January 20, 2020

Christmas Tree Pick-up by Old Lyme Public Works Starts Tuesday

The Town of Old Lyme Public Works Department will pick up Christmas trees in Old Lyme starting Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24. If you would like the Town to pick up your tree, you must have it curbside by 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

There will be no return trips for curbside pick-up.


SECWAC Presents Lyme-Old Lyme HS Alumna Megan O’Neill with ‘A Different Look at Rural African Education’

Megan ONeill shares a smile with an Imagine Scholar.

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) Meeting to be held at First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Jan. 23

OLD LYME – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Megan O’Neill, a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2011, to speak on education in rural Africa at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Imagine Scholar is an educational non-profit organization based in the Nkomazi region of South Africa. The organization’s innovative and sustainable approach to education is creating meaningful impact in the local community and re-imagining education systems for rural, underserved communities. Through working with high-achieving, low-income secondary school students in the development of leadership, critical thinking, and community-mindedness, Imagine Scholar aims to build Africa’s next generation of change-makers.

O’Neill has spent the last five years working with Imagine Scholar. After graduating from LOLHS, she received a degree in Africana Studies from Dickinson College. Shortly after graduating from Dickinson, she moved to South Africa to join Imagine Scholar‘s staff, where she now serves as Associate Director.

She spent over three years working in South Africa with Imagine Scholar‘s students, where she facilitated classes centered around effective and empathetic communication skill development, developed curriculum for the program and mentored students through the university application process. She now leads Imagine Scholar‘s efforts in fundraising and strategic partnership development.

A reception will start at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2019-2020 Speaker Series.

For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.  Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Membership September 2019 through June 2020 is $85 per person; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for students and educators; a corporate rate of $1,000 is also available, with unlimited access for employees.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $40 to attend a dinner with the speaker at the Old Lyme Country Club. Dinner reservations are required by Friday, Jan. 17, at 860-912-5718 or online.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.


Judge Tells Miami Beach Association to Take Down Its Fence, Stop Charging Fees

OLD LYME — In perhaps the longest running dispute in Old Lyme, a judge gave a ruling in a 17-page Memorandum of Decision dated yesterday.

Karen Florin of The Day writes in today’s print edition of the paper, “New London Superior Court Judge Kimberly A. Knox, ruling in favor of residents of neighboring Sound View Beach, ordered the Miami Beach Association on Wednesday to take down a black chain-link fence it had erected at the end of the 2016 beach season and to stop charging people a “clean beach fee” to sit on the 800-foot stretch of sand.”

Read the full article titled “Judge: Old Lyme beach fence must come down” and published yesterday evening on theday.com at this link



Community Connections Presents Speakers from Lyme Academy, Old Lyme EDC on How Healthy Communities Affect Organizations

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Executive Director Frank Burns.

LYME-OLD LYME– Lyme-Old Lyme Community Connections hosts a Networking Luncheon and Discussion titled How a Healthy Community Affects Your Organization next Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Old Lyme Country Club. All are welcome.

Volunteers and employees of local organizations know that the health of the community directly affects the future of their organizations. The guest speakers at the meeting will address two major initiatives in the Lyme-Old Lyme community.

The first will see two senior members of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts — Executive Director Frank Burns and board member Sue Grey — give an update on the Academy and its strategic planning.

The second will be presented by Howard Margules, Co-Chair of the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission, who will discuss the recent survey of Old Lyme residents and businesses, and share news about the results. Margules will offer insight into how recommendations and decisions are made for the town based on these survey results.  He will also discuss how economic development affects you and offer an opportunity for attendees to share thrir feedback. Margules also serves on the Halls Road Improvement Committee and will also share an update on that committee.

Roundtable discussions and networking to follow.

Admission is $25 and walk-ins are welcome.
Advance registration is appreciated and can be done in thrre ways as follows:

Community Connections is a forum to discuss community issues and interests, along with opportunities for collaboration among organizations serving Lyme and Old Lyme.

For more information, visit www.LOLCommunityConnections.org


Talking Transportation: A Conversation With the [DOT] Commissioner

Jim Cameron

Joseph Giulietti is finishing his first year as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation — CDOT.  He’s been busy and less visible in recent months, so imagine my surprise when he offered me a one-on-one, no-holds-barred interview.

“You’ve always been fair, Jim.  You’ve hit me hard but you’ve always been fair,” said the Commissioner.  That’s music to my ears and I hope he feels the same way after reading this column.

Our conversation covered every aspect of CDOT’s operations from Metro-North to CT 2030 to tolls (which we will cover next week in Part Two).  Here are some highlights from our conversation.

I reminded the Commissioner that before he joined CDOT he authored the infamous “30-30-30” report as a consultant to the Business Council of Fairfield County, arguing that it was possible to speed up trains to be able to go between Grand Central, Stamford, New Haven and Hartford in 30 minutes per leg.  Any regrets at such a promise?

Giulietti said such speeds are still possible … in a few years.  He wants to increase train speeds, re-do some bridges to avoid slowing down and save “five minutes here and 10 minutes there.” He also held out hope for faster service on Metro-North trains to Penn Station (after the Long Island Rail Road’s East Side Access project is finished going into Grand Central.)

“We’ve got cell-phone data from the Feds showing that 40 percent of riders to Grand Central continue south to Wall Street but 20 percent go west toward Penn Station,” he added.

He also held out hope for limited, rush-hour non-stop express service from New Haven to GCT and Stamford to GCT.

As for new rail cars… the additional 66 M8 cars that were to be delivered this year “are running a bit late”, but he called the M8’s a tremendous success.  Those M8 cars were supposed to also run on Shore Line East, but even with 405 M8s CDOT doesn’t have enough of them even for the mainline given increased ridership.  The Commissioner said he’s still looking at diesel push-pull double-decker cars where a ten-car train could carry almost 2000 passengers.

But he says that electrification of the Danbury and Waterbury branch lines just isn’t on the cards due to the cost.

As for fares:  he couldn’t say if they’d go up because he doesn’t know what funding in the Special Transportation Fund will be like.  But he did pledge cost savings in his department calling possible rail service cuts “the worst of all worlds.”

While the Walk Bridge project in Norwalk is running late and over-budget, he blamed litigation and said he has firm funding commitments from Amtrak on that bridge and the one over the Connecticut River.

But will CDOT have enough talented engineers after 2022 when 40 percent of the department’s most experienced staffers will be up for retirement?  The Commissioner said that succession planning is a huge priority for him.  He’s even grooming replacements for his own job.

But among the rank-and-file, it’s hard to keep talent.  “I can’t hold onto someone with a CDL (Commercial Drivers License.)  “Some of the towns are paying more [than CDOT.]”

With a special session of the legislature coming up in January to consider tolls, there’s a lot hanging in the balance.  What does Giulietti think of his boss [the Governor] and Mr Sasser’s “No Tolls CT” movement?

Read those frank comments next week in Part Two of our conversation.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own. You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com  For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com


Reading Uncertainly: ‘The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming’ by David Wallace-Wells

Is global warming a sensible hypothesis? Is it happening? What may be its consequences?  What can and should we, as human beings, do about it?

These are some of the most important questions facing us today. David Wallace-Wells begins with startling pessimism, moving on to despair, but he finally concludes with a modest sense of optimism. Thank goodness … at least for this reader.

He tests our ability to continue reading in an ominous Chapter 2, some 100 pages of possible woe: heat death, hunger, drowning, wildfires, disasters (no longer natural). freshwater drain, dying oceans, unbreathable air, plagues of warming, economic collapse, climate “conflict”, and “systems” collapses.

What a challenge!

As the author writes at its end, “If you have made it this far, you are a brave reader.” It confirms Pogo’s famous law: “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

This analysis leads Wallace-Wells to suggest how we might respond: “But climate change inverts the (human) perspective – giving us not a deep time of permanence but a deep time of cascading, disorienting change, so deep that it mocks any pretense of permanence on the planet.” Does this then enhance the delusions of apocalypse believers?

What do other think of this proposition?

John Lancaster, writing in The New York Times (4/28/19) says: “a remorseless, near unbearable account of what we are doing to our planet.”
From The Economist (5/25/19): “[the book explores the] … causal link between climate change and conflict (encompassing everything from interpersonal to large-scale violence.)”
From the New Scientist (4/27/19): “The goal should not be net-zero carbon emissions, as fast as possible. How fast is feasible is a legitimate matter for debate.”
Dana Wilde, writing in The Working Waterfront (9/20/19) notes: “Reading the book’s first sections is like being caught in a carpet-bombing.”

Buried in the author’s notes is a conclusion by Paul Kingsnorth, from Dark Ecology (2012): “The answer is that it leaves you with an obligation to be honest about here you are in history’s great cycle, and what you have the power to do, and what you don’t.” At least, we can try.

Then Wallace-Wells counsels that the problem stems from “ … both human humility and human grandiosity … If humans are responsible for the problem, they must be capable of undoing it … it is an acceptance of responsibility.”

My personal counsel: “Don’t despair; respond!” Or perhaps, to my offspring, “Go North, young people, and go inland!”

Editor’s Note: The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells, was published by Tim Duggan Books, New York, 2019 .

Felix Kloman

About the Author: Felix Kloman is a sailor, rower, husband, father, grandfather, retired management consultant and, above all, a curious reader and writer. He’s explored how we as human beings and organizations respond to ever-present uncertainty in two books, ‘Mumpsimus Revisited’ (2005) and ‘The Fantods of Risk’ (2008). A 20-year resident of Lyme, he now writes book reviews, mostly of non-fiction, a subject which explores our minds, our behavior, our politics and our history. But he does throw in a novel here and there.
For more than 50 years, he’s put together the 17 syllables that comprise haiku, the traditional Japanese poetry, and now serves as the self-appointed “poet laureate” of Ashlawn Farm Coffee, where he may be seen on Friday mornings. His late wife, Ann, was also a writer, but of mystery novels, all of which begin in a village in midcoast Maine, strangely reminiscent of the town she and her husband visited every summer.


Two New Exhibitions Open Friday at LAA in Old Lyme Featuring Associate Artists, New Elected Artists

‘Autumn in Old Lyme’ (oil) by Associate Artist Rosemary Webber is onw of thw featured works of ‘First Impressions.” opening Jan. 17 at the Lyme Art Association.

OLD LYME — Two new exhibitions open Jan. 17 at Lyme Art Association (LAA) and an Opening Reception for both will be held Sunday, Jan. 26, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the LAA, 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT.

The First Impressions Exhibition is a juried exhibition of work by the Association’s Associate Artist members — accomplished artists who have been successfully exhibiting in selective shows at the LAA for at least four years. This exhibit will include a variety of media and themes including landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture.

‘Ghosting In’ (oil) by Park Howard is a featured work in the ‘New Elected Artists’ exhibition opening Jan 17 at the LAA.

The second exhibition, New Elected Artists, features works by the six artists who were inducted into the LAA as Elected Artists in October 2019.  The artists — Thomas Adkins, Howard Park, Bob Perkowski, Deborah Quinn-Munson, Diana Roberts-Paschall and John Traynor — will present a selection of their work in the LAA’s Goodman Gallery.

Both exhibits run through Feb. 28.

“The Annual Associate Artists Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members. This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” notes Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager.

She adds, “The New Elected Artists show in the Goodman Gallery also promises to be impressive; our new class of Elected Artists is very accomplished.”

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 St. in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the Old Lyme 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


Lyme DTC Thanks Two Long-Term Volunteers – Mattson and Sauer – for Decades of Service

Maddy Mattson stands with State Senator Norm Needleman after being presented with an official statement of appreciation from Governor Lamont for her many years of service to the Lyme DTC.

LYME – At its most recent meeting, the members of the Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) thanked Claire Sauer and Maddy Mattson for their decades of service to the Lyme DTC and the Town of Lyme, as the two long-term Democratic volunteers announced their intent to step down from the committee.

State Senator Norm Needleman gave Claire Sauer an official statement of appreciation from Governor Lamont for her decades of service to the Lyme and state Democrats.

Sauer has served on the Lyme DTC for more than 40 years and Mattson for more than 20 years. Both have played instrumental roles in the committee’s successes during their long tenures, according to Lyme DTC Chairman John Kiker.

State Senator Norm Needleman was on hand at the meeting to thank and celebrate their work; and Governor Ned Lamont recognized their contributions via an official statement.

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


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Asked to Consider Purchase of Lyme Academy-Owned 26+ Acres on Lyme St.

Aerial photo of the 26.31 acres for sale by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts taken from the Lyman Real Estate property listing and published with their permission.

OLD LYME — As part of its reinvention efforts over the past several months, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts officials recently approached the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education inquiring whether the district would be interested in purchasing academy-owned land abutting the public school campus off Lyme Street.

The academy owns approximately 39 acres of land across the street from its main campus, which is also on Lyme Street. Approximately 26 acres of that land has been listed for $5 million through the Lyman Real Estate group

Read the full story by Mary Biekert and published Jan. 10 on TheDay.com at this link.


Suisman Shapiro Joins With Avena & Kepple, Opens Satellite Office in Pawcatuck

Attorney James P. Berryman

Attorney John A. Collins III

NEW LONDON/OLD LYME — Suisman Shapiro, which is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut and also serves as the Town Attorney for the Town of Old Lyme, has joined forces with Avena & Kepple, LLC of Pawcatuck, R.I.

John ‘Jack’ A. Collins III and James ‘Jay’ P. Berryman are both Old Lyme residents and Directors of Suisman Shapiro.

Attorneys Robert A. Avena and Nicholas F. Kepple will serve as Directors in the firm’s municipal law department, also practicing in the areas of real estate, estate planning, business organization, land use and administrative law. They will be resident in Suisman Shapiro’s new satellite office at 20 South Anguilla Road, Pawcatuck, CT.

“We are pleased to announce the merger of two prominent law firms that collectively represent many of our region’s municipalities,” said Attorney Robert Tukey, Managing Partner at Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law. “Together, we will offer even deeper legal resources to our local communities by combining our capabilities in diverse practice areas including personal injury, divorce, workers’ compensation, estate planning, business services, and many other areas of the law,” Tukey added.

Robert A. Avena has served as a Waterford town attorney for the past 19 years and has served as town attorney in numerous southeastern Connecticut towns throughout his legal practice. He has advised municipalities regarding aspects of municipal law and litigated substantial cases in the Superior and Appellate Court of Connecticut, principally representing Town tax assessors, planning and zoning commissions, wetlands commissions, and zoning boards of appeal.

During his practice for individual clients, Attorney Avena was involved in the permitting process for the Pfizer Research Campus expansion and opening of the Mashantucket Pequot Casino.

Nicholas F. Kepple was admitted to practice in 1989 following his service as Selectman and First Selectman of the Town of Stonington. He has focused his practice on estate planning and municipal law, representing many Eastern Connecticut communities as Town Attorney including Waterford, Eastford, Voluntown, Franklin, Salem, Canterbury, Sterling, Windham, Plainfield, North Stonington and the Borough of Stonington.

In addition to practicing law, Attorney Kepple has served for over eight years as the Judge of Probate for the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Probate District which encompasses Groton, Ledyard, Stonington and North Stonington.

Suisman Shapiro is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut, serving the community for over 75 years with a wide range of legal services.

Editor’s Note: Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London CT 06320. Its new satellite office is at 20 South Anguilla Road, Pawcatuck, CT 06379. For further information call (860) 442-4416  or visit www.suismanshapiro.com.


‘The Country School’ Hosts Open House Jan. 26, All Welcome

MADISON — The Country School jn Madison is holding an Open House Sunday, Jan. 26, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to meet engaged students and passionate teachers. Also, attendees can learn about the rigorous academic program and commitment to honoring the creativity, sense of wonder, and exuberance of childhood.

MADISON — Learn about the school’s signature programs – STEAM, Elmore Leadership, Outdoor Education, and Public Speaking – and their rich offerings in the arts and athletics.

Tour the transformed 23-acre campus and hear how alumni are thriving at top high schools and colleges across the country.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8. To learn more and register, visit this link.


Death Announced of Barbara Woodman Wyden

Barbara Woodman Wyden

Barbara Woodman Wyden, born July 1, 1922 passed away on January 4, 2020, at Davis Nursing Home, Wilmington, N.C.

Barbara graduated from Radcliff in 1941. She worked for Newsweek Magazine as editor of International News. Other newspapers that she worked for were the Chicago Tribune, The Los Angeles times and then settling down to the New York Times as editor of the women’s section. Barbara was a ghost writer as well; writing all of Joyce Brothers books as well as many others. Barbara befriended Kaye Summersby, Dwight D. Eisenhower’s driver during World War II, and wrote “Past Forgetting” using much of the information from Eisenhower’s diaries. Kaye died before the book was published, so Barbara left the dairies to her brother, Richard Woodman, who contacted the Eisenhower Library and donated those pages of the diaries that she had. They are now in a section of the Library dedicated to his wartime efforts.

Barbara was preceded in death by her father, Clarence Woodman, her mother Katherine Woodman and her sister, Virginia Woodman Cordes.

No services are planned at this time.

Arrangements are being handled by Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington NC 28403.


Old Lyme Girls Pull Off Confident Win at H-K

LYME/OLD LYME — On Tuesday, Don Bugbee’s girls traveled to Haddam-Killingworth and came away with a strong 46-32 victory. Leading scorer Sam Gray notched an impressive 19 points with eight rebounds while Emily DeRoehn added nine points with nine rebounds and five steals.

Coach Bugbee commented, “It was a solid team performance overall with offensive and defensive contributions from all players.”

The team’s current record is 5-2 in the Shoreline Conference.

On Friday, Old Lyme meets Amistad at home and next Tuesday, Jan. 14, they face East Hampton, also at home.


Carney, Formica Host Pre-Session Legislative Update, Jan. 22; All Welcome

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

LYME/OLD LYME/OLD SAYBROOK – State Representative Devin Carney (R-35) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20) will host a legislative update to speak with residents prior to the start of 2020 legislative session, which convenes Wednesday, Feb. 5. 

The event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 12:45 to 1:45 p..m. at the Estuary Council of Seniors, 220 Main St., Old Saybrook and is open to the public and area residents who wish to discuss issues affecting the district, bill proposal ideas, or other legislative related topics.

If you are unable to make the event but would like to speak to either legislator, you can email Rep. Carney at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov, or call him at 800-842-1423 or email Sen. Formica at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov or call the senate offices at 800-842-1421.


Legal News You Can Use: What Happens When You Suffer From Chemical Burns?

Chemical burns are a real problem in some workplaces. Whether you’re working in a chemistry lab or teach at a local university, you could be exposed to chemicals that could leave your skin burned and damaged.

Chemical burns can be caused by some common chemicals found in schools, homes and workplaces. For example, common products that sometimes cause chemical burns include:

  • Ammonia
  • Denture cleaners
  • Chlorine
  • Bleach
  • Battery acid

What are some symptoms of chemical burns?

Symptoms of chemical burns include:

  • Irritation or redness in the affected area
  • Loss of vision if the eyes came into contact with the chemicals
  • Numbness
  • Dead or blackened skin

If swallowed, some symptoms that might occur include:

  • Headaches
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Shortness of breath
  • Seizures
  • Dizziness
  • Low blood pressure
  • Muscle twitches

If you believe that you’ve suffered a chemical burn or that you’ve ingested chemicals at work, it’s important to call 911 or get to the hospital quickly. Your health care provider will then make a diagnosis based on your condition.

Chemical burns can affect the epidermis, resulting in superficial burns with a high likelihood of recovery. They can also cause burns that go into the dermis, which is a second-degree burn. Third-degree, or full-thickness burns, are when the subcutaneous tissues are involved.

Chemical burns must be treated as quickly as possible. The chemical needs to be removed from the skin or body in whatever way possible. Usually, the skin must be rinsed for 10 to 20 minutes with running water.

If you suffer a chemical burn at work, remember that your workers’ compensation coverage should cover your medical care and other losses.

Sponsored Post on behalf of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law.


Lyme-Old Lyme HS Graduate, Now Playwright, Emily Zemba Launches Kickstarter to Fund New Play in NYC

If you’re an aspiring playwright, actually writing a play can be the relatively easy part but finding the funding to produce your play can be a major challenge.

Emily Zemba

Emily Zemba, a 2006 graduate from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), is trying a highly original approach to generate some seed money to bring her latest play to life on the stage.

She explained to LymeLine, “I have recently joined forces with two other amazing female writers to form The Pool — and our mission is to “take on the soul of America in rep” with our highly theatrical plays.” Along with fellow playwrights Kate Cortesi and Brenda Withers, Zemba has launched a Kickstarter campaign, which is aiming to raise $6,000 by next Saturday, Jan. 11, to cover the initial costs of putting on their respective plays in the fall of 2020 at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City’s West Village.

Asked about her play, Zemba says, “It is titled Superstitions, and is an absurd, dark comedy that links superstitions to cultural terrors and a collective national anxiety. I know, I know, anxiety is a riot! But I promise that the play is just as fun and ridiculous as it is unsettling. ” She notes that the play was nominated for 2018 Venturous Playwright Fellowship, and also that she has already received a grant from The Artists Patron Fund in support of this production.

After her graduation from LOLHS, Zemba attended Sarah Lawrence College and then went onto Yale University, where she obtained an MFA from the School of Drama in May 2015. Zemba’s parents are former Old Lyme Selectman Kurt Zemba and Catherine Frank, who retired from the position of Exceutive Assistant to Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder in October 2019.

Zemba notes that in addition to the Kickstarter, there will continue to be ways to donate directly through their website. Also, donations of $1,000 or more will be fully tax-deductible if made through their fiscal sponsor: New Georges (simply make the check out to New Georges with The Pool 2020 listed in the memo line.)

But the immediate challenge is to raise $6,000 by Jan. 11. At the time of writing, $4,597 has been raised so these young playwrights are close to the finish line. The Kickstarter page states: “We may still be about 10 months out from production, but there are several up-front costs which need immediate attention, for example:

  • The New Ohio requires a down payment a year out.
  • We have hired a PR Rep who will help launch our marketing campaign and assist with project visibility.
  • The directors who will helm our productions need contracts sooner rather than later, before their schedules get any busier.
  • We are hiring a creative producer to oversee and coordinate the myriad pieces of this ambitious undertaking.”

If you wish to donate to support these playwrights and help bring their plays to the stage, visit the Kickstarter page for The Pool at this link where there is more information about the project.


Talking Transportation: Speed Kills

Jim Cameron

Speed kills … and I don’t just mean methamphetamines.  Speeding on our roads is linked to over 36,000 deaths each year in the US.  That’s almost 700 deaths a week … 100 a day.

If a hundred people die in a plane crash, we go nuts.  But if they die on our roads we see it as the cost of doing business.  As one blogger put it… “it’s high time to stop sacrificing safety on the altar of speed”.

Most of those 36,000 deaths are pedestrians or bicyclists.  But tens of thousands of those deaths involve the motorists in the cars tied to the “accidents” caused by distracted driving, drink or drugs or fatigue.

Federal statistics show if you’re hit by a vehicle going 20 mph you have a 90% chance of surviving.  If the car or truck is going at 40 miles an hour your survival chances are just 10%.  Speed kills.  So why are we all driving so fast?

Because we have so far to travel and want to save time getting there.  In Connecticut, our homes and our work are far apart because we can’t afford (or don’t chose) to live closer to our jobs.  And either because we don’t want to (or chose not to), we don’t take mass transit, preferring the cocoon of our cars.

Sure, seat belts in cars save lives… if you wear them.  And air bags and other tech in cars are helping us avoid many accidents. But the death toll keeps climbing, especially where cars occupy the same driving space as bikes and pedestrians.

Consider New York City.

In 1990 there were 700 traffic deaths in NYC.  But by 2018 that number had dropped to 202, thanks to “Vision Zero”, Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious, billion dollar plan to reduce road deaths to zero by 2024.  More bike lanes, sidewalks and a 25 mph city-wide speed limit have made a big difference.  But this year saw an uptick in deaths, most of them involving bicyclists driving on city streets lacking bike lanes.

In Connecticut we have nowhere near the same density of urban traffic fighting for space with folks on two feet or two wheels, but neither do we have sidewalks in many towns.  Or bike lanes.  But we do have speeders, scofflaws and insufficient enforcement.

When it’s not crawling bumper-to-bumper, try driving 55 mph on the Merritt, I-95 or I-84 and see what happens.  As a State Trooper once told me as we cruised along at about 75 mph with the flow of traffic, “I look for the driver likely to cause an accident” by weaving or not signaling lane changes.  Even those enforcing our laws admit they don’t or can’t keep up with motorists’ need for speed.

Even when the cops do look for speeders, legal radar detectors and laser-jammers help violators from getting caught.  Attempts to install red-light cameras in Connecticut have always failed due to a combination of Big Brother paranoia and fears of the safety tech being turned into an unending revenue spigot for Towns and cities.

Weather conditions of course exacerbate the problem, especially with those driving the tanks we call SUVs who think they are immune to the laws of physics.

Bottom line:  can’t we all just chill out a bit and think of the safety of others if not ourselves?

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own. You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com  For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com



Our Top 20 Stories of 2019

Articles and op-ed’s related to the Old Lyme election dominated our Top 20 most read stories of 2019. This photo shows First Selectman Tim Griswold, who was elected in November, and former First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who lost per place on the board in the same election.

LYME/OLD LYME — Looking back over our most widely read stories in 2019 for Lyme and Old Lyme, it’s really no surprise that stories and op-ed’s related to the Old Lyme election dominated our Top 20.

Other topics featured in our Top 20 included the outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), which ultimately claimed the life of an Old Lyme resident, the proposed and now withdrawn (for the moment) plan by the Governor to impose a new regionalization structure on Connecticut public schools, the Sound View sewer referendum, and discussions relating to the future of Halls Rd.

Our top two stories however, were centered on Lyme, where Dexter the German short-haired pointer went missing, and sadly — as far as we know — was never found, and in another unfortunate affair, a luxury sailboat sank in Hamburg Cove.

While Lyme had a relatively quiet and uncontroversial election season in which, at the end of the day, the Democrats saw all their candidates elected or re-elected, Old Lyme went through a bitter and hard-fought election, which ultimately drew the highest percentage turnout (36.7 percent according to figures published by Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill) in the state.  In a sea-change of town government, former Old Lyme Selectman Tim Griswold – a Republican, who was not even on the ballot when it was originally announced – unseated incumbent Democrate Bonnie Reemsnyder for the top spot and fellow Republicans swept into power pretty much across the board.  Election stories came in at 3rd, 5th, 7th, 18th, 19th and 20th.

The distressing EEE situation was covered in articles, which came in respectively at 4th, 8th and 17th place, while a piece on the Town of Old Lyme’s 300-acre land purchase from the McCulloch family notched 6th spot. The land acquired is intended to become Open Space apart from six acres designated for Affordable Housing.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser’s comments on the state’s forced school regionalization proposal came in at 9th place closely followed by one of our favorite stories, which was about the work of Jennifer Tiffany and Bill Hurtle to re-launch the former Lyme Farmers Market as The Farmers Market at Tiffany farms.

Articles on the controversial sewer proposal for Sound View and subsequent referendum took 11th, 13th and 14th places while the 12th spot was taken by an optimistic piece on the re-birth of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts – once again an independent academy and no longer a college of the University of New Haven – as it moves forward in the world.

Our list is rounded out with the announcement of the death of Candy Green, former owner of the Old Lyme Inn and Rooster Hall, who passed away in February 2019, which garnered 15th place and the list of Frequently Asked Questions wriiten by the Halls Rd. Improvement Committee, which took the 16th spot.

This is also a perfect time to acknowledgeagain  the contributions of our loyal band of columnists, the majority of whom have been writing for us for many years.  Jim Cameron writes lucidly about a great variety of  transportation matters, Felix Kloman offers incisive reviews of books galore, Lee White tempts our palates with the most wonderful recipes, and Nicole Prevost Logan writes with a Paris perspective on European — sometimes global — affairs.  Two new columnists have recently joined their ranks; Doris Coleman takes a look at the fascinating facts and figures recorded by Old Lyme Emergency Services and Tom Gotowka writes about the always interesting view from his porch.

We thank them all sincerely for their terrific columns.



A la Carte: A New Dish for a New Decade — Roasted Shrimp, Caulifower with Quinoa

Like many of you, I have made one or two or more resolutions. I, for one, am on that intermittent fasting. I don’t eat before 11 a.m., nor after 7 p.m. This is an easy diet for me: I like lunch more than breakfast and I often am in bed at 8:30, where I read for at least two hours. So dinner at 6-ish works for me. I have lost around seven pounds since mid-December, even with the holiday parties. 

My friend Judy promises to watch less television and learn how to use more of her computer’s abilities, especially Google maps, since she is an assessor. I am promising myself that I will buy fewer shoes and clothes. All summer long I wear my jelly sandals, of which I have around 15 pair, and in the winter I wear boots outside. I never wear shoes in my condo, even when the temperature hovers around 20 degrees. As for clothes, my Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack and Macy’s have zero balances.

Almost everyone I know are getting into plant-based food meals. I eat chicken and fish a few times a week;  I have a hamburger or a lamb chop maybe once a week. I do like pasta and chili, whose main ingredients are the beans and the pasta rather than meat balls or pork. I also have stopped at Burger King a few times for that Impossible Burger. With the mayonnaise-based dressing, onion, lettuce and tomato, I don’t miss the burger at all. Truth to be told, I only order my burgers at Haywire in Westbrook.  Once Jack Flaws opens his new place in Centerbrook, I will be a true carnivore, if only for a few hours.

Today, though, I will be making this for dinner. This recipe comes from the free magazine from Stop & Shop. I had just read on Facebook that Ina Garten now only serves shrimp that she has oven-roasted. Evidently Stop & Shop’s test kitchen thinks the same way.


Roasted Shrimp and Cauliflower with Quinoa Tabbouleh

From Savory by Stop and Shop, January 2020

Yield: serves 4

One-half cup dry quinoa, rinsed
3 cups cauliflower florets
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
One-quarter teaspoon salt and pepper
1 cup fresh parsley
1 pound frozen, peeled deveined raw shrimp, thawed
One-quarter teaspoon salt and pepper
One-quarter teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Cook the quinoa according to package directions.

In a medium bowl, toss the cauliflower with 2 tablespoons oil, salt and pepper; reserve bowl. Arrange on a large rimmed baking sheet in single layer. Roast 15 minutes.

Meanwhile. Very finely chop parsley and add to a large bowl. In the same bowl cauliflower was in, toss the shrimp with the smoked paprika, 2 tablespoons of oil, and salt and pepper.

Once cauliflower is roasted, push cauliflower to one side of baking sheet and arrange shrimp in a single layer on other side. Roast 5 minutes until shrimp are cooked through and cauliflower is tender.

Fluff the quinoa and add to bowl with parsley. Add lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the shrimp and cauliflower over the quinoa .


Happy New Year!

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash.

Well, what a year! And, of course, it’s also the end of a decade … and what a decade!

We’ll be publishing our traditional Review of the Year along with our inaugural Review of the Decade in the coming days but, in the meantime, we’d like to wish all our readers and advertisers a very Happy New Year 2020. We hope you have a wonderful year filled with peace, prosperity and good times. As we proudly enter our 18th year of continuous online publication, we thank you sincerely for your support of our independent news venture — we couldn’t do this without you!