November 24, 2020

Duck River Garden Club Presents Program This Evening on ‘Backyard Native Gardening for Monarchs, Pollinators’

OLD LYME — See how scientist Fatima Matos has transformed her backyard to a butterfly haven by planting native pollinator plants in a virtual program hosted by the Duck River Garden Club (DRGC) via Zoom tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 24.

The event kicks off with a 6:30 p.m. virtual social followed by the program at 7 p.m. and concluding with an 8 p.m. business meeting for DRGC members only.

All are welcome to attend the first two segments of the program, including the free educational presentation.

A retired Pfizer research scientist, Matos now considers her garden to be her own natural laboratory, home to beneficial insects, butterflies and birds.

Her colorful presentation chronicles her ongoing discovery of “real nature up-close in my own back yard,” including how she raises Monarch butterflies indoors and outdoors, plus the importance of plant diversity. She also offers examples of what to grow for a multi-season buffet of native magnet plants with a high “buzzing factor” for pollinators.

Email DRGC Club President Karen Geisler at to obtain the Zoom link.

Visit for more information. Like/Follow DRGC on Facebook.


Groups Campaigning for Social Justice Meet This in Old Saybrook, Sunday

The Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice and the Old Saybrook March for Justice have moved their weekly events to Sundays.

AREAWIDE — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Partnership for Social Justice and the Old Saybrook March for Justice have moved their weekly events from Wednesday evenings to Sundays at 4 p.m. The next gathering will be this afternoon, Sunday, Nov. 22, and take place in Deep River, in front of the Congregational Church at 1 Church St.

A representative from HOPE will discuss the work of the HOPE Partnership to advance affordable housing.

The change is to allow the events to take place when it is light and also reflect a more convenient time for working families, youth and elderly activists.

All are welcome. It is requested that everyone should wear a mask at the event.

Upcoming events sponsored by the LOL Partnership or the Old Saybrook March for Justice will take place as follows:
• Sunday, Nov. 29 – Old Saybrook, in front of the Kate.
• Sunday, Dec. 2 – TBD

The LOL Partnership’s mission is to educate area residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social-justice efforts. For more information or to stay abreast of news, visit the partnership’s Facebook page at or send an email to

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

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

For further information, email


Old Lyme Historical Society Launches 2021 ‘Then & Now’ Calendar

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Historical Society launches its 2021 Then & Now Calendar this afternoon, Thursday, Nov. 19, from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at 55 Lyme Street front yard – wear your masks!

This will be will be an outdoor, drive-thru Launch Party to celebrate the new 2021 Old Lyme Historical Society Calendar.
Walk-ups are requested to wear masks and social distance.

Calendars will be on sale at $12 each.


High Hopes 2020 Holiday Market Goes Virtual, Shopping Continues Through Nov. 28

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. of Old Lyme is hosting its popular Holiday Market as a virtual event this year. The market opens this coming Sunday, Nov. 15, and concludes on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28.

Florals galore will be on sale in the Virtual Holiday Market.

Over 70 artisans and small businesses will be participating in the Virtual Holiday Market, which will enable you to shop the portals of a diversified list of vendors from the comfort of your couch.

Vendors will offer a unique array of goods from sweet treats to all-natural soaps and skincare products, home and holiday décor, one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry from raw materials, to specialty holiday foods and the perfect holiday tablescape.

An email sent in August to vendors and supporters said, “The High Hopes family remains committed to the Market’s mission to create a vibrant, experiential marketplace, which promotes local artisans and small businesses while raising awareness for High Hopes’ therapeutic and equine assisted activities.”

Take a sneak peek at the online shopping directory at this link, select a vendor category and start planning your shopping. Each listing notes whether items are available for shipment or local pick-up or both, and also special deals to be offered during the Holiday Market.

For more information, contact Trudy Burgess at or (860)434-1974 ext. 123.


Old Lyme Library Hosts Festive Flower Arranging Zoom Workshop Tonight with Mar Floral

OLD LYME — 11/16 UPDATE: This event is now full but the Library is still accepting names on a wait list.

Join the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library  Wednesday, Nov. 18, at 6:30 p.m. for a Zoom workshop with Marlee Spector of Mar Floral and create a seasonal centerpiece.

Material costs are $45 per person. These include: floral container with foam, flowers and greenery. If you would like clippers, add $15.

Space is limited – Click here to register.

Once registered you will receive a link to pay for materials. You will be emailed pick up instructions and a Zoom invite once registration and payment are completed.

*Note the selection of flowers shown may vary based on availability.


Three More COVID-19 Cases Reported in Old Lyme, One Additional Case in Lyme: Town of OL Employee Tests Positive

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME — 11/18 UPDATE 3:40pm: The Town of Old Lyme posted at 12:27 p.m. today on its website that a Town employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This individual is currently in quarantine.

The Town states on its website, “We will continue to monitor the situation and make timely decisions based on guidance from the local Health District and the State of Connecticut. We are committed to providing a safe workplace for our employees and those who do business with the town.”

Here at, we do not know whether this case is one of those reported below from Lyme or Old Lyme, or if the employee lives in a different town.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Monday afternoon, Nov. 16, shows Old Lyme as now having 61 confirmed COVID-19 cases. This represents an increase of three cases over the 58 cases reported on Friday, Nov. 13.

The cumulative number of 58 cases includes two fatalities.

The same report shows 13 confirmed cases for Lyme and one probable case. This represents an increase of one confirmed case over Friday’s numbers for Lyme, which were 12 confirmed cases and one probable case.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

This COVID-19 metric report is issued by the state once per day, every Monday through Friday, usually around 4 p.m. The report that is issued each Monday contains combined data that was collected on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The report does not supply details of age or gender, nor date the case was confirmed.




Gillette Castle’s Latest Structural Improvement is Hiding in Plain Sight 

Old Lyme resident Jack Hine (left), supervisor of Gillette Castle State Park, meets with Heather Welsh of Mattern Construction Inc., to look over the newly reconstructed staircase and concrete-reinforced retaining wall at William Gillette’s century-old home. (Photo by John C. Sherwood for Friends of Gillette Castle State Park)

LYME/EAST HADDAM — If you’re as observant as Sherlock Holmes, consider this challenge: try to spot the latest exciting improvement at Gillette Castle.

Even though the change is huge, it’s so well disguised that you might not realize it’s there.

For a clue, look up the slope at the Castle’s entrance. You’ll see a set of stone stairs and a retaining wall buttressing the terraces. Both appear to be as rustic as William Gillette’s eccentric, century-old home, nestled atop the “Seventh Sister” hill in Gillette Castle State Park.

But it’s all an elaborate illusion, in keeping with Gillette’s famous reputation for theatrical flair while portraying the fictional detective on stage. Those structures actually are new, disguising a modern, steel-reinforced concrete retaining wall nearly 200 feet long and incorporating updated conveniences and building materials. 

“It almost looks like we didn’t do anything,” mused Rodney Young, vice president of Baltic, Connecticut-based Mattern Construction Inc., which completed the project earlier this year at the park, which straddles the towns of East Haddam and Lyme along the Connecticut River. 

In fact, Young hopes visitors familiar with the old wall and staircase don’t notice any difference between the updated features and their appearance from past years. 

Decades of weathering and frost had rendered the original, dry-built retaining wall fragile and in need of persistent repairs. Replacement became a priority after a section collapsed a few years ago. 

To prevent further deterioration and to bring the staircase into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act by including modern handrails, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) directed approximately $750,000 toward the project. It’s all part of a multi-phase funding package approved by the State Bonding Commission for improvements at the site. 

Mattern Construction was awarded the first-phase project last year. As work got under way that September, Young and his crews knew they wouldn’t be allowed to change the structures’ historical appearance. 

That called for careful coordination among Young; Mattern Construction project manager Heather Welsh; DEEP civil engineer Bill Coleman; Phil Yuris and Jack Hine of Old Lyme, respectively the former and current park supervisors; Scott Dawley, supervisor of the state parks system’s eastern district; and State Historic Preservation Office representatives. 

Stones that Gillette’s own construction crews had set in place in the early 20th century were removed, labeled and meticulously preserved, Young said. Then a significant challenge loomed when it was found that a subsurface ledge required demolition – but without explosives.

“We didn’t want to do any blasting because of the damage it could have done to the castle,” Young said, noting that the home stands relatively nearby. The solution was to have Young’s crews drill a multitude of deep holes into the ledge, then inject them with a chemical that expanded, cracking the old foundation into small pieces that could be removed easily. 

A new, reinforced concrete wall then was installed on the same location and covered with a veneer of stones from the original wall. All of the original rocks and flagstones were re-used, Young said.

“The biggest challenge we met was the ledge,” said Welsh, who managed the project for Mattern Construction. “Everything else went very well.” 

Young said he has handled many such projects over nearly three decades of supervising reconstruction efforts, but said the Gillette Castle work was particularly demanding because of the historical features that demanded preservation.

“The rocks you see are the same that were laid 100 years ago,” Young said, adding that the new wall is resistant to the weather conditions that had attacked the old wall. “It was very satisfying, knowing that we put together something that [originally] was put together 100 years ago.”  

“We’ve had numerous compliments from the public about how this was done,” said Hine, the park supervisor.

Visitors aren’t likely to notice some other aspects, Hine noted – such as an updated method by which the stairway is drained of rainwater. Here’s a hint: The filling between the flagstones is a substance called polymeric sand, not mortar, and helps prevent frost heaving and ice from forming. 

The work’s completion earlier this year ended the first phase of the state’s three-phase capital-improvement effort at the park. Upcoming improvements include stonework repair at the sheltered vehicle entrance and resurfacing of the terrace. The work, including the retaining wall and staircase, is being funded through a $1.993 million allocation by the bonding commission. 

Hine said the use of polymeric sand on the staircase serves as a trial method for what’s being specified to resurface the terrace during the overall project’s eventual third phase. 

“The reconstruction of the wall is a major improvement to the park,” said Paul Schiller, vice president of The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park, a nonprofit, all-volunteer group dedicated to the preservation, conservation and educational activities of the castle and its grounds. 

“Given the grand scale of the work, we are at ease knowing that the DEEP and the State of Connecticut support the castle and are willing to allocate significant resources to preserving it,” said Schiller, who also serves the park seasonally as supervisor of public education. 

“I am thrilled to see the positive change that comes with the wall reconstruction,” Schiller said. “After years of patchwork, it is now rebuilt to stand for the long term. Likewise, the aesthetic value cannot be understated. Looking at photos of the finished wall, it looks so crisp and clean, you can tell that it is not an addition but an extension of the castle structure.” 

“The biggest compliment we could get is that it looks like we were never here,” Welsh said. “That’s what we hoped for.” 

An online video focusing on the project may be viewed at as well as the “photo/video gallery” page at The video was made possible by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection in partnership with The Friends of Gillette Castle State Park.

This article was taken from a press release issued by the Friends of Gillette Castle.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit this link for full details of the raffle.

Buy your tickets at this link!


42 States, Including CT, Now in the Red Zone for Coronavirus Cases, White House Says

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published Nov. 10, 2020 by the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit investigative news organization based in Washington, D.C. The author is , who is a reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.

The task force is raising alarm about hospital capacity and urging widespread testing.

All but eight states are now in the red zone for COVID-19 cases, the White House coronavirus task force said in new reports issued Tuesday.

The Dakotas and Wisconsin again this week led the nation in cases per capita, with Iowa claiming the fourth slot.

The reports, which are not made public by the Trump administration, are sent to governors weekly. The Center for Public Integrity is collecting and publishing them. President Donald Trump’s administration will be in charge of leading the federal response to the pandemic until Inauguration Day, through what many experts are already predicting will be a gruesome winter.

The new reports from the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx, underlined that the coronavirus pandemic is not getting better, despite Trump’s insistence that the country is “rounding the turn.”

“There is continued, accelerating community spread across the top half of the country, where temperatures have cooled and Americans have moved indoors,” the task force wrote. “Also shown is continued, significant deterioration in the Sunbelt as mitigation efforts were decreased over the past 6 weeks, leading to the most diffuse spread experienced to date.”

The task force also issued its strongest endorsement yet of widespread, regular testing for the general population, even when individuals show no symptoms.

“All red and orange counties must begin proactive testing of 18-40 year-old community members,” the White House told New Mexico. “Requiring use only in symptomatic individuals is preventing adequate testing and control of the pandemic.”

The task force reports contain little data about hospital capacity, but at least two of them this week contained notes of alarm. “Minnesota is seeing a continued dramatic rise in cases and test positivity that will continue to lead to increasing hospitalizations and deaths,” the task force wrote in one report. “New hospital admissions in New Mexico continue to rise and capacity is under continual threat,” it wrote in another.

Red zone states from the Nov. 8 White House Task Force report.

The Nov. 8 reports from the White House Coronavirus Task Force included a ranking of states based on their rates of new cases per population. (Screenshot of report)

Twenty states are now in the White House’s red zone for percentage of positive tests, meaning more than 10 percent of tests are coming back positive, and 27 are in the red zone for deaths, meaning they had more than two deaths per 100,000 residents in the past week.

Aside from its weekly reports, the White House task force has been mostly “dormant” and riven by personnel clashes, the Washington Post reported last month. Trump directly contradicted advice contained in the task force reports several times this fall by holding large campaign rallies in states with uncontained outbreaks. The transition team for President-elect Joe Biden has promised a national dashboard that would allow Americans to see data on the spread of the coronavirus by zip code.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment but has said in the past that it does not make the reports public because it wants states to lead the pandemic response.

The states in the red zone for cases in this week’s report (meaning they had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents in the week prior):

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Wisconsin
  4. Iowa
  5. Wyoming
  6. Nebraska
  7. Montana
  8. Illinois
  9. Utah
  10. Minnesota
  11. Kansas
  12. Idaho
  13. Alaska
  14. Indiana
  15. Colorado
  16. Missouri
  17. Rhode Island
  18. New Mexico
  19. Michigan
  20. Arkansas
  21. Kentucky
  22. Oklahoma
  23. Ohio
  24. Nevada
  25. Tennessee
  26. Connecticut
  27. Mississippi
  28. Texas
  29. West Virginia
  30. North Carolina
  31. Florida
  32. Arizona
  33. Alabama
  34. New Jersey
  35. Pennsylvania
  36. Massachusetts
  37. South Carolina
  38. Delaware
  39. Maryland
  40. Georgia
  41. Virginia
  42. Washington

The states in the red zone for test positivity in this week’s report (meaning more than 10 percent of tests in the state were positive in the week prior):

  1. Montana
  2. Idaho
  3. South Dakota
  4. Iowa
  5. Kansas
  6. Nebraska
  7. North Dakota
  8. Missouri
  9. Utah
  10. Wisconsin
  11. Oklahoma
  12. Minnesota
  13. Nevada
  14. New Mexico
  15. Indiana
  16. Illinois
  17. Tennessee
  18. Texas
  19. Colorado
  20. Mississippi

The states in the red zone for deaths (meaning they had more than more than two new deaths per 100,000 residents in the week prior):

  1. North Dakota
  2. South Dakota
  3. Arkansas
  4. Montana
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Kansas
  7. Indiana
  8. New Mexico
  9. Iowa
  10. Missouri
  11. Wyoming
  12. Mississippi
  13. Idaho
  14. Tennessee
  15. Illinois
  16. Nebraska
  17. Minnesota
  18. Oklahoma
  19. Arizona
  20. Alabama
  21. North Carolina
  22. Texas
  23. West Virginia
  24. Nevada
  25. Michigan
  26. Rhode Island
  27. South Carolina

Confirmed COVID-19 Cases in Old Lyme Jump to 53

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME — Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme increased to 53 in data reported Nov. 9 for Nov. 8 by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) in COVID-19 Tests, Cases, and Deaths (By Town), which is part of their COVID-19 Data Resources website.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lyme for the same date and from the same source are 12 confirmed cases and 1 probable case.

The data presented by town is preceded with this statement:

 All data in this report are preliminary; data for previous dates will be updated as new reports are received and data errors are corrected. Deaths reported to the either the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) or Department of Public Health (DPH) are included in the daily COVID-19 update.

The figure given Nov. 7 for the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme was 46, whereas the numbers for Lyme were the same as those reported for Nov. 8.

Last Friday, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Director of Health Stephen Mansfield told LymeLine, “We are no longer tracking and reporting case numbers independent of the state report. We will only be publishing what DPH reports to us each Friday … Simply put, due to the workload associated with the increase in cases, we do not have the resources to duplicate the efforts of DPH, nor provide a more detailed analysis of the cases in our communities.”

We are therefore now trying to obtain more information from CT DPH on the age and gender of the confirmed cases.



Letter to the Editor: A Note of Thanks From Organizers of Christ The King’s Food Drive

To the Editor:

Thank you everyone for contributing to the success of the Christ the King Food Drive. We surpassed our goal of collecting 1,000 pounds of food with a total intake of more than 1,500 pounds. In addition, our generous supporters donated close to $700 of gift cards and cash.

Thank you to the Christ the King Men’s Club members, confirmation candidates and all those, including, who help spread the word about the drive.


Tom Ortoleva,
Old Lyme.


Town of Old Lyme Awarded Sustainable CT Certification

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme has announced that it has received certification as a Sustainable CT municipality, demonstrating a commitment to creating a community that strives to be thriving, resilient, collaborative, and forward-looking. 

Old Lyme met a broad range of sustainability accomplishments to qualify for its Bronze-level certification.  The Town’s application was submitted by the board of selectmen’s Sustainable Old Lyme Team, a group initially created in 2018 with Old Lyme residents, who have volunteered their time to this process. 

“The Town is fortunate to have several dedicated members of the Sustainable Old Lyme Team, who have worked hard to earn this significant certification,” said Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold. He commented, “Among the numerous sustainable actions listed by Sustainable CT, the Team has focused on safe walking areas in Old Lyme. The Team surveyed residents, and not surprisingly, heard that walkability is important. Good going, Team, and go for the silver!” 

Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities in becoming more efficient, resilient, and inclusive, announced 17 newly-certified communities this past week, including Old Lyme. The highest level of certification currently offered is silver.

In its application for Sustainable CT certification, Old Lyme demonstrated significant achievements in nine sustainable impact areas ranging from community building and a vibrant ‘arts & creative culture,’ to well-stewarded land and resilient planning.  Old Lyme successfully completed actions included a detailed Walkability Study and Audit conducted by the Sustainable Old Lyme Team. 

Sustainable Connecticut considered nine of Old Lyme’s submissions to be “Success Stories,” including its Arts & Creative Culture, its Effective Community Communications, and its 2010 Plan of Conservation & Development. Also highlighted as a Success Story was Lyme-Old Lyme Public School’s commitment to Clean Energy by 2030.

Sustainable CT has seen strong momentum and growth as a valuable, high-impact program.  One-hundred and twelve municipalities have registered for the program, representing 80 percent of the state’s population.  Collectively, 61 municipalities, over 36 percent of the state’s communities, have earned Sustainable CT certification. 

Certification lasts for three years, with submissions rigorously evaluated by independent experts and other Sustainable CT partners.  

“Congratulations to our newest Sustainable CT certified communities,” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director of the program.  “They join a growing number of certified towns and cities that are demonstrating municipal practices that make our communities more inclusive, healthy, connected, and strong.” 

The program is managed by the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University and includes actions that help towns and cities build community connection, social equity, and long-term resilience.  The program’s action roadmap and support tools are especially relevant as towns seek practices and resources to promote racial justice and respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

Sustainable CT is independently funded, with strong support from its three founding funders: the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund, and the Smart Seed Fund. 

Additional support is provided by: the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, Connecticut Community Foundation, Fairfield County Community Foundation, Main Street Community Foundation, and other sponsors.

Old Lyme and all spring and fall 2020 certified communities will be recognized later this year at the Annual Convention of the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities in December. 

For more information, visit

Editor’s Note: This article is adapted from a press release issued by the Town of Old Lyme.


Groups Fighting for Social Justice Co-Host ‘Teach-In’ in Old Lyme, Wednesday

  • LYME/OLD LYME — – The Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice has announced that it will hold a “teach-in” the day after the election – in conjunction with the Old Saybrook March for Justice.

The teach-in is titled The Work That Lies Ahead: Desegregating Hearts, Minds and Spaces in the Aftermath, and will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 5 p.m., outside Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall.

The timing of the event reflects the reality that, whatever the outcome of the election, the Partnership’s work along the Connecticut shoreline will remain the same – fighting for social justice in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The teach-in will feature two speakers:
• Kevin Booker from the New London City Council – an educator, social justice advocate and
council member for the City of New London.
• Erica Watson – an educator and wellness advocate.

All are welcome. It is requested that everyone should wear a mask at the event.

Upcoming events sponsored by the partnership or the Old Saybrook March for Justice will take place as follows:
• Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Essex, in front of Town Hall
• Wednesday, Nov. 18 – Deep River, in front of the Congregational Church
• Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Old Saybrook, in front of the Kate
• Wednesday, Dec. 2 – TBD

The Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership’s mission is to educate area residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social-justice efforts. For more information or to stay abreast of news, visit the partnership’s Facebook page at or send an email to

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

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

For further information, email


Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice’s ‘Teach-In’ Focused on Desegregating Spaces, Hearts, Minds

The assembled crowd listens to Finn Darby-Hudgens speak at the recent ‘Teach-In’ held in Lyme and hosted by the LOL Partnership for Social Justice.

The author of this article, Sadie Frankel, is a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

LYME — On Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Partnership for Social Justice hosted its second teach-in focused on addressing important issues of racial justice in the area. The event was held at the Lyme Town Green next to the Lyme Town Hall. At the gathering, several speakers were invited to address the topic of the evening: Desegregating spaces, hearts and minds. 

Tariko Satterfield, Sr., a resident of New London, spoke first on the topic of desegregating hearts. Satterfield is the CEO and founder of the company ReaLifEmpire, a youth-development embassy which, among many other services, offers coaching and mentoring in both group and private settings. Satterfield shared his personal experiences with racism and racial injustice both in Alabama where he grew up, as well as in Connecticut.

Through personal stories and anecdotes, he addressed the main topic of his speech, namely, that in order for anything to change, people must first desegregate their hearts. “America is having a heart attack,” he said, explaining that our society has allowed the unhealthy parts of humanity to overtake us and now must seek recovery from the racism and prejudice overwhelming people’s hearts. 

Satterfield was followed by Finn Darby-Hudgens, the community outreach and education coordinator of Connecticut Fair Housing, a program dedicated to granting all citizens free and equal access to affordable housing in Connecticut. Hudgens spoke at the event about desegregating spaces, and gave a history of affordable housing battles that have taken place in New London County.

She discussed the background of zoning laws, identified the laws’ racist roots, and explained how and why towns need to fix them, as desegregating spaces is necessary to ensure equal opportunities in and outside of housing. 

Unfortunately, the last invited speaker was unable to address the crowd due to time constraints. Kevin Booker, who serves as a City Councilor of New London – and who is an area entrepreneur, social activist, and educator – will return at an upcoming Partnership event to address the topic of desegregating the mind.

The next teach-in will be at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 5:30 p.m.  All are welcome to attend.

The LOL Partnership for Social Justice is active in many parts of the community and invites the public’s support and participation.

More information can be found on Facebook at Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice.


Free Coronavirus Testing Available at Numerous Sites Throughout Local Area

Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash.

OLD LYME/LYME — (Adapted from a press release issued by LLHD) With rates of COVID infection currently on the rise in Southeastern Connecticut, the State is working with Ledge Light Health District and community partners to offer free polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing in a variety of locations.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers PCR tests the “gold standard” of COVID-19 testing.

The PCR test will be used to detect disease by looking for traces of the Coronavirus genetic material on a sample most often collected via a nose or throat swab.

The testing sites listed here are open to everyone – you do not need to be experiencing symptoms, you are not required to have a doctor’s order, and you can get tested as often as you want. 

Children can be tested as long as a parent/guardian is with them to provide consent.

There is no fee and your insurance will not be billed.

Everyone is welcome and while some sites offer pre-registration, it is not required at any of the sites listed in this table.

Results typically take 24-72 hours depending on the testing provider.

Contact Deputy Director Jennifer Muggeo at 860.910.0386 or if you have any questions.

Testing Dates and Locations

  • Monday through Friday until further notice – Community Health Center, 1 Shaws Cove, New London – 8:30am-4pm
  • Monday through Friday until further notice – Community Health Center, 481 Gold Star Hwy, Groton – 8:30am-4pm
  • Saturday, October 17 – Ledyard Middle School, 1860 Route 12, Gales Ferry – 10am-2pm
  • Saturday, October 17 – Oasis of Restoration Church, 35 Redding Avenue, New London – 10am-2pm
  • Saturday, October 17 – New London High School, 490 Jefferson Ave, New London – 10am-2pm
  • Sunday, October 18 – Jennings School, 50 Mercer, New London – 10am-2pm
  • Monday, October 19 – George Washington Carver Apartments, 202 Colman Street, New London – 9am-1pm
  • Monday, October 19 – Williams Park Apartments, 127 Hempstead Street, New London – 9am-1pm
  • Tuesday, October 20 – Two Trees Inn, 240 Indiantown Rd, Ledyard – 9am-1pm
  • Wednesday, October 21 – Alliance For Living, 154 Broad Street, New London – 9am-1pm
  • Thursday, October 22 -Two Trees Inn, 240 Indiantown Rd, Ledyard – 2pm-7pm
  • Thursday, October 22 – Shiloh Baptist Church, 1 Garvin St, New London – 3:30pm-5:30pm
  • Friday, October 23 – Gordon Court, 40 Gordon Court, New London – 9am-1pm
  • Saturday, October 24 – Riozzi Court, 27 Riozzi Court, New London – 9am-1pm

If you are looking for testing in Norwich and surrounding areas, check Uncas Health District for testing events in the northern part of New London County.

Additional Resources



Lyme Church Sanctuary Open to All Monday Evenings for Quiet Contemplation

The Sanctuary at the First Congregational Church of Lyme.

LYME — This fall the sanctuary of the First Congregational Church of Lyme will be open on Monday evenings from 6 to 7 p.m.

Church leaders invite anyone who wishes to stop by, say a prayer, or simply sit in the peaceful quiet of this historic building.

Masks and social distancing are required, along with adherence to the rules displayed on the door.

There is no limit on how long you stay within the prescribed timeframe.

For further information and/or any questions, contact Emily Bjornberg at


Outdoor Service at FCCOL, Indoors at Saint Ann’s, Christ The King, All with Online Options; Online Services at Lyme Church, S. Lyme Chapel

LYME-OLD LYME — The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is holding a live, outdoor service at 11 a.m. this Sunday. Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church and Christ The King Church are offering in-person services, the latter with a restricted number of congregants. All three churches also offer an online option while the First Congregational Church of Lyme and the South Lyme Chapel continue with an online service this Sunday, Oct. 4.


Public attendance is now allowed at all Masses (Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m.; and Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) in accordance with directives from the Norwich Diocese.

All who attend are required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer, and follow social distancing guidelines.

All Masses will be live-streamed via Zoom for those who cannot come to church or are in a vulnerable population and wish to stay home..

If you are sick, have a fever, or think you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, you are urged to stay home.

The Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still suspended.

Click here for links to participate to live-streamed Masses.


Reminders for church services will be sent only to those that opt in by emailing Email Pastor Susan Olson at or Emily Bjornberg for the URL to view the Sept. 27 service.


The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will hold a live, outdoor worship service on Sunday, Oct. 4, at 11 a.m.

While recognizing that the pandemic is still ongoing, the ministers believe the local situation has changed enough to experiment with holding a live, outdoor Sunday worship service – while, of course, following public safety guidelines and using the utmost caution. So they will lead a live, outdoor service on the front lawn of the church, from the steps of the Meetinghouse.

If you wish to attend, you must call or email the church office at 860-434-8686 or to reserve your space:

  • Give your name and the number of people in your party, and indicate whether you all belong to the same household (and thus can be grouped together).
  • You will be contacted to confirm your reservation.
Here are the details of how the service will work:
    • Squares will be traced on the lawn with chalk, spaced 12 feet apart from each other. Individuals or families who make a reservation will receive a square to sit in during the service.
    • Each square will be limited to the members of a single household; and people must remain inside their square at all times in order to maintain social distancing. You are welcome to bring a blanket or lawn chairs to sit on.
    • The number of squares will be limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
    • If there are no open squares available, people will be welcome to stand along the sidewalk – spaced 6 ft. apart from others.
    • Everyone must observe social distancing. While it may be tempting to hug or embrace those you haven’t seen for a while, that’s a temptation best resisted.
    • Masks will be required. The church will have extra masks and hand sanitizer on hand for those who may need them.
    • The church’s bathroom facilities will not be open.
    • While the service is open to all, everyone is urged to exercise all appropriate caution and reasonable judgment about whether they personally should attend.
    • The service will be filmed and made available online for those who cannot or should not be with us in person. By late Sunday night or early Monday morning, a video of the worship service will be posted on the church website, Facebook page and YouTube page – and a written version of the sermon and the Order of Worship for the service will be posted in the Virtual Meetinghouse.

In case of inclement weather, church leaders will communicate 24 hours in advance about how the Sep. 27 service will occur – that is, live and outdoors as planned, or online only.


Saint Ann’s offer one, in-person service on Sunday mornings at 9:30 a.m. that will also be available “live” on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. Later in the day, the recorded Zoom service will be available on their Online Worship Services page.

For those who attend the 9:30 a.m. service, there will be some new traditions. Six feet social distancing, wearing of masks, and sanitizing of hands will be practiced and there will be no communion, choral music nor coffee hour.

The priest, Vestry and ushers will give guidance on procedures – there will be signs as well.

Bible Study will be offered at 11 a.m. via Zoom.

Worship services are being held online at 10 a.m. each Sunday. All are welcome. Email Karen Geisler at for connection details.


Men’s Club at Christ the King Holds Food Drive to Benefit Local Pantries

OLD LYME — During this pandemic, area food pantries have seen an uptick in the numbers of families experiencing food insecurity. The Men’s Club of Christ the King Church is hosting a Food Drive of nonperishables to assist local pantries in feeding our neighbors.

The Drive is being held through Oct. 11 at Christ the King’s Parish Hall entrance.

Visit the Club’s web page for more information.

Help the Men’s Club reach their goal of collecting 1,000 pounds of food — the items in greatest need are: canned fruits, vegetables, meat, and seafood; dried beans, whole grain pastas and rice; and peanut butter.

Ledge Light Confirms No New COVID-19 Cases in Past Week in Lyme, Old Lyme; Current Totals are 9 in Lyme, 27 in Old Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) issued their COVID-19 summary for the week ending Sept. 25 just after 7 p.m. Friday evening.

The report showed nine cases for Lyme and 27 cases for Old Lyme including two fatalities. These are same totals that LymeLine reported on Monday, Sept. 21.

This report covers cases by town for all the towns in the LLHD — both Lyme and Old Lyme are included in the district. LLHD states their data may conflict with what DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data LLHD reports was current as of noon Friday.

The most recent case in Lyme was a 62-year-old female, while Old Lyme’s was reported Sept. 15 and is a 19-year-old female.

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

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

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62

The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme ranges in age from 19- to 82-years-old and comprises 12 males and 13 females. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Only 250 tickets will be sold.

Winners will be notified Oct 8, 2020 via email.

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

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

Purchase tickets at