April 25, 2019

SECWAC Hosts Speaker in Old Lyme Tonight on ‘America’s Foreign Policy Elite, Decline of U.S. Primacy’

Stephen Walt

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Stephen Walt to speak on “America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy” at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Ferry Rd., Old Lyme, CT 06371. Members and guests are encouraged to RSVP via online registration, but walk-ins will be accepted.

In 1992, the United States stood at the pinnacle of world power, and Americans were confident that a new era of peace and prosperity was at hand. Twenty-five years later, those hopes have been dashed. Relations with Russia and China have soured, the European Union is wobbling, nationalism and populism are on the rise, and the U.S. is stuck in costly and pointless wars that have undermined its influence around the world.

The root of this dismal record, Stephen Walt argues in his new book “The Hell of Good Intentions” (signed copies of which will be available for sale after the presentation), is the foreign policy establishment’s stubborn commitment to a strategy of “Liberal Hegemony.” Walt argues for a return to the realist strategy of “Offshore Balancing,” which eschews regime change, nation-building, and other forms of global social engineering.

Walt is Robert and Renée Belfer Professor of International Affairs at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a contributing editor at Foreign Policy, co-editor of the Cornell Studies in Security Affairs, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in May 2005. He received the International Studies Association’s Distinguished Senior Scholar award in 2014.

His writings include The Origins of Alliances (1987), Revolution and War (1996), Taming American Power: The Global Response to U.S. Primacy, and The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (co-authored with John J. Mearsheimer, 2007). His latest book is The Hell of Good Intentions: America’s Foreign Policy Elite and the Decline of U.S. Primacy (2018).

A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2018-2019 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). Pro-rated half-year membership was introduced in February; half-year membership February through June 2019 is $37.50; $12.50 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, attendees have the option for $35 of attending a dinner with the speaker at the Old Lyme Country Club. Dinner reservations are required by the morning of Tuesday, April 23,via pre-registration and making a payment securely online, calling 860-912-5718, or emailing info@secwac.org (vegetarian option available if reserved in advance).

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. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

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LYSB Hosts ‘The Bizz’ Tomorrow, Proceeds Benefit Youth Programs

Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) presents the 22nd annual performance of The Bizz, Friday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School auditorium. The show celebrates the talent that abounds in the youth of our community and the venue offers increased seating over the middle school auditorium.

The show features more than 20 acts, which include singing, dancing, instrumental and bands, all performed by talented Lyme-Old Lyme youth.

LYSB Director Mary Seidner told LymeLine that possibly a record number of acts auditioned this year, noting,”Unfortunately we didn’t have room for all of them.  We saw many talented performers and we congratulate everyone on their creativity and energy.”

The show has sold out several times in recent years, so early arrival is recommended.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and tickets are $8 at the door.  Tickets can be ordered in advance at this link.

All proceeds from the show benefit LYSB programs.

For more information, call 860-434-7208.

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Thought-Provoking, Comedy Classic, ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,’ Opens at Ivoryton Playhouse.

Standing beside her fiancé Dr. John Prentice (Marc D. Lyons), Joanna Drayton (Katelyn Nichols) announces the unexpected news of her engagement to her parents, Matt Drayton (Gordon Clapp) and his wife Christina (Kaia Monroe) in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner opens tonight at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

When the movie, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, began filming in March 1967, it was still illegal for interracial couples to marry in 14 states, mostly in the South. Changing attitudes in the country and the landmark case Loving v. Virginia coincided with the production of the movie and by the end of the year, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. and Mrs. Loving, ruling that marriage is a fundamental human right and effectively ending all anti-miscegenation marriage laws in America.

The Ivoryton Playhouse presents an adaptation of the movie by Todd Kriedler. Set in San Francisco in 1967, the play focuses on Matt and Christina Drayton, a progressive couple whose daughter, Joanna arrives home unexpectedly with her fiancé, Dr. John Prentice, an African-American doctor 11 years her senior. They’re in love and they want the Draytons’ blessing for their marriage – today.

Blindsided by their daughter’s whirlwind romance and fearful for her future, Matt and Christina quickly come to realize the difference between reading about and supporting a mixed-race couple in your newspaper and welcoming one into your family. It’s not long before a multi-family clash of racial and generational difference erupts.  At the end of the day, will love prevail?

This thought-provoking, comedy classic is a witty and insightful reflection on two families confronted by their prejudices.

Taking on the iconic role of Matt Drayton, made famous by Spencer Tracy, is Gordon Clapp*, best known as the Emmy-winning, Tony-nominated actor who charmed audiences as Det. Greg Medavoy on NYPD Blue (1993) and as loudmouth instigator Dave Moss in the 2005 Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross (1992).

Kaia Monroe*, who is an Associate Professor and Chair of Theatre at SCSU will play his wife, Christina and the rest of the cast include Richarda Abrams*, Cedric Cannon*, R. Bruce Connelly*, Krista Lucas, Marc D. Lyons, Kimberlee Monroe* and Katelyn Nichols.

The play is directed by Kathryn Markey, set design by Daniel Nischan, lighting design by Marcus Abbott and costumes by Elizabeth Saylor.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner runs through May 12, 2019. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday and Saturday at 8pm. There will be one Thursday matinee on April 25th.

Tickets are $55 adult / $50 senior / $25 student / $20 children 12 and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org  (Group rates and subscriptions are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

Photographer – Jonathan Steele

  1. Gordon Clapp, Kaia Monroe and Marc D. Lyons
  2. Kaia Monroe and Gordon Clapp
  3. Marc D. Lyons, Katelyn Nichols, Gordon Clapp and Kaia Monroe
  4. Cedric Cannon and Kimberlee Monroe
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Phoebe’s BookCellar at Old Lyme Library Hosts Half Price Sale, Saturday

Phoebe’s BookCellar is a treasure trove of books, all competitively priced — and every single one will be half that price on Wednesday and Saturday this week.

Phoebe’s BookCellar at the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes (OL-PGN) Library is holding a Half-Price Book Sale Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

If you have never been to the BookCellar — or haven’t been recently — now is your chance to get some incredible bargains on books, DVDs, CDs and audio books.  The BookCellar is a volunteer-run, used bookstore operating on the lower level of the OL-PGN Library. 

With over 10,000 books in all genres, including History & Biography, Fiction & Mystery, Children’s, Fine Art and Rare & Collectible books, Phoebe’s BookCellar is Old Lyme’s favorite (and only!) bookstore..

All proceeds from the sale benefit the library.

Editor’s Note (i): The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street. Spring hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org

Editor’s Note (ii): If the Library’s parking lot is full, additional spaces are available on Lyme Street. There is also a parking lot behind the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall across the street from the Library.

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Join Old Lyme Churches’ International Community Supper, Saturday; Benefits Work of OL Refugee Resettlement Committee

The Old Lyme Refugee Resettlement (OLRR) Committee – a group of volunteers sponsored by the three churches of Old Lyme, First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church and Christ the King Church – will hold its third annual International Community Supper on Saturday, April 27, at 6 p.m., at Christ the King Church to support the committee’s efforts to relocate the Kazadi family from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Community Supper will feature a dinner of delicious homemade international recipes, African drumming and dancing, and a silent auction.

Joseph and Martine, and their three children, Miriame (age 17), Drysile (age 13) and Joe (age 9) were forced to flee their home in Kinshasa in 2012. The family lived in refugee camps in Kenya for four years until they were brought to New Haven in 2016 by IRIS (Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services), a federally recognized refugee-resettlement agency. The OLRR Committee relocated the family to Old Lyme last October, helping them find new housing, support services, jobs and schools, as they started life over here in the U.S.

There is no charge to attend the supper of delicious and authentic international cuisines. Admission is free. However, donations will be accepted at the door, and a silent auction will be held to encourage contributions to the committee’s ongoing efforts to relocate families in need.

In previous years, dinners were held to help support the relocation of the Colon family from Puerto Rico and the Hamou family from Syria. Both of these families will be on hand at this year’s dinner to help welcome Old Lyme’s newest neighbors.

OLRR Committee Volunteer Nancy Mol said, “I invite everyone in Lyme and Old Lyme to join us for this fund-raising supper – it’s going to be an evening filled with the great food, warmth and camaraderie that comes from neighbors helping neighbors. ”

Residents who would like to make a donation to support the OLRR Committee’s relocation efforts can contact any of the church offices via email at fccol@fccol.org.

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‘Drug Take Back Day’ Scheduled for Saturday

On Saturday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Lyme Street Fire House, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Prevention Coalition will give residents another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

This event is free and anonymous — no questions asked.

Since the first Lyme-Old Lyme ‘Drug Take Back’ event in 2011, citizens have returned more than 500 pounds of medications to prevent misuse. Studies show that a majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinets. Sadly, prescription drug abuse is on the rise among adults and youth, so this is a great opportunity to dispose of your unwanted medications.

The mission of the LOL Prevention Coalition is to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use among youth by collaborating with the community to raise awareness, modify social norms, educate youth and adults, initiate policy change and promote healthy activities.
The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at LYSB.  Join them at any meeting or contact LYSB at 860-434-7208.  Visit their website to learn more about their programs, L/OL youth survey reports, and resources.

This event is co-sponsored by LYSB, LOL Prevention Coalition, Old Lyme Police Department, Troop F State Police, and Old Lyme Fire Department.

For more information about the Drug Take Back event or the LOL Prevention Coalition, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or visit www.lysb.org

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Class of 2019 Holds ‘Shred It’ Fundraiser, Saturday

Shredded_paperOn Saturday, April 27, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2019 will shred documents for businesses and individuals. Anyone can bring their papers to shred to the LOLHS parking lot from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for a donation.

Many people have unwanted papers sitting in boxes or on desks around their house.  The papers could be old tax returns, bank statements, bills, credit card statements, newspapers or school ditto sheets.  This fundraiser provides the community an opportunity to securely discard unwanted papers from houses or businesses.

“We are excited to hold this Shred-it Fundraiser because the demand for secure document shredding services is growing.  This fundraiser provides a low cost way to accomplish this community service,” said LOLHS senior Brynn McGlinchey, the event organizer.

Last year, this high school class conducted this same fundraiser.  It collected over 120 bags of unwanted papers and generated over $1,200.

The class used the funds for its class activities. Class activities included three dances and many community service projects throughout town.

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Letter From Paris: Exhibition of Macke & Marc’s Art Unintentionally Makes Powerful Statement on European Current Affairs

Nicole Prévost Logan

The exhibition titled Franz Marc / August Macke. The Adventure of the Blue Rider (der Blaue Reiter) at the Musée de l’Orangerie is the exhibit to see this spring when in Paris.  It is a festival of colors by two German artists, Macke (1887-1914) and Marc (1880-1916), who both died prematurely on the front during World War I more than a century ago.

Long overdue, and shamefully so – I believe all art historians would agree – Macke and Marc have never before been shown in France in an exhibit dedicated exclusively to them. The event opened first at the Neue Galerie of New York, then will remain in Paris until June 17.  The curators have made a few changes, particularly stressing the connection with the Blaue Reiter movement and the relationship with other European avant-gardes, particularly the fauvism and cubism in France.

After writing an article myself on April 11 2015 on this very site, it was pure pleasure to see the original works hanging in the spacious lower level rooms of the Orangerie Museum in the Tuileries gardens.

Franz Marc, The Dream [Der Traum], 1912, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid. Image taken from the Musee de l’Orangerie website.

Although they are shown together, the two artists have distinct personalities and styles. They first met in January 1910 and became close friends until the war.  Macke lived in Bonn on the Rhine in central Germany.  Marc, with the Russian artist Wassily Kandisnky and his companion Gabriel Munter and other members of the Blaue Reiter, loved Bavaria in southern Germany. He settled  first in Mirnau, about 40 miles south of Munich, then on Lake Kochel.

At a time when Europe is currently torn by political fractures, when the closeness of France and Germany is crucial to the survival of the continent, this exhibit has a strong symbolic meaning.  The European Union was founded on a determination to put an end to all wars.  What a powerful message when the art of these two young men is displayed together in an exceptional exhibition in Paris, considering, ironically, both men loved France and its culture, and yet died fighting against the country they revered.

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More on Earth Day from the Old Lyme Open Space Commission


Today, April 22, is the 49th Earth Day, the most widely celebrated environmental day across the globe, recognized in 192 countries.

It’s a timely, seasonal reminder that, as our lawns, trees and countryside turn green with spring growth, we ourselves can help the planet by also going “green.”

“Green” might mean: recycling; cleaning up litter, especially plastic that may end up in the ocean; or planting native flowers and shrubs to attract butterflies and hummingbirds.

The Old Lyme Open Space Commission suggests celebrating Earth Day by walking the town’s open space and land trust trails, listening to the songs of birds, enjoying newly blossoming wildflowers and breathing in fresh air.

Great walks throughout Old Lyme may be found at the Commission’s web page or at on the Old Lyme Land Trust’s website

Even the sky will celebrate Earth Day!  The annual Lyrid meteor shower is active from about April 16 to 25.  While not the year’s largest meteor shower, it will be the first since January and, fittingly, visible across the globe.

For more information, visit the Earth Day website.

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Celebrate Earth Day with Lyme Land Trust at their Family Festival, Sunday

Looking for bugs at the Earth Day Family Festival 2018. File photo submitted by Lyme Land Trust.

It’s Earth Day today!

Celebrate this important day next Sunday, April 28, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the 2nd Annual Earth Day Family Festival sponsored by the Lyme Land Trust. During this community event at Banningwood Preserve on Town St. in Lyme, there will be a short half-mile walk from parking to Diana’s Field where there will be a host of family-friendly activities.

Scheduled activities are as follows:

  • 11 a.m. Meet for family-friendly forest walk with biologist Jim Arrigoni (meet at entrance to Banningwood Preserve)
  • 12:30-2 p.m. Geology walk with Ralph Lewis (meet Ralph in Diana’s Field)

‘Anytime’ activities include:

  • ‘Bug Discovery’ in Roaring Brook with Pat Young of the Eight Mile River Wild and Scenic Coordinating Committee
  • Fun and games in Diana’s Field with Lyme’s Park and Rec.
  • Live music in Diana’s Field
  • Scavenger Hunt
  • S’mores by the bonfire
  • Bring your own blanket and picnic!
  • Goodie bags

Bring your own water to drink.

For more information, contact stewardship@lymelandtrust.org or visit lymelandtrust.org

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A la Carte: Whether It’s Easter or Passover in Your Home, Lamb is Always Lovely!

Boneless rolled leg of lamb always makes a perfect Easter meal — but, as Lee explains, it doesn’t have to be boneless! Photo by Mike Tinnion on Unsplash

It seems lately that Christian and Jewish holidays seems to happen within weeks, or days, of the year.

For those who think that Hanukkah is like a Jewish Christmas, it is not. And Passover is nothing like Christian Easter either. Rather, the Jewish calendar and the Christian calendar (the latter is actually the Gregorian calendar) are not the same. I was born in the Jewish year 5704. I have no intention of telling you how old I am, but if you ask a Jewish person, perhaps that person will tell you how old I am.

More important, both holidays mean that families usually sit down together for dinner. While many of those who make Easter dinner will chose ham as the entrée of choice. Jewish people will not. But both holidays might choose lamb.

In the early 70s, I bought a book about how to cook French dishes in an American kitchen, meaning that we mostly buy our food at American supermarkets. So when you see the recipe calls for Campbell’s beef consommé, that I what I used for decades. If you do, try to get a canned consommé that is low in sodium. I now use More Than Boullion. I have used many of the recipes in that book, but my favorite is the one below.

Sometimes I buy boneless lamb, but the recipe is pretty much the same. I do suggest that you use a meat thermometer and the internal temperature of the roast should be 120 to 125 degrees for medium-rare, or 130 to 135 for medium.

Gigot d/Agneau a l’Ail (Leg of Lamb with Garlic)

From Charles Virion’s French Country Cookbook (Hawthorn, New York, 1972)

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

1 5- to 7-pound leg of lamb
8 cloves of garlic cut lengthwise into slivers
Salt and freshly ground coarse black pepper
Vegetable oil
3 cups brown sauce or canned beef consommé (I use Campbell’s)
2 cups cream sherry (does not have to be Harvey’s Bristol, but it should be cream sherry)
8 small new potatoes
4 tablespoons sweet butter

  1. Take leg of lamb out of refrigerator 3 to 5 hour before cooking time. Meat must always be at room temperature before roasting or broiling.
  2. Insert pieces of garlic all around the leg by making tiny incisions and pushing the garlic underneath. Season meat with salt and pepper. Pour on a little vegetable oil and let meat marinate until ready to roast.
  3. Meanwhile, simmer together stock or consommé and the cream sherry until liquid is reduced by half. This will be your basting sauce and gravy base.
  4. Place the lamb in a roasting pan and roast in a preheated 450 degree oven with the oven ajar. Turn frequently and baste with vegetable oil and fats accumulated during roasting. When the outside is brown and crisp, approximately 45 minutes later, take the meat out of the oven and place it in another roasting pan. Use the pan with the accumulated lamb fat to roast potatoes (separately from the lamb) for 1 to 1 and a half hours.
  5. Put butter on the meat and let it stand until 1 hour before you are ready to eat.
  6. Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees. The lamb should roast slowly now so that it will remain rare and juicy.
  7. Place lamb in oven and turn it every 10 minutes, basting with the stock-sherry sauce. Compute the approximately roasting time by figuring 20 minutes per pound, subscripting the 45 minutes for the first roasting.
  8. When cooked, take the meat out of the oven and let it stand for 10 minutes. This helps keep the meat juices inside. Then slice the meat and arrange on a hot platter.
  9. You should have approximately 2 cups of gravy left. Pour some of it, piping hot, on top of the roast. The rest should be served in a sauceboat. Surround the meat with vegetables (he suggests lima beans) and potatoes which have been roasted in the lamb fat from the first roasting. Serve immediately.

About the author: Lee White (left), a former resident of Old Lyme, has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976.  She has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for the Shore Publishing newspapers, and Elan, a quarterly magazine, all of which are now owned by The Day.

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Brady Sheffield Named Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Business Student of the Month

Brady Sheffield (second from right) receives his Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce April 2019 Business Student of the Month award from (left to right) Rich Shriver,, Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce President; Jeanne Manfredi, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Assistant Principal, and Leslie Traver, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Business Department Chair.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School junior Brady Sheffield has been named the Chamber of Commerce Business Student of the Month for April 2019. Brady plans on working for his uncle’s social media company to learn about running a business — a nice tie in to the business classes he has taken.

The Chamber Business Student of the Month program continues the Chamber tradition of recognizing members of the junior class for demonstrating outstanding initiative in and out of the classroom.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce established the N. Rutherford Sheffield Memorial Award for Entrepreneurial Promise & Achievement for Lyme-Old Lyme High School juniors in 1999 as a way to honor Mr. Sheffield, a 50+ year member of the Chamber who was highly regarded in our Lyme-Old Lyme community. Thirty-five juniors at Lyme-Old Lyme High School were recognized through this program.

 

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Legislators, Superintendents, Residents Express Universal Opposition to Forced School Regionalization

Special to LymeLine.com

Sitting in the front row of the audience at Monday night’s forum on school regionalization were local school superintendents (from right to left) Ian Neviaser (Lyme-Old Lyme), Pat Ciccone (Westbrook) and Jan Perruccio (Old Saybrook.)

Over 100 people turned out for an Education and Regionalization Forum at Old Saybrook Middle School on Thursday, April 11. The event was hosted by Rep. Devin Carney, (R-23rd), with Senators Paul Formica, (R-20th), and Norm Needleman, (D-33rd).

While the two parties differ on Connecticut road tolls, all three local officials said they are against forced regionalization of school district bills proposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Senators Bob Duff and Cathy Osten, Deputy President Pro Tempore, and by Governor Ned Lamont.

Rep. Carney said there was an enormous public outcry by small towns and school districts, thousands of pieces of testimony received and hundreds of people, including students from Region 18 schools, who testified in March hearings.  While this probably means that the idea of aligning school districts with recently consolidated probate districts is not advancing, the matter of reducing and reallocating education costs is very much still alive, and pieces of proposed legislation could still become law.

“Nothing is truly ever dead until we gavel out at midnight on June 5,” Rep. Carney said, explaining the state legislative process and timelines of the ongoing session in Hartford. 

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) addresses the audience Monday night while (left) State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20th) awaits his turn to speak. Almost hidden from view, State Sen. Norm Needleman (D-33rd) stands to Rep. Carney’s right.

Of the six bills introduced that address regionalization of schools or services, three have been passed by the Education Committee and further action could be taken on them:

  • Governors Bill 874 establishes an appointed Commission on Shared School Services that is charged with developing shared school services recommendations, requires boards of education (BOEs) to report on currently shared school services and requires regional BOEs to post online monthly current and projected expenditures and to submit information to their town’s legislative body. The commission would issue a report in December 2020, recommendations could be binding on towns and districts. Because of costs of setting up a commission, the bill has been referred to Appropriations Committee;
  • HB 7350 requires regional education service centers (RESCs) to distribute an inventory of goods and services to member BOEs, and the Department of Education (DOE) shall develop a report of best practices by RESCs for regional cooperation. (LEARN, at 44 Hatchetts Hill Road in Old Lyme, is a RESC);
  • SB 1069, proposed by Sen. Needleman, which allows the DOE to study the effects of towns working together as Local Education Agencies, is intended to encourage voluntary regional cooperation and maximize efficiencies and cost savings without being mandated to become regional school districts.

Superintendents Ian Neviaser (Lyme-Old Lyme), Jan Perruccio (Old Saybrook), and Pat Ciccone (Westbrook) addressed how their districts have been sharing services and resources to reduce costs while maintaining the quality of curriculum along with educational, extracurricular and sports activities and programs.  Standard practices include health and dental insurance, energy, financial software, food service and supplies, plus student transportation for specialized programs.

Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Region 4 (Chester, Deep River and Essex plus the three elementary schools for each of those towns, which are not part of Region 4) school districts already share staff, Perruccio said, in an arrangement that has the flexibility to change yearly based on each districts’ demographic needs.

Perruccio said she was alarmed that the forced regionalization bills showed a lack of regard and understanding of how school districts are already sharing resources with a focus on quality of education.

Ciccone cited how the districts are coordinating to provide professional development for their teachers, and how Westbrook’s school facilities, sports programs and fields are utilized by the Town Parks and Recreation Department and local YMCA. The schools and town share legal and financial services support, as well. 

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser stands at the podium during Monday evening’s forum.

“There is a money issue here, we need to be frank about it,” said Neviaser, pointing out that significant redistribution of wealth from school districts with higher property values and tax base already occurs. 

Fifty-one percent of New London’s school budget is paid by the state, he said., as is over 60 percent of Norwich’s, 33 percent of Montville’s and 14 percent of East Lyme’s school budgets. Meanwhile, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools receive less than one percent of operating expenses from the state.

“There was no mention of improving educational outcomes in these regionalization proposals,” commented Tina Gilbert of Lyme. “It is because of our school district’s focus on that, we are in the top four in the country in education.  There is no discussion of parent involvement in schools; we are not wealthy or privileged people, we chose to live in this school district for our children.  What it takes to build [highly performing schools] is parent involvement, working with parents.”

When asked if they moved to their town because of the quality of the schools, a high number of people in the audience raised their hands.

While the majority of questions and comments addressed specifics of proposed legislation, the overarching issue of state fiscal problems and how to address government spending arose. Lyme and Old Lyme residents were some of the most vocal about the impact of proposed legislation on property values, taxes and the quality of local school districts.

“The majority of the state doesn’t have a problem, town government works in Connecticut, but Hartford is not responsible,” said Curt Deane of Lyme, pointing out a seven-page summary of education service-sharing produced by LEARN in February.  “The initial [regionalization] proposals would have raised my property taxes by 50 percent overnight. Taxes go up, property values go down. People have to understand, this is going to hit our property taxes and hit hard. This isn’t going to go away.” 

“We can’t be a state with only great little towns and not great cities,” Sen. Needleman said, citing imbalances of health care outcomes and school performance between wealthier communities and the state’s large cities. He continued, “While we don’t want to mess up what we have, we can’t turn our backs on the disparities.”

The legislators encouraged voters to speak up, write letters, follow grassroots organizations such as Hands Off Our Schools or form their own group to express concerns to elected officials.

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Death of Doreen Meyer Announced; Celebration of Life to be Held in Lyme, May 11

Doreen Meyer

Doreen Meyer, age 86, passed away peacefully April 4, 2019 at home after a short illness with her family by her side. She was born in 1932 in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Stanley and Helen Arnold. She married her true love Robert Charles Meyer, in June 21, 1953 and they shared 66 wonderful years together.

She graduated from the prestigious Katherine Gibbs School in Newark, NJ. Doreen was a devoted wife and mother who took pride in providing a warm and nurturing home every day of the year for her family. She was accomplished at sewing, knitting, rug hooking, cooking and baking, as well being extremely knowledgeable about the history, repair and restoration of antiques. Her hands and feet were rarely still and not a Sunday went by without a “made-from-scratch” dessert for her beloved husband. Few could keep up with her abundance of energy.

For many years Doreen worked at Coffee’s Country Market, Old Lyme, where she greeted everyone with her beautiful smile. All who knew her were attracted her warm, kind and sweet personality.

Doreen will be forever remembered by her husband, Robert; their daughters, Kim Morgan and Heidi Meyer; sister and brother-in-law, Gail and Bud Nemec; six grandchildren, Devon Rust, Lindsey Morgan, Meredith Chapman, Ryan Meyer, Madeleine Meyer Schumacher, Olivia Meyer Schumacher; four great-grandchildren, Levi Morgan, Wyatt Rust, Andy Rust and Tristan Meyer as well as many nieces, nephews and friends. Doreen was predeceased by her son, Keith Meyer and sister, Audrey Lindquist. All whom she loved and touched deeply. She will be greatly missed by all who were fortunate to know her.

Forever in our hearts.

Please join us for a Celebration of Life on Saturday, May 11, at 1 p.m., 8 Oak Tree Lane, Lyme to remember Doreen.

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Talking Transportation: Tolls Are in Trouble

Jim Cameron

Governor Lamont’s tolling plan is in trouble.  I knew it last weekend when I got a call from Dan Malloy.

The former Governor and I know each other going back to his days as Mayor of Stamford, but he’s only called me once before (many years ago when he sought my endorsement in his run for a second term as Governor.)

This time he was calling about my recent column about the Transportation Strategy Board, the panel that 18 years ago was tasked with prioritizing our state’s transportation needs and how to pay for them.

It wasn’t my fawning over then-TSB Chairman Oz Griebel that prompted Malloy’s recent call, but instead my characterization of the “lock box” on the Special Transportation Fund as having, to quote one wag, “more back doors than a hot-sheets motel on the Berlin Turnpike.”  The Wag’s words, not mine.

“That comment was not helpful, Jim,” said Malloy.  “We’re just trying to get this tolls idea across the finish line and your comments aren’t helping.”

That’s when I knew that the tolls plan is in real trouble.  (Why is he calling me, of all people?)  Not that there weren’t earlier warning signs that trouble was brewing.

The first was Governor Lamont’s somersaults on tolling from being in favor, then promising trucks-only tolling and finally settling (again) on tolling all vehicles.  Voters felt betrayed.

Then Lamont pulled millions in car sales taxes from the STF, potentially bankrupting the transportation fund by 2022.

Those moves gave grassroots No-Tolls groups new-found fertile soil, picketing and tapping into the media’s love of controversy by offering up great photo ops.

Sure, the Republicans helped fan the flames with their so-called “information sessions” in local communities, providing a forum to attack Lamont and tolls while resurrecting their “Prioritize Progress” bonding plan, asking our grandkids to pay for the roads and rails we use today.

Then there were the “no tolls votes” in local communities, non-binding of course, but a clear indication of local sentiment.  Even Stamford’s Board of Representatives voted against tolls.  Polling by Sacred Heart University, though perhaps poorly worded, showed 59 percent of respondents were against tolling.

But wait.  Where are the pro-toll voices?

Well, a coalition of Hartford lobbyists did try to organize an expensive campaign to support Lamont’s tolling vision, seeking money from construction companies and consultants who’d make a lot of money if tolls were approved.  But a reporter somehow got hold of their pitch book, detailing the campaign, and it now seems dead in the water.  Talk about “not helpful.”

Now, Governor Lamont is on a Magical Misery Tour, holding press events at every crumbling bridge, viaduct and train platform in the state.  Against those backdrops, he pitches the need for billions in funding achievable only, he says, through tolling.

In the last couple of months, Metro-North has had two major power meltdowns as circuit breakers, transformers and sub-stations have failed, slowing trains and disrupting service.  Commuters take such crises in stride knowing full well they’re riding in shiny new railcars on a century-old railroad crumbling beneath them.

But people upstate couldn’t care less.  It’s not their problem, so why should they pay tolls or support mass transit?

Cynicism abounds that toll revenues would really be spent on transportation and not get diverted.  Nobody trusts Hartford.

Tolls, my friends, are in trouble.

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

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Letter From Paris: And So It Goes On … Brexit, That Is

Nicole Prévost Logan

“Order, Order!” barked John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons before announcing the results of the third-time-around vote on Theresa May’s Brexit “deal” .  “The ayes to the right 286, the noes to the left 344,  the left have it.”

It was that fateful day, March 29 – chosen by the Prime Minister as the deadline to decide on the “divorce” of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU).  The masterful and funny Speaker was able to control his troops and even to provoke laughter, telling one Member of Parliament (MP), “Get a grip, man, do yoga, it will be beneficial to you.”

In retrospect, not much progress had been made to resolve the Brexit issue on the British side since the June 23, 2016 referendum. It seemed that the government was taking its time and fantasizing about the legal elbow room it actually had to make decisions. (See my previous articles published on 3/5/2016; 4/6/2017 and 12/29/18)

Action in the House of Commons started really in earnest on Nov. 15, 2018 when Theresa May’s original deal was voted down. A second vote on the same motion, and a third with almost identical text were also rejected by the MPs. By drawing red lines, the tenacious but inflexible Prime Minister made it hard for herself to negotiate.

During the winter months, the parliament at Westminster offered the world a spectacle of one “decisive week” after another with votes ending in an inability to reach a majority. By March 14, Theresa May had lost her voice and the headlines in the press read “Game over.”

On the eve of the March 29 deadline, the situation turned surrealistic with two superimposed pictures (to use the words of Le Monde special envoy to London) of a vote on May’s deal and eight others on alternative proposals the MPs had organized on their own.  In a dramatic gesture, Theresa May used her last joker – stepping down from office – in case her deal was supported.   

The Prime Minister described the situation as “the end of a process” with the MPs having said no to everything : to the deal, to the absence of a deal, to Brexit, to Article 50 itself, to the eight separate proposals. In the face of this total collapse of a possible way out of this impasse, Donald Tusk, European Council President announced an extraordinary summit in Brussels on April 10.

A surprising amount of information and live coverage is now appearing on the French media,  shedding a new light on Brexit.

One report showed to what extent the public opinion was in fact manipulated.  More than 80 percent of the British press was hostile to Europe and contained “fake news” items.  The “Brexiteers” promised that the Commonwealth would save the UK. The famous red bus of Boris Johnson traveled throughout the country, displaying the number of 350 million pounds sterling ($455 million) in giant letters . That is the amount “BoJo” (Boris Johnson’s nickname) claimed that the UK is sending the EU every week instead of using it to fund the National Health Service (NHS). 

A Canada-based web site called AggregateiQ, created by Dominic Cummings, utilized private data collected from social networks and used it to “microtarget” individuals with “dark ads.” The “Vote Leave” site used a strategy comparable to that used by Cambridge Analytica, a company heavily implicated in the 2016 US election manipulation.

Other reports helped better understand why re-establishing a border between the two Irelands was a visceral impossibility. The Good Friday agreement in 1998 brought peace back but the catholic and protestant communities in Belfast, are still separated.

In this fragile context, the Irish people fear that a 300-mile external border with the EU would jeopardize the hard-won peace agreement. Trying to solve the problem of a border is an attempt at squaring a circle. The only solution might be a border at the bottom of the Irish Sea.  The backstop which allows the border to remain open until a final treaty is signed, is only a temporary solution.

It was not until the 11th hour – or less than one week before the March 29 deadline – that a significant turn occurred in London.  Prime Minister May entered into talks with Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour party, in spite of their sharp disagreements.  It was such a breakthrough that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond declared on April 5, “the threat of the UK crashing out of the Union is heavily diminished.”  The Conservative party began to lean toward a “soft Brexit” and the possibility of the UK remaining in the Custom Union.

During all these months, the Europeans showed a consensual unity.  Their only caveat being that another delay would have to be justified by a clear plan such as general elections or a second referendum.  Their patience though began to wear out by early April as some divergences of opinion emerged. 

The priority for Angela Merkel is to avoid a no deal Brexit and she will bend over backwards to make that happen.   Although sharing many views with the UK in economy or trade, Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of the Netherlands, confirmed his alignment with the collective position. 

The “flextension” of one year suggested by Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, might not appeal to everybody. President Macron and EU Commissioner Juncker sound tougher on more delays. However, Macron reaffirmed on April 1, that he will stand by the decision made by Brussels and will not use his veto.   

The repeated postponements requested by Prime Minister May (April 12, May 23, June 30) forced the MPs to cancel their Easter recess. Much more serious, is the imbroglio caused by the colliding of the Brexit discussions with the European elections scheduled to take place May 26.

This long saga turned rather nasty when Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg, ultra Brexiteer, tweeted on April 5, “Let us stay [in Europe] and this way we will be able to damage the Union from the inside and oppose our veto on any Brussels decision”.

And so, the suspense goes on.  During these final hours, the two Houses of Parliament are scrambling to find a solution and seem to agree that a no-deal Brexit is unacceptable.  The Europeans do not want to push the UK out of the Union.

Chances are that the outcome will be Britain remaining in the Custom union, an à la carte solution, which was almost obvious from the beginning.  The British should take heart.  It only took 22 years for Norway to establish relations with the EU through the European Economic Area (EEA), and 29 years for Canada to negotiate with Europe through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA)!

Since all the thorny issues – the City, fishing , citizens’ rights, Gibraltar, etc – are included in the 27 pages of the non legally-binding Political Declarations, a  second part of Article 50 (in other words, swept under the rug ) will have to be negotiated later . Brexit will continue to haunt both the divided British opinion and also Europe .

Some may think it is the UK’s vocation is to be independent from Europe and turned toward the rest of the world.  It certainly seems British people consider EU membership a straight-jacket. Interestingly, these are the same reasons General Charles de Gaulle gave persistently more than 50 years ago as to why he was against the original entry of Britain into the European Economic Community (EEC).

Editor’s Note: This is the opinion of Nicole Prévost Logan.

Nicole Prévost Logan

About the author: Nicole Prévost Logan divides her time between Essex and Paris, spending summers in the former and winters in the latter. She writes a regular column for us from her Paris home where her topics will include politics, economy, social unrest — mostly in France — but also in other European countries. She also covers a variety of art exhibits and the performing arts in Europe. Logan is the author of ‘Forever on the Road: A Franco-American Family’s Thirty Years in the Foreign Service,’ an autobiography of her life as the wife of an overseas diplomat, who lived in 10 foreign countries on three continents. Her experiences during her foreign service life included being in Lebanon when civil war erupted, excavating a medieval city in Moscow and spending a week under house arrest in Guinea.

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Lyme Public Hall, Town of Lyme Celebrate Earth Day with Town-wide Clean Up Through April 22

The Lyme Public Hall Association and the Town of Lyme are currently sponsoring a town-wide roadside clean-up through April 22 in celebration of Earth Day.  Plastic trash bags are available free to the public at the Hadlyme Country Store at the corner of Ferry Rd. and Rte. 82.  Bags can also be obtained at the Reynolds Store at 254 Hamburg Road (Route 156) in Lyme, the Lyme Public Library, and the Lyme Town Hall.

Residents are invited to collect litter that has accumulated along the roads over the winter months. This year there are also be blue bags available for  recyclable bottles and cans. The Town of Lyme will pick up bags left along the roadside.

For more information, visit lymepublichall.org or email wdenow@comcast.com.

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Final 2019 Senior Studio Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy College Through May 17

The Senior Studio Exhibition features these artworks, from left to right, Chey Bridges, ‘Honua,” Adele Flamand-Browne, Gravitate,’ Whitney Lorenze, ‘Your Gain!’

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven hosts an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. this evening in the Chauncey Stillman and Sill House Galleries for its 2019 Senior Studio Exhibition.  All are welcome.

The seniors whose work is featured in the exhibition are studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Post-Baccalaureate degree and will graduate in May 2019. This will be the final exhibition of student portfolios submitted for degrees before the Lyme Academy ceases to be a degree-granting college later in the year after the University of New Haven’s withdrawal.

The Senior Studio experience at the College allows students to refine their vision and develop a skill set in order to create a body of work that exemplifies their individual interests, talents, and artistic sensibilities.

The 2019 Senior Studio Exhibition reflects the culmination of this project.  Students will be present at the opening reception and available to discuss their work.

The exhibition will be on view in the gallery through May 17.  Admission is free Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The sponsor of the exhibition is Saybrook Point Inn/Fresh Salt.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts of the University of New Haven is located at 84 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

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Old Lyme Plans to Purchase 300 Acres of McCulloch Farm for Open Space, Two Smaller Parcels Earmarked for Affordable Housing; Total Cost $600K

The Town of Old Lyme Open Space Commission has announced an agreement to purchase approximately 300 acres of the McCulloch Farm for open space, and two smaller areas of three acres each within the 300 acres, subject to approval, for $600,000.

Immediately following the unanimous approval of authorization to sign at a special meeting of the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen on April 1, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder signed the contract on behalf of the town.

The McCulloch Farm, established in 1929, is considered one of Old Lyme’s signature properties and, as such, has been a key priority for open space acquisition.

The linkage of the McCulloch property to the town’s Ames Open Space, and to the adjacent Lay Preserve owned by the Old Lyme Land Trust, would create a large naturally significant greenway and forest, and it would greatly further a long-held goal of establishing a cross-town trail system for hiking, jogging, bicycling, bird watching and nature studies. In essence, the purchase would form an Old Lyme “Preserve” akin to that found in Old Saybrook.

The property holds particular ecological importance as part of the upper watershed of the Black Hall River, a tributary of the Connecticut River, which is part of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. A conservation easement on the property is held by The Nature Conservancy, Inc. While this easement does protect the land from development, it does not allow for public access to, and enjoyment of, the McCulloch Farm’s forest, fields and waterways.

Upon closing of the sale, the Open Space Commission hopes to quickly provide public access, and will aim towards creating an initial trail by this spring’s National Trails Day. The Old Lyme Land Trust has generously committed to overseeing trail-blazing. Eventually, the commission envisions three public trails and will explore other potential public uses, consistent with preserving the property’s natural state.

The complicated purchase has two components. The Open Space Commission would pay $500,000 for roughly 300 acres of McCulloch farm land.

The existing conservation easement allows for the possible development of two three-acre areas not pegged to any particular location within the McCulloch property. The town will pay $50,000 each for these areas, which have been appraised at $98,000 apiece. These areas would be fixed off Flat Rock Hill Rd., adjacent to affordable housing lots previously given to the town by David McCulloch.

The Open Space Commission and McCulloch family hope the two areas will be similarly developed for future affordable housing, after which the acquisition fund would be reimbursed for their sale price.

The purchase price of the McCulloch Farm property will be paid entirely from the town’s existing Open Space acquisition fund.

No budget appropriation, debt or other expense to taxpayers will be needed.

The commission will now seek the necessary final approvals. The Nature Conservancy, Inc. must approve the sale, although the town’s acquisition aligns with that organization’s goal of open space protection. The Open Space Commission will also present the purchase to the Planning Commission, with an ultimate goal of bringing the proposal to a Town Meeting in May.

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Reading Uncertainly? ‘Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind’ by Yuval Noah Harari

“I’m not trying to predict the future,” Yuval Harari argued in an Edge (an international group of the curious – see www.edge.org) discussion with Daniel Kahneman (March 5, 2015). “I’m trying to identify the horizon of possibilities that we are facing.”

Professor Harari, of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and an Oxford PhD, wrote this incredibly imaginative alternate view of the entire 200,000-year history of our species, Homo sapiens, on this earth, a mammal with a uniquely large brain. He suggests we have survived and prospered, perhaps too much, through the use of myths: “large numbers of strangers can cooperate successfully by believing in common myths,” even though we now know, “there are no gods in the universe, no nations, no money, no human rights, no laws, and no justice outside the common imagination of human beings.”

Harari re-thinks just about every “myth” that confuses our practices as human beings.

This “history” challenges our numerous “misconceptions” by stepping back from all we thought we knew, separating the growth of human existence through three “revolutions” of human existence: the cognitive (when we learned to think and communicate), the agricultural (when we shifted from nomadic movement to a more sedentary life), and the scientific (when we began asking “why” and “how.”).

In doing so he manages to skewer, with both rational argument and good humor, most of our cherished beliefs. And how little we actually know about our predecessors, saying, “a curtain of silence shrouds tens of thousands of years of history,” simply because of our lack of language and surviving relics.

What about the disappearances of many earlier species? We’ve been taught that climatic conditions or perhaps asteroids were the causes. Harari argues that we, homo sapiens, are more likely responsible for their demise than crashes or dramatic climate changes (ice ages, he notes, have occurred about once every 100,000 years). Our earth’s climate “is in constant flux” and most species have been able to adapt.

But many could not adapt to us!

As a student of risk management, I was interested to learn that our Agricultural Revolution, beginning about 12,000 years ago also increased our concern about our future, linked with the new “fundamental uncertainty of agriculture.” That is when we constructed “an imagined order.” Harari cites both the Code of Hammurabi (circa 1776 BCE) and the American Declaration of Independence (1776) as “imagined orders” that enabled “us to cooperate effectively and forge a better society.”

Acceptance of these “imagined orders” became “ embedded in the natural world and shaped our desires.” They “existed within the community network linking the subjective consciousness of many individuals.” Imagined orders both free and imprison us …

They are, Harari argues, how humans “organized themselves into mass cooperative networks.”  They result in “imagined hierarchies” and “unjust discrimination” such as the Hindu caste system and the Babylonian separation of human beings into “superior men,” “commoners,” and “slaves.”

But, for example, do the “fundamental values” of equality and individual freedom (liberty) contradict each other? Harari suggests they do but that “this is no defect. Such contradictions are an inseparable part of every human culture. In fact, they are culture’s engines, responsible for the creativity and dynamism of our species.”

Money is also a shared myth. It is wholly imaginary but it does create healthy inter-dependence. Money is a “purely mental revolution” to “represent systemically the value of other things for the purpose of exchanging goods and services.”

Today, “more than 90 percent of all money – more than $50 trillion appearing in our accounts — exists only on computer servers.” Bitcoin, indeed! Money is the “apogee of human tolerance,” based on two “universal principles: convertibility and trust.”

Harari steps back and also studies religion, “a system of human norms and values founded on a belief in a superhuman order.” Religion moves from animism, to polytheism, to monotheism, to dualism, to socialist humanism, and, most recently, to evolutionary humanism. It appears to be a human construct.

Questions always remain: “Are we out of the global economic crisis, or is the worst yet to come? Will China continue growing until it becomes the leading superpower? Will the United States lose its hegemony? Is the upsurge of monotheistic fundamentalism the wave of the future or a local whirlpool of little long-term significance? Are we headed toward ecological disaster or technological paradise?”

Our most recent “revolution,” the Scientific, says Harari, began on July 16, 1945 at 05:29:53 with the explosion of the first atomic bomb. It also coincided with the explosion of population: 500 million in 1500 and 7.3 billion in 2015. One of the keys to our scientific progress has been “our willingness to admit ignorance,” leading to insatiable curiosity and constructive, mathematical observation. But we also have an “obsession with military technology.”

Is it time to “rethink the idea of continual progress?”

Are we obsessed with “growth?” Harari answers, “For better or worse, in sickness and in health, the modern economy has been growing like a hormone-soused teenager.”  But is perpetual growth an illusion or “will this idea burst like all bubbles?”

His reply: “When growth becomes a supreme good, unrestricted by any other ethical considerations, it can easily lead to catastrophe.” Or will “ecological turmoil endanger the survival of homo sapiens itself?” Will only rats and cockroaches survive our insanity, as also suggested by Elizabeth Kolbert in The Sixth Extinction?

And what about “the pursuit of happiness?” Harari suggests a biological approach to happiness, that our natural system releases serotonin and other organic compounds to produce “ephemeral eddys of good fortune,” but never long-lasting and always returning us to a median level of euphoria. “Happiness” is, to him, entirely subjective, despite the story of Huxley’s “soma.”

How will it all end? Will advancing technology produce cyborgs of all of us, enabling individuals to “live” for hundreds of years, or will we simply destroy our species, leaving smiling cockroaches?

Harari’s last questions are: “What do we want to become?” and “What do we want to want?” Unanswerable, of course, but we are innately curious and creative!

Editor’s Note: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is published by HarperCollins, New York 2015.

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, 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.

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