June 3, 2020

Ivoryton Playhouse Cancels Its 2020 Season

Ivoryton Playhouse has cancelled its 2020 season. Photo by Brian J. Wilson .

IVORYTON — (from a press release) On March 18, 2020, The Ivoryton Playhouse planned to open its doors for the start of a whole new season but the universe had other plans. The Playhouse has been closed down by the state and the virus since March 16, and waiting to hear if they may be able to produce a limited season in the summer or fall.

Heading into summer with the likelihood of producing growing slimmer every day, the Playhouse has made the difficult decision to cancel their 2020 season. If the world has changed enough for them to produce next year, then they will attempt 2020 Part 2 and hope to be able to produce everything they were prevented from producing this year – with bells on!

The Ivoryton Playhouse has been producing theatre for 90 years. The only years it went dark were during the Second World War and in 1977 when the future of the theatre hung in the balance and it was almost knocked down to make way for a drug store. But it has survived, through all of these challenges, and is confident of its return – stronger and enriched by this unprecedented experience.

All ticket holders will be contacted over the next couple of weeks. For more information, email info@ivorytonplayhouse.org


Town of Lyme to Phase in Reopening of Town Facilities, Starts Today

LYME — (from a press release) As the state of Connecticut prepares to loosen stay-at-home practices to foster an increase in commerce, the Town of Lyme has prepared for a measured, phased reopening of Town facilities beginning Wednesday, May 20, in accordance with the Governor’s plan.

While it is hoped to return to as much “normal” as possible, the Lyme Board of Selectmen stress that things will clearly be different as new procedures to protect Lyme residents and employees are instituted to avoid experiencing a recurrence of rising virus infections in our community.

The board of selectmen will monitor the reopening process closely, remaining vigilant should another wave of COVID-19 return. Although the board hopes there will not be a need to close Town facilities again, board members emphasize that they will always put the health and safety of Lyme residents and employees paramount when faced with that decision.

The reopening of Town facilities does not signal an end to the pandemic nor an end to the risk we all share. The board of selectmen strongly urge all Lyme citizens to continue to wear masks when outdoors and to maintain at least a six-foot distance from others.

Residents who are 60 or older or who have other medical conditions that place them at risk should continue to stay home as much as possible. Everyone must continue to look out for each other and practice the simple behaviors that limit transmission.

Full details of the phased reopening are at this link with separate sections on

  • Public Works
  • Brush Hill Transfer Station
  • Hamburg Recycling Center
  • Town Hall & Lyme Public Library
  • Other Town Facilities.

There is a also a calendar detailing the reopening visually.



Old Lyme Residents Asked to Paint Kindness Rocks

Kindness rocks!

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme Kindness Committee is asking residents to consider painting kindness rocks with supportive sayings. The finished rocks can be dropped off in a box outside Memorial Town Hall (52 Lyme St.) any time. The rocks will be distributed to Meals on Wheels, the Lymes’ Senior Center, and the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau.

“We want to provide the community with another positive outlet during this challenging time, while also spreading hope and encouragement to our vulnerable populations,” said Kindness Committe Chair Michelle Noehren. “Sometimes all it takes to turn someone’s day around is a small gesture of kindness, and we hope that providing these rocks to those who need support will help them through the harder days.”

Last month the Kindness Committee encouraged residents to submit videos thanking the administrators, teachers, and staff at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools for their hard work and dedication in helping students transition to distance learning. 

During each meeting of the committee since the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the state, members have been generating ideas about how to build community, support those who are struggling, and offer ways for residents to help.


Old Lyme Board of Finance Hosts Virtual Town Budget Meeting Tonight, No Public Vote Required to Approve Budget

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Finance (BOF) will host an Annual Budget Meeting this evening at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held virtually and followed immediately by an Old Lyme BOF Meeting at which the mill rate for the coming financial year 2020-21 will be set.

Members of the public may attend both meetings by using WebEx with the following link: https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m45ab07d640b28b8c0596637aca51886b.  Alternatively, dial 1-408-418-9388 and enter access code: 714 301 883. Residents are encouraged to join the meeting five minutes before it is due to start to ensure you can gain a connection.

View the proposed budget at this link.  Members of the public can submit comments on the budget in advance of the meeting to: BoardofFinance@oldlyme-ct.gov.

In light of the closure of Town Hall due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and pursuant to Governor Lamont’s Executive Orders 7I, 7S and 7CC, the public, and electors and citizens eligible to vote in Town meeting may listen to the meeting by using either access method listed above.

This year, however, the board of finance will vote to approve the draft budget. Members of the public will be given the opportunity to comment at the meeting via the Chat window on the WebEx link or on the phone — but not vote — on it. Traditionally, a Town Meeting has been held at which a public vote is taken to approve the budget. This is not happening this year because Governor Lamont obviated the need for in-person voting due to COVID-19 via Executive Order 7-I.

Assuming the budget is approved by the board of finance, it will become the Town of Old Lyme’s approved budget for FY 2020-2021.

After the budget has been approved, the board of finance will consider and vote on setting the mill rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year and details of the tax payment schedule.


Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme Remain Open During Pandemic, Offering Safe Solace to All

A view across Gil Boro’s Sculpture Grounds looking towards Studio 80.

OLD LYME — Museums and galleries may be closed due to the pandemic but there is still an opportunity in Old Lyme to immerse yourself  in art by interacting with colorful sculptures in a soothing, safe outdoor environment. The four-plus acre Sculpture Grounds on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, Conn. remain open and free to the public during the Coronavirus shutdown. 

Turning Point III/12 by Gilbert Boro.

The  Sculpture Grounds are the exhibit space for nationally acclaimed sculptor Gilbert Boro, whose home and studio anchor the property along the historic Lieutenant River in Old Lyme. Boro’s exhibits are displayed on professionally-landscaped grounds that offer a refuge from everyday life to commune with both nature and art.

More than 100 sculptures of a variety of sizes and materials are spaced around the property with each location carefully considered to marry the work to its immediate surroundings.  More than three quarters of the sculptures are Boro’s own designs with the remainder created by both established and emerging sculptors from around the country. 

The Sculpture Grounds offer both respite for adults and exploratory play for children. Normally visitors are permitted to touch and climb the sculptures but during the Coronavirus health crisis that is not possible. The working studio and indoor art gallery are also closed during this period. Visitors are expected to self-regulate in accordance with the state quarantine social distancing and protective guidelines. 

‘Bowline Knot’ by Gilbert Boro.

Picnics are permitted on the stone patio that contains several café tables with umbrellas. There is no food or drink for sale; visitors are encouraged to ‘Brown bag.” Admission is always free of charge with donations accepted. 

Hours are daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Sculpture Grounds are minutes from Exit 70 off I-95 at 80-1 Lyme Street in the historic village of Old Lyme.  Parking is available toward the rear of the property or next-door in the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts parking lot.

For more information, call 86043405957 or visit www.sculpturegrounds.com or Facebook.


Death of Anna Lukacs of Old Lyme Announced

Annie Lukacs

OLD LYME — Anna Lukacs, age 95, of Old Lyme, formerly of Trumbull, and beloved wife of the late Emil Lukacs, passed away on May 12, 2020 at Bride Brook Health Center, Niantic.

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1924 to the late George and Susan (Polascik) Angelovich, Anna made the passage at the age of 14 to Bridgeport, where her family settled. She fully embraced her new country as a citizen, working for 25 years at General Electric to help support her family. Anna met her husband Emil before he left for the Air Force to fight in WWII, but they married as soon as he returned in 1947 and settled in Trumbull where they raised their daughter, Nancy.

Emil and Anna remained devoted to each other for 50 years until Emil passed in 1997.

An adventurous spirit, Anna left her home of 38 years and moved to Cape Cod to be close by when her granddaughter Sophie was born. Anna was a devoted grandmother, and she enjoyed 5 happy years in Osterville as Sophie’s caregiver and favorite playmate.

In 2005, a job change brought the whole family back to Connecticut where Anna spent her final years. She was known as “Momma” by residents of all ages throughout Old Lyme and will be forever remembered for teaching Sophie and her friends the delicate and intricate art of decorating Pysanky Ukrainian eggs, baking delicious cakes, and handing out full size candy bars each Halloween from her little home on Lyme Street.

Anna was vibrant into her 90’s and never lost her independent spirit, or her devotion to her family. She will be terribly missed by her devoted daughter, Nancy Lucas Adams and her husband David of Clinton, cherished granddaughter, Sophie Emilia Edson, brother, George Angelovic and his wife Maria, sisters, Helen Helms, and Dorothy Whelahan and her husband John, and several nieces and nephews.

Due to the current health situation, the family has elected to have a private family service but will hold a mass in her honor at a future date. The Adzima Funeral Home-Stratford has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.

For more information or to make an online condolence, please visit www.adzimafuneralhome.com


Old Lyme Beach Passes Now on Sale

OLD LYME — Beach passes are now on sale from the Old Lyme Town Hall. The beaches will re-open May 23, but there is a possibility they may be closed again. In the event of further beach closures, no refunds will given for beach passes purchased.

You must be an Old Lyme taxpayer in order to purchase a Beach Parking Pass. View or download the beach pass application at this link.

Since Town Hall remains closed to the public, there are two ways to purchase a beach pass as follows:

  • Mail a check with your payment, proof of residency, and the application form to the First Selectman’s Office, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme CT 06371.
  • Place the items listed in the first bullet in an envelope and drop it through the mail slot in the Town Hall front door with the appropriate cash or check. Credit card payments cannot be accepted at this time.

After receiving the payment and required information, the application will be processed and the beach pass(es) mailed to the address related to the application.

The fee for the first beach pass is $25.00 while a second one costs $40.00. Therefore the price for two beach passes, which is the maximum permitted per family this year, is $65.00. There are no reduced rates for beach passes this year.

Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold noted in a text message this morning, “They [Beach Passes] are selling briskly.”

For further information and questions, contact Michele Hayes at mhayes@oldlyme-ct.gov or (860) 434-1605 ext. 212.


Lyme Board of Finance Approves $10.7M Budget, No Change to Current Year’s Mill Rate

LYME — The Town of Lyme’s proposed 2020-21 budget of $10,688,087 was passed unanimously Tuesday evening at a meeting of the Lyme Board of Finance, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

Typically a town meeting would have been required to vote on the budget, but this year, in light of the COVID-19 situation, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in Executive Order 7I waived the requirement for voting on town or school budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements,” thus leaving boards of finance free to pass town and/or school budgets by a member vote at one of their meetings.

After the budget was approved, the board of finance went on to set a mill rate for the 2020-21 fiscal year of 19.95, which reflects no change from the current year’s rate.

Asked by email after the meeting how he felt about the successful passing of the budget, Lyme Board of Finance Chairman Dan Hagan said, “The Board of Selectmen and the Board of Finance did a great job developing a 20-21 budget that reflects the values of Lyme – strong support for education, open space, and fiscal responsibility.”


Facts & Figures from Old Lyme EMS; Who Does What at a Vehicle Accident Scene, Managing the COVID Crisis in Old Lyme

CategoryJanuary 2020February 2020March 2020
Traumatic Injury131
Breathing issues149
Abdominal pain101
Chest pain751
Cardiac arrest001
CVA (stroke)010
Altered Mental Status204
Traffic accident (MVA)1794
Medical device143
Hazardous Material (HazMat)300
Lift Assist100
Fire assistance for PT's130
Allergic reaction000
Psychiatric/Abnormal Behavior435
Poisoning, e.g., CO2 200

OLD LYME — Traffic accidents for the three-month period from January through March of this year totaled 30, whereas incidents involving pain/sickness increased to 45. 

We are coming out of winter and hoping traffic accidents due to inclement weather will slow down, though we will likely see an increase in traffic accidents in our area as summer approaches. Some reasons for this include: distraction from sun glare, more people (pedestrians, bicyclists, motorcyclists) outside, teenagers home from school, and an increase in road construction projects. 

Also, as residents are aware, Old Lyme’s traffic increases significantly during the warmer months with summer residents and beach visitors. We can also expect more traffic with the near-future lifting of the Covid-19 self-isolation. 

Old Lyme Ambulances generally respond to accident scenes.

When an accident occurs on local roads, town or state police, ambulance(s) and sometimes fire trucks and apparatus will respond. In addition to service vehicles, many volunteers show up on the scene in their private vehicles to assist with numerous tasks including obtaining patient information, vitals, fetching equipment and then securely replacing it back in the ambulance before transport to the ER. 

If a paramedic arrives on scene and travels with the patient in the ambulance to the ER, then the volunteer can drive their paramedic vehicle and follow the ambulance to the ER. This way, the paramedic will have their paramedic vehicle for the next call without having to be dropped back off at the scene. There are many reasons why it’s important to have extra hands on deck.

In most cases, it is important for volunteers to arrive at the scene of the accident prior to the ambulance’s arrival. Volunteers are able to stabilize the patient, obtain invaluable information by sizing up the scene, and documenting personal information including the patient’s  medication list, vital signs, nature of the illness or injury and more. As a result, by the time the ambulance and crew arrive, much of the initial work is completed and if needed, the patient(s) can be transported to the ER sooner.

A new stretcher system facilitates moving a patient into an ambulance.

Ambulances use a siren with red and white emergency lights to inform traffic that they are on the way to a call. During an active emergency and on the way to the scene, volunteer EMTs and EMRs use green lights in their vehicles (volunteer firemen use blue lights.) Whenever you are driving and see a vehicle with these lights approaching, please move safely to the shoulder so the First Responders can get to the scene. 

All EMT’s and EMR’s carry a trauma bag with lifesaving First Responder equipment so that, when arriving on the scene, they can radio to 911 dispatch or the responding ambulance the location of the emergency, for example, if a home is not marked well or if patient is injured on a trail. Also, they will request additional services if needed, such as police, paramedic, additional ambulance, extra man power, or the LIFE STAR helicopter.  

With Covid-19 still prevalent, respiratory distress calls more than doubled in March. Chief Tom Rozanski, President Claire Haskins, Vice President Dave Musto and Deputy Chief Juan Tirado of the Old Lyme Emergency Management Services (EMS) Executive Committee have been very busy coordinating virtual meetings for emergency preparedness with town Emergency Operations Committee, chaired by Old Lyme Fire Marshal Dave Roberge. Included in the meeting are Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, Old Lyme Selectmen Christopher Kerr and Mary Jo Nosal, Resident State Trooper Matt Weber and town officers, and Old Lyme Fire Chief Steve Super.

The Old Lyme EMS Executive Committee has also had virtual meetings with other surrounding town ambulance departments.  Due to the demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), when supplies becomes available, a volunteer quickly offers to pick them up.  Many hands lighten the load.

Old Lyme EMS thanks the residents in advance for allowing us to serve our community. If you are interested in joining, call 860-434-0089. There are always two EMT’s manning the Cross Lane building from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., unless they are responding to a call. In light of the current social distancing protocol, it is best to call about how to obtain an application.  


10 Things the Pandemic Has Changed for Good (from AARP.org)

The coronavirus pandemic is a public health emergency and an economic crisis, unprecedented in the disruption of daily life. That makes it something else, too, says Jeffrey Cole, a research professor at the University of Southern California: “Without preparation or permission, we’re participating in the greatest social science experiment of all time.”

The effects of lockdownslayoffs and massive public measures to contain COVID-19 “will last long after any threat from the virus is gone,” contends Cole, who directs the Center for the Digital Future at USC’s Annenberg School of Communications. “In the future, …

Read the full article by Andy Markowitz and published on AARP.org May 4, 2020 at this link.


Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club Cancel This Year’s Classic Car Show

This year’s planned Classic Car Show hosted by the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club has been cancelled. It has been held contemporaneously with Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival for the last several years.  Photo by Lyme-Old Lyme Lions

OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club has announced today that their annual Classic Car Show will not be held this year. The Car Show usually takes place at the Bee and Thistle Inn during the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival.

In a message to LymeLine and in statement published on the Club’s Facebook page, Lion Phil Parcak said, “After the cancellation of the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, it is with deep regret that the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Classic Car Show will not be held this year.”

He notes that the Car Show and the Pancake Breakfast are the Club’s largest fundraisers and the funds raised from those events are used to fund high school scholarships.

Parcak concludes, “Our Club will get through this and continue to serve the community.”


Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Passes $34.7 Million Budget Unanimously, Total Represents Largest “Negative Increase” Since 1973

Screen shot of Wednesday evening’s virtual Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education meeting at which the 2020-21 budget was passed.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Board of Education (BOE) unanimously passed the proposed 2020-21 Regional District #18 budget of $34,711,631 during a virtual meeting Wednesday night.

After a reevaluation of savings from the current year, the 2020-21 budget now shows a decrease of $373,127 (1.06 percent) over the current (2019-2o) budget according to Ian Neviaser, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent. There was a lively discussion among board members and the superintendent as to how to describe this decrease correctly, which BOE Chair Diane Linderman ended up declaring was, the biggest “negative increase” in the budget since 1973, when the regional district was formed.

Neviaser noted that a significant savings in the budget (5.5 percent) are due to a decrease in the need for special education programs for students as a handful of special needs students recently left the district. 

“Our special education providers are currently doing an excellent job. The unknown factor in special education is always needs and new students,” said Neviaser. “This could wildly swing the other way tomorrow depending on enrollment.”

Neviaser also addressed some recent news articles, which discussed the school district’s recent savings, saying that, although some expenses have been saved due to COVID-19, that does not explain the whole picture. “Some of the savings that we’ve incurred have to do with the closure; for example we are not hiring substitutes right now,” said Neviaser. “As we’ve been saying throughout the entire year, the majority of our savings have come from special education.” 

Due to the size of this year’s surplus, the project to resurface the six tennis courts on the main campus, which had been spaced over two years, will now be completed in the current financial year. Similarly, an additional project was also approved for waterproofing ($16,750.00) the exterior of the middle school’s split face cement blocks, which again had been included in the 2020-21 budget, but will now be moved into the current year.

Board member Rick Goulding, who chairs the Facilities Committee, mentioned there is a possibility that refinishing the high school gym floor might also be transferred into the current year’s budget. If it is decided to pursue that plan, he said that request will be made at the June BOE meeting.

Neviaser referenced the fact that the Gov. Lamont had recently declared that schools would remain closed for the remainder of the year.  He stressed that he has been working closely with the Connecticut COVID-19 Reopening Task Force to maneuver the next steps in opening up school districts in a safe manner, however a timeline is still very broad at this point.

“We will look to them for some input. Knowing the way the state functions, they will provide general guidance and because every district is different, we will make our own internal adaptations based on that guidance,” said Neviaser. 

Although a referendum in Lyme and Old Lyme is normally required in order to pass the school’s budget, this was not needed this year due to the Governor’s Executive Order 7I, which states that town and school districts were not required to vote on budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements.” 

Neviaser noted that both towns would benefit significantly from the decreased LOL Schools’ budget when they finalized their town budgets in the upcoming weeks. He said Old Lyme will pay the school district exactly the same amount as in the 2019-20 budget and Lyme will pay 3 percent less than this year. The amounts the towns pay respectively of the total budget are determined by the relative percentages of students from each town, which are usually in a roughly 80:20 ratio with Old Lyme paying 80 percent of the budget. The numbers for the 2020-21 year saw Old Lyme increase its percentage of students while Lyme’s fell correspondingly.

Neviaser took a moment during the meeting to recognize Educator Appreciation Week, and share his appreciation for the efforts of all of the LOL faculty and staff during this unprecedented time.

“There is no single road map to make this work, it’s a constant adjustment and adaptation to whatever students need,” said Neviaser. “I think I speak for the full board that we greatly appreciate what they’re doing and how hard they’re working.”


Griswold Tells BOS “Beach Closures Accomplished What We Wanted,” Hopes Beaches May Reopen May 20

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold. File photo.

OLD LYME — At last Monday evening’s Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting, First Selectman Timothy Griswold discussed the subject of the Old Lyme beach closures, which had been enforced the immediately preceding weekend and met with mixed reactions. He said, “I made a decision to close the [Old Lyme] beaches to the public. In talking with the president of Miami Beach [Association], he agreed Miami Beach should be closed too.”

The meeting was broadcast live as a telephone conference.

Griswold referenced the landmark Greenwich lawsuit regarding town beaches, which he said those involved in the decision had “looked at” and concluded it meant in the case of Old Lyme that they “had to close all town beaches.”  He noted the president of White Sand Beach Association had agreed with the decision.

Recognizing it was a “controversial decision,” he said that at the meeting he called Wednesday of representatives from the beaches and emergency services, the consensus was that primarily due to the sunny weather expected, “it would be pretty unwise to have business as usual at Sound View Beach” during the coming weekend.

He reported that “things went relatively well,” with only some “very minor violations,” and a Beach Ranger worked at White Sand Beach “instructing visitors that the beach was closed.” Noting he had met with the owners of the Sound View restaurants Kokomo’s and The Pavilion, Griswold said both had agreed to serve take-out only.

He emphasized his hope that these would be short-term closures and that the beaches might re-open soon.

He summarized the results of the closures saying they, “accomplished what we wanted … it would have been a real problem if we had done nothing.”

During public comment, Susan Kneen Way of Old Lyme asked if Griswold, “Would be willing to reconsider the closure of White Sand Beach and Hains Park” since beach-goers there and at Hains Park are required to have car hang tags in order to park. She noted “Since the private beaches have been advised to govern themselves, the rest of Old Lyme should be afforded the same opportunity.”

Griswold responded, “There are certain legal issues that govern these public beaches. It would be unusual to restrict them to town residents when the public itself can’t come to the beach.” He again referenced the Greenwich lawsuit, which he explained requires a town to consider “access to public beaches as access to a park.”

Kneen Way countered, “My understanding is that White Sand Beach is for town residents only, hence the requirement for hang tags.” Griswold responded, “Non-residents can acquire a beach pass — though not at the same rate,” adding, “It’s [White Sand Beach] not the exclusive domain of town residents.”

Saying that she has seen clear evidence on the beach at the weekend of  Old Lyme residents observing social distancing, Kneen Way did however stress to Griswold, “I understand your reasons for closing Sound View.”

Griswold concurred that, “We would very much like to have these beaches open, but I think with Sound View, there’s no good way of regulating that.”

He concluded, “Maybe on the 20th of May we’ll have some good news from the Governor, but meanwhile, we have to be really careful.”


Exencial Wealth Advisors To Acquire $800M Willingdon Wealth Management; No Plans to Close Old Lyme Office

Tom McGuigan is Principal/Wealth Adviser at the Exencial Old Lyme office.

OKLAHOMA CITY/OLD LYME — Leading independent wealth management firm Exencial Wealth Advisors (Exencial) has announced its agreement to acquire Willingdon Wealth Management (Willingdon), a North Carolina-based registered investment advisor (RIA), according to a press release issued April 30.

Exencial is based in Oklahoma City, Okla. and has offices in Old Lyme, Conn., along with Frisco and San Antonio in Texas.

Expected to close on June 1, 2020, the deal would add $800 million in assets to Exencial’s book of business and deepen its talent pool with 16 new employees, including five CFA charterholders.

Asked his reaction to the acquisition, Thomas P. McGuigan, CFP®, who serves as Principal/Wealth Adviser at the Old Lyme office, told LymeLine in an email, “We are excited by the acquisition of Willingdon Wealth Management,” noting, “The Old Lyme office of Exencial Wealth Advisors was the first office outside of the Oklahoma City main office to join Exencial Wealth Advisors. That was accomplished in 2006.”

He explained, “We were the experiment to see if offices separated by distance, but unified in mission and values, could operate efficiently on behalf of clients. That experiment was a success, and we have since added offices in Frisco and San Antonio, Texas. Willingdon will further expand our reach to the southeastern states.”

On inquiring whether  the acquisition would affect the day-to-day operation of the office in Old Lyme, McGuigan responded, “There won’t be significant changes in the operations of the Old Lyme office. I do anticipate synergy between the Willingdon team and the rest of Exencial,” adding, “This has occurred each time a new office has been added.

He concluded, “That will work both ways. The Exencial team in Old Lyme has expertise that our other offices have tapped into, and we have benefited by the expertise of other offices.I expect that to continue with the Willingdon team.”

There is always a risk of consolidation when a merger of any sort occurs. We asked McGuigan whether there is any likelihood the office In Old Lyme will either be closed or moved to a new location. He replied, “No, that is not in the plans. We intend to grow the Old Lyme office. Just last year Exencial Wealth Advisors purchased the Old Lyme practice of Deborah A. Welles, CPA, and we have integrated their team into our operations.”

Willingdon specializes in investment management and develops personalized investment portfolios for each of their clients. They also provide a wide range of other services, including holistic financial planning, estate planning, trustee services and guidance on charitable giving.

Mike Kayes, Founder and President of Willingdon, commented in the press release, “Exencial’s tax planning capabilities in particular will greatly benefit our clients.”

In addition to its headquarters in North Carolina, Willingdon has satellite offices in Connecticut, Ohio and California.

Editor’s Note: Exencial Wealth Advisors is an independent registered investment advisory firm offering fee-only, objective financial planning, investment management and tax planning counsel to senior corporate executives, institutions, entrepreneurs and their families. The Old Lyme office is located at 83 Halls Rd., Ste. 205, Old Lyme CT 06371. For further information, call 860.434.5999 or visit their website.


Lyme-Old Lyme BOE to Vote on $34.7 Million 2020-21 School Budget This Evening, Public Can Attend Meeting Virtually

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Board of Education (BOE) meets this evening at 6:30 p.m. for a regular board meeting.  The agenda includes “Approval of the 2020-2021 School Budget” under New Business.

This year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont in Executive Order 7I waived the requirement for towns and school districts to vote on budgets by “any in-person budget adoption requirements,” including town meetings or referenda.

The board of education can therefore vote on — and potentially pass — the proposed 2020-21 District budget at tonight’s meeting, which will be held virtually. Access information for the meeting can be found on the agenda.

The previously planned May 5 referendum on the proposed school budget was cancelled.

The budget on which the LOL Board of Education will vote this evening totals $$34,711,631, which now represents a 1.06 percent reduction over the 2019-20 budget. The budget number presented at the April 6 District Hearing was $34,909,697.

Asked this morning why the final number now showed a $198,066 reduction over the number presented at the District Hearing, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser responded, “We used some of our surplus from this year to move a majority of the tennis court project into this year’s budget.  We have a large surplus this year due to savings incurred throughout the year mainly in special education costs.”

At the District Hearing, Neviaser stated the goals of the budget were to support the objectives outlined in the Strategic Plan by:

    • Preserving and building upon the high standards of education in LOL while remaining fiscally responsible to our communities.
    • Supporting the ongoing renewal of curriculum, instruction, assessment, and staff development activities in response to the expectations of state and national standards.
    • Continuing to plan and provide technology infrastructure and applications that are consistent with highly effective and efficient programming and operational standards.
    • Maintaining high facility standards for all district buildings and grounds.
    • Maintaining a dynamic and responsive approach to programming needs and mandates in special education.
    • Maintaining both compliance and reasonability in response to state and federal mandates.

At that meeting, he ran through an Overall Budget Summary noting that the major significant decrease was in debt service, which is down 18.57 percent, while other decreases were present in employee benefits (5.36 percent), special education (5.5 percent) and administrative services (6.36 percent.) He said, “the budget pie looks like that of previous years,” with 40.8 percent of the budget allocated to Certified Staff, adding, “the breakdown has not changed drastically.”

Commenting, “We’ve been back to 1998,” Neviaser then stated, “This is the lowest budget increase on record.”



Welcome, Caroline! Our Summer Intern for 2020

Introducing our 2020 Summer Intern Caroline LeCour.

OLD LYME — We are delighted to announce that Caroline LeCour has joined the LymeLine team and will serve as our 2020 summer intern. She has been a resident of Old Lyme all of her life, is a graduate of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2018, and is currently double-majoring in Communications and Journalism at The University of Connecticut.

As a journalist in the making, Caroline has worked as both a campus correspondent and the Social Media and Outreach Coordinator for The Daily Campus, UConn’s daily newspaper, as well as hosted her own radio show on WHUS Radio.

In her free time, Caroline is an avid rower and coxswain for the Blood Street Sculls of Old Lyme.

She tells us, “I am excited to be interning at LymeLine this summer and looking forward to all the experience I will gain during my time here.”

Caroline will be covering events for us in Lyme and Old Lyme as and when they start taking place again, but in the meantime, she will be “attending” some town and school meetings virtually and then reporting on them. She will also be writing articles and feature stories on a variety of topics focused on Lyme and/or Old Lyme and taking photographs for us.

Additionally, Caroline has a great deal of experience with social media and will be using it to improve our social media presence across multiple platforms.

Say hello to Caroline if you see her around town and let her know how pleased we are that she’s joined us.  She’s a terrific addition to our team.

If you want to suggest a story to Caroline or contact her for any other reason, she can be reached at caroline.lecour@uconn.edu.


Lamont Says School Buildings Will Remain Closed For The Rest of School Year; Distance Learning To Continue

Lyme-Old Lyme High School along with all other Lyme-Old Lyme Schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

HARTFORD — Gov. Ned Lamont made it official Tuesday and announced that school buildings will remain closed for the rest of the school year. He has not made a decision yet about summer school programming.

Lamont will require schools to continue to provide meals to children and teachers will continue to provide distance learning opportunities …

Read the full article by Christine Stuart and published on CTNewsJunkie.com this morning at this link


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Still So Much To Do (in Person or Virtually) on Lyme Street

Looking for something to do safely on Lyme Street in this “time of Corona”? Why not try a walking tour?

OLD LYME — It might seem like there’s nothing to do on Lyme Street at the moment since all the art institutions and shops are closed.  To counter that impression, the Old Lyme Arts District has come up with a comprehensive listing of all the activities in which you can still participate either in person or virtually.

Did you know, for example, that the Old Lyme Historical Society has created a Walking Tour of Lyme Street? Or that the Artist’s Trail and grounds at the Florence Griswold Museum are open for the public to enjoy even though the Museum itself is closed? And what about the Sculpture Grounds at Studio 80 which are open every day of the year from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at no charge?

Have you seen the great live virtual concerts Nightingale’s Acoustic Cafe has been holding to highlight musicians especially the local young musicians? Were you aware that you can enjoy musical performances from Musical Masterworks and the Side Door Jazz Club online?

How about taking a virtual tour of the latest shows at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) or FloGris, watching online art classes at the LAA, FloGris or Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, or following along with a virtual storytime at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

You can still stroll through the Florence Griswold Museum gardens even though the Museum is currently closed.

The opportunities do not end there. The FloGris has on online tour of its historic boarding house, there is art for sale online at The Cooley Gallery, nine oral histories are available on the Old Lyme Historical Society website, and a History Blog is offered on the FloGris website.

And there is so much more. Visit the Old Lyme Arts District website and explore …

Cheryl Poirier, who is a volunteer organizer of the Old Lyme Arts District, tells LymeLine, “It has been amazing to see all the ways our individual partner organizations have been working to bring art and music to everyone even with closed galleries and stages.”

She explains, “We decided to bring all of these resources together and include all of our partners whether they had open grounds like Studio 80, art for sale at the Lyme Art Association, or art activities like the Library. It was remarkable to see in one place all all of the creative and artistic things to still do “on Lyme Street.”





Griswold Reports Now 14 Confirmed COVID-19 Cases Plus One Fatality in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold told LymeLine.com by phone this morning that there are now 14 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among Old Lyme residents as at today, Friday, May 1. These cases comprise 10 females and four males.

There has also been one fatality in Old Lyme.

Griswold said the confirmed cases comprise:

  • a 64-year-old female
  • a 21-year-old female
  • a 27-year-old male,
  • a 53-year-old female
  • a 61-year-old female
  • a 29-year-old female
  • a 40-year-old male
  • a 53-year-old male
  • a 60-year-old female
  • a 48-year-old male
  • a 85-year-old female
  • a 95-year-old female
  • a 20-year-old female
  • a 43-year-old female

The fatality was a 61-year-old female.

The numbers for Lyme continue to show one confirmed case of a 34-year-old male.

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

Ledge Light Health District will issue a new report later this afternoon showing the numbers as at noon today. We are not expecting any differences from the numbers reported above but will report any changes detailed in that report after we have received it.