December 4, 2020

Old Lyme’s Kindness Committee Launches Holiday Decorating Contest for Home Exteriors

Who will win the inaugural Holiday Decorating Contest launched by Old Lyme’s Kindness Committee? Photo by James Wheeler on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — In an innovative response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Old Lyme Kindness Committee is hosting a holiday decorating contest to spread cheer and joy in a socially-distanced manner throughout the town.

Old Lyme residents are invited to participate by decorating the outside of their homes, following the directions below.

A list of all participating homes will be maintained on the Town of Old Lyme website so that the public can drive by and enjoy the decorations. Naturally, residents are welcome to decorate for whichever holiday you celebrate.

It is hoped participants will have fun decorating their homes and all residents will look forward to driving around town to check out the displays.

Entering the Contest:

To participate in the contest, email selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov and provide your street address. Residents must register to enter the contest by Thursday, Dec. 10, and have their decorations in place by that date to be included.

Voting:

Voting will be held online from Dec. 16 through Dec. 30. The top three winners in terms of votes received will be announced shortly after voting ends.

Prizes:

The Hangry GooseThe Chocolate Shell, and The Bowerbird have each generously donated a $20 gift certificate as contest prizes. The first place winner will choose the gift certificate of their preference, the second place winner will follow suit, and then the third place winner will receive the remaining gift certificate.

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Voter Participation Extremely High in Presidential Election in Both Lyme (88%), Old Lyme (91%)

LYME/OLD LYME — At the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting held Monday, Nov.16, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold reported that there are 5,933 registered voters in Old Lyme and 5,408 voters cast ballots for the President/Vice President, which equates to a participation rate of 91 percent.

As a comparison, Griswold noted 5,364 votes were cast for Joe Courtney in the Congressional House election. Griswold reported the remaining offices drew voter participation rates in the “high 80s to low 90s [percent]”

In his most recent Selectman’s Update, he reported there were 2,641 absentee ballots cast, which equate to 44.5 percent of the total.

Griswold also commented at the Selectmen’s meeting that the board needs to consider whether to make the change of voting location to Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School as a permanent one. He said, “It would have been disastrous at Cross Lane [voting location]” for this election, which had such a high turnout, but noted, “We wouldn’t have to have all voting at the schools.”

Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal asked whether voting for primaries would be at the middle school.

Griswold responded that the board needs to review options and make a plan since the current motion in effect in Old Lyme only approves use of the middle school through the end of the year and the Governor’s COVID Executive Order expires Feb. 9, 2021.

Lyme Town Clerk Linda Winzer announced that of the 2,012 voters on the election roll, 1,774 voted representing 88 percent of the total.  The number of absentee ballots issued in that town was 811 representing 40 percent of the votes cast.

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Cable Leaves Old Lyme Zoning Commission After 15-Year Tenure, 10 as Chairman

Outgoing Old Lyme Zoning Commission member Jane Cable, who has served on the commission since 2005 and as chairman since since 2010. File photo.

OLD LYME — At the end of a lengthy and somewhat exasperating (due to some Zoom issues) Old Lyme Zoning Commission meeting held virtually on Monday, Nov. 9, Chairman Paul Orzel asked if members had anything additional they wished to say before the meeting adjourned.

Orzel then said he, in fact, had something to say since he wanted to take a moment to highlight that it was Jane Cable’s final meeting as a member of the commission.

He noted she had served on the commission since 2005 and been chairman since 2010 adding emphatically, “We are going to miss you. You have been a tremendous mentor and inspiration …”

Cable then interrupted Orzel, quipping, “… and a pain in the butt!” but he continued, adding, “I can’t thank you enough,” and observing, [After leaving the commission,] you might be out of the picture but you won’t be off our radar.”

Alternate commission member Michael Barnes explained to Cable, “My interaction with you a while back made me want to get on the zoning commission,” but he now expressed sincere regret that she was leaving, saying he recognized, “Your knowledge is immense.”

Cable graciously acknowledged, “The Commission has to change,” and then added enthusiastically, “And I’m joining the [Old Lyme] Ethics Commission!”

Describing herself as a “frequent flyer” at zoning commission meetings, Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal spoke warmly of her relationship with Cable. She noted, “You have mentored me … thanks to you, I’ve learned so much.”

Nosal said, “You’ve left an extraordinary mark on the zoning commission.” and then she held up a sign — even though she was seated in her own home looking at a computer screen — that read, “Thank you, Jane!” (See photo at left.)

Expanding on the sign’s message, Nosal then concluded with the heartfelt words, which seemed to sum up the feelings of all the commission members, saying, “Thank you for sharing your time and talents with us.”

Here at LymeLine.com, we will add our own words of thanks to Jane for her outstanding service to the Old Lyme Zoning Commission and all the support she has given us over the years.

 

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Ledge Light Aligns COVID-19 Metrics with DPH; Cases in Old Lyme Rise to 46, Lyme to 12

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) sent out their usual weekly COVID-19 summary in a different format this week.

Stephen Mansfield, LLHD Director of Health, said in the introduction to the report emailed Friday, “With the assistance of the Connecticut Department of Public Health, Ledge Light Health District has modified our weekly COVID data presentation to more closely align with the reporting period, metrics and format of the DPH statewide data release.”

The report showed an increase in cases reported by LLHD in Old Lyme from last week’s number of 34 (which included two fatalities) to 46, and in Lyme from last week’s number of 11 to 12 with an additional probable case.

It should be noted however that CT DPH reported 41 cases in Old Lyme last week on the CT Open Data website. It is unclear why there has been this ongoing discrepancy between LLHD and CT DPH figures, but it now appears to have been resolved by LLHD adopting CT DPF’s numbers.

As soon as we received Friday’s report, we requested a full listing from LLHD of all the COVID cases in both towns.

Mansfield responded Friday evening, “We are no longer tracking and reporting case numbers independent of the state report. We will only be publishing what DPH reports to us each Friday … Simply put, due to the workload associated with the increase in cases, we do not have the resources to duplicate the efforts of DPH, nor provide a more detailed analysis of the cases in our communities.”

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold told LymeLine.com Thursday evening that he had been informed of two additional cases this week. These were an 18-year-old male and a 17-year-old female.

We asked Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser if he could confirm whether there were any confirmed COVID-19 cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. He referred us to a letter he had sent out to all parents Thursday (Nov. 5 in which he reminded them of the, “[Lyme-Old Lyme Schools] COVID-19 protocols that have been in place since we first reopened school on September 1, 2020.”

Neviaser stated in his letter, “Should we have a confirmed positive case, our first step is to work with our local health department, Ledgelight Health District, to follow their contact tracing protocol and determine who might be considered a ‘close contact.’ (Close contact is defined by CDC as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.)”

He continued, “Once those determinations have been made, families of those students (or staff members if applicable) are immediately notified by phone and asked to follow the Ledgelight quarantine protocol found here.”

Neviaser noted in his letter, “In most cases, in order to balance transparency and the need to protect personally identifiable information, only those students and staff members who have been determined to be ‘close contacts’ are notified as those that have not had ‘close contact’ are not considered to be at high risk for transmission of COVID-19.”

Mansfield noted in his introduction to Friday evening’s report, which covers all the towns in the LLHD and includes Lyme and Old Lyme,  “Our contact tracers continue to report that they have observed many instances of family and social gathering connections. We are also seeing a significant number of cases associated with sporting events.”

He states, “Cases associated with institutions (schools, long-term care facilities, etc.) remain relatively low.”

The total number of cases in Old Lyme, of which we have details, is now 36 including two fatalities. The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme now comprises 18 males and 16 females ranging in age from 17- to 82-years-old. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

The total number of cases in Lyme, of which we have details, remains at 11 comprising five females and six males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old. There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

Ledge Light Health District states their data may conflict with the data DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data LLHD reports is current as of noon on the Friday on which it is issued.

In our COVID-19 report last week, when we noted that the CT DPH was reporting 41 confirmed cases in Old Lyme (on the CT Open Data website) in contrast to the 34 cases reported by LLHD, we shared that we had asked Mansfield to explain the possible reasons for  this discrepancy.

He responded Saturday, Oct. 31, “I don’t have an explanation as to why the state numbers are different than the numbers that are reported to us. I have reached out to the state epidemiologist how to determine if they have an explanation for the discrepancy.”

We also asked about the question of contact tracing if the numbers were different, and Mansfield explained, “Contact tracing is done through a partnership between local health districts and DPH.”

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62
  10. Male, age unknown
  11. Female, age 51

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19
  26. Male, age 31
  27. Female, age 25
  28. Male, age 61
  29. Male, age 35
  30. Female, age 38
  31. Male, age 56
  32. Male, age 20
  33. Male, age 18
  34. Female, age 17

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) 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.

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Board of Education Meets Twice Wednesday Evening

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser. (File photo)

OLD LYME — The Region 18 Board of Education meets tomorrow (Wednesday, Nov. 4) evening at 7 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School in Old Lyme for its regular monthly meeting. The meeting will be live-streamed at this link.  The agenda for the meeting is at this link.

This meeting will be preceded by a Special Meeting in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium at 6 p.m. at which the needs and drivers of the 2021-2022 District Budget will be reviewed and discussed with the boards of finance and selectmen, school administration, and parent leadership.

 

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Old Lyme Kindness Committee Names Christina Denison as its October Awardee

Christina Denison is the Old Lyme Kindness Committee’s October awardee.

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme Kindness committee has announced their October 2020 Kindness Awardee. This month the committee selected a community member, who has been going out of her way to spread smiles in town: Christina Denison.

Denison, a resident who lives on Lyme Street, has a letter-sized plexiglass frame on the stonewall in front of her house which she uses every single day to display a new joke. For the month of October, her jokes have been Halloween-themed, and she plans to switch to Thanksgiving jokes in November.

When asked what her motivation to begin the joke of the day was, she said, “Because of the pandemic I’m home and I thought people might like a little humor during this difficult time.” 

 

And Denison was right. Her jokes of the day have been noticed by passers-by, including many who wait in the school drop-off line each morning. “A lot of people walking by have told me they like reading the jokes and even share them with their grandchildren,” she said.

To nominate someone for a kindness award, use this link.

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Public Info Session on Proposed Sidewalks in Sound View Slated for This Evening

OLD LYME — The Town of Old Lyme has received a Community Connectivity Grant from the State of Connecticut Department of Transportation (CT DOT) to fund the construction of new sidewalks on Hartford Ave. and Rte. 156 (Shore Rd.)

This is primarily a safety project, designed to provide new walkways for pedestrians to safely access the Sound View gateway, beach area, and local businesses.

The new sidewalks will be installed as “standard” 5 ft. wide concrete sidewalks in accordance with CT DOT standards.

Residents are invited to a virtual public information session on Thursday, Oct. 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. During this session members of the Community Connectivity Grant Committee will share their sidewalk design plans.

All are welcome to join the meeting using this link or by calling 1-408-418-9388 and entering access code: 173 735 2699.

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New COVID-19 Case Confirmed in Old Lyme Taking Total to 29 Including Two Fatalities; Lyme Still at 9 cases

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — This afternoon Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) has reported another confirmed case of COVID-19 in Old Lyme in their COVID-19 summary for the week ending Oct. 9. This latest case is a 25-year-old female.

This takes the total number of cases in Old Lyme to 29 including two fatalities. The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme now comprises 14 males and 15 females ranging in age from 19- to 82-years-old. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Ledge Light Health District does not report any new cases in Lyme in this afternoon’s summary, where nine cases comprising four females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old have been reported to date. There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

This afternoon’s report, which covers all the towns in the LLHD and includes Lyme and Old Lyme, is prefaced with these words, “As you will see, new cases continue to rise. Although there is no singular reason for this increase, our contact tracers continue to report that they have observed many instances of family and social gathering connections. Cases associated with institutions (schools, long-term care facilities, etc.) remain relatively low.”

Ledge Light Health District states their data may conflict with what DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data LLHD reports is current as of noon on the Friday on which it is issued.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19
  26. Male, age 31
  27. Female

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) 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.

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Mile Creek Bridge Reopens

Celebrating the opening of the now refurbished Mile Creek Bridge over the Black Hall River are, from left to right, Lauren Girasoli and daughter Cecilia, Michele Dickey, Buttons (Tim Griswold’s dog), Randie Kahrl, Old Lyme First Selectman Tim Griswold and Old Lyme Town all Office Manager Michele E. Hayes. Photo by Tim Griswold. Girasoli, Dickey and Kahrl are all near-neighbors of the bridge.

OLD LYME — 3:45pm UPDATE: The bridge is now OPEN! A small celebration was held Friday afternoon featuring the group gathered in the photo above when the Mile Creek Bridge was officially reopened to traffic again after an extended closure.

A delighted Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold called LymeLine.com to share the news. He said Lyme-Old Lyme Schools were, “Looking forward to rolling over the new bridge again on Monday.”

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold announced in his newsletter issued today that the Mile Creek bridge will officially re-open later today.

He notes, “As you pass over the bridge, you will notice new pavement on each side and the shiny, new guard rails on each side of the road.”

The new, carved inscription on the Mile Creek Bridge, which reopens today. This photo by Christopher Read was taken before the bridge was completed.

Griswold extended thanks to, “Todd and Tom Machnik and their staff at Machnik Bros. Construction for their hard work in completing this project,” adding, “Thank you also to residents for your patience and understanding as the project took longer to complete than originally anticipated due to delays by the company that fabricated the bridge decking.”

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Old Lyme Town Clerk’s Office Changes Hours to Handle Volume of Absentee Ballot Requests

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office is closed until further notice for walk-in business from the hours of 1  to 4 p.m. The office will remain open to the public from the hours of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This change is needed to accommodate the high volume of absentee ballot requests received for the Nov. 3, election.

Appointments are required for marriage licenses, title searchers and funeral directors.  Call 860-434-1605 ext. 220 or 221 to make an appointment.

Land recordings and vital record requests should continue to be mailed in or dropped off in the secure drop box located in the center front door of Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall.

Applications for absentee ballots can be mailed to the Town Clerk’s Office or dropped in the Official Ballot Drop Box in front of the town hall.

The Town Clerk wishes to express her appreciation for resident’s patience as her office works through processing the large number of absentee ballot requests.

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Mattson Issues COVID-19 Update Discussing Increase of Cases in New London County, Actions Recommended

LYME — Lyme First Selectman Steve Mattson issued the following COVID-19 update yesterday. Since it contains information, which is helpful to all our readers, we are republishing it here:

Please be aware that the rate of COVID-19 infections in New London County has significantly accelerated in the last week. 
The present average number of daily new cases has risen from 5-7 cases a day in early September to more than 35 cases a day now – and stands at a level that is 50% higher than the peak we experienced in May. 
We have not yet seen a slowing of this growth in new cases and we are concerned of where these numbers may continue to go.
We recommend that residents who are in a high-risk category – above 60 years of age or with preexisting medical conditions – be vigilant in protecting themselves; and we urge residents who may have contact with high-risk individuals to take all necessary steps to protect these citizens.  Continued social distancing, handwashing and the use of masks remain the best defenses against infection.
The one slightly less worrisome piece of news in the data is the number of deaths in New London County.  Deaths have increased, but at a slower rate than new cases and remain low – below the level of 1 new death each day. 
New London County has experienced a total of 2,087 cases and 118 deaths since data collection began. Lyme has experienced only 9 cases so far – and no deaths, for which we are grateful.
Please protect yourselves and your families, neighbors and friends as we weather this new surge in local area infections.
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Old Lyme Reports New COVID Case, Takes Total to 28 Including Two Fatalities; Lyme Holds at Nine Cases

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold informed us this morning of another confirmed case of COVID-19 in Old Lyme. The case was confirmed Oct. 1 and is a 31-year-old male.

This takes the total number of cases in Old Lyme to 28 including two fatalities. The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme now comprise equal numbers of both males and females with 13 of each ranging in age from 19- to 82-years-old. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

We have not heard of any new cases in Lyme where nine cases comprising four females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old have been reported to date. There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) will issue their COVID-19 summary for the week ending Oct. 2 later today. This report covers cases by town for all the towns in the LLHD — both Lyme and Old Lyme are included in the district. LLHD states their data may conflict with what DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data LLHD reports is current as of noon on the Friday on which it is issued.

We will report any additions from today’s report in either Lyme or Old Lyme as soon as we receive the report.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19
  26. Male, age 31

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) 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.

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Ledge Light Confirms No New COVID-19 Cases in Past Week in Lyme, Old Lyme; Current Totals are 9 in Lyme, 27 in Old Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) issued their COVID-19 summary for the week ending Sept. 25 just after 7 p.m. Friday evening.

The report showed nine cases for Lyme and 27 cases for Old Lyme including two fatalities. These are same totals that LymeLine reported on Monday, Sept. 21.

This report covers cases by town for all the towns in the LLHD — both Lyme and Old Lyme are included in the district. LLHD states their data may conflict with what DPH reports on their website, as there is often a delay in posting data at the state level. The data LLHD reports was current as of noon Friday.

The most recent case in Lyme was a 62-year-old female, while Old Lyme’s was reported Sept. 15 and is a 19-year-old female.

The nine cases in Lyme comprise four females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62

The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme ranges in age from 19- to 82-years-old and comprises 12 males and 13 females. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527
Oct. 128
Oct. 829
Oct. 1630
Oct. 1631
Oct. 1632
Oct. 3034
Nov. 436
Nov. 653

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed surviving cases to date are as follows:

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) 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.

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Residents Turn Out to Support Resolution on Racism at Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Meeting

OLD LYME — Almost a dozen residents showed up at the Sept. 22 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Special Meeting to voice their support for the proposal made by Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal that the board of selectmen should sign a Resolution on racism. There were several more who expressed the same opinion when First Selectman Timothy Griswold opened up the phone lines in Public Comment.

During the meeting, Nosal had again reviewed with her fellow board members the draft Resolution, which she introduced at the Aug. 8 meeting. It was not on the agenda at the Aug. 17 meeting, but was discussed at the Sept. 8 meeting and then again at the Sept. 22 meeting.

Summarizing the key points of the draft Resolution, which originated from the Town of Windsor, Conn. and is printed in full below, Nosal noted particularly that the Resolution asserts, “… racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut.” Mentioning it has now been passed by a number of other towns in the state, Nosal reported that she had received, “A lot of feedback in favor of signing.”

She also commented that in previous discussions, other members of the board had said, “The tone [of the Resolution] seemed disagreeable.” Nosal therefore asked them for their latest thoughts.

Griswold opened by saying, “We all feel strongly that racism is a bad thing … but Old Lyme does a very good job. This document has a very negative tone.”

He added, “I’m still not comfortable with this type of a Resolution. I personally don’t see that there’s a problem in Old Lyme.” Elaborating on that opinion, he said, “I hesitate to have a Town Resolution with this language. I think our major purpose is to manage the town and not to sign on to Resolutions like this.”

Selectman Christopher Kerr asked Nosal where the closest towns (geographically) were that had already signed the Resolution. She responded that New London and New Haven had both signed the document, but also Old Saybrook and Lyme currently had it under consideration. He then indicated agreement with Griswold’s opinion, but commenting, “I’m not saying never.”

Kerr added, “I wouldn’t mind seeing what Lyme and Old Saybrook say.” Nosal reacted rapidly to that statement with the words, “I’d like us to be a leader rather than a follower.” She went on to say, “There is significant support that we acknowledge the problem,” pointing out that some different formats of the Resolution have been presented by members of the community.

Nosal distributed a shorter version of the Resolution and asked Griswold and Kerr to “Take a peek” at it. Saying that doing nothing was, “Similar to ignoring the pandemic,” Nosal urged the board, “… to use this as an educational moment,” adding, “I would really appreciate if you’d read this and give it some thought.”

Rev. Dr. Stephen Jungkeit, Senior Minister of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, was one of the first speakers during public comment. He said there were three reasons the board should sign the Resolution, the first being that there are members of black and brown communities living in Old Lyme, and, “Signing this resolution sends a message that we care.”

Secondly, Jungkeit suggested that endorsing the Resolution would, “Send a signal that we understand [the issue of racism] … and are in a relationship with other parts of the state.”

Finally, he reminded the board that “Racism is built into our history,” with over 100 named enslaved people identified in Old Lyme and around 60 unnamed. He cited Jane, who was “sold off” in the town at age three to be, “Used, possessed and enjoyed.”

Another speaker commented that regardless of whether there was a racism problem in Old Lyme, “We have a responsibility as a nation [on this matter.] It doesn’t matter how small we are,” while another noted, “We have an opportunity to affirm our position with this Resolution … we can affirm we act fairly and justly to all.”

Candace Fuchs spoke passionately on the subject of “micro-aggression,” declaring “Our white authority does not give us the right to ignore the scourge of racism.”

Recalling her youth growing up in Old Lyme, Kim Thompson explained, “The issues were not discussed here. What I learned about diversity, I learned outside Old Lyme. She continued, “Supporting this [Resolution] would be a first step in showing we agree racism is a problem.”

The overriding message from all the speakers was echoed in another’s words, “We need more diversity here. We need to have a statement like this [Resolution] to show where we want to be.”

In a voice filled with emotion, Nosal then said she wanted to, “Thank everybody that came tonight,” and express the wish that, “We can make amends and make our community healthier.”

Griswold opened the phone lines and Megan Nosal was the first to speak. Reminding the board of the famous quote from activist Dr. Angela Davis, “In a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be ant-racist,” she continued, “Old Lyme should lead a positive change,” adding, “Your town and your people are looking for change.”

Another resident who grew up in Old Lyme, Anna Reiter, called in to say if the Resolution were not signed, it “Would be an incredible disservice,” whereas approving it, “Would help us going forward as a town.”

Reiter concluded firmly, “I encourage the entire board of selectmen to tailor this Resolution,” [to something, which can be approved] urging them to be, “The leaders on the Shoreline,” and reminding them, “This is not going away.”

***

The following is the original DRAFT Resolution that Nosal presented for discussion:

WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions: individual racism that is interpersonal and/or internalized or systemic racism that is institutional or structural, and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks;

WHEREAS race is a social construct with no biological basis; 

WHEREAS racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources; 

WHEREAS racism is a root cause of poverty and constricts economic mobility; 

WHEREAS racism causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment, and criminal justice, and is itself a social determinant of health; 

WHEREAS racism and segregation have exacerbated a health divide resulting in people of color in Connecticut bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and mortality including COVID-19 infection and death, heart disease, diabetes, and infant mortality; 

WHEREAS Black, Native American, Asian and Latino residents are more likely to experience poor health outcomes as a consequence of inequities in economic stability, education, physical environment, food, and access to health care and these inequities are, themselves, a result of racism; 

WHEREAS more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and 

WHEREAS the collective prosperity and wellbeing of TOWN depends upon equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin: 

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the TOWN Board of Selectmen

(1) Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut; 

(2) Work to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, by continuing to identify specific activities to enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across our leadership, staffing and contracting;

(3) Promote equity through all policies approved by the Board of Selectmen and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development and public safety;

(4) Improve the quality of the data our town collects and the analysis of that data—it is not enough to assume that an initiative is producing its intended outcome, qualitative and quantitative data should be used to assess inequities in impact and continuously improve;

(5) Continue to advocate locally for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color, and support local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism;

(6) Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional, and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis;

(7) Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and authentically with communities of color wherever they live; and

(8) Identify clear goals and objectives, including periodic reports to the Board of Selectmen, to assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity.

 

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All You Need to Know About Registering to Vote, Applying for an Absentee Ballot and VOTING!

LYME/OLD LYME — Tuesday, Sept. 22, marked the 9th annual National Voter Registration Day – a nonpartisan and collaborative effort that involves partners of all stripes and sizes across the country to register voters ahead of the November election.

One in four eligible Americans is not registered to vote, and National Voter Registration Day seeks to make voter registration calls to action impossible to ignore, so that as many citizens as possible are empowered to participate in our democracy.

There are two simple ways to register to vote:

  • You can register online here.  To register online, you must have a current, valid driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver photo ID card issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a signature on file with DMV.
  • If you are a Lyme resident, you can register in person any weekday during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Lyme Town Hall at 480 Hamburg Road.
  • If you are an Old Lyme resident, you can register to vote Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Registrar’s Office or in the Town Clerk’s office if the Registrars are not available.

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check your current voting status by visiting the link here and entering your name, town of residence and date of birth.

Latest Information on Absentee Ballots for Nov. 3 Election From our Towns

Town of Lyme

The Secretary of the State’s office has mailed absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in Connecticut for the November 3, 2020, General Election.  Registered voters in Lyme began receiving their absentee ballot applications in the mail on Thursday, September 17.  If you wish to use the absentee ballot application you received in the mail, follow the directions on the insert included with the application, which are also listed here:

  1. Check that your personal information is correct in Section 1.
  2. Select a reason for voting by absentee ballot in Section 2. All voters may choose “COVID-19.”
  3. Sign your application in Section 3.
  4. Seal it in the envelope and drop it in the secure Official Ballot Drop Box at Lyme Town Hall on the sidewalk (preferred) or mail it in the postage-paid envelope included.

Things to remember:

  • If you have already submitted an absentee ballot application to the Lyme Town Clerk for the General Election on November 3, please destroy the application you receive from the State.
  • If you submitted an absentee ballot application for the Primary in August, that application was only for the Primary. If you wish to vote by absentee in the General Election in November, you must submit an absentee ballot application for the General Election.
  • Be sure to sign your application in Section 3, not Section 4. If someone assisted you in completing the application, that person would sign in Section 4.  You will not receive a ballot if you do not sign the application in Section 3.
  • Deposit your application in the Town of Lyme Official Drop Box only, not in the drop box of any other town. Residents should only deposit their applications in the drop box for the town where they are registered voters.
  • Absentee ballots will be sent out starting October 2.

Should you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk by phone at 860-434-7733, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Town of Old Lyme

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, all voters will be permitted to vote by absentee ballot rather than appear in person in the Nov. 3, 2020 Election.

For those who wish to appear in person, the polling place located at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, 53 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day to cast your ballot.

The Secretary of the State’s (SOTS) office will be mailing Applications for Absentee Ballot to all registered voters beginning mid-September.  The completed Applications can then be sent to the Town Clerk’s office and absentee ballots will be issued by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office.

You may also drop your completed Application in our Official Ballot Drop Box located in the front of the Town Hall.

The Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will begin mailing out Absentee Ballots on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

As great numbers of voters wishing to vote absentee are anticipated, the following is recommended:

  • Do not use the Application for Absentee Ballot which was mailed to you for the Aug. 11, 2020 Primaries as it will be rejected. You will receive a new one specifically for the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
  • Applications for Absentee Ballots will be mailed to you from the SOTS beginning mid-September.
  • If you do not receive your Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election in the mail by Sept. 30,  contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or you may visit the link here to obtain one.
  • If you have previously filed an Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election with the Town Clerk’s office, disregard the one received from the SOTS.  Your initial Application will be processed.
  • Completed Applications for Absentee Ballot can be mailed to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or dropped in the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.
  • Absentee Ballots will be mailed by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office beginning Oct. 2, 2020.
  • Once you have received your Absentee Ballot and cast your vote, you may mail it to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or drop it into the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.  As time is of the essence, do not wait to deliver it to us as the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will need time to process it.

Should you have any additional questions concerning the upcoming election, contact the Town Clerk’s office at (860) 434-1605 Ext. 220 (Vicki) or Ext. 221 (Courtney).

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Diebolt to Discuss His 200+ Unit Housing Proposal for Old Lyme – Includes Affordable Housing – at AH Committee This Evening

The boundary marked on this map indicates the perimeter of the land owned by Mark Diebolt, which is the site an approximately 220-unit housing development being proposed by Diebolt.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Affordable Housing Committee convenes this evening at 5:30 p.m. for its regular monthly  meeting to be held via tele/video conference.

One of the agenda items is: “Development project overview: Mark Diebolt, guest (discussion only, not for action.)”

Diebolt has indicated that he is planning to submit a proposal for the development of around 220 apartments on a substantial piece of land off Hatchetts Hill Rd. towards the eastern perimeter of the Town of Old Lyme. A percentage of the housing will be designated as affordable housing.

The wording of the agenda item indicates he plans to discuss his proposal with the committee and that no action is planned by the committee.

To join this meeting, visit this link: https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m57b4a3bee1b098d1156b5a or dial 1-408-418-9388 and enter access code: 173 360 8182. The meeting will also be recorded.

For more on this story, read our earlier article published Sept. 4, Old Lyme Land Use Official Confirms Diebolt Has Discussed 200+ Apartment Proposal Off Hatchetts Hill

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Old Lyme Selectmen Discuss Resolution on Racism Presented by Nosal; Griswold, Kerr Express Reservations

Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal (File photo)

OLD LYME — At the Sept. 8 Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal again raised the question of whether the board would be willing to sign a Resolution on racism, which she noted several other towns in Connecticut have already done.

She had originally introduced the idea with a draft Resolution at the Aug. 8 meeting but it was not discussed further in the Aug. 17 meeting.

Nosal summarized the draft Resolution, which is printed in full below and originated from the Town of Windsor, Conn., noting, “There’s a lot of community support to do something,” and reminding her fellow board members that, “Our nation is talking about this.”

She also emphasized that the discussion was “only a first step,” and that some comments on the wording of the Resolution had already been received.

Nosal also mentioned that when she had first introduced the Resolution, Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold had expressed a concern about the tone of the document. Selectman Christopher Kerr echoed that opinion when he gave his comments on the Resolution, saying, “I somewhat agree with Tim … it seems like your saying the town is racist.”

Nosal responded immediately, “Where do you see that?” Kerr answered, “It has that tone,” adding, “Maybe there are ways to tone it down.”  Nosal asked Kerr what he would suggest to which he responded, “I don’t know,” saying he would have to read the Resolution again along with a new draft from a different source that Nosal had brought, and see if he could perhaps amend them together.

When his turn came to comment, Griswold said, “It seems to me we’re a small town. I think we have a very good record in our town,” adding he had “trouble” with use of the expression, “Racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut.”

He stated, “I just don’t see the link like that unless it’s very indirect,” summarizing his opinion as, “I just hesitate to have the board sign onto this … it’s very negative about our country.”

Expanding on his view, Griswold continued with the question, “Can we all do better?” to which he responded firmly, “Yes,” noting, “We all want to endorse the idea of harmony,” while acknowledging, “There are instances where there are terrible situations.”

He concluded, “It seems this is more than we need to do … It’s hard for me to accept this.”

Nosal took a conciliatory tone after Griswold and Kerr had commented, saying, “I think it’s unusual for a board of selectmen in Old Lyme to deal with this. I’m proud of us that we’re facing the fact that it makes us uncomfortable. It’s not an easy subject for any of us to talk about.”

She remarked, “Once we start talking about it and addressing it, it will become better … our society will be better.” She urged the board to keep discussing the subject because, “Our objective is to look at what we can do to make our community healthier.”

Next steps were not agreed specifically but seemed likely to include further review of the wording of the Resolution.

Nosal concluded positively, “I appreciate the board looking at it and considering it … and acknowledge it makes us uncomfortable.”

The following is the DRAFT Resolution that Nosal presented for discussion:

WHEREAS, racism is a social system with multiple dimensions: individual racism that is interpersonal and/or internalized or systemic racism that is institutional or structural, and is a system of structuring opportunity and assigning value based on the social interpretation of how one looks;

WHEREAS race is a social construct with no biological basis; 

WHEREAS racism unfairly disadvantages specific individuals and communities, while unfairly giving advantages to other individuals and communities, and saps the strength of the whole society through the waste of human resources; 

WHEREAS racism is a root cause of poverty and constricts economic mobility; 

WHEREAS racism causes persistent discrimination and disparate outcomes in many areas of life, including housing, education, employment, and criminal justice, and is itself a social determinant of health; 

WHEREAS racism and segregation have exacerbated a health divide resulting in people of color in Connecticut bearing a disproportionate burden of illness and mortality including COVID-19 infection and death, heart disease, diabetes, and infant mortality; 

WHEREAS Black, Native American, Asian and Latino residents are more likely to experience poor health outcomes as a consequence of inequities in economic stability, education, physical environment, food, and access to health care and these inequities are, themselves, a result of racism; 

WHEREAS more than 100 studies have linked racism to worse health outcomes; and 

WHEREAS the collective prosperity and wellbeing of TOWN depends upon equitable access to opportunity for every resident regardless of the color of their skin: 

Now, therefore, be it Resolved, that the TOWN Board of Selectmen

(1) Assert that racism is a public health crisis affecting our town and all of Connecticut; 

(2) Work to progress as an equity and justice-oriented organization, by continuing to identify specific activities to enhance diversity and to ensure antiracism principles across our leadership, staffing and contracting;

(3) Promote equity through all policies approved by the Board of Selectmen and enhance educational efforts aimed at understanding, addressing and dismantling racism and how it affects the delivery of human and social services, economic development and public safety;

(4) Improve the quality of the data our town collects and the analysis of that data—it is not enough to assume that an initiative is producing its intended outcome, qualitative and quantitative data should be used to assess inequities in impact and continuously improve;

(5) Continue to advocate locally for relevant policies that improve health in communities of color, and support local, state, regional, and federal initiatives that advance efforts to dismantle systemic racism;

(6) Further work to solidify alliances and partnerships with other organizations that are confronting racism and encourage other local, state, regional, and national entities to recognize racism as a public health crisis;

(7) Support community efforts to amplify issues of racism and engage actively and authentically with communities of color wherever they live; and

(8) Identify clear goals and objectives, including periodic reports to the Board of Selectmen, to assess progress and capitalize on opportunities to further advance racial equity.

 

 

 

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Old Lyme Zoning Delays Decision on LOL Schools’ Proposed Artificial Athletic Field Pending Drainage Review, ‘It’s All About Drainage’ (Cable)

This image, courtesy of Milone & MacBroom, shows the current field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School (left) and the proposed synthetic turf field (right.)

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Zoning Commission listened patiently in their meeting held Monday evening via Zoom to a presentation by representatives from Milone & Macbroom on the proposed synthetic turf multi-purpose field, which Lyme-Old Lyme Schools plan to build to the rear of Lyme-Old Lyme High School. The first part of the meeting constituted a Public Hearing for the project.

The new field, priced at approximately $2.5 million, will be built on top of the existing geothermal system and the presenters agreed the selected contractor would have to perform, “Pre-construction tests to make sure the the geothermal system isn’t compromised.”

They also detailed how, “The premise is that water is going completely through the carpet [the synthetic turf]” and then drained away through a vast system of pipes.

Asked whether there was any danger of pollution from the drained water, the presenter replied, “Because of the way we design the system, the water running off is clearer than the rain going in,” adding, “There’s chemicals in there, but the materials do not ever leach out. We don’t see any environmental impacts.”

He noted that the use of recycled tires for the production of synthetic turf also, “Saves tires going into landfills.”

Asked by commission member Jane Marsh how long the artificial field could be expected to last, the presenter responded, “Eight years is the expected life … I’ve seen up to 14 years. He concluded, “The fields should easily last 12 years.”

When the time comes to replace the field, the presenter explained, “All the infrastructure below the turf [the geothermal system] will remain. Just the turf will be replaced.”

There were no questions or comments from the public and so the commission voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing.

The commission then went on to discuss the project as an item of business in their regular monthly meeting and that was when things took an unexpected turn. Long-term commission member Jane Cable stated, “I don’t feel competent to evaluate the drainage. This should automatically have gone to Tom [Metcalf – the Town Engineer.]”

Commission member Maria Martinez agreed with Cable saying, “We should do due diligence and double-check.”

Cable said pragmatically, “It’s all about drainage.”

Marsh added, “My breath is being taken away by the cost of this thing,” but Martinez reminded her that the commission’s job is not to consider the cost of the project but rather, “We have to approve [its] safety.”

Members of the commission concurred that the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands Commission had already approved the project but with a condition relating to the permeability of the walkway. They requested that Land Use Coordinator Dan Bourret should send the plans to Metcalf for his review, to which Bourret agreed.

Cable then proposed a motion, “… that we put our decision off to next month to get the review from Tom.” The motion to continue the discussion to next month’s meeting was unanimous.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link for more information about the proposed synthetic turf field, 

 

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So Much on Offer at Lymes’ Senior Center — Even When It’s Closed!

Lymes’ Senior Center Board Chair Jeri Baker (right) and Carole Diffley (left), the Center’s Kitchen Manager, take some well-deserved time out while helping at the Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade held at the Center last month.

LYME/OLD LYME — September is National Senior Center Appreciation Month and Jeri Baker, who serves as chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, would like the communities of Lyme and Old Lyme to celebrate the fact that they have a thriving, buoyant Senior Center in their midst.

She is quick to point out, however, that this is in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created major challenges for the Center since March of this year in terms of both its danger to the health of seniors and the fact the Center has been forced to close because of it.

Lymes Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould

Baker comments, “It is hard to believe that there could be much to celebrate during this pandemic; but under the tireless efforts of Director Stephanie Gould, the Lymes’ Senior Center is still a huge part of the lives of seniors in our communities.” 

She explains, “It is now a model virtual world of opportunities and vital information.  Stephanie, our volunteers and staff maintain constant contact with our members online and in person through calls and mailings.” 

Asked to expand on the ways in which the Center has kept engaged with the Lyme-Old Lyme senior community during its closure, Baker notes that the center currently offers 15-23 exercise classes weekly, and these are also open to the greater communities regardless of membership.  Over 200 residents participate at this point.

She also notes that with a monthly calendar collaboration with other centers throughout the state, 75 additional free programs are also offered through Zoom. These offers include lectures, entertainment, virtual games, discussions, and other group activities in an effort to keep or seniors connected and entertained.  

Baker is effusive in her praise for how Gould has responded to the pandemic, saying, “At the very beginning of the pandemic and once the center physically closed, Stephanie sprang into action to conduct outreach to our members, especially those most vulnerable and who may not have online access.”

Baker adds, “Right now, volunteers, staff and the director personally keep in touch with weekly calls to 200 seniors through this effort and 70 more through direct mailing,” and in fact, online communications, personal contacts and the Center’s newsletter reach all members every month at minimum.

Another event that sparked a really positive response happened in August. Baker explains, “Last month we held a Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade, at which seniors, who were required to followed all safety precautions, drove around the building to greet us as we dropped several useful and entertaining items into a bag for them. Some members even dressed up and decorated their cars.” 

Baker says enthusiastically, “This was the first in-person event held since the pandemic started, and it was such a pleasure to see so many friendly faces!”

The exterior of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme.

There are numerous other ways that the Center is helping its members and these include volunteers, who deliver books and puzzles to members. Another is a table outside the Senior Center building, which has free books, puzzles, magazines, word circle and crossword puzzle packets for seniors to pick up and borrow.

And a third is that, in conjunction with the Estuary Council of Seniors, Lymes’ Senior Center continues to serve over 50 residents weekly through their Meals on Wheels and “Grab and Go” food curbside program. 

Baker concludes positively, “Since there is no projected reopening for the Center at this time, we will maintain our efforts and expand them as well to reach all members and to inform the greater community about our work.” 

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Center and all the opportunities it offers, contact Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould at 860 434-1605 ext. 240 or seniorcenter@oldlyme-ct.gov. Reach Jeri Baker, Chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, at 860 434-0781 or Jbaker262@comcast.net.

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Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Lyme

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash.

LYME — Ledge Light Health Department (LLHD) has reported that a bat from the area of Hamburg Rd. in Lyme was tested and found to be positive for rabies on Sept. 4.

The health department urges the public to refrain from feeding or approaching any wild or stray animals.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including people.  It is spread mostly by wild animals, but stray cats and dogs may also become infected and spread the virus.

The rabies virus lives in the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals.  Rabies can be spread by scratches from infected animals or when infected saliva comes into contact with open wounds, breaks in the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.)

If you have any questions or concerns, contact LLHD at 860-448-4882 or Lyme Town Hall at 860-434-7733.

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