August 24, 2019

Tim Griswold Petitioning to Run as First Selectman in November, Signatures Required by Wednesday

Former First Selectman Tim Griswold is petitioning to be on the ballot in November. File photo.

UPDATED 8/2, 07:08am :  Tim Griswold has now confirmed to us that he is petitioning to be on the ballot in November. Petitions are available for signature at various locations around town. More to follow later this afternoon.

Old Lyme Republican Town Committee Chairman David Kelsey has confirmed to LymeLine.com that it is his understanding that former Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold is petitioning to run as a Republican for the position of First Selectman in November.

We now understand that the required number of signatures, which we believe is around 100, must be submitted by Wednesday, Aug. 7.

Share

Common Good Gardeners Need Your Help! Listen For More Info on WLIS/WMRD

Old Lyme resident Linda Clough (foreground), who is Common Good Gardens President, is Suzanne Thompson’s guest on this week’s edition of CT Outdoors.

Do you have some time to spare in August to help the Common Good Gardens (CGG) volunteers harvest vegetables for Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantry (SSKP)? Join them in the garden behind Grace Episcopal Church, 336 Main Street, Old Saybrook, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday mornings, 9 to 10:30 a.m. (or come earlier on hotter days!)

Come learn about organic, no till gardening, at Common Good Gardens, founded in 2002 by passionate gardeners who wanted to use their expertise to benefit others.

Learn more on CT Outdoors with Suzanne Thompson on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook & WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown. Listen today, Sunday, Aug. 4, 7 to 7:30 a.m. Or play back on your PC or Mac anytime from http://www.wliswmrd.net, click the On Demand icon, look for pop-up screen from radiosecurenetsystems.net, and scroll to CT-Outdoors-73019—Common-Good-Gardens.

Planting Manager Karen Selines harvesting broccoli that will be delivered to soup kitchen pantries in Old Saybrook, Niantic and Old Lyme.

Thompson’s guest this week, Linda Clough, explains how CGG volunteers grow and harvest 8,000 pounds of produce on their half-acre lot, plus collect 10,000 pounds of produce donated by local farmstands, to help SSKP provide nutritious food and fellowship for people in need along the Shoreline.

Share

Old Lyme RTC Announces Endorsed Slate of Candidates for November Election

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Republican Town Committee (RTC) has announced their endorsed slate of candidates for the November 2019 election.  In his email accompanying details of the slate, Old Lyme RTC Chairman David Kelsey commented, “We did not endorse a first selectman candidate last week, but with Bonnie’s events last week, we may have a petition candidate coming.”

We received this from Kelsey prior to learning that Tim Griswold has decided to petition as a candidate for First Selectman.

The Old Lyme RTC endorsements for the 2019 election are as follows:

Board of Selectman
First Selectman NO ENDORSEMENT
Selectman- Chris Kerr, Selectman

Town Treasurer
Tim Griswold

Tax Collector
Judy Tooker

Board of Finance
Full – David Kelsey
Full – Janet Sturges
Alternate – Jude Read
Alternate – Matt Olsen

Board of Assessment Appeals
Dave Evers

Planning Commission
Full – Steven Ross
Full – Harold Thompson

Zoning Commission
2019 Term – Tammy Tinnerello
2020 Term – Mike Miller

Zoning Board of Appeals
2019 Term – Nancy Hutchinson
2020 Term – Stephen Dix
Alternate – Devin Carney
Alternate – Sherry Johnston

Board of Education:
Suzanne Thompson
Steven Wilson
Jennifer Miller

Share

Old Lyme Joyfully Celebrates the Magic of Midsummer Festival

Smile, please! Ryan Catucci of Old Lyme snaps a photo of his daughter Olivia, age 3, and five-year-old son Jameson, who had seized the opportunity to step inside a classic painting on the grounds of the Lyme Art Association during Saturday’s Midsummer Festival. All photos by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — Oh, what a day!  The 33rd Old Lyme Midsummer Festival was deemed a roaring success judging by the huge crowds drawn to the town yesterday to celebrate the event.

The day began with LYSB’s 5K run …

…and then moved to vintage cars photographed by the young …

…and the not so young!

The Bohemian Fair at the Florence Griswold Museum sported tents in a variety of shades …

… while the gardens drew scores of admirers.

There were tall folks …

… and smaller folks, here working on the community sculpture at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds …

… and four-legged folks!  This is Boomer, who won the Best Trick contest in the Parading Paws competition, posing for a photo!

Photo by Kim Monson.

Sales of art by alumni at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts were brisk …

Photo by Kim Monson.

… while artists took their time to draw or paint the delightfully-clothed model.

In front of the Lyme Art Association, the Old Lyme Land Trust hosted a wonderful display of native pollinator plants and …

… another of live reptiles!  The latter was presented by the Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center.

Members of the Halls Road Improvement Committee were on hand to discuss the various proposals that are still in the development stage for making Halls Road an altogether better place.  Howard Margules is seen here hard at work.

Old Lyme Emergency Services Technicians were on hand to answer questions or spring into action …

… as were board members of the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce. From left to right, Jean Wilczynski, President Rich Shriver, Heather Gagnon and Dan Henderson.

Kristen Thornton (right) of the Florence Griswold Museum helped youngsters create all sorts of wonderful arts and crafts. Her ‘customers’ included Faye Casey (left), who, with her father James Casey (center), had come all the way from Brooklyn,NY, to attend the Festival.

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club was ready to sign up new members …

… and The Moonshiners Trio was one of many bands that entertained as part of the Lymestock Music Festival down on the banks of the Lieutenant River.

Big bubbles were the order of the day at the Children’s Museum booth and Jolee Caldwell of Ivoryton clearly excelled at the task.

The range and quality of vintage cars on display at the Lyme-Old Lions Classic Car Show were nothing short of amazing —

… as were the ladies collecting the fees! Hard at work are, from left to right, Bev Pikna, Lesley Chick at the cash register, and Marianne Szreders.  All funds raised at the Car Show are used to fund scholarships awarded annually to Lyme-Old Lyme High School seniors.

A magician entertained in the Hartmann Education Center …

… and the ladies of Lyme Garden Club had all sorts of goodies for sale!

The Mystic Aquarium stand was a very popular feature and there were so many more.
Day slowly turned into night and then the whole event …

Photo by Katy Klarnet.

…ended with a bang!

So now, to conclude, all we can say is, oh, what a day … and night!

Share

Carney, Somers Call for Public Hearing Regarding Recent Port Authority Issues

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

HARTFORD — State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23) and State Senator Heather Somers (R-18) are asking that the Transportation Committee  hold a public hearing to address issues pertaining to the Connecticut Port Authority, its recent leadership changes, and related controversies. Both legislators want the opportunity to obtain answers and receive a more detailed explanation of the ongoing problems at the quasi-public Authority.

Rep. Carney, the Ranking Member of the legislature’s Transportation Bonding Sub-Committee said, “I am very concerned about what is occurring at the Port Authority and believe the public deserves answers. As a member of the Transportation Committee and with the Port Authority’s offices in my district, I am calling for a public hearing to find out how the Authority is being managed and to find out exactly what went wrong and when.”

“It has been five years since the agency was established, and I feel strongly that given its recent leadership changes, there is no better time than now for us to take a close look at what is going on regarding the Port Authority and how it is accomplishing its statutory goals,” added Carney.  “There appears to be more going on here than what we are being told and the legislature owes it to the people of this state to get to the bottom of it. We must to have more transparency and more oversight.”

“There are many questions to be answered to give the public confidence that this organization is meeting its responsibilities to the taxpayers at a critical time. It is very disturbing that we are not receiving more information about issues with staff and finances,” said Senator Somers.

“The public deserves transparency and it is unacceptable that an Authority with such a large budget is in such disarray,” Somers added. “It is imperative that swift action be taken as the state is entering into a multi-million dollar investment into New London’s deep- water port.  In order to move forward, Connecticut’s residents and businesses deserve a non-partisan Port Authority comprised of industry experts in deep water ports and international shipping.”

Editor’s Note: The 23rd District includes Lyme, Old Lyme Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

Share

Old Lyme DTC Stands by Endorsement of Reemsnyder for First Selectman; “We Believe it is Important That She Should Continue Her Leadership,” Gianquinto

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder

OLD LYME — We received the following response this afternoon from the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) Chairman Christine Gianquinto.

We had asked yesterday for a comment on how the Old Lyme DTC feels about their endorsed candidate for Old Lyme First Selectman resigning yesterday from her position as chair of the Connecticut Port Authority at the Governor’s request (see this article by Stephen Singer published yesterday on the Hartford Courant website titled Chairwoman of Connecticut Port Authority, pressured by Gov. Ned Lamont, resigns after agency spent $3K on photographs taken by her daughter.

Gianquinto wrote, “The fact that the endorsement by members of the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee of Bonnie Reemsnyder for the position of First Selectman was unanimous speaks for itself.  The endorsement was based on a record of proven accomplishment and the knowledge that she will continue to provide strong municipal leadership for all of the residents of Old Lyme.  We believe it is important that she should continue her leadership and the positive progress that has led to significant accomplishments for the benefit of the Town of Old Lyme.”

Share

Old Lyme DTC Endorse Reemsnyder for First Selectman Despite Her Forced Resignation Yesterday From CT Port Authority; Full Slate of Candidates Announced

Incumbents First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (right) and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal have been endorsed to run for a fifth term by the Old Lyme DTC. (File photo)

OLD LYME – In a special meeting advertised to endorse a slate of electors for the 2019 Municipal Election, the Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) unanimously endorsed a slate of 17 residents for election on Nov. 5.

The endorsed slate is as follows:

  • First Selectman – Bonnie A. Reemsnyder
  • Board of Selectman – Mary Jo Nosal
  • Town Treasurer – Michael Reiter
  • Tax Collector – Sarah E. Michaelson
  • Planning Commission – Alexander Klose, Jim Lampos
  • Board of Finance – David A. Rubino, Anna S. Reiter
  • Board of Finance, alternate – Adam S. Burrows, Craig Taliento
  • Zoning Commission – Harvey Gemme, Jane Cable
  • Zoning Board of Appeals – Mara Lowry, Kathleen Tracy
  • Regional Board of Education – Sarah W. Bowman, Jason L. Kemp, Lorianne Panzara-Griswold

Following the endorsement, Democratic First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal each officially accepted their endorsement for a fifth term.

We have asked Old Lyme DTC Chair Christine Gianquinto for a comment on how the Old Lyme DTC feels about their endorsed candidate for Old Lyme First Selectwoman resigning yesterday from her position as chair of the Connecticut Port Authority at the Governor’s request (see this article by Stephen Singer published yesterday on the Hartford Courant website titled Chairwoman of Connecticut Port Authority, pressured by Gov. Ned Lamont, resigns after agency spent $3K on photographs taken by her daughter.) We have not yet received a response.

Share

Mattson, Kiker to Run for Reelection in Lyme; Lyme DTC Announces Full Slate of Candidates for November Election

Lyme First Selectman Steve Mattson (right) and Lyme Selectman John Kiker, both Democrats, are both running for reelection in November 2019. File photo.

LYME –- The Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) announced yesterday that a local Democratic caucus last night nominated and approved a slate of Democratic candidates to run in the November 5 municipal elections.

Lyme First Selectman Steven Mattson and Selectman John Kiker received the unanimous endorsement of the caucus for reelection. Caucus participant and former State Representative Claire Sauer said, “Steve and John have done an excellent job of serving our town, while keeping our mill rate among the lowest in the state.”

The Democratic caucus also nominated seven other Lyme residents to run for public office in November, each of whom received unanimous endorsements.

Lyme DTC Nominating Committee Chairperson Ann Rich said, “Our committee has been actively interviewing Lyme residents with the potential to serve our town in various capacities. We identified a number of individuals who are not only highly qualified, but also extremely interested in serving the town we all love and cherish.”

Running for election this year will be:

• Jarrod Leonardo for Board of Finance
• Susan Tyler for Board of Finance Alternate
• Bob House for Board of Finance Alternate
• Carol House for Planning & Zoning Commission
• Michael James for Library Board
• Anna González James for Zoning Board of Appeals Alternate

Running for reelection will be:

• Steven Mattson for First Selectman
• John Kiker for Selectman and Zoning Board of Appeals
• Judy Ulrich for Library Board

The Lyme DTC’s mission is to support and strengthen the Democratic Party in the Town of Lyme and the State of Connecticut. The committee typically meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme Town Hall. These meetings are open to the public and all registered Democrats are encouraged to attend.

Share

Final Concert in ‘Summer Sounds’ Series Features ‘Ticket to Ride’ at Senior Center, Aug. 1

Beatles Tribute Band Ticket to Ride will be performing at the Lymes’ Senior Center, Thursday, Aug. 1, in the final free concert of the Summer Sounds series, starting at 7 p.m., which will be held rain or shine. All are welcome. Bring your chairs, blankets, dinner, etc. — the performances will be held out on the lawn (weather permitting) or inside if the weather is inclement.

A free ice cream social will follow the concert.

The concert series is sponsored by the following companies and organizations:

Signature Sponsors
Essex Printing (Centerbrook CT.)
Homecare Services of CT. (Niantic CT)
LymeLine.com

Gold Sponsors
All Pro Automotive (Old Lyme CT)
Audiology Concierge (Old Saybrook CT)
VNA of Southeastern CT (Waterford CT)
Reynolds Subaru and Reynolds Boats (Lyme CT)
Old Lyme Visiting Nurses Association, INC (Old Lyme CT)
Senior Health Insurance (Clinton CT)
Stone Ridge Active Retirement Living (Mystic CT)
Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center (Old Lyme CT)

Silver Sponsors
Care Partners of CT (Wethersfield CT)

The Ice Cream Social Sponsors are:
Old Lyme Republican Town Committee (two Concerts)
Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee
Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center

Share

Summertime Reminders from Old Lyme’s Recycling Committee to Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The Old Lyme Recycling and Solid Waste Committee offers these reminders, tips and suggestions to increase the recycling rate in Old Lyme, reduce your waste and keep our environment healthy.

When planning that backyard barbecue or beach visit, avoid single use plastic and all foam products. Use reusable plates, containers and cutlery. Look for the least amount packaging used in your purchases

Just like at home, use the green recycle bin and the blue trash bin at the beach. Do not bag recycling items.

Use reusable shopping bags instead of plastic throwaways. Plastic bags can be recycled at the Old Lyme Library, Big Y, Wal-Mart and many other locations.

Start a compost pile for food items and lawn clippings. These are not recyclable. Glass and plastic containers with food waste in them are not recyclable.

Textile items and construction debris (wood, asphalt shingles) do not belong in either the blue or green bins.

Old Lyme’s recycling rate is 27 percent, about equal with the state average. The statewide goal for 2024 is 60 percent.

Trash hauler fees are going up; the more that can be recycled, the more can be saved in fees. Recycling reduces trash and saves money.

Check out RecycleCT.com and the link on the town website. Click on this link on the Town website to see What’s In / What’s Out in terms of recycling.

Share

Robert F. Schumann Artist’s Trail Dedicated in Evocative Ceremony at Florence Griswold Museum

Ford Schumann cuts the ribbon indicating the official opening of the Artist’s Trail named in honor of his father, Robert F. Schumann, at the Florence Griswold Museum. Other dignitaries gathered to witness the ceremony are from left to right, Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, former Museum Director Jeffrey Andersen, Ford’s brother David Schumann, and current Museum Director Becky Beaulieu (with arms raised.) All photos by Suzanne Thompson.

OLD LYME — Several hundred Florence Griswold Museum patrons, board members, invited guests, state and local dignitaries, staff, volunteers and members of the public gathered in perfect weather at the Museum Monday morning to celebrate the opening of the Robert F. Schumann Artists’ Trail.

The dignitaries at the event pose for a photo. From left to right, David Osborne of Wells Fargo Bank; Tim Crowley of the Robert F. Schumann Foundation; Becky Beaulieu, Director of the Florence Griswold Museum; Kathleen Van Der Aue, State Board of Directors for the Connecticut Audubon Society; David Schumann; Fred Cote, Director of Finance at the Florence Griswold Museum; Ford Schumann (David and Ford Schumann are sons of Robert F. Schumann in whose honor the Artist’s Trail is named), and Patrick Comins of the Connecticut Audubon Society.

The event allowed all the guests to be among the first to experience the natural, artistic, and historic highlights of the Museum’s site via this new, half-mile, ADA-accessible pathway.

The Artists’ Trail has 242 trees, 452 shrubs, 1,705 bulbs, 2,642 groundcovers, and 8,808 meadow grasses.

There are 21 bird boxes that provide habitat for Big Brown Bats, Little Brown Bats, Barred Owls, Eastern Screech Owls, Wood Ducks, American Kestrels, Songbirds, Eastern Bluebirds, Great Blue Herons, and Ospreys.  It was noted that most of the structures are at capacity already!

Guests had the opportunity to meet landscape architects Stimson Associates and the Mountain View landscaping team, participate in a creative activity, and also enjoy refreshments on the veranda.

In 2017, the Robert F. Schumann Foundation awarded the Museum a $1 million dollar grant for the implementation of a new vision for the 12-acre property.

Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects studied archival photographs, paintings by the Lyme Art Colonists, and previous research from archeological digs onsite to create a Master Landscape Plan, including the Artists’ Trail.

Late in 2018, Mountain View Landscape broke ground along the riverbank to prepare a rainwater garden. They also installed 19th-century repurposed granite to create tiered access to the hillside.

Since mid-March the crew has been working steadily to cut paths that will become four distinct walks (riverfront, garden, hedgerow, and woodland) that highlight the ecology of migratory bird habitats and native plans as well as locations of historical significance to the Griswold family and the Lyme Art Colony.

They outlined the footprint of the original studio of Impressionist artist Childe Hassam with granite blocks, designated the historic orchard with black locust posts, and built an overlook on the Lieutenant River.

Two members of “Three’s a Charm,” Sue Mead and Kipp Sturgeon, entertained the visitors on the grounds of the Museum during the event.

And so much more …

Behind-the-scenes, staff has been working on way-finding and interpretive materials that will help guide visitors through the natural, artistic, and historic highlights of the Museum site.

Dobie D’oench of Higganum, a 2016  graduate of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and now a member of the Lyme Art Association, paints en plein air during the event, evoking memories of how the artists of yesteryear used to paint on the grounds of what was then Miss Florence’s boarding house.

Robert F. Schumann was a devoted trustee and patron of the Museum for nearly two decades.

The Museum seeks to honor Schumann’s legacy as an avid birder, conservationist, and philanthropist by dedicating the Artists’ Trail in his honor.

Editor’s Note: For a further description of the event, visit this link to read an article by Mary Biekert of The Day titled, ‘Florence Griswold Museum celebrates opening of Artists’ Trail,’ and published July 22 on TheDay.com.  

Share

2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy Through Aug. 8

“Vanitas Under Stained Glass’ by McKenzie Graham is a signature work in the 2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition that opens tonight at Lyme Academy.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven hosts an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this evening in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery for its 2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition.  All are welcome.

The seniors whose work is featured in the exhibition have completed accelerated studies for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Post-Baccalaureate degree and will graduate in August 2019. This will be the final exhibition of student portfolios submitted for degrees before the Lyme Academy ceases to be a degree-granting college subsequent to the University of New Haven’s withdrawal.

The Senior Studio experience at the College allows students to refine their vision and develop a skill set in order to create a body of work that exemplifies their individual interests, talents, and artistic sensibilities.

The 2019 Senior Studio Exhibition reflects the culmination of this project.  Students will be present at the opening reception and available to discuss their work.

The exhibition will be on view in the gallery through Aug. 8.  Admission is free Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sponsor of the exhibition is Saybrook Point Inn/Fresh Salt.

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Share

CT Audubon Hosts Coastal Creatures Program Tomorrow Morning

Children investigate the contents of their Touch Tanks!

Photo credit: CT Audubon

OLD LYME — The Roger Tory Peterson (RTP) Estuary Center presents a program titled Coastal Creatures tomorrow, Wednesday, July 17, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and again on Saturday, July 20, from 9 to 11 a.m.

Get up close and personal with crabs, fish and more. See and touch live animals from Long Island Sound and estuary at the RTP Estuary Center on Halls Rd. in Old Lyme.

Open to all ages. Admission is $25 member; $30 non-members;$15 children ages 2-15.

July 17 – Register here

July 20 – Register here

Share

A Clarification on the Sewer Payment Issue

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder

We have received numerous inquiries this morning regarding who is responsible for paying what in regard to the sewers.

To clarify the situation in advance of tonight’s meeting, we followed up with First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who said categorically, “The Town [of Old Lyme] has to borrow the money, but the repayment will be based on revenues from the project … [which will be] paid by the users.”  She noted, however, that “There is always the chance that someone is going to challenge the amount charged to them.”

Asked whether the mill rate for the residents of Old Lyme would be increased to fund the loan, Reemsnyder responded, “The bonding should not impact the mill rate.”

She added that a vote is planned tomorrow morning at an Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Special Meeting to set the date of Aug. 5 for a Special Town Meeting at which the referendum will be officially called for Aug. 13.

Share

$5K Reward Offered for Finding Lost Dog From Lyme, Possibly Spotted Recently Outside Coffee’s

This beautiful dog, Dexter, is still missing.

Dexter, a 10-year-old dark brown (with white spots) German Shorthaired Pointer mix, has been missing for several weeks now. Dexter is generally friendly, but he may be frightened and disoriented at this point.

A possible sighting of Dexter in a blue SUV was made at Coffee’s Country Market on Boston Post Rd. on Friday, July 5. It could have been a different dog, but the woman who reported it said it looked very much like Dexter.

Another photo of Dexter, who is missing.

The last definite sighting of Dexter was near Hamburg Cove on May 22, when he was wearing a collar with nametags and rabies vaccination tag. He also has a microchip.

Please share this and if you have any information on Dexter’s whereabouts, call Richard Gordon at 617-549-2776 or Andrew Barker at 617-669-7195. A $5,000 reward is being offered for his safe return.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme HS, MS Students Receive Prestigious CABE Leadership Awards

Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Principal James Wygonik congratulates Theodore Wayland and Maggie Wisner, who are both 11th grade students at LOLHS, on receiving CABE Student Leadership Awards. The presentation took place at the June 5 Board of Education meeting.

Maggie Wisner and Theodore Wayland, 11th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, and Izzadora Reynolds and Cooper Munson, 8th grade students at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, were recently recognized by the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) with a Student Leadership Award.

Students are nominated to receive this award by their school principal. Students nominated exhibit the following leadership skills:

  • Willingness to take on challenges
  • Capability to make difficult decisions
  • Concern for others
  • Ability to work with others
  • Willingness to commit to a project
  • Diplomacy
  • Ability to understand issues clearly
  • Ability to honor a commitment

Superintendent Ian Neviaser and the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education recognized these students at the June 5 Board of Education meeting.

Share

Newly-Independent Lyme Academy Plans Its Re-Birth With Exciting Schedule of Fall Classes

File photo of the Chandler Academic Center at the now independent and renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

As of the end of last month, the renamed Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme became an independent entity once again with all ties to the University of New Haven (UNH) severed. Moreover, contrary to a number of rumors circulating around town, the Academy is not about to close, but rather is entering an exciting new phase in its evolution.

On Thursday, the Lyme Academy Board of Trustees Chairman Steven Tagliatela and the newly-appointed Interim Director of the Academy, Frank Burns, met with The Day to discuss the future of the institution. Also present was Kim Monson, an instructor of sculpture, anatomy and drawing at the school, who has been deeply involved in plans to retain the institution as a viable concern.

Lyme Academy College alumna and instructor Kim Monson who has been intimately involved in efforts to keep the Academy as a fully operational institution and is now designing the fall programs.

Monson was authorized to speak to LymeLine.com after the meeting to share an overview of its content. She explained that the overarching message that Tagliatella gave was that the Academy is most definitely not about to shutter its doors, nor to become a generic “Art Center.” She explained that the upcoming academic year is being treated in many ways as a ‘rebuilding’ year during which the Academy will determine the optimum way to move forward. A new program of serious art classes will begin in late September and Monson stressed there is also a strong desire to re-engage the local community in terms of its role as both students and donors.

A vibrant summer program is currently running at the Academy (visit this link for details) and the curriculum is currently being finalized for regular ‘core’ classes to start in late September. These will all adhere firmly to the original mission of the school as defined by its founder, the late Elisabeth Gordon Chandler, who believed passionately in what Monson describes as “observational training.”

Designed by Monson, these core classes comprising six hours per week for six weeks will be offered in Drawing, Painting, Sculpture and Printmaking. They will be modeled on the format followed by the Arts Student’s League in which students work with a model for the first part of the class followed by time with their instructor when he/she gives feedback.  Monson commented that this is the format followed by Lyme Academy College when she studied there as an undergraduate.

There will also be a Portfolio Prep course held over weekends between late September and November for students aged 14 and up.  Classes will include Art of the Cast (Drawing), The Skull- Sculpture), and Shades of Gray (Value Painting.)

Finally, a number of Masterclasses are planned in subjects including Animal Sculpture and Stone Carving.

Publicity postcard for the upcoming 2019 Senior Studio Summer Exhibition, which opens with a reception, July 19.

Marketing will be key to the success of the Academy’s re-birth and an agency is in the process of being hired.  This agency will be responsible for creating a new, engaging website and all ongoing marketing operations related to the fall classes.

Several of the current faculty are being retained by UNH including Randy Melick, Nancy Gladwell and Roland Becerra, who all predate the UNH take-over. The Academy is looking to retain an MFA-qualified faculty in general.

Monson’s enthusiasm for these new programs is palpable — on a personal basis, she said that she is thrilled to see the Academy “return to its roots.” She also mentioned that there are plans to upgrade the academy’s digital studio — a move she feels will enhance the Academy’s already outstanding art teaching spaces even further. Monson added that partnerships with other art colleges are still being explored.

In terms of the wider spectrum of facilities, Monson described the objective as being “how to best utilize the campus … in order to fulfill Elisabeth’s mission.” The townhouses built across the street from the Academy have been returned to the developer with the expiry of the current lease and the administrative space in the Chandler building will be offered for rent.

The Academy’s Board of Trustees will serve as an active board once again rather than in the advisory capacity in which they acted under UNH’s tenure. Monson paraphrased Tagliatella in describing how the board now felt about their task going forward, saying it was as if, “a weight had been lifted.” After a year of uncertainty about where the academy was going, the path forward is now clear, and perhaps more importantly, Monson noted, the message from the meeting was that there is an overwhelming determination to achieve success.

The first event being held under this new administration is the Opening Reception for the 2019 Summer Senior Studio Exhibition next Friday, July 19, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery at the Academy.The public is welcome to attend and view the work of the 29 graduating students, who have completed an accelerated program in order to complete their BFA’s while the College still held its accreditation.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read an article by Mary Biekert of The Day, who was present at the meeting with Lyme Academy officials, and describes its content in more detail. The article was published on theday.com yesterday and printed in The Day today.

Share

Reemsnyder, Nosal Officially Announce Re-Election Campaign 

Incumbents First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (right) and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal have just announced their re-election campaign. (File photo)

Yesterday, Democratic First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal officially announced they will be running for re-election. Bonnie Reemsnyder has served on the Board of Selectmen since 2003 and was elected First Selectman in 2011. Mary Jo Nosal joined Reemsnyder as a member of the Board of Selectmen in 2011.

“Since first being elected, our number one priority has always been finding innovative ways to improve our town while not putting an unfair burden on taxpayers,” Reemsnyder stated, “and this year, we were proud to be able to sustain a low tax base while actually expanding services and building infrastructure through planning and grants. We continue to build towards a future of financial stability and while we are proud of our accomplishments so far, we know there is still work to be done.”

“I don’t think people fully appreciate the work that Bonnie and Mary Jo do for the town of Old Lyme,” Old Lyme resident Pamelia Parker stated. “Bonnie and Mary Jo have spent their entire time in office advocating for policies that will preserve the character of our town while adapting to a changing state. Going back to their fight to prevent the train coming through our historical district, they have shown time and again that they listen to our concerns and are proactive in providing a voice to everyday people. I love living in Old Lyme and I’m supporting this team because they have shown they have the work ethic and vision to lead us to a better future.”

Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal took the opportunity to speak about their past two years in office. “Keeping taxes low, securing over $1 million in state funding to fix our roads, and supporting our schools and nonprofits are all accomplishments that represent our values and vision as a team,” Nosal commented. “Old Lyme is a special place and the opportunity to continue to serve the people of this town is an honor.”

Share

Sen. Needleman Joins Gov. Lamont for Signing of Invasive Species Bill

State Senator Norm Needleman (standing, fifth from right) joins a coalition of political and regional leaders as Governor Ned Lamont signs legislation into effect better protecting Connecticut waterways from invasive species.

AREAWIDE – Today, State Senator Norm Needleman (D-33rd) joined Governor Ned Lamont for the signing of legislation designed to fight invasive species and preserve Connecticut’s lakes, ponds and rivers. This step is intended to protect Connecticut’s natural wildlife and environment while also benefitting the beautiful bodies of water that draw so many from the state and beyond.

The 33rd Senate District includes the Town of Lyme.

“Too many bodies of water around Connecticut experience significant environmental damage by invasive species. A simple weed or piece of algae stuck to a boat’s hull can, in time, create a massive threat to a lake or river’s ecosystem, rapidly multiplying. That can harm fishing and recreation, even making the body of water unusable,” said Sen. Needleman. “There’s a reason this legislation received overwhelming support from both environmental groups and lake and boating associations – it will help protect our state against these dangerous threats, keeping our waterways clear. It’s great to see this issue receive the attention it deserves.”

The legislation in question will create a boat stamp, with proceeds helping to fund removal of invasive species from state waterways. Connecticut residents will be charged $5, while out-of-state residents will be charged $25. The collected funds will be deposited into the Connecticut Lakes, Rivers and Ponds Preservation Fund to support programming on eradicating invasive species, education and public outreach programs to better educate the public, and grants to study better management of bodies of water.

The bill passed the House and Senate on bipartisan votes of 131-10 and 34-2, and in March, dozens of residents supported it at a public hearing. Towns in the 33rd District including East Hampton, Lyme and Old Lyme have experienced growth of invasive weeds and algae in their waterways and bodies of water.

The new law takes effect January 1, 2020.

Share

Sound View Celebrates the Fourth With a Grand Parade

Sound View held its 26th annual Independence Day parade yesterday and yet again, the sun shone brightly for the occasion.

Joann Lishing led the parade proudly holding the Stars and Stripes and — as always — beaming broadly.  She was followed by the Silver Coronet Band and then local members of the VFW.

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), pictured in the red shirt above, participated in the event as did Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (also wearing red and walking behind State Rep. Carney in the photo above.)

The remaining participants in the huge parade were the myriad of appropriately decorated bicycles and their riders, golf carts bedecked in red, white and blue and their passengers, a girl on stilts, emergency vehicles and their personnel, and anyone else who wanted to join the parade!

Participants gathered at the north end of Hartford Ave. and then marched south towards Long Island Sound, back up Portland Ave. and across to Swan Ave. The final segment of the parade was the return trip up Hartford Ave. to the Shoreline Community Center.

Visit this link to view a video taken by Carol Mirakian of the parade.

Visit this link to view a gallery of photos of the parade taken by Dana Jensen and published on TheDay.com.

Share