i-Pad Mini and the third an Amazon Echo Show. Reynolds Subaru of Lyme is High Hopes’ raffle partner for this event.

All proceeds from the raffle benefit the programs at High Hopes.

Tickets are $50 each, two for $90, four for $180 or five for $225.

The raffle will be drawn during a live feed at noon on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020. Winners will be notified immediately following the drawing. Ticket holders need not be present to win.

All federal, state and local taxes on prizes are the winner’s responsibility.

Visit this link for full details of the raffle.

Buy your tickets at this link!

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Presents the ‘Great Eats’ Raffle, Benefits Conservation Efforts

Gift certificates at a variety of shoreline eateries valued at $400 each are on offer as prizes in the ‘Great Eats’ raffle hosted by the RTPEC.. Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — Purchase a Great Eats raffle ticket and support the conservation of our land, waters and the species that inhabit them.

Enter for a chance to win a gift certificate to some of the Shoreline’s finest eateries, valued at $400 each. Certificates will offered from eateries including:

  • Alforno Trattoria & Bar,
  • Atlantic Seafood,
  • Bar Bouchee,
  • Carlson’s Landing,
  • Fromage Fine Foods,
  • Griswold Inn & Wine Bar,
  • La Marea,
  • Liv’s Oyster & Restaurant
  • Old Lyme Inn
  • Pasta Vita Inc,
  • The River Tavern,
  • Rustica Restaurante,
  • Weekend Kitchen

Only 250 tickets will be sold.

Winners will be notified Oct 8, 2020 via email.

Raffle funds will benefit shoreline restaurants and support the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center’s efforts to strengthen the Southeastern Connecticut community and environment using three complementary approaches: Education, Research and Advocacy.

Drawings will be held on October 8, 2020 at 5 p.m. and can be seen on Facebook Live.

Purchase tickets at https://ibidmobile.net/greateats/reservations/

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Meet a (Hula-Hooping) Moose in Cushman’s Enchanting Story of Being ‘Soaked’

LymeLine.com publisher Olwen Logan reads ‘Soaked’ by Abi Cushman to her grandson, William Logan, who assisted significantly with this book review.

“Soaked” is quite simply an enchanting book that captivates and delights youngsters from the first page to the last.

I can say that with some authority since I ‘tested’ the book on my two-year-old grandson William and his response to it was nothing short of remarkable. He not only asks for the book by name every time he sees me but also  — or so his parents tell me — at almost every bedtime.

Moreover, he has renamed it!

And the reason he did that is because the only word in the whole book that he didn’t understand was, by coincidence, its title … ‘Soaked.’ By the way, the inside cover states the book is for, “Age 3 and up,” but William, at two, lapped it up.

When I finished reading ‘Soaked’ to him for the very first time, William desperately wanted to hear it again and, without hesitation, asked me to read the “Rain Book,” which is, in fact, a wonderfully apt title.

That is now what it will be known as henceforward in our family since we took a copy on a family vacation recently and by the end of the week, every member of the family had read the ‘Rain Book’ to William multiple times!

First-time author-illustrator Abi Cushman of Niantic, Conn. is an extraordinarily talented illustrator. (Full disclosure, I know Abi, but primarily in a professional capacity.) Although she remains remarkably unassuming about the fact she is now a published author, she should be extremely proud of that achievement — and perhaps even more so, of the beautiful book that is the root of her new-found fame.

She has created four characters, Bear, Badger, Bunny and Moose, whom you feel you’ve known your whole life … in the same way that we all know Winnie-the-Pooh. Their respective personas come through loud and clear though Cushman uses very little narrative to convey them.

Moose is far and away William’s favorite character in the story.

Well, of course he is … who couldn’t be drawn to a Hula-Hooping moose? You’ve never heard of a Hula-Hooping moose? Neither had we, but he fits so perfectly into this delightful story, you take him completely for granted as though it’s perfectly normal for a moose to have a set of hula-hoops at which he is adept at using.

The hula-hoops are, in fact, key to this simple tale, cleverly linking its various elements and locations. The story travels from sad scenes in the depressing rain through to Bear’s dry cave (where there is insufficient space for Moose to hula-hoop, but he does it anyway!) followed by the rescue of a hula-hoop from a high branch (which involves a great deal of precarious standing on shoulders) and then the jovial collapse of the tower of animals.

All the animals, who topple together after successfully retrieving the hula-hoop, surface cheerfully in a mass of water and are thoroughly “soaked.” This jolly scene leads to the idea that Bear should try hula-hooping.

Now Bear, who is the story narrator, is a pretty grumpy fellow and anxious to maintain his negative outlook on the world, regardless of what befalls him. He does not want to enjoy hula-hooping but it is abundantly clearly from the charming illustrations that Bear takes to it like (and forgive the pun!) a duck to water, urged on by the ever-present, cheery Badger (with the bumble-bee umbrella) and bounce-along Bunny.

There are a variety of morals that can be drawn from this simple story and the reader can choose which one is most age-appropriate. It could be a deeper one like the value of true friends or the strength of teamwork, or simply that you don’t have to have sun to have fun.

There are other possibilities too and another strangely wonderful thing about this book is that there are many places in the text where you can fill in the story details as you wish, making it possible to create new twists to the story with every reading

I won’t be a spoiler and divulge the surprising ending to the story.

You’ll have to buy — or borrow — the book for yourself. And I strongly recommend you do just that because this is a very special book, which I predict will stand the test of time … perhaps even lasting as long as that beloved Pooh!  The illustrations on their own justify the purchase of the book.

This may be the humble Cushman’s first book but I’m confident it certainly won’t be her last. I sincerely hope we’ll soon be hearing more about the adventures of Bear, Badger, and Bunny and not forgetting, that Hula-Hooping Moose!

Editor’s Note: Visit Abi Cushman’s website for more information about the book and details of where to purchase it.

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COVID-19 Case Numbers Unchanged in Old Lyme, Lyme; Totals Remain at 26 in OL (Including 2 Fatalities), 8 in Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — This past Friday afternoon, Sept. 11, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) issued their weekly report of COVID-19 cases by town for all the towns in the health district they cover. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are included in that district.

The numbers reported on Friday (Sept. 11) showed no change from those we reported earlier in the day, when we said Old Lyme had a total of 26 cases including two fatalities while Lyme has a total of eight.

On Friday, Sept. 4, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) reported two new COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and one in Lyme. The new cases in Old Lyme are both male, ages 74 and 61 respectively. The new case in Lyme is a 21-year-old female.

The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme ranges in age from 21- to 82-years-old and is equally divided between males and females with 12 of each. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

The eight cases in Lyme comprise three females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old.

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
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are 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 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) 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 LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Old Lyme Zoning to Discuss Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Proposal for Synthetic Turf Field Tonight

This playing field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School is the proposed site of the turf field. This project will be discussed at the Old Lyme Zoning Commission meeting this evening.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Zoning Commission meets this evening via Webex at 6:30 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting. Agenda items include a Public Hearing regarding a proposal to change one of the playing fields on the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools campus on Lyme St. from manicured lawn to synthetic turf.

A Special Permit Application has been submitted, “to permit proposed field improvement, which will modify the playing geometry and playing surface from manicured lawn to synthetic turf, at the Lyme-Old Lyme Regional High School located at 69 Lyme Street.”

After the Public Hearing, the application will then be discussed by the Commission during their regular meeting.

If you wish to join the meeting via Webex, use the following link: https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m992a8cacca14fba3609037  with meeting number (access code): 173 919 2428 and password: GJwFDpmh694.

If you wish to join the meeting by phone, dial+1-408-418-9388.

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Volunteers Invited to Join CT River Conservancy’s ‘Source to Sea’ Cleanup Through September

GREENFIELD, MA/ LYME, CT/ OLD LYME, CT– (From a press release sent by the CRC)  Registration is now open for the Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) Source to Sea Cleanup. This annual event, now in its 24th year, has grown into one of the largest river cleanups in the country.

The CRC invites volunteers to safely continue the tradition of getting dirty for cleaner rivers in September. The banks of the Connecticut River in Lyme and Old Lyme have both been Cleanup sites in previous years.

For more information, event safety guidelines, or to register for the Cleanup visit www.ctriver.org/cleanup.

“The Source to Sea Cleanup strengthens community while cleaning up our rivers and streams. It’s an opportunity for you to make a difference,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “When people help clean their rivers, they make lasting connections with each other and with their rivers.”

The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is a river cleanup coordinated by CRC in all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin (NH, VT, MA, CT).

This year’s Cleanup continues throughout September, rather than the typical two-day event, for better social distancing of volunteers. “We’re excited to work with volunteers to tackle trash, even during the pandemic. We’ve redesigned the event to keep everyone as safe as possible while still making a difference for cleaner rivers,” says Stacey Lennard, CRC Cleanup Coordinator.

Each fall, thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat. Volunteers remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more. In 2019, more than 3,600 volunteers hauled nearly 67 tons of trash from riverbanks and waterways across our four river states.

Volunteers remove everything from recyclable bottles and cans, fishing equipment and food waste to tires, televisions, and refrigerators. To date, volunteers have removed more than 1,167 tons of trash from our rivers.

“There are lots of ways to get involved,” continues Lennard. “Volunteers can report a trash site in need of cleaning, organize and register your own local cleanup group, or be a #RiverWitness on social media. Join us to celebrate our collective efforts – together yet apart – at a virtual Source to Sea Shindig on Sept. 30 to wrap up the Cleanup.”

New this year, CRC added #RiverWitness to help people connect with each other online through their shared concern for and appreciation of our rivers. Take a photo or video when you are at the river, participating in the Source to Sea Cleanup or enjoying time outside. Or make art inspired by river beauty or river pollution. Share on social media, include #RiverWitness and tag Connecticut River Conservancy.

If you’re not on social media, share images on CRC’s website: www.ctriver.org/riverwitness. Your images will be added to an online mosaic photo display and video. Select images will be used to call on decision-makers to enact trash solutions to keep trash out of our rivers.

If your group wants to get involved but needs a cleanup site, if you have questions, or if you know of a trash site in need of cleaning, contact CRC’s Cleanup Coordinator Stacey Lennard at cleanup@ctriver.org.

Learn more about the event at www.ctriver.org/cleanup.

Since 1952, the CRC has been the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. They collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. They bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your rivers and streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies.

To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect your rivers, visit www.ctriver.org.

Thoughts from CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk on the national trash problem

“After cleaning up 1,167 tons of trash over the past 23 years, it’s clear that repeated cleaning is not the solution to our trash problem,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “Consumers need to avoid single use items. And it’s time for the businesses who created and have been profiting from this trash to now help solve the problem through fundamental redesign of how our products are made and disposed of.”

The CRC insists we need to redesign our economy so there isn’t waste in the first place and that it is time businesses step up voluntarily to do the right thing by offering more sustainable, reusable, recyclable, and compostable options. “As individuals, we should always properly dispose of and recycle our waste,” continues Fisk. “And it’s time that corporations also take responsibility for their role in trashing our rivers.” 

As consumers, we have been trained by businesses to rely on unnecessary disposable and single-use plastics. Meanwhile, businesses and manufacturers are profiting by making these products out of cheap, petroleum-based plastic that is harmful and doesn’t easily break down. Producers and manufacturers then pass the responsibility and disposal costs for the products they make to the consumers, which lead to litter and polluted rivers.  

According to CRC, the best way businesses and corporations can cut down on their products becoming litter in our rivers is to offer more reusable options, like coffee mugs and drink cups. Additionally, bio-plastics are emerging as a promising alternative to plastic made from fossil fuels.

There are plenty of eco-friendly cups and dishware items on the market that businesses should be using. These new plastics are compostable, break down in the marine environment as food, are made from waste, and are made with less energy and environmental impact than traditional petroleum plastics.  

“We all have a responsibility to solve this problem,” says Fisk. “We are responsible as consumers to make good choices in how we purchase and dispose of products. Manufacturers, businesses, and government are also responsible and it’s time they do their part.”

Fisk continues, “By working together, we can make a real difference for our rivers. These ideas are going to take time, decades even. And we’ll keep at it as long as it takes. But our rivers need change now.”  

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Bidding Now Open on FloGris Museum’s Annual Benefit Auction, ‘Benefit in a Box’ Also on Sale

Purchase a ‘Benefit in a Box’ to support the Florence Griswold Museum’s ‘Annual Benefit Reimagined.’

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum’s 38th annual Benefit Auction & Dinner Dance — traditionally held in September — may have been cancelled but Museum staff have renamed the now exclusively online event as the Annual Benefit Reimagined and come up with a variety of inspired ideas to compensate for the ability to gather in person.

The first item in the online auction is this painting by Nelson H. White titled, ‘Bagno La Salute.’

The traditional Benefit Auction has a vast selection of artwork, decorative items, experiences, and travel, and bidding is now open online at this link through Sept. 26 at 8 p.m. Bids can be placed from your phone or home computer.

The Museum is also offering the opportunity to purchase a Benefit in a Box, which can be enjoyed in your own home. Describing this as, “… your very own portable party,” each box provides, “Wine, chocolate, the works” so that purchasers can “Celebrate the Museum and support its mission from a safe distance.”

Visit this link to order your Benefit in a Box(es).

All proceeds from the event will support educational programming at the Museum.

Rebekah Beaulieu, Executive Director of the Museum, comments, ” Your support of this event and the work it makes possible has never been more needed or appreciated.”
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So Much on Offer at Lymes’ Senior Center — Even When It’s Closed!

Lymes’ Senior Center Board Chair Jeri Baker (right) and Carole Diffley (left), the Center’s Kitchen Manager, take some well-deserved time out while helping at the Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade held at the Center last month.

LYME/OLD LYME — September is National Senior Center Appreciation Month and Jeri Baker, who serves as chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, would like the communities of Lyme and Old Lyme to celebrate the fact that they have a thriving, buoyant Senior Center in their midst.

She is quick to point out, however, that this is in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created major challenges for the Center since March of this year in terms of both its danger to the health of seniors and the fact the Center has been forced to close because of it.

Lymes Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould

Baker comments, “It is hard to believe that there could be much to celebrate during this pandemic; but under the tireless efforts of Director Stephanie Gould, the Lymes’ Senior Center is still a huge part of the lives of seniors in our communities.” 

She explains, “It is now a model virtual world of opportunities and vital information.  Stephanie, our volunteers and staff maintain constant contact with our members online and in person through calls and mailings.” 

Asked to expand on the ways in which the Center has kept engaged with the Lyme-Old Lyme senior community during its closure, Baker notes that the center currently offers 15-23 exercise classes weekly, and these are also open to the greater communities regardless of membership.  Over 200 residents participate at this point.

She also notes that with a monthly calendar collaboration with other centers throughout the state, 75 additional free programs are also offered through Zoom. These offers include lectures, entertainment, virtual games, discussions, and other group activities in an effort to keep or seniors connected and entertained.  

Baker is effusive in her praise for how Gould has responded to the pandemic, saying, “At the very beginning of the pandemic and once the center physically closed, Stephanie sprang into action to conduct outreach to our members, especially those most vulnerable and who may not have online access.”

Baker adds, “Right now, volunteers, staff and the director personally keep in touch with weekly calls to 200 seniors through this effort and 70 more through direct mailing,” and in fact, online communications, personal contacts and the Center’s newsletter reach all members every month at minimum.

Another event that sparked a really positive response happened in August. Baker explains, “Last month we held a Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade, at which seniors, who were required to followed all safety precautions, drove around the building to greet us as we dropped several useful and entertaining items into a bag for them. Some members even dressed up and decorated their cars.” 

Baker says enthusiastically, “This was the first in-person event held since the pandemic started, and it was such a pleasure to see so many friendly faces!”

The exterior of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme.

There are numerous other ways that the Center is helping its members and these include volunteers, who deliver books and puzzles to members. Another is a table outside the Senior Center building, which has free books, puzzles, magazines, word circle and crossword puzzle packets for seniors to pick up and borrow.

And a third is that, in conjunction with the Estuary Council of Seniors, Lymes’ Senior Center continues to serve over 50 residents weekly through their Meals on Wheels and “Grab and Go” food curbside program. 

Baker concludes positively, “Since there is no projected reopening for the Center at this time, we will maintain our efforts and expand them as well to reach all members and to inform the greater community about our work.” 

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Center and all the opportunities it offers, contact Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould at 860 434-1605 ext. 240 or seniorcenter@oldlyme-ct.gov. Reach Jeri Baker, Chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, at 860 434-0781 or Jbaker262@comcast.net.

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High Hopes Announces New Member to Board of Trustees

Nancy Bulkeley

OLD LYME — Nancy Bulkeley, Senior Community Affairs Representative for Dominion Nuclear Connecticut, has joined the board of trustees for High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme.

“High Hopes is thrilled to have Nancy joining our Board.  Her familiarity with not only the mission and services of High Hopes but the surrounding community will be a tremendous asset,” says Kitty Stalsburg, Executive Director at High Hopes.

Stalsburg continues, “Nancy’s commitment to helping both organizations and individuals is visible in her long history within southeastern CT.  She is a champion for many causes that will enhance our well-being.  We are excited to work with her to build additional collaborations and strategic alliances within the area to ultimately improve not only access to services but also to maximize the impact of those services.”

Bulkeley has been in the Nuclear Industry for 24 years, in the areas of human resources, communications and public affairs.  In her current position, she is responsible for representing her company and its policies and programs in the community.

Bulkeley is the primary interface to local governmental and community groups not only in nuclear related discussions but as a key interface for the local charities that are part of Dominion’s focus as a responsible member of the community.  She supports education programs through tours, community outreach, special events, and establishes and promotes minority outreach programs.

Having served on committees and boards for several non-profit organizations in her community, Bulkeley currently serves as Southeastern CT Cultural Coalition Board Chair and is on the CorePlus Credit Union Board of Directors.

“I am truly looking forward to working with the dedicated board members and staff who are making a difference is so many lives,” says Bulkeley.

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Local Residents Form ‘Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice’ to Support Education Reform, Affordable Housing, Police Accountability


LYME/OLD LYME –
A group of nearly two dozen area residents – consisting of both students and adults – have gathered together to form the Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice to energize local efforts aimed at supporting education reform, affordable housing and police accountability in Lyme, Old Lyme and New London. 

The all-volunteer group’s mission is to educate residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social- justice efforts. The partnership has formed four task forces so far: 

  • The Task Force on Education Reform is working with school administration and the school board to assist in these groups’ efforts to foster changes in curricula, provide diversity training for school staff, recruit teachers of color, establish a zero-tolerance policy for racism and create a diversity committee of staff, parents and students. 
  • The Task Force on Affordable Housing is focused on increasing the availability of affordable housing. 
  • The Task Force on Police Accountability is focused on supporting regional and state efforts to reform the criminal justice system. 
  • The Task Force on New London Partnerships is focused on establishing an ongoing working network between the partnership and New London-based organizations. 

The group plans to: 

  • arrange informative monthly seminars, meetings and/or webinars to educate area residents on social justice issues; 
  • appear before appropriate town boards and commissions that oversee issues of social justice; and 
  • forge an active network of residents willing to contact their elected officials by phone, mail or email on issues of importance; and submit letters to the editor to local media. 

The group can be found on this Facebook page and reached by email at LOLPartnership4SJ@gmail.com.

New members are welcome to join.

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