October 19, 2021

Region 18 BOE ‘Meet the Candidates’ Event Will Be Held In-Person Tomorrow, Also Live-Streamed and Recorded

Photo by Robinson Recalde on Unsplash.

LYME-OLD LYME — Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce are hosting an in-person, Meet the Candidates for Board of Education event on Wednesday, Oct. 20, starting at 7 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.

LymeLine.com is proud to sponsor the event and all are welcome.

The eight candidates running for the Old Lyme open seats on the Region 18 Board of Education (BOE) will give prepared statements and answer questions posed by the Event Moderator, Attorney John A. Collins III of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law.

Three Old Lyme incumbents on the current Region 18 BOE — Chair Diane Linderman, Treasurer Jean Wilczynski and Rick Goulding — have chosen not to seek re-election. Old Lyme incumbent Martha Shoemaker is seeking reelection.

Lyme incumbent Stacey Leonardo (D) is also not seeking re-election.

The eight candidates running for the four, four-year-term Old Lyme seats are:

  • Marisa Calvi-Rogers, (D)
  • Mona Colwell, (U) Endorsed by Old Lyme Republicans
  • Laura Dean-Frazier, (U) Endorsed by Old Lyme Republicans
  • Jason Kemp, (D)
  • Alexander Lowry, (D)
  • Michael Presti, (R)
  • Martha Shoemaker, (D), incumbent
  • Christopher Staab, (R)

Anna James (D), who is unable to attend the event, is running uncontested for the open Lyme seat.

Many thanks to all the readers, who submitted questions for possible use at the event. A significant number was received – far more than can be asked within the event’s timeline. The event planning committee will be solely responsible for selecting the questions asked at the event.  There will be no questions taken from the floor.

The program will be livestreamed on the Region 18 BOE YouTube channel at this link. It will also be recorded and posted at the same link for future viewing. Note: this is a new link from that previously announced.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

For further information, contact Mary Seidner at mseidner@lysb.org or 869-434-7208.

Caryn B. Davis of Lyme Shares ‘A Photographer’s Vision,’ Tonight to Offer Inspiration for ‘Imagining Lyme’ Photo Program

Caryn B. Davis

LYME — Join award-winning photographer Caryn B. Davis for a presentation of her landscapes from the natural world and to celebrate the Lyme Land Trust’s photography program, Imagining Lyme. Davis’s presentation will take place Tuesday, Oct. 19, at 7 p.m. in the Lyme Public Library Community Room.

Davis will show images of gardens and also some from her recent trips to Antarctica and Yellowstone National Park.

She will explain how the natural world influences her creative process with particular attention to composition, learning the rules and then breaking them, the artistry of abstract images verses realistic, and how using different focal lengths within the same scene can yield different compositional results.

To register for the program, email education@lymelandtrust.org

Davis is a Lyme resident, who has specialized in architecture, interiors, garden and travel photography for over 20 years. Her career has spanned the globe taking her to over 50 countries. She is also a prolific writer with articles that have been featured in the New York Times, Town & Country, Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, Fine Art Connoisseur, New Zealand Geographic, and others.

Davis has produced two commissioned photography books, A Connecticut Christmas: Celebrating the Holiday in Classic New England Style, and the newly-published Connecticut Waters: Celebrating Our Coastline and Waterways. She is currently working on her third book due out in 2023.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read a review of ‘ Connecticut Waters: Celebrating Our Coastline and Waterways’ by LymeLine.com publisher Olwen Logan.

Red Ribbon Week Encourages Everyone to Take Stand Against Drug Misuse, Starts Saturday,

LYME/OLD LYME — Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition (LOLPC) are planning a number of activities to celebrate Red Ribbon Week, which is set for Oct. 23 through Oct. 31.

The week is aimed at uniting youth, parents, schools, and communities in order to take a stand against drug misuse. As part of this year’s observance — which will be themed “Drug Free Looks Like Me” — the Upstanders Club at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) is hosting a Door-Decorating Contest and other Red Ribbon events, and LYSB will be aglow in red lights for the week.

Also, a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day event is planned for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 23, at the Old Lyme Fire House. This drive-through collection event, which is held in partnership with local law enforcement, will give residents an opportunity to safely dispose of expired, unused and unwanted medications.

On Thursday Oct. 28, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the LOLPC is sponsoring a virtual workshop titled, The Dangerous Truth About Today’s Marijuana: Johnny Stack’s Life and Death Story.

Laura Stack, best-selling author and public speaker, will share the story of her son Johnny’s marijuana addiction from a mother’s point of few, a poignant chronicle of shocking descent from innocence to eventual suicide. This important event is free and registration to obtain the Zoom link for the presentation is available at this link or at www.lysb.org.

These events are supported by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award funded by ONDCP.

Editor’s Note: For more information about Red Ribbon Week or the Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition, contact Alli Behnke, MSW, MA at abehnke@lysb.org.

High Hopes’ Holiday Market Returns In-Person to Old Lyme, Nov. 14; Tickets for Horse Chip Raffle On Sale Now


OLD LYME —
After a hiatus last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the popular High Hopes Holiday Market will be be held once again this year from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 14.

The indoor arena at High Hopes on Town Woods Rd. will be transformed into a vibrant, experiential holiday marketplace. Readers are invited to connect and celebrate in this specialized shopping setting with a group of diversified local artisans, craftsmen, and designers, while also raising awareness for High Hopes’ equine assisted therapies.

The High Hopes Holiday Market on Nov. 14 offers a great venue for early holiday shopping.

Items on sale will include scarves and wraps from local spinners, handcrafted soaps and skincare, pet accessories, floral design, upcycled finds, wellness teas and tonics, unique handmade jewelry and delectable sweet treats.

A selection of food trucks around will also be on-site.

For more information about the event and how to apply to be a vendor or have a food truck on-site, visit this link.

High Hopes is also hosting its annual Raffle for a Cause again, but this year the organizers have changed it quite significantly.

You can win the first prize of $5,000 cash (after withholding) based on where the horse … well, you know! On Nov. 14, at the Holiday Market, a member of the High Hopes herd will “choose” the lucky winners.

The second prize (which has no cash equivalent) is an NYC Overnight at the Penn Club, Broadway Tickets and Dinner at the Capital Grill for two.

Only 600 tickets (squares) will be sold at $50.00 per ticket.

Visit this link for more information and to purchase your raffle ticket.

Desperately Seeking Drivers: National Shortage of School Bus Drivers Impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

The sign says it all.

LYME/OLD LYME — Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser sent out an email Sept. 22, to the school community in which he stated, “There is a national shortage of bus drivers.”

He went on to urge, “… individuals who would like to drive for our [the company which runs the school buses for LOL Schools] bus company, M&J Bus, Inc.,” to consider applying for a position.

Neviaser linked his email to a statement from M&J Bus Inc., which reads as follows:

The Covid 19 pandemic has ravaged the school transportation industry. There is a nationwide shortage of school bus drivers and Connecticut has been hit especially hard. We are seeking potential drivers to become licensed to transport school children. We are also seeking licensed drivers, who would like to earn up to $5000 in signing bonuses.

Many of our current employees, started out driving school buses because they were parents of pre-school or school-aged children and it was a way for them to supplement their family’s income and still be with their young children.

We also have many semi-retired persons that were originally looking for part-time work to stay busy, and college students earning money to get through school. Some of those parents are still with us after 20, 30,and 40 years or more.

Sadly, many of the semi-retired are becoming the fully retired.

We are hoping you see yourself in the descriptions of our drivers above. We offer a full comprehensive training program for those who are not yet licensed. Parents can bring their pre-school aged children (and school-aged children) on the bus with them (thereby saving on day care).

If you would like to drive for the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, please call our main office in Old Saybrook CT, toll-free at
1-877-GO-MJBUS (1-877-466-5287) or, if local to Old Saybrook, at 860-388-6782.

Editor’s Note: For more information about M&J Bus, Inc., visit their website.

Letter to the Editor: Multiple Reasons to Support Halls Rd. Master Plan, Improvement Committee Commended for its ‘Thoroughness’, ‘Clarity’

To the Editor:

We are writing to express our interest and support for bringing the Halls Road Master Plan to fruition. We reviewed the Plan and had attended one of the recent information sessions.

We want to acknowledge the thoroughness of the analysis completed by the Halls Road Improvement Committee [HRIC]; and the clarity of both the recommendations and the thoughtful vision for the future.

The Plan seeks to develop Halls Road into a district that would “resemble the small-town, mixed-use neighborhood that Lyme Street was before 1960”.

We applaud the HRIC in prioritizing improvements to roadways and sidewalks required for the safety of walkers and bikers.  The team’s vision is to create pedestrian and bicycle connections amongst Old Lyme’s town center, the “Arts District”, and the proposed “Halls Road “Village District”.

We are walkers, and crossing Halls Road towards the Lyme Art Association can be very perilous. Creating this “safe and attractive pedestrian and cyclist route” will be a daunting challenge. Halls’ position between and amongst four exits and entrances to Interstate 95 North and South will require creative traffic management. Certainly, speed and traffic jams on Rt 156 and Boston Post are good barometers for issues on the interstate.

That said, we are also excited about the reconstruction of the Bow Bridge and access to some new green space along the Lieutenant River. That could provide an historic connection to, or at least a reminder of, the American Impressionists residing and working at Miss Florence’s boarding house.

In closing, we want to congratulate the team’s proposal for the creation of Design Guidelines that will help ensure that new development along Halls Road is required to go beyond the “nuts and bolts” of zoning regulations to assuring the “look and feel” is compatible with Old Lyme’s “small town feel”.

We are very glad that the team recognized that the residential aspects of the “Village District” will not only provide options for those moving into the community, but also enable older residents’ attractive opportunities to remain in Old Lyme.

It’s time to put a Halls Road, whose primary goal is to serve as an interstate service area pit stop, in our rear-view mirrors.

Sincerely,

Christina J. Gotowka and Thomas D. Gotowka,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: This is a shortened version of a letter submitted by the authors to the HRIC in support of its Master Plan.

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Welcomes New, Current Members at Meeting Tonight

LYME/OLD LYME The Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC), which has a pending name change to Valley Shore Women’s Club, has been meeting to schedule both fundraising and community service activities.

This Thursday, Sept. 23, the club is holding a General Meeting at High Nine Brewing in Deep River. All members and potential members are welcome.

Founded as a 501(c)3 in 1965, the LOLJWC is open to all women over the age of 18 in Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester and Ivoryton.

The primary mission of the club is to offer community service to each town as well as fundraise to provide scholarships for high school students. The club is always seeking additional ways to make a positive difference in its respective communities. 

Seeking Members

The club is seeking new members. Participation can be flexible based upon individual availability. General members meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month. For more information on how to join, visit the LOLJWC website.

Upcoming events – “in the works”

LOLJWC is planning a number of events which are listed below. For up-to-date information, follow LOLJWC on Facebook at this link.

September:

  • 23, at 7 p.m. General Meeting, 
  • 26, at 1 p.m. Road Side Trash Pick-up meet at Quality Inn, Old Saybrook

October:

  • 21, at 7 p.m. General Meeting
  • 30 or 31– Community Pumpkin carving – to be determined
  • Enter a Scarecrow in Essex Annual Scarecrow Contest

November:

  • 14, – Participant at High Hopes Craft Fair Old Lyme
  • 18 at 7 p.m. General meeting create holiday cards for the elderly  
  • 26, – Green Friday, planting bulbs at Cross Lane Playground

Melissa Fournier Named Director at Lyme Public Library

The new director of Lyme Library is Melissa Fournier.

LYME — The board of the Lyme Public Library has announced that Melissa Fournier has been named as its new Library Director.

According to a press release issued by the library, Fournier, who will take up her new position in early October, will lead the way in helping the library accomplish its goals of providing innovative programming, services, and collection development.

Fournier sees the Library Director’s role as impacting the entire community, commenting, “My goals would include expanding the reach of the library.”

She is no stranger to libraries, as she has managed several in the public, private, and corporate sectors for more than two decades. With extensive expertise in library restoration and renovation, Fourier enjoys creatively evolving library spaces to improve service to their patrons.

She holds a BFA in design from Pratt Institute in communications design and a MLS from Simmons College in library and archives management. She loves creating library programs that serve patrons from infants to seniors and has won a nationally-recognized award for such work.

Fournier explains, “I feel I can bring my skills to the Lyme Public Library to expand programming for children by working closely with the local elementary school by focusing the library’s programs to work hand-in-hand with helping children to build their understanding of the core curriculum skills they are learning at school.”

She also sees opportunities to create fun and informative programs for older children and adults.

Born and raised in Connecticut, Fournier both understands and loves the Lyme area. A devoted mother to
two adult children, she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, and lively conversations.

“Melissa has a lot to offer our library,” says Jack Sulger, chair of the Lyme Public Library Board of Directors, adding, “I’m certain she will do great things. We look forward to seeing the positive changes she has in store for us.”

The board encourages residents to come to the library and meet Fournier starting in early October.

The library is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 am to 8 pm, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 am to 5 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm The library is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

For more information, visit the Lyme Public Library website or call 860-434-2272.

Halls Road Improvement Committee Seeks Letters of Support for Project to Use in Village District Rezoning Application

The view looking up Halls Road today. The HRIC Master Plan Report offers a vision for its future.

OLD LYME — The Halls Road Improvement Committee (HRIC) is asking local residents and interested parties, who support the Halls Road Master Plan Report compiled by the BSC Group, to indicate their support by submitting a letter to Town Hall.

Edie Twining, HRIC Chair, explains that the committee is hoping that a substantial show of support will be generated in this way. She says, “This will then be used for both the HRIC rezoning application to create a Halls Road Village District as well as in upcoming HRIC grant applications.”

A sample letter is printed below, which can be printed, signed, and mailed to Town Hall at the address shown. Supporters are naturally welcome to compose their own letters and mail them to the same address.

Twining notes, “The HRIC has also met with many local organizations and businesses to walk through the Master Plan findings and answer questions one-on-one. Committee members have enjoyed great support from everyone they have met with.”

She adds, “The committee is ready and willing to continue this presentation process for any groups looking for more information.”

Editor’s Note: Here is the sample letter:

Support for Halls Road Master Plan

Halls Road is our town’s main retail/commercial center. Going forward, it should be developed with the aim of making it look, feel, and function as a pedestrian-friendly town center. It should have safe and attractive pedestrian and bicycle connections with the historic town center and ‘Arts District’ on Lyme Street. Halls Road in the future should more nearly resemble the small-town, mixed-use neighborhood that Lyme Street was before 1960.

The limited build-able land along Halls Road should be developed in such a way as to serve the particular needs of Old Lyme. Under the current commercial-only zoning, Halls Road’s location along I-95 means new investment is almost entirely limited to either chain stores (viewing Old Lyme as no more than Exit 70), or truck stops serving highway traffic. This is not what we want for Old Lyme’s future.

The current housing stock in Old Lyme is overwhelmingly (over 92%) of one kind: a single-family home on its own lot. Halls Road is an appropriate location in which to add other, smaller-scale types of market-rate housing, such as an apartment above a shop, or a condominium in a town house. These options are particularly attractive to the younger and older cohorts of current (or prospective) Old Lyme residents.

Allowing this kind of mixed-use development along Halls Road has other important advantages for the town. First: a living neighborhood with foot traffic is far better for retail trade, and helps retail businesses resist the growing competition of online commerce. A mixed-use neighborhood along Halls Road improves the chances that Old Lyme will continue to have the convenience of in-person retail shops in 2050. Second, because these housing types are currently scarce in Old Lyme, pent-up demand makes such developments highly attractive to investors. We believe developers would be willing to build some new retail and office space if it were a part of a larger mixed-use (residential and commercial) area. New investment along Halls Road will also increase the town’s tax base and revenues.

The Halls Road Master Plan Report, prepared by BSC, is a road map to these changes.

It proposes the Town design and build (with aid from available grants) a safe and attractive pedestrian and cyclist route from Lyme Street to the heart of the Halls Road district, and to make other significant improvements for the safety of walkers and bikers in the area along Halls Road.

It also proposes the creation of a Halls Road Village District that would allow mixed use to achieve the goals mentioned above. It would also allow the town to establish Design Guidelines to help ensure the “look and feel” of new development along Halls Road is more in keeping with that of historic Lyme Street.

I/We support the Town’s initiative in creating the Master Plan, and look forward to a Halls Road that will become a new, mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly Town Center for Old Lyme in the Mid-21st Century.

Name____________________________________________________________________

Signed_________________________________________________      Date_____________
Organization_______________________________________________________________
 
Please return by mail to: HRIC chair Edie Twining c/o Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St. Old Lyme CT 06371

Dadonna Wins Old Lyme Country Club WGA’s 9-Hole Championship, Kurlansky of Lyme is Runner-Up

Old Lyme WGA’s 18- Hole Champion (right) stands with the trophy and her caddy Carol Gordon.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Country Club Women’s Golf Association (WGA) held its 18- and 9-hole Club Championship play-offs, Aug. 26

The 18-hole finalists were Hollis Barry of Essex and Kacey Constable of Old Saybrook. 

The 9-hole finalists were Carolyn Daddona of Westbrook and Patty Kurlansky of Lyme. 

Old Lyme WGA’s 9- Hole Champion Carolyn Daddona (right) stands with her trophy and caddy Cathy Burnett.

Following tradition, the WGA members followed the players around the course in a caravan of golf carts.  Despite the 90+ degree heat, the women all played exceptionally well. 

The 18-hole Club Champion was Kacey Constable and the 9-hole Club Champion was Carolyn Daddona. 

A champagne toast to the victors was held on the Clubhouse deck at the end of the tournament.

Remembering Sept. 11, 2001 …

Photo by Ellen Cole.

OLD LYME — UPDATED 9/13 with additional photos. The Old Lyme Fire Department commemorated the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the United States of America that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, by flying the Stars and Stripes prominently on a fire truck parked in front of  their building on Lyme Street.

Photo by Ellen Cole.

Meanwhile, down at the Old Lyme Police Department building on Shore Rd., the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen held a ceremony at 9 a.m. recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Photo by Old Lyme Fire Department/Town of Old Lyme.

 

Photo by Old Lyme Fire Department/the Town of Old Lyme.

 

Photo by Old Lyme Fire Department/the Town of Old Lyme.

 

Photo by Ellen Cole.

Thank you to the OLFD for this poignant and so important reminder of such a tragic day and thank you to the OLPD for hosting the commemorative ceremony.

Many thanks also to Ellen Cole for sending us the OLFD photos and also to the Old Lyme Fire Department/Town of Old Lyme for those taken at the ceremony at the OLPD.

Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition Needs Community Input, Asks Readers to Take Online Survey

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition (LOLPC) is a group of volunteers, who collaborate with all sectors of the community to prevent substance misuse and abuse. Working together over the past 16 years, they have achieved significant reductions in adolescent substance misuse. 

Their work continues to change as the culture, climate, and concerns facing Lyme/Old Lyme youth and families shift. The Coalition is thrilled to work with the community to enhance the safety, well-being, and happiness of all our youth.

The key part of the Coalition is our community and its members. The group is made up of volunteers from all sectors of the community with the result that many voices, experiences, and expertise can be heard and utilized to support our youth and families. 

In December 2020, the Coalition was awarded a five-year Drug Free Communities Grant. This is the first year of the grant and the Coalition is asking all members of the Lyme-Old Lyme community to fill out this online Community Survey. The survey asks about social norms, perception of harm, and how community members think and feel about substance misuse and abuse.

This data will help lead the work of the LOLPC as the group collaborates with the community to utilize best practices and continue to be pioneers in youth substance abuse and misuse prevention.  All of the Coalition’s efforts are data-driven and rely on the willingness of our community members.

Visit this link to access and complete the online survey.

The LOLPC thanks community members for their time.

Editor’s Note: Contact LOLPC Prevention Coordinator Allison Behnke, MSW, MA, at abehnke@lysb.org with any questions about the survey or for more information about being involved in the work of the Prevention Coalition.   

Lyme Academy Returns to its Roots with New Programs for Serious Art Students; Exhibitions, Classes for Community

The all-new Core Program at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts focuses on foundational artistic skills in drawing, painting and sculpture in the figurative tradition.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has officially reopened with a renewed dedication to the mission first articulated by its Founder, sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler. The Academy was created in 1976 as an institution dedicated to the traditional, skills-based art education first taught in the Renaissance academies of Europe and later at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts.

With this return to its roots, the Academy begins the academic year with the launch of a new Core Program of study for full-time students, which will commence in late September. Led by the husband and wife team of Jordan Sokol and Amaya Gurpide, who serve as Co-Artistic Directors, a dynamic new faculty of internationally-acclaimed instructors will teach students the foundational skills on which they can build a career in the fine arts.

Artistic Director and Director of Painting, Jordan Sokol (left) and newly-appointed Painting-Drawing Instructor, Hollis Dunlap — himself an alumnus of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts — working in the Southwick-Keller Studio at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year is now open and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.

The Academy’s Core Program is comprehensive and intense: classes are conducted five days a week, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. with weekly supplementary instruction in anatomy, sculpture, and the history of art. Landscape, still life and portraiture are included in the program, as are dedicated explorations of the properties of light and form.

Students work in custom north-lit studios, honing their technical skills through the direct observation of imported European plaster casts and live models. Intimate class sizes allow for in-studio demonstrations and individualized critiques, as well as guided museum and gallery visits. Faculty and guest lectures are regularly scheduled, many of which are open to the public.

The Core Program will run on a trimester schedule with the first (Fall) trimester beginning on Sept. 27, of this year. The cost per trimester is $3650, with scholarship opportunities available.

“We’re looking for students who want to apply themselves and work hard to grow and develop” said Sokol, himself an accomplished painter, continuing, “You’ve got to be willing to put in the thousands of hours required if you are serious about developing your talent. There are no short-cuts.”

It is anticipated that most students will study for three years, although some will pursue a shorter course of study and others longer, depending on their individual objectives and the progress they make developing their skills.

“As in the original vision for Lyme Academy, the institution will no longer confer Bachelor’s degrees. In the place of seat-time requirements for credit accumulation, students will instead focus on skill-building with an eye towards mastery, fully preparing our students for the 21st century art world,” the Academy’s Executive Director, Mora Rowe, said.

She added, “In addition to our Core Program, we are planning a full spectrum of public programming, which will include gallery openings, exhibitions, part-time classes, workshops, lectures, cultural events, and more. Our partnership with the community along with the accessibility and openness of our campus are of the highest priority.”

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts features 40,000 sq. ft. of studio and teaching space on the sprawling four-acre campus located in the heart of Old Lyme.

Two additional educational programs are currently under development. Firstly, the Academy will offer a Continuing Education program focused on students of all ages and abilities to benefit from a skills-based curriculum, with a choice of year-round study or individual classes. And secondly, a Portfolio Preparation program is also under development, which will be designed to provide a solid, skills-based visual education to develop one’s portfolio and abilities under the leadership of professional artists.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Art will host quarterly Gallery Openings beginning with the first exhibition, Memento Vivere, on Oct. 16. This invitational group exhibition will be curated by Sokol and Gurpide, and will also have the additional role of being an Inaugural Fundraiser for the Academy. The Memento Vivere exhibition, located in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery, will be open to the public from Oct. 17 through Dec. 10.

Lyme Academy is located midway between Boston and New York at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn. The town has been a site of artistic congregation for over a century after evolving as the heart of the Lyme Art Colony, which led to it becoming the Home of American Impressionism.

Visit this link for more information about Lyme Academy of Fine Arts or call 860.434.5232.

Ledge Light Offers Free COVID-19 Vaccines with $20 Gift Card at Pop-Up Clinics; Next Date is Sept. 17

Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) is partnering with Community Health Center, Inc. (CHC) and Griffin Hospital to hold pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics throughout the summer.

The Towns of Lyme and Old Lyme are both members of LLHD.

No appointment, insurance, or ID is needed.

Get vaccinated and get a free $20 gift card as a thank you for doing your part to protect yourself and your community.

The list of currently scheduled clinics is available on the LLHD website; additional clinics will be added. Community members are encouraged to check the website and social media, and to look for the vaccination teams in their neighborhood.

Currently scheduled clinics include:

  • Fri, September 17
    3-7pm, Pride Point Apartments, 80 Ledge Road, New London (Pfizer 12+, Moderna or J&J 18+)
  • Sat, September 18
    10am-1pm, Waterford Farmers Market, 15 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford (Pfizer 12+, Moderna or J&J 18+)
  • Sun, September 19
    12-4pm, Bates Woods Park, 80 Chester St, New London (Pfizer 12+, Moderna or J&J 18+)
  • Tue, September 21
    4-6pm, Central Park, 36 Central Ave, Groton (Moderna or J&J, 18+)
  • Fri, September 24
    3:30-5:30pm, Jennings School, 50 Mercer Street, New London (Pfizer 12+, Moderna or J&J 18+)
  • Sun, September 26
    5-7pm, Eat in the Streets, Bank Street, New London (Moderna or J&J, 18+) Rock the Shot – Earth, Wind & Fire Concert Ticket Drawing!

Visit www.llhd.org or follow LLHD on social media for additional clinic announcements.

Lymes’ Senior Center Renovation/Expansion Project Moves Forward, Preferred Option Selected for Further Evaluation

The exterior of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme. A feasibility study is currently underway regarding the renovation and possible expansion of the Center. 

OLD LYME — The Lymes’ Senior Center (LSC) Board of Directors (BOD) held a special public meeting Aug. 4, to conduct the second stakeholder workshop for the architectural feasibility study for the renovation and possible expansion of the Lymes’ Senior Center. 

We sat down recently with Jeri Baker, Chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center BOD, to understand where the project currently stands and its future direction.

She talked initially about the selection of Point One Architects of Old Lyme to carry out the feasibility study, saying, “So far in the process, our involvement with this architectural firm has been exceptional. 

Baker continued, “The mission of this center as a municipal agency is to provide services that promote a healthy lifestyle and to focus on the physical, social, emotional and creative needs of our members,” explaining, “When you have one of the largest demographic of these two communities served well, the rest of community benefits from that.”

She then said emphatically, “Point One Architects gets that [about the Senior Center and the community it serves] … they get us.”

Baker added that this positive situation, “Reaffirms the unanimous decision of the building committee [to choose Point One Architects], which was based on [the committee’s criteria of] the selected firm being highly accessible and innovative in their design approach. We interviewed other firms that had great credentials — Point One just stood out for their design credentials … being local was a plus.”

Point One Architects of Old Lyme presented three options of a renovated and expanded Senior Center at the last Special Public Meeting, held Aug. 4.

Commenting that the workshop had offered three visual options of possible future renovated space of the center. Baker noted, “It has always been important that any plan reflects both the right scale and proportions of space and also maintains the character of our towns. We have stressed that our Center must feel like home, not an institution.”

The diagrams presented were based on the vision and input of the results of the first workshop in July and reflected the three key priorities of

  • additional, but flexible space
  • accessibility
  • reconfiguration of existing space.

In order to further engage the participants, there was a lengthy period to discuss each option and then address questions and concerns.

At the conclusion, participants voted for the diagram they felt met their vision, needs and possible reasonable costs. The preferred design was overwhelmingly Option 3, which was discussed in more detail at the August public meeting of the Lymes’ Senior Center Building Committee. Any future plans developed by the firm will reflect the input of the two workshops, meetings with the Center Director and the building committee and any constituents, who have reached out to the committee.

Noting that the Center not only, “Serves two communities [Lyme and Old Lyme],” but also, “One of the largest demographics in the community,” Baker stressed, “We’re here for the whole community.” She emphasized, “We must destroy the stereotype that it [the Senior Center] is only a place to play cards,” concluding passionately, “We’re so much more.”

Editor’s Note: Reflecting a broad range of interests and responsibilities across both Lyme and Old Lyme, workshop participants included:

  • Jeri Baker – chair of the LSC BOD and Building Committee
  • Don Abraham – treasurer of the BOD and building committee member
  • Kathy Lockwood – vice chair of the BOD
  • Doris Hungerford – Lyme BOD member
  • Jane Folland – OL BOD member and active volunteer
  • Jackie Roberts – OL BOD member and active volunteer
  • Diana Seckla – Lyme BOD member and member of Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center
  • David Griswold- OL BOD member and Commander of the VFW post housed at the center
  • Jeremy Crisp –  newest Lyme BOD member
  • Susan Campbell _ OL BOD member and past chair
  • Paula Emery – Recording secretary for the BOD
  • Joan Bonvicin – OL LSC member and active volunteer
  • Denise Piersa – Old Lyme Town Nurse/VNA, whose office is in the Center

Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould and LSC member Doris Johnson were unable to attend the Aug. 4 meeting, but are usually in attendance. Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal attended the July meeting but was unable to attend the August one.

Also:

  • Cheryl Parsons assistant to the Director
  • Bethany Haslam – dance instructor
  • Lynn McCarthy – yoga instructor
  • Jude Read – OL BOF member and liaison to the LSC budget development (absent for this session but updated by  Jeri Baker afterward).
  • Gary Weed – retired board member 
  • Carole Weed – Gary’s wife
  • Carole Diffley – Meals on Wheels coordinator/kitchen manager/Estuary Council employee

LSC Building Committee members and public attendance (Zoom included):

  • Mary Stone
  • Arthur “Skip” Beebe
  • Ken Biega

Organization Confronting Racial Injustice with Public Art Announces Partnership to Install Murals in Four Towns, Including Old Lyme

NEW LONDON, CT —Public Art for Racial Justice Education (PARJE) and CT Murals have today announced a partnership to enable the installation of four murals in each of four towns:- New London, Old Lyme, Norwich, and East Lyme.

This will be part of the Sister Murals Project whereby skilled and unskilled artists from different communities, races, ethnicities, and generations will work together under master Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) artists. The murals they create will bring lesser told stories to life while remembering cherished values in their respective communities.

Since its official launch in March of this year, PARJE has gained support from all around southeastern Connecticut. This includes colleges and museums, municipalities, art galleries, civic organizations, churches, and various businesses throughout the region.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education is a broad-based, interracial, non-partisan, non-sectarian group consisting of volunteers from various communities around the shoreline region. These communities include Old Lyme, Lyme, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Essex, Deep River, Norwich and New  London. Building partnerships with surrounding communities is an additional focus of the group’s stated mission.

CT Murals has been dedicated to creating inclusive public art since 2015. The group utilizes grants as well as community support and donations to create all of its public art. Currently, CT Murals is working to install its 39 MLK Murals across the state, one for every year of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

The Sister Murals will be the second official public art project of PARJE. Their first public art project is a diptych that travels between schools, museums, libraries, and faith communities to teach about the history of the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama.

The diptych, a two-panel painting, was created by artists Nancy Gladwell and Jasmine Oyola. The first host of the diptych was Norwich Free Academy in early July. Since then, it has been to Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Waterford, New London and Hartford.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education has also been working with one of its earliest partners, Sustainable CT, on a series of videos to document their conversations with everyone from students to elected officials regarding the role public art can play in society.

In addition to these videos PARJE has partnered with the Florence Griswold Museum of Old Lyme and the Lyman Allyn Museum of New London to produce lectures discussing race, society, and art. Jason Deeble, project manager for the East Lyme Sister Mural, hopes to keep the spirit of those lectures going and sees public art as the best chance to do it.

When discussing the Sister Murals Project, Deeble commented “Art and learning, and civic responsibility, are all kinds of major fixtures in my life and a mural project like this makes a beautiful little Venn diagram with me right in the center.”

Public Art for Racial Justice Education, along with their financial sponsor, The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, will work with CT Murals to involve the community in a variety of ways.

Public Art for Racial Justice Education believes there is an opportunity to involve the community in all aspects of mural installation. Whether it be discussing the mural themes in person or on a virtual call, or students assisting the artist with installation, there are several ways to involve the community.

More important than the installation of the murals themselves, however, are the plans PARJE has made for the time after these four pieces have been completed. The group is planning to host both presentations and performances at the site of the Sister Murals.

Fulton Park, the site of the New London Sister Mural wall, is configured in such a way that the area directly in front of the wall creates a natural stage. PARJE is committed to using the broad appeal of art and education to facilitate easy opportunities for conversation in the community about the difficult subject of racial injustice.

With three full basketball courts and a skate park, Eddie Long, PARJE Co-chair and member of the New London Arts Council, believes Fulton Park could easily accommodate a large crowd or audience. In discussing the need for neglected spaces to be utilized, Long stated, “We don’t like blank spaces in New London. We like spaces to be filled with people, with art, and ideas.”

CT Murals will have a chance to help install an indoor piece as well with Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School agreeing to become the future home of the Old Lyme Sister Mural. Located beside the school’s auditorium there is potential for educational programs or events that tie into the mural’s theme of “Welcoming All.”

There will be a Call for Artists coming from PARJE in the beginning of September.

For the Sister Murals Project, an official fundraising campaign has begun this month with a page on the crowdfunding site, Patronicity. If you would like to learn more about PARJE, or donate to one of the four Sister Murals, visit racialjusticeart.org

To become involved with PARJE, email racialjusticeart@gmail.com

Follow Public Art for Racial Justice Education on social media at these links:

Editor’s Note: This article is based on a press release from PARJE.

Old Lyme’s Shoreline Community Center Looks to Install Solar Panels Through Innovative Fundraiser

Trinity Solar workers are seen here installing solar panels on a house in Sound View.

Trinity Solar to Donate $100 to Shoreline Community Center’s Planned Solar Installation for Every Homeowner, who has Appointment to Learn More About Solar

OLD LYME — When some of the board members of the Sound View Beach Association, Inc. (SVBA) recently had solar panels installed on their homes, they became aware that there were additional benefits in addition to the ell-documented ones of saving money on their electric bills while also having a positive impact on the environment. 

Gail Fuller, who currently serves as SVBA President, explains, “We discovered a fundraising opportunity that would make possible the installation of solar panels on the roof of the Shoreline Community Center.” The Center is located on Hartford Ave. and sponsored by the SVBA. 

The Center’s bills for electricity in the summer total around $400 a month, which is a financially challenging amount for a small, non-profit organization. To reduce electricity costs year-round, the SVBA Board had determined their best option was to install solar panels on the Center’s roof.

Fuller points out, “This, however, would represent a major expense for the SVBA since the Center is designated a commercial building and therefore not eligible for federal, residential grants.”

The Shoreline Community Center board is hoping to raise sufficient funds to install solar panels on the Center’s roof.


In support of the Shoreline Community Center’s fundraiser, Trinity Solar has offered to donate $100 to the SVBA for every homeowner, who has an appointment in their home with one of their solar experts. If Trinity Solar subsequently installs solar panels on that home — regardless of the town in which the house is sited — the Center will receive $1,000 towards its own solar installation.  
Trinity Solar will provide home- and property-owners with a no-cost solar installation funded by federal grants for residential homes. 
 
There is no commitment for signing up for an appointment. The benefit is learning more about solar from a company that has been in business for many years and is also supporting the community.  
Trinity Solar states on its website, “We believe solar is the most practical form of renewable energy on the planet and seek to make it accessible to as many people as possible.” 
 
Fuller comments enthusiastically, “The SVBA is excited about this fundraiser and the opportunity to install solar [panels] on the Shoreline Community Center.”  
She notes, “If you are considering solar or would just like to learn more about your options, make sure to contact Trinity Solar through our partnership. There are two ways to sign up.  You can click on this link and enter your name, address and contact information or call 800-655-2500 and be sure to mention the Sound View Beach Association.”
Editor’s Note: For more information about Trinity Solar, visit their website.

Lymes’ Senior Center Directors Host Special Meeting; Point One Architects Lead Workshop Related to Feasibility Study

A workshop to support the feasibility study of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme is planned on Wednesday.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors will hold a Special Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 4, at 1 p.m. The public is welcome to join the meeting either in person at the Lymes’ Senior Center or virtually — see  instructions for the latter below.

The main purpose of the meeting is for Point One Architects to lead the second workshop related to the feasibility study for the expansion/renovations of the Center.  Workshop participants will include the board of directors and invited stakeholders.

All Covid-19 protocols will be met including social distancing and the wearing of masks.

The agenda is follows:

  1. Call to order /attendance of board and public
  2. Guests – Point One Architects

III. Minutes of June, 2021 meeting – tabled until next regular meeting

  1. Treasurer’s report – Tabled until next regular meeting
  2. Communications – Thank you note
  3. Committee Reports – none

VII. Old Business – none

VIII. New Business

  • Welcome Point One Architects for the second workshop for the feasibility study.  Participants include the Board of Directors and invited stakeholders to conduct this workshop agenda:
  1. Review Workshop I Results
  2. M.E.P. Findings (Mechanical/Electrical/Plumbing)
  3. Diagrams
  4. Pro’s and Con’s Discussion
  5. Public Comment –

X.  Adjournment – Any additional meetings needed before September 2021 will be called as special meetings.

Instructions for joining the meeting via Zoom:

Visit this link: https://zoom.us/j/93808736678?pwd=Q2tjdUJTK1V6YjB3cVVtUWNmeUN1Zz09
Meeting ID: 938 0873 6678
Passcode: 095877
One tap mobile
+13126266799,,93808736678#,,,,*095877# US (Chicago)
+19292056099,,93808736678#,,,,*095877# US (New York)
To find your local number, visit https://zoom.us/u/acVzDIdz3X

Related Article: Lyme’s Senior Center Reopens Slowly Under Carefully Phased Timeline

 

Guest Column: Pandemic Surprise—Drive-Ins are Making a Comeback

Editor’s Note: We are delighted to welcome back Linda Ahnert as a guest columnist today. A resident of Old Lyme, she is the former Arts Editor at the popular but now-shuttered weekly, print newspaper, the ‘Main Street News.’ She is also a long-time docent at the Florence Griswold Museum and has volunteered for numerous local art organizations.

One of the unpredictable responses to the COVID-19 pandemic is that the drive-in movie theaters of yesteryear are making a come-back. Photo by Charlie Deets on Unsplash.

Linda Ahnert

When I was young, one of the pleasures of summertime was going to a drive-in movie.  The school year ended in June and a fun-filled expanse of summer vacation stretched before us. 

Those were the days, my friends, when we spent hours at the beach or pool.  In the late afternoon, the Good Humor man jangled his bells and all the kids in the neighborhood came running.  In the evenings, we collected lightning bugs in jars and then released them all at once.  And on weekend nights, families would pile into their Chevrolets and head to the drive-in for a double feature.  

Over the years, these outdoor theaters had been going the way of the dinosaur and practically vanishing from the scene. But with the onset of the pandemic in 2020 when people were searching for safe entertainment, drive-ins are becoming popular once again. 

If you were a kid or a parent in the 1950s and 60s, you certainly remember the “good old days” of drive-in movies.  A neighbor of mine, who grew up in Old Lyme, recalls going to the Waterford Drive-In.  Several women “of a certain age,” who grew up in the Hartford burbs but still spend each summer at the Connecticut shore, remembered the Clinton Drive-In as well as the Blue Hills (in Bloomfield) and a few that were on the Berlin Turnpike in Newington. 

Whether you watched outdoor movies parked in a car along the Boston Post Rd. or on the Berlin Turnpike, it was still the same experience.  After supper, Dad would drive his nuclear family to the drive-in.  (I remember that in families with very young children, the kids were often in their PJ’s, the easier to put them to bed after the show.) 

Dad pulled alongside a pole with an attached speaker and then hooked the speaker over the car window.  Voilà, you had a sound system.  Then everyone waited in anticipation as dusk settled and, yes, there were always a few impatient jokesters who started to honk their horns to get the show going.  Finally, it would be dark enough, the screen would light up … and it was magic time.  

Growing up in Fairfield and Hartford Counties, I have fond memories of the Candlelight Drive-In in Bridgeport where we saw “The King and I” and the Farmington Drive-In where our family watched “Gigi.” A number of people I talked to also recalled specific movies that they saw. 

One woman remembered other recreational activities at the drive-in.  By the time she was dating, drive-ins had become known as “passion pits” where teenagers indulged in their own steamy love scenes.  So when she and her boyfriend went to the local drive-in, they would lie to her mother about where they were going.   

An important part of the drive-in experience was intermission.  After the first feature ended, “It’s Intermission Time, Folks!” or “Time Out for a Delicious Snack in our Sparkling Refreshment Building” would flash before our eyes.  Then, as we walked through the rows of cars to the flat-topped concession stand, images of talking hot dogs and tasty beverages flitted across the screen.  Who could resist those silly ads? 

There was also a ticking clock on the screen counting down the number of minutes before the next movie began.  Ten minutes till showtime!  

Drive-ins were at their peak during the 1950s and 60s because it was the perfect time and the perfect place.  In post-World War II America, the drive-in theater brought together a few of our favorite things—cars and movies.  What better way to be entertained than sitting in the comfort of the family car?  There was also the practical consideration that, in those baby boom years, parents didn’t have to worry about a sitter.  The drive-in was a family entertainment center.

By the 1950s, of course, small black and white screens in living rooms were also becoming the rage.  Before you knew it, there was color TV, then cable TV, premium movie channels, VCRs, and DVDs.  Today many homes are equipped with wide-screen televisions and the 21st century family doesn’t even have to leave the living room to watch a movie.  

 Yes, movie technology has come a long way and today’s kids have grown up with digitally-sharp images and stereo surround-sound. Now living in the age of the coronavirus, a new generation can experience that old-fashioned thrill of watching a flick on a starry summer night.  Drive-ins offer an evening’s entertainment (and getting out of the house) while remaining socially distant. 

Here in Connecticut, there are three al fresco cinemas dating from the 1950s era that are still open—the Mansfield Drive-In, the Southington Drive-In, and the Pleasant Valley Drive-In located in Barkhamsted. And it was recently announced that a brand-new drive-in, which will operate year-round, will open in Wethersfield this September.    

Most drive-ins today have converted to FM radio to broadcast the audio. But some of us will never forget that memorable message on the screen at the end of a Saturday night at the movies—“Please remember to replace the speaker on the post when you leave the theater.” 

Editor’s Note:

Lost Dog: Please Help Find Harley

Harley.is missing. Please help find her.

OLD LYME — Harley is a friendly, frisky, nine-year-old Morkie, who weighs 7.5 lbs. She has been missing from her home at 1 Duck River Lane since noon on Friday, July 16. A reward is being offered for her safe return.

Her hair was fluffier when she disappeared, she has had several teeth extracted, and was wearing a black electric fence collar.

If found, she can be put in a harness but not a collar due to danger to her trachea.

If you find Morkie or have any information about her whereabouts, please call or text Ken Main at 860-917-1011.