December 6, 2019

Play Bingo Wednesdays through the Summer at Sound View!

Sound View Beach Association hosts Bingo on Wednesdays in the summer through Sept. 4, at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Avenue, Old Lyme.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and the game starts at 7 p.m.

Come for a fun evening and win some money!

Admission is $12 per person.

For information, call Bob at 860-434-3745 or 860-225-9458.

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Op-Ed: What’s Happening With Halls Road? Looking Back, Looking Forward, a Personal View of the Project

The view (minus traffic!) looking up Halls Road today — how will it look in 10 year’s time?

Editor’s Note: We felt it would be helpful to our readers to provide some context to Saturday’s Open House on the future of Halls Road and the important discussions it involves about the future of Old Lyme. While we were working on an article, Mark Terwilliger submitted his own thoughts on the project. We are publishing his piece here and will now publish our own later in the week.  In the interests of full transparency, we note that Terwilliger is the partner of Halls Road Improvement Committee member Edie Twining.

What’s going on with Halls Road?

The Halls Road Improvement Committee (HRIC) is tasked with leading a town-wide discussion on the future of the Halls Road district. The ultimate goal of these discussions is the creation of a master plan that will guide future outside investments and development in that area.

How did this come about?

Some people in town were pushing for road and traffic changes to improve pedestrian / bicycle access to the shopping area on Halls Road, and asking the town to allocate money for those purposes. The town seemed amenable.

Other people said, “Wait a minute. Why should we make a non-trivial investment in this when we don’t even know what other (private or state) changes are planned, or in the offing, for this district? For that matter, we don’t even know what the town as a whole wants or needs from the future of this district.” And that began the process of looking in a more formal way at what changes we might want to see in the Halls Road district over the course of the next decade or two.

Why not just leave it alone?

Change is coming, whether we want it or not. No one can stop it. Our only choice is either to try to shape that change in the directions we want, or to let the changes happen to us without our input. The only outcome that is flatly impossible is “no change.”

The grocery stores of Old Lyme make a good example of change. In the early 20th century there were multiple grocers, meat markets, and general stores in various districts of Old Lyme. Main Street (as it was called then) had several, one of which was the A&P. The A&P was still the main grocery (and still on Lyme St.) in the 1950s. They told the town they needed to greatly expand their store and nearby parking to stay in business. Eventually the town responded by making two major adjustments.

A group of local investors raised money for a “modern” strip center along Halls Rd., and the town changed the zoning in that area to make it only suitable for such use: they zoned it for commercial use only, and required a 60 ft. set-back from the road to leave ample space for cars. When the A&P expanded further, new investors were sought and the original community investors held only a minority interest.

The A&P eventually went bankrupt, but the owners of the shopping center found a new anchor tenant in the Big Y.

Attracting and keeping businesses requires cooperation and responsiveness on the part of the town. The Big Y has a much larger store nearby in Old Saybrook and several more along the shoreline. I have no idea what the Big Y’s plans are for their smaller Old Lyme store, and anyone who is privy to that sort of information might not be at liberty to say.

Businesses make their own decisions based on their own interests, and that is as it should be. And that is the point. The environment changes, and businesses adapt or die. The town itself has a role to play in creating an environment that favors the kinds of businesses, the kinds of investments, and the kinds of development that will create and support the town as they want it to be.

What should we, as a town, hope to accomplish?

There is more to the town’s role than simply reacting to some proposed change or hustling to stave off a bad outcome. The whole object of the current process is to point to the most positive future for the Halls Road area and devise a sound set of measures to help create it.

If we (with the help of the HRIC and others) can put together a solid picture of the economic advantages of locating certain kinds of businesses in Old Lyme, and if we can demonstrate that we are in broad agreement as to what kinds of development we would like in the Halls Road area, and show that we are prepared to make the changes necessary to permit and promote that kind of development, then we have a much greater chance of attracting developers who will make the significant investments of money and time required to make our plans a reality.

All of these “ifs” will take time, effort, and involvement from many different groups and individuals. The Halls Road Improvement Committee is looking for broad-based participation, particularly in the processes leading to the creation of a master plan that can guide future developments along Halls Road.

A master plan does not create anything by fiat. The objective, rather, is to create a plan that has broad support, has a firm basis in economic realities, and offers attractive opportunities for reputable developers and current owners alike.

If we do not make this effort, if we simply leave the future shape of Halls Road to the uncoordinated, one-point decisions of each current and future property owner with no guidance from the town, we will have no room to complain when things do not go as we wish. That could happen in a big way if we do not plan ahead. Changes well beyond the control of the town or any particular business are already under way.

How have things changed?

Retail stores, particularly in strip malls and big box malls, are under severe pressure from online shopping. More than half of U.S. households are Amazon Prime members. I would guess the percentage is even higher in Old Lyme. The online-centered lifestyle has nearly killed the bookstores and wrecked retail giants.

Curiously, it has also created a new demand for what Old Lyme once had: a centralized meeting place with a mix of stores and homes, public buildings and public parks — a place where one could park the car and walk to do errands, meet friends, hear the latest, or just watch the world go by. It’s the meeting places and public life that are missing in the online-focused world.

Retailers and developers have taken notice and altered their plans accordingly. “Mixed use” is the one environment in which bricks-and-mortar retail still seems to flourish. It is a mix of residential, shopping, dining, entertainment, supermarkets, offices, and walkable public spaces that provide a place to linger and meet with friends.

When cars were the center of life, shopping required a huge parking lot. Now it takes a cell phone. More and more parking lots are half-empty or dead. It turns out you can’t have a neighborhood without actual neighbors, no matter how clever the marketing. When an area includes real, full-time residents, it feels different and alive. It isn’t just a place to run errands, but a place with a full life of its own.

People want the amenities of shops and so forth, but they also want the experience of other people around them. This is the one thing they cannot get when they are online — as they increasingly are whether at work or at leisure. Mixing residential and commercial, public and private spaces creates a more attractive environment for both businesses and residents.

Unmet needs and Halls Road

Older people who have lived in Old Lyme for decades find they must move to another town if they want to downsize. Mixed use housing in the Halls Road area could be an attractive alternative for many in this situation. It would also be attractive for younger people just starting out in life. Adding new uses to the land near Halls Road will also create new sources of tax revenue, providing some relief for existing tax payers.

What next?

The zoning we created to serve the 1950s’ car culture mandates nothing but strip malls — and that may now be an economic dead end. If we want anything new or different, we will have to make the changes to support it.

We as a town are a long way from having a shared vision of what is best for Halls Road. That process will take time and active participation. The HRIC works to lead the process, to make it transparent, and to keep people informed and involved. As a part of that effort, they are hosting an Open House at Memorial Town Hall this Saturday, June 15, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

I urge you to stop by for a few minutes and take a look at some of the ideas that are in discussion. The future shape of Halls Road is not a simple yes or no question. Most of us depend on the services available there, and many of us have ideas about how it could be better.

The HRIC Open House on Saturday is the latest opportunity to get involved in the discussion.

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Talking Transportation: Why the Scorn for Bus Riders?

Jim Cameron

Why do many people have such scorn for those who take the bus?

Forty-one million trips are taken on 12,000 public buses each year in Connecticut in communities across the state (not counting school buses.)  Yet, those riders are regarded as losers, not by the transit operators, but by those who drive by car.

When Southington was recently considering restoring bus service for the first time since 1969, a local resident wrote a letter to the local paper declaring “Towns that have bus service are towns that frankly have a lesser quality of people.”

Really?  “Lesser quality,” how?  Because they can’t afford to own a car?  Or because they are minorities?  That comment is either racist or classist or both.

As I wrote recently, the Greater Bridgeport Transit bus system carries 18,000 passengers every day (5.2 million a year), 90 percent of them either going to school or work.  Something like 26 percent of all Bridgeport train riders got to or from the station by bus.

Sure, some are non-white or non-English speaking.  But why begrudge them transportation?  You’d rather they not have a job or an education?

And yes, their fares are kept low with state subsidies.  But their incomes are also low and for them, even a $1.75 bus fare is expensive.  Remember … Metro-North trips (26.5 million per year), though also expensive (the highest in the US), are also subsidized.

But the biggest target of transit scorn is CTfastrak, the four-year-old, 9.4-mile-long dedicated BRT (bus rapid transit) system running between Hartford and New Britain.  Transit planners from across the country come to study CTfastrak. The Feds are looking to spend $665 million on similar systems across the US.

Yet Connecticut Republicans were trying to close it before it even began.

When it first opened in 2014, the CDOT projected 16,000 daily riders.  To date, the ridership is closer to 11,400.  Fares are cheap ($1.75 round-trip) and service is frequent with buses departing every few minutes.  From New Britain to downtown Hartford, it’s only 20 minutes, even at rush hour.  That’s about half the time you’d spend on I-84 stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

From the dedicated bus-only right-of-way, buses can also transfer to local roads into downtown Hartford and communities ranging from New Britain and Bristol to Cheshire and Waterbury.  The stations are clean and modern and the buses even offer free Wi-Fi … something we still don’t (and probably never will) have on Metro-North.

Critics complain about “empty buses” riding up and down the system.  Sure, the buses may not be jammed like Metro-North on a summertime Friday, but they do carry thousands every day.  Imagine if those bus riders were in cars.  How’d you like the traffic then?

Why the scorn for bus riders?  Beyond racism and class-warfare, I think there’s actually some jealousy.  Why do they get a fast, clean, cheap ride when I’m stuck in traffic?  Well, for some it’s a matter of necessity: they don’t own or have access to a car.  For others, as with train riders, it’s a matter of choice: they prefer the bus for speed and convenience.

So can we please stop shaming bus riders?

Like all of us, they have places to go, so let’s just allow them to ride in peace and harmony.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com  For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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Two Lyme-Old Lyme Organizations Combine Their Talents to Build a Beautiful Butterfly Garden

Duck River Garden Club member Fay Wilkman digs deep during Saturday’s event with the Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club to plant a butterfly garden at the Cross Lane Playground. Meanwhile, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (standing to rear of photo) takes a break from her digging. Photo by Kimberly Russell Thompson.

A wonderful example of community cooperation took place in Old Lyme last Saturday, which generated not only a great deal of fun and camaraderie at the time, but also a beautiful garden for the future.

It all began with the Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC)’s multi-year campaign to raise funds for new playground equipment at Cross Lane Park, which came to fruition with the official opening of the playground in April 2018.  During the campaign, the Club received a generous sum, to which the donor attached two requests.  The first was that it should remain anonymous and the second that it be used to create a butterfly garden at the renovated playground as a memorial.

Due to the timing of the playground’s installation, it was not possible to plant the butterfly garden last year but this year everything came together.

Sarah Michaelson plants more perennial pollinator bushes.  Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Petie Reed, owner of Perennial Harmony Garden and Landscape in East Lyme, who is a member of both the LOLJWC and the Duck River Garden Club (DRGC), proposed that the LOLJWC should share development of the project with the DRGC and the DRGC enthusiastically embraced the idea.  Reed was assisted throughout the project by her partner, Rich Oliver.
Reed worked with numerous members of both organizations including Suzanne Thompson of the DRGC and Anna Reiter, outgoing LOLJWC President. The group designed it to be a wildlife garden of native plants well-suited for the shaded, boggy terrain.  The selection of native shrubs and perennials includes aromatic sumacs, viburnum, huchera, black-eyed susans and baptisia will support many pollinator insects and birds.

Reiter explained that during design discussions, Reed, “suggested we allow for a more community feel to the garden, by allowing families to “adopt” a garden plot.” Reiter continued, “For a nominal fee, we supplied some specific native plants that will encourage local wildlife and pollinators for each of the community garden plots, and families were encouraged to bring their own non-invasive plants for their plot.”

From left to right, Kay Reiter stands with long-time DRGC member Mim Beardsley, incoming LOLJWC President Kim Russell Thompson, and Izzy Thompson.  Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

The finishing touch was that the LOLJWC also supplied a ceramic garden stake, which families can take to Ocean Art Studio in Old Saybrook to customize and then place in their garden.

Reiter noted there are still some plots available for purchase, emphasizing that the owner families and LOLJWC members will be watering the gardens throughout the summer to get them established.  Once settled in, these native plants will need minimal watering and will continue to spread and naturalize the area around the playground.
A large group of DRGC and LOLJWC members of all ages along with spouses, children, relatives and friends turned out Saturday to spend the morning cheerfully planting and watering. Fay Wilkman and Mim Beardsley, both members of the DRGC, also assisted with the installation, and incoming LOLJWC President Kimberly Russell Thompson summed up the universal feeling at the end of the successful event when she said simply, “It was a very fun day!”

Fun and flowers … and smiles! An LOLJWC member and her daughter (in foreground) and incoming LOLJWC Vice President Angela Mock and her daughter Ally all take a well-earned break from their labors.  Photo by Suzanne Thompson.

Looking to the future, Reiter commented, “Petie and I hope these beds also will provide inspiration and ideas to families who want to plant more native flowers and shrubs in their own yards,” while Thompson added,  “Next steps are to seek grant funding so we can put up educational signs in the beds, to identify the plants and their benefits to wildlife.”
After expressing sincere thanks to the anonymous donor and all those who had made creation of the butterfly garden a reality, Reiter concluded positively, “We are hoping the community will walk through the gardens and enjoy the beauty of the park and the wildlife — this was a very special gift!”

Editor’s Note: Garden plots are still available for purchase at $30 each.  The purchaser must agree to tend and water their garden throughout this season.  A rain barrel and water cans are available to make watering fun and easy.  If you wish to purchase a plot, visit the LOLJWC website at www.loljwc.com or email Anna Reiter at loljrwomencub@gmail.com. There is a link to purchase a plot on the website. 

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Gainor Davis Appointed to Lead Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Starting July 1

Gainor B. Davis, New Executive Director at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex, Conn.

The Connecticut River Museum, on the waterfront in Essex, Conn., has announced the selection of Gainor Davis as the new Executive Director. Chosen after a nationwide search, Ms. Davis will assume the duties of Executive Director on July 10, 2019.

Davis currently serves as the Executive Director of the Historical Society of Carroll County in Westminster, Md., a museum which she has led since January 2015. She is an experienced museum executive, having previously led several important institutions, including serving as the President/CEO of the Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio, for six years; as President/CEO of the York (Pa.) County Heritage Trust; as Director of the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier and Barre, Vt.; and as Executive Director of Longue Vue House & Gardens in New Orleans, La.

Davis has established a reputation of achieving financial stability for her institutions, along with overseeing up-to-date, audience-oriented, relevant programming that has attracted new audiences. Her accomplishments include overseeing the creation of three new hands-on spaces at three different museums – experience that uniquely qualifies her to create and open the Connecticut River Museum’s planned new River Discovery Center on its campus.

Davis brings a strong background in fundraising and marketing, and she has led two successful multi-million-dollar capital campaigns. Prior to her museum-director positions, her fundraising career included posts at Temple University in Philadelphia as Director of Development & Alumni Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences; at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as Associate Director of Corporate & Foundation Relations; at the Strong Museum in Rochester, N.Y., as Deputy Director for Public Affairs, and at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as Director of Development and then as Associate Director of Administration.

Davis holds a Ph.D. in American History from Temple University in Philadelphia, an M.A. in American History and Certificate in Museum Studies from the University of Delaware, Newark, Del., and an A.B. in History from Smith College in Northampton, Mass. She has also published and lectured widely.

She stated, “I am very excited about the role that the museum can play in serving both the Essex-area community and the larger Connecticut River region north of the museum, extending into Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. I look forward to partnering with local and regional organizations to serve new communities. I am delighted to move back to New England and to the Essex region, where I have many ties, and to become part of the community” Davis added, “It is an honor to be invited to join the capable staff at the CRM and to work with such a committed Board.”

Peter Coombs, who chaired the Search Committee as well as chairing the museum’s board, said, “Gainor Davis was selected after a rigorous national search, with a unanimous decision of the Search Committee and the unanimous approval of the Board. We were impressed with Gainor’s accomplishments over a distinguished career as a history-museum director and advancement professional.”

Davis will take the reins from Interim Director Tom Wilcox, who is leading the museum through the transition period. Previous director Christopher Dobbs announced last August that he had accepted an offer to lead the larger Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, Mont., triggering the nationwide search.

The Search Committee was chaired by Board Chair Peter Coombs and co-chaired by Alison Brinkman. It included board and community members Tom Klin, Joanne Masin, Brenda Milkofsky and Tom Wilcox. For the national search, the Connecticut River Museum retained Marilyn Hoffman and Scott Stevens of Museum Search & Reference, an executive-search firm located in Manchester, NH and Boston that specializes in placing museum leaders.

Founded in 1974, the Connecticut River Museum has developed as a place where anyone interested in topics about the River can come and be inspired through exhibitions and collections, a library, educational opportunities and public programs. The mission is to lead in the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its valley.

Since 1986, it has been accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, a mark of distinction in the field. The Connecticut River Museum’s campus includes the preserved 1878 Essex Steamboat Dock and Warehouse, which was saved from demolition, the Hayden Chandlery, which now serves as the Thomas A. Stevens Library, and the historic 1732 Samuel Lay House.

Education is central to the museum’s mission, and public programs include workshops for school-age children, adult lectures, and on-water excursions aboard the recreation of Adriaen Block’s Onrust and RiverQuest as part of its popular eagle watches. Annually, the museum serves more than 20,000 general visitors, delivers programing to 4,000 school children, and provides scholarship support to a further 1,000 underserved school children and summer campers.

The museum is located on the Essex waterfront at 67 Main Street and is a membership-supported educational organization. Membership is open to all.

For more information regarding the Museum, call 860-767-8269 or see www.ctrivermuseum.org.

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Everyone Loves a Parade! Memories of Memorial Day 2019

Quietly sitting behind a stash of Memorial Day flags, this baby patiently waits for the parade to begin.

It was a perfect day for a parade on Monday in Old Lyme and our wonderful town hosted yet another parade filled not only with mirth and merriment, but also pride and patriotism.

Huge thanks to our fantastic photographers, Troy Clark, Michele Dickey, and Mary Jo Nosal.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School band, under the direction of Mr. Jay Wilson, leads off the parade.

VFW members march into view soon after …

… followed by Old Lyme’s First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (front left), Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, Selectman Chris Kerr (back right) and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), who acknowledge the cheering crowd.

The three winners of the fifth-grade essay contest, “What Memorial Day Means to Me” ride proudly in the parade.  It’s said that one of the best perks of winning the contest is to ride in that red convertible toward the front of the parade!  The winners are, from left to right: Silver Medalist Jonathan Farrell, Gold-Medal Winner Carter McGinchy, and Second Runner Up Carlson St. Louis.  All attend Lyme Consolidated School.

For perhaps the first time in the parade, a pull-toy bunny chases after a people-powered red wagon. Will it ever catch up?

Another parade first? Members of the Shoreline Roller Derby—an all-female roller-skating league from Groton (think the former Melody Skating Rink)–dazzled spectators while handing out fliers.

The Nightingales Precision Ukulele Band also incorporated a few kazoos …

Members of the Old Lyme Historical Society look resplendent in a horse-drawn wagon.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Band, directed by Ms. Carrie Wind, performed without music during the parade’s return trip as well!

Pearl Harbor survivor Floyd Welch is a reminder of the real meaning of the holiday.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s Techno-Ticks demonstrated a device all along the parade route that tossed baseball-sized beach balls into the crowds lining the route. Some who caught the balls returned them, while others kept them as souvenirs.

The Deep River Fife & Drum Corps play their hearts out …

… while one of Old Lyme Fire Department’s trucks, filled with excited children, follows it down the parade route.

The New London Firefighters Pipes & Drums bring the spirit of Scotland to the parade, and …


… members of the Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD) look splendid in red and black.

This OLFD member carries flowers into the cemetery …

… to join fellow OLFD members standing in line ready for the cemetery service to begin.

State Senator Paul Formica (R) helps Pearl Harbor survivor Floyd R. Welch from his car …

Mr. Welch makes his way to the service, assisted by Senator Formica and a second gentleman.

Old Lyme Fire Department Chaplain Mervyn Roberts, assisted by two members of the OLFD, heads towards the American Legion tent for VIP guests at the service.

Chaplain Roberts gives his traditional speech at the service.

Commander William Appleby  (in sunglasses) looks on attentively while Chaplain Roberts speaks.

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (D) stands with Old Lyme Selectman Chris Kerr (R), State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

Chaplain Roberts (second from left) sits with the three essay winners on the front row of the American Legion tent.

What a grand day with so many memories!

 

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The Movie Man: ‘Game of Thrones’ Has Ended — What Did YOU Think of the Finale? And Will You Sign the Petition??

Kevin Ganey

“What is dead may never die.”

In spring of 2011 I saw advertisements for an upcoming fantasy show on IMDb, Game of Thrones. I did not pay much attention to it, but it did not take long for me to see its effect on everybody else. It became a phenomenon.

Two years later, South Park aired an episode parodying the affairs of Westeros with the imminent Black Friday as retail’s version of “winter is coming.” I was intrigued and asked around if this show was all that it was hyped up to be. My Christmas list that year included the DVD for the available seasons.

But I did not catch on.

I made it to the third episode and got distracted. This paralleled my fitness life, “I should get back to it, but I’ll need some motivation.”

So, the next several years passed by, and I was always out of the loop when it came to references such as “You know nothing, Jon Snow” and “Hold the door.” I even accompanied a friend to a tattoo parlor as he had the phrase “Valar Morghulis” (All men must die) permanently inked into his body. My other attempts of getting into the series proved to be fruitless, as well. But I was aware that nobody was safe, as George R. R. Martin killed off his characters like it was a bodily function.

Then in 2017, I happened to meet the actor Pedro Pascal through my job, and I had to confess I did not know who he was, and he proceeded to fill me in on his role as Oberyn Martell, but I informed him I had only made it three episodes in. Pascal consoled me saying that I would need to get into the second or third season to get that “hook” that everybody experienced. The next year, I tried watching again, and I made it past the first season, but was distracted (again).

Finally, after taking a position in the night shift, I decided to give it my full attention, and by the end of March 2019, I got “the hook.” After finishing one episode, I would instinctively start the next one, without thinking.

I finally understood what everyone was talking about when they repeated those iconic phrases, and the memes that would perfectly allude to real life events. I would spend hours watching interviews with the cast, particularly Emilia Clarke (her interviews prove that she is a phenomenal actress, nothing like the steadfastly ambitious Daenerys, but someone so silly and adorable that you feel the need to hug her.)

And above all, I was finally ready for the end of the series. HBO opted not to air the eighth and final season in 2018, but rather delayed it another year. Perhaps I can be naïve and think it was cosmically arranged for me to get caught up? But whatever. I had my computer ready to screen each episode after my work was done.

I enjoyed the first three episodes, tearing up when Jamie knighted Brienne, and clenching my grip on the chair as the North battled the armies of the Night King. I was already speculating on how the series would end. It was revealed in the previous season that the supposed bastard Jon Snow was the true heir to the Iron Throne, not Daenerys, the girl we were rooting for the entire time, so how would things turn out?

Would he abdicate in favor of the Mother of Dragons?

Would there be a conflict between the two of them?

And what would become of the malevolent and self-centered Cersei?

Nearly a third of my text messages in the last six weeks dealt with me trading theories with friends and commenting on whether they would work or not. It had to be good, since the show had so many satisfying moments in their conflicts, particularly when Sansa imprisoned the poster boy of sadism, Ramsay Bolton, who tormented her and several others, and had him fed to his own hounds (I was grinning ear to ear and pumping my fists when I watched this transpire.)

But when the last three episodes aired, I did not get the fulfillment I anticipated. To be frank, it was the weakest conclusion to the most intense series I had ever watched. It was almost as if one of Daenerys’ dragons gathered in as much air as he could, cocking his head back, and then thrusting forward to reveal, not a firestorm, but rather a mouth full of sparklers that had replaced his teeth.

Really?

I put so much priority over the course of five years to get myself hooked on the show that had taken the world by storm, and I finally caught on for the lamest conclusion ever. They had us on the hook for over eight years, and they could not provide a fitting conclusion. I sat before my computer, often wondering to myself out loud “How much longer is this?” It’s almost as if their creativity ran dry, and they thought to themselves, “How else are we going to get paid?”

Without giving away any spoilers, I can say, even if it seems arrogant, that this is not the ending we fans deserve. In fact, this is not the ending that the show, in itself, deserves (particularly the actors who have been there since the beginning!)

Yes, this is probably what was bound to happen when George R. R. Martin neglected to publish his final books as the series took the world by storm, having nothing to work with at the end of season five … but David Benioff and D. B. Weiss did manage to make the two following seasons without the use of Martin’s base material.

There is already a petition circulating the internet of fans demanding that the eighth season be tossed away, and a replacement season made in its place. A piece of retroactive continuity (similar to how Halloween’s sequels were done away with, and the 2018 installment is now a direct sequel.) Here is a link to the petition, and should a reader reach a similar conclusion as this review, I would urge them to sign it.

“And now our watch has ended.”

About the Author: Kevin Ganey has lived in the Lyme/Old Lyme area since he was three-years-old, attended Xavier High School in Middletown and recently graduated from Quinnipiac University with a degree in Media Studies. Prior to his involvement here at LymeLine.com, he worked for Hall Radio in Norwich, as well as interned under the Director of Communications at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center. Kevin has a passion for movies, literature, baseball, and all things New England-based … especially chowder.

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Where Art Meets Nature: I-Park Hosts Free, Open Studios Event Today

The public is invited to visit I-Park for its first Open Studios of the 2019 season. Guests will be able to meet six of the seven resident artists on Sunday, May 19, at 2 p.m. I-Park is located at 428 Hopyard Rd. in East Haddam, which adjoins the Devil’s Hopyard State Park.

The facility is generally closed to visitors to give the artists undisturbed time to work on their creative endeavors. But once a month, at the conclusion of each residency, visitors are invited to meet the artists in their studios, attend the presentation segment that features select time-based works, enjoy complimentary refreshments and stroll the trails winding through I-Park’s scenic, art-filled campus.

The studios will only be open from 2 until 3:30 p.m. so guests are encouraged to arrive early so they have enough time to visit all the studios before the 3:30 p.m. presentations.

A reception with refreshments will follow.

I-­Park is an artists-in-residence program offering fully funded residencies in visual arts, creative writing, music composition/sound art, moving image and architecture/landscape design. Since its founding in 2001, I-­Park has sponsored more than 900 residencies, and has developed cross-­‐disciplinary projects of cultural significance and brought them to life in the public domain.

Set within a 450-acre nature preserve, I-­Park has a strong interest in site-responsive and environmental art – and has been the setting for exhibitions, performances, symposia and programs that facilitate artistic collaboration.

The Artists-in-Residence at I-Park.

The artists-in-residence are:

Marianne Barcellona is a painter and professional photographer from New York City. Her extensive travels provide raw inspiration for her paintings.

Hugh Livingston is a composer and sound artist from California who creates multi-media installations related to natural and built spaces; he also performs exploratory cello music. His artworks have been installed internationally.

Colette Lucas is a mixed media artist and gardening enthusiast based in New Hampshire. Her botanical motifs are created from a combination of imagination, observation and research.

Tom Nazziola, a New Jersey composer, has had his music featured on virtually every medium in the world of music. From “live film music” to choral and orchestral pieces, his compositions have been performed around the world.

Dominica Phetteplace is a prize-winning Washington (state) poet and writer whose work has appeared in Asimov’s, Zyzzyva, Copper Nickel and Ecotone as well as numerous other publications.

Allison Roberts is a lens-based artist from Oklahoma. She works primarily with photography, video and installation to address memory, place and identity as such are experienced during periods of transition.

Jane Simpson is a mixed media artist from New Hampshire. Her collage and assemblage work is comprised mainly of found paper – made either by mother nature or human ingenuity. Recently she has incorporated graphite drawings inspired by vintage photographs.

Although admission to Open Studios is free, advance reservations are requested. To reserve your space, visit i-park.org. For additional information, email events@i-park.org, call 860-873-2468 or visit i-­‐park.org.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘Elastic’ by Leonard Mlodinow

This author writes, “ Today we consume, on average, a staggering 100,000 words of new information each day from various media, . . . a tidal wave of data . . . an unprecedented torrent of chaos . . . . “ It is his exploration of how human minds work when confronted with incessant and confusing change.

He challenges us to consider new ways of thinking, ways to use our brains, in light of this flood:

·      “the capacity to let go comfortable ideas and become accustomed to ambiguity and contradictions.”

·      Then “willingness to experiment and become tolerant of failure.”

·      Leading to “elastic thinking, a nonlinear mode of processing in which multiple treads of thought may be pursued in parallel”.

Mlodinow challenges, indeed encourages, our genetic ability to “make great adjustments”, contradicting centuries of fixed dogma handed down by soothsayers, priests, popes, imams, philosophers, and the millions who accept fixed ideas in return for a modicum of mental certainty. He suggests we become “neophiliac”, “attracted to both novelty and change.” For many of us that is a tall order, but Mlodinow makes a convincing argument. As he says, “The good news, as we face increasing novelty and accelerating change inn human society, is that although the changes are disruptive,. . . . Most of us have a good dose of neophilia in our genetic inheritance”.

Here’s how he explains it, “We tend to make quick initial assessments of issues based on the assumptions of the paradigms we follow. When people challenge our assessment, we tend to push back. Whatever our politics, the more we argue with others, the further we can dig I, and sometimes vilify those who disagree. Then we reinforce our ideas by preaching to the choir—our friends. But the mental flexibility to consider theories that contradict our beliefs and don’t fit our existing paradigms not only can make you a genius in science; it is also beneficial in everyday life.”

Mlodinow encourages “the symphonies in idle minds”, noting that our “unconscious minds” are at work all the time: “the brain is active even when a person is not engaged in conscious thought.” He goes on to encourage, therefore, “mindfulness,” those moments when we avoid deliberate though, when we can pause, reflect, and let the mind roam. Don’t even look at your cell phone for 24 hours! “Take a few minutes in the morning after you wake up to simply lie in bed” and “stare at the ceiling” – relax the mind. He also makes several references to the techniques of Buddhism, especially its Zen approach. For those so interested,, do try Robert Wright’s  Why Buddhism Is True (2017).

His suggestion: “history—and ordinary human life—is full of opportunities missed by not recognizing that change has occurred and that the previously unthinkable is now doable.”

This fascinating writer concludes: “ To be successful today, we must not only cope with the flood of knowledge and data about the present; we must also be able to anticipate the future, because change happens so rapidly that what works now will be dated and irrelevant tomorrow. The world today is a moving target.”

So open up our minds. And, if you are receptive, try some of his earlier words: Feynman’s Rainbow (2003); The Drunkard’s Walk (2008)and Subliminal (2012).

Editor’s Note: ‘Elastic’ by Leonard Mlodinow was published by Pantheon Books, New York 2018.

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction, which explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there. For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farm Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His late wife, Ann, was also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visited every summer.

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A la Carte: Thinking Delicious Dessert? How About Date Walnut Bread with Buttermilk Sorbet?

This is a difficult time of year for me when I bake. I want fresh rhubarb, strawberries and blueberries (although the last I usually buy frozen because I don’t care for fat, cultivated blurriest, preferring  Wyman’s frozen wild blueberries).

With no fresh fruit, I made two lemon loaf cakes from Ina Garten’s recipe. I took the cakes to meetings and they were eaten in no time.

Loaf pan cakes or breads are easy to make and, unlike most cakes, require no frostings. In addition, once you follow the recipe (flour, sugar, butter, egg and liquid), you can add dried fruit, nuts, coconut or chocolate or cinnamon chips.

I also noticed that I have too many cartons of buttermilk and too many plastic bags of walnuts. So I made the date nut bread along with this delicious buttermilk sorbet. Imagine it as dessert with the date nut cake or the nut bread sliced with cream cheese and pineapple as a tasty lunch.

The sorbet does, however, require an ice cream maker. Buy an inexpensive one, or borrow one from a friend.

Date Walnut Bread

I will double this recipe, make two loaves and use buttermilk instead of regular milk;

2 cups flour
1 tablespoons baking powder
one-half teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (you may use ground if you don’t have fresh)
5 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup finely chopped walnuts (I use a small wooden bowl and a mezzaluna)
1 cup chopped pitted dates (I chop them with a little flour so they are not sticky)
1 egg
1 cup milk
2 tablespoons melted butter

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9-inch loaf pan (I use Pam in the blue can).

Sift together flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg. Add brown sugar and mix. Add nuts and dates and stir together. Beat together egg and milk and add to dry ingredients, along with butter. Blend just enough to moisten the mixture. Pour into prepared loaf pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until top is cracked and a wooden skewer comes out dry. (I use these wooden skewers instead of toothpicks since the latter are too short to get to the bottom any bread or cake.) Cool slightly and invert onto a wire rack.

Buttermilk Sorbet
(From Martha Stewart Living, February 2000, page 193)

Yield: 1 and one-half  quarts

1 and one and three-quarter  cups sugar
2 cups water
2 cups buttermilk
1 and one-half teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Combine sugar in a medium saucepan with 2 cups water. Stir over medium heat until sugar dissolves completely, about 10 minutes. Increase heat, and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine sugar syrup with buttermilk and vanilla. Transfer mixture to an ice cream maker and

Follow manufacturer’s instructions to freeze.

When freezing is complete, transfer sorbet to an airtight container  and place in freezer for at least one hour. Sorbet will keep frozen for up to two weeks.

About the author: Lee White (left), a former resident of Old Lyme, has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976.  She has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for the Shore Publishing newspapers, and Elan, a quarterly magazine, all of which are now owned by The Day.

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Child & Family’s 65th Annual Sale is May 2-4 in Waterford

How does it look? Intake for Child & Family’s Annual Sale is Tuesday in Old Lyme.

The Lyme/Old Lyme Auxiliary of Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut has scheduled its Intake for donations to the Agency’s 65th Annual Sale. Donations will be accepted ONE DAY ONLY, on Tuesday, April 23, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, in the Sheffield Auditorium on Ferry Road.

Note that this will be the only day to bring items for donation in Old Lyme. In addition, because the Annual Sale will be located in a smaller-than-usual venue this year, we must limit our collections and so will only be accepting donations for three hours, 10am to 1pm, on April 23.

Items accepted include art work, men’s, women’s, and children’s clothing; books, records, CDs and DVDs; toys; small appliances; household items; linens; jewelry; tools; and more. All items must be in extremely good condition, i.e., clothes and linens must be clean with no holes or stains, and appliances must be working. A full list of items that we cannot accept will be available at the Intake location.

Child & Family Agency’s 65th Annual Sale will be held at St. Paul Church, 170 Rope Ferry Road, Waterford, May 2–4, 2019.  For more information on the sale, call 860-443-2896 or visit www.childandfamilyagency.org.

Child & Family Agency is a private, nonprofit organization whose mission is to nurture children and families to develop their strengths through service, partnership, and advocacy. With offices in New London, Essex, and Groton, and programs dealing with children’s health care, child abuse, family violence, teen pregnancy, parent education, and child guidance, Child & Family Agency is the largest nonprofit children’s service provider in southeastern Connecticut. Volunteers and supporters are always welcome.

For more information, see www.childandfamilyagency.org.

Questions on the April 23 Lyme/Old Lyme Intake may be directed to cfa.LOLauxiliary@gmail.com.

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Duck River Garden Club Speaker Presents ‘Foolproof Hydrangeas’ Tonight in Old Lyme, All Welcome

Duck River Garden Club hosts its next program and meeting, Monday, April 22, at Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall.

Lorraine Ballato will present ‘Foolproof Hydrangeas,’ in which she will discuss all aspects of caring for these wonderful plants and the new species hitting the market.  From 18″ container-size shrubs to eight-foot explosions of color, there’s a hydrangea for everyone.
Ballato is an Instructor at the New York Botanical Gardens, the CT Master Gardener Program and the Federated Garden Clubs of CT.
Timing of the evening is as follows:
  • 6:30 pm reception/refreshments in the foyer
  • 7 pm presentation
  • 8 pm business meeting for members
The public is welcome to join the DRGC for this free program.
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Shoreline Arts Alliance Now Accepting Applications for ‘Scholarships in the Arts: Top Talent’

Kayla Bryan, who was last year’s Instrumental Music Scholarship winner, is shown above performing in the 2018 Top Talent Showcase. Photo © Judith L. Barbosa.

Shoreline Arts Alliance announces the opening of applications for the 39th annual Scholarships in the Arts: Top Talent. This program is open to juniors and seniors residing within Shoreline Arts Alliance’s 24 town region and who want to pursue an education in the arts. Applicants can apply in seven different categories of study. The winner in each category will receive a $1,000 scholarship for continuing education and/or supplies as well as a mentorship from a professional artist in the winners chosen field. Applications are now available on the website and will be open until April 24, which will be followed by in-person auditions, interviews, and portfolio reviews on May 3 and 4.

Applications for the scholarships can be found on the Shoreline Arts Alliance website. Applications can be submitted online or through a mail-in form. An in-person audition, interview, and/or portfolio review is required for each application and will take place at the ACES Educational Center for the Arts in New Haven, CT on May 3 and 4, 2019. These in person auditions/interviews/portfolio reviews give the students the opportunity to learn about presenting themselves and their art before a jury of professionals.

Students who reside in the 24-town-region (region includes all of Middlesex County, Madison, Guilford, North Branford, Branford, East Haven, Lyme, East Lyme, Old Lyme, and Salem) and are interested in the arts are encouraged to apply. The categories are, Theatre, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, Creative Writing, Dance, Visual Art, and, our newest category, the Jeffrey Dobbs Scholarship for Excellence in Painting.

These seven categories are judged by professional, working artists in each field of study. These professionals pay special attention to detail, to the students commitment to the art form of their choosing, and give valuable feedback to each student. Judges choose a winner in each category and they may also choose a special recognition in any given category. Winners and special recognition winners will be asked to participate in a showcase on May 14 at Evergreen Woods.

The Scholarship in the Arts program is meant to educate, encourage, enrich, and engage the students through audition practice, interview practice, and valuable feedback from professional artists. Students who are serious about their careers in the arts will be given important lessons on interviewing, preparing a portfolio for review, and auditioning. This preparation, in a safe and judgement free environment, will allow the students to feel comfortable in future interviewing/auditioning/portfolio review processes.

Visit www.shorelinearts.org/top-talent to learn more about this program, find submission information, and to download the application or apply online. A $25 non-refundable fee is required for each application. Contact Shoreline Arts Alliance for further information by emailing office@shorelinearts.org or calling 203.453.3890.

Editor’s Note: Shoreline Arts Alliance is a non-profit 501(c)3 based in Guilford, CT. Shoreline Arts Alliance is the state appointed arts council for a 24 town region including all of Middlesex County, East Haven, Guilford, Madison, Branford, North Branford, Lyme, Old Lyme, Salem, and East Lyme. Shoreline Arts Alliance’s mission is to Transform Lives through the Arts and we do so by educating students, encouraging artists, engaging the community, and enriching the cultural landscape of the Shoreline and beyond. Shoreline Arts Alliance offers free programs and services across the State of Connecticut. To learn more about these programs, visit www.shorelinearts.org or contact office@shorelinearts.org or 203.453.3890

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Mendelssohn’s ‘Elijah’ to be Performed This Afternoon by Cappella Cantorum

The conductor for Cappella Cantorum’s April concert will be Simon Holt.

This spring brings a treat to area concert-goers: Cappella Cantorum Masterworks Chorus will perform Felix Mendelssohn’s “Elijah” Sunday, April 14, 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 Winthrop Rd., Deep River.

Simon Holt of the Salt Marsh Opera will direct the chorus and professional soloists and orchestra.

Audiences will enjoy Mendelssohn’s lyricism and use of orchestral color in this Romantic oratorio that depicts the events in the life of the prophet Elijah. Chorus selections include the well-known anthems, “Lift Thine Eyes to the Mountains” and “He, Watching Over Israel.”

A reception will follow the concert.

Tickets are $30 purchased in advance, $35 at the door. They may be purchased from chorus members or on-line at www.CappellaCantorum.org.

For more information, visit the website or call 860-941-8243.

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Luanne Rice Delights Overflow Audience at Her Hometown Library

All photos courtesy of Cheryl Poirier.

New York Times best-selling author and Old Lyme resident Luanne Rice, pictured above standing, was the guest speaker yesterday at a sold-out luncheon held at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

Rice captivated her audience with stories of her life in Old Lyme where she vacationed as a child and then subsequently became a full-time resident. The event highlighted her newly-released book, Pretend She’s Here, which is already drawing universal praise.

The tables for the delicious lunch catered by Olive Oyl’s of Essex were decorated with the wonderful origami roses, pictured above, which were created from book pages.

When the luncheon was over, guests eagerly waited in line to purchase books authored by Luanne Rice.  Sales were brisk …

… but Luanne took the time to engage with each customer, which is one of the trademarks of her character, making her such a popular resident of Old Lyme and gracious supporter of her hometown library — the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes.

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‘The Bowerbird’ Donates Over $4,000 to RTPEC From 2018 Gift-Wrap Program, Announces New Recipient for 2019

The Bowerbird owner, Chris Kitchings (right) presents a donation check from their 2018 gift-wrap program to Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Founding Director, Eleanor Robinson.

The Bowerbird of Old Lyme has selected as the recipient of the proceeds from their 2019 gift-wrap program East Street Arts. This non-profit arts organization (www.eaststreetartsnh.org) offers art-based employment opportunities for people of all abilities. The Bowerbird donation program runs from Nov. 1, 2018 through Oct. 31, 2019.

The Bowerbird in Old Lyme recently wrapped up their 2018 gift-wrapping campaign to raise funds for the Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center located in Old Lyme. A check in the amount of $4044.00 representing 2,894 packages wrapped was presented to RTPEC Founding Director Eleanor Robinson. The Bowerbird charges a nominal fee for gift-wrapping purchases and donates 50 percent to local non-profit organizations.

The Bowerbird pioneered ‘cause’ marketing when they created their gift wrap donation program in 1992. In the past 25 years, The Bowerbird has donated over $91,000 to 31 statewide and local non- profits proving that small businesses can make a difference.

For a complete listing of past recipients, visit www.thebowerbird.com.

The Bowerbird is located at 46 Halls Rd., Old Lyme, CT.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 2019 Chamber Foundation grant recipients are:

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

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

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

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

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

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Death Announced of Candy Green; Former Innkeeper of Old Lyme Inn, Owner of ‘Rooster Hall’

Candy Green
Photo by Malcolm Denemark/FLORIDA TODAY and published with permission of the Green family.

The death has been announced of the former innkeeper and general manager of the Old Lyme Inn, Catherine (Candy) Clifford Green. Her obituary published by Ammen Family Funeral and Cremation Care  and on LymeLine.com with their permission, reads as follows:

“Catherine (Candy) Clifford Green, was a force of nature. She was a lifelong lover of the arts and an active volunteer committed to public service. On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 2016, she was first diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but she never let the disease get the better of her. If her time was going to be limited, she wanted to be sure it was devoted to the things she felt were important – her family, civil rights and the environment.

Two years after her first diagnosis, she was told that the cancer had returned, but she never gave up on anything, and always put up a fight, a legacy she leaves with us. Her battle with ovarian cancer was featured in the October 25, 2018, edition of Florida Today. https://www.floridatoday.com/story/life/2018/10/23/ovarian-cancer-survivor-advocates-sharing-dont-keep-secret/1484361002/

Candy died February 28, 2019, in Melbourne, FL. She was 74.

“Her laughter is what I will miss the most about my mom,” her daughter, Temple Diehl Mecchella, a West Melbourne resident said. “Her contagious laugh could echo through our noise and make you drop everything to find out what you were missing. Her smile would make your heart melt. She had a true natural beauty, with those electric blue eyes.”

She was born on Halloween in South Bend, IN, to Carol (Kidd) and Temple Clifford, both of whom predeceased her.

Along with her daughter, Temple, she is survived by her adored grandchildren Tyler and Rylie Grace of West Melbourne, FL, her sister Julie Clifford (John Hanson), of Alexandria, VA, stepson Josh Green of New York City and her husband Keith Green. Her cousin Madelyn Young and a number of devoted friends provided invaluable support during her illness.

Candy also lived in Atlanta, GA and New York, NY, where she had an award-winning 20-year career in advertising and public relations, which culminated as vice-president for broadcast and music production at Ogilvy and Mather.

She lived in an historic home in Old Lyme, CT, which was later converted to Rooster Hall Bed and Breakfast. She was also innkeeper and general manager of the Old Lyme Inn. She opened them to countless charitable events. Her annual birthday party on Halloween initiated an annual event that children from all over Old Lyme look forward to attending. This spectacular evening ended in a casserole competition judged by local food writers. The event would culminate with trophies for best costume, but somehow she always won “Best Candy.”

Candy was particularly involved with the Child and Family Agency of New London, CT, hosting and chairing the very successful Child and Family Garden Tour. She was named Volunteer of the Year in 2005. She also raised funds for the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

When she moved to West Melbourne in 2011, she continued her volunteer and community betterment activities, serving as a docent and volunteer at the Foosaner Art Museum, vice president and board member of the Space Coast Progressive Alliance, where she was active in planning many programs, and a member of the Brevard County Chapter of the Brandeis National Committee.

Memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer SocietyChild and Family Agency of New London, CT, theBrandeis National Committee, the Space Coast Progressive Alliance or the Foosaner Art Museum.

Celebrations of Candy’s life will be held in Melbourne and Old Lyme.” We will provide details of the latter as soon as they are available.

 

 

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A la Carte: Hard to Believe, But You Can Make Mac & Cheese Glamorous! Lee Shows us How …

The perennially popular mac & cheese. Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash.

I don’t remember tasting mac and cheese until I was 14- or 18-years-old. i.e., high school or college cafeterias. Nobody made it in my house. I remember asking for it when I was fairly little, but at my house it was made with cottage cheese, sour cream, maybe butter, cinnamon and egg noodles. Basically, it was unconstructed noodle kugel.

When I was married the first time, I cooked the boxed Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. When it was done, I put it into a Corning glass pot, sliced a tomato down the middle and ran some breadcrumbs around the tomatoes. For me, that was cooking and garnishing. Then my-then mother-in-law showed me how to make a white sauce and I made mac and cheese from scratch. (She also showed me how to make pork roast on top of sauerkraut, take it out of the oven, take them apart and add applesauce to the sauerkraut. I still make it the same way. It is delicious.)

Of course, almost everyone loves mac and cheese. As I get older, I take a lactase pill before I eat mac and cheese, as many do these days. And I will make sure I have the ingredients to make all the recipes in this month’s Food Network Magazine, of which the one below is the yummiest.

Glam Mac and Cheese

From Food Network Magazine, March 2019, page 48

Yield: serves 4

12 ounces fusilli
Kosher salt
One-third cup diced pancetta
1 small handful of fresh thyme
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 tablespoon unsalted butter
3 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon mustard powder\
Three-quarters whole milk (2 percent is fine)
1 and one-quarter cups heavy cream
7 ounces dulcelatte or gorgonzola cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
4 ounces parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 and one-half cups)
Freshly ground black pepper
One-quarter cup breadcrumbs
1 handful chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook just less than al dente, as the pasta will be cooked again in the oven. Reserve 1 cup cooking water, then drain pasta, return it to the pot and set aside.

Fry the pancetta in a medium skillet over medium heat until it just starts to brown and crisp up, then add thyme and scallions and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Add the skillet’s contents to the pasta.

For the sauce, put butter, flour, nutmeg and mustard powder in a small saucepan set over medium heat and cook, stirring, until butter has melted. Mix milk and cream together in a pitcher and add a little to the flour and butter in the saucepan, stirring well. Keep adding milk mixture bit by bit, stirring well each time (be sure to get into the “corners”of  the pan, as flour often lurks there). Once the sauce has fully come together, turn up the heat and boil for a minute or two. The sauce will thicken. Remove pan from the heat.

Add two-thirds of both the cheeses to the sauce while it is still hot and combine well. (It may be a bit lumpy, that is fine.) Season to taste with salt and pepper and add to the pasta mix. If the cheese sauce thickens too much, add some of the pasta water. Stir everything together and spoon into 4 large ramekins in a shallow 3-quart casserole.

Sprinkle the top with the rest of the cheese and the breadcrumbs and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese starts to bubble and the topping goes brown. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

About the author: Lee White (left), a former resident of Old Lyme, has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976.  She has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for the Shore Publishing newspapers, and Elan, a quarterly magazine, all of which are now owned by The Day. 

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Work by Lymes’ Senior Center Artists on Display at Old Lyme Town Hall Through April

This watercolor by Keiko Kaiser depicting a beautiful flower garden is one of the featured pieces of artwork currently on display in Old Lyme Town Hall.

The Shoreline Artists’ Workshop and the Lymes’ Senior Center’s art classes, under the instruction of Sharon Schmiedel, will combine their artistic talents to present an exhibition at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall during the months of March and April. Exquisite pieces of work will reflect a variety of visual media and styles.

All pieces will be for sale, with a portion of any proceeds donated to the Senior Center.

There will be an opening reception on Friday, March 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the town hall.

Come celebrate the Senior Center artists for their dedication to support the visual arts and the Senior Center community.

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