July 16, 2020

This Year’s Old Lyme Midsummer Festival Cancelled Due to Safety Concerns

Every summer the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival attracts thousands of locals and visitors. The decision to cancel the 2020 festival has just been announced.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Arts District has just posted an announcement on their website, which states, “After much consideration, and with our first concern being the safety of our community, staff, volunteers, and vendors, the Old Lyme Arts District is cancelling the 2020 Old Lyme Midsummer Festival.”

The statement continues, “We recognize the Festival is a summer tradition eagerly anticipated by so many people (including us!). Thousands of people attend the Festival every summer and come from throughout the greater region. As much as we will miss you all and the midsummer excitement, we know the most important thing is protecting the health of our friends and arts family.”

With an eye on next year, the statement adds, “We are already thinking about the 2021 Festival,” noting, “2021 will also be the 100th anniversary of the Lyme Art Colonists opening their own gallery (known to us all as the Lyme Art Association.) Those artists persevered through World War I and the Flu Pandemic, creating art and in 1921 inviting the public to their new gallery to purchase and bring home treasures for their own walls.”

Concluding on a positive note, the statement reads, “We know our participating artists are creating art as we speak and we look forward to sharing it all with you – along with music, food, and fun purchases – next year. Each of our organizations will be opening as will be recommended under the Reopen Connecticut Plan. We look forward to seeing you all very soon. Stay well and stay in touch!”

Volunteer Festival Organizer Cheryl Poirier explained exclusively to LymeLine, “We also looked at the possibility that the Governor could allow for July large outdoor gatherings assuming safety measures were used. We researched how we could provide a safe Midsummer Festival with social distancing, masks, and other safety measures.”

She added, “We couldn’t guarantee at this time we would have available enough hand sanitizing stations, staffing to ensure frequent disinfecting of tables, handles, as well as other considerations. Realizing how difficult it would be to accomplish this, we decided the most prudent decision was to pause for a year and come back next year with the best procedures available.”


After 83 Continuous Years, Old Lyme Church’s ‘White Elephant Sale’ is Cancelled

There will be no crowds anxiously awaiting the first strike of 9 a.m. this year for the ‘White Elephant Sale’ to start. The sale has been cancelled for the first time after 83 continuous years.

OLD LYME — “World War II didn’t stop us … but COVID-19 did”

That was Bob Davis’ s comment on the first cancellation ever of the White Elephant Sale, which has been hosted continuously by the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme for the past 83 years, and was scheduled this year for July 10 and 11.

Davis, who has been chairing the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s White Elephant Sale for some 20 years, said, “After 83 straight years, we had to cancel the sale,” explaining, “Given that we would be unloading the barn for inside set up June 20, the July date didn’t make sense.”

Asked if postponement rather than cancellation was considered, Davis responded, “We even looked at late August, but New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts were such hot spots, social distancing for crowds was an unknown, and the need to get to a Phase-3 in order to have the fair, even August seemed a stretch.”

So this year, there will be no excited shoppers anxiously waiting around the taped-off front lawn at the church for the first strike of the bell at 9 a.m. to start their frenetic buying. Moreover, the previous three weeks of meticulously-organized planning for the sale when the residents of Lyme and Old Lyme traditionally clear out their closets, basements, and more, and drop off all manner of items at the church for sorting and subsequent selling, will not happen.

But the real losers will be the vast number of charitable organizations both locally, across the country and even internationally, which receive donations from the church’s Ladies’ Benevolent Society, sourced from the significant proceeds of the White Elephant Sale.

Davis said, “We appreciate the support over the years by all that donated and worked the fair. [We’re] looking forward to seeing everyone in 2021 and making it a record sale.”

Asked whether “Elephants in Winter” would happen in December, Davis replied, “Not sure about that, since a lot of our stuff [for “Elephants in Winter”] came in during July, But the sewing group is hard at work.” Noting, “It’s not my call,” he recommended people should check the church website to see if the winter sale will be held.


Why Support LymeLine?


Olwen Logan, Publisher and Editor of LymeLine.com

LYME / OLD LYME — We have been covering community news in Lyme and Old Lyme since 2003 — that’s almost 17 years! During that time, our income has come exclusively from advertising and we thank sincerely all our advertisers over that time, but especially those who have placed their business with us on an ongoing basis for many years. These include The Ivoryton Playhouse, Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law, the Valley Railroad Company (which operates Essex Steam Train & Railboat), Lyme Art Association, and the Florence Griswold Museum.

Meanwhile, in line with our mission statement “to be an integral part of the fabric of the community that we serve,” we have never instituted a paywall on our site (unlike, for example, The Day) with the result that readers can access all parts of our site at no charge and there is no limit to the number of articles that anyone can read.

Also in keeping with our mission, we donate significant amounts of advertising to numerous local non-profits every year.

Now let’s look at the national picture for a minute — more than 2,000 newspapers have closed since 2004, including the former Main Street News and Pictorial Gazette, both of which used to serve us right here in Lyme and Old Lyme with well-researched community news. But remember you used to pay for them …

Although we do not charge to read LymeLine.com and still do not intend to introduce a paywall, it costs money to produce the news. First and foremost, reporters have to be paid. Quite simply, the more we invest in reporters, the better in every way the news is that we publish. We also have charges for software development, graphic design, marketing, web-hosting and a myriad of other operational and administrative expenses, which arise when you run a small business.

So spurred primarily by an enormous loss of revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are now turning to our readers for the very first time for financial support so we can continue our work while also expanding our pool of freelance journalists.

Please consider a donation of any size to support the continued production of Local, Independent, Online News here at LymeLine (and yes, we are members of the national LION Publishers organization!) You can make your donation a monthly contribution if you wish, in the same way that you perhaps subscribe to a newspaper.

If you prefer to send a check, then please make it payable to Shoreline Web News LLC and mail it to:
3307 Oberon Street,
Kensington, MD 20895



Despite Wet Weather, Rousing Parade of Old Lyme Firefighters, Police, and Emergency Services Lifts Community Spirit

This onlooker watched intently as the firetrucks rolled by. Photo by S. Thompson.

OLD LYME — It may have been a damp afternoon but spirits were still high as Old Lyme’s Police, Fire and Emergency Service vehicles formed into a parade at Lyme-Old Lyme High School and then wound a route through the town. As one reader wrote, “The sound was deafening,” and another sent us a video to prove just how noisy (in a good way!) it all was.

The Hine family were eagerly awaiting the arrival of the parade. Photo by D. Coleman.

Horns were blaring, sirens were sounding and all the crowds gathered along the route were cheering.

Standing in the Lords Meadow neighborhood, Jay and Brandy Campbell and their children, Ryan and Emily, along with the family dog, Boomer, offered thanks to the emergency services, fire and policemen with a wonderful sign. Photo by D. Coleman.

The event gave an opportunity for reciprocal thanks from the community to the public and emergency service members for their support and vice versa. and from those latter to the community for all their support.

Old Lyme residents were out in force variously holding homemade signs of thanks, clapping and waving as the parade went by, and to quote Suzanne Thompson, who lives in Beach Farms, “Some tears were shed.”

Photo by S. Thompson.

Residents cheered enthusiastically when the emergency vehicles and fire-trucks came by on Shore Rd.

The parade moves along Ladyslipper Lane. photo by D. Coleman.

Thompson added enthusiastically, “[I’m] so glad they came by our neighborhood!”

A police car travels along Rte. 156 alongside the Beach Farms neighborhood. Photo by S. Thompson.

Watching the parade at the intersection of Sill Lane and Saunders Hollow Rd. (see photo below) were the McGlinchey family, from left to right, Tracy, Griffin, Carter and Brynn.

 Photo by D. Coleman.


Old Lyme’s Town Nurse Veselka is First Recipient of New Kindness Award

Old Lyme Town Nurse Karen Veselka, who received the inaugural Kindness Award from the Old Lyme Kindness Committee.

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme Kindness Committee has selected the first recipient of their new monthly Kindness Award. The April 2020 award was presented to Karen Veselka, RN, who received this recognition for her dedication to caring compassionately for town residents in her role as the Old Lyme Town Nurse.

“I am so honored to receive this award,” Veselka said. “I truly love my job and helping our residents.”

The Old Lyme Kindness Committee is working to make kindness the norm in our homes, schools, and workplaces. The committee is comprised of 15 members representing Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, Lymes’ Senior Center, Old Lyme Police Department, Old Lyme Social Services, and other local groups and community members. 

If you would like to nominate someone for a Kindness Award, complete the form at this link. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSf75SZTqQ5jH2dAecq_JQItTgicoTrClSGUNdNbwm3oPpLIog/viewform.


Register Now for ‘Race Against Hunger Virtual 5K’ to Benefit Connecticut Food Bank

WALLINGFORD/OLD LYME/LYME — Connecticut Food Bank and JB Sports are teaming up to host a virtual 5K to help feed Connecticut residents struggling with hunger during this critical time. The Race Against Hunger Virtual 5K will run from April 13 through April 19 and is presented by Stop & Shop.

Event proceeds will help Connecticut Food Bank as it faces increased operational costs to source, transport, and distribute food. In recent weeks, demand for food across Connecticut Food Bank’s network of 600 partners and programs has grown due to job losses and to increased need to have food on hand to sustain households that may need to shelter in place for extended periods.

Race Against Hunger is a virtual event perfectly suited for a time when people are encouraged to avoid crowded public settings. Participants can register and run or walk at any time between April 13 and April 19 at a location of their choosing. Participants complete their run or walk and send in their results and the event coordinator will compile a results database. 

Participants of Race Against Hunger may register any time before April 19 and run at any point between April 13 and April 19. JB Sports and Connecticut Food Bank ask participants to follow current health recommendations and avoid running or walking closer than six feet from anyone during their virtual run or walk.  

“The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented economic challenges for our communities,” said Beverly Catchpole, Senior Director of Development for Connecticut Food Bank. “We invite people to join our virtual 5K and help us continue to meet the growing need among our neighbors.”

Race Against Hunger is organized by Connecticut Food Bank and JB Sports.

“As we try to navigate through the challenges that coronavirus has brought to our lives, it is more important now than ever that we work together to help our neighbors whose lives have been impacted,” said Rudy DiPietro, Senior Vice President of Sales & Operations at Stop & Shop. “We are proud to be teaming up with Connecticut Food Bank in the Race Against Hunger to ensure all of our neighbors have access to food and nourishment.”

JB Sports, one of the top event management companies in Connecticut, also coordinates the Faxon Law New Haven Road Race and PLR Shamrock & Roll 5K.

Race Against Hunger is presented by Stop & Shop, with additional support from Webster Bank, Prudential, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, ConnectiCare, IRIS, Barrett Outdoor Communications, 99.1PLR, Star 99.9, WEBE 108, WICC 600, 95.9 The FOX and 94.3 WYBC.

To learn more about Race Against Hunger, visit www.jbsports.com or email kaitlin@jbsports.com

Editor’s Notes:
i) Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger, and advocating for people who need help meeting basic needs. Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors, and volunteers to distribute nutritious food to people in need. The Connecticut Food Bank distributes food through a network of 600 partners and programs in Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, and Windham counties – where nearly 270,000 people struggle with hunger. Last year, Connecticut Food Bank distributed food to help provide 22.5 million meals. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram

ii) A neighborhood grocer for more than 100 years, today’s Stop & Shop is refreshed, reenergized and inspired, delivering new conveniences for customers. Committed to helping its communities enjoy better food and better lives, Stop & Shop has a longstanding history of giving back to the neighborhoods it serves with a focus on fighting hunger and helping children to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company LLC is an Ahold Delhaize USA Company and employs nearly 60,000 associates and operates over 400 stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York and New Jersey. To learn more about Stop & Shop, visit www.stopandshop.com


Lyme, Old Lyme Leaders, Emergency Services Urge Residents, Visitors to ‘Stay Safe, Stay Home’

LYME/OLD LYME — The boards of selectmen of both Lyme and Old Lyme and their respective Emergency Management Services are urging ALL RESIDENTS OF LYME AND OLD LYME AND ALL VISITORS TO OUR TOWNS to follow the guidelines from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the State of Connecticut.

The Lyme Board of Selectmen state in their most recent Public Health Update, “The main public health goal going forward continues to be slowing the spread of the virus.  The best way to do that is to practice social distancing and to follow the other public health recommendations that have been issued. ”

They continue, “We must all take our public health experts’ advice to heart and limit any unnecessary person-to-person contact until further notice.  These efforts are essential to help reduce the spread of the virus and limit the number of people who may become infected.”

Old Lyme Emergency Services Director David Roberge spoke to LymeLine by phone yesterday and had the same message, saying, “People must follow the CDC Guidelines and practice social distancing, wash hands frequently, and stay home whenever possible, especially when you feel unwell.”  He added that people should cover their nose and mouth with a disposable tissue or  elbow when they cough or sneeze and not touch eyes, nose, or mouth if your hands are not clean.

The consistent advice from both towns is, in the words of the Governor, “Stay Safe, Stay Home.”



Saint Ann’s Offers Online Link to This Morning’s Service

Saint Ann’s Church, Old Lyme

OLD LYME — In keeping with Coronavirus restrictions on public gatherings, Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church of Old Lyme  is offering an online service this morning. This practice will continue until restrictions are lifted.

Readers can view it at this link.


First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Offers Online Version of This Morning’s Service

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme..

OLD LYME — The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is practicing social-distancing measures as required by state mandate to limit the spread of the Coronavirus and so is holding its Sunday worship services online for as long as necessary.

Watch this morning’s service at this link and/or read a written version of the sermon titled, “Chaos & Trust: Learning To Walk in the Time of Corona” at this link.

To see the Order of Worship for the service, visit this link.


No Church? No Problem … Christ The King Plans to Livestream This Morning’s 10:30am Mass

Chrict the King Church in Old Lyme will live stream its 10:30 a.m. Mass Sunday morning.

OLD LYME — An Executive Order from Governor Lamont aimed at preventing the spread of Coronavirus is stopping the parishioners of Christ the King Church from gathering in their church in Old Lyme this Sunday morning (March 22) to celebrate mass. Undeterred, church members have come up with a novel way to enable all worshippers to celebrate mass together in their separate locations.

Father Joe and Father Walter will concelebrate mass Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. and the service will be livestreamed via the Zoom app. Music will be provided live by Christ the King Music Directot Bill Thomas from his home.

Parishioners can log on from their homes to watch, listen, and participate using a computer, tablet or smartphone. The free Zoom app must be downloaded first and then the following information used to log into the mass:

Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/620789800?pwd=bUpEZmRSdWNpeFRBSXZmSW5RZWtoZz09
Meeting ID: 620 789 800
Password: 078561

As this is the first time an attempt has been made to livestream a mass at Christ the King, patience is respectfully requested if any glitches should occur.


Closures & Cancellations: Latest News

We are being inundated with closures and cancellations, and so will run all the new ones together in this post and then prepare a summary at the end of the day.

Ivoryton Playhouse: Opening of Forbidden Broadway Comes to Ivoryton scheduled for Wednesday, March 18, has been postponed.

Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate”: All performances through April 30 are postponed.

South Lyme Union Chapel: Lenten Soup Night, scheduled for Monday, March 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. is cancelled

SECWAC (Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council): March 20 and 26 programs cancelled.


Mystic Seaport Museum to Close Temporarily Through End of Month

Photo by Mystic Seaport. The Charles W. Morgan in full sail.

MYSTIC, CT(Press Release) Mystic Seaport Museum announced today it is temporarily closing to the public beginning tomorrow, March 13, to support the State of Connecticut’s efforts to stem the outbreak of COVID-19. All programs, classes, and events during that period are also cancelled. The Museum anticipates reopening March 30, subject to further evaluation of the situation.

Steve White, president of the Museum, stated: “Out of an abundance of caution we are taking this preemptive move to close to the public to protect the health of our community and of our employees and volunteers. We have been following the precautionary measures recommended by federal and local health authorities to ensure the cleanest environment possible. While we do not know of any exposure to COVID-19 connected with the Museum, we believe a temporary closure is the proper course of action in line with Gov. Ned Lamont’s request to minimize public gatherings and encourage employees to work from home to help stop the spread of this deadly virus. We look forward to welcoming visitors back to the Museum at the conclusion of this period.”

Individuals or groups with program reservations during this time will be contacted to reschedule or process refunds.

The Museum is implementing its emergency operations protocol, and will continue to monitor the situation and take appropriate additional action as necessary.

Editor’s Note: Mystic Seaport Museum, founded in 1929, is the nation’s leading maritime museum. In addition to providing a multitude of immersive experiences, the Museum also houses a collection of more than two million artifacts that include more than 500 historic vessels and one of the largest collections of maritime photography. Mystic Seaport Museum is located one mile south of Exit 90 off I-95 in Mystic, CT. For more information, please visit www.mysticseaport.org and follow Mystic Seaport Museum on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Instagram.


First CT Resident Testing Positive for Coronavirus Lives in Wilton

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

WILTON, CT — At 1 p.m. Sunday afternoon, Gov. Ned Lamont announced that the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) State Laboratory has confirmed the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) involving a Connecticut resident. The patient is a resident of Wilton who is 40-50 years of age, who according to the governor, most likely became infected with the virus that causes COVID-19  during …

Read the full story by Heather Borden Herve and published this afternoon on Good Morning Wilton at this link.

Good Morning Wilton is a fellow member of Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers.


Connecticut Launches Coronavirus Infoline for General Questions From the Public

Regularly and thoroughly cleaning your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water is one of the most important ways of reducing your chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19. Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash.

Connecticut Residents Can Call 2-1-1 or text CTCOVID to 898211

HARTFORD, CT – (Press release) Governor Ned Lamont announced yesterday (March 7) that the State of Connecticut is partnering with United Way of Connecticut to launch an information hotline for questions from the public regarding issues related to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). People who have questions can call 2-1-1 or text “CTCOVID” to 898211.

Answers to many of the questions people may have can already be found by visiting the state’s coronavirus information website at ct.gov/coronavirus. People are encouraged to review that website for answers to their questions first before calling the hotline.

This information hotline is only intended to be used by individuals who are not experiencing symptoms but may have general questions related to COVID-19. Anyone experiencing symptoms is strongly urged to contact their medical provider to seek treatment.

“We understand people have specific questions but we want to stress that this call center is only intended for general information. Anyone looking for specific medical advice regarding symptoms they may be experiencing is strongly urged to seek medical treatment,” Governor Lamont said.

The 2-1-1 hotline is available 24 hours a day. Multilingual assistance and TDD/TTY access for those with a hearing impairment is also available.

Editor’s Note: The World Health Organization (WHO) has a section of its website titled Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak where you can find information and guidance from WHO regarding the current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) that was first reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. The WHO suggests readers should visit the section for daily updates.


A la Carte: The Irrestible Magic of Maple-Apple Blondies

Wow, three days of watching movies at The Garde:- The Farewell (wonderful) and Jojo Rabbit (which I was wary of seeing but, at the end, fell in love with it).  Then I saw Bombshell, but I liked the television adaptation about Roger Ailes/Fox better (The Loudest Voice). The Showtime movie made Russell Crowe (as Ailes) even more of an animal.

It was a busy week, but I found time to get to Shop-Rite and bought a rotisserie chicken, lots of vegetables (two big heads of cauliflower, which I cut into florets to parboil and freeze), green grapes, bananas and apples, along with pork cutlets and hot Italian sausage. When I got home, I wanted something sweet, so I made these blondies, below.

I tasted just one and will take the rest to a meeting. Nothing decadent is left in the house, except four pints of Haagen Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.

Maple-Apple Blondies

From 100 Best Apple Recipes (Better Homes & Gardens, Meredith Co., 2019)

Yield: 36 bars

Nonstick cooking spray
¾ cup butter
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and chopped (about 1 and ¾ cups)
1 cup packed light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup pure maple syrup
2 eggs
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1 recipe for maple icing

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13- by 9-inch pan with foil, extending the foil over edges. Lightly coat foil with cooking spray. In a medium saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat. Add apples and cook about 12 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Remove apples from saucepan and set aside.

In the same saucepan, melt remaining butter over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in both sugars and maple syrup until smooth. Stir in eggs and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Stir in cooked apples. Spread batter in prepared pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until evenly browned and edges are puffed. Cool in pan on a wire rack. Spread maple icing over bars. Let stand until icing is set. Use edges of foil to lift uncut bars out of pan. Cut into 36 bars. 

Maple Icing

In a small bowl, stir together 2 cups powdered sugar, ¼ cup maple syrup and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Stir in enough milk (about 2 tablespoons) to make a thin spreading consistency.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and also for the Shore Publishing and Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. 


Save The Date for East Lyme’s 2020 ‘Touch-a-Truck,’ May 16

Touch A Truck is for one and all, big and small.
Spend some time with us, have yourselves a ball.

EAST LYME — On Saturday, May 16, the Thames West Auxiliary of Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut and the East Lyme Parks & Recreation Department will co-sponsor the 13th Annual Touch A Truck. This family event will take place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at McCook Point Park in Niantic, Conn., with a rain date of Sunday, May 17.

Fire engines, food, and face painting will all be on offer! This year, the event celebrates Armed Forces Day (May 16) with an emphasis on vehicles from the National Guard, Submarine Base, and Coast Guard. In addition, music performances in the Band Pavilion will feature patriotic music.

The main event is, of course, trucks! Children will be able to climb, steer, blow horns, and just imagine in a wonderful array of trucks. This unique event will feature vehicles from the military, law enforcement, fire departments, commercial companies, and industrial companies.

In addition, Roaming Railroad will provide tours around the park. Six Food Trucks will return to provide an array of food choices for snacks and lunch. Also, the Rotary Club of Niantic will be on hand to present Amber Alert, a program allowing parents to take steps to safeguard their children. There will also be face-painting, hair-beading, games, and crafts. 

The suggested donation is $5 per person (age 2 and up) to benefit the Child and Family Agency (CFA) of Southeastern CT, Inc., a private non-profit that has been working to support children and families for over 200 years. CFA provides a continuum of care beginning with early childhood development centers, outpatient and home-based behavioral health services, as well as school-based health centers and after-school programming. Last year CFA served over 10,000 children and families in over 40 Connecticut communities.

Visit the CFA website to learn more about the Agency, to volunteer, or to donate.

To learn more about Touch A Truck 2020 or to register a vehicle, visit the CFA website, their Facebook page ‘Touch A Truck East Lyme, CT’ or call Child & Family Agency at 860-443-2896, Ext. 1407.


‘Survivors of Suicide Loss’ Meet 1st, 3rd Thursdays at LYSB in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The Brian Dagle Foundation hosts Survivors of Suicide Loss  tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau building, 59 Lyme St., Old Lyme. The group meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at the same location.

This group of survivors offer support, healing, and hope so that together they can survive their loss. The group provides an atmosphere of acceptance for exploring feelings that are often not understood by others. It offers a chance to share helpful resources and to provide and receive support through the long grief process.

All are welcome and admission is free. Call Ann Irr Dagle to register at 860-625-5280 or email her at bdtmemorialfoundation@gmail.com

This group is led by an American Foundation of Suicide Prevention trained facilitator, who is also a survivor of suicide loss.For more information, visit the Brian Dagle Foundation’s website.


Are You Eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit? Find Out With Free Tax Help From VITA

HARTFORD/ LYME-OLD LYME — Workers may get a larger tax refund this year because of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). But to get it, you must file a tax return and claim it.

This year, IRS is promoting EITC and providing information on other refundable tax credits for which you may be eligible. This includes the Child Tax Credit (CTC), the Additional Child Tax Credit (ACTC), the Credit for Other Dependents (ODC) and the American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC).

If your 2019 income is up to $56,000, the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in Connecticut provides free tax preparation services, including filing for the EITC and other credits for individuals and families with 2019 incomes up to $56,000, persons with disabilities and limited-English-speaking taxpayers. Appointments at VITA locations across the state are now open.

The Village for Families & ChildrenUnited Way of Central and Northeastern ConnecticutHuman Resources Agency of New Britain and the Connecticut Association for Human Services have opened tax filing sites in Litchfield, Hartford, Tolland, Windham, Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London Counties.

To schedule an appointment at a VITA location, visit 211CT.org and click on “Tax Help” or dial 2-1-1 and press 3 then 6.

Experienced VITA volunteers are ready to help you with tax preparation in numerous locations across Connecticut. File photo.

VITA volunteers – trained by the Internal Revenue Service – ask you the needed questions to find out if you qualify for EITC and other refundable tax credits. They also prepare and e-file (electronically file) your tax return at no cost to you.

“Our community volunteers help you get EITC and the maximum refund you’re due. Our goal is to help you get it and get it right. This is money you can save or use to pay off bills, buy that car to get to work or make a down payment on a home. Let us help make your life a little easier,“ said Laura O’Keefe, director of family financial stability at The Village for Families and Children.

EITC can mean up to a $6,431 refund when you file a return if you have qualifying children. Workers without a qualifying child could be eligible for a smaller credit up to $519. According to the Internal Revenue Service, the average amount credited for 2019 was $2,476.

In 2019, 25 million workers received more than $63 billion in EITC refunds. In Connecticut, 216,000 workers received $485 million in Earned Income Tax Credits, averaging $2,243 per person.

The IRS estimates four of five eligible taxpayers claim and get the EITC. EITC and other income tax credits lifted an estimated 9 million people out of poverty last year, including 5 million or more than half of them children. (Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Policy Basics: The Earned Income Tax Credit, June 21, 2019)

Bring the following to make sure VITA volunteers get you the right amount of credit you deserve:

  • A valid driver’s license or other photo id card
  • Social security cards, a social security number verification letter for all persons listed on the return
  • Birth dates for all persons listed on return
  • All income statements: Forms W-2 and 1099, Social Security, unemployment, and other statements, such as pensions, stocks, interest and any documents showing taxes withheld
  • All records of expenses, such as tuition, mortgage interest, or real estate taxes
  • Copies of last year’s state and federal tax returns, if you have
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers to direct deposit any refund
  • Dependent child care information: name and address of who you paid and either the caretaker’s SSN or other tax identification number
  • If you purchased coverage through the Health Insurance MarketplaceForm 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement
  • Both spouses to sign forms to e-file a joint tax return

In addition to face-to-face tax assistance, free online self-preparation and tax help is available for people who make up to $66,000 at www.myfreetaxes.com.

For more than a decade, VITA coalitions have been helping working families become financially secure. Free tax preparation is one way for hard-working families to keep more money in their wallets by obtaining the tax refunds and credits they have earned.

Last year, volunteers at 175 VITA locations across Connecticut brought $73,222.366.00 in total refunds and credits to filers.

The 2019-2020 VITA and MyFreeTaxes program partners are: CT Association for Human Services; Human Resources Agency of New Britain; Internal Revenue Service; The Village for Families & Children; and Connecticut United Ways.

Editor’s Note: This article is taken from a Press Release. For further information, contact one of the following:
Laura O’Keefe, Director of Family Financial Stability, The Village for Families & Childrenlokeefe@thevillage.org, 860-236-4511 ext. 3836
Maura Cook, Director of Community Engagement and Marketing, United Way of Central and Northeastern CTmcook@unitedwayinc.org; 860-493-1131
Juan Berrios, Community and Financial Services Program Manager, HRA of New Britainjberrios@hranbct.org; 860-225-8601
Takima Robinson, VITA/Asset Building Program Manager, CT Association for Human Servicestrobinson@cahs.org, 860-951-2212 x229


Facts & Figures from Old Lyme EMS; Falls Dominate List of Reasons for Ambulance Call-Outs

You’ve seen their ambulances around town but do you know how many calls they respond to in a month?

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme EMS Ambulance Service responded to 74 calls in November 2019 and 70 in December 2019.

Breathing Issues 56
Abdominal pain22
Chest Pain33
Cardiac Arrest03
Altered Mental Status04
Traffic accident/MVA1610
Medical Device - alarm61
Hazardous Material (Fumes, etc.)00
Stand-by (Fire, etc.)31
Lift Assistance00
Fire - EMS for patients/firemen21
Cold exposure00
Allergic Reaction00
Psychiatric/Behavioral Health74

Following Up On Falls — Why They Happen, How to Avoid Them, What to Do If they Happen

Falls came in as the number one reason for ambulance call-outs in December and number two in November.

Falls can be caused by a myriad of reasons including falling out of a bed, off of a ladder, or down stairs; or slipping on a wet floor, snow/ice, or toys; or a medical reasonsuch as a changed or new medication resulting in a loss of balance.

If you have a walking frame, always use it to avoid falls.

Many falls are preventable if people would simply take a second to ask themselves if they should take the risk of going up the ladder, or call someone to help instead. Similarly, taking a few steps without a walker or cane when you normally use one, or making a snap decision to run out and get the mail in the snow without putting on the proper boots to avoid a slip can have disastrous consequences.

The amount of time it takes to think about a quick action like those mentioned is much shorter than the time it will taketo recover from an injury. Ask yourself if the risk is worth it or would it better to wait?

Although falls happen at any age, records show that 32,000 seniors fall each year causing detrimental injuries to themselves. With aging bodies, these injuries can be both life-altering and extremely costly to treat.

Whatever the injury, when you call 911, you can be assured that Old Lyme EMT’s (Emergency Medical Technician) and EMR’s (Emergency Medical Responders) are trained to the National Education Standards. Moreover, every EMT or EMR in the United States is trained to the exact same level by means of monthly mandatory and elective training sessions. (Our training will be the subject of another article.)

After a fall, if you are in a safe place, it is best not to move. Emergency Medical Service providers will evaluate the mechanism of injury, including

  • CMS (Circulatory, Motor and Sensory)-evaluation
  • obtaining vital signs to rule out any possible medical reasons for the fall
  • asking the patient or witness(es) full details of the fall/injury, recent pertinent medical issues and medication list.

Another way to avoid falls is to use the facilities provided by stores andbusinesses to assist you.

Once on the scene, it should take about 10 minutes in total to evaluate the reason for fall, take vitals, and stabilize any injuries for transport.

There may be times when a patient has hit his/her head and experienced a severe injury or bleed. This is when the 911 dispatcher will also send a paramedic to the scene — typically a paramedic from the Middlesex Health Medical Center in Westbrook.

Emergency Medical Technicians and EMR’s make up the body of a volunteer ambulance organization for BLS (Basic Life Support) whereas Paramedics provide ALS (Advanced Life Support.)

The paramedic will perform an advanced evaluation. Paramedics are ‘advanced’ EMT’s, who are able to run an EKG, intubate the airway, start an IV, administer medications, and more.

If paramedics find it necessary to stay with the patient for advanced care and transport with the EMT/EMR’s, they take over the care of the patient supported by BLS assistance frm the EMT/EMR’s.

An Important Reminder About ‘Lift Assists’

There may be a time when a patient has fallen and — whether elderly or not — is unable to get up. Under those circumstances, you can call 911 and request a ‘Lift Assist.’ An ambulance crew will respond to the scene, evaluate the patient’s vitals and ensure the patient is stable other than needing to be assisted and helped to their requested place, e.g. bed, chair, wheelchair.

There is no charge for this assistance — it is a community service. In the event additional manpower is required, 911 dispatchers will put out a call requesting additional EMS crew and/or volunteer firemen.

After evaluating a patient, if it is felt that the patient requires more than just a ‘Lift Assist,’ transportation will be provided.

If you have an interest in joining OLEMS to receive training as an EMR or EMT, call 860-434-0089 or stop by the Cross Lane Fire/EMS building Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.to 5 p.m. for more information. (The office will be manned unless the day crew is out on a call.)


Start the New Year with a Twist … of Yoga! Classes at Saint Ann’s Thursday Mornings, All Welcome

OLD LYME — Yoga With A Twist is an all-level gentle Yoga Class. It is appropriate for first-time yoga students and those who are more experienced. The class will include breath work, stretching and moving with the combined objectives of strengthening the body, and improving balance and overall well-being.  Chairs will be available for those who do not want to practice on the mat.   

The instructor is Deb Novack, who believes that Yoga is for everyone and no matter what your limitations are, you will feel an improvement the first time you come to class. Dhe is a Hatha-style Yoga Teacher, who incorporates meditation, breathing techniques, restorative and yin poses and shapes, into her teahing.  

Novack is excited about, and experienced in, introducing new people to the healing modality of Yoga and meditation.

Class will be held at Saint Ann’s Church, 82 Shore Rd., Old Lyme, Conn. in the Griswold Room on Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. beginning on Jan. 9.  Bring a Yoga mat and any props you like working with (e.g., blocks, straps, blankets, etc.). Chairs will be available for use.

This is a community event and all are welcome.

The suggested donation is $10 and no reservation is required.  

Contact Deb Novack with any questions at debnovack1@yahoo.com or contact the Parish Office at Saint Ann’s #860-434-1621.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, which is under the direction of the Provisional Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Dr. Anita L. Schell. Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rt. 156), two miles off I95, Exit 70. Convenient parking is adjacent to the church and the Sanctuary has ADA access. For more information, visit www.saintannsoldlyme.org .