March 26, 2019

LYSB Hosts Summer Camp Fair Tomorrow

Kids_from_Camp_FlyerLymes’ Youth Service Bureau presents a Summer Camp and Activities Fair in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Commons, Wednesday, March 28, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

More than 30 local camps will be at the Fair.  There will be opportunities to pick up brochures, meet camp representatives and also, to register for a variety of camps.

Pizza will be available for sale.

Click here to view a full listing of the participating organizations.

For more information, call 860.434.7208 or visit www.lysb.org

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber, High School Co-Sponsor Business Breakfast This Morning on Economic Development

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce and Lyme-Old Lyme High School are co-sponsoring a Business Breakfast on Economic Development, Tuesday, March 26, from 7:45 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the high school.

The meeting will include an introduction to the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission and a presentation from Connecticut Economic Resource Center on the current economic situation in Southeastern Connecticut and why it is important for towns to have an economic plan.

All are welcome. Admission is free.

For planning purposes only, registration is requested at this link.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Hosts Open House for Prospective Students, Friday

Lyme-Old Lyme High School hosts an ‘Open House for Prospective Students,’ Friday, March 29.

On Friday, March 29, Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) welcomes prospective students who do not currently attend a Lyme-Old Lyme School and/or their parents to visit the high school during its Spring Open House for Prospective Students. 

In order to offer a customized experience for each prospective student and/or their parents, interviews are being offered throughout the day to accommodate varying schedules.  Each meeting with a school counselor will be preceded by a student-led tour of the high school. This format is intended to allow all attendees an opportunity to gain a general overview of the school and interact with current students, as well as to obtain answers to individual questions and information on curriculum, student opportunities and more.

In terms of the type of students and/or families the District is aiming to attract, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explains, “This event is offered for students in a variety of situations such as students whose families are looking to move to the area, students who reside here but attend private, parochial, or magnet schools, and tuition-paying students who live in other towns.”

Last year, LOLHS was named to the College Board’s US and Canada AP® District Honor Roll and consistently places in the top 10 percent in Connecticut SAT and SBAC scores.  Year after year, LOLHS graduates are accepted into a wide range of diverse and highly selective schools across the US and in some cases, internationally. The Lyme-Old Lyme School system has become a pipeline to the Ivy League schools and the “Little-Ivies” including such schools as Duke, MIT and Stanford.

Students hard at work in a Chinese class at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, where it is a popular elective subject.

Facilities at the high school are exceptional with state-of-the-art technology implemented throughout the building thanks to a $49 million renovation project completed in 2014. The math, science, language, and technology and engineering areas along with the art, music, drama and athletic facilities are of a quality and sophistication that resembles a college environment, rather than a high school.   

Current enrollment at LOLHS is 462 students across Grades 9 through 12 and the average class size is between 15 and 18. The school offers a full spectrum of core subjects taught in-house, including 17 Advanced Placement subjects, and also an extensive range of online classes taken through the Virtual High School program. Students also have the option to pursue the acclaimed Techno-Ticks robotics program along with more than 35 other extra-curricular clubs. 

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Band has an exceptional reputation..

Lyme-Old Lyme High School enjoys exceptionally strong music, drama and art programs, which have been recognized with numerous awards both at the state level and nationally. The school’s athletic program has similarly received innumerable honors over the years and is proud to have several past, present and future Olympians among its alumni.

If you would like to attend this informative event, call Glynis Houde at 860-434-2255 to schedule your appointment. For further information, contact Tracy Lenz, Director of Guidance, at 860-434-2255 or lenzt@region18.org or James Wygonik, LOLHS Principal, at 860-434-1651 or wygonikj@region18.org.

Share

Friends of Whalebone Cove Hosts Annual Meeting, Sunday; Speakers on Bald Eagles, Migratory Fish; All Welcome

A majestic bald-headed eagle stands on a bough above the Connecticut River.. Photo courtesy of RiverQuest Eagle Cruise Tours

“Eagles Over Whalebone Cove” and “Migratory Fish of the Connecticut River” will be the featured topics of guest speakers at the Annual Meeting of Friends of Whalebone Cove (FOWC) on Sunday, March 31, in Hadlyme.

The lower Connecticut River Valley has the largest concentration of eagles in the Northeast.

Andrew Griswold, Director of EcoTravel for Connecticut Audubon Society, will talk about why bald eagles in particular are literally flocking to the Connecticut River estuary to make it home. He will also discuss eagle biology and ecology, and other birds living along the River.

In addition, Connecticut River Conservancy Executive Director Andrew Fisk will provide a presentation on the many migratory fish (and other marine species) that migrate up and down the 410-mile Connecticut River and travel throughout its 11,000 square mile watershed. Fisk will talk about efforts hundreds of miles north of Whalebone Cove to protect and restore the many fish species of New England’s longest river.

Friends of Whalebone Cove was formed in 2016 by area residents to help government and private conservation agencies protect the fragile eco-systems in Hadlyme’s Whalebone Cove, which is listed as one of North America’s important freshwater tidal marshes in international treaties that cite the Connecticut River estuary as a wetland complex of global importance.

The FOWC Annual Meeting is open to the public, both members and non-members. It will be held at Hadlyme Public Hall, 63 Ferry Rd., Lyme. The meeting will begin at 3 p.m. Refreshments will be served.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Public Forum This Evening on Pre-K Expansion

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools are hosting a Public Forum on Pre-K Expansion, Monday, March 25, at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium.

The purpose of the forum is to address questions about the proposed expansion of the existing Pre-K program.

All are welcome.

Share

High Hopes is One of 37 Beneficiaries of $120K Eastern CT Chamber Foundation Distribution to Local Non-Profits

The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation has announced the distribution of $120,000 to 37 eastern Connecticut non-profits that will improve the quality of life for thousands of children in the region.

This year’s disbursement reflects the highest-ever amount distributed by the Foundation and marks a twelve percent increase over the 2018 grant disbursement.

The Foundation raised funds throughout 2018 with fundraisers including the 7th Annual Bowl-a-Thon at High Rollers Luxury Lanes at Foxwoods Resort Casino in April and the 35th Annual Holiday Gala held at Mohegan Sun in December.

“I would like to thank all of our loyal sponsors and volunteers for their unwavering support of the Foundation,” said Louis Ziegler, Chair of the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation’s Board of Directors. “In 2018, eastern CT opened its heart in support of the less fortunate and contributed more generously than I have ever seen before. A special thanks goes to the Mohegan Tribe and Mohegan Sun, not only for providing a first-class venue for the Holiday Gala, but for going above and beyond to make sure that event was successful in its mission of raising funds in support of children and families in need.”

“Thank you to all our sponsors, committee members, volunteers, Foundation board members, and staff at the Chamber. Putting these events together is a team effort, and everyone involved played a critical role in our success,” said Ziegler.

Since 2002, the Chamber Foundation has donated more than $1.3 million to numerous local organizations that serve the needs of children. The Foundation’s goal is to support projects and programs that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families in the Chamber’s service area.

This year’s recipients will be able to use funding to provide participation in regional activities, toys and books, school supplies, healthy nutrition, winter clothing, intervention for at-risk children, and food pantry items, among many others.

The 2019 Chamber Foundation grant recipients are:

  • Horses Healing Humans: $500 to provide a common ground equine-assisted activity program for Stonington Middle School girls.
  • Montville Little League: $500 to fund a scholarship program to distribute to children for registration fees.
  • The Center: A Drop-In Community Learning and Resource Center: $1,000 for additional support with supplies, transportation, and field trips for the Summer Enrichment Program.
  • Children’s Museum of Southeastern CT: $1,000 to provide monthly sensory-friendly programming at the Museum for families with children on the autism spectrum.
  • Eastern CT Symphony Orchestra: $1,000 for scholarships for participants in need of financial aid in the Eastern CT Symphony Youth Orchestra and Strings Ensemble.
  • Hygienic Art: $1,000 to support Artist Academy Jr. which fosters an interest in reading and the arts for young children and their families.
  • The Rotary Club of Norwich: $1,000 to support the Rotary Coat Fund which provides winter coats to children from low-income families in the greater Norwich area.
  • S.T.E.P.S. Inc.: $1,000 to provide part of the total funding for two full weeks of free Summer Leadership Training in July and August 2019 to middle school girls ages 10-18 in Groton, New London, and Norwich.
  • Eastern CT Community Gardens Association: $1,000 to support planting and care of gardens at various elementary schools for students to tend.
  • Groton Community Meals: $1,115 to purchase food and supplies needed for weekly dinners for local residents in need.
  • Shiloh Development Corporation: $1,160 to maintain the safety and quality of the preschool’s indoor play area by repairing items affected by wear and tear.
  • Channel 3 Kids Camp: $1,225 to help campership support for children with disabilities and children considered “at risk” from New London County.
  • Catholic Charities, Diocese of Norwich: $1,500 to purchase diapers, wipes, and formula for newborns to help struggling single mothers with families and their children.
  • New London Main Street: $1,500 to help with expenses and entertainment, including a children’s tent with educational activities during the Connecticut Family Festival.
  • Norwich Community Backpack Program: $1,500 to purchase 850 new backpacks and age-appropriate school supplies for low-income youth in Norwich.
  • Southeastern Regional Action Council: $1,500 to support the implementation of the 13th Annual Youth Forum in spring 2020.
  • Thames River Community Service: $1,800 to support the children’s summer program.
  • Child and Family Agency of Southeastern CT: $2,000 to help with renovating the playground at the Groton-Mystic Early Childhood Development Center.
  • Expressiones Cultural Center: $2,000 to support the ArtVenture Program which will provide culturally relevant bilingual arts and educational programming for children in New London schools.
  • Norwich Human Services: $2,000 to provide school uniforms to children of low-income Norwich families for the 2019-20 school year.
  • Pregnancy Support Center: $2,000 to support the Pregnancy Decision Program which provides limited medical services and material assistance to women and teens experiencing unplanned pregnancy.
  • Thames Valley Council for Community Action: $2,000 to support the Santa Boots project which provides new winter boots for children from low-income and working families throughout eastern CT.
  • FRESH New London: $2,500 to support the Fresh Crew youth program which combines hands-on skills with community empowerment to make a long-term impact on the food system in New London.
  • High Hopes Therapeutic Riding: $2,500 to support the VetKids program which provides children of veterans with equine-assisted activities that promote skill development and team-building.
  • New England Science and Sailing Foundation (NESS): $2,500 to support NESS’ programs in New London which provide water-based educational experiences that transform students’ lives.
  • Safe Futures: $3,000 to be used toward providing children who have impacted by traumatic experiences the opportunity to attend Camp HOPE America – Connecticut.
  • Sea Research Foundation: $3,000 to support the “Where the City Meets the Sea” project to hep Norwich and New London teachers educate students about the ecology of Long Island Sound.
  • United Community & Family Services: $3,000 to pilot a project designed to assist patients who experience transportation barriers to attend healthcare appointments.
  • Madonna Place: $3,200 to fund a portion of the “Great Beginnings” program, which provides screening and assessments to identify high-risk pregnant women and offer intensive services for their child’s first few years of life.
  • Higher Edge: $3,500 to continue the College Access and Success programs.
  • Always Home: $5,000 to support homelessness prevention/shelter diversion of New London County families seeking emergency housing assistance.
  • Eastern CT Workforce Investment Board: $5,000 to be used toward expanding the number of disadvantaged youth that the organization will be able to serve in the 2019 Summer Youth Employment program.
  • Riverfront Children’s Center: $5,000 to purchase new equipment to create an outdoor infant/toddler classroom.
  • St. Vincent de Paul Place, Norwich: $5,000 to provide peanut butter and cereal to children whose families participate in the St. Vincent de Paul Place food pantry.
  • United Way of Southeastern CT: $5,000 to procure healthy and nutritious food to be distributed through the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Bank’s sixty-nine feeding sites, serving 5,700 children each month.
  • Tommy Toy Fund: $17,500 to support the goal of providing two toys, one book, and a pair of gloves to low-income children.
  • Miracle League of Southeastern CT: $25,000 for seed money for the design and construction of a Miracle League field that will serve eastern CT children who face physical and developmental challenges.

In addition to the $120,000 granted to these 37 non-profits, the Chamber Foundation will award $1,250 each to four eastern CT high school students ($5,000 total) later this spring. High-achieving high school students who have a demonstrated interest in serving their local communities are encouraged to apply for a scholarship by visiting ChamberECT.com/foundation. The deadline for applications is April 15, 2019.

The Chamber Foundation will continue to raise funds through events in 2019 including the 8th Annual Bowl-a-Thon on April 9 and the 36th Annual Holiday Gala on Dec. 6. To learn more, register, or find sponsorship opportunities, visit ChamberECT.com or call (860) 701-9113.

Learn more about the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT Foundation at ChamberECT.com/foundation or call the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern CT office at (860) 701-9113.

Editor’s Notes:
i) Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut Foundation, a business community-based 501(c)(3) foundation affiliated with the Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut, is dedicated to promoting initiatives that enhance and enrich education and economic opportunities for children and families in the Chamber service area.  ChamberECT.com/foundation
ii) The Chamber of Commerce of Eastern Connecticut is a collaborative of business and community leaders dedicated to securing and enhancing the economic vitality of eastern Connecticut. The Chamber works to create value for its members and the region by providing forums for business networking, leadership and discussions of issues that affect the region; providing opportunities for members to showcase their products, services and accomplishments; helping small businesses succeed through educational programs; and working to reduce the costs of doing business in Connecticut.  For more information, visit ChamberECT.com.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women Sponsor Bingo Fundraiser for Lyme Ambulance Association, April 6

On Saturday, April 6, the Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club is sponsoring a Bingo Evening with prizes galore at the Hamburg Station, 213 Hamburg Rd. in Lyme.  All proceeds will benefit the Lyme Ambulance Association.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. and play starts at 6 p.m.

Drinks and snacks will be provided.  The event is BYOB.

Tickets are $20 per person for 10 game and $1 or $2 for specials.

For tickets and questions, call Beverly at 860-434-5667.

 

Share

New Orleans Musicians Offer Free Concert to Benefit Old Lyme Church’s Immigration Assistance Fund, April 6

Tom McDermott

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) has announced that News Orleans musicians Tom McDermott and Ned Sublette will perform a free public concert at 6 p.m., Saturday, April 6, in the FCCOL Meetinghouse, to benefit the church’s Immigration Assistance Fund. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m.; seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

The concert will be followed by a free pizza dinner held in the Fellowship Hall supplied by the Pizza Corner restaurant in New Britain, which is owned and operated by Malik Naveed bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf, two local residents who sought sanctuary at FCCOL and later received a temporary stay of deportation allowing them to pursue their efforts to obtain legal status in the U.S.

Admission to both the concert and dinner is free, but donations will be welcomed during a free will offering. All proceeds from the evening will go towards funding the church’s efforts to help immigrants like Malik and Zahida, and the Torres family from Waterbury.

Earlier this year, the church announced it was working with immigration experts to return Glenda Cardena Caballero to her husband Miguel Torres while her deportation case winds its way through the immigration appeals process. Last August, Miguel and their two children Nathaly (11) and Keneth (7) – all of whom are U.S. citizens – watched helplessly as Glenda was taken from them by ICE, placed on an airplane and deported to Honduras.

Glenda had been in the US since 2005; she had complied with all of ICE’s directives; and her case was under appeal in the court system. Despite following immigration rules and regulations, ICE agents deported her suddenly and arbitrarily, leaving her family bereft and heartbroken.

The church’s goal is to bring Glenda home to her family in the U.S. while her case continues to wind its way through the appeals process.

McDermott is an internationally recognized pianist and composer, and a fixture in the world of New Orleans music. His work was featured in the HBO series “Treme” – where he played himself several times throughout the series. He has released 17 albums, including 90 original songs – in styles ranging from jazz to Brazilian choro, to ragtime, to swing, to classical compositions.

Mcdermott has played Carnegie Hall, the 92nd Street Y, most states in America and a couple dozen countries abroad. He’s been reviewed a half-dozen times by the “New York Times,” as well as the “Wall Street Journal,” “Rolling Stone” and other media; and has lectured at Harvard on New Orleans, American music and his unique house.

Sublette is an American composer, musician, record producer and author. His books include “The Year Before the Flood: A Story of New Orleans” and “The World That Made New Orleans: From Spanish Silver to Congo Square.” His most recent book, published with his wife Constance, is “The American Slave Coast,” which documents the slave-breeding industry that flourished in the 19th century US. Musically, he is known for fusing country-western and afro-Caribbean styles in his albums “Cowboy Rumba” (which reached Number 1 on the World Music Charts Europe) and “Kiss You Down South.”

His music label, Qbadisc, releases Cuban music in the US. In 2006, Willie Nelson released Sublette’s song “Cowboys Are Frequently, Secretly Fond of Each Other” in the wake of the success of “Brokeback Mountain.” For the past several years, Sublette has organized and led “Postmambo” tours of Cuba and Haiti, exploring the intersections of music, dance and ritual, and how those expressions have shaped our world.

Share

Starting July 1, Trash AND Recycling to be Picked Up Weekly in Old Lyme

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder announced today that a contract has been signed with CWPM Waste Removal and Recycling Services to provide collection services for trash and recycling in the Town beginning July 1, 2019.

In a press release, she offers special thanks to Old Lyme Selectman Chris Kerr, Old Lyme Board of Finance Member David Kelsey and current trash/recycling service provider, Gary Yuknat of Old Lyme Sanitation, for their hard work in developing an Request for Proposal (RFP), reviewing the bids received, and their input on the contract that was signed.

Reemsnyder states, “The big news is that all residents will now have weekly pickup of both trash and recycling, beginning July 1,” adding, “It is important to note that in the past, beach areas had trash pickup twice weekly from Memorial Day to Labor Day, but that will no longer be the case.”

She confirms unequivocally, “Trash pickup for the entire town will be once weekly throughout the year.”

She notes in the release, “Residents should also be aware that the State of Connecticut is pushing hard for compliance on recycling, and the Town has received several notices from its recycling vendor, Willimantic Waste, pointing out that there are contaminants in the recycling waste they receive from Old Lyme. This translates into increased cost to the town, resulting in increased taxes.”

The graphic at this link reminds residents”What’s In and What’s Out” in terms of recycling — please take note!

Share

Lyme Academy to Drop ‘College’ From Its Name, Unveils New Website, Announces Summer Art Programs for Youth, Adults

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

The board of trustees of the newly-renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme, Conn., has announced an extensive summer art program for youth and adults. “Our trustees, alumni, and the Old Lyme community are committed to supporting this historic art institution,” states Stephen Tagliatela, Lyme Academy Board of Trustees Chairman.

He continues, “With the recent announcement of our separation from the University of New Haven, we will once again become the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts operating as it was originally established. Continuing the summer art programs will be an important part of our mission as we plan for the Academy’s future.”

“The variety of art programs planned for this summer is very exciting,” notes Lyme Academy Campus Dean Todd Jokl. “In addition to the Pre-College Academy for high school students, which helps them improve their technical skills and portfolio development for art college applications, a fun new art camp for middle school students is being added.”

Jokl adds, “The 2019 program will also include adult art programs in painting, sculpture, printmaking and encaustic. Our new website www.lymeacademy.org has all the information about these programs and instructors.”

Screen shot of the homepage of the new Lyme Academy website at LymeAcademy.org.

The 2019 summer programs at the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts for adults will begin in May and be offered through June, July and August. The youth programming is offered in July and August.

These summer programs will include:

Pre-College Academy:
High school students with beginning to advanced level art training can enroll in a series of courses that further explore and expand their technical skills and abilities. All Pre-College courses and workshops are designed to foster creativity, build artistic skill, portfolio development, and mentor personal vision in young artists.
The Lyme Pre-College Academy runs an intensive series of weeklong, daytime classes during July and August with instruction by master artists. Immerse yourself in a college-level arts experience this summer.

Middle School Academy “Art Apprentice” Program:
Middle school students will participate in an exciting art camp that showcases famous artists from history. Students will engage in art projects based on the talents, examples of work, and significance of each featured artist to make their own body of work full of fun and insight into the creative process. Learn from historic artists and art movements while exploring your own talents! Featured artists this summer include Edgar Degas, Michelangelo, Salvador Dali and Leonardo da Vinci.
Classes begin July 8 and run weekly through August 2.

Adult Workshops and Master Classes:
Lyme Academy’s traditional methods in figurative and representational art will provide adults at all levels an opportunity to work with professional artists, build portfolios, while advancing their skills in various mediums and techniques. Adult classes present an opportunity to immerse yourself in concentrated study in a specific area of expertise. Students will gain new perspectives in the process and the unique experience of guidance by professional artists in a mentored environment.
Adult weekly courses begin in May and the workshops and master classes will be offered in June, July and August focusing on developing technique and accelerated skill advancement in figure drawing, landscape painting, printmaking, sculpture, and encaustic.

Editor’s Note: Founded in 1976 by esteemed sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located in historic Old Lyme, Conn., which has been a vibrant center for the arts and artists in southeastern Connecticut for more than 100 years. The Academy offers a variety of programs in art education under the guidance of master artists who share a deep respect for both traditional and innovative forms of teaching that provide students with the necessary foundation and skills to develop their own unique visual expression.

For more information about Lyme Academy’s summer youth and adult art programs, visit www.lymeacademy.org or contact Kristen Brady at kbrady@lymefs.newhaven.edu or (860) 598-5143.

Share

Five Days of Fun at Connecticut River Museum During April Vacation

Come to the Connecticut River Museum during April School Vacation for a week of creativity and discovery. Join for one session or the whole week!

Staying in town for April Vacation?

Connecticut River Museum (CRM) has five days of cool things to do for your child or children. Whether you are looking for one day or all five, there is something fun and exciting waiting for you at the Museum.

Bring your imagination and come prepared to create and experiment as we explore the River and its history. This year the Museum expanded their April Vacation day offerings to full days of fun. Workshops are designed for ages 6 – 12. 

Offerings this year are

  • Poetry and Art
  • Maritime Madness
  • Create a Museum
  • Mud and Dirt
  • Spring is in the Air

Explore the museum, go outdoors, create projects, do arts and crafts. Get more information about each day’s activities and register at www.ctrivermuseum.org.

Programs run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are $45/day, $205/week for CRM members and $50/Day, $230/week for nonmembers. Advance registration is required and space is limited.

Email sburns@ctrivermuseum.org or call 860.767.8269 x113 with questions. The Connecticut River Museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street.

Share

Gov. Lamont Amends Education Proposal on Shared Services; Encourages School Collaboration, Reallocation of Resources to Classroom

Governor Ned Lamont (D)

PRESS RELEASE FROM THE OFFICE OF GOVERNOR NED LAMONT– Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is submitting revised language to the General Assembly on his proposal encouraging shared services in Connecticut schools. The new proposal, which was developed in collaboration with stakeholders, addresses concerns raised by members of the community while continuing to encourage collaboration and shared services among schools. The governor said that he agrees with many constituents who do not want their school districts to be forced to consolidate operations and is hopeful that the modifications to his proposal address those concerns.

Unlike other proposals, Governor Lamont’s legislation does not force school consolidation. Rather, his bill uses school construction bonds and other funds to incentivize communities to explore cost savings, but does not force regionalization.

“The truth is that our students and teachers are not getting the adequate resources they need in the classroom,” Governor Lamont said. “Sharing certain back-office administrative services and purchasing costs is more efficient for certain schools, and my bill is intended to highlight and incentivize those efficiencies. I’ve also heard the concern that school districts need independence to make the decisions they feel are best. My revised proposal seeks to strike that balance through a collaborative process that preserves the feisty independence of our towns while providing them the tools they need to accomplish our shared vision of focusing resources on the classroom.”

As an example, North Carolina uses one contract for school software throughout the entire state, however in Connecticut there are 170 different contracts and the state is paying a premium. The governor’s proposal creates a bipartisan commission on shared school services, made up of education stakeholders from across the state including parents, teachers, superintendents, and school board members. That commission has no power to force the adoption of its recommendations, but will look around and outside the state to issue advisory reports on how districts can best share services and prioritize money for students and teachers. The towns and the people’s elected representatives will be able to draw on the recommendations that make sense in their local contexts.

The revised language in governor’s proposal:

  • Ensures regional diversity by requiring each of the governor’s six appointees come from a different RESC service area
  • Underscores the non-binding nature of the commission’s recommendations
  • Eliminates requirements that the commission consider redistricting and regionalization in its reports

The legislation, SB 874 – An Act Concerning Education Initiatives and Services in Connecticut, is currently pending in the education committee. The same language is included in HB 7192 – An Act Concerning Municipal and Regional Opportunities and Efficiencies, which is pending in the planning and development committee.

**DownloadProposed revised language to SB 874

Share

‘Burt & Me,’ Featuring Love, Laughter & Great Music, Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse; on Stage Through April 7

Josh Powell, Andy Christopher and Nathan Richardson appear in ‘Burt & Me’ at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

IVORYTON – The Ivoryton Playhouse opens its 2019 season with a dazzling parade of hits by the songwriting team of Burt Bacharach and Hal David in the musical comedy Burt & Me by Larry McKenna.

This coming-of-age story is narrated by Joe, who tells the story of his obsession with the music of Burt Bacharach alongside his high school romance with Lacey. The old story of boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finds girl again, develops a new life in this nostalgic paean to the music and culture of America in the 70s.

When Burt Bacharach and Hal David met in the New York City offices of Famous Music in 1957, they had no idea that their collaboration would have such an impact on the world of pop music. In their years of writing together, they produced almost 150 songs. Sometimes the words came first, sometimes the music, sometimes both at once.

One Iyric (“Alfie”) took three days; another (“What The World Needs Now Is Love”), three years. This nostalgic juke box musical contains many of their greatest hits including, “What the World Needs Now,” “Walk On By,” “I Say A Little Prayer” and “This Guy’s in Love with You”.

Andy Christopher and Lauren Gire sing a duet in ‘Burt & Me’

The cast includes Playhouse favorites Adrianne Hick* (South Pacific), Lauren Gire* (My Way: the Frank Sinatra Story )  Neal Mayer*, (One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Oliver!) and Josh Powell* (My Way: the Frank Sinatra Story and Love Quest).

Making their Playhouse debut are Andy Christopher* as our protagonist, Joe, Katie Luke and Nathan Richardson. The show is directed and choreographed by Brian Feehan, musical directed by Michael Morris, set design by Emily Nichols, lighting and sound design by Tate Burmeister and costumes by Lisa Bebey.

This may well be an evening of pure nostalgia but it also serves to remind us of Bacharach’s genius for melody, the complexity of his arrangements and David’s keen sense of human motivation. These are the songs that form the soundtrack of our youth and even their sad songs make you feel good.

Burt & Me runs through April 7. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. There will be one Thursday matinee on March 21.

Tickets are $55 adult / $50 senior / $25 student / $20 children 12 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates and subscriptions are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Share

Needleman Proposes New School Regionalization Plan, Public Hearing Today on Another Proposal on Same Subject

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd)

Yesterday State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd) proposed a new plan for school regionalization. His proposal would create legislation tailored to help school districts and municipalities cooperate to share services and resources on their own terms, in contrast to recent legislation that would mandate school changes.

Needleman appeared with East Haddam Selectman Robert Smith, Chester First Selectman Laurent Gister, Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Essex Board of Education member Lon Seidman, Portland First Selectman Susan Bransfield and CABE Deputy Director and General Counsel Patrice McCarthy.

Watch this news clip from NBC to see a summary of what Needleman proposed.

The 33rd Senatorial District includes the Town of Lyme.

Today a public hearing will be held at 11 a.m. in Hartford on HB 7192, AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL AND REGIONAL OPPORTUNITIES AND EFFICIENCIES, a Governor’s Bill dealing generally with regionalization and shared services for local governments

Sections 7-10 of the bill are the same as Sections 1-4 of SB 874, the Governor’s Bill on school regionalization and shared services. If you have already submitted testimony to the Education Committee on school regionalization bills, this is an opportunity to comment before a different committee specifically on SB 874.

– Make sure to read the four sections of HB 7192 (again) and comment on them specifically (of course, you may also comment on any other sections you choose).

– Include only HB 7192 (same as first sections of SB 874) in your testimony, as this is the only language from the three school regionalization bills that is before Planning & Development.

Written testimony should be submitted by 9 a.m. to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov

Sign-up to speak between 9 and 10 a.m. (lottery) in Room 1D.

Share

Needleman to Join with District, School Leaders Today in Hartford to Show Support for Shared Services, Resources by School Districts, Municipalities

State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd)

Today at 10 a.m. State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd) will join with district leaders and school officials in the Legislative Office Building Room 1A, in Hartford to voice their support for legislation tailored to help school districts and municipalities cooperate to share services and resources on their own terms, in contrast to recent legislation that would mandate school changes.

Needleman will appear with East Haddam Selectman Robert Smith, Chester First Selectman Laurent Gister, Deep River First Selectman Angus McDonald, Essex Board of Education member Lon Seidman, Portland First Selectman Susan Bransfield and CABE Deputy Director and General Counsel Patrice McCarthy.

The 33rd State Senatorial District includes Lyme.

Share

RTPEC Holds ‘More Birding Basics’ at Harkness Memorial Park, March 23

Adjacent to Long Island Sound, the marshes and open fields of Harkness Memorial State Park provide important habitats for numerous species of birds.
Sea ducks and other waterfowl can be found off the coast, shorebirds forage on the beaches, and warblers and sparrows flit about the underbrush and reeds.

Join a naturalist from the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center on~Saturday, March 23 from 9 to 11 AM as we explore these habitats and their occupants.

This program is free but you are requested to register online at this link.

Share

Old Lyme’s History-Making Run to the Sun Ends in the Shadows with Loss to Innovation in State Final

A huge crowd of Old Lyme supporters came to the Mohegan Sun arena to cheer on their team. Photos by Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, Carol Frazier and Jack Collins.

Estimates of the number of Old Lyme fans who went to cheer on the boy’s basketball team at Mohegan Sun arena Sunday morning varied between 800 and 1,000.  Even the commentator on the channel that was live-streaming the game noted, “There’s a lot of blue in the building,” adding for clarity, “I think the stadium is at least three-quarters blue.”

Prior to tip-off, Old Lyme engaged in their traditional motivational huddle.

For a small couple of towns like Lyme and Old Lyme, this was an amazing show of support and belief in this team and its coach, who just two short years ago found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-18 season.

The Old Lyme team stands proud while the national anthem plays before the game began.

Sadly, neither the team nor the fans saw their dreams come to fruition.

The teams were announced in the traditional manner.

Third-seeded Old Lyme were first out of the starting blocks storming to a 10-2 lead in a little over four minutes. Everything seemed to be going their way when top seeds Innovation woke up and by the end of the first quarter had overtaken the Wildcats by 12-10.

Junior guard Ray Doll with arms outstretched was in the thick of the on-court action.

Old Lyme never took the lead again falling to 23-30 by the half.  Scoring became a real challenge for the ‘Cats who ended up achieving only a 25% success rate.

Coach Kirk Kaczor urges on his team.

But Coach Kaczor never gave up on his boys encouraging them all through the contest.

By the end of the game, Ray Doll and Brady Sheffield, who are both juniors, had scored 11 points each and Aedan Using, another junior, had  contributed eight, but more significantly had also joined the elite group of Old Lyme players, who have scored 1,000 lifetime points. Doll and Using also respectively had eight and five rebounds while senior Liam Holloway notched a game-high five steals.

Action at the free throw line.

Innovation continued their formidable advance through the third and fourth quarters taking their lead to 20 clear points at 58-38 with 2:58 remaining on the clock. Old Lyme began to see the writing on the wall and heard the final buzzer with their heads held high but their hearts down low.

Leaping high to shoot, an Innovation player looks to score.

Thank you, Old Lyme boys and Coach Kaczor for such a great season.  You have made our towns proud.  You may not have won the state championship but you’ve rewritten the history books for the program by simply reaching the state final. We will always remember this outstanding team and their run to the Sun!

Congratulations … and see you next season!

Editor’s Notes: Special thanks to our photographers at the game, Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, Carol Frazier and Jack Collins.

 

Share

It’s Sun-Day for Old Lyme! Kaczor’s Boys Play for Div. V State Basketball Championship at 10:30am Today

Coach Kirk Kaczor (center) leads the traditional Old Lyme boy’s basketball team huddle at the start of a game..

There’s nothing like an Old Lyme team participating in a high school state final to stir the sleepy towns of Lyme and Old Lyme to their core.

Extrapolating from past performance when Don Bugbee’s girls played (and won) the Class S State basketball championship in 2009 — the first played at Mohegan Sun — a conservative estimate suggests that at least half of the population of Lyme and Old Lyme will set their alarms early this morning, may even skip church (or perhaps the Catholics among us went yesterday evening …) and head east across the state to the arena at Mohegan Sun.

One assumes that pretty much every self-respecting, current Lyme-Old Lyme High Schooler will make their way to the arena this morning whether on a school bus or under their own steam. The parents of the boys on the Old Lyme varsity basketball team may even go to see the team bus off from the school at some God-forsaken hour …

The basketball game tipping off at 10:30 a.m. in the arena at Mohegan Sun will be the focus of their attention until around noon.

In a packed arena with likely around 5,000 fans present, can Kirk Kavzor’s boys pull off a spectacular win and topple top-seeded Innovation to bring the CIAC Division V trophy home to Old Lyme?

These third-seeded Wildcats have already crushed all previous records by becoming the first team in program history to reach the final. Can they now — urged on by their fervent supporters aged from 1 to 92 — take it one step further and make their tiny hometown the proudest for miles around and win the title?

In an exclusive and extraordinarily revealing email interview with LymeLine.com, Coach Kaczor gave us the inside story on how this exceptional team has reached the point it is at today, saying, “Two years ago we were 6-14 and a program in disarray.  The effort, attitude and culture were not anywhere near what I wanted it to be.  We were selfish and undisciplined, and it reflected poorly on me as well as the school.  We weren’t all that talented, but more importantly our attitude needed to change for our program to be successful.”

He continued, “Last year, we dedicated ourselves to improving both on and off the court.  We made a move to work with a strong group of sophomores and asked the older kids to help bring them along and to provide a fostering culture that valued teamwork and discipline. “

Interestingly he pointed to some small things that have made a big difference in team culture, such as, “We made new rules about tucking in practice jerseys and sprinting to help out teammate or opponent that went down during the game.  (You’ll see that during the game.)”

Kaczor concluded, “We had a great season.  We finished 15-5 but lost in the first round of our league tournament.  We entered the state tournament with a good seed but were beaten at the buzzer in the first round by Capital Prep.  However, during that season we created a culture and brotherhood that carried into the summer, fall and then back to the winter.”

Turning to this season, Kaczor said, “Everything was in place to run for the Sun.  I never said it, but the kids did.  It was the elephant in the room.  We knew we had the talent, effort, and attitude to get there.” He mused, “I just wondered if we could catch a break.  There always seems to be a little luck involved.,” adding, “Things just fell into place for us.”

Commenting on the tournament itself, Kaczor reflected, “We’ve played three excellent and young teams so far.  Beating a good Gilbert team in the second round.  Avenging our only home loss (on senior night) to Morgan in the quarters.  And this week, we beat a 16-4 Somers team that is really good.”

Kaczor ended with the words, “This season has been amazing in so many ways,” noting, “We just recently won the sportsmanship award presented by our Board 8 officials, as well.”

Let’s hope the season becomes a whole lot more amazing this morning! Good luck boys and Coach Kaczor … and GO WILDCATS!

 

Share

‘Four Acts’ on Show at Lyme Art Association Through April 30

‘Winter Song’ in oil by Katherine Simmons is the signature painting of the ‘Explorations’ section of the ‘Four Acts’ exhibition.

‘Darby’ in pastel by Anderson Flanders is the signature piece of the ‘Animal Kingdom’ section of the exhibition.

The Lyme Art Association presents its annual Four Acts show from March 8, through April 19. Each room of the gallery has a different theme: Hip to be Square (artwork in a square format), Out of Town (featuring artwork relating to artists’ travels), Animal Kingdom, and Explorations (abstract or exploratory works.)

The Four Acts opening reception is Sunday, March 17, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 to 5 p.m, and by appointment. Admission is free but a $5 donation is suggested.

Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

For further information, call (860) 434-7802 or visit lymeartassociation.org

Share

Today’s Hearing on Act Proposing Creation of Tax Authorities in CT for School Towns/Districts with Less Than 15,000 Students to be Televised

Today at noon, the state legislature’s Planning & Development Committee will hold a public hearing on House Bill 7319, An Act Concerning The Fiscal Independence Of School Districts.  The hearing will be televised on CT-N.

The bill requires local and regional school districts with fewer than 15,000 students to become taxing authorities, separate from any municipality.

The bill was introduced by the Planning & Development Committee and is applicable to all local and regional school districts in the state, except for five: Hartford, Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury and Stamford.

For more information on the broad topic of forced school regionalization, visit HandsOffourSchools.org or their associated Facebook group, Hands Off Our Schools, which is strongly opposed to the proposals made to date.

Share