September 16, 2021

Fun, Food and Finds at Christ The King’s Harvest Festival, Saturday; Silent Auction, Rummage Sale Continue Sunday

Christ The King’s Rummage Sale is always a great place to look for bargains.

OLD LYME — Volunteers at Christ the King Church (CTK) in Old Lyme are putting the final touches on this year’s Harvest Festival, which happens on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The family-friendly Harvest Festival has a little something for everyone: the massive King’s Rummage Sale features a huge selection of quality furniture, toys, bicycles, sporting goods, collectibles, artwork, housewares, holiday decorations, books, CDs, and DVDs, jewelry, and more.

At the Silent Auction you can bid on all kinds of themed baskets, artwork, and more, plus a few unique items, like a vintage fur jacket and a kid’s electric car.

Beautiful fall plants and produce from Smith’s Acres in East Lyme — as well as some perennials from CTK gardeners — highlight the Plant Sale.

Homemade goodies in the Bake Sale will tempt your sweet tooth,  and an assortment of Games and Crafts will keep the kids entertained.

Be sure to come hungry so you can enjoy lunch served up by the Men’s Club — and live entertainment from talented local musicians.

If you cannot get there Saturday, you can still check out the Silent Auction and the Rummage Sale (with prices drastically reduced) on Sunday morning, Sept. 19, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.

As always, admission to Christ the King’s Harvest Festival is free.

COVID measures: Hand sanitizers will be available at the entrances, and the number of people in small rooms at any one time will be limited. For the safety of all, everyone is strongly encouraged to wear facemasks, regardless of vaccination status.

Christ the King Church is located at 1 McCurdy Road in Old Lyme. Visit for directions, and follow us on Facebook (@christthekingchurcholdlyme) for updates.

For more information, visit or call 860-434-1669. 

Volunteer for a ‘Coastal Clean-Up’ at Old Lyme’s White Sand Beach, Rocky Neck State Park, Saturday; Sponsored by ‘Reynolds Subaru of Lyme

Coastal Clean-Up volunteers display the bags of trash collected from the beach at Rocky Neck State Park last year. This event was sponsored by Reynolds Subaru of Lyme. Photo submitted.

OLD LYME/EAST LYME — Are you concerned with the state of our environment? Do you want to help do your part to preserve our coastlines? Then join a volunteer coastal clean-up of White Sand Beach in Old Lyme on Saturday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. This event is part of Save the Sound’s annual coastal cleanup efforts, which are held every fall, and sponsored by Reynolds’ Subaru and Subaru of New England.

Last year 78 pounds of garbage were collected at White Sand Beach and Marie Ryan of Old Lyme was the Team Captain. She has stepped up again to fulfill that role for this year’s White Sand Beach Clean-up — contact her to volunteer or for further details at or call her at 860-304-3334. Ryan told LymeLine that she is hoping to find around 12-15 volunteers.

The Connecticut Cleanup is part of the International Coastal Cleanup, which takes place each year during September and October. Volunteers remove trash and collect data that will be used to help stop debris at its source. Around 13 billion trash items were collected globally on International Coastal Cleanup Day in 2020.

Kendall Perkins displays a skull she found during a previous ‘Save The Sound’ Coastal Clean-up Day’ held at White Sand Beach. File photo.

Another opportunity to assist this effort is offered from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme, where you can join Reynolds’ Subaru to help keep that Park clean. Trash items such as cigarette butts, candy wrappers, plastic bags, and gloves/masks are just a few examples of what can be found and removed with your help.

Volunteers will team up and not only collect trash, but also track data on the types of items you find. You can use the Clean Swell app, or paper cards that will be provided for you.

If you would like to join, or if you have any questions, reach out to Jared at Reynolds’ Subaru at or call (860)434-0028.

There are additional opportunities to assist this effort beyond these local ones. Find a complete list of clean-ups throughout the state at this link, choose your beach and then register. Save the Sound will follow up with details about how to connect with your beach’s Cleanup Captain on the day of the event.

For more information about Save the Sound’s Coastal Cleanup program, visit or call Save the Sound’s Volunteer Coordinator, Annalisa Paltauf, at (203) 787-0646, Ext.116.

Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden Takes Shape, Invites Community to Open House, Saturday

Volunteers tend the Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden at Town Woods Park.

OLD LYME — In March 2021, a group of interested residents of Lyme and Old Lyme met on Zoom to plan the Lyme-Old Lyme Food Share Garden (LOLFSG), a garden dedicated to growing and donating all produce to local food pantries. As the end of summer draws near, the group is delighted to share their progress and invite readers to visit the site.

The LOLFSG will be holding two Open House/Work Sessions on two upcoming Saturdays, Sept. 18 and Sept. 25 from 8 to 11 a.m. at the garden, which is located behind the field house and playground at Town Woods Park.  All are welcome.

Jim Ward, who conceived the original idea for the garden and has been the driving force behind its development, explained, “Board members are anxious and excited to share the progress we have made in establishing the garden and look forward to answering any questions concerning our vision.”

In the months following the inaugural meeting, the LOLGSF participated in a crowdsourcing fundraiser sponsored by Sustainable CT in which 82 donors helped raise $8350.  With $7500 of those funds being matched, the LOLFSG was able to purchase fencing materials and broke ground at Town Woods Park in June.

A view of the Community Share Garden showing the three raised beds in the background.

Ward commented enthusiastically, “Through the dedicated efforts of volunteers, an eight-foot deer fence has been erected, the installation of an irrigation system is in progress, three raised beds have been built and additional in-ground beds have been prepared.  We are on track to plant and harvest our first crops in Spring 2022!”

As the number of LOLFSG members increases, volunteers of all ages are invited to join the organization. Ward invites readers to consider volunteering, visiting the garden, or continuing to support the LOLFSG financially.

He notes, “Our next steps are to complete the installation of the irrigation system, install electricity, erect a storage shed and garden (plant, weed, water, harvest).   Updates and additional photos are available through Facebook, Instagram or at the LOLFSG website.”

Sept. 14 COVID-19 Update: Three New Cases Take Old Lyme’s Cumulative Total to 406, Lyme Holds at 129

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health shows a further increase in COVID-19 case numbers in Old Lyme compared with Monday’s report. No new cases were reported in Lyme over the same 24-hour period.

Old Lyme’s cumulative total of confirmed cases rose by three over the previous reporting day, Sept. 13, from 403 to 406.

Lyme held steady, meanwhile, at a cumulative total of 129 cases.

Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 369 on Aug. 20, meaning there have been 37 new cases since that date just over three weeks ago.

The next Connecticut Daily Data Report will be issued Wednesday, Sept. 15, around 4 p.m. Reports are not issued on Public Holidays, Saturdays or Sundays.

COVID-19 Cases in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools

This is the latest information that we have with the most recent cases first — there may have been further updates of which we are unaware.

On Monday, Sept. 13, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, which had been reported the previous day, was announced.

On Wednesday, Sept. 1,  a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Mile Creek School was announced.

On Tuesday, Aug. 31, Neviaser informed the school community that late on Monday, Aug. 30, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme-Old Lyme High School had been reported.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser informed the school community that late on Friday, Aug. 27, a positive case of COVID-19 impacting Lyme School had been reported.

In all cases, contact tracing was completed and those individuals who needed to quarantine were notified. They will be able to return to school following their quarantine period. All other students and staff will continue to attend school as scheduled.

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There is no change in the number of fatalities reported in either Lyme (0) or Old Lyme (3).

The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male. Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Visit this link for our Sept. 9 update, which includes statewide data.

Old Lyme Residents Approve $42K Related to Police, Ranger Hours at Special Town Meeting; Some Reimbursement of Amount by Federal Government Anticipated

OLD LYME — UPDATED 9/15: More than 100 people attended an Old Lyme Special Town Meeting held last night in the auditorium of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. Those present approved by a voice vote the single item on the agenda regarding whether to appropriate $42,000 in connection with Old Lyme Police overtime and Ranger time incurred during the fiscal year 2020-21.

Some of the $42,000 was incurred in connection with the Town’s response to the COVID-19 virus and the Town expects that amount to be partially reimbursed to the Town by the U.S. Federal Government.

This was the second time this motion had been brought to a vote after failing to pass at an Old Lyme Special Town Meeting held Aug. 16.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read a related Letter to the Editor from Kathleen Tracy.

A la Carte: Two Columns This Week and a ‘Nibbles’ Too! Enjoy Eggplant Parm Panini, Clam Chowder with Corn & Chorizo

A la Carte-1: Creamy Corn and Clam Chowder with Crispy Chorizo

Lee White

It was a really nice week. My oldest Troy childhood friend in the world visited for two days. (Her name is Rosalie. She is about a year older than me and, no, I was not named after her.) We ate lobster rolls at Captain Scott, I grilled steaks on the grill and we had sweet corn and a big salad, and the last night we ate not-great pizza and Coca-Cola, like we did a gazillion years ago.

I also had a nice coffee chat with David Collins at Mystic Depot and we talked for almost an hour. He suggested I stop at Sea Well on Masons Island and buy a pint of the scallop and bacon soup he thinks is incredible. I did and he is right; see the Nibbles* column below.

Best of all was I got my COVID booster shot. The day before the storm, I stopped at Stop & Shop to pick up a few things (not toilet paper or a gallon of milk). I went to the pharmacy on-site and asked if I could get the booster. I filled two forms and got my shot. Sunday I ran a fever for about 14 hours, during which I took a couple of ibuprofen. Today I am fine.

Oh, yes, Bon Appetit magazine came in the mail. There were nice ideas for autumn meals, but I saw a recipe (below) that required sweet corn. Our local sweet corn will probably be available for at least another month. I love clam chowder and this recipe uses the blended corn as a thickener. But feel free to add a soupcon of heavy cream or a pat of butter when you serve it!

Creamy Corn and Clam Chowder with Crispy Chorizo

Photo by Kevin Lanceplaine on Unsplash.

Adapted from Bon Appetit, September, 2021
Yield: 4 servings

5 tablespoon vegetable oil, divided
4 ounces fresh chorizo, preferably Mexican, casings removed (any dry sausage will do)
1 teaspoon hot smoked Spanish paprika or regular smoked paprika
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
24 littleneck clams (about 2 pounds), scrubbed
4 ears of corn, kernels removed (about 4 cups)
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt (I use fine sea salt)
Cilantro leaves with tender stems (for serving, optional)

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large pot over medium-heat. Add chorizo and cook, breaking up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon and stirring every minute or so, until browned and crisp. About 5 minutes. Sprinkle in paprika and stir to combine, then scrape chorizo and all into a small bowl. Wipe out pot.

Pour remaining 2 tablespoons oil into same pot . Add onions and garlic and cook, stirring often, and adding a splash of water if starting to brown, until softened but not browned, 10-12 minutes. Add clams and toss to combine. Cover pot and cook until clams open, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncovered and transfer opened clams to a medium bowl, leaving liquid behind. If any clams are still closed, cover pot again and cook remaining until opened, about 4 minutes more. Transfer open clams to bowl, discard any that have not opened at this point. Tent bowl with foil.

Pour 3 cups water into pot and bring to a simmer. Add corn kernels and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Remove pot from heat and puree one third of chowder in a blender until very smooth. Return puree to pot and mix well. (Or use an immersion blender, if you have one and blend directly into the pot until you have blended about one-third and chowder is partly thickened.) Stir in lime juice, taste and season with salt if needed.

Divide chowder among shallow bowls and add clams. Spoon chorizo and oil over and scatter some cilantro on top (if you are using cilantro; I know some people hate it!)

A la Carte-2: Eggplant Parm Panini

One of the many vegetables I never tasted growing up was eggplant. As I have mentioned before, the only veggies I grew up with were canned green beans, canned peas and canned corn. We didn’t have a garden, but in the summer we would have fresh sweet corn and local tomatoes. If we had salad, it was iceberg lettuce, anemic tomatoes, maybe a few chunks of cucumber and a choice of bottled dressing. 

I love everything about eggplant—its shiny exterior, its gushiness in a ratatouille, roasted in the oven or the whole eggplant charred on the grill. Eggplants are best when they are young. They do not need to be peeled. They are watery, so you can slice them, salt them a bit and allow the slices to dehydrate between paper towels. 

In my newest issue of Real Simple magazine, I cut out four recipes, one for eggplant on a panini. The next morning I looked at a shelf in my kitchen and saw my panini press. Why had I not used it during the pandemic? Or even before it?

This recipe can be made in a panini press or in a skillet pressed down by another. The recipe calls for roasting the eggplant in the oven, but you could do it on your grill. You don’t need to fry it in a lot of oil. It is particularly delicious while tomatoes are still luscious and local.

Eggplant Parm Panini

Photo by Huzeyfe Turan on Unsplash.

From Real Simple, September, 2021
Yield: makes 4 sandwiches

1 eggplant, cut into 8 1-inch rounds
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 1-pound ciabatta, split horizontally and quartered (8 slices total)
1 big tomato, cut into 8 thick slices
¼ cup fresh basil leaves
1 8-ounce ball fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about ½ cup)
¼ cup marinara sauce 

Place a large, rimmed baking sheet in oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Toss eggplant with oil in a large bowl until fully coated. Arrange eggplant evenly on preheated baking sheet; roast, flipping halfway through, until tender and browned, 15 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a grill pan over high (or heat a panini press).

Season eggplant with ½ teaspoon salt. Place 2 eggplant slices on each of the 4 bread slices. Top eggplant with tomato slices; season with remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Top with basil and mozzarella; sprinkle with Parmesan. Portion each with marinara. Top remaining 4 bread slices with marinara and form 4 sandwiches.

Place two sandwiches on grill pan and top with another heavy pan, pressing down to flatten sandwiches. Cook, flipping once, until cheese has melted and bread is crispy and browned on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Repeat with remaining sandwiches. (Or cook all 4 sandwiches in a panini press.)  

*Nibbles:  Sea Well Seafood Mystic Scallops and Bacon Chowder

David Collins has written for The Day for as long as I have. Now he has a column but when he was a reporter, he did some good restaurant reviews. So he suggested I try Sea Well’s scallop and bacon chowder, I drove the few minutes to Masons Island by 9:45 a.m. but it didn’t open until 10, so I sat in my car, windows open to the sea air and read on my Kindle.

The chowder must be lots of people’s favorite because the nice clerk pointed to plastic containers in the cooler. I took one home. That night I had it with a salad. It was thick with milk or cream or butter, or all three; the scallops were chunky and really tender, and the bacon was a splendid, salty counterpoint to the excellent soup. 

There is another Sea Well in Pawcatuck at 3 Liberty St. (860-599-2082). When we lived in Canterbury, I drove 40 minutes there to buy fish. On my first visit, a chalk board said they had cod pieces. I laughed and laughed, but no one there thought it was funny. I guess you had to read about Shakespeare plays in the 15th and 16th century! 

Sea Well Seafood Mystic
106 Masons Island Road
Mystic, CT 06355
Tel: 860-415-9210

Alberio, Andromeda, Milky Way & More: Super Sights on Most Recent ‘Dark Skies’ Night in Lyme

The Milky Way rising like steam from the teapot of Sagittarius. Photo by Roger Charbonneau Jr.

LYME — As the setting sun dipped below the horizon on the evening of Sept. 3, the quick cooling gave a hint of the damp night to come. Indeed, our equipment was already showing bits of moisture as the wet air let go of its precious cargo.

Unlike previous sessions, the moisture-laden air belied the towns and cities nearby as their unshielded light fixtures reflected against the water vapor in the atmosphere. With this unmistakable glow, we all became aware first-hand of the insidious effects of light pollution.

Despite that, we were ready to observe whatever this evening’s skies were ready to reveal.

Early in the evening, we had reviewed what a Dobsonian telescope is all about, and how it differs in form and function from the other telescopes on hand, namely, Schmidt Cassegrain reflectors.

We also did a quick review of how to locate the Summer Triangle, Polaris, the Little Dipper, and the handle of the Big Dipper. The bowl of the Big Dipper was below the tree line all night, as it will be for several months to come. 

Most striking of the early ‘stars’ to shine in the night sky was the great planet Jupiter and its four brightest moons. Throughout the night we checked back in on Jupiter, and by night’s end it was readily apparent that those little dots of light had actually moved in their orbits around Jupiter.

Up and to the right of Jupiter, we also trained our telescopes on Saturn and its glorious rings. The next few months will afford ongoing opportunities to see both of these gas giants all night long.

With the sky darkening more slowly than usual because of the high humidity and resultant glare of city lights, we challenged ourselves to observe the Milky Way. Lyme skies are pretty dark, and it became easier and easier to discern the Milky Way as the dusk turned to night. Even in the poor seeing conditions that night, everyone was able to see the obvious ‘steam rising from the teapot’ of Sagittarius. At the zenith, the Great Rift of the Milky Way was visible to all. 

From there, we checked in on the globular cluster M13 in Hercules and the open cluster M25 in Sagittarius. Later in the night, we brought M31, the Andromeda Galaxy, into view in Scott Mallory’s 12” Dobsonian.

Despite being almost 3 million light-years away, Andromeda is our home galaxy’s nearest neighbor. It can be observed in binoculars, and on a dark night, it can even be discerned with the naked eye.

To learn how to spot Andromeda, we traced out the Great Square of Pegasus, and then learned how the right-hand triangle of the “W” of Cassiopeia points to Andromeda, and how to star-hop along the lower left corner of Pegasus’ Great Square to the precise location of that great galaxy.

The binary star Alberio. Photo by Alan Sheiness.

At the end of the evening, we observed Alberio, the nose of Cygnus the Swan, and we could all see that it is actually a beautiful binary pair of stars of contrasting colors.

The Lyme Land Trust will continue to hold monthly dark sky observing sessions, usually on the Friday night closest to new moon. As always, first-timers without any equipment are welcome to share the evening with us.

We also highly encourage those with telescopes to bring them out, even if it has been a while since they were taken through their paces. This way, our debutantes will be able to spread out and share the views from more telescopes. Scott and I will be happy to help with setup if your skills have become rusty.

Our observing site is likely just what you have been hoping for. We have acres of open field, with the east and south tree lines well off in the distance, and Polaris visible above the tree line to the north. And we have two other prepped sites in the same large field to allow a setup that better favors the west or the north, if need be.

Learn more about our upcoming astronomy sessions at

And most of all, come on out!

About the author: Alan Sheiness is a 10-year resident of Lyme, CT, and treasurer of the Lyme Land Trust (LLT). A life-long astronomy enthusiast and astrophotographer, Sheiness is a promoter of dark skies and along with Lyme resident Scott Mallory has established a new astronomy program as part of LLT’s public offerings. Contact them at and .

Op-Ed: Lampos Makes His Case, ‘I’m Not Running “Against” Anyone, But Rather “For” Old Lyme’

Jim Lampos

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted by Jim Lampos, who is the Democratic-endorsed candidate for Old Lyme Selectman and also for one of the two seats on the Old Lyme Planning Commission.

I am honored to be on the ballot for Old Lyme’s Board of Selectmen this November 2nd.  The Board of Selectmen has been meeting since our town’s founding over three hundred years ago, and our democratic institutions predate the founding of our nation by over a century.   Indeed, Old Lyme has one of the oldest continuous forms of democratic government in the world.  As a historian, when I read meeting records in our town hall archives I am struck by the degree to which decisions made long ago continue to resonate and influence our daily lives. From mundane tasks such as building roads and bridges to the pressing issues of the day, addressed in the Lyme Resolves of 1766 which outlined principles that still guide us, one thing is clear: Things we do and say in our civic life matter. And sometimes, it’s the things we don’t do or say that matter even more.  

Our times call for a broad perspective, and a willingness to listen, learn, and adapt.  As a small businessman who has successfully navigated the challenges of the Great Recession, the early days of the pandemic, and now the disruptions of the re-opening—I know that each day will present a new set of challenges that will call upon all of my skills and life experience. 

The education and training that has served me well as a businessman is even more applicable to the job of selectman. I received my B.A. in political sociology from Brandeis University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa. I was awarded a Kaplan Fellowship to attend the New School where I received my M.A. in policy analysis and was inducted into Pi Alpha Alpha, the national honor society for public affairs and administration. I worked on various urban renewal and planning projects in New York City, such as the successful redesign of Union Square Park, and served as Director of Development for Community Access, a nonprofit agency building housing for the homeless and mentally disabled. I am currently serving as an alternate on Old Lyme’s Planning Commission, and along with running for selectman I am also running for a full term on the Planning Commission.

I was born and raised here in Southeastern Connecticut, and have been living in Old Lyme for over 40 years—first as a summer resident, and since 2005 as a full-time resident with my wife Michaelle and our children Phoebe and Van. We chose to live in Old Lyme for the same reason so many others do: the transcendent beauty of our natural environment, our excellent school system, great institutions such as the Florence Griswold Museum and cultural events such as the Musical Masterworks concerts, and most of all, the proud tradition of our civic life. I’m not embarrassed to say that I love our town, and I’m not speaking rhetorically when I say that I’m not running “against” anyone, but rather “for” Old Lyme. In that spirit, I am reaching out to all residents regardless of party affiliation and asking for your vote.  

In the coming years, we will be facing challenges that we’ve never faced before. The “disruptive” technologies that have upended so much of our economy and daily lives will soon be transforming real estate and development. Climate change will be placing much of our low-lying coast in peril and testing our infrastructure. These challenges will require creative, forward-thinking solutions, backed by the support of informed and unified residents if we are to maintain our treasured small-town ambience and sense of place. We must look to the future, respect the past, and work to preserve our natural environment and natural resources. We must support our arts community and all of our businesses, including the farms which were so invaluable to us during the pandemic. We must continue to invest in our schools and find ways to develop new housing opportunities in neighborhood-appropriate ways so that our young families can stay here and our older residents can retire here in comfort and security, and we must do all of these things while being mindful of social equity and justice, because that is who we are as a community. I believe that my running mate, first selectwoman candidate Martha Shoemaker, and myself, along with the entire Democratic ticket, are uniquely qualified to guide us through the coming decade and make our town an even greater place to live. 

I look forward to seeing everyone on the campaign trail, and to serving our town on the Board of Selectmen and Planning Commission. 

Remembering Sept. 11, 2001 …

Photo by Ellen Cole.

OLD LYME — UPDATED 9/13 with additional photos. The Old Lyme Fire Department commemorated the 20th anniversary of the attacks on the United States of America that took place on Sept. 11, 2001, by flying the Stars and Stripes prominently on a fire truck parked in front of  their building on Lyme Street.

Photo by Ellen Cole.

Meanwhile, down at the Old Lyme Police Department building on Shore Rd., the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen held a ceremony at 9 a.m. recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.

Photo by Old Lyme Fire Department/Town of Old Lyme.


Photo by Old Lyme Fire Department/the Town of Old Lyme.


Photo by Old Lyme Fire Department/the Town of Old Lyme.


Photo by Ellen Cole.

Thank you to the OLFD for this poignant and so important reminder of such a tragic day and thank you to the OLPD for hosting the commemorative ceremony.

Many thanks also to Ellen Cole for sending us the OLFD photos and also to the Old Lyme Fire Department/Town of Old Lyme for those taken at the ceremony at the OLPD.

Letter to the Editor: Shoemaker Explains Decision to Run for Old Lyme’s ‘Top Job’ + BOE, Seeks Broad Support From Voters

To the Editor:

An Open Letter to the Residents of Old Lyme:

I am running for First Selectwoman of our town and I hope to earn the support of all our citizens whether they be Democrat, Republican, or Unaffiliated.  Old Lyme residents deserve a leader who will listen to their concerns, create sound fiscal budgets, and bring consensus among diverse groups working toward the common goal of improving our town.  I will prepare this town for the challenges of the future. My decision to run was prompted by overwhelming resident concerns that these critical responsibilities were not being met. I am confident that my skill-set and prior experience will enable me to address these issues

During my 35-year career as a public-school teacher I worked collaboratively with fellow teachers, administration, and parents to provide a quality education for students.  I served as the union president for the last twelve years of my tenure.  Mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills are tools that I incorporated to bring consensus between people.  These experiences will be crucial as First Selectwoman.  I am currently Co-Chair of the Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition (LOLPC) and President of the Friends of the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library. I am passionate about public service and believe there is a benefit for the entire Old Lyme community in being able to integrate activities, align networks and identify compatible and complementary opportunities among organizations.  

I am also running for re-election to the Region 18 Board of Education. I was first elected to the Board for a four-year term in 2017 after retiring from teaching.  Public education has been and is an integral part of my life and is critically important to the residents of Old Lyme.  I have enjoyed working on the Board of Education and look forward to contributing to the Regional District 18 Strategic Plan beginning in the fall of 2021.

The role of First Selectwoman is to serve the community of Old Lyme and to maintain, and where appropriate improve, the quality of town assets and services for our citizens.  I will respect the trust you place in me to lead our town.  If also re-elected to the Board of Education, I will continue to collaborate with the other eight members of the board to make the best decisions we can for the public education our students deserve. 

I look forward to meeting you on the campaign trail.


Martha H. Shoemaker,
Old Lyme.

Editor’s Note: The author is the Democratic-endorsed candidate for Old Lyme First Selectwoman and also one of the four Democratic-endorsed candidates for the Region 18 Board of Education, on which she currently serves.

A View from My Porch: Not Your Grandma’s Community Hospital

Photo by Hush Naidoo Jade Photography on Unsplash.

The healthcare landscape has changed remarkably in Connecticut.

You may have noticed some name changes, new signage, and that “opportunities” for care have increased to a level that rivals access to coffee. In this essay, I’m going to review this new landscape, and consider why it developed. My goal is to help the reader make sense of Connecticut’s new, and still evolving, hospitals roster.

I begin this review in Hartford, where healthcare system changes are really representative of the industry’s overall transformation. In addition, because I was a member of Saint Francis Hospital’s attending and management staff for 10 years in an earlier part of my life, I know the players.

In the mid-1970s, Hartford was well-served by three independent hospitals in, what appeared to be, a stable healthcare environment. The oldest, Hartford Hospital, was founded in 1854 by the local medical society, actually in response to an industrial accident — a steam boiler explosion. Saint Francis Hospital, which was established in 1897 by the “Sisters of Saint Joseph”, is now the largest Catholic hospital in New England. A third, smaller hospital, Mount Sinai, was founded in 1923 to provide a facility for Jewish doctors, who were unable to obtain staff privileges in the other two.

Then, an extraordinary makeover of that local system of independent hospitals began in1995 when Mount Sinai merged with Saint Francis, which was one of the first occasions in the United States of a formalized relationship between stand-alone Catholic and Jewish hospitals. The facilities that once housed Mount Sinai became the Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital.

By 2015, Saint Francis had already become part of Trinity Health of New England, an “integrated health care delivery system”, with five hospitals; which, in turn, is a member of Trinity Health, a Catholic health system with 93 hospitals in 22 states! 

Drivers of Mergers and Affiliations:

Such deals are growing across the United States. Some of the motivation can be attributed to the hospital industry’s response to healthcare reform and managed care, both of which often involved negotiated reimbursement schemes and utilization review programs. Clearly, larger hospital groups are in a stronger position to negotiate compensation rates with payors and regulators. 

In addition, smaller independent hospitals may also consider some sort of affiliation with a larger organization to both improve their capacity to secure capital for programs and facilities, take advantage of resultant economies of scale; and to attract and retain, or simply get access to, physicians in some of the more arcane medical specialties.

Although I had knowledge of the events discussed below, as they occurred, reviewing them as a continuum is really stunning and demonstrates the great breadth and scope of the two major Connecticut hospital groups.

The Hartford Juggernaut: 

The front entrance of Hartford Hospital in Hartford, Connecticut, United States. Public Domain photo by Elipongo.

In 1994, Hartford Hospital began its transformation from local independent hospital into a “statewide, integrated health system”, when it merged the venerable Institute of Living — founded in 1822 as a private, residential psychiatric hospital — into the hospital’s Department of Psychiatry. The Institute had gained some international notoriety for its treatment of silent movie stars like Clara Bow, errant clerics, and an early adoption of a science-based model of care.

Further, in 1996, pediatric patients from Newington Children’s Hospital, the University of Connecticut Health Center, and Hartford Hospital were all relocated to the new Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, constructed contiguous to the Hartford Hospital campus. 

Planning for this new hospital had actually begun in 1986, when Newington and Hartford agreed to construct a new facility. Extraordinarily, this new alliance was designed to span care from infancy, through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood; and finally transitioning to adult care.

Last October, the Hartford Courant reported that the Hartford HealthCare system now, “… serves 185 towns and cities and is within 15 miles of every Connecticut resident.” It includes seven hospitals, roughly stretching diagonally across the state from Windham and Backus Hospitals in the northeast to St Vincent’s in the southwest.  The data are daunting: almost 30,000 employees, nearly 2,500 licensed beds, and operating revenue of $4.3 billion. 

The Yale Dreadnought:

Aerial view of the campus of Yale-New Haven Hospital in Connecticut, including Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Photo taken in 2010 by YNHHEditor. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Development of the “grandmother of all CT hospitals” began in 1826, when the Connecticut General Assembly authorized 10 incorporators to establish the General Hospital Society of Connecticut, which was chartered as the first Connecticut hospital in New Haven, and the fourth voluntary hospital in the United States. (i.e., a private nonprofit hospital.)

A new 13-bed hospital opened in 1833; and served as the primary teaching hospital for the Yale medical school, which was founded in 1810 as the Medical Institution of Yale College.

In 1884, the hospital’s name was changed to New Haven Hospital, reflecting the name that was commonly used at the time; and then, in 1945, Grace-New Haven Hospital, to acknowledge an affiliation with neighboring Grace Hospital. And finally, in 1965, as the relationship with the University became more formalized, Yale New Haven Hospital. 

Now moving forward, perhaps Al Jolson described it best in the 1927 film “The Jazz Singer” … “you ain’t heard nothing yet”. 

In 1996, the hospital began its transformation into the “Yale New Haven Health System” (YNHHS), when it entered into a partnership with Bridgeport Hospital; and further expanded in 1998, with the addition of Greenwich Hospital. 

In 2012, they acquired the assets of the Hospital of Saint Raphael, which was founded by the “Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth” in 1907, and also located in New Haven. 

In 2016, ownership of New London’s Lawrence and Memorial Hospital was assumed by YNHHS, which also included L&M’s earlier acquisition of Westerly Hospital, consummated in 2013.

The Yale data are equally daunting: a year ago, YNHHS reported 2,681 licensed beds, 28,589 employees, and total assets of $6.5 billion. The system now includes five acute care hospitals, the Smilow Cancer Hospital, Yale New Haven Children’s, and Psychiatric Hospitals, and a multispecialty medical group with more than 1,000 physicians; yielding a sphere of medical influence along the shoreline from Westchester County to Westerly, RI. 

Independent Stand-Alone:

Middlesex Health, which is centered around Middlesex Hospital and an extensive network of community-based outpatient services, remains independent. Middlesex joined the Mayo Clinic Care Network in 2015, which enables their medical staff to easily consult with and take advantage of the broad expertise of the Mayo Clinic in diagnosing complex cases. The relationship with Mayo Clinic is not an acquisition or a merger, but an intellectual partnership (my words).  They are the first hospital in CT and only the second hospital in New England to join the network. 


Most patient encounters with these hospital systems will occur in outpatient settings outside the hospital campus. These can include urgent care centers, blood draw and diagnostic imaging centers, group practices; and more comprehensive sites like the Pequot Health Center (L&M/YNHHS) in Groton, which provides primary care services on a walk-in basis. diagnostic imaging, blood tests, and same day surgery (e.g., cataracts).

The growth of these outpatient sites has been facilitated by electronic medical records and digital radiographs. These records can be shared across different health care settings. via secure enterprise-wide information systems. This technology would also enable the type of relationship that Middlesex has with Mayo. 

I was surprised that Hartford Healthcare has opened eighteen “Go Health” urgent care centers from Montville to Torrington. Go Health Urgent Care is a national company headquartered in Atlanta; with nearly 200 urgent care centers in AK, CA, CT, DE, MO, NY, NC, OK, OR, and WA “through partnerships with market-leading health systems”.

Author’s Notes: Hospital mergers and acquisitions show no signs of slowing down in the United States., and, as economic, regulatory, and operational challenges continue, many community hospitals will consider whether or not they should remain independent, or affiliate with another hospital or health system. 

There are a range of affiliations that a hospital’s leadership can consider, from a fairly simple cooperation agreement among hospitals for group purchasing, to an acquisition of one facility by the other, in which all control is surrendered to the acquiring entity. In the above, I used news reports from the “Hartford Courant”, “New Haven Register”, the “Providence Journal”, and information published by the hospital group, to define the type of affiliation. 

In closing, there is an additional wrinkle to hospital transformation. This morning, while watching the News, Dr. James Cardon came on and did a commercial for CarePartners of Connecticut, a Medicare supplemental insurance company formed in 2018, by two leading organizations; Hartford Healthcare and Tufts Health Plan. “When doctors and a health plan work together, it simplifies patients getting the care they need. That’s what CarePartners of Connecticut is committed to.”

For me, this addition is beyond “stunning.”

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Thomas D. Gotowka.

Tom Gotowka

About the author: Tom Gotowka’s entire adult career has been in healthcare. He’ will sit on the Navy side at the Army/Navy football game. He always sit on the crimson side at any Harvard/Yale contest. He enjoys reading historic speeches and considers himself a scholar of the period from FDR through JFK.

A child of AM Radio, he probably knows the lyrics of every rock and roll or folk song published since 1960. He hopes these experiences give readers a sense of what he believes “qualify” him to write this column.

Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition Needs Community Input, Asks Readers to Take Online Survey

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition (LOLPC) is a group of volunteers, who collaborate with all sectors of the community to prevent substance misuse and abuse. Working together over the past 16 years, they have achieved significant reductions in adolescent substance misuse. 

Their work continues to change as the culture, climate, and concerns facing Lyme/Old Lyme youth and families shift. The Coalition is thrilled to work with the community to enhance the safety, well-being, and happiness of all our youth.

The key part of the Coalition is our community and its members. The group is made up of volunteers from all sectors of the community with the result that many voices, experiences, and expertise can be heard and utilized to support our youth and families. 

In December 2020, the Coalition was awarded a five-year Drug Free Communities Grant. This is the first year of the grant and the Coalition is asking all members of the Lyme-Old Lyme community to fill out this online Community Survey. The survey asks about social norms, perception of harm, and how community members think and feel about substance misuse and abuse.

This data will help lead the work of the LOLPC as the group collaborates with the community to utilize best practices and continue to be pioneers in youth substance abuse and misuse prevention.  All of the Coalition’s efforts are data-driven and rely on the willingness of our community members.

Visit this link to access and complete the online survey.

The LOLPC thanks community members for their time.

Editor’s Note: Contact LOLPC Prevention Coordinator Allison Behnke, MSW, MA, at with any questions about the survey or for more information about being involved in the work of the Prevention Coalition.   

UPDATED: Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Announce Raucci as Teacher of the Year, Aldrich as Employee of the Year

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser announced at the All-Faculty and -Staff Convocation held Aug. 25, that Andrew Raucci (pictured above), who is the Instructional Technology Specialist at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle and High Schools, had been selected as Teacher of the Year.

Raucci has been with Lyme-Old Lyme Schools for eight years and is universally known as a friend to all. His willingness at all times to help, listen, give advice, and most of all, make others laugh was cited as one of the main reasons for the award.

He was also described as having navigated the numerous technology challenges related to the pandemic with a ‘can-do’ attitude, a calm demeanor, and a positive attitude. 

Although most of Raucci’s work is with teachers, he also works with students at technology boot camps, the WLYM morning news broadcasts, ping-pong club, drone lessons and more.  

Asked his reaction to receiving the award, Raucci told LymeLine exclusively, “Although it is a sincere honor to receive this recognition from my colleagues, to me this award is truly a team award. Anything I have done well in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools is merely a reflection of the talented, thoughtful, and kind people I’m fortunate enough to work with every day.”

He added, “I thank all of you for making this community so special for students and one another.”

At the same event, Patricia Aldrich (pictured above), who serves as Technology Facilitator at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, was named Employee of the Year. She has been with the District for seven years and a key reason behind her award is that she consistently goes above and beyond the call of duty.

Also, Aldrich is described as constantly seeking new challenges and knowledge to help students and staff excel. Her peers noted that she handles a wide range of issues, both small and large, but regardless of the nature of the issue, she never makes anyone feel as though their question is unimportant.  

Her constant striving for improved job skills, a great attitude and remarkable work ethic were also identified  by her peers as reasons for the award.


Lyme Academy Returns to its Roots with New Programs for Serious Art Students; Exhibitions, Classes for Community

The all-new Core Program at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts focuses on foundational artistic skills in drawing, painting and sculpture in the figurative tradition.

OLD LYME — The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has officially reopened with a renewed dedication to the mission first articulated by its Founder, sculptor Elisabeth Gordon Chandler. The Academy was created in 1976 as an institution dedicated to the traditional, skills-based art education first taught in the Renaissance academies of Europe and later at Paris’s École des Beaux-Arts.

With this return to its roots, the Academy begins the academic year with the launch of a new Core Program of study for full-time students, which will commence in late September. Led by the husband and wife team of Jordan Sokol and Amaya Gurpide, who serve as Co-Artistic Directors, a dynamic new faculty of internationally-acclaimed instructors will teach students the foundational skills on which they can build a career in the fine arts.

Artistic Director and Director of Painting, Jordan Sokol (left) and newly-appointed Painting-Drawing Instructor, Hollis Dunlap — himself an alumnus of Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts — working in the Southwick-Keller Studio at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Enrollment for the 2021-2022 academic year is now open and applications will be accepted on a rolling basis throughout the academic year.

The Academy’s Core Program is comprehensive and intense: classes are conducted five days a week, from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. with weekly supplementary instruction in anatomy, sculpture, and the history of art. Landscape, still life and portraiture are included in the program, as are dedicated explorations of the properties of light and form.

Students work in custom north-lit studios, honing their technical skills through the direct observation of imported European plaster casts and live models. Intimate class sizes allow for in-studio demonstrations and individualized critiques, as well as guided museum and gallery visits. Faculty and guest lectures are regularly scheduled, many of which are open to the public.

The Core Program will run on a trimester schedule with the first (Fall) trimester beginning on Sept. 27, of this year. The cost per trimester is $3650, with scholarship opportunities available.

“We’re looking for students who want to apply themselves and work hard to grow and develop” said Sokol, himself an accomplished painter, continuing, “You’ve got to be willing to put in the thousands of hours required if you are serious about developing your talent. There are no short-cuts.”

It is anticipated that most students will study for three years, although some will pursue a shorter course of study and others longer, depending on their individual objectives and the progress they make developing their skills.

“As in the original vision for Lyme Academy, the institution will no longer confer Bachelor’s degrees. In the place of seat-time requirements for credit accumulation, students will instead focus on skill-building with an eye towards mastery, fully preparing our students for the 21st century art world,” the Academy’s Executive Director, Mora Rowe, said.

She added, “In addition to our Core Program, we are planning a full spectrum of public programming, which will include gallery openings, exhibitions, part-time classes, workshops, lectures, cultural events, and more. Our partnership with the community along with the accessibility and openness of our campus are of the highest priority.”

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts features 40,000 sq. ft. of studio and teaching space on the sprawling four-acre campus located in the heart of Old Lyme.

Two additional educational programs are currently under development. Firstly, the Academy will offer a Continuing Education program focused on students of all ages and abilities to benefit from a skills-based curriculum, with a choice of year-round study or individual classes. And secondly, a Portfolio Preparation program is also under development, which will be designed to provide a solid, skills-based visual education to develop one’s portfolio and abilities under the leadership of professional artists.

The Lyme Academy of Fine Art will host quarterly Gallery Openings beginning with the first exhibition, Memento Vivere, on Oct. 16. This invitational group exhibition will be curated by Sokol and Gurpide, and will also have the additional role of being an Inaugural Fundraiser for the Academy. The Memento Vivere exhibition, located in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery, will be open to the public from Oct. 17 through Dec. 10.

Lyme Academy is located midway between Boston and New York at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, Conn. The town has been a site of artistic congregation for over a century after evolving as the heart of the Lyme Art Colony, which led to it becoming the Home of American Impressionism.

Visit this link for more information about Lyme Academy of Fine Arts or call 860.434.5232.

Lymes’ Senior Center Renovation/Expansion Project Moves Forward, Preferred Option Selected for Further Evaluation

The exterior of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme. A feasibility study is currently underway regarding the renovation and possible expansion of the Center. 

OLD LYME — The Lymes’ Senior Center (LSC) Board of Directors (BOD) held a special public meeting Aug. 4, to conduct the second stakeholder workshop for the architectural feasibility study for the renovation and possible expansion of the Lymes’ Senior Center. 

We sat down recently with Jeri Baker, Chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center BOD, to understand where the project currently stands and its future direction.

She talked initially about the selection of Point One Architects of Old Lyme to carry out the feasibility study, saying, “So far in the process, our involvement with this architectural firm has been exceptional. 

Baker continued, “The mission of this center as a municipal agency is to provide services that promote a healthy lifestyle and to focus on the physical, social, emotional and creative needs of our members,” explaining, “When you have one of the largest demographic of these two communities served well, the rest of community benefits from that.”

She then said emphatically, “Point One Architects gets that [about the Senior Center and the community it serves] … they get us.”

Baker added that this positive situation, “Reaffirms the unanimous decision of the building committee [to choose Point One Architects], which was based on [the committee’s criteria of] the selected firm being highly accessible and innovative in their design approach. We interviewed other firms that had great credentials — Point One just stood out for their design credentials … being local was a plus.”

Point One Architects of Old Lyme presented three options of a renovated and expanded Senior Center at the last Special Public Meeting, held Aug. 4.

Commenting that the workshop had offered three visual options of possible future renovated space of the center. Baker noted, “It has always been important that any plan reflects both the right scale and proportions of space and also maintains the character of our towns. We have stressed that our Center must feel like home, not an institution.”

The diagrams presented were based on the vision and input of the results of the first workshop in July and reflected the three key priorities of

  • additional, but flexible space
  • accessibility
  • reconfiguration of existing space.

In order to further engage the participants, there was a lengthy period to discuss each option and then address questions and concerns.

At the conclusion, participants voted for the diagram they felt met their vision, needs and possible reasonable costs. The preferred design was overwhelmingly Option 3, which was discussed in more detail at the August public meeting of the Lymes’ Senior Center Building Committee. Any future plans developed by the firm will reflect the input of the two workshops, meetings with the Center Director and the building committee and any constituents, who have reached out to the committee.

Noting that the Center not only, “Serves two communities [Lyme and Old Lyme],” but also, “One of the largest demographics in the community,” Baker stressed, “We’re here for the whole community.” She emphasized, “We must destroy the stereotype that it [the Senior Center] is only a place to play cards,” concluding passionately, “We’re so much more.”

Editor’s Note: Reflecting a broad range of interests and responsibilities across both Lyme and Old Lyme, workshop participants included:

  • Jeri Baker – chair of the LSC BOD and Building Committee
  • Don Abraham – treasurer of the BOD and building committee member
  • Kathy Lockwood – vice chair of the BOD
  • Doris Hungerford – Lyme BOD member
  • Jane Folland – OL BOD member and active volunteer
  • Jackie Roberts – OL BOD member and active volunteer
  • Diana Seckla – Lyme BOD member and member of Friends of the Lymes’ Senior Center
  • David Griswold- OL BOD member and Commander of the VFW post housed at the center
  • Jeremy Crisp –  newest Lyme BOD member
  • Susan Campbell _ OL BOD member and past chair
  • Paula Emery – Recording secretary for the BOD
  • Joan Bonvicin – OL LSC member and active volunteer
  • Denise Piersa – Old Lyme Town Nurse/VNA, whose office is in the Center

Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould and LSC member Doris Johnson were unable to attend the Aug. 4 meeting, but are usually in attendance. Old Lyme Selectwoman Mary Jo Nosal attended the July meeting but was unable to attend the August one.


  • Cheryl Parsons assistant to the Director
  • Bethany Haslam – dance instructor
  • Lynn McCarthy – yoga instructor
  • Jude Read – OL BOF member and liaison to the LSC budget development (absent for this session but updated by  Jeri Baker afterward).
  • Gary Weed – retired board member 
  • Carole Weed – Gary’s wife
  • Carole Diffley – Meals on Wheels coordinator/kitchen manager/Estuary Council employee

LSC Building Committee members and public attendance (Zoom included):

  • Mary Stone
  • Arthur “Skip” Beebe
  • Ken Biega

Death of Arthur ‘Art’ Sibley Announced; Active Community Member, Father of Skip Sibley of Old Lyme

Art Sibley, 1933-2021

Arthur Emerson Sibley, beloved husband of the late Margaret Warren Sibley, passed away peacefully on August 22, 2021 at home. The Sibley family is so grateful for the numerous caregivers that provided Dad great comfort during these past 4 months of his journey.

Born on January 6, 1933 in Milton, MA, Art was the oldest son of the late Arthur Howard Sibley & Helen Gertrude Sibley. He spent his early childhood growing up in Braintree, MA and graduated from Greenwich, CT High School. He attended Pace University in NYC, where he developed an interest in television production. His first job was working on the Steve Allen show.

In 1954, he met his future wife Peggy on a blind date. They were married in 1956 in Riverside, CT and made their first home in Meriden, CT. In that same year, he started A.E. Sibley, Inc., a Hercules explosives distributor that supplied many blasting projects throughout CT, MA and NY.

Later moving to Middletown, he was active in the Church of the Holy Trinity where he spearheaded the construction of the “new” St. Luke’s Home. He also was a founding member of INFORM (Industry for Middletown) which created a successful municipally managed industrial park.

In 1988, Art and Peggy moved to Old Lyme, where he became an active member of Old Lyme’s Zoning Board of Appeals for many years. In that role, he used his diplomatic talent in helping residents resolve issues in a sensitive and effective way.

Art was a hardworking husband and loving husband and father who possessed a larger-than-life personality. He was a wise counselor not only for his family but also for employees and friends alike. He led by example in always maintaining a high level of integrity. His number one love was being with family especially when delicious food was featured.

He loved working outside with his wife as their horticultural vision created many beautiful landscapes that still exist today. As a great lover of jazz, Art could often be seen at Bill’s Restaurant enjoying music and dancing with friends.

As his days were approaching sunset, he kept repeating over and over again how lucky a guy he was. He will be missed by his children Skip Sibley (and Sheree) of Old Lyme; Katharine Edmonds (and Bryson) of Birmingham, AL; Stephen Sibley of Fort Worth, TX and Anne Groleau (and Michael) of Traverse City, MI. He leaves 8 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his younger sister Laura Sibley Rhodes (and Fred) of Chatham, MA. He was predeceased by his sister Sara Sibley Lenhart and brother-in-law Mark Lenhart of Lyme, CT.

There will be a memorial service celebrating his life on Thursday, September 23rd. The service will begin at 10:30 AM at St. Ann’s Episcopal Church located in Old Lyme. Donations in his memory can be made to St. Ann’s Church, 82 Shore Rd, Old Lyme, CT. 06371.

Please visit for directions and for the online guestbook.

Gardening Tips from ‘The English Lady’ for August, ‘The Sunday of Summer’

There is beauty all around us in the garden in August. Photo by Joshua J. Cotton on Unsplash.

August has always been one of my least favorite months in the garden; but plentiful spring rain this year has resulted in bountiful fragrance, bloom and foliage.

We have such a short blooming and growing season here in New England that any extra time to have a good-looking border is much appreciated. However, by this time in the season, there are always a few gaps to fill in with annuals or some later blooming perennials. Your gardens are a constantly changing scene of beauty in motion.

Plantings that looked good last year, may be oversized, and desperately in need of division or transplant. This task can be tackled in September when the weather is cooler. Then you can venture into your borders and transplant some specimens out so that every plant has its own space with plenty of air circulation and is able to perform with optimal health.

Divide those plants that have been in the soil for four years or more, as you probably noticed they are not blooming so profusely. I am sure you have fellow gardeners who will be thrilled to receive some of the divisions.

Keeping Your Garden Fresh:

Keep up with your dead-heading so that your garden will always appear fresh and perky. After the hot, dry days we have had of late, watering is of major importance. Ensure your garden receives at least one inch of water a week with containers requiring a daily dose of water, in the early morning and early evening.

Flowering borders need plenty of water in August. Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Soaker hoses in the borders are a much more efficient method of watering as the water goes straight to the roots where it is needed. With soaker hoses you will not lose 40 percent of moisture to evaporation and with this method, you also prevent water from landing on the foliage, which can result in disease and mildew.

When you cut back tired-looking annuals, you will soon see a new flush of bloom. If on closer inspection, you notice your borders are looking somewhat weary and need a bright boost of some new specimens to perk things up, you are in luck as right now garden centers are offering late season bargains.

When the perennial Coreopsis and Spirea have finished blooming, cut off the dead bloom with the garden shears and anticipate the appearance of vibrant bright bloom shortly.


It is important to stop feeding roses now in August. Roses require at least nine weeks without using their energy, this is important as to produce new bloom roses need to gently retreat into a slow, healthy dormancy before the first frost. In my September tips I will give you suggestions on partially pruning roses in early fall, followed by a second pruning the following April. This double pruning method produces the healthiest and most prolific bloom.


Photo b Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Every couple of weeks give your containers a little extra composted manure when watering, which will keep these miniature gardens bright and cheerful into early fall. Add the manure on top of the natural brown mulch as both manure and mulch help retain moisture and help to retard weeds.

In the morning, if you do not have time to water the containers before you go off to work or run errands, simply empty your ice trays into the containers, this will provide slow-release watering until you are able to add more when you return home.

Powdery Mildew:

With the high heat and humidity which we have been experiencing recently, powdery mildew maybe appearing on certain species like summer phlox, Monarda and Hydrangeas. If you notice this problem, I suggest you spray with my remedy of one gallon of water in a spray container adding one tablespoon of baking soda and a dash of vegetable oil.  Always spray in the morning before the temperature and humidity numbers, combined together equal 160.


Continue adding more composted manure to vegetables each month, as vegetables particularly annual vegetables are heavy feeders. To prevent animals from munching on your precious bounty, place an old sneaker or a piece of carpet that your dog had lain on in among the vegetables; these odors help to keep furry marauders away.


Place your orders for Peonies now so they can be delivered for September planting. September is the only month suitable to transplant, divide or plant new Peonies.

Following the first hard frost in November, cut any existing Peonies to six inches from the ground and add a little natural brown mulch around them to protect the pink-eyed roots, which are close to the soil surface. When planting Peonies or transplanting them, make sure that the ‘pink eyes’ on the roots are barely covered with soil, if planted any deeper, it is likely that you may not have bloom next year.

Begin compiling your list of spring bulbs now for the best choice of bulbs to be available for you.

Please feel free to email me with any gardening questions to I look forward to seeing you in your garden in September, in the meantime enjoy being outdoors.

About the author: Maureen Haseley-Jones, pictured left, is a member of a family of renowned horticultural artisans, whose landscaping heritage dates back to the 17th century. She is one of the founders, together with her son Ian, of, The English Lady Landscape and Home Company. Maureen and Ian are landscape designers and garden experts, who believe that everyone deserves to live in an eco-conscious environment and enjoy the pleasure that it brings. Maureen learned her design skills from both her mother and grandmother, and honed her horticultural and construction skills while working in the family nursery and landscape business in the U.K. Her formal horticultural training was undertaken at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in Surrey.

Lyme/Old Lyme Democrats Host Gov. Lamont, Sen. Blumenthal at Summer Fundraiser

Senator Richard Blumenthal addresses Lyme-Old Lyme Democrats at their Summer Fundraiser held in Old Lyme yesterday. Photo by Mary Jo Nosal.

OLD LYME — Update 8/29 at 10:20pm with more photos. Around 80 Democrats from Lyme and Old Lyme attended a Summer Fundraiser Saturday afternoon.

Another photo of Sen. Blumenthal speaking at the event. Photo by Alex Roth Media.

Governor Ned Lamont, Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz and Senator Richard Blumenthal all attended the fundraiser.


Governor Ned Lamont shares his hopes and concerns at the event. Old Lyme Democratic Town Chairman Christine Gianquinto (in blue) listens attentively to his words. Photo by Mary Jo Nosal.

Candidates running in the Lyme and Old Lyme municipal elections being held in November also attended.

From left to right, John Kiker, incumbent candidate for Lyme Board of Selectman and Martha Shoemaker, candidate for Old Lyme Lyme First Selectman joined Connecticut Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz for a photo. Photo by Mary Jo Nosal.

The event was held at a private residence in Old Lyme.

Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz gave a motivating speech. Photo by Alex Roth Media.

All three state dignitaries can be seen in the photo below: (from left to right) Governor Ned Lamont, Senator Richard Blumenthal and Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz.

Photo by Alex Roth Media.


Aug. 27 COVID-19 Update: New Cases in Both Towns Increase Cumulative Totals to 374 in Old Lyme, 115 in Lyme

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Friday, Aug. 27, at 4 p.m. by the Connecticut Department of Health shows that Old Lyme’s cumulative total of confirmed cases has risen by two from the previous  day, Aug. 26, to 374, while Lyme’s has risen by one to 115.

The next Connecticut Daily Data Report will be issued Monday, Aug. 30, around 4 p.m. Reports are not issued Saturdays or Sundays.

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There is no change in the number of fatalities reported in either Lyme (0) or Old Lyme (3).

The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male. Details of the third, which was reported in 2021, have not been made available.

Visit this link for our Aug. 19 update, which includes statewide data.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Enjoy ‘Excellent’ First Day

Third grader Max Garvin (left) and his friend stride enthusiastically towards their next class in Mile Creek School. Photo by Michelle Tackett.

LYME/OLD LYME — Students were back in school yesterday at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and at the end of the day, Superintendent Ian Neviaser told LymeLine, “We had an excellent first day of school with lots of excitement and enjoyment as students were welcomed back into classrooms.”

These masked students were hard at work on Opening Day.

He added, “It was a good start to what we expect will be a great year.”

This student clearly, ” … liked his first day of Kindergarten!”

Masks are still mandated by the Governor’s executive orders, but in almost all other respects, and quoting from a recent email sent by the superintendent to the school community, the school experience will be, “… far closer to a normal school year than last year as we return to our cafeterias for lunch, our buses for transportation, and participate fully in after school activities and athletics.”

Friends reunited on the first day of school. Photo by Michelle Tackett.

Neviaser emphasized though, “All students, staff, and visitors, no matter their vaccination status, will be required to wear masks inside school buildings and on school buses. Masks are not required outdoors.”

He noted, however, “If there is no change to the aforementioned executive orders, on Sept. 30, 2021, we will revisit our indoor mask requirement and make any adjustments based on public health measures at that time.”

Masks have become quite a fashion item for students!

Adding, “Some of our more effective mitigation strategies will remain in place including, but not limited to, encouraging students and staff to remain home when they are sick, physical distancing where feasible, quarantining of confirmed cases, mask breaks, and increased ventilation,”

Neviaser also noted, “This school year remote learning will no longer be an option for students.”  

Regarding quarantine, Neviaser said, “Fully vaccinated students and staff who remain asymptomatic are no longer required to quarantine.  For those who are not vaccinated, or are unable to receive a vaccine, we will continue to follow contact tracing protocols and quarantine guidelines from the Connecticut State Department of Education.”

Please can we go and play outside? Photo by Michelle Tackett.

On the topic of sports, Neviaser reported that, “The CIAC plans to offer all sports with the possibility of required masking in both indoor sports and those that are considered “high-intensity” (enhanced respiration) activities (e.g., football, ice hockey, etc.), adding, “We expect to get more clarity on these possible requirements in the near future.”

The Superintendent stressed that flexibility continues to be the key to success, commenting that Lyme-Old Lyme Schools, “will continue, as we have for the last 18 months, to adapt to new information and adjust accordingly.”

On Opening Day, exploring everything is the name of the game in this class.

He concluded his email on a positive note saying to the school community, “We appreciate your support in working toward the goal of providing our students the best in-person learning opportunity possible.”

Editor’s Note: Visit this link to read another story about opening day at Lyme-Old Lyme Schools. Written by Elizabeth Regan, Lyme-Old Lyme has fresh air focus for new school year was published Aug. 26 on