September 19, 2019

LAA in Old Lyme Presents Fall Lecture Series; Second Talk on Western Art, Oct. 3

Georgia O’Keefe, whose ‘Ram’s Head with Hollyhock Oil’ is shown above, is one of the artists whose work Bob Potter will explore to determine how the American West has inspired artists during the 20th century in a lecture slated for Oct. 10.

OLD LYME — This fall the Lyme Art Association, at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme presents three lectures for art lovers. Each lecture will begin at 7 p.m. with refreshments served at 6:30 p.m.

The schedule of Thursday lectures is as follows:
Sept. 19
The Sculpture of Central Park

Connecticut sculptor Wendy Swain will give a virtual tour of the amazing sculptures to be found in New York City’s Central Park, providing information on the history of the park, as well as the sculptors and sculptures.

Oct. 3
The Art of America: Westward Ho! 

Bob Potter will explore  19th century America through the artworks of George Caleb Bingham, John James Audubon, Albert Bierstadt, and others.

Oct. 10
The Art of America: The New West 

The American West has inspired artists for centuries with its vast landscapes of natural beauty. Bob Potter will continue exploring how the American West has inspired artists during the 20th century through the art of Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Richard Diebenkorn, and Ed Ruscha.

There is a $5 fee for members to attend each lecture or $10 for non-members. Parking is free and the venue is handicap accessible.

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the town’s historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 to 5 pm, or by appointment.

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


Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Hosts New Member’s Social Tomorrow at Kokomo’s; All Ages 18+ Welcome

The Lyme Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) is hosting their annual New Member’s Social at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20, at Kokomo’s in Old Lyme. The Club will be providing appetizers at the event.

The LOLJWC welcomes all women over the age of 18 (no upper age limit) from Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex, and Deep River, or anyone who feels connected to those communities to join the club. This event is an opportunity to meet veteran club members and the club board and to socialize with other new members.

The Club is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to serving their community through volunteerism and philanthropic giving to a variety of organizations and causes. Recent service projects have included the installation of the new Cross Lane Playground, BINGO Night Fundraiser for the Lyme Ambulance Association, Annual Scholarships for local high school seniors, Birthday Bags for the Soup Kitchen, and hosting a blood drive, among others.

The LOLJWC’s primary mission is to provide local women with a supportive network of like-minded women dedicated to engaging with their community through service. Annual dues are $45 per member. 

For more information, contact the LOLJWC board at


Lyme Public Hall Tag & Bake Sale Takes Place Saturday

Lyme Public Hall. Photo submitted.

LYME — A Tag Sale and Bake Sale will be held at the Lyme Public Hall on Saturday, Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sale will feature housewares, furniture, jewelry and unexpected treasures, as well as a bake sale with home-made pies and other tasty treats.

Furniture, tools, small appliances, jewelry, housewares, linens, toys, sporting goods and gift items will all be on sale for bargain prices.  There will also be an extensive selection of produce available for purchase.

Proceeds will benefit the maintenance of the Lyme Public Hall building, the Lyme Local History Archives, and programs for the public.

The Lyme Public Hall is located at 249 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, Connecticut.

For more information, call (860)574-4143 or email


Old Lyme’s Christ the King Church Hosts Harvest Festival & Rummage Sale, Saturday

Bargain hunters stand patiently in line at last year’s King’s Rummage Sale.

OLD LYME — Autumn arrives officially in Connecticut on Sept. 23, and Christ the King Church in Old Lyme is celebrating the new season with its family-friendly Harvest Festival Saturday, Sept. 21, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

At the huge King’s Rummage Sale held during the Harvest Festival, you’ll find housewares and kitchen items, books and CDs, holiday decorations, jewelry, bicycles and exercise equipment, furniture, rugs, artwork, toys, and more.

Find a bargain (or two!) at the King’s Rummage Sale in Old Lyme, Sept. 21 and 22.

At the Harvest Festival, kids of all ages can try their luck at Games like Soccer Kick, Hockey Shot, and Bust-a-Balloon; get creative with Paint-a-Pumpkin; or simply have their face painted.

There will be games galore at Christ the King’s Harvest Festival.

The Silent Auction offers exciting items like artwork, gift certificates, and themed baskets to bid on.  Local musicians will provide entertainment for you to enjoy while you have lunch or snacks prepared by the Men’s Club.  You can pick out a homemade goodie at the Bake Sale — and choose some autumn color for your home at the Fall Plants & Produce stand.

All the fun of the fair will be happening at Christ the King’s Harvest Festival, Sept. 21.

Admission to Christ the King’s Harvest Festival is free.  Proceeds from the 2019 Harvest Festival will be directed towards the cost of refinishing the hardwood floors in the church.

The Harvest Festival and Rummage Sale take place at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme.

The Rummage Sale, Bake Sale, and Plant Sale will continue after the Masses Sunday morning (Sept. 22) from 9 a.m. to 12 noon (with steep discounts on Rummage Sale items, while supplies last.)  Visit for directions. And follow the church on Facebook (@ChristtheKingChurchOldLyme) for regular updates.

For more information, call 860-434-1669.


Jake Kulak & the LowDown, Winners of $10,000 “Foxwoods Battle of the Bands,” to Perform at 5th Annual ‘Cruise Blues & Brews’ Festival, Saturday

Jake Kulak (center) and the Lowdown (Jason LaPierre at left and Jeremy Peck at right) will be performing at the ‘Cruise Blues & Brews’ Festival at Chester Fairgrounds, Sept. 21. The band recently won the $10,000 grand prize in Foxwood’s ‘Battle of the Bands.’

CHESTER — The blues-rock power trio, Jake Kulak and the LowDown just won the “Battle of the Bands” $10,000 grand prize, sponsored by the Foxwood Resort Casino. The band has been wowing audiences all over the state. They have also won the CT Blues Society Band Challenge, they were voted Best Blues Band in the CTNOW’s Best of Hartford Reader’s Poll and they were nominated as Best New Act of the Year at the New England Music Awards.

Jake Kulak and the LowDown will be one of the seven top CT Blues Bands performing at the 5th Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival, Sept. 21, at the Chester Fairgrounds. Other bands that will be appearing include: Ninety Nine Degrees, Clayton Allen Blues Band, Ramblin’ Dan and the Other Cats, Cobalt Rhythm Kings, Blues on the Rocks, and Vitamin B-3.

Ramblin’ Dan Stevens is another of the featured blues musicians at the ‘Cruise, Blues & Brews ‘Festival on Saturday, Sept. 21, at Chester Fairgrounds.

The Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will also feature hundreds of antique and unique cars on display, a food court with a variety of food trucks, locally brewed craft beer on tap, a marketplace of vendors, a kid’s play area full of activities, trophies, games and prizes.

All proceeds from Cruise Blues & Brews Festival support the At-Risk Boys Fund at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. Established in 2013, The At-Risk Boys fund has awarded over $80,000 in grants to organizations throughout Middlesex County. These grants have helped hundreds of boys and young men achieve success and a better life.

The 5th Annual Cruise Blues & Brews Festival will be held Saturday, Sept. 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (rain or shine), at the Chester Fair Grounds.  Admission is a $10 suggested donation, and kids are free. Tickets can be purchased at the gate during the Festival.

To learn more about this fun-filled festival, visit


See America’s Favorite Comedy Whodunnit ‘Shear Madness’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Oct. 6

Patrick Noonan (left) and Jordan Ahnquist play the lead male characters in ‘Shear Madness’ opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse, Sept. 18. Photo courtesy of Shear Madness.

IVORYTON – Shear Madness, one of the most popular comedy productions in the world, is opening in Ivoryton on Sept. 18. This iconic production was first produced in Boston in 1980 and has been delighting audiences ever since with its unique blend of madcap improvisation and spine-tickling mystery.

This unique comedy-whodunit takes place today in the Shear Madness hairstyling salon and is chock full of up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor. During the course of the action, a murder is committed and the audience gets to spot the clues, question the suspects, and solve the funniest mystery in the annals of crime. The outcome is never the same, which is why many audience members return again and again to the scene of the mayhem.

Voted “Best Comedy of the Year” seven times by the Boston Globe and recipient of the title “Best Play of the Year” by both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Enquirer, Shear Madness has also received the Raven Award from the Mystery Writers of America and has been inducted into the Comedy Hall of Fame, the first play ever to receive that accolade.

Shear Madness is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest-running play in the history of the USA. The flagship Boston company has given birth to 50 productions in the U.S. and Shear Madness has been translated into 23 foreign languages, playing worldwide in a host of cities including Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Paris, Rejkavik, Rome, Tel Aviv, Melbourne, Johannesburg and Seoul. Over 12.5 million people worldwide have joined in the fun.

The production features veteran performers Jordan Ahnquist*, Patrick Noonan*, and Lisa McMillan* who have performed these roles many times – most recently in the off-Broadway production. They will be joined by Ivoryton Playhouse alum Bill Mootus* and Siobhan Fitzgerald* and Lev Harvey will be making his Playhouse debut.

The production is directed by Robert Lohrmann with set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costume design by Liz Saylor.

Shear Madness opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Sept. 18  and runs through Oct. 6. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $55 for adults; $50 for seniors; $25 for students and $20 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at 

 (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information. Discounted tickets after 6pm on Thursday evenings – get half price adult ticket (subject to availability). Six-Tix are only available at the Playhouse Box Office window and do not apply to special events.  Limit 4 Six Tix per person.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity


Essex Business Launches New Product Line Bursting with Bubbles; Includes Jewelry Cleaner, Shower Aromatherapy, Calcium Supplement

The full range of FizzBenefitz products shown in this photo includes a jewelry cleaner and shower aromatherapy.

ESSEX — Centerbrook-based manufacturer Tower Laboratories Ltd., has launched a diverse line of effervescent health and personal care products. The line, called FizzBenefitz, includes

  • Shine Better Jewelry Cleaner
  • Shower Better Aromatherapy
  • Well Better Vitamin C and Calcium Supplements
  • Hydrate Better Kids Hydration

Tower Laboratories has been in the business of effervescent product manufacturing for almost 40 years. The company produces denture cleaners, antacids and other over-the-counter tablets under various store brands. With FizzBenefitz, Tower Laboratories is hoping to develop its own brand recognition.

“We are excited to launch our own unique line of effervescent products and we think consumers will find a lot to like about FizzBenefitz,” said Matt Needleman of Tower Laboratories. “Effervescence gives people a multi-sensory experience that you don’t find in other types of products. For our health supplements, it has the added benefit of eliminating the stress of taking pills. Our products are always made with convenience for the consumer in mind.”

The full FizzBenefitz line is available for purchase online at

Editor’s Note: Tower Laboratories, Ltd. is a privately held company founded in 1979 and the country’s leading supplier of store brand effervescent products. Tower Laboratories, Ltd. also produces a number of effervescent products for contract customers consisting of prescription and over the counter (OTC) drugs, dietary supplements, medical devices, personal care products and specialty applications. The company is headquartered in Centerbrook, CT, with manufacturing facilities in Clinton, CT and Montague, MI.


Wildcat Girls Score Seven Unanswered Goals Against Hale-Ray

OLD LYME — Old Lyme defeated Hale Ray convincingly today 7-0 in their home game opener.

Scoring for the Wildcats were Ali Kyle (two), Lauren Creagan, Emily DeRoehn (two), Lydia Tinnerello and Stephanie Mauro with assists from Kaylee Armenia (three), Mackenzie Machnik, Alexis Fenton and Katie Funaro.

Sam Gray was in goal for the ‘Cats sharing time with Ryleigh Russell and Margo Paynter. Between them, they made a single save.
Old Lyme is now 2-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the Shoreline Conference.

One Win, Two Losses for Girl’s Volleyball in Season to Date

Lyme-Old Lyme Volleyball Round-up

Sept. 16

Old Lyme lost to East Hampton, 11-25, 16-25, 18-25.
Taylor Thompson had five kills and two blocks, while Isabel Dean-Frazier had 13 assists.
Old Lyme is now 1-2.
For East Hampton Rachel Gardiner had 22 assists and 5 aces. Angela Mercaldi had 10 kills. Brooke Cuthbertson had seven aces and 11 digs.


Old Lyme claimed their first victory of the season by defeating Norwich Tech, 25-13, 25-21, 25-16.
Clair Wholean had eight assists and Maddie Cann had seven kills. For Norwich Tech,
Paige Phaneuf had eight digs and Joharys Perez-Rivera had 10 points and a single ace.

Sept. 12

Old Lyme opened the season with a loss to Cromwell, 8-25, 9-25, 21-25. Maddie Cann had six kills and five digs, while Leah Fouquette had six digs, two aces and two kills.
For Cromwell, Sadie Budzik had 12 kills and seven aces.while Kaitlin Lewkowicz had nine assists and three aces.



Deadline to Complete Survey on Economic Status, Future of Old Lyme is Sept. 27, Open to all Residents, Business Owners/Operators in Town

OLD LYME —The Old Lyme Economic Development Commission (EDC)  reminds all residents of the town and anyone who operates a business here to complete their online survey regarding the current economic condition of our town. The deadline for submitting responses is Friday, Sept. 27. The survey is available by scanning the QR code at left or visiting:

The EDC would like to understand how you view the Town’s current economic condition and hear your ideas for the future. For example, the EDC wants to know what attracts both residents and business to Old Lyme, and the important issues facing the town from your perspective. For business owners, the EDC wants to hear how the Town can better support you now and in the future. The survey results, combined with other ongoing initiatives, will help define the Town’s economic development strategy.

All responses will be kept confidential, with results presented in a final report by the EDC. The Connecticut Economic Resource Center (CERC), a nonprofit economic development firm, will collect survey results, carry out the analysis, and prepare the final report.

Asked for his reaction to the increased attention being directed to economic development in Old Lyme, Halls Road Improvement Committee Chairman BJ Bernblum responded, ” “The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen is taking seriously the economic health of the town.  A few years ago it formed the Halls Road Improvements Committee and this year it revitalized the Economic Development Commission.” He continued, “Under the dynamic leadership of co-chairs Howard Margules and Justin Fuller, the EDC is working with the Connecticut Economic Resource Center to analyze the current state of Old Lyme’s economy and to recommend ways to ensure a sound future.”

Bernblum added, “CERC’s first undertaking is a town-wide survey of businesses and residents, critical to getting an accurate understanding of how our taxpayers feel about the status quo and the issues that need to be addressed,” concluding, “I strongly encourage everyone to complete this survey.”

Editor’s Note: Read our previous article at this link to understand more fully the mission and goals of the Old Lyme EDC.


Both Wildcat Soccer Teams Win at East Lyme in Non-Conference Double Header

LYME-OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme High School boy’s and girl’s soccer teams defeated their East Lyme counterparts Saturday evening at East Lyme High School.

Playing first, the girls won 1-0 with a goal scored by Kaylee Armenia unassisted. Sam Gray was in goal for Old Lyme and made eight saves.

In net for East Lyme was Grace Wargo with five saves.

Lyme-Old Lyme girls are 1-0-0 overall and 0-0-0 in the Shoreline Conference.

Following on the girl’s success, the Wildcat boys came out onto the field and also went home with a 1-0 victory after a goal by Michael Milazzo from an assist from Jesper Silberberg.

Ryan Tetreault was in goal for the Wildcats and notched 13 saves. Owen Brown was in goal for East Lyme and made three saves.

Lyme-Old Lyme boys are now 2-0-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the Shoreline Conference.


Old Lyme Boy’s Soccer Notches Convincing Win Over N. Branford in Season Opener

Old Lyme Boys Soccer opened their 2019-20 season at North Branford High School with a crushing defeat of the Thunderbirds by 10-0

Angus Tresnan scored two goals for the Wildcats, joining teammates Mike Milazzo, Sam Roth, Garrett Smith, Jesper Silberberg, Anders Silberberg, Aidan Kerrigan, Nevin Joshy and Paul Nelson in the scoring bonanza.
In goal for Old Lyme was senior Ryan Tetreault and freshman Jonah Lathrop, the latter of whom had one save for the Wildcats.

Lyme Academy Relaunches Itself with Fall Program of 33 Classes

There will be opportunities to paint ‘en plein air’ for all ages in Lyme Academy’s Fall Program.

OLD LYME – Whether with brushstrokes or keystrokes as their instrument of choice, artists can learn and hone their craft at the renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, which is reinventing itself with the launch of a full slate of courses for the upcoming fall semester. The first classes start Sept. 23.

In an effort to define itself anew while staying true to its core values, the academy will offer 33 courses covering traditional arts curriculum and new digital offerings – the best of art traditions and the newest innovations.

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center, which comprises part of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts announced in July that its campus will remain open and a rebuilding initiative is underway in the wake of the school’s disaffiliation from the University of New Haven (UNH). The UNH decision to end its relationship with the academy was made public in August of 2018.

The incorporation of new intensive courses in digital art with a focus on the Adobe Creative Suite is part of efforts to modernize offerings in a world where many use digital programs in their careers and artistic endeavors.

Innovation classes will train students on Adobe programs including Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign and Premiere to offer those of all generations career advancement training in the Internet age.

These offerings will also include a Social Media for Creatives course taught by Maria Miranda, the Creative Director and Founder of marketing agency Miranda Creative, Inc., who is excited to join the staff as it works to train artists in all mediums including emerging digital ones.

“As principal and creative director of a brand management firm with a degree in fine arts, I have long understood that there is a relationship between the traditional arts and innovative arts,” Miranda said. “As a result, I could not be more excited or honored to be immersed in the best of both worlds in teaching at the Lyme Academy.”

Though art is always evolving and changing, particularly in a computer-driven world, the foundation of art and its teaching remains a guiding force for the academy, which is staying true to its roots by offering comprehensive courses in figurative and representational art.

Fall offerings include core curriculum courses such as Foundations in Drawing, Anatomical Drawing, Figure Drawing to Painting, Figure Sculpture, Printmaking, and weekly classes open to the public including Open Figure Drawing and Watercolor.

In addition, the fall will bring portfolio prep weekends with instructional focus on building skills to develop a body of work. These will be:

  • Drawing: Art of the Cast Sept. 28 & 29 and Oct. 5 & 6
  • Sculpture: The Skull Oct. 19 & 20 and Oct. 26 & 27
  • Value Painting: Shades of Grey Nov. 2 & 3 and Nov. 9 & 10.

Stephen Shaheen, a former faculty member at Lyme Academy College, and Kellie Pereira, a BFA graduate of Lyme Academy College, will teach the stone carving class., which runs from Nov. 7-10.

Masterclass workshops with nationally known artists will be open to both novice and skilled artists and offered in:

  • Animal Sculpture
  • Encaustic
  • Stone Carving
  • Painting the Human Image
  • Large Scale Figure Painting
  • Painting En Plein Air & In-Studio: 4 Steps to Successful Painting
  • Digital Photography for Beginners
  • Photography: Insightful Portraiture
  • The Expressive Photograph and the Landscape.

Registration is open for all fall courses.

For more information or to enroll in a course, visit

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn.


Friends of Whalebone Cove Finish Project to Clear Invasive Water Chestnut from Selden Cove

Volunteers display the fruits of their labor after working all morning to remove invasive water chestnut in Whalebone Cove.

LYME — Nine volunteers spent last Saturday morning (Sept. 7) finishing up Friends of Whalebone Cove (FOWC) two-month project of clearing more than 5,000 square feet of invasive water chestnut from Lyme’s Selden Cove.

During July, August and early September FOWC organized 10 separate “paddle & pull” expeditions involving more than 30 volunteers to rid the Cove of thousands of water chestnut plants discovered there in July.

This photo shows the dense invasive water chestnut that was choking Selden Cove prior to its removal.

Water chestnut (trapa natans) is an invasive freshwater plant native to Europe, Asia and North Africa that can cover shallow coves and slow moving rivers with a thick carpet of multi-leafed waxy medallion-like rosettes that kill native plants and deplete the oxygen in the water, driving out marine life and making swimming, fishing, and boating impossible.

A volunteer gathers invasive water chestnut in her canoe.

Because it is an annual plant and some seed pods have already dropped off the plants in Selden Cove this year before being removed, water chestnut is likely to reappear in the Cove next year and continue in future years, requiring annual removal to protect the native ecosystems of Selden Cove and nearby Selden Creek from being obliterated by the highly aggressive invasive.
Friends of Whalebone Cove is a community conservation group based in Hadlyme formed three years ago to protect and preserve the native ecosystems and wildlife habitat of Hadlyme’s Whalebone Cove and the surrounding area.

Former Lyme-Old Lyme Superintendent Klein, Now Head of NFA, Appointed President of St. Joseph’s in Trumbull

David Klein

OLD LYME — The former Superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools, David Klein, will leave his current position as Head of School at Norwich Free Academy (NFA) at the end of the 2019-20 academic year in order to serve as president of the newly independent St. Joseph High School in Trumbull, Conn., a college preparatory Catholic high school.

Klein sent an email to NFA faculty and staff this past Wednesday afternoon announcing his decision to take on ” a new professional opportunity,” and stressing, “This unique professional opportunity found me in July, and I pursued it because it aligns so perfectly with my deep Catholic faith. I was not seeking a new job, and this position is the only one I have sought since I began my NFA tenure in October 2011.”

In his email, Klein also noted, “There is much to accomplish this year, and I will pursue this work with the passion and focus I have demonstrated each day for the past eight years.”

Klein served as superintendent of Lyme-Old Lyme Schools from 2000-2008 and then moved to the same position at Madison Public Schools  through 2011 when he joined NFA. He and his wife Patricia still reside in Old Lyme.

Christopher Wilson, Board of Directors Chairperson for St. Joseph High School, announced the news of Klein’s appointment to both the internal and external St. Joseph’s community in a letter, which described Klein as having, “extraordinary experience in community engagement, student services, college preparatory education, institutional advancement, financial management, and administration will serve St. Joseph High School well.”

Wilson added that Klein’s, “career exemplifies a commitment to creating a vibrant educational community that encourages initiative, creativity, and well-being. He values a supportive school culture that fosters caring relationships between adults and young people. David is a leader of exceptional integrity, respect and accomplishment.”

In the same letter, Wilson quoted Klein as saying, “I am deeply grateful for this extraordinary opportunity, and for the trust and confidence of St. Joseph High School’s Board of Directors … Patricia and I are honored and excited to join this exceptional community.”

Klein’s last day at NFA will be June 30, 2020 and he will take up his new position at St. Joseph’s the following day.


Billy Boyle is Back! Join Jim Benn’s Latest Book in Best-Selling Series is on Sale Now

LYME — Lyme Public Library hosts local resident and best-selling author James R. Benn on Saturday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m., when Benn will present “When Hell Struck Twelve: The 14th Billy Boyle Mystery.” This is the latest book in Benn’s series of popular Billy Boyle World War II mystery novels, which the New York Times Book Review has called “spirited wartime storytelling.”

Benn will be on hand to sign and sell copies of his book. This event is free and all are welcome.

In the 14th Billy Boyle mystery, US Army detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz travel into the heart of Nazi-occupied Paris on a dangerous mission: ensure a traitor to the French Resistance unwittingly carries out a high-stakes deception campaign.

It is August, 1944, and US Army detective Billy Boyle is assigned to track down a French traitor, code-named Atlantik, who is delivering classified Allied plans to German leaders in occupied Paris. The Resistance is also hot on his trail and out for blood, after Atlantik’s previous betrayals led to the death of many of their members.

But the plans Atlantik carries were leaked on purpose, a ruse devised to obscure the Allied army’s real intentions to bypass Paris in a race to the German border.

Now Billy and Kaz are assigned to the Resistance with orders to not let them capture the traitor: the deception campaign is too important. Playing a delicate game, the chase must be close enough to spur the traitor on and visible enough to ensure the Germans trust Atlantik.

The outcome of the war may well depend on it …

James R. Benn

Critics have given extremely positive reviews of Benn’s latest book.

The Publisher’s Weekly said,“Stellar … The author makes the most of the tense and dramatic backdrop to this high-stakes whodunit. Benn has surpassed himself with this installment,” while BookPage noted, “I’ve read every book in James R. Benn‘s series, reviewed most of them, loved all of them, and this is the best one yet.”

Booklist wrote, “This consistently strong series has jumped to another level, with this volume clearly the hands-down best so far . . . Benn’s portrayal of the gallimaufry of competing Resistance groups, whose bullets, Billy learns, kill you just as dead as the Germans’ more powerful weaponry, adds a fascinating dimension to this exciting story of the sometimes-deadly chaos that accompanied the liberation of Paris.”

If you cannot attend on Saturday but would like to order a signed copy of the book, email Benn at Visit this link to order a copy online.


Gil Boro of Old Lyme’s ‘Knot Theory’ Exhibition on View at Lyman Allyn Through Oct. 27

Sculptor Gil Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

OLD LYME/NEW LONDON — The Lyman Allyn Art Museum in New London will host an opening reception this evening from 5 to 7 p.m. for Gilbert Boro’s exhibition titled, Knot Theory: Sculptural Works by Gilbert Boro. All are welcome.

Boro, who lives and works in Old Lyme, is a sculptor, architect, educator, and international design consultant, whose sculptures focus on the interplay of space, place, and scale. His studio is located at 80-1 Lyme St., where his private residence is also found. Both are set within four and a half acres of beautifully landscaped grounds on which more than a 100 sculptures are on display. The majority of the sculptures are by Boro himself with the remainder being by guest artists. The Sculpture Grounds are open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offer free admission.

‘Flat Bar Knot’ is one of the featured sculptures in ‘Knot Theory’ on view at the Lyman Allyn Museum.

Knot Theory is the latest exhibit in Lyman Allyn’s Near :: New contemporary series. As the name suggests, Knot Theory will highlight Boro’s  knot sculptures, exploring their intricate shapes and figures. The exhibition will be on view in Glassenberg Gallery through Oct. 27.

‘Bowline Knot’ by Gilbert Boro.

Knots have dual associations for Boro: their indispensable applications in sailing, which he learned as a teenager living on Long Island Sound and their symbolism of unity, which is seen in the synergy created from weaving different strands to form a strong bond. Boro’s knots simultaneously expose the inherent power and strength of their construction with the smoothness and elegance of their grace.

A sailboat cannot navigate challenging weather without a crew working in unison to ensure the knots and lines are correctly placed. It is this dual bond between strength and grace that creates a universal harmony — as in art and in life. Unlike the tautness of a sailor’s knot, the voids floating between Boro’s strands recognize that we still need space to expand and thrive while exploring our common bonds through sculpture.

The Lyman Allyn Art Museum is located at 625 Williams Street, New London, CT 06320.


Jeanne Delaura is Lyme-Old Lyme Schools ‘Employee of the Year’

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Employee of the Year Jeanne Delaura stands with LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser after her award was announced.

LYME-OLD LYME — Noting that he, “Couldn’t think of anyone more deserving for this recognition,” Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser announced at the Convocation gathering of all administrators, faculty and staff held Aug. 26, that his Administrative Assistant Jeanne Delaura had been selected as the LOL Schools Employee of the Year.

He described Delaura’s long and stellar career with Regional District 18 mentioning that she started work for the district back in 1991, thanks to information received from her brother-in-law, former LOL Schools Athletic Director Rob Roach, who had told Delaura about the job opening. Neviaser further noted that thanks to her longevity with LOL Schools, Delaura possesses a unrivaled wealth of knowledge about the district.

Despite this vast wisdom, he said she never stops learning new skills, having taken on matters including the development and management of the acclaimed website, handling numerous complex legal issues, managing the AESOP software (which tracks teacher absences), and controlling the administration of all legal and personnel contracts.

Neviaser commented that one of Delaura’s well-known sayings in Central Office is, “You don’t have to be smart, you just have to be organized,” but said, although he agrees unequivocally that Delaura is exceptionally organized, “She just happens to be very smart too.” He also noted that Delaura has a sixth sense when it comes to people — she knows almost immediately who will stay the course and who will fall by the wayside. 

Adding that she is an, “Amazing mother to two lovely young ladies,” Neviaser commented on Delaura’s unflappable and pleasant personality, remarking that she is, “always smiling, even when dealing with people who are clearly not feeling like smiling.”

A slightly nervous and very humble Delaura accepted the award with a short but powerful speech. She explained that 28 years ago, “a very, very kind man,” then LOL Schools Superintendent Julius “(Jules) d’Agostino took a chance on me knowing full well that I did not have any experience of working for a school district.” Despite that surprising start, Delaura said firmly, “Accepting that offer was one of the best decisions I have made.”

Delaura continued, “I love my job here — it is because of the wonderful people that surround me here. Lyme-Old Lyme is a very special place where kindness and generosity are commonplace. The bar is set very high and I feel so lucky to be a part of it.”

Delaura then turned to her current boss and said, “I would be remiss for not recognizing my now fifth superintendent. Ian, I’m so proud to be a part of your Central Office team. You are the “Super” of my superintendents!” (After d’Agostino, Delaura’s superintendents were, in order, Jefferson Prestridge, David Klein, Elizabeth Osga and then Neviaser — she also worked under Dr. John Whritner when he was interim superintendent on two separate occasions.)

Still addressing Neviaser, she added to roars of laughter, “Also, I thank you for getting the heck out of my way every day and letting me do my job,” but then added in a serious tone, “I will always have your back.”

Delaura was extremely appreciative of her award thanking the audience, “for recognizing me today so warmly,” and expressing her hope that “… this school year is a wonderful one for all of you.”



Old Lyme Closes on Land Purchase From McCulloch Family: 300 Acres Designated as Open Space, Six Acres as Affordable Housing

Gathered at the start of a recent hike are, from left to right, Old Lyme Land Trust Chairman Mike Kiernan, Old Lyme Open Space Commission Co-Chairman Amanda Blair and Land Steward Peter Norris. Blair, Open Space Commission Co-Chair William Dunbar (not in photo) and the members of the Commission were thanked by First Selectwoman Reemsnyder for their “hard work” related to the McCulloch land acquisition.

OLD LYME — (Press release from the Town of Old Lyme) The Town of Old Lyme has closed on the purchase of approximately 300 acres from David McCulloch/the Jean A. McCulloch Farm LLC effective Tuesday, Sept. 3.

The sale involved two parts – the purchase of land that is an addition to Town Open Space and the set-aside of two smaller areas to be reserved for potential affordable housing lots.

The Town paid $500,000 for the new open space, and $50,000 each for two three-acre areas off Flat Rock Hill Rd., adjacent to affordable housing lots previously given to the town by David McCulloch. If the two smaller areas are not developed as affordable housing within five years, they will revert to open space and be added to the new Open Space parcel.

The property was first assembled by Rook and Warren McCulloch in 1929, and their heirs had overlapping interests. The Vasiloff family re-configured their renowned Morgan horse farm, and moved and re-installed equine fencing before the closing. The Town’s Open Space Commission worked closely with The Nature Conservancy, which holds a conservation easement on the property, to ensure the sale specifics met their approval.

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder commented, “We commend the McCulloch family for their foresight in protecting the land and for their decades of loving stewardship. This new open space will be a treasure for town residents.”

She commended members of the Open Space Commission for “their hard work on the acquisition of this beautiful property with its special ecological importance as part of the upper watershed of the Black Hall River and linkage to our tidal marshes.”

The Open Space Commission will now partner with the Old Lyme Land Trust to map, develop and mark three trails within the McCulloch Family Open Space, with a new “Tree in the Gap” trail likely to be accessible first from Whippoorwill Road. Volunteers are welcome to join in this final step to make the property safely accessible. Help will be needed to remove old fencing and invasive plants, and to install map kiosks, gates and signage. Persons interested in lending a hand should contact the Open Space Commission via email at

Upon completion of this work, a ceremony/trail inauguration will be scheduled to officially open the property to the public.


Mercy Alger is Lyme-Old Lyme Schools ‘Teacher of the Year’

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Teacher of the Year Mercy Alger stands with Superintendent Ian Neviaser(left) and Lyme School Principal Jim Cavalieri after her award was announced.

LYME-OLD LYME — Keeping with tradition, the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools ‘Teacher of the Year’ was announced at Convocation on Aug. 27, the day before students were welcomed back to school for the start of the 2019-20 academic year.

Lyme Consolidated Principal Jim Cavalieri named fourth grade teacher Mercy Alger as the recipient of the award reminding the audience of administrators, faculty and staff that it is given to “acknowledge excellence in teaching in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.” Noting that, “As a high achieving district, we have many qualified professionals that meet the criteria for this honor,” Cavalieri went on to point out that nevertheless, “This year’s recipient truly rises above our district’s standard of excellence,” adding that she is, “… on the cutting edge with her instruction.”

Alger joined Lyme-Old Lyme Schools in 2007 and has been spent the last eight years teaching fourth grade in Lyme School. In terms of her classroom abilities, Cavalieri mentioned the sign outside Alger’s door, which reads,”Amazing things happen here.”  He stressed, however, that doesn’t tell the whole story, saying, “Truth be told, that message can’t begin to describe the extraordinary experience that happens in her room,” explaining that Alger has created a “non-traditional classroom space” where “a true community of learners” flourishes.

Cavalieri mentioned that coincidentally Alger’s maiden name was Teachworth, but notes that such a name didn’t necessarily foretell she would be an exceptional teacher. Declaring that Alger was, in fact, “born to teach, with or without her birth name,” he described her as “a creative, energetic, and compassionate teacher, who makes a tremendous, positive impact on all of her students.”

Listing numerous activities that Alger has either initiated or continued, including running the “Look for the Good” project, promoting an after-school writing club, co-directing the fifth grade musical, and serving as adviser to Student Leaders, Cavalieri observed that, “what she does beyond the classroom is as important as what she does within the classroom.”

Describing her as a team player, who supports her fellow faculty members in as many ways as possible, Cavalieri added that she does all this “with such great passion.” Cavalieri summed up Alger as someone who allows each and every student — regardless of ability — to reach their potential, and quoting from a parent concluded, “[Alger] sparks something in everyone: finding their passion, listening for their voice, showing them their strengths, and motivating them to act.”

In her acceptance speech, Alger, who attended Lyme-Old Lyme Schools herself, initially looked back on her own school days saying, “I was raised on this stage, within these walls, on this campus,” and prompted laughter when she added, “I was taught by some of you in these very seats.” With a brief burst of music to accompany her, she then gave her own rendition of the opening lines of John Mellencamp’s famous number, “I was born in a small town, and I live in a small town …”

Throughout her speech, Alger used the theme of small towns and the importance of their communities, recalling, ” I was raised here, on the shoulders of giants and … when I looked back at why all of these giants made such an impact on me, it became so clear; they knew the secret of how to have the best school year yet all along.”  This secret she explained was that, “They all told us stories,” adding, “The act of telling a story does more than just tell a story. It builds trust. Community. … Realness.”

Citing examples of memorable and often amusing moments with several of the teachers present in the auditorium from when she was a Lyme-Old Lyme student, Alger urged her colleagues to “remember the power of sharing our stories,”saying, “As the craziness of assessment schedules hits your desk … I hope you remind yourself daily of the person you are outside of your classroom walls and how much power and value that has within your daily interactions with your students. I hope you soak in weekends, inspiring books, hours spent around a table … so that you may come back on any given Monday with yet another story to tell.”

She concluded by stressing that in the moments when teachers share their own personal stories with students, they will be teaching, “… community, vulnerability, and trust … and in those moments I know we will all rise as giants in this small town and have the best year yet.”