July 23, 2019

Ledge Light Offers Free Program to Help People Quit Tobacco

Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) is offering a free program aimed to reduce tobacco use in Southeastern Connecticut. The goal of the program is to remove common barriers people face by offering quit aids, coaching and social support at no cost. Programs are open to those who live or work in Southeastern Connecticut.

The program uses the American Lung Association’s “Freedom from Smoking®” curriculum to help participants quit tobacco in seven weeks. Free nicotine replacement therapy will be offered to participants. FDA- approved prescription medication like Varenicline (Chantix) will be made available to participants, should they prefer to use it, if their insurance doesn’t cover it.

“Quitting tobacco is a huge step towards improving your health and preventing disease. Ask any former tobacco-user, it’s the best decision they’ve ever made,” said LLHD Senior Health Program Coordinator and Tobacco Treatment Specialist Carolyn Wilson. “Sometimes it takes several attempts to be successful but creating a plan, seeking support and developing a set of strategies is the best course of action. It’s important to never give up on the journey to becoming tobacco-free.”

The 2019 Tobacco-Free LLHD program is made possible through a partnership with Uncas Health District and funding is from the Preventive Health & Health Services Block Grant (PHHSBG), Grant # 1NB01OT009192-01-00, fromthe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The first program of 2019 will begin Jan. 2 and run through Feb. 13. The “Quit Day” is Jan. 23.  Individual counseling is available by appointment if those interested can’t attend the group program. Tobacco-Free LLHD will be offering at least 2 more group programs in 2019.

For more information or to register for the program, visit this link and/or contact Senior Health Program Coordinator Carolyn Wilson at (860) 446-3062 or at cwilson@llhd.org.


On Winter Solstice, Old Lyme Open Space Commission Reflects on 2018, Anticipates 2019

On Friday, Dec. 21, at 5:23 p.m. EST to be exact, it was the Winter Solstice in Connecticut — the darkest day of the year, with just over nine hours of light.  

The year of 2018 started out dark for the Old Lyme Open Space Commission. Diana Atwood Johnson, who served as chair for nearly 20 years, passed away on Jan. 1, after a long illness.

After the Solstice, however, days start to become lighter, and nature resumes its cycle of renewal as spring approaches. In January, Amanda Blair and William Dunbar became the new Open Space Commission co-chairs, and every member pitched in. 

The first order of business was to continue the care of Old Lyme Open Space property.  A land steward was hired; members personally walked trails to survey conditions; a service was hired to remove unsafe trees and branches; safety plans were discussed with the town fire marshal; new signage and trail markers were added; a new parking area for Champlain North was created; and the commission reached out to the Old Lyme Land Trust to work on mutual projects.  

Renewed educational efforts were also made.  For the first time, the Commission staffed a booth at the Midsummer Festival; news releases were issued; and the Open Space Commission web site was updated.

Early in 2019, the Commission expects to have some very exciting news! And work on substantial projects will accelerate – boxes of documents and correspondence on open space will be categorized, and conservation easements reviewed, as an antecedent to the drafting of a new Open Space Plan.

The Commission’s message remains: “Take a Hike!”  Don’t let winter keep you inside.  The trails are now in great shape for hiking, and when covered by snow, they’ll still be fun to snowshoe or cross-country ski.  

As weather warms in the New Year, volunteers will be gratefully welcomed for trail assistance.


Six Years Ago Today …

Today is the sixth anniversary of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) issued the following statement,

“Today is an awful day. I’ll think a lot about my youngest son, who went off to his first grade classroom this morning, as I remember the precious children and brave educators whose lives were unimaginably taken six years ago.”

He continued, “I’ve had the honor of representing, and becoming friends with, many of the families of the victims. Nothing we do can ever bring those kids back, but we should be inspired by Newtown’s efforts to make the world a kinder, more loving place. We can reach out to one another and help those in need.”

Caitlin Nosal (center), elder daughter of Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal, and her friend (right), a resident of Newtown, Conn., along with former Old Lyme Selectman Mervin Roberts (left) visited Newtown in late December 2012 to pay their respects to the victims of the horrific shooting that had taken place Dec. 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School that same month. In this file photo, they are seen looking at some of the memorials to the 26 teachers and students killed

Murphy noted that this morning he is delivering meals to families in need in New Haven and commented, “I hope everyone takes some time to do their own act of kindness – big or small – in their communities.”

He concluded, “We will never stop remembering, and honoring, and fighting for the lives senselessly lost six years ago. We have to keep going. For me, that means I will never give up trying to change our broken gun laws to keep our kids safe from gun violence.”

“A national movement for stronger gun laws started six years ago today, and today I feel more confident than ever before that Congress will listen and act on changing our gun laws next year. We would not be here without the voices of so many of the family members from Newtown who want us to honor their loved ones with action,” Murphy added.


Remembering Chip

Chip Dahlke

UPDATED 12/12: There is now a wonderfully appropriate commentary on Chip’s passing at this link, written (we presume) by his children.

We are deeply saddened to hear the news of Chip Dahlke’s passing this past weekend.  Chip, who founded the Lyme Farmers Market back in 2001 — or thereabouts, was a larger-than-life character with an even bigger heart.

There have been numerous Facebook tributes at this link recalling Chip’s friendship, wit, kindness, and the fact he was “one of a kind.”  One writer said wistfully — undoubtedly expressing a sentiment shared by many — that, “Summer Saturdays will not be quite the same.”

We do not have any details of his obituary or services at this time, but will publish both as soon as they are received.

Mary Stone, who was intimately involved in the continuation of the Market once Chip decided to move into the background of the operation, told LymeLine, “Chip loved his children and Ashlawn Farm. He regarded the farm as a town treasure to be shared with all of us at concerts in the field, farm-to-table dinners, the Tour de Lyme, and the Lyme Farmers Market.”

She added, “Chip ran the Market out of his back pocket, where any paperwork resided. For 14 years, he coordinated vendors and musicians and publicity with little apparent effort. The Market had been started as a way to draw more customers to the coffee shop, but it soon became apparent that the coffee shop drew people to the field. In the Market newsletter, he gained many fans with his curmudgeonly skewering of trends, fads, local vendors, and a reliable rant against over-pampered pets and kale in any form.”

Stone summed up Chip beautifully in these words, saying, “He was a true original, a devoted father and friend, who loved to share his home and land.”

A Note from our Publisher: On a personal note, we would like to add that Chip was an early and fervent supporter of LymeLine.com.  Back in 2004, he summoned me to Ashlawn Farm to explain in his own inimitable way that he respected our efforts and wanted to know how he could help. 

He started contributing a monthly financial column and then continued to advertise the Lyme Farmers Market with us (when he didn’t really need to!) for many years. 

His support when we were just a fledgling business was not only extremely generous but also incredibly important to us in terms of convincing us that we were doing something worthwhile. We will be forever indebted to Chip for giving us such tangible — and intangible  — support.

We send our sincere condolences to Chip’s family on his passing and agree with so many others that the world will just not be the same without him.


Legal News You Can Use: Are Connecticut Roads Prepared for Winter?

Snow’s so pretty but are the roads — and you and your vehicle — ready for the next winter storm? Photo by Korey Moore on Unsplash

SPONSORED POST by Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law.

Connecticut’s first winter storm of the season in mid-November caught many people off-guard, including the Department of Transportation. Snow blanketed many areas of the state just as people left work. Although the DOT salted the roads, it wasn’t enough.

Crashes and stuck cars closed three highways, causing major back-ups. A man from Florida died when he left his spun-out vehicle and another car hit him. Connecticut is no stranger to snow and winter driving, so what went wrong this time?

More snow than expected

First, the state received more snow than expected, but not by a huge amount. Fairfield County took the brunt of it, but many areas received over half a foot. This may have been enough to cause trouble. Drivers knew there would be snow, but didn’t expect quite so much of it. Connecticut drivers are used to driving in snow, and they may have thought they could handle it.

Bad timing

The storm’s timing did not help matters, either. Anytime bad weather coincides with the rush hour commute, you have a terrible combination. Commuters hurrying to make it home blocked the plows trying to clear the roads. Police had to escort them out of traffic.

Operations center failure

Unfortunately, the storm also caught Governor Malloy off-guard. He was speaking on prisoner reforms in California at the time of the storm and did not activate the emergency operations center. Nor did his chief of staff, Brian Durand, who sought advice from the Transportation Commissioner.

Are you prepared?

If you haven’t done your winter car check, now is the time to do it. You should check the following before hitting the snowy roads:

  • Battery. Many garages can test your battery. Carry jumper cables, even if you have a good battery. You may be able to save a neighbor in need.
  • Fluids. Top them off, especially windshield washer fluid and anti-freeze. Keep your gas tank at least half-full, as well.
  • Tires. Switch to winter tires if you have them. Otherwise, make sure your all-weather tires are in good condition.
  • Lights. It gets dark much earlier, and you want other drivers to see you.
  • Emergency kit. Make sure you fully stock your winter car kit with flashlights, water, snacks, a warm blanket, a first aid kit and kitty litter or sand.

Winter has only just begun. We will see more snow before the season is over. Stay safe and make sure you are prepared for the next winter storm. 

Visit the Law Firm of Suisman Shapiro  at this link for more information.


Holiday Music, Movies and More at ‘the Kate’ in December

Lunasa and vocalist Ashley Davis will play traditional Irish holiday music, Dec. 13.

From classic holiday films to live theater, to music of many genres and family programs, there is plenty to see and enjoy at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) this December!

Celebrate the season with several Christmas-themed events, including traditional Irish holiday music with Lunasa and vocalist Ashley Davis on the 13th. 

Community traditions continue with:

>the Old Lyme Town Band’s Holiday Concert on the 12th

>Cappella Cantorum’s annual Messiah Sing or Listen on the 16th.

>the films Home Alone and White Christmas will be shown on the 9th and 20th, respectively, on the Kate’s big screen with surround sound

>an encore viewing of the Bolshoi Ballet’s stunning production of The Nutcracker takes place on the 22nd. 

Rounding out the month are performances by:

>The Weight playing the music of The Band on the 14th

>songwriter/guitarist/blueseman Chris Smither on the 15th

>the John Poussette-Dart Band on the 21st

>NRBQ on the 22nd

>singer-songwriter Dar Williams on the 30th. 

For information and tickets for all shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0453. 

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center.

It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.


Tesla Technology Aids Autoimmune Conditions; Pop-Up Event on Revolutionary AmpCoil at OL Library

This photo shows Aaron Bigelow’s wife holding the AmpCoil, while Aaron and the couple’s daughters share the moment.

Join an AmpCoil pop-up event this Sunday, Dec. 2, at 1 p.m. at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

One of the cofounders of the AmpCoil technology will be speaking about his battle with Lyme Disease and how necessity for his own wellness was the mother of his invention. Aaron Bigelow from Nevada City, Calif., wanted to see the place from which Lyme Disease acquired its name and is visiting Lyme and Old Lyme to speak about his journey with this disease.

The AmpCoil is a modern wellness tool that combines bio-feedback, bio-resonance and a customized coil based on Tesla technology. The use of this technology has transformed Bigelow’s life and he is anxious to share this approach to wellness, which can be applied to numerous autoimmune conditions.

This is a free event with demonstrations for those hoping to open the door to a new level of wellness.

For more information, contact Sandy Garvin at 860-391-3088. 

Visit www.AmpCoil.com to learn more.


A la Carte: Got Leftovers? How About a Turkey Casserole?

Perhaps you are reading this column on the morning after Thanksgiving as you drink your cup of coffee or tea. It has been quite a few years since I sat with the newspaper and figured out which I should do first. I have been in my condo for almost five years and only created Thanksgiving dinner once, and only for around six or seven of us.

Many, many years ago, when my own daughter was still in elementary school, there would have been at least four little ones (two nieces, one nephew and Darcy) or up to 10 or more (more nephews, nieces, two step-sons, one step-daughter and all their parents). Even when the little ones became high schoolers, we still did Thanksgiving. Although there were extra bedrooms, there were sleeping bags filled with humans on floors everywhere.

The last Thanksgiving enormous dinner was in Old Lyme, just a few months before I sold the house and moved into my condo. That crowd included more than 20 friends and family. Many of the family members stayed over the weekend, and, except for a few sandwiches, there were no leftovers.

These days turkey day happens at my daughter-in-law’s condo in Newburyport. My stepson and Nancy have divorced, but it is amicable. My Massachusetts granddaughters will be there (one already graduated from college and living in Boston, the middle a senior at Clark in Worcester and the baby now a freshman at UMass in Amherst.) There will be leftovers, but I will leave them in Massachusetts, because I bought two Butterballs at BJs.

As you read this, one is thawing in my refrigerator, the stuffing is in the freezer, the gravy is made (with an Ina Garten recipe made with no turkey juice, which she calls a base. I will add that base to the basting as Mr. Tom comes out of the oven. With the mashed potatoes, vegetables, gravy, stuffing, turkey and cranberry (I love the canned kind for this casserole), I will make at least two or three casseroles.

Because I never grew up with casseroles, I actually like these better than the original meal. Here is my go-to recipe for this and any kind of meat leftover this winter.

Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

Turkey Leftover Casserole

3 to 4 pounds of turkey, dark or white meat, slices or chunked, divided
2 pounds of vegetables (beans, turnips, Brussels sprouts, corn or squash), divided
2 to 3 pounds of mashed white potatoes and/or sweet potatoes, divided
1 to 2 pounds stuffing, divided
1 can of cranberry sauce (or made-scratch) cranberry sauce, divided
Leftover gravy from Thanksgiving, or packaged or carton gravy

In a large casserole dish (or a big gratin dish or a big Tupper-type holder), begin to layer the ingredients. I begin with a little mashed potato, then turkey, some gravy, vegetables, mashed potatoes, stuffing and a few slices of cranberry sauce. I end with mashed potatoes and drizzled with gravy, if you still have some. Each casserole will feed at least four to six people.


Happy Thanksgiving! Let’s Count Our Blessings

Editor’s Note: We wish a very Happy Thanksgiving to all our readers, their families and friends, and hope everyone enjoys a wonderful day today! 

We are delighted to republish another column by our friend and talented writer, Linda Ahnert, of Old Lyme, which celebrates this day of thankfulness.

If you said the name “Wilbur Cross” to Connecticut residents, they would most likely think of the parkway that bears his name.  But our older readers will remember that he was governor of our state for eight years—from 1931 to 1939, to be exact.

On Nov. 12, 1936, Wilbur Cross issued an eloquent Thanksgiving Proclamation, which has gone down in the annals of Connecticut history.  Many generations of school children either were read the Proclamation in class or required to memorize it … or both!

For the benefit of our younger readers, we reprint it here:

Time out of mind at this turn of the seasons when the hardy oak leaves rustle in the wind and the frost gives a tang to the air and the dusk falls early and the friendly evenings lengthen under the heel of Orion, it has seemed good to our people to join together in praising the Creator and Preserver, who has brought us by a way that we did not know to the end of another year.  In observance of this custom, I appoint Thursday, the twenty-sixth of November, as a day of Public Thanksgiving for the blessings that have been our common lot and have placed our beloved State with the favored regions of earth—for all the creature comforts: the yield of the soil that has fed us and the richer yield from labor of every kind that has sustained our lives—and for all those things, as dear as breath to the body, that quicken man’s faith in his manhood, that nourish and strengthen his spirit to do the great work still before him: for the brotherly word and act; for honor held above price; for steadfast courage and zeal in the long, long search after truth; for liberty and for justice freely granted by each to his fellow and so as freely enjoyed; and for the crowning glory and mercy of peace upon our land;—that we may humbly take heart of these blessings as we gather once again with solemn and festive rites to keep our Harvest Home. 

It’s no wonder that Wilbur Cross knew how to use words.  In 1889, he earned a Ph.D. in English literature from Yale.  Before he became governor, he taught English at Yale, was a well-known literary critic, and wrote several books.

By 1941, just five years after Cross wrote about the “mercy of peace upon our land,” the United Sates would be fighting in World War II.

In 1976, another Connecticut governor—Ella Grasso—reissued the proclamation from 40 years earlier and called it a “masterpiece of eloquence.” 

Today, Wilbur Cross’s words still stir our spirits.  We are thankful that we live in this “favored region of earth” and for the freedoms that we enjoy.  And, yes, we are grateful for the glory of the English language. 


Old Lyme Historical Society’s Launches 2019 ‘Now and Then’ Calendar, Makes Great Holiday Gift

The Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) will be celebrating the release of the new 2019 Now & Then Old Lyme Community Calendar at a free public reception Thursday, Nov. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the OLHS building at 55 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.  The calendar, along with other publications, will be for sale at the event. All are welcome to attend: wine, beer and light refreshments will be served, music will be played, and a door prize will also be awarded.

This is the sixth year that the OLHS has published this popular calendar that incorporates a different set of photographs from the organization’s archives, again juxtaposing the historical images with contemporary ones of the same scene.  The images included in the calendar are a small sampling of the many interesting archived photographs of Old Lyme establishments,  landscapes, and scenes dating back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

Each calendar month is generously sponsored by a different community organization and includes the dates of their events throughout the year.  The intent is to highlight and assist in marketing activities occurring in Old Lyme in 2019 as well as remembering the past.

The 2018 Now & Then Old Lyme Community Calendar was designed by James Meehan and edited by Alison Mitchell.  Michaelle Pearson was the copy-editor.

The mission of the OLHS is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the rich history” of Old Lyme.  To find out more about the OLHS and its interesting activities, explore their website at www.oldlymehistoricalsociety.org or stop by its office at 55 Lyme St.


Theodore Wayland, Evan St. Louis Earn Eagle Scout Awards; Celebration Held in Their Honor, Nov. 4

A Court of Honor was held Nov. 4 to celebrate Theodore Wayland (left) and Evan St. Louis’s attainment of Eagle Scout rank.  All are welcome to attend and congratulate the boys on this achievement.

Boy Scout Troop 26 is proud to announce Theodore Wayland, son of Kathryn and Mark Wayland; and Evan St. Louis, son of Mary and Thomas St. Louis, both of Lyme have earned the Eagle Scout Award, the highest advancement rank within the Boy Scouts of America.

Troop 26 hosted an Eagle Court of Honor for St. Louis and Wayland on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m. at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme. All are welcome to attend the public ceremony and join in congratulating them on their achievement.

Only about six percent of all Boy Scouts achieve the rank of Eagle Scout. Each candidate must earn 21 merit badges, demonstrate leadership, commitment to community and successfully complete a significant service project.

Wayland’s Eagle project was to design and install three flag repository boxes for the Old Lyme and Lyme Town Halls and the Lymes’ Senior Center. He utilized carpentry skills, time management and communication skills. His project was the result of a grant awarded from the local Veterans of Foreign Wars.

St. Louis’s Eagle project was to refurbish the bocce courts at the Lymes’ Senior Center. During the project he managed the clearing of trees and brush, repaired and stained the wooden court frames, installed two new spectating benches, and reconditioned the playing surfaces. 

Both boys are juniors at the Lyme-Old Lyme High School, and share a genuine passion for outdoor living, camping, hiking and the communities they call home.


Presentation on “Financial Planning for College” at Old Lyme Library, Nov. 7

Sean Flynn, a financial advisor with Essex Financial and Certified College Planning Specialist will host an event, “Financial Planning for College,” at Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, Wednesday Nov 7, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Flynn will cover how to apply for financial aid, grants, scholarships, how to work with financial aid offices, college debt strategies, high
income household planning options, funding options and grants, how to find colleges that fit your budget, efficient ways to save for college, alternative payment options, and how new tax changes passed this year will alter financial aid applications.


Celebrate Thach Preserve Opening in Lyme Followed by Guided Walk, Nov. 4

View across the beautiful Thach Preserve in Lyme.

Join the Lyme Land Trust for an opening celebration of the Lyme Land Trust’s new Thach Preserve on Sunday, Nov. 4, at 2 p.m.  This will be followed by a guided walk with Tony Irving, forest ecologist and Lyme Land Trust board member. The walk is about one mile.

The location for the walk is Thach Preserve, 131 Brush Hill Road, Lyme.

For more information, contact stewardship@lymelandtrust.org or visit http://www.lymelandtrust.org/event/thach-preserve-opening-and-tour/


Pakistani Couple Living in Old Lyme Church Sanctuary Return Home to New Britain

Malik Nayeed bin Rehman and Zahida Altaf and their daughter, Roniya.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) announced at a press conference yesterday that Malik Naveed bin Rehman and his wife Zahida Altaf are ending their time in sanctuary at FCCOL.  They do so because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced it is not opposing the couple’s stay request, which is currently pending at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Based on that information, Malik and Zahida, together with their attorney, Glenn Formica, and the ministers at FCCOL, felt it is time to end their time in sanctuary, return to their lives, and await a ruling from the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals.  They now make plans for two futures.  Only one of those futures will allow them to fulfill their dreams, residing permanently in the United States. 

Malik and Zahida are relieved and appreciative that the Government has not opposed their Stay filed with the Court of Appeals and would like to express their appreciation to the individual ICE officers involved in that decision.

During their stay of deportation, the couple’s legal counsel will continue to help them pursue their efforts to obtain legal status in the United States. Malik and Zahida had pursued legal status on their own for years prior to being targeted for deportation, but were misled by two different immigration attorneys, both of whom ended up being jailed for fraud. The couple, together with their five-year-old daughter Roniya – who is a U.S. citizen – will leave sanctuary immediately following the press conference to return to their friends and family in New Britain, and resume operation of their popular Broad Street restaurant, the Pizza Corner. 

The family sought sanctuary at FCCOL on March 19 of this year — the date originally set for their deportation.  At the time, a stay with ICE was pending, but undecided and so they sought sanctuary to prevent being removed to Pakistan.  FCCOL offered them sanctuary to give the legal process a chance to work and give the couple an opportunity to plead the injustices of their case to the Courts.  While in sanctuary, the couple has been monitored by an electronic bracelet and regular telephone calls.

In announcing word of the unopposed stay request, FCCOL Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit said, “I would like to express my gratitude to all who have been involved in this ministry of hospitality: to Malik, Zahida and Roniya, for showing us the meaning of perseverance and of peace in the midst of enormous personal turmoil;  to the many parishoners and volunteers from the community who supported and sustained Malik and Zahida during their ordeal; to ICE, for respecting the sanctity of churches and for granting us the ability to minister to those who are desperate, afraid and in need; but also to those members of our community who may have been quietly reluctant about this form of hospitality and care but have chosen to support Malik and Zahida all the same.  We’re utterly grateful for the unopposed stay request.  But more than that, we’re grateful for all we have experienced and learned as a result of this experiment in compassion.”

Malik and Zahida said, “We sought sanctuary not to protest or defy ICE.  We only wanted more time for our case to be heard.  We are very appreciative of the kindness we have been given by the church, the community and now ICE.  It reaffirms our faith in the United States, and our determination to make this our home.” 

Attorney Glenn Formica, who has represented the couple during the appeals process, said, “This is a relief, but not a victory. For a little longer, America will remain the hope in Malik and Zahida’s dreams.” 

Connecticut Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, Attorney General Candidate William Tong, New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, the New Britain city council, the New Britain Democratic Town Committee and assorted human rights organizations and faith communities have been among the groups and individuals who called for federal authorities to grant the couple a stay of deportation.

The family’s deportation has received high-profile attention in the “New Yorker,” “The Opposition with Jordan Klepper” and many other national, state and local media and programs.


‘Cancer Warrior’ Shelley Gregory of Old Lyme Walks ‘Across SE CT’ Again, Raising Funds for TBBCF

Small gestures can add up to big things

Shelley Gregory is 10-years cancer-free and will “Walk Across SE Connecticut” tomorrow raising yet more funds for TBBCF.

Shelley Gregory (formerly of Lyme, now of Old Lyme) didn’t get to be one of the top fundraisers for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation (TBBCF) on her own, she’ll tell you that. She had help from a single benefactor who donates $10,000 each year to her team for the annual Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut marathon fundraiser.

She does not consider herself a survivor – even though she faced her own bout with breast cancer in 2008. She likes to refer to herself as a warrior. And she has the T-shirt to prove it.

And she doesn’t think that walking 11 marathons – and about to walk her 12th on Oct. 6 – is inspiring. She thinks the volunteers at TBBCF, who are so passionate about raising money and handing it out for cancer research, are far more inspirational.

“These people are tireless. It’s their passion,” she said of the volunteers who host the annual 26.2 mile walk in October from Old Saybrook to Harkness State Park in Waterford and the walkers who participate. They raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year and 100 percent of the money goes to grants for research.

“I love reading about all the grants they give out. I know they’re really trying to help me and all the women touched by this terrible disease” she said. “They inspire me.”

But you can’t deny – even though she does – that there is something special about this Old Lyme resident who for the past 12 years has walked the walk, and has raised tens of thousands of dollars for the cause.

Even her sons caught the philanthropic fever. They both chose TBBCF as their senior project while attending Old Lyme High school. In 2010 her older son, Sawyer, raised about $2,000 by putting on a concert. And her younger son, Slater, walked in the marathon in 2013 and raised about $2,500. A friend of her son celebrated her birthday by asking people to withhold gifts and donate to TBBCF.

This year, on the 10th anniversary of her cancer diagnosis, Gregory has made a $10,000 donation of her own money to TBBCF.

“I wanted to do something special. I figured 10 years, $10,000 …,”’ she said during a recent interview, downplaying the grand gesture. “I won’t be able to do it all the time. But I could this year. … you don’t have to write about it, do you?”

Sandy Maniscalco, co-founder of TBBCF, said she was speechless when she saw Gregory’s check.

“Wow, Shelley! Your letter and your incredible donation speak volumes about you as a human being,” Maniscalco wrote to Gregory in a thank you.

Gregory walked her first marathon in 2007 after learning about the very first walk in 2006 and then signing up at a table set up at the local farmer’s market. She wasn’t friends with Terri Brodeur, but she knew some of her siblings. She said she doesn’t work out or do jazzercise or any organized fitness, but she loves to walk.

While training for her second walk, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Twelve of her best friends, who became known as the Bunco Babes because of their passion for playing the dice game Bunco, joined her. Following a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery, Gregory delayed the start of her chemotherapy for six weeks so she could train for the walk. She said her doctor didn’t like the idea, but Gregory convinced him that the walk was important to her recovery. She and her gang were the last to cross the finish line that year – all smiles and tears and hugs.

She said she loves walking in the marathon and meeting all the participants and all the volunteers at the comfort stations who give out cookies, candy, granola bars, drinks, sometimes flowers and encouragement.

“It’s my favorite day of the year,” she said. “It’s like Christmas to me.”

This year she gave up an offer to go to Italy because she would have missed the walk. “I said no, I have to walk.”

Walking and donating are the ways she can contribute to finding a cure. She likes to quote the cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead who said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” This is her small part, she said.

Gregory said she’ll walk as long as she is able; and if there comes a time when she can’t, she’ll volunteer during the event. Eventually when she has more spare time – she works full time as an executive assistant in Chester – she hopes to become active on the TBBCF Board of Directors.

Editor’s Note (i): Shelley and some of the ‘Bunco Babes’ — Kelley Cahill, Brenda Winters and Julie Edmondson are definites while Jeanne Lucey and Nancy Hallahan are possibles — will all be walking from Old Saybrook to Camp Harkness tomorrow to raise money for the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation.  Their route will take them through Old Lyme — supporters are welcome along the way to cheer them on — the team anticipates crossing the Baldwin Bridge around 9:15 a.m.  Donations can still be made to this worthy cause at this link.

Editor’s Note (ii):  This article is published with the permission of the author Kathleen Edgecomb and the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation, on whose website it was first published.


Marathon Walk to Raise Money for Breast Cancer Research is Saturday

Members of Team Brodeur at the marathon finish line last year. Photo by Shawn Stiles.

The Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation is registering walkers for its 13th annual Walk Across Southeastern Connecticut on Oct. 6. The fundraiser includes a full marathon, a half marathon and a quarter marathon.

Walkers are required to raise a specific amount of money to participate — $200 for the 6.55-mile quarter marathon, $250 for the 13.1-mile half marathon, and $500 for the full 26.2 mile walk. Students age 12-22 and cancer survivors must raise $100. The foundation provides a platform that is easily shared on social media for walkers to solicit donations. Participants are also encouraged to form teams and train and raise money together.

The full marathon starts at 7 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Saybrook Point in Old Saybrook. Walkers are escorted along the way and there are pit stops for hydration, snacks and bathroom breaks. Medical personnel also patrol the route. The half marathon starts at 10:30 a.m. at 8 Capitol Dr., East Lyme, and the quarter marathon begins at 1:30 p.m. at Niantic Baptist Church on Main St., Niantic. The walk concludes at Camp Harkness in Waterford where there will be snacks and beverages and a brief closing ceremony.

During the past 12 years, hundreds of walkers have participated in the annual event, which is held on the first Saturday of October, raising more than $4 million. One hundred percent of those funds have gone directly to research for breast cancer.

The organization was founded in memory of Terri Brodeur of Old Saybrook who died from breast cancer in 2005, leaving behind three young children. Norma Logan and Sandy Maniscalco established the non-profit in 2006 as a way to honor their friend and raise money to go directly to research. Walkers raise research dollars. Administrative costs are sponsor-supported or provided by volunteers. Logan died of breast cancer in 2006. Maniscalco carries on the legacy of both women.

For more information to volunteer or to sign up for the walk, visit www.tbbcf.org, call (860) 437-1400, or email info@tbbcf.org


Letter to the Editor: Democrat Pugliese Represents a Fresh, Viable Alternative in House 23rd District Race

To the Editor:

Matt Pugliese offers a refreshing, non-partisan voice in the state House of Representatives for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Matt brings business experience from the non-profit sector where he has managed tight budgets and competing union interests to deliver theatrical arts to communities in Middletown and at U Conn. Matt has been recognized for his business acumen by the Hartford Business Journal 40 under 40.

As a resident of Old Saybrook raising a young family, Matt knows first hand the importance of supporting education, working women and families. With his courage to speak up for policies that make sense, Matt has earned the endorsements of Moms Demand Gun Sense, CT Chapter of National Organization of Women and Planned Parenthood.

Connecticut has distinguished itself as a leader in gun control and voting equality. To retain these advances, our legislature needs to be controlled by those willing to stand up for these values. Connecticut needs to become a leader in business and the arts. Matt Pugliese has the experience and fortitude to be our next leader.


Candace Fuchs,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Protection of the Environment is Good for the Economy

To the Editor:

We in the lower Connecticut Valley live in one of the world’s “last great places”. But can we afford to protect the environment if it raises our taxes and costs us jobs and money? This question always comes up around election time but it is based on an incorrect assumption and it leads to the wrong answer. For a state like Connecticut with its knowledge based economy, the environment is actually good for the economy.

China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world and it is a leader in the environmental technology. Some of the wealthiest places on earth (Germany, Denmark, California) are the most environmentally conscious. Solar voltaic installers and wind turbine service technicians are projected to be among the fastest growing occupations in the United States. Connecticut is home of some of the pioneers of the future (the fuel cell industry) and has some of the best resources in the world for the green economy; e.g.: the Connecticut Green Bank (the first in the nation) and the Yale Center for Business and the Environment. Our own locality has initiatives such as Sustainable Essex and the Chester Energy Team and engines of sustainability such as Centerbrook Architects and Noble Power Systems. All of this is in addition to the tourist industry which brings jobs and money to the area as well as making it a nice place to live. These signs are telling us something – that the future belongs to the clean and the efficient.

You don’t need to be a member of the Sierra Club or a follower of the Pope’s Encyclical to care about the environment. It is good enough to care about turning “Green to Gold” (to quote from the book by Dan Esty of Yale). The green economy is the wave of the future and if jobs and money are what we want, we ought to get on board or we will lose BOTH our environment and our economy.


Frank Hanley Santoro,
Deep River.


‘The Chocolate Shell’ Hosts Grand Re-Opening in New Space

Barbara Crowley stands proudly outside the window of her new ‘The Chocolate Shell.”

Attention all chocolate-lovers!

The Chocolate Shell in Old Lyme has changed locations … to right next door! The new space welcomes customers with shelves of candy, bright colors, and elegant chandeliers — a guaranteed delicious experience for all that enter.

Barbara will be ready to serve her customers on Labor Day afternoon.

Founded in 1980 by Catherine Pratt, The Chocolate Shell is now owned by Old Lyme resident Barbara Crowley. Wishing to expand the business and thus share her love of chocolate with more people, Crowley has moved the store to a larger space to accommodate her endless creative visions for the shop.

The colors of candy!

“I’m going to start hosting events here,” Crowley explains. “Chocolate and wine tasting evenings, chocolate and bourbon tasting evenings. I’m hoping to do those once a month if I can.” Her first event in the new store will be an all-chocolate dinner … and yes,  every course of the meal will have chocolate in it!

Take a seat!

“I want to start doing birthday parties for kids,” Crowley continues. “We can do paint your own chocolate, make your own assortment of chocolates, make your own chocolate pizza, anything I can plan to do in the shop. It’ll be so much fun! I’m totally looking forward to that.”

The store is a chocolate-lover’s paradise!

Crowley’s enthusiasm and excitement about the store is almost palpable as she describes the unique experiences that The Chocolate Shell gives its customers. “What makes the Chocolate Shell special is the fact that everything is personalized to the customer who comes in here. Whatever that customer wants, we will make sure we give it to them.”

Crowley invites chocolate-lovers and the community in general to join her at the Grand Re-opening of the all-new Chocolate Shell tomorrow, Labor Day Monday, Sept. 3, from 2 to 5 p.m. when she be serving refreshments and giving tours of the new store. “It’s the next big adventure!” the effervescent Crowley exclaims.

For more information, visit www.thechocolateshell.com or call (860) 434-9727.


Immigrant Family Taking Refuge in Old Lyme Church Featured in ‘The New Yorker’ Story

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and the Rehman family of three from Pakistan that are currently living in the church’s basement were featured in a story titled No One Is Safer. No One Is Served in The New Yorker last week.

The Rev. Steven Jungkeit, senior minister of the church, describes the article in these words, “The story, written by reporter Dave Eggers, traces their lives from when Malik and Zahida [Rehman] first met in Pakistan, to their living in sanctuary in our church with their five-year-old daughter … It also provides a solid description of the theological framework that underlies our sanctuary efforts.”