December 15, 2018

Meeting This Afternoon at Lyme Academy to Discuss Future of College, Campus

The sign at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts prior to its take-over by the University of New Haven.

A meeting is being held this afternoon at Lyme Academy at 4:30 p.m. to which all “alumni and friends of the college” are invited to discuss the future of the college.  The meeting is hosted by University of New Haven President Steven Kapland and Lyme Academy Dean Todd Jokl.  It is being held in response to the UNH Board of Governor’s announcement last Monday afternoon that it, “has decided, effective at the end of the academic year in May 2019, to discontinue the University’s degree-granting academic offerings on the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts campus in Old Lyme.”

In a letter to alumni and friends of the college, UNH President Steve Kaplan and Lyme Academy Campus Dean Todd Jokl say, ” We realize that this decision may come as a shock, and we know that there is little we can say that will allay any disappointment you have.” They continue, “All students accepted to begin this fall and those currently enrolled in B.F.A. programs at Lyme will be able to finish the 2018-19 academic year on the Lyme campus, with all programs fully operational and with no changes to residential or student-life services.”

After the end of the 2018-19 academic year, the BFA Illustration program at Lyme Academy will relocate to the main UNH campus at West Haven.  It is unclear at this point what will happen to the other three majors that the Academy offers, namely painting, drawing and sculpture.  The letter mentions the possibility of “continuing in those disciplines through an articulation agreement that we are in the process of establishing with the University of Hartford.”

The letter states, “Candidly, with the benefit of hindsight, this decision was made more with our hearts than with our heads, and the challenges we have faced at Lyme over the past four years have been greater than anticipated.”

Reaction to the news, which was given to current students, staff, faculty and alumni on Monday, was swift and numerous posts on Facebook expressed both sadness and anger.  Questions were raised about the future of the buildings at the Lyme campus, the timing of the announcement on the heels of the previous day’s major fundraiser at Ocean House, RI, and the use of the $1.1 million bequest to the college by Diana Atwood-Johnson.  There was also universal dismay in relation to the incoming freshmen who are due to start what they believed was a four-year BFA program later this month — one person commented on Facebook that their situation resembled a “bait and switch.”

Campus Dean Jokl said in an email to the publisher of LymeLine.com that, “The future of Lyme Academy will be determined in the months to come but I am hopeful it will be a vibrant arts education institution.”

The press release from UNH states that a Lyme Transition Task Force will be formed, “to consider future pathways for Lyme Academy College students,” adding that this Task Force will, “examine options for students in Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture. Two potential options for students enrolled when current programs cease in May, 2019 have been identified: switching to a different art or design major offered at the West Haven campus, or continuing in those disciplines, through an articulation agreement with the Hartford Art School at the University of Hartford.”

In the Frequently Asked Questions posted on the Lyme Academy section of the UNH website, it says in answer to the question, “What will happen to Lyme’s facilities?” that, “The Lyme Board will determine future plans for the campus.”  LymeLine.com has received many comments regarding the future of the campus and so, to serve our readers, we raised some initial questions with UNH.  We were referred to Lyn Chamberlin, UNH Vice President for Marketing and Communications, and her responses to our questions are detailed below:

Q: Can students who are enrolled as freshmen or transfer students starting this month receive a full refund? 

A: Of course. Questions may be directed to the Lyme Transition Team at 860.598.5067 or lymetransition@newhaven.edu or on the website:newhaven.edu/Lyme.

Q: What is the plan for the Southwick Commons? 

A: Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is in a multi-year contract with the developer, and as of now, there is no change.

Q: Can you comment on the timing of this announcement in light of Lyme holding a major fundraiser yesterday (Sunday)? 

A: We felt that it was in the best interest of new and returning students and their families to give them this news as soon as we could. This event had been scheduled for some time, and any money raised will be used to support our students this academic year.

 Q: Similarly, can you comment on the timing of this announcement in light of Lyme not holding its traditional major fundraiser, the ArtsBall, in June? 

A:There is no connection between these two events.

We asked SECoast, the independent not-for-profit advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the historic coastline communities of Connecticut and Rhode Island, for their reaction to the news. Their Executive Director Greg Stroud said, “Lyme Academy has provided outstanding classical art education for students in an irreplaceable setting that is home to American Impressionism. The future of the campus is of enormous importance to the very vital arts community of the region, and to the character of the surrounding historic district in Old Lyme. Obviously, moving forward, this will be a top priority for our organization.”

More to follow on this story.

 

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HOPE Partnership Receives $3.93 Million DOH Grant for Essex Affordable Housing

HOPE Partnership has been selected as a recipient of the Department of Housing (DOH) High Opportunity Area Housing grant.  This award, in the amount of $3.93 million, will provide for the conversion of commercial condominium offices into 17 affordable housing apartments in the Village of Centerbrook, Town of Essex.

In 2015, a HOPE Board member first suggested the idea that vacant and underutilized office space at Spencer’s Corner might be an ideal location for much-needed affordable housing.  A three story, commercial condo complex in the village of Centerbrook, Spencer’s Corner has had many vacancies, which provided an opportunity for HOPE to explore opportunities with the unit owners.

Over the past three years, HOPE has worked closely with town leaders, zoning officials, engineers, architects and other stakeholders to ensure a well thought out plan that would provide safe, affordable and stable housing to members of the community.  This project will be known as The Lofts at Spencer’s Corner with one-, two-, and three-bedroom units on the second and third floors with affordable rents based upon the sliding scale set by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).  HOPE has applied for the remaining financing needed through the Federal Home Loan Bank with Essex Savings Bank.

HOPE expresses gratitude to all those who have assisted in making this project a reality.  Working in partnership with their volunteer board of directors, Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman and Essex Town leaders, Spencer’s Corner’s Association, their development team and with the support of State Senator Art Linares and State Representative Bob Siegrist  and Connecticut State Leadership, HOPE is advancing its mission of making affordable homes a reality for families in the community.

 Founded in April 2004, HOPE Partnership is a non-profit organization committed to advocating and developing affordable housing opportunities to support families living and working in southern Middlesex County and surrounding towns.  In 2015, HOPE merged with Old Lyme Affordable Housing and is committed to serving the needs of residents in the community.  HOPE’s purpose is to advocate for and create high-quality rental housing targeted to people earning between 50 and 80 percent of the local median income.

For more information, visit this link

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Mirroring CT Results, Lyme/Old Lyme Voters Choose Lamont, Stefanowski to Run for Governor; Linares Wins Locally But Loses at State Level

Democratic candidate for CT Governor Ned Lamont

Republican candidate for CT Governor Bob Stefanowski.

Democratic voters in Lyme and Old Lyme mirrored the state’s Primary results in choosing Ned Lamont to run as Governor over Joe Ganim by an overwhelming majority. Similarly, on the Republican side, both towns’ voters followed the state trend and created an upset by selecting Bob Stefanowski as their candidate for Governor over endorsed candidate Mark Boughton from a field of five.

In contrast, local State Senator Art Linares, (R- 33rd), who was running to be the Republican candidate for State Treasurer in November and whose District includes Lyme, won by a significant margin in both Lyme and Old Lyme.  He was, however, defeated at the state level by Thad Gray, who polled 73,673 votes compared to Linares’s 58,162.

Detailed results from our two towns are as follows:

LYME DEMOCRATS

Governor:
Ned Lamont*: 258

Joseph Ganim   16

Lieutenant Governor:
Susan Bysiewicz*: 156
Eva Bermudez Zimmerman:  116

Treasurer:
Shawn Wooden*:  182

Dita Bhargava:   85

Attorney General
William Tong*:  197
Paul Doyle:  24
Chris Mattei:  47

LYME REPUBLICANS

Governor:
Mark Boughton*:  22
Timothy Herbst:  39
Steve Obsitnik:  34
Bob Stefanowski:  70
David Stemerman:  41

Lieutenant Governor:
Joe Markley*: 61
Jayme Stevenson:  52
Erin Stewart:  81

U.S. Senator
Matthew Corey*:  149

Dominic Rapini:  37

State Treasurer:
Thad Gray*:  54
Art Linares:  143

Comptroller:
Kurt Miller*:  109
Mark Greenberg:  79

Attorney General:
Sue Hatfield*:  158
John Shaban:  34

OLD LYME DEMOCRATS

Governor:
Ned Lamont*: 575

Joseph Ganim   54

Lieutenant Governor:
Susan Bysiewicz*: 459
Eva Bermudez Zimmerman:  162

Treasurer:
Shawn Wooden*:  375

Dita Bhargava:   231

Attorney General
William Tong*:  325
Paul Doyle:  69
Chris Mattei:  227

OLD LYME REPUBLICANS

Governor:
Mark Boughton*:  115
Timothy Herbst:  94
Steve Obsitnik:  89
Bob Stefanowski:  181
David Stemerman:  108

Lieutenant Governor:
Joe Markley*: 211
Jayme Stevenson:  109
Erin Stewart:  235

U.S. Senator
Matthew Corey*:  407

Dominic Rapini:  116

State Treasurer:
Thad Gray*:  43
Art Linares:  365

Comptroller:
Kurt Miller*:  299
Mark Greenberg:  231

Attorney General:
Sue Hatfield*:  446
John Shaban:  100

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Lyme Library Offers Streaming Services from Hoopla, RB Digital

The Lyme Public Library is now offering streaming services from Hoopla and RB Digital.  Hoopla offers downloadable books and audio books, graphic novels, comic books, music, TV shows and movies. RB Digital offers British TV and movies from the Acorn Library, Indie Flix (independent films), The Great Courses Library, and Stingray Qello, the world’s largest collection of concert films and music documentaries.

Content from both Hoopla and RB Digital can be streamed to computers, portable devices and phones.

The services join the library’s other digital resources which include Overdrive downloadable books, audio books and magazines, Mango Languages, an online language learning tool offering over 70 languages, and FindIT CT and ResearchIT CT available from the Connecticut State Library.

Users must have a valid library card from the Lyme Public Library and can access the resources through the Library’s web site www.lymepl.org.

Patrons are encouraged to call the library at 860-434-2272 or stop in the Library if they have questions or need assistance.

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Jeannine Lewis Sworn In as Judge of Probate for Saybrook District, Includes Town of Lyme

Atty. Jeannine Lewis is sworn in as Judge of Probate for Saybrook Probate District by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

On Monday, July 23, Essex Attorney Jeannine Lewis was sworn in as the next judge of probate for the Saybrook Probate District in a ceremony held on the town green in Old Saybrook. The swearing-in was performed by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.

Attorney Lewis was elected in November to fill the remaining term of Hon. Terrence B. Lomme, who retired the same week after eight years in service to the district. The Saybrook Probate District encompasses the Town of Lyme along with the Towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Attorney Lewis has focused her legal career on the types of cases typically handled by the probate court. She is particularly concerned with ensuring that the rights of the most vulnerable individuals who appear before the court are respected and upheld including the rights of the elderly, disabled, mentally ill, and minor children. She has been actively involved in educating other attorneys regarding elder law and estate planning as immediate past chair of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law Section Continuing Legal Education Committee. 

In addition, she is a contributing author of the manual used online by Connecticut’s Probate Court Administration to help train attorneys on how to properly represent clients in probate court. As a result of these accomplishments she was appointed to the Probate Court Administration’s Conservatorship Guidelines Committee, which developed standards of practice for Connecticut conservators that were published on July 1 of this year.

As a 17-year-resident of Essex, Lewis is also an active community member. She is a board member for the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Food Pantries and has been a meal site server for the organization for more than 10 years. In addition she is a community lecturer on end-of-life issues and the pro bono attorney for Sister Cities Essex Haiti.

Judge Lewis is running unopposed in the upcoming November election for a full four-year term as probate judge for the Saybrook Probate District.

For more information about Lewis and her qualifications, visit www.lewisforprobate.com.

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‘Greenhouse Beauty’ Opens in Old Lyme With Emphasis on Non-Toxic Skincare Products, Self-Love

Rachel Postovoit

Rachel Postovoit, owner of the newly-opened Greenhouse Beauty store in Old Lyme, never pictured herself owning a business.

Having studied music at the University of Connecticut with the intention of pursuing music education, Postovoit was devastated when she was rejected from the education program and could no longer become a teacher. “It shattered my perception of myself,” she says with unabashed honesty, “But it shaped my life in a very different path because I was like, ‘Well, what am I going to do? What am I good at?’”

Soon thereafter, Postovoit began working for Reliance House, a non-profit mental health organization based out of Norwich, and took a part-time job at Lush, a cosmetics retailer. Having loved make-up her whole life, she decided to pursue a career in cosmetics becoming first the store manager for Bare Minerals at Mohegan Sun, then opening her own store in Trumbull, and ultimately becoming a “color specialist” for Sephora.

She explains her lifelong passion for make-up this way, “As a kid, every friend, my mom, my sister, every person I could get my hands on, I would do their make-up. But I didn’t really get into skin care until my own skin became more of a struggle.”

The area in the store where facials and make-up are given is low-stress and inviting by design.

As Postovoit pursued different options to improve her skin, she quickly realized that there were many ingredients in products that she did not recognize. She began to research home remedies and started to make her own skincare products to ensure that there were no toxins in them that could jeopardize her health.

Postovoit carefully examines the ingredients of the products she sells to ensure there are no toxins included.

Postovoit decided to open Greenhouse Beauty to give people an opportunity to try new products that are safe and all-natural. Tucked in a little corner next to The Hideaway in the Old Lyme Shopping Center, the store feels comfortable and welcoming to all. “All of this is foreign to me,” she laughs. “I did 10 years in the retail world, but I’ve never owned my own business. I’m hoping that the community views it as their store. If you want your space, you can have it. If you want me pamper you, you can have that, too.”

Greenhouse Beauty offers a comfortable, relaxed setting to discuss personal skincare and make-up.

Greenhouse Beauty offers a relaxed, carefree environment with products that range from natural face cleansers to sweetly scented candles. A photo gallery hangs on the wall above a pale, blue couch, and various plants adorn the space. Postovoit wants get a piano as well, with hopes that people will feel more at-home and comfortable.

Shelves of products line the walls and Postovoit will discuss each customer’s needs individually to help make the optimum choice..

She explains,“I want people to feel like you can really just relax and be yourself,” she says. “I hid under my make-up for years, and it’s not a good feeling. I hope people are able to find themselves and fall in love with themselves, even just a little bit. Everyone’s trying to change themselves, but there’s only one you. You are a gift, and I want people to know that when they come here.”

Greenhouse Beauty is located at 19 Halls Rd. in Old Lyme and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 12 to 5 p.m. For more information, visit www.greenhousebeautyct.com

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$1.75M Funding for Old Lyme Library Renovations Passes Easily in Packed Meeting

There was standing room only for some residents attending Monday night’s Special Town Meeting in Old Lyme.

UPDATED 7/24: FULL STORY NOW ADDED — More than 140 people packed into the Meeting Hall at Old Lyme Town Hall Monday evening to cast their votes on whether the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library should receive $1.75 million from the town coffers to fund its planned renovations.

Library Director Katie Huffman explained the library needs in part to be renovated due to the dramatic changes that have occurred in the way people gather information in the past 25 years, when the last renovation took place.  The advent of social media and smartphones, the decreasing cost of technology, and a dramatic increase in publishing and the availability of information have changed people’s information needs.

She said, “More and more people are coming in with their devices … more people are studying remotely.” adding, “people need space for Skype interviews and to take exams.”  She pointed out these changes have resulted in a 70 percent increase in reference questions since the new building opened in 1996, a 90 percent increase in library programs, and a 140 percent increase in attendance at those programs.

Library Building Committee Chairman Ken Biega addresses the audience.

Drayton Fair, a principal architect from LLB Architects in Pawtucket, R.I. opened by saying,”Public libraries are reasserting themselves,” noting, “They should be the best place in town, where everyone is welcome.”  He agreed with Huffman that the increase in programming has been exponential and then went on to describe the proposed changes to the library under the renovation, summing them up as “We kept the best and improved the rest.”

He noted the staff would be moved up to the second floor, there would be “areas for tutoring, private study and Skype,” and a new Young Adult Area, which would be “acoustically separate.”  Fair added the plans also called for “opening up the Children’s Room … consolidating the Reference and Circulation functions at a central desk … and the creation of an outdoor reading terrace.”  He concluded enthusiastically, “I hope you’re all as excited about this as we are.”

Library Building Committee Chairman Ken Biega explained the costs of the project saying the total project cost will be $3.05 million.  This cost will include both construction and soft costs, such as furnishings, technology, and shelving.  It also includes a built-in construction contingency fund.

Significantly, the library has secured a $1.0 million construction grant from the Connecticut State Library, thus dramatically reducing the impact of the funding required for the project on Old Lyme taxpayers.  Moreover, the library has committed to raising $300,000 through its own efforts and is requesting $1.75 million from the Town of Old Lyme. Biega raised a ripple of laughter in the audience when he commented, “Everyone has a little bit of skin in this game.”

First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder discussed the impact of the project on homeowners in Old Lyme.  She said the owner of a house appraised at $347, 200 would pay conservatively an additional $24 per tax year for the next 15 years.  The respective number for a house appraised at $540,200 would be $38.  Reemsnyder cautioned that the Town was “not definitely borrowing the full amount,” and that, if that were the case, Old Lyme taxpayers would pay less.

Library Board Chairman Lynn Fairfield-Sonn answers questions from the audience..

After a couple of quick questions from the audience answered by Library Board Chairman Lynn Fairfield-Sonn, residents voted first in a hand vote that McGarry called in favor of the Ayes.  One resident, however, wanted to know the exact count and so the vote was repeated with residents holding up cards denoting they had been approved as legitimate Old Lyme taxpayers.  When the hand votes had been counted, McGarry announced to loud applause that the motion had passed by 104 votes to 30.

Harbor Commission Chairman Steve Ross proposes the new ordinance, with First Selectwoman Reemsnyder and Attorney McGarry standing behind him.

The second motion established a new ordinance to amend the Town’s Harbor Management Plan.  Harbor Commission Chairman Steve Ross explained the Town “needed a variance if there is a hardship” and this ordinance will create a procedure for the Harbor Management Commission to recommend variances from the Harbor Use Zone Standards of the Plan to a state or local permitting authority in Old Lyme waters.

After Ross had made a motion to approve the ordinance, McGarry called for a show of hands. There was no call for vote count this time and the motion was carried by a convincing margin.

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Affordable Housing Public Hearing Deadline Extended Again, This Time to Sept. 10


UPDATED 7/20, FULL REPORT NOW ADDED: Around 270 people showed up at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Tuesday evening for the third Public Hearing held by the Old Lyme Zoning Commission on the 37-unit Affordable Housing development on Neck Rd. proposed by HOPE and the Women’s Institute.  At the end of the almost three-hour sometimes contentious, sometimes rambling meeting, the commission voted at the applicant’s request to continue the Public Hearing to their next regular meeting on Sept. 10.

The meeting opened with commission member Jane Marsh reading from a letter submitted by Old Lyme Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who was unable to attend the meeting. Reemsnyder had requested the letter be read into the zoning commission’s record.

In her letter, Reemsnyder explained the reason she had felt it necessary to write was because, “There are a range of accusations I feel must be directly addressed.”  She said the first was, “A conflict of interest,” and after explaining her position on the Advisory Council of HOPE was non-voting, she stated, “I have no personal stake in this development nor do I serve on any of the boards that must approve this application. By any standard, this does not even qualify as a perceived conflict of interest.”

The second accusation she cited was,“I brought this to our town.”  In answer to that, Reemsnyder wrote, “I support affordable housing for Old Lyme because it is a serious need and statutory mandates. Hence I have supported the mission of HOPE for years, never being secretive about it.”   She elaborated on the process that has been followed and clarified, “It is my longstanding and consistent policy to maintain the independence of our boards and commissions and to refrain from attempting directly to influence their decisions … I provided no comments, discussions or requests to any land use commission members.”

Finally, Reemsnyder noted she had seen an email stating, “The fix is in” suggesting this proposal is “… not going through the proper process.”  She responded in the letter, saying, “I have no idea what this refers to but if it is an allegation that someone is applying pressure to the zoning commission that would surely be news to me.”  Reemsnyder added, “The rumor that there has been an effort by me to “speed things along” with the town is “categorically untrue,” noting, “It is disturbing to see the misinformation going around about the application and the applicants.”

Reemsnyder concluded, “In the end it is you, the commission members, who have to abide by the rules for approving or denying affordable housing … I support each one of you.”

David Royston, who serves as attorney for HOPE and the Women’s Institute, makes a point during his preamble to a request being made by the Women’s Institute for an extension to the Public Hearing through Sept. 10.

Attorney David Royston, who represents the applicant, namely HOPE and the Women’s Institute, then took close to an hour to explain why he would be requesting an extension to the Public Hearing, primarily because several reports, which required responses from the applicants, had only been received in the last few days.  These included reports from the Old Lyme Fire Marshal David Roberge and the Town Engineer, Tom Metcalf.  Royston added he had also hoped to receive comments regarding the septic approval prior to the meeting, but that had not occurred.

Royston emphasized that “the position of the applicant” is not to “object in any fashion to scrutiny regarding health and safety issues” but rather that, “We understand fully the concerns of the community regarding the access driveway and the safety issues regarding emergency vehicles.” He stressed, “We want to assure you [Zoning Commission members] that every item raised will be addressed.”

Noting that an important concern of Metcalf was the entry driveway, Royston explained the applicant needed more time, “to allow these matters to be fully and professionally addressed.”

Kristen Anderson of the Women’s Institute made the official request for the extension on behalf of the applicant noting that continuing the Public Hearing to the zoning commission’s next regular meeting on Sept. 10 retained the application within the required legal timeline.  The Hearing would have to be closed on that date and a decision then given by the commission within 65 days after the meeting.

Land Use Coordinator Keith Rosenfeld (extreme left) listens intently as Zoning Commission Chairwoman Jane Cable (third from left) solicits input from other members of the commission during Tuesday’s Public Hearing.

Asking the audience to “Be kind” and “Don’t repeat,” Commission Chair Jane Cable then opened the floor to public comment.  Pamela Hamilton spoke first commenting initially on, “the bucolic and historic nature of Old Lyme,” and then noting that she had seen too many towns and villages, which had “frittered away their charm.” She stated firmly, “It is not elitist to treasure charm, history and beauty,” which drew spirited applause, adding, “The people of Old Lyme are a generous lot … they do not want to say,’We do not want affordable housing.’” She maintained their message was simply, “Build in some other location,” while adding in a questioning tone, “One wonders what the motivation is [for this site.]

Before calling the next speaker, Cable reminded the audience that the commission can only consider health and safety aspects of the proposal and urged speakers to restrict their comments to those matters.

An Old Lyme resident then went to the podium and questioned, “Have any of you stood on Sands Dr.? [the road almost opposite the Exit 70 exit ramp on Rte. 156/Neck Rd.] This is a public safety issue …  I just don’t see how this project has got this far.” He added, “You cannot do away with the safety problems it {the proposed development] will cause.  There is just no way.”

Old Lyme former First Selectman Tim Griswold, who noted he had served for 14 years, asked if the Zoning Commission had received a formal recommendation [regarding the proposed development] from the Old Lyme Selectmen’s Office or the State Police in Westbrook since the First Selectwoman and/or the Resident State Trooper “have jurisdiction over speeds, Stop signs.” Commission members indicated this was not case to which Griswold responded, “This is a deficiency that should be corrected.”

Hope’s Board of Directors President Tony Lyons, an Old Saybrook resident, said he wanted “to dispel” a couple of the points that were being communicated about the proposed development. First, he stated it is not “profit-motivated’ and second that HOPE” is looking to help people already here” rather than people from outside the area. He surmised, “Everyone in this room knows someone who has a housing issue … the millennial on your couch, the senior who has no senior housing.”

Lyons prompted jeers when he said, “This is not about traffic … traffic will be negligible.” He asked the audience where they have been for the past four years while HOPE has been looking for a site for affordable housing, saying, “We have been an open book.  We are a completely transparent organization.” Lyons also said the audience should think about the alternative if this project is not approved, speculating that “It will not be 37 units but 137 units,” built by a property developer.

In a more conciliatory tone, he said, “We are looking for help from everyone in this room to make this project the best we can.”

A resident of Wolcott Lane wondered whether additional police would be required for the increased town population resulting from the development.

Old Lyme resident Jill Pilgrim read the Fire Marshal’s letter, which had been submitted the previous day, into the record.  The letter raised nine comments, which required attention by the applicant, and its conclusion was, “Based upon its current submitted design(s) and our noted nonconformance to the Connecticut Fire Safety and Fire Prevention Codes, this Office cannot support this project at this time.”

One speaker noted it is possible to rent in Old Lyme and “you can find places to rent,” while a second commented, “There’s plenty of affordable housing in this own … that needs to be explored a little more.” He also suggested that the rents at River Oak Commons sounded high.

Speaker after speaker urged HOPE to reconsider the location of the development with possible sites proposed at the Ryefield Senior Housing and its environs and also on Hartford Ave. in Sound View. Concerns ranged from whether the end of a school bus picking up students would extend to the foot of the Exit 70 off-ramp, how children are going to cross Rte. 156 in order to reach Hall’s Rd., “a catastrophic accident,” and who will pay for the subsequently needed traffic lights and a rotary.  One resident described the locations “dangerous and absurd.”

Tom Ortoleva, a resident  of Old Lyme and a board member of HOPE, spoke passionately in support of the project noting he had never had difficulty turning right from the Exit 70 off-ramp and that, “Families that want to stay local [in Old Lyme] have to go to other towns … college students are moving away.” He surmised that Old Lyme would not be able to support volunteer Fire or Emergency Medical Technician Departments if this situation continued.

Ortoleva also stressed that concerns the development would turn into a “drug haven” were unfounded.  He had explored with the Old Saybrook Police Chief Mike Spera whether the Affordable Housing development at Ferry Crossing in that town had experienced higher crime rates than other parts of the town and the answer had been a definitive “No.”  Spera said there had been “no violent crimes or drug incidents at Ferry Crossing.”

Wes Swanson, another HOPE board member and pastor of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Old Saybrook, urged the audience to consider the aspect of “health” in relation to River Oak Commons in the context of a “healthy community,” that is, one which is diverse and hospitable.  He submitted that “This proposal will enrich and enhance Old Lyme and contribute to the community’s well-being and growth.”

Dominic Pappa, an abutter of the proposed development, drew applause when he summed up many of the concerns of those objecting saying, “Affordable Housing is needed but it’s obvious to everyone in this room that this site has a health and safety issue.” He urged the commission not to extend the public hearing but rather to have a vote and, “make a decision.”

When evaluating the evidence before making their decision, Michael Fogliano recommended the commission should take care only to consider, “objective data.”

Finally, after more than two and a half hours of testimony and some confusion in the final minutes, the commission voted unanimously to extend the hearing to Sept. 10 as requested by the applicant.

Editor’s Note: Links to our stories on previous meetings regarding this Affordable Housing proposal are respectively at Boisterous Crowd Packs Middle School Auditorium to Listen to, Give Opinions on HOPE’s Affordable Housing Proposal published June 8, and At HOPE’s Request, Old Lyme Zoning Extends Affordable Housing Hearing Deadline to July 17 published June 13. There are also numerous Letters to the Editor on the subject in our Letters section and opinions in our Op-Ed’s section. The articles themselves also stimulated a wide variety of comments.

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Follow the ‘Vision Box’ Trail This Summer!


Through the balance of the summer, the public can follow the trail of Vision Boxes installed at four sites throughout Old Lyme. The boxes are up for three months — at the end of the project, the boxes will be auctioned. Resulting funds will be contributed to programs that bring urban youth to visit wilderness parks or refuges in the local area and give them the opportunity to draw in the field.

Working in collaboration with non-profit land trusts, the Open Space Commission, individual stewards and local artists, Ana Flores designed the Vision Box project.

Flores is the first Schumann Foundation Visiting Artist at the University of New Haven’s Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. She is an award-winning “ecological artist” probing the relationships between the human and natural history in different geographies. One of her goals as an artist is to encourage the public’s awareness of their local landscapes, deepening their connections to place because if we don’t care about something we will not help protect it.

This spring she has been teaching Environmental Art, introducing students to ecological artists and having them create projects that involve ecology, community engagement, and activism. She has also been exploring the unique environment of Old Lyme in preparation for a public art project. The Old Lyme landscape, with its conjunction of river, marshes, fields, and forests served as the inspiration for the American Impressionist movement in the early 20th century. For over three decades, well known painters traveled here to document the estuary landscape with its particular quality of light.

Flores believes there is a connection between the sustained gaze of these artists and the extraordinary efforts in conservation in the area. She says, “The artists gave the land value for its irreplaceable natural beauty and since the mid 1960’s Old Lyme citizens have been working hard to preserve some of the habitat that lured artists here. The Vision Box project reminds us that we cannot take for granted open space, mature trees, or a clean river – they exist only because of visionary stewardship and in the case of Old Lyme, inspiration from artists’ vision.”

There will be an Opening Reception for the Vision Box project Thursday, July 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, 84 Lyme Street, in Old Lyme.  All are welcome.

The Vision Boxes can be found at these locations:

  1. Ferry Landing Park:
    Walk to end of boardwalk, box on viewing platform.
  2. Watch Rock Preserve:
    Entrance at end of Joel Road, take Yellow trail 0.4 mile, box faces West over water.
  3. Lyme Art Association:
    Box faces stream, located near back parking area.
  4. Champlain North:
    Turn on Wyckford Road, go to end. Open space trails are not private. Take Red trail, bear right, 0.4 mile to Barbizon Oak and box.

The project is made possible with support and funding from the Robert F. Schumann Foundation and Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven.

Special thanks for their support of the project are given  to:

  • Patricia Shippee,
  • Deborah Quinn-Munson,
  • Sara Drought Nabel,
  • Rosamund Christison

Partners include:

  • Old Lyme Open Space Commission
  • Old Lyme Land Trust
  • CT Dept. of Energy and Environmental

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Courtney Joins Others in Cautioning President Trump Not to Undo 73 Years of European Stability

Congressman Joe Courtney (D-CT Second Congressional District)

Yesterday, Congressman Joe Courtney (CT-02), ranking member of the Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee, joined 43 other members from the House Armed Services and Foreign Affairs Committees in releasing a joint statement regarding President Trump’s attendance at the NATO Summit and his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“As I have made clear over the last two years, our committees have been briefed by military and diplomatic personnel, as well as outside experts about the non-stop, focused efforts of the Russian government to disrupt the stable, democratic unity that has prevailed in Europe since the end of the Second World War,” said Courtney.“Whether it is election interference, the illegal annexation of Crimea, or the uncalled-for provocations at sea and in the air in the Baltics, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean, Russian military and intelligence forces are actively undermining the NATO alliance at every turn. My colleagues and I issued this statement to express our strong desire to the president that he should aggressively challenge President Putin on his government’s intentional violation of international law and norms.”

The 44 members said in their joint statement: “President Trump must not seek to undo the work that generations of American men and women have done to help defend and uphold democratic values throughout the transatlantic region. Europe returned from the devastation of the Second World War to prosperity largely due to the North Atlantic community’s commitments to its shared values and to collective defense. 

“The signals regarding potential outcomes that are coming from this administration in advance of the President’s upcoming trip to Europe are deeply concerning. Without question, in his upcoming meetings with NATO and President Putin, President Trump must continue to affirm America’s commitments to our allies, especially Article V of the Atlantic Treaty. He must not praise, condone, or abet any Russian efforts to undermine the sovereignty or democracy of any of our allies and partners. He must take a genuine stand against Russia’s cyber campaigns and its efforts to interfere in our elections. 

“President Trump must recognize the importance that our forward military presence and joint exercises play in deterring Russia and ensuring military readiness. He must not weaken this posture or suspend or cancel these crucial activities, nor emulate Russian propaganda attempting to discredit them.

“He must stand up for Ukraine’s sovereignty over Crimea and against the illegal occupation of Ukrainian territory and maintain sanctions until the conditions in the law are met. He must follow the law passed every year through the National Defense Authorization Act prohibiting military-to-military cooperation with President Putin. And he must continue to stand by NATO’s open-door policy on the admittance of new members. The substance and symbolism of these upcoming meetings will matter. The future of the Atlantic alliance and the international order, which has helped make the world safer and more prosperous is at stake.”

The other 43 members who signed the statement are:

House Armed Services Committee Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-WA), House Foreign Affairs Committee Ranking Member Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-PA), Rep. Susan A. Davis (D-CA), Rep. James R. Langevin (D-RI), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN), Rep. Madeleine Bordallo (D-GU), Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), Rep. John Garamendi (D-CA), Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), Rep. Marc Veasey (D-TX), Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ), Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ), Rep. Seth Moulton, (D-MA), Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH), Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Rep. A. Donald McEachin (D-VA), Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-CA), Rep. Anthony Brown (D-MD), Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Rep. Tom O’Halleran (D-AZ), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), and Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY), Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ), Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Theodore E. Deutch (D-FL), Rep.Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. William R. Keating (D-MA), Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-RI), Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX),Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL), Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (D-PA), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Norma J. Torres (D-CA), Rep. Bradley S. Schneider (D-IL), Rep. Thomas R. Suozzi (D-NY), Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-NY), and Rep. Ted W. Lieu (D-CA).

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Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce Hosts Annual Dinner, Presents Scholarships, Elects Board Members

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce presented Senior Business Leadership Scholarships to Mason Swaney (left) and Amanda Marsh while Brandon Lee (right) was the recipient of the Chamber’s Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce (LOLCC) held its Annual Dinner at the Old Lyme Country Club Wednesday, June 20.  Fifty-six people were present including state legislators, representatives from the Town of Old Lyme, and scholarship winners from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS).  It was a memorable evening for all present.

The Senior Business Leadership Scholarship awardees share an amusing moment with  Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes (second from right) and State Senator Paul Formica (R- 20th).

The business section of the meeting opened with the Treasurer’s report by Tim Griswold, followed by LOLCC President Olwen Logan giving a review of the 2017-18 Chamber year. She reported that the four main goals of the year had all been met or surpassed;

  1. Increase Chamber Membership – Logan was pleased to announce membership has  risen from 60 in June 2017 to over 110 one year later.
  2. Publish a new “Chamber Member Directory and Visitor’s Guide” – publication of the new full color, 44-page guide was completed in March.  Copies are available in the Old Lyme Town Hall.
  3. Secure space for the Chamber in Old Lyme Town Hall – achieved with assistance from First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and her Assistant Cathy Frank.  Logan expressed thanks to both on behalf of the Chamber.
  4. Restoration of  the Chamber sponsored sign at the foot of the Exit 70 off-ramp was skillfully and carefully completed by Chamber member Sophie Marsh, who was honored with a bouquet in appreciation of her excellent work.

Logan also highlighted the many events organized throughout the year by the Chamber including Dinner Meetings at local restaurants, Business After Hours at a variety of locations, and Business Breakfasts.  She also mentioned some of the upcoming happenings through the summer, including Business After Hours at Lyme Art Association on July 18 and at the Bee and Thistle Inn on Aug. 15.

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) reads from the State Citation to the Chamber’s Senior Business Leadership Scholarship recipients. From left to right, Mason Swaney, Amanda Marsh, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes, State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) and Carney.

Chamber Scholarships were then presented by State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th).  These were introduced by the Co-Chairs of the Scholarship Committee Russ Gomes and Olwen Logan.

The scholarship winners and their parents gathered together for this photo.

The recipients of LOLCC 2018 Business Leadership Awards were Lyme-Old Lyme High School seniors Mason Swaney and Amanda Marsh. Senior Brandon Lee was awarded the 2018 Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts. 

The Chamber also honored their Business Students of the Month from the 2017-18 school year at their Annual Dinner. From left to right, State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), Aoife Hufford, Ann Cote, Alex Montville, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes, State Senator Paul Formica (R- 20th) and Olwen Logan, Chamber President and Scholarship Committee Co-Chair. Missing from photo is Patrick Looney.

Also honored at the meeting were the Chamber’s four Lyme-Old Lyme High School Business Students of the Month:

  • Patrick Looney,
  • Alex Montville,
  • Ann Cote
  • Aoife Hufford. 

Brandon Lee, winner of the Chamber’s Senior Scholarship for Promise and Achievement in the Arts glances at this high school art teacher and mentor Will Allik. Others in the photo from left to right are State Rep. Devin Carney, Scholarship Committee Co-Chair Russ Gomes, State Senator Paul Formica, Lee, Allik, Old Lyme Selectwoman MaryJo Nosal

The Chamber was honored that the Co-Chair of the LOLHS Business Department Joanne Hedwall and the Chair of the LOLHS Art Department Will Allik were also able to attend the dinner.

Finally, a new slate of board members was presented and then voted into office unanimously.  The officers for the year starting July 1, 2018 are:
Rich Shriver, President
Joann Lishing, Secretary
Tim Griswold, Treasurer. 

The Board of Directors is:
Gene Chmiel
Heather Gagnon
Dan Henderson
Doug LoPresti
Suzanne Thompson
Jean Wilczynski . 

Incoming President Shriver thanked outgoing President Logan for her leadership and many accomplishments and also thanked Gail Stevens for her contributions during her term on the board of directors.

The Old Lyme Country Club served a delicious meal in the beautiful main dining room and an enjoyable evening was had by all.

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Community Comes Out in Force to Support Blood Drive Honoring Lyme-Old Lyme HS Grad Lisa Russell

Mike Russell gives blood at the Blood Drive held yesterday in honor his older sister, Lisa.  All photos by Catherine Frank.

“A grand success,” was how Pam Russell described the response to the Blood Drive held yesterday in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, which was organized by her elder daughter Kimberly Russell Thompson (a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2005) in honor of her younger daughter (Kim’s sister), Lisa, who graduated with the LOLHS Class of 2007.  Lisa was seriously injured in the spring by an out-of-control car in Boston and received a significant amount of blood in the immediate aftermath of the accident.

Volunteers help keep hunger and thirst at bay.

More than 120 members of the community including a local legislator, as well as friends and family members showed up and, in fact, so many came that the American Red Cross administrators had to start turning people away in the afternoon.  Some came to donate blood while others were helping out in a variety of ways at the event and still more people  — Pam said “dozens” — donated food and snacks, which were served during the Drive.

Andy Russell chats with State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) at the Blood Drive.

At the end of the day, some 77 pints of urgently needed blood had been donated and some, who were unable to give blood at this event due to the large numbers, signed up to donate at the Blood Drive to be held at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme Sept. 11 .

Attorney Tom McGarry (pictured at the head of the table) joined Jean Wilczynski to serve as Notaries, who volunteered their time to assist with the effort to encourage attendees to consider setting up a Durable Power of Attorney. Rayna and Richard Dakin (seated to right of McGarry) were also volunteers at the event.

During the Blood Drive, Russell Thompson campaigned for people to complete Durable Power of Attorney paperwork — this allows a family member to pay bills and the like, when someone is incapacitated for any reason. It is a document that would have helped Lisa’s family take care of some essentials for Lisa without causing them great difficulty when Lisa was unable to sign anything for herself .

Russell Thompson explained, “We had Notaries available all day … there were several people who completed their important documents at the drive,” adding, “Mostly everyone started having conversations about why these documents are so important.”  She said there was also, “Discussion about continuing to educate [more people] about how important these documents can be and to urge people to start having those tough “what if” conversations with loved ones.”

Event volunteers Pam Russell (left) and Mary Stone sit while Andy Russell stands behind them.

Pam, who is head of the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Language Arts Department, said that she and her husband, Andy, who serves as chairman of the Old Lyme Board of Finance, ” … were moved by the numbers and the friends who came even from as far as New Hartford to show support. There were coworkers, parents of my students, former students, classmates of Lisa’s, friends of friends.”  She summed up the whole event in just three words, ”  It was amazing!”

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A Perfect Day for a Parade! Lyme Celebrates the Fourth of July Under Sunny Skies

Rowland Ballek, who served as this year’s Grand Marshal, smiles broadly as he fulfills his duty.  Photo by Mike Dickey.

The boom of the musket echoes through the ears of the crowds gathered on either side of Cove Street, patiently awaiting the commencement of the annual Fourth of July Parade in Lyme.

The traditional firing of muskets signals the start of the Lyme Fourth of July Parade. Photo by Michele Dickey.

These fine soldiers then take up their positions at the front of the parade.

‘Vintage’ soldiers march down Cove Rd. Photo by Michele Dickey.

Children sit on the sides of the road with bags in their hands, ready to collect any candy that might be thrown their way. 

Grand Marshal Rowland Ballek rides in style at the head of the annual Lyme Independence Day Parade. Photo by Katie Reid.

The parade begins with the Grand Marshal Rowland J. Ballek, who served as the moderator of Lyme’s Annual Town Meeting for 46 years.

Photo by Katie Reid.

People marching in the parade hold balloons and buckets full of candy, ready to toss the sweets to the youngsters who are watching the parade pass.

Photo by Katie Reid.

Children ride scooters with baskets filled with treats, enthusiastically waving American flags and expressing their patriotism with red, white, and blue skirts and streamers.

Everybody loves a parade! Photo by Michele Dickey.

They came from “Sea to Shining Sea” …

Photo by Michele Dickey.

And also participating are this interesting crew …

Photo by Michele Dickey.

… two bears and a gorilla wearing sunglasses, who seem to take the whole event in their stride!

Photo by Michele Dickey.

Next come the counselors and campers from Camp Claire as they proudly carry their banner and wave to spectators, while cheerfully singing, “It’s a Grand Old Flag.”

Photo by Katie Reid.

The Lyme Garden Club is here …

Photo by Katie Reid.

And the Lyme Cub Scouts make a very special appearance!

Photo by Katie Reid.

People drive by in the coolest cars in town …

… and the coolest tanks!

Bruce Noyes drives the tank while his wife Tammy sits atop the big machine. Photo by Michele Dickey.

And finally the Lyme Ambulance Association closes out the proceedings for another year.

Photo by Katie Reid.

And after all was done, there were smiling faces everywhere, but also some hot and exhausted folks including this four-legged fellow — a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel named Simon and owned by Heather and Tom Richardson.  Perhaps he was waiting for his free ice pop, courtesy of Hamburg Cove Yacht Club?

Photo by Michele Dickey.

Here’s hoping everyone had a happy Independence Day — see you next year!

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Welcome, Katie Reid, our Summer Intern at LymeLine.com!

Katie Reid

We are delighted to welcome Katie Reid of Old Lyme as our summer intern at LymeLine.com. 

She is a rising senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School and has loved writing since she was 10-years-old.  Katie told us, “I am very excited to have the opportunity to write for LymeLine.com.”

Aside from writing, Katie loves to perform, and participates in not only the high school musicals but also the newly-formed high school show choir, Amped Up!

Katie also plays volleyball and coaches a local T-ball team.

In the future, Katie hopes to pursue her passion for writing by becoming an author, editor, or a journalist.  We hope that her experience here at LymeLine.com helps her realize that dream.

If you see Katie out on assignment for us, stop by and say hello to her — she would love to meet you!

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Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau Acquires an AED Thanks to Donation from CT Trailblazers Facilitated by Critical Skills

Members of CT Trailmixers club celebrate LYSB’s installation of the Automated External Defibrillator with LYSB Director Mary Seidner, standing at right.

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) has installed an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) in their main Activity Center on Lyme Street. The addition of the LYSB’s new AED contributes to the growing number of readily available lifesaving tools and skills that are part of the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s “HEARTSafe Community” award to the Town of Old Lyme.

Critical Skills Education & Training owners Colleen Atkinson and Doug Lo Presti are local Emergency Medical Technicians and American Heart Association Instructors, who have coordinated the Town’s HEARTSafe Community award through three renewals, continuing the placement of AEDs and training of hundreds of individuals who live and work in Old Lyme. Training consists of Adult, Child and Infant CPR, use of an AED and relieving an obstructed airway.

The purchase of the AED for LYSB was funded partially by contributions made by Critical Skills through classes held at LYSB but the principal contribution came from the non-profit group CT Trailmixers, a Southington-based trail-running club, whose members are passionate about sharing the love and use of trails in the state of Connecticut.

The Trailmixers’ mission also includes making donations to a variety of causes and organizations, including the Southington YMCA and the Connecticut Forest & Parks Association. Proceeds also go to the CT Trailmixers’ Shoe Scholarship Program which, in partnership with Fleet Feet West Hartford, gives free shoes to children in need, who wish to run cross-country or track in school.

Michael Lo Presti, CT Trailblazers Founder and President, reached out to Critical Skills on candidates for donations and Lo Presti and Atkinson suggested the idea of an AED for LYSB.

The Trailmixers’ generous donation not only completed but surpassed the fundraising effort and LYSB purchased and installed the AED in May.

The AED purchased is a Public Access Defibrillator (PAD) and available to trained and untrained bystanders alike in case of emergency. LYSB is committed to providing services to the people who live, work and play in Old Lyme and has been a central point of service for generations of children. The acquisition of the AED helps to ensure the best care for the existing population and for generations to come.

In addition to LYSB, Public Access Defibrillators in Old Lyme are now located in

  • Old Lyme Town Hall
  • OL-PGN Library
  • Town Woods Park
  • SNAP Fitness
  • Old Lyme Wellness
  • Soundview Community Center
  • Old Lyme Country Club
  • Black Hall Golf Club
  • Mile Creek School
  • Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
  • Center School
  • Lyme-Old Lyme High School
  • Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church
  • First Congregational Church of Old Lyme
  • L & M Primary Care
  • Lymes’ Senior Center
  • Old Lyme Beach ClubIf you are interested in acquiring an AED or in American Heart Association CPR/AED training, call Critical Skills at 860-304-8471 or 860-391-3779 or visit www.criticalskillseducation.com.
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‘Cities of Peace’ on View at Lyme Academy Through Sept. 8

Lhasa: 10 Directions (Tibet), Cities of Peace, 22-karat gold leaf, egg tempera on Belgian linen, 69 x 104″, 2005, is featured in the ‘Cities of Peace’ exhibition at Lyme Academy.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts hosts an opening reception this evening in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery from 5 to 7 p.m. for “Cities of Peace: A Living Monument to Cultural Heritage Preservation.’  All are welcome and there is no charge for admission.
This historic exhibition features monumental paintings illuminating the heart and soul of 10 cities around the world that have suffered major conflict and trauma—Baghdad, Beijing, Hiroshima, Jerusalem, Kabul, Lhasa, Monrovia, New York, Sarajevo, Yerevan — and how the community collaboration behind the creation of each of these paintings demonstrates the power of art as cultural diplomacy and ambassadors of peace.
The founder and artistic director of the Cities of Peace project is Ellen Frank, Ph.D. of the Ellen Frank Illumination Arts Foundation, Inc., Cities of Peace®.  The exhibition curator is Christina Mossaides Strassfield.  For more information on the ‘Cities of Peace’ project, visit this link. 
The exhibition sponsors are Connecticut Humanities, Anonymous, Dr. John & Donita Aruny, Becky and Ted Crosby, Clo and Stephen Davis,  Lee and John Pritchard, Saybrook Point Inn/Fresh Salt, and Barbara and Dick Shriver.
The exhibition will be on view through Sept. 8, 2018.
The gallery is open Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m.to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
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Death of Old Lyme High School Graduate, Captain Richard John Losea (USCG, Ret.), Announced

Captain Richard John Losea (USCG, Ret.)

Captain Richard John Losea (USCG, Ret.), 71, passed away the day after Memorial Day on May 29, 2018.

Born in Brooklyn, NY, he was the son of the late Howard and Anne Losea.  After graduating from Old Lyme High School, Richard received a Bachelor of Science degree from the Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, a  Master of Science-Financial Management degree from the Navy Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA, a Master of Arts-International Relations at Salve Regina University in Newport, RI and also graduated from the Naval War College in Newport, RI.

He retired from the United States Coast Guard as a Captain after 26 ½ years of service. He also retired from the Department of Defense Joint Staff after 18 ½ years of service. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War.  Richard was the Commander of the Patrol Boat USCG Point Arena, the Pay and Personnel Center, and the Group Milwaukee.

The late Captain Richard John Losea (USCG, Ret.) and his wife, Patricia, who survives him, on their wedding day.

He also served on the Board of Chesapeake Integrated Behavior Services and the Board at ABNB Federal Credit Union.

Richard was predeceased by Howard Losea and Anne Losea, formerly of Old Lyme.  Left to cherish Richard’s memory: his wife, Patricia Mary Losea and son, Thomas E. Losea of Chesapeake VA; sister, Diane Losea Roeder and her husband, Bill, of Northampton, MA;  brother, Steven Losea of Phoenix, AZ, and niece, Amanda Roeder of Beverly, MA.  

Richard is survived by his aunt, Florence Linskey, and cousins John, Matthew, Steven, Peter and Andrew Linskey, Joan Doherty and Florence Hartman.  He will be dearly missed by his wife Patricia’s niece Dominique Finch Weber of Montz, Louisiana and her family.

Richard’s funeral service was held on Saturday, June 2, 2018, followed by interment with military honors at Chesapeake Memorial Gardens In Chesapeake Virginia.

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Old Lyme Library Presents Information Sessions on Renovation Plans, June 20


The Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Building Committee and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder will host a final Information Session Wednesday, June 20, starting at 7 p.m.in the library’s Community Room, on plans to renovate the library. All are welcome.

The session will include:

  • an overview of how the project came about
  • planned repairs and improvements
  • associated costs and improvements

Participants will be invited on a guided tour of the building.

There will also be an opportunity to ask questions.

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Wayland’s Eagle Project to Construct Boxes for Retired US Flags in Lyme, Old Lyme Draws High Praise

Gathered for a photo after Theodore Wayland’s Eagle project presentation to the VFW Post 1467 last Monday are, from left to right, Post Commander David Griswold, Theodore, State Rep. Devin Carney and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

On Monday, May 29, Life Scout of Troop 26 Boy Scouts Theodore Wayland invited the local VFW Post 1467 to Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall immediately following the Memorial Day parade to present his Eagle project comprising three locally-placed flag repository boxes.

Edward Shyloski, a member of local VFW post 1467, which sponsored the project, congratulates Theodore Wayland on completion of the flag repository boxes,

Wayland’s project was generously sponsored by the VFW Post 1467. This allowed for Theodore and retiring Commander Edward Shyloski to develop a relationship through ongoing communication during the project. When Shyloski noted during the presentation, “He’s a boy raised right, ” it reflected the time and attention to the country’s history, veterans and the local community that Shyloski himself embodies.

From left to right, VFW Post 146 Commander David Griswold stands with Theodore Wayland, State Rep. Devin Carney and Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder.

The young scouts often offer opportunities for VFW members to reflect on their own youth and scouting experiences by sharing experiences with the scouts. An example of this occurred recently when Troop 26 hosted a dinner for the local Post, which has now become an annual tradition for the troop.

Troop 26 Scoutmaster Mark Wayland stands in the foreground with Theodore while the boys of Troop 26 stand behind.

Wayland spoke during the presentation of his goal to continue educating townspeople to dispose properly of retired flags.

Theodore’s parents, Mark and Kathryn Wayland, stand proudly with their son and other dignitaries who attended the presentation.

The photo at left show Wayland standing behind one of the three boxes constructed in which local residents can dispose of retired flags. He worked with his local troop to design and build three boxes to be placed this week at the Lyme Town Hall, Old Lyme Town Hall and the Lymes’ Senior Center.

Wayland’s troop hosts an annual flag retirement ceremony at their local campsite, Camp Emerson each spring and Wayland, along with fellow scouts, will collect flags as the boxes fill.

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder and State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) both spoke in support of Wayland’s project and all the notable works local Boy and Girls Scouts accomplish in Lyme and Old Lyme.

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Attorney John A. Collins III of Old Lyme Appointed Judge of Mohegan Gaming Disputes Court

Pictured from left to right are Suisman Shapiro Paralegal Christine Gravelin, Attorney John A. Collins, III, and Paralegal Joanna Lazarus.

On May 15, Attorney John A. Collins, III, was sworn in as a Judge of the Gaming Disputes Court for Mohegan Tribal Court.

In its constitution, the Mohegan Tribe has given exclusive jurisdiction over any dispute involving or arising out of ’Gaming’ to the Gaming Disputes Court which consists of a Trial Court and a Court of Appeals. As used in the Mohegan Constitution, ’Gaming’ includes the development, construction, operation, promotion, financing, regulation and licensing issues, and includes jurisdiction over any associated hotel, resort or entertainment facility on Tribal lands.

This jurisdiction extends to actions of Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment and disputes involving its employees and customers. The Court may exercise jurisdiction over any person who transacts any business on or affecting the Mohegan Reservation.

Attorney John A. Collins, III, is a Director/Shareholder at Suisman Shapiro, who concentrates in the areas of Personal Injury Law and Civil Litigation. In addition to his role as Judge of the Gaming Disputes Court for Mohegan Tribal Court, Attorney Collins serves as the Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law.

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