July 4, 2020

Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme Closed Weekends Through Labor Day Due to Environmental, Safety Violations

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Land Trust (OLLT) Board of Trustees has announced that the Watch Rock Preserve in Old Lyme will be closed to all visitors from 7:30 p.m. on each Friday until 8 a.m. the following Monday from June through August. On Labor Day weekend, it will remain closed until 8 a.m. on Tuesday.

These closures are to address continued preserve use violations, which damage the environment and pose safety concerns.

The board states in a press release, “This decision to limit access to Watch Rock has been a difficult one. We recognize that the beautiful Watch Rock setting has long provided significant enjoyment for many visitors who abide by the posted rules.”

The release continues, “However, increasingly frequent and serious incidents of littering, OLLT signage vandalism, theft of newly planted native shrubs, open campfires, and late evening loitering have necessitated visitor access restrictions during the weekend periods when most of these issues occur.”

Noting, “This situation will be closely monitored, including by the police,” the board adds,  The effectiveness of the summer weekend closures will be evaluated to determine if additional steps are needed to prevent misuse and harm to this conservation land.”

In closing, the board says, “We are grateful for the continued understanding and support of all visitors, especially our members.”

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Sale of Delicious Donuts Starts in Sound View Today; Proceeds Benefit Shoreline Community Center

OLD LYME — UPDATED 07/03: It is now possible to preorder delicious Sound View Donuts. The Advance Donut Order Form is at this link. 

There are three ways to place your order:

  1. If you would like a Word document of the form, request it via email from Gail Fuller at gfuller2@aol.com
  2. Print the form, complete it, scan it and return it to gfuller2@aol.com 
  3. Email gfuller2@aol.com with your name, beach address, phone number, details of order, and which day you will be picking them up (Saturday, Sunday or Labor Day.)

Advance orders must be picked up by 9 a.m. on the day requested. The order cannot be guaranteed after 9 a.m.

The Sound View Beach Association, Inc. (SVBA) in Old Lyme is a community organization and usually only holds events from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day. However, due to restrictions from the Coronavirus pandemic this year, the SVBA is unable to hold their usual activities.

The SVBA’s main fundraiser is selling doughnuts on the weekend, which volunteers will begin to do on the July 4th weekend. Doughnuts will be sold Saturdays and Sundays through Labor Day.
The freshly-made, delicious doughnuts will be on sale at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave, Old Lyme, from 7 to 10 a.m. or until sold out.
All sale profits benefit the Shoreline Community Center.
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Another COVID Case Reported in Old Lyme Raising Total to 23 Including Two Deaths

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message Monday, June 29, that another new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Old Lyme. This additional confirmed case is a 48-year-old female.

There are now 21 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities. Eight of these surviving cases are male and the remaining 13 are female. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 83-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
April 2514
May 115
May 1517
May 2618
June 819
June 1020
June 1421
June 2222
June 2423

Details of all Old Lyme’s confirmed cases to date are now 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 48
  11. Female, age 85
  12. Female, age 95
  13. Female, age 20
  14. Female, age 43
  15. Female, age 48
  16. Male, age 70
  17. Male, age 67
  18. Female, age 68
  19. Male, age 73
  20. Male, age 21
  21. Female, age 48

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

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case is a 34-year-old male.

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Flo Gris Museum Now Open to Members, Reopens to Public, Tuesday; New ‘Fresh Fields’ Exhibition on View

OLD LYME — The Florence Griswold Museum reopened to members July 1 and will reopen to the public July 7.  Admission will be limited and by 24-hour advance online ticketing only. Check the Museum website for admission requirements and details of how to purchase tickets.

Café Flo opens July 7, by reservation only.

Childe Hassam, Apple Trees in Bloom, Old Lyme, 1904. 25 x 30 in., Florence Griswold Museum, Gift of the Vincent Dowling Family Foundation in Honor of Director Emeritus Jeffrey Andersen.

Visitors to the Museum will be greeted with a new exhibition, Fresh Fields, which is a celebration of the Museum’s most beloved landscape paintings created by Impressionist artists who visited Old Lyme. The exhibition opens July 7 and runs through Nov. 1.

The selection highlights major recent acquisitions, such as Childe Hassam’s Apple Trees in BloomOld Lyme (1904), and emphasizes ongoing research about the local landscape that informed development of the Artists’ Trail.

Paintings, drawings, archival materials, and photographs will shed light on the history and ecology of Old Lyme, which caused it to become a gathering place for artists.

The exhibition also calls upon the knowledge and viewpoints of outside experts to build an interdisciplinary understanding. In addition to the Museum’s own curators and art history scholars, contributors will include an ecologist, members of the local Native American community, and experts on women’s history and African-American history.

Fresh Fields relies on those with expertise in these areas to help create a more complete understanding of the human history, culture, and values that shaped these Impressionist landscapes.

Editor’s Note: Remember that the Museum grounds are open and in bloom now — no need to wait for the reopening of the Museum to enjoy them!

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Old Lyme BOS Votes to Hold Summer Fireworks, July 25, Despite No Midsummer Festival This Year

The Town of Old Lyme’s fireworks display traditionally rounds off Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival. The festival is not being held this year but the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted June 30 to hold the fireworks display July 25 regardless.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen voted Tuesday afternoon (June 30) at a Special Meeting to hold the annual fireworks celebration that normally takes place in the evening following the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival.  This is a significant decision since the Midsummer Festival itself, scheduled for Saturday, July 25, will not be held this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The selectmen’s plan is to hold the fireworks on the evening of Saturday, July 25, with a raindate of Sunday, July 26.

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, however, clarified to LymeLine in a text this morning that the event is still subject to a number of caveats, stating the fireworks will be held, “… subject, of course, to state and local requirements.” and also that, “We have verbal permission from the school but we must be sure the new solar panels are not harmed.”

Griswold confirmed that, assuming the fireworks go ahead, there will be no shuttle bus service this year due to social distancing constraints.

He added that the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen, ” … believes the fireworks will be a welcome family event for the people of Old Lyme!”

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read our earlier story published June 22, titled, “Will There Be Fireworks in Old Lyme This Year?”

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Offers Small Group Eco-adventures in Lyme, Old Lyme for Ages 10-15

“Ponding” with RTPEC instructors is always an educational and fun experience. Photo from RTPEC.

LYME-OLD LYME — What lies beneath the water? How can you find your way in the woods? Can you use cabbage to create art?

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) is offering small group, in-person programming to explore these questions and more beginning July 13 and following all current COVID-19 safety procedures. The RTPEC building on Halls Rd. will, however, remain closed.

Join in hands-on activities while discovering local biodiversity, using scientific tools, and creating beautiful natural art pieces. Morgan Allen, a RTPEC teacher-naturalist, will lead participants in outdoor, experiential field programs focusing on different daily topics in different locations.

Pond Exploration at Jewett Preserve in Lyme 
Monday, July 13, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Tuesday, July 21, 3 – 5 p.m.
Join Allen in exploring what plants and animals may live in the pond using nets, solar microscopes, and more. Discover the chemical characteristics of the pond by learning how to take temperature and pH samples. Test the water quality using our Creek Critter app to identify macroinvertebrates and learn how to become a citizen scientist. Bring close-toed water shoes, a towel, and wear clothing that can get wet.

Hiking Adventures at Beckett Hill State Park in Lyme
Wednesday, July 15, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Thursday, July, 23, 3 – 5 p.m. 
Take an adventure into the woods. Learn how to use binoculars, solar scopes, and field guides to identify plants and animals. Use a soil sieve to discover what’s hiding in the soil.  Not sure which way you are traveling? Learn how to use a compass to navigate your way. Wear sturdy hiking shoes.

Art in Nature at Ferry Landing State Park in Old Lyme
Friday, July 17, 10 a.m – 12 p.m. and Saturday, July 25, 3 – 5 pm 
Release the artist within! Over these two hours, Allen will teach participants how to create a variety of natural art pieces including designing a seascape with sand and shells, clay pressings using natural materials, and making your own natural tie-dye. Wear clothing that can get messy and something to tie-dye.

To register and for more information, visit https://www.ctaudubon.org/rtp-programs-events/
Register for one, two, or three days. There is a 10-person maximum for each day.
The price is $30 RTPEC member/day, $35 non-member/day; $75 RTPEC member/three days, $90 non-member/three days.

Each child should bring a water bottle daily.

Masks are required and social distancing guidelines will be followed.

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Lyme Church Offers “Hate Has No Home Here” Yard Signs for Sale, Next Opportunity to Buy is Sunday

Selam Olson.13, displays one of the yard signs being sold by the First Congregational Church of Lyme. Selam is the daughter of Susan Olson, who serves as the church Pastor. Photo submitted.

LYME — The First Congregational Church of Lyme is partnering with Hate Has No Home Here to sell yard signs to members of the community. The signs show the message in a number of languages.

Lyme First Congregational Pastor Susan Olson notes, “While we’re a church, the movement is not related to a religion or political party–everyone can participate.”

Asked why the church decided to start selling the signs, Olson explains in a text to LymeLine, ” I came across the Hate Has No Home Here Project while doing some research for a sermon a few weeks back. I liked the origin of the project. It comes from a residential neighborhood in Chicago, mostly focused on families in walking distance of one particular elementary school.”

She continues, “A third grade child coined the phrase and the neighbors created the signs. The idea has spread like wildfire across the globe.”

Pointing out, “The project made sense for us at Lyme Church. We bought 100 signs to resell because we know that 100 signs denouncing hate will make a big splash in the Lyme area, whereas in a larger town like Hartford or New Haven, it would be harder to see them as part of a movement.”

“As Christians,” Olson adds, “We are deeply concerned about current events, about the deep stain of racism, and how hatred in all its forms is poisoning our communities and our world. We wanted to respond in a way that includes the whole community–not just our church–and the sign campaign seemed to be a good place to start.”

She concludes, “We hope that many of our neighbors and friends will join us in saying that hate has no home here.”

The signs are being sold for $6. The next opportunity to purchase signs will be Sunday, July 5, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the church parking lot.

Those wishing to buy a sign should bring a check payable to First Congregational Church of Lyme or exact change. Distribution of signs at the church will be contactless. The church’s Facebook page states, “Drive up, pop your trunk, drop your money in a box outside your window and off you go. We’re spreading love, not germs!”

Once a sign has been obtained, people are invited take a picture of their family with their sign and the church will post it (with appropriate permissions) on the church’s social media accounts.

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A la Carte: Forget the Calories and Savor Every Bite of a Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwich!

Lee White

Well, summer is here, but it doesn’t seem as if the music is “Under the Boardwalk” or “Polka Dot Bimini.”

At Eastern Point Beach, where I live in the City of Groton, weekends will only be open to City residents. There will be no day passes to the glorious beach and Town of Groton, Noank, half of Mystic and Groton Long Point will have to sun bathe and play with their children in the gentle waves Monday through Thursday.

I noticed on Facebook that at noon on Sunday, just a few chairs or blankets dotted the large sandy beach and there were few cars on the expansive parking lot. Neither will there be a snack shop, since, in past years, crowds would be four deep to get hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and ice cream.

But many restaurants who only offered takeout are beginning to open inside their businesses, although at way fewer than 50 percent occupancy. It will be a long slog for owners, some of whom I have known for decades. I had breakfast Saturday at The Shack in Groton. The long counter was closed and tables were put away; Booths and tables were at least six feet away, or maybe eight or 10. 

I am still cooking mostly at home.

I have Zoom meetings and tele-physician appointments.

I have had my hair cut and colored, which makes feel better, but I do realize I am a very lucky woman (mostly for those who have to see me). Then again, restaurant meals, hair appointments and plenty of food to cook at home is very much a first-world problem. 

Last week was enjoyable because I spent some hours at Fitch High School graduation, among about 300 cars filled with family and students in parking lot. There was a giant television with terrific audio. There is no doubt that none of us will ever remember the graduation of 2020. 

I also made a recipe given to me by Beth Horler, a friend who is a teacher in our school system. It is beyond delicious, easy to make and one bite will make us feel like a kid again. It uses a carrot cake boxed mix and each double cookie is filled with cream cheese frosting.

I have a carrot cake I love that is from scratch and uses two jars of baby carrots. If you want that recipe for the whoopee pies, e-mail me at leeawhite@aol.com.

Writer’s Stop Original Carrot Cake Cookie Sandwiches
Adapted from Beth Horler’s recipe

Will make between 6 or 12 cookies, depending on how big the cookies are.

1 box carrot cake mix
¾ cup water (per box instructions)
1/3  cup vegetable oil (per box instructions)
3 large eggs (per box instructions)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (low-fat is fine)
8 tablespoons butter (softened)
1 cup of confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
½ cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Make the carrot cake recipe listed on the back of the standard box. Before you do,  preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a cooking sheet (or use parchment or Silpat.)

Drop round tablespoons onto cookie sheets. Place them in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes.

Set them aside to cool. 

In another large bowl, add powdered (confectioners’) sugar. Place your butter and cream cheese inside the bowl. I also crushed the pineapple by hand a little more. Add vanilla extract to the rest of the bowl. Blend the ingredients together until frosting is creamy. 

Place a tablespoon or more of the frosting on every cookie and sandwich them together.

Forget the calories. Eat salad for the next two days!

About the author: Former Old Lyme resident Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and also for the Shore Publishing and Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. 

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Lyme’s Traditional Fourth of July Parade Cannot be Held This Year Due to COVID-19 Crowd Size Restrictions

Lyme’s Fourth of July parade will not take place this year. File photo from a previous parade by Michele Dickey.

LYME — At their meeting Monday afternoon, the Lyme Board of Selectmen discussed whether the Fourth of July parade, which traditionally takes place on Cove Rd., should be held this year. First Selectman Steve Mattson stressed “It is not a Town of Lyme function,” but rather, “A community function … whoever shows up walks, rides or whatever.”

Mattson said, “It is my opinion that the event should not be held this year.” Selectman John Kiker agreed, saying, “I just think it’s too soon,” and Selectman Parker Lord added, “I agree it’s the thing to do.”

In addition, recognizing the revised restrictions imposed by Governor Lamont in terms of the size of public gatherings, the Town has now posted the following announcement on their website advising residents, “The traditional Cove Road July 4th Parade cannot be held this year, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order #7TT, which prohibits public gatherings of more than 25 people during this phase of the pandemic.”

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Sound View’s Traditional July 4 Parade Cancelled, Also No Beach Summer Concerts In Old Lyme This Year

Cheerfully leading a previous year’s Independence Day parade through the streets of Sound View in Old Lyme was the ever-smiling Joann Leishing. Sadly, there will be no parade his year.

OLD LYME — Frank Pappalardo, who serves as Sound View Commission Chairman, told LymeLine in an email yesterday, “The Sound View Commission has canceled their events and activities for this summer, including the concert series.”

He added, “The Sound View Beach Association (SVBA) has cancelled the Independence Day Parade for this year, other events are pending.”

Asked about all the other summer happenings that the SVBA traditionally hosts, SVBA President Gail Fuller responded in an email, “We are still not sure what we’re doing with our other  activities yet.,” noting that she would keep LymeLine posted, “as soon as I know what we’re doing.”

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Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Hosts Pre-College Academy for High School Students, Middle School Academy for 11 to13-Year-Olds

Kimberly Monson will teach a week-long Drawing course for Pre-College students starting July 6. A few openings are still available.

OLD LYME — This summer Lyme Academy of Fine Arts is hosting a Pre-College Academy for high school students and Middle School Academy for ages 11 -13.

High school students aged 14 to 18 with beginning to advanced level art training can enroll in an exciting series of week-long, daytime courses starting July 6 that further explore and expand their technical skill and abilities. Each week of classes costs $375.00 per student and runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  All the courses will be taught by talented college faculty and aim to foster creativity, build artistic skill, and mentor personal vision in young artists.

The courses on offer include:

Drawing
Instructor: Kimberly Monson
July 6-10
$375.00

Illustration Essentials
Instructor: David Wenzel
July 13-17

World Building
Instructor: Jon Sideriadis
July 20-24

Oil Painting
Instructor: Michael Viera
July 27-31

Animation
Instructor: Roland Beccerra
Aug. 3 – 7

Sculpture
Instructor: Bruce Wallace
Aug. 10-14

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Neviaser “Very Pleased” with Governor’s Plan to Reopen All CT Schools in Fall 2020

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

OLD LYME — Asked his reaction to Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona’s announcement yesterday that all schools statewide should plan to reopen to all students in the fall of 2020, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser told LymeLine exclusively by phone this morning that he is “very pleased with the Governor’s plan.”

The plan calls for mandatory mask-wearing by students and staff with certain exceptions, cohorting so that teams function independently as much as possible, and social distancing combined with heightened health and safety protocols.

The full press release from the Governor’s office is published in its entirety below.

Neviaser said, “I’m especially glad to see that they’re giving local flexibility … one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to schools … schools are different sizes, have different populations … or to put it another way, we’re different from Old Saybrook and East Lyme … and Hartford.”

Regarding next steps, Neviaser explained, “We have two committees already in place that have been anxiously awaiting this guidance.” He said that apart from the full return to school option, they have been looking into “remote learning” and also “a hybrid model with students coming into school on alternate days.”

Now the committees will work intensively to determine the optimum ways to implement the Governor’s plans specifically for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Neviaser said, “Ideally, we’ll get everyone back [to school] in a way that follows all the guidelines to keeps students and staff safe.” He added that LOL Schools will be working with the local health departments to ensure they comply with all health and safety guidelines.

Asked whether he thought the fall sports program would take place, Neviaser responded, “We intend to [have it in place] … the CIAC (Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference) does too [for all schools in the conference] — we just don’t have any details yet.”

Finally, Neviaser noted that he does not know yet whether LOL Schools will have to supply masks to students and faculty, if the state will supply them or if students and faculty will be required to supply their own. Indicating he awaits further direction on that, he said that in the meantime, “I just have no idea.”

The following is the full press release issued by Governor Ned Lamont’s office yesterday, June 25:  Governor Ned Lamont and Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona announced details yesterday of the framework to allow all students – in all school districts statewide – the opportunity to have access to in-school, full-time instruction at the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, as long as public health data continues to support this model.

While Connecticut has determined reopening schools for in-person instruction can be achieved based upon the state’s successful COVID-19 containment efforts, this model will be supported with more intensive mitigation strategies and specific monitoring, containment, and class cancellation plans.

“While we’ve made good strides to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in Connecticut, the virus hasn’t gone away and we need to do what we can to keep students and staff safe while also doing our best to provide our young people with access to an education that prepares them for the future,” Governor Lamont said.

He continued, “Working with public health and medical experts, and with the support of our educators, we are preparing a number of steps that protect the health and safety of everyone who makes contact with our school system.”

In assessing the approach to a required operating model, the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE) considered input from school representatives, educators, families, students, educational stakeholders, advocacy organizations, and union representatives. The department conducted a review of nationally and globally published school reopening plans. The importance of access to in-person schooling rose as a priority related to educational opportunities, safety, wellbeing, and social-emotional learning.

“This pandemic represents more than a virus, it represents an historic disruption to our school communities and created barriers to how we best deliver academic and non-academic supports in a way that is accessible, equitable, and meaningful,” Commissioner Cardona said.

“Addressing the educational setbacks and the social-emotional toll caused by COVID-19 is best addressed by maximizing in-person instructional time,” noted Cardona, adding, “In developing this plan, we worked in close consultation with public health officials to prioritize the safety of our school communities and, just as intensively, engaged students, parents, and educators for their critical input. We stand with our districts, educators and families as we commit to making 2020-21 a year devoted to creativity, innovation, courage, and reimagining education together.”

In addition to the framework released today, SDE plans to release a more detailed guidance document next week that will provide more comprehensive information for school districts.

**DownloadExecutive summary of Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning
**DownloadPresentation on Connecticut’s 2020-21 school planning

Framework for Connecticut Schools During the 2020-21 Academic Year
Guiding Principles

As Connecticut schools plan to reopen, the guidance and considerations outlined in this framework are grounded in six guiding principles:

  1. Safeguarding the health and safety of students and staff;
  2. Allowing all students the opportunity to return into the classrooms full time starting in the fall;
  3. Monitoring the school populations and, when necessary, potentially cancelling classes in the future to appropriately contain COVID-19 spread;
  4. Emphasizing equity, access, and support to the students and communities who are emerging from this historic disruption;
  5. Fostering strong two-way communication with partners such as families, educators and staff; and
  6. Factoring into decisions about reopening the challenges to the physical safety and social-emotional well-being of our students when they are not in school.

These guiding principles require all districts to develop their plans with a certain level of consistency, however they retain wide discretion in implementing approaches to reopening given unique local considerations. School districts must balance their planning with contingency plans to provide robust, blended learning or remote learning for all grades in the event that a school, district, or region has to cancel or limit in-person classes due to health precautions.

Main Operational Considerations

Cohorting

  • Districts should emphasize grouping students by the same class/group of students and teacher (into a cohort) so each team functions independently as much as possible. Consider this methodology by grade levels.
  • Placing students in cohorts is strongly encouraged for grades K-8, and encouraged where feasible for grades 9-12.

Social Distancing and Facilities

  • Review building space and reconfigure available classroom space, such as gymnasiums and auditoriums, to maximize social distancing, consistent with public health guidelines in place at that time.

Transportation

  • Districts should plan for buses to operate close to capacity with heightened health and safety protocols, including requiring all students and operators wear face coverings.
  • Plans must be developed to activate increased social distancing protocols based upon community spread.

Face Coverings

  • All staff and students will be expected to wear a protective face covering or face mask that completely covers the nose and mouth when inside the school building, except for certain exceptions including when teachers are providing instruction.

Ensuring Equity and Access

  • Equitable access to education is a top priority that supports a full-time in-school model by mitigating any barriers to education or opportunity gaps that increased during the pandemic. Efforts to support equity, close the opportunity gap, and provide a wide range of support for students in the state is best achieved with in-person schooling opportunities for all ages.
  • Districts should identify gaps and develop action plans for reopening that specifically address inclusion, equity, and access for all learners with strategies and clearly defined action steps.
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Old Lyme Confirms 20th Case of COVID-19, Fatalities Remain at Two; No Change in Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message yesterday morning, Thursday, June 25, that one new case of COVID-19 has been reported in Old Lyme. This additional confirmed case is a 21-year-old male.

There are now 20 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities.

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
April 2514
May 115
May 1517
May 2618
June 819
June 1020
June 1421
June 2222
June 2423

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

  • 64-year-old female
  • 21-year-old female
  • 27-year-old male
  • 53-year-old female
  • 61-year-old female
  • 29-year-old female
  • 40-year-old male
  • 53-year-old male
  • 60-year-old female
  • 48-year-old male
  • 85-year-old female
  • 95-year-old female
  • 20-year-old female
  • 43-year-old female
  • 48-year-old female
  • 70-year-old male
  • 67-year-old male
  • 68-year-old female
  • 73-year-old male
  • 21-year-old male

The fatalities, which are in addition to the confirmed cases listed above, were a 61-year-old female and an 83-year-old-male.

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

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case was a 34-year-old male.

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Death of Oliver “Michael” Birch of Old Lyme Announced; World Traveler, Award-Winning Film Maker

Oliver “Michael” Birch, world traveler, award winning film maker, loving husband, father and grandfather died peacefully at his home in Old Lyme Connecticut on June 23, 2020. Michael immigrated after the War, from the UK to Canada, bravely crossing the North Sea in winter, with his very pregnant first wife. The young family settled in Montreal where Michael joined the prestigious National Film Board of Canada. It was there Michael caught the eye of Adlai Stevenson II, who sponsored Michael & family to America. Michael joined the famed Encyclopedia Britannica Films, making his ground breaking educational films, for the time. Notably …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published on the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home website.

 

 

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Lyme Art Association Reopens to the Public with Two New Exhibitions

‘Sea Sparkles’ in oil by Jacqueline Jones is one of the featured works in the Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show exhibition opening June 26 at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Art Association (LAA) welcomes the public back to the gallery today, June 26, with Wind, Waves and Water: A Marine Show. This is a juried show of LAA’s talented member artists that celebrates the unique beauty of the open water, shorelines, rivers, and all the activity and life that accompany these settings.

The juror for Wind, Waves and Water is Russell Kramer, ASMA.

John Traynor’s ‘Grazing By The Bay’ (oil) is another featured work in the LAA’s upcoming exhibition.

This year the Association welcomes back the Hudson Valley Art Association for their 87th Annual Juried Exhibition. This show always includes exceptional award winners from artists across the region.

Both shows will be on view from June 26 through Aug. 14. There will not be an opening reception.

The Lyme Art Association is located in Old Lyme, at 90 Lyme Street. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday, and by appointment at other times. All visitors are requested to wear a mask.

The LAA was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the town’s historic district.

Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival Now Accepting Submissions for 2021; Positions as Directors, Readers Also Open

IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Playhouse has announced their Fifth Annual Ivoryton Women Playwrights Festival (IWPF.) Submissions of one-act plays by women playwrights are sought.
The IWPF provides the four writers whose work is chosen paid travel to Ivoryton and housing while there, three days of intensive workshops with a director and actors for play development and participation in a staged reading festival in February/March 2021 (actual dates to be determined).
There is also a $500 stipend.
Ten-minute plays are acceptable, and all plays must run no more than one hour.
Completed manuscripts must be submitted by email only.  Closing date for submissions is Aug. 30, 2020.
Interested playwrights should email a completed manuscript, (for musicals include a script and music file), with name and contact information.
The IWPF also seeks resumes from directors (Connecticut residents only), and those interested in being readers, both men and women.

Play submissions, resumes from directors and interested readers should be emailed to Jacqui Hubbard, Artistic Director at jhubbard@ivorytonplayhouse.org

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Old Lyme Library Celebrates Phoebe’s 122nd Birthday with Ice Cream, Smiles

All photos by Martha Shoemaker.

OLD LYME — The Phoebe Griffin Noyes (PGN) Library in Old Lyme celebrated its 122nd birthday yesterday by serving 122 ice creams — well, actually it was around 200!

Smiling library staff and volunteers were out in force on the grounds of the PGN Library fronting onto Lyme St. waving signs …

… saying how pleased they were to see community members again and encouraging those who were driving or walking by to stop and accept a brown bag, which contained …

… an ice cream and a book mark about this year’s Read. Explore. Learn! summer program.

Ably supported by the Old Lyme Police Department, people of all ages cheerfully accepted brown bags from staff.

Phoebe herself, aka Mary Dangremond, stopped by to take in the festivities. Dangremond has been portraying Phoebe for many years at numerous events.

Established as a free public library in 1897 and dedicated in 1898, the building construction was funded by the generous gift of Charles H. Ludington in honor of his mother-in-law, Phoebe Griffin Noyes.
In the photo above, Eleanor Hufford carefully hands a bag to Library Director’s daughter Maggie Huffman.

Asked how she felt the event had gone, Library Director Katie Huffman replied enthusiastically, “It was such a heartwarming day! …

… We were so pleased to share a bit of fun with the community and to say thanks for their support. And of course, it was fabulous to see some of our patrons after all these months of isolation!”

The ice cream was supplied by the Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe and …

… sponsored by the Old Lyme Historical Society and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce.

The PGN Library itself remains closed to the public due to COVID-19 and ongoing interior renovations.

If you need assistance using their online resources, help connecting to local or regional services, or general research assistance, call 860-598-0490 and a staff member will assist you from home.

The Library will begin accepting returns on Monday, July 6. All returned items will be quarantined for 72 hours in compliance with state and CDC requirements.

Due to this, the book drops will remain closed, but materials may be dropped off at the Library during the following times:

  • Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Saturday: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

The PGN Library staff and board anticipate reopening in a limited capacity later in July once the shelving and collections are back in place.

 

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A Bumper Edition of A la Carte: Pad Thai & Scampi (with ‘Metro Bis’ & ‘Trader Joe’s’ Connections Respectively)

Lee White

Editor’s Note: We apologize but somehow we missed the first of these contributions from Lee White. It should have been published a week ago (June 17), but — in the simplest of terms — it wasn’t. However, we can’t (nor do we want to) just skip it because Lee’s recipes are too good to miss and also the story in her preamble is in two-parts, so you need to read last weeks before this weeks. Does that make any sense? We hope so! Enjoy … and, as always, ‘bon appetit’!

June 17

It had been a sad week for Minneapolis and the rest of the world. On Sunday, as much of American knows, the week ended with a peaceful march. Mine ended in Groton, Connecticut, as around 1,000 Fitch High School student-led citizens walked from one of our parks to the City of Groton Municipal Building. We board of education members met at the former Fitch Middle School and gave bottles of water to marchers.

And, of course, there is the pandemic. Mine began on March 13, the day our school (and most others) decided that our students would not be coming back to their teachers and their classrooms. Except for two doctors’ appointments, I’ve had no one in my home, hadn’t shared a meal with friends or family, hadn’t hugged anyone or shook anyone’s hand. My heart is sad for those who have lost friends and family.

Today I am making gallons of pasta sauce for my neighbors and to take to E. Bloomfield, N.Y., south of Rochester. My niece and her daughter will fly to pick up my sister-in-law and drive them all to their home in New Mexico. It may be the last time I see my husband’s sister, whose dementia has progressed to the point where she can no longer live in her mid-1800’s house, a place where I met my soon-to-be husband and, a year later, she began as the sister I had never had before.

Last evening I thought about making pad Thai, My friend Chris Prosperi, whose parents are Austrian and French, learned to make Pad Thai from a Thai friend years before he opened his incredible restaurant, Metro Bis, in Simsbury, Conn. He has as much Asian blood as I do, but this is the just a piece of the circle that becomes our family, too.

Pad Thai Sauce

1 bottle (32 Ounces) Mae Ploy sweet chili sauce
2 and ½   cups sugar
3 cups water
½ cup fish sauce
3 cups rice vinegar 

In a sauce pot on medium high heat combine all ingredients. Simmer for 2 minutes until all sugar is dissolved. Cool and set aside. Recipe makes 1 gallon which may be used as a dipping sauce for spring rolls, marinade for chicken, or dressing for salad greens when mixed with oil. The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for two months.

Photo by Timothy Dykes on Unsplash.

Pad Thai Noodles

Yield: 2 servings

1 package medium rice noodles
1 to 3 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ pound chicken, thinly sliced
4 eggs
¾ cup pad Thai sauce or more if you like (recipe above)
1 12-ounce package mung bean sprouts (but any sprouts will do)
½ cup scallions (green onions), chopped
½ cup chopped dry roasted peanuts
1 lime, quartered 

In a large mixing bowl soak the noodles in warm water until pliable, approximately 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. On high heat in a hot wok or large sauté pan heat oil and add chicken. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Crack the eggs into the pan and stir fry until the eggs are cooked and scrambled. Add pad Thai sauce and reduce the mixture. Place a good handful of noodles in the pan approximately (2 cups or so) and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes until the liquid starts to dry. Fold in 1 cup of sprouts and the scallions. Remove from the heat and serve with sliced lime, chopped peanuts and the remaining bean sprouts. Top with optional chili garlic sauce for more spice. Extra noodles may be refrigerated for up to 1 week.

June 24

The drive back from Rochester was uneventful, but on the way I realized that I had driven for 13 out of the past 30 hours. It was a lot of driving for me. I got home around 5 p.m. and boiled some ziti and added two packages of basil pesto I’d frozen last year, topped with a sprinkling of parmesan. It was delish and I was in bed by 9 p.m.

The night before, I had taken everything for dinner, figuring on about six people. It turned out we were 10 family members, but with a big salad, two boxes of rigatoni, two enormous disposable pots of Sunday Gravy sauce (with four kinds of meat in it) and garlic bread, we had almost enough food for all.

My sister-in-law, Roslyn, had made peanut butter cookies. There were so many memories in her home, including the first time I’d met my soon-to-be husband.

We had such a good time that night, but we knew it might be the last time we would all be together. Two days later, Roslyn, her daughter, Jamisyn, and Jamisyn’s daughter left E. Bloomfield, N.Y., with Ros’s Border Collie, heading out for Jamie’s home in New Mexico. It may be a long visit for Roslyn, or it may be forever.

In any case, I had not made a big dinner for three months, since the pandemic curtailed the spring of 2020.

The day after I returned home, I raided the freezer in my garage and found some red shrimp I had bought at Trader Joe’s, maybe a year ago or maybe longer than that.

I remembered being excited when I bought it, because the only red shrimp I’d seen was from Stonington Seafood. The Bomsters, who owned Stonington Seafood, sold only the seafood that had caught themselves, on their own boat, where they were able to flash-freeze within minutes.

Do you remember when, getting seafood there, you picked up your fish from a freezer and left the money on an honor system? 

Anyway, I thawed the Trader Joe’s shrimp on a colander, then dried it and made scampi. (By the way, scampi is an Italian name for shrimp, so there is really no reason to call it shrimp scampi). It made a whole lot, so I topped the scampi on a pound of linguine and shared it with my neighbors. 

Photo by Frank Wouters from Antwerpen, Belgium, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Scampi

Yield: 4 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 to 3 tablespoons butter
8 to 10 cloves garlic, minced
Zest of 1 lemon
1 cup (or a little more) good white wine
1 pound extra-large shrimp, shelled, deveined, dried
a little chicken broth for extra liquid, if needed (homemade or good canned)
20 to 25 grape tomatoes, halved (optional)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons butter
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
fresh Italian parsley, chopped
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese (optional)

Bring stockpot of water over high heat.

While water is coming to a boil, in a large skillet, heat olive oil and butter. Add garlic; saute for 30 to 45 seconds. Add white wine and allow to reduce. Add zest and stir. Reduce heat and add shrimp. When they turn pink and curl up, turn them over. When done, add tomatoes (if using) and lemon juice and cook for another few minutes. Add another 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook for a minute.  Add salt and pepper to taste and toss with parsley (or toss parsley when serving).

Meanwhile, liberally salt boiling water and add pasta. Cook just until ‘al dente’ (something a little than package directions say). Drain pasta, and then add to sauce. Toss. Serve hot (and, although Italian purists cringe, I also serve freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or Romano cheese.)

About the author: Former Old Lyme resident Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and also for the Shore Publishing and Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. 

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Legal News You Can Use: What to Do, What to Avoid When Creating a Co-parenting Plan

Co-parenting may become the new reality for parents after divorce. Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash.

When a couple with minor children gets divorced, they face areas of adversity that childless divorcees or those with children, who are of legal age, will never know. Co-parenting may become the new reality for parents after divorce.

The couples that make it work are willing to make some minor concessions, create a plan that works for the children, and stick to it. There are do’s and don’t’s to follow when creating a co-parenting plan that will benefit the children and accommodate both parents’ schedules.

The Do’s

  • Consider your child’s situation: What will their new life be like? How much travel will be involved? Will it interfere with the child’s usual routine? Young children thrive with stability, so limiting distractions will benefit any child involved in a divorce.
  • Think about proximity: When you and your partner divorce, one or both of you may move out of the prior residence. If you do, how is this going to impact your children? Will they be able to attend the same school and be around their friends? Will you be able to keep using the babysitter your children are used to seeing? These are all important questions.
  • Talk with your spouse about letting your children speak their minds: Especially if your children are older and have a very detailed routine, they may have an opinion on their new schedule or bring up a good point that neither of you had considered.
  • Special needs: Does your child have special needs? If so, that must be addressed and planned around when considering your new home, custody arrangements, and any other change in their schedule and routine.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t focus on your convenience: Parenting is hard work. Making the co-parenting plan convenient only for you can create stress between you and your ex-spouse. Successful and amicable co-parents learn how to compromise together to ensure your children’s best interests are met.
  • Store away the need to win and seek revenge: Co-parenting shouldn’t be a competition; focus on the children’s best interests. Believe that your ex is also making the necessary concessions to make the plan work. If your ex makes a mistake a couple of times, try to avoid seeking revenge and resentment, because we all make mistakes. The time will come when you will likely have an issue (flat tire, stuck at work, etc.) that will interfere with the pick-up plan or cause your ex-spouse to pick up the slack. It happens. But if the errors become constant, it’s time for a more serious conversation.
  • Don’t belittle the other parent: Some parents don’t think so, but both parents have strengths that can help their children grow. Children should be able to rely on both of their parents. Most parents can learn new skills if offered the opportunity.

Lastly, don’t say yes to a schedule with “assumed conditions”. If your ex has to move to your child’s current school district, make sure the move is complete before agreeing to the co-parenting schedule. As stated above, successful co-parents stick to the plan and only make concessions when necessary.

This post is sponsored by Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law.

Editor’s Notes: i) Suisman Shapiro is physically located at 75 State Street, New London, CT 06320. Their mailing address is 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591 New London, CT 06320.

ii) As Suisman Shapiro slowly begins to expand operations in their office building once again, the staff has made painstaking efforts to assure that their public spaces and work areas are thoroughly cleaned daily. Hand sanitizer is available at each entrance to our offices, and of course, everyone is carefully practicing social distancing.  Additionally, arrangements have been made for our clients to meet one-on-one with their attorney in a separate conference space. There is no need to enter the workspace or visit the reception area.  Prior to your appointment, your attorney will make specific arrangements with you regarding when and where to meet.

iii) Family law attorneys at Suisman Shapiro can discuss divorce and co-parenting issues with you and answer questions on the subject. Visit their website or call 800-499-0145 — lines are open 24 hours a day.

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Old Lyme Records Second Fatality From COVID-19, Confirmed Cases Rise to 19

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold confirmed to LymeLine by text message late afternoon June 19 that one fatality and one new case of COVID-19 have been reported in Old Lyme. The fatality was an 83-year-old male and the additional confirmed case is a 68-year-old female.

There are now 19 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme plus two fatalities.

In an effort to clarify the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine 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
April 2514
May 115
May 1517
May 2618
June 819
June 1020
June 1421
June 2222
June 2423

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

  • a 64-year-old female
  • a 21-year-old female
  • a 27-year-old male
  • a 53-year-old female
  • a 61-year-old female
  • a 29-year-old female
  • a 40-year-old male
  • a 53-year-old male
  • a 60-year-old female
  • a 48-year-old male
  • a 85-year-old female
  • a 95-year-old female
  • a 20-year-old female
  • a 43-year-old female
  • a 48-year-old female
  • a 70-year-old male
  • a 67-year-old male
  • a 68-year-old female
  • a 73-year-old male

The fatalities, which are in addition to the confirmed cases listed above, were a 61-year-old female and the newly-reported 83-year-old-male.

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

Lyme’s first and only confirmed case was a 34-year-old male.

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