February 16, 2019

Tomorrow, Essex Winter Series Presents Midiri Brothers Sextet

Paul Midiri who will play in the Midiri Brothers Sextet on Sunday, Feb. 17. File photo courtesy of Essex Winter Series by Tom Salvas.

ESSEX – Essex Winter Series’ presents its Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert featuring the Midiri Brothers Sextet with special guest Jeff Barnhart on Sunday, Feb. 17, at 3 p.m. at John Winthrop Middle School, Deep River.

The incomparable Midiri Brothers Sextet performs a phenomenal jazz program celebrating the great reedmen, including Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Jimmy Noone and many othersJoseph Midiri is considered a virtuoso of clarinet and saxophone, and Paul Midiri’s wide-ranging talents include vibraphone, drums, and trombone. The added bonus will be Essex Winter Series’ Jazz Advisor and pianist Jeff Barnhart, who will join the group with his dynamic energy.

“I am thrilled to have multi-instrumental virtuosi Joe and Paul Midiri return for a concert, this time with their jazz ensemble, the Midiri Brothers Sextet,” said Barnhart. “The Sextet has been a mainstay of the CT Jazz scene throughout the Great CT Traditional Jazz Festival and the Hot Steamed Jazz Festival, and their legions of fans will be out in force to see their new show celebrating music of the great jazz reedmen. Don’t miss it!”

The lineup includes Joseph Midiri, co-leader, reeds; Paul Midiri, co-leader, vibraphone; Danny Tobias, jazz cornet, trumpet; Pat Mercuri, guitar, banjo; Jack Hegyi, bass; Jim Lawlor, drums; Jeff Barnhart, piano.

Essex Winter Series’ 42nd season continues on March 17 with violinist Tai Murray (the 2019 Fenton Brown Emerging Artist) joining the New Haven Symphony Orchestra under the direction of William Boughton for a program featuring Mozart, Prokofiev, Barber, and Hadyn.

The final concert of the series is Chanticleer, known around the world as “an orchestra of voices,” celebrating their 40th year with a program of favorites composers, from Palestrina and Victoria to Mason Bates and Steven Stucky, as well as audience favorite arrangements by Jennings, Shaw and others.  The concert will take place on April 7.

All performances take place on Sundays at 3 p.m. with the February jazz concert at John Winthrop Middle School, 1 John Winthrop Middle School Road, Deep River; the March concert at Valley Regional High School, 256 Kelsey Hill Road, Deep River; and the April concert at Old Saybrook Senior High School, 1111 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook. Seating is general admission and tickets may be purchased by calling 860-272-4572 or visiting www.essexwinterseries.com.

The 2019 season is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Masonicare at Chester Village, Tower Laboratories, Guilford Savings Bank, and BrandTech Scientific.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation Hosts 7th Annual Trivia Bee, March 15: Have You Entered Your Team Yet??

Time for a night out!

Join with community members, friends, and family for the 7th Annual Trivia Bee held on March 15, at 7 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) auditorium.  Admission is free!

The 2019 Trivia Bee is a unique opportunity to support Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation (LOLEF) while having a terrific time.  There will be raffles and prizes.  Plus, the LOLHS, musical group, Tuesday Afternoons, will provide entertainment.

Teams of four will compete for the Golden Bee Trophy, by testing their knowledge of trivia questions supplied by Trivia Academy.  Last year, students, local business owners, and teachers were among those who formed teams for the competition. So, brush up on your trivia knowledge, get together with some friends or colleagues, and register your team for the Bee! 

And, if you are interested in sponsoring as Region 18 faculty or student team, just visit the LOLEF website and sign up.  All funds raised at the Trivia Bee will be returned to the community in the form of grants for Lyme-Old Lyme Schools and other local non-profit organizations.

Whether as a team demonstrating your far-flung trivia knowledge or as a member of the audience, all are welcome on March 15 at the LOLEF Trivia Bee!

The LOLEF is a charitable organization that provides financial support for educational projects, enrichment programs and innovative initiatives not typically funded by Regional District 18 or other governmental entities. LOEF has awarded grants for educational initiatives benefiting our youngest students to our senior citizens.  You can find out more about the grants that have been awarded, as well as how to apply for a grant, at www.loef.org.

Share

Final Annual Student Exhibition on View at Lyme Academy

‘Childs Gaze’ by Cynthia Celone is the signature work of the Student Exhibition.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts hosts an Opening Reception for the 43rd and final Annual Student Exhibition at Lyme Academy tomorrow evening, Friday, Feb. 15, from 5 to 7 p.m.

All are welcome and admission is free.

The exhibition will be on view through March 23, Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery.

Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts is located at 84 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT

Share

Letter From Paris: Life in the ‘City of Light’ is a War Zone … with Wheels!

Nicole Prévost Logan

Paris is waging a war on wheels.

In order to survive crossing the street, pedestrians have to defy car drivers while on the sidewalks, the war is between the people who walk and those on wheels in a multitude of forms.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a socialist, has made it her mission to reduce pollution in the French capital by shrinking the space open to vehicles.  It is a laudable cause and many Parisians appreciate its immediate results. 

Thanks to the closing of the roadways along the Seine, people have regained the previously lost pleasure of walking leisurely near the water, away from the noise of the traffic, while their children can play freely.

It is possible now to walk miles and discover Paris from east to west.  More boats line up at the quays and have become floating cafés.  In warm weather, tons of sand and palm trees appear overnight to give the berges (banks) de la Seine a summery look. 

But the process of narrowing avenues with larger sidewalks and creating bicycle and bus lanes can be overwhelming for residents.  For months, the ambitious project to reduce the Bastille circle to merely an intersection of avenues has turned the area into a gigantic worksite. 

People have to struggle through ever-changing makeshift paths amid the noise and dust of heavy equipment that is variously moving mountains of dirt or asphalt, installing fire hydrants and electrical cables, and relocating bus stops.  Everyday the urban landscape changes causing irritation among Parisians and resultant excessive horn-blowing. 

For pedestrians, crossing a street feels like an obstacle course.  When the lights change, motorcycles seem to think they are at the Le Mans 24 hour race (the most famous car race in France), backfire their engine to make as much noise as possible and surge forward riding only on their back wheel.  Pedestrians had better get out of the way! 

Arriving at a traffic light, drivers will not stop until it turns to amber.  The crossing space, called les clous in France (it used to be-marked by what looked like oversize thumbtacks), is encumbered with trucks, cars and busses through which one has to meander to find a passage. 

Even when the light turns green, a war of nerves starts between drivers and pedestrians. Tourists and out-of-towners hesitate and are too polite.  This is a big mistake, which is interpreted as an opportunity to move forward rapidly by drivers.  But old-time Parisians are more daring and will bluff their adversaries at the wheel.  At busy intersections, the vehicles coming from side streets do not even slow down, turning the scene into ridiculous grid locks .

Sidewalks are supposedly designed for pedestrians. Wrong!

A ‘trottinette’

A ‘gyrorue’

Today the latter share the space with an ever-increasing number of humans on wheels: big-engined motorbikes taking a short-cut then parking right in front of their destination, bicycles, skateboards, electric scooters or trottinettes — the current rage — and monowheel scooters or gyroroue.  The list is open-ended since technology invents new devices all the time. 

Traffic on sidewalks is not regulated and follows the rule of the jungle, which means no rules at all.  

Last month, I attended a big event along with hundreds of residents of my arrondissement to hear our mayor present his New Year wishes.  Among the elected members of the conseil municipal (town council), I spotted the person in charge of transportation and commented on the war-like atmosphere in our streets. 

He was very evasive, saying, yes, we are aware there is a problem, but I wondered what this transportation official was actually doing besides “being aware of the problem.” 

I almost forgot … I should add another category to my story about the wheels onslaught and that is the hordes of tourists pushing their suitcases … on wheels!

Living in Paris is an enjoyable challenge.  Having no wheels definitely keeps you on your toes.

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.

Share

Presentation on ‘Something Old, Something New’ at Old Lyme Library Tonight


Appropriately timed for Valentine’s Day on Thursday, Taylor McClure, a museum educator at the Connecticut Historical Society, will present, “Something Old, Something New: Connecticut Weddings Through the Ages,” at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at 6:30 p.m.

McClure will walk attendees down the metaphorical aisle from colonial times to modern times. Did you ever wonder how Nutmeggers have tied the knot over the years, how they celebrated and what they wore?  And how did some of our cherished wedding customs originate?

This program uses Connecticut Historical Society’s extensive collection of wedding clothing, accessories, photographs and prints to examine some of our ideas about what makes a “traditional” wedding. McClure will also explore those traditions to reveal how ideas about marriage have changed through the ages.

Registration would be appreciated for planning purposes.  Click here to register.

Share

Wildcats Boys Continue Spectacular Season

Aedan Using was the leading scorer  with 21 points against Hale Ray last night.

Old Lyme notched another victory last night at Hale Ray winning by 66 points to 47, leaving them undefeated in the Shoreline Conference.

The Wildcats were led by junior Aedan Using, who scored 21 points and 11 rebounds.

Quinn Romeo added 16 points and 6 steals, while

Connor Hogan chipped in with 12.

The Wildcats are now 15-1 overall and 15-0 in the Shoreline Conference.

Share

‘The Kate’ Hosts Dazzling Oscar Night Party, Feb. 24, Tickets on Sale Now

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) transforms into a glittering, Hollywood-esque venue for its Oscar Night Party on Sunday, Feb. 24 beginning at 7 p.m. at the center located at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook. This annual red-carpet fund raising event honors the Kate’s 12-time Oscar Nominated, 4-time-winning namesake and makes for an entertaining evening.  Proceeds support quality performing arts and cultural presentations at the Kate throughout the year.

“We always look forward to this event to celebrate Katharine Hepburn’s achievements,” said Brett Elliott, Executive Director. “This year is extra special as we’ll be rooting for our friend and 2017 Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award recipient, Glenn Close, who is nominated for Best Actress for ‘The Wife’.”

Delicious hearty hors d’oeuvres and desserts are provided by Fresh Salt and a cash bar is available throughout the evening as the 91st Academy Awards ceremony airs live in surround sound on the Kate’s big screen. Guests will walk the red carpet, pose for photos, and have the chance to hold a real Oscar, thanks to Devin Carney, state representative and grandson of the late award-winning actor Art Carney. Carney is emcee for the event and a member of the Kate’s board of trustees.

An auction and raffle add to the fun of the evening, as well as Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook’s “Mystery Red Box” activity. Sixty jewelry boxes wrapped in vibrant red paper and white bows are available for purchase with each box containing a Becker’s gift certificate and one grand prize box holding a beautiful piece of jewelry.

The Oscar Night Party is sponsored by H&R Block of Old Saybrook, Secor Volvo, Becker’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry of Old Saybrook, Comcast, Gulick & Co., Pough Interiors, and Saybrook Point Inn Marina & Spa.

For information and tickets for all shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0453.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center.

It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

Share

Rep. Carney, Sen. Formica Host Office Hours This Evening in Old Lyme

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

State Rep. Carney (R-23rd) and State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20th) will offer residents of Lyme and Old Lyme an opportunity to meet with them on Monday, Feb. 11, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Community Room  in a relaxed setting and discuss any legislative or local issues, including the 2019 legislative session.

All residents are encouraged to attend.

Those who are unable to attend but would like to contact Rep. Carney may do so at (800) 842-1423 or by email at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov.

Share

LYSB, LOL Schools Host Important Social Media Awareness Session Tonight for Parents

Does your child have a cell-phone? Then this information session is for you …

Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau and Lyme-Old Lyme Schools co-host an important information session for parents Wednesday, Jan. 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium.

The presenter will be Trooper Kate Cummings from the CT State Police, who is also a Statewide DARE Coordinator. 

Topics that Cummings will cover during the presentation include: 

  • Current social media trends and adolescent behavior online 
  • What is your digital footprint? 
  • Cell phone abuse 
  • Resources to keep your family safe. 

This program is free and open to the public. It is appropriate for parents and all adults who care about children. 

Share

Talking Transportation: Why 30-30-30 Doesn’t Add Up

How would you like a faster ride on Metro-North?  Who wouldn’t?!  How about a 30-minute ride from Hartford to New Haven, from New Haven to Stamford or from Stamford to Grand Central?

That’s the vision announced by Governor Lamont in his inaugural address.  It’s known as the 30-30-30 plan and sounds good compared to current running times (52 minutes, 55 minutes and 48 minutes respectively.)  But how can such vast improvements be done?  Ask Joe McGee, VP of the Fairfield Business Council, who’s been pitching this idea for years.

So confident was McGee of this concept that his Council recently paid $400,000 to Ty Lin Consulting of San Francisco to study it.  And which railroad expert did Ty Lin hire to spearhead the study?  Joseph Giulietti, former President of Metro-North … recently named as Connecticut’s new Commissioner of Transportation.

Though the Ty Lin study has yet to be released, McGee admits that the 30-30-30 idea is more of a goal than a possibility.  Yet, for as little as $75 to $95 million, Ty Lin thinks significant improvements can be made in speeding up service by accelerating Metro-North’s return to a “state of good repair.”

When he was President of Metro-North, Giulietti said it would take five years to get the railroad back in shape after years of neglect.  Today, Metro-North says a more realistic time frame is 10 years.

By fixing rail ties and overhead power lines to improve speeds on curves, by restoring the fourth track east of Milford and by adding express trains (at a premium fare), McGee claims service will improve quickly, maybe shaving 24 minutes off of the current 103 minute running time from New Haven to Grand Central. That would make it a 79-minute run, but not 60.

But wait.  If this was Giulietti’s idea as a consultant, why didn’t he make that happen when he was running Metro-North?  Or how will he now, as Commissioner of the CDOT, get his old railroad to adopt Ty Lin’s (his) ideas?  I asked, but he isn’t saying.

What seasoned professionals at CDOT have told me is that the Ty Lin ideas will cost billions of dollars and take a decade.  In other words … there’s no quick, cheap fix.

Meantime, Metro-North is planning to add six to 10 minutes of running time to all New Haven line trains for the spring timetable to better reflect the reality of current delays due to work.  For 2018, the railroad had only 88 percent on time performance (OTP).  By extending the train schedule on paper, OTP will go up and riders will have a more dependable, albeit slower, ride.

Lengthening running times, even on paper, “is not acceptable,” says McGee who hopes to release his Ty Lin study in about two weeks, fully expecting huge pushback from the railroad and east-coast consultants beholden to the MTA.

But it’s really the FRA (the Federal Railroad Administration) that’s the biggest block to faster trains.  The slower speeds they required after the 2013 Bridgeport and Spuyten Duyvil derailments won’t be raised until they’re convinced the railroad is safe.

So let the debate begin:  is 30-30-30 possible or just a fantasy?  Did Giulietti create himself a nightmare in proposing as a consultant what he may not be able to deliver as CDOT Commissioner?

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media

Jim Cameron

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

Share

Musical Masterworks Presents Barrière, Schoenberg, Brahms in Concert This Afternoon

Musical Masterworks welcomes back several internationally acclaimed artists, along with a handful of exciting Old Lyme debuts on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:00 pm. 

Violist Ettore Causa

This concert represents the Musical Masterworks debut of violist Ettore Causa, who will perform alongside veteran Masterworks violinists Jesse Mills and Jennifer Frautschi, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.

This program features two masterpieces for a string sextet: Arnold Schoenberg’s romantic Transfigured Night, based on the poignant poem bearing that title by Richard Dehmel; and Johannes Brahms’s exquisite G Major Sextet.

The concert will begin with a charming duo for two cellos by the French Baroque-era composer, Jean-Baptiste Barrière. 

Violinist Jennifer Frautschi

Join Artistic Director, Edward Arron, one hour before each concert for a pre-concert talk about the lives of these composers.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2019.  Mini subscriptions include three concerts and are available for $100 each or individual tickets are $40 for adults and $5 for students.

Visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

Musical Masterworks welcomes back several internationally acclaimed artists, along with a handful of exciting Old Lyme debuts on Saturday, Feb. 9, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 10, at 3:00 pm.  We are delighted to present the Musical Masterworks debut of violist Ettore Causa, alongside beloved MM veteran violinists Jesse Mills and Jennifer Frautschi, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Wilhelmina Smith.

This program features two masterpieces for string sextet: Arnold Schoenberg’s uber-romantic Transfigured Night, based on the poignant poem bearing that title by Richard Dehmel; and Johannes Brahms’s exquisite G Major Sextet. The concert will begin with a charming and virtuosic duo for two cellos by the French Baroque-era composer, Jean-Baptiste Barrière. 

Join Artistic Director, Edward Arron, one hour before each concert for a pre-concert talk about the lives of these composers.

Musical Masterworks’ season runs through May 2019.  Mini subscriptions include three concerts and are available for $100 each or individual tickets are $40 for adults and $5 for students. Visit Musical Masterworks at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.

Share

Old Lyme Wins Shoreline Gymnastics Title

Lyme-Old Lyme emerged as Shoreline champions yesterday with 124.9 points at the end of the 1st Annual Shoreline Gymnastic Championships. Valley Regional were runners-up with 119.25, and Haddam-Killingworth a distant third with 66.9 points.
Britney Detuzzi of Old Lyme came in 1st place and was named AA Shoreline Champion with 35.5 points. Her full results were 1st in the vault with 9.3 points, 1st on the bars with 8.5, 1st on the beam with 8.6, and 1st on the floor exercises with 9.1.
Maria Denya, also of Old Lyme took 2nd place and was named AA Shoreline Champion with 33.1 points.Her full results were 3rd in the vault with 8.1, 2nd in the bars with 8.1, 1st on the beam with 8.6, and 2nd on the floor exercises with 8.3.
Leah Frantz of Valley Regional gained  3rd Place and was named AA Shoreline Champion with 31.85 points. She came 2nd in the vault with 8.3 points.

Chole Cahill of Old Lyme came third  on the beam with 8.2 points and took third place in the floor exercises with 8.1 points.

Congratulations, Wildcats!
Share

Movement to Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags in CT Gathers Momentum, Petition Started

When we published a piece about Connecticut towns banning single-use plastic bags, we received an overwhelming response on our Facebook post about the article from our readers that they supported the idea of Old Lyme enacting this policy.

We’ve just learned that today two legislators, long-time environmental advocate Rep. Jonathan Steinberg and newcomer Sen. Will Haskell, will stand together at Compo Beach in Westport at 1 p.m. to announce a statewide effort to ban single-use plastic bags in Connecticut. (Attendees will congregate near the cannons)

Connecticut uses more than 400 million single-use plastic bags each year, and many of them wind up in Long Island Sound, the Connecticut River, and waterways across the state. They can have devastating effects on our wildlife and environment, and it’s time to put a stop to their menace.

Rep. Steinberg and Sen. Haskell are working hard to eliminate single-use plastic bags in Connecticut. Join them today so we can show the entire General Assembly that the movement is gaining momentum.

You can also sign a petition to ban single-use plastic bags in our state.

Share

See ‘Anything Goes’ Before it Goes! Today at 2 or 7pm

Philip Sweeney, as Billy Crocker, and Elyza Learned as Reno, play the lead roles in ‘Anything Goes,’ which opens tonight at Lyme-Old Lyme High School.

It’s Delightful, It’s Delicious … it’s Anything Goes!

An exciting moment for the ocean liner’s passengers in Anything Goes.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School’s (LOLHS) spring musical Anything Goes opens tonight: Welcome Aboard!

The full cast of ‘Anything Goes’ in the dress rehearsal earlier this week.

Anything Goes follows nightclub singer Reno Sweeney on her voyage from New York City to England aboard the ocean liner the S.S. American. Reno’s friend Billy Crocker, a stockbroker, has stowed away aboard the ship in pursuit of his love, Hope Harcourt.

‘Anything Goes’ Director and professional opera singer Brian Cheney, second from right, gives some advice to Thomas Pennie (center) who plays Lord Evelyn Oakleigh in the musical.

The only problem is that Hope is already engaged to a rich British man, Lord Evelyn Oakleigh.

Rehearsing a scene are from left to right, Margot Paynter (back), Olivia Rugg, who plays Evangeline Harcourt, Liam Clark who approses the role of Eli Whitney, Caroline King (back), the male lead, Billy Crocker, played by Philip Sweeney, Maggie Rommel, Madison Babcock, Sadie Frankel (black/white striped sweater in the back-plays Henrietta T. Dobson), and Hannah Morrison (red shirt-plays Hope Harcourt

The show includes memorable songs by Cole Porter that many audience members will recognize, such as I Get a Kick Out of You, It’s De-Lovely, You’re the Top, and of course, Anything Goes. 

Joining the love triangle is Moonface Martin, Public Enemy #13 who has boarded the boat disguised as a minister, and his sidekick Erma. Together with the help of the dancing sailors and two Chinese gangsters, Reno and Moonface must assist Billy on his mission to win back Hope’s heart.

Anything Goes features choreography by Bethany Haslam of The Dance Center of Old Lyme, set construction by LOLHS Art Department Chair William Allik, costume design by Denise Golden, music direction by LOL Middle School Chorus teacher Laura Gladd, and direction by Brian Cheney.

Although this is Cheney’s first time directing a production at LOLHS, he has been the assistant director to Laura Gladd at LOL Middle School for the past few years as well as directed many other high school and college productions.

Cheney has also been a professional performer for more than 20 years and is an acclaimed opera singer both nationally and internationally. He says, “I think what’s been the most fulfilling thing for me is to be able to give the students a glimpse at what a professional rehearsal process is like.” Cheney adds, “It’s been great being able to support them in that way.”

“Mr. Cheney really lets you as the actor discover who the character is yourself,” says junior Philip Sweeney, who plays Billy Crocker. “Then he’ll just make any changes if there’s any problems.”

“And if you have a question, you know he has an answer for you,” adds senior Elyza Learned, who plays Reno Sweeney. “And if he doesn’t right away, he’ll get back to you.”

In addition to Sweeney and Learned, the musical stars senior Hannah Morrison as Hope Harcourt, junior Jonathan Hamilton as Moonface Martin, and senior Thomas Pennie as Lord Evelyn Oakleigh. The show also features senior Liam Clark as Eli Whitney and senior Olivia Rugg as Evangeline Harcourt, and senior Kendall Antoniac as Erma.

“I hope people come see the show because we’ve worked really hard, and it’s also really funny,” says Morrison. “There’s some awesome dancing and our costumes are going to be great and our set is really cool…overall, it’s just going to be a great show!”

“It’s a classically-period, comedic piece so it’s a really funny show,” adds Cheney. “And I believe this is going to be one of the best musical performances the community has seen at the high school.”

Anything Goes opens at LOLHS on Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. There are also 7 p.m. performances on Friday, Feb. 8, and Saturday, Feb. 9. Additionally, there is a matinee performance at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tickets can be purchased at this link or at the door, $12 for students and senior citizens and $15 for adults.

For more information, call the high school at 860-434-1651

Share

Reading Uncertainly: ‘The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World’ by Maya Jasanoff

Having read all of Patrick O’Brian, plus his biography (see LymeLine, Feb. 22, 2018), and having read most of that other great author of sea stories in the 20th Century, Joseph Conrad, it was only natural to launch into this latest study of him by Harvard’s Maya Jasanoff.

Josef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski was as compulsive a reader as O’Brian, but this Pole added global travel to his years. Born to Polish parents in the Ukraine in 1857, he followed his banished father to Nizhny Novgorod in Russia (this city was where Count Alexander Rostov ended in Amor Towles’s A Gentleman in Moscow: see my review in LymeLine, Dec. 17, 2017!), he returned to Poland, then went to sea from France and ended an English gentleman and author.

Jasanoff’s thesis is that, “Conrad watched the emergence of the globally interrelated world …” first from Eastern Europe, then from various sailing ships in the Far East and Africa, and finally from southern England. While early on he was “obsessed with becoming a sailor” he also found that, “in books he could travel the world.” For a life at sea, Conrad wrote “There’s rarely something to look at, there’s always something to see. People are always asleep, people are always awake. You’re never alone, you’re always isolated.”

Two delightful bits that recalled to me my few years at sea: (1) “Having matured in the surroundings and under the special conditions of sea life, I have a special piety toward that form of my past …” and (2) “For utter surrender to indolence you cannot beat a sailor ashore when that mood is on him, the mood of absolute irresponsibility tasted to the full.”

Jasanoff concludes thus with her linkage of Conrad to our increasingly interconnected world, “What Conrad had made me see, I realized, was a set of forces whose shapes may have changed but whose challenges have not. Today’s hearts of darkness are to be found in other places where civilizing missions serve as covers for exploitation. The heirs of Conrad’s technologically displaced sailors (steam replacing sail) are to be found in industries disrupted by digitization. The analogues to his anarchists are to be found in Internet chat rooms or terrorist cells. The material interests he centered in the United States emanate today as much from China.”

So perhaps it was only natural that I turned again to Conrad himself in A Personal Record, first published in 1908 when he was 50-years-old. Some jewels:
“It is better for mankind to be impressionable than reflective. Nothing humanly great—great, I mean as affecting a whole mass of lives—has come from reflection.”
“Only in men’s imagination does every truth find an effective and undeniable existence. Imagination, not invention, is the supreme master of art as of life. An imaginative and exact rendering of authentic memories may serve worthily that spirit of piety toward all things human which sanction the conceptions of a writer of tales, and the emotions of the man reviewing his own experience.”
And, of course …
“Books are an integral part of one’s life.”

Editor’s Note: ‘The Dawn Watch: Joseph Conrad in a Global World’ by Maya Jasanoff was published by Penguin Press, New York, 2017.

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.

Share

Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Auditions for ‘Godspell, Mama Mia and Cabaret’ Today

The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for Equity and non- Equity actors for the 2019 summer musicals – Godspell, Mama Mia and Cabaret – on Friday, Feb. 8, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ivoryton Playhouse Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main Street in Centerbrook, Conn.

The Playhouse is looking for actors, singers and dancers to fill all roles. Check their website for production dates at www.ivorytonplayhouse.org

All auditions are by appointment. Bring a picture and resumé and prepare a song in the style of the show.

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.207 or email lizzy@ivorytonplayhouse.org

Share

Old Lyme Library Hosts Author Talk, Book Signing Tonight with Acclaimed Bird Photographer, Writer Kolber

On Thursday, Feb. 7, at 6:30 p.m., the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes (OL-PGN) Library hosts an Author Talk and Book Signing with Stanley M. Kolber, author of, of the birds according to their kinds.

Kolber lives locally and the review of his highly acclaimed book on Amazon.com states, “With artistically rendered photographs and engaging prose, of the birds according to their kinds brings the reader into an avian world throbbing with life, overflowing with beauty. It is a book you will pick up again and again, a companion for moments of reflection and repose.
Not a field guide, not a treatise, it shows one path to greater respect for these birds – to gratitude that, living their lives among us, they are a source of abiding wonder.
of the birds according to their kinds is a balm for the spirit.”

At this event, learn what inspired Kolber’s amazing photos.

Kolber has shared his love of birds, nature and photography by running workshops at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.  He has exhibited his photographs in New York’s Salmagundi Club and in Connecticut’s Mystic Museum of Art.

Among the highlights of the book are photos he captured while working at his favorite locations here in Southeastern Connecticut, and nearby coastal Rhode Island.

The event will be held in the OL-PGN Library Community Room.  All are welcome and admission is free.

Registration would be appreciated at this link since it allows the library a means of contacting people if there are any changes to the program due to weather, etc.

For more information, visit the library at http://www.oldlyme.lioninc.org or call 869-434-1684.

Share

Public Forum on Proposed Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Budget to be Held Tonight, Regular BOE Meeting Follows

The Region 18 Board of Education hosts a Special Meeting this evening at 6:30 p.m. that includes a Public Forum on its proposed 2019-20 school budget.  The meeting will be held in  the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School and will be followed by a Board of Education Regular Meeting at 7 p.m.  in the same location.

The meeting will be preceded by a Facilities & Finance Committee Meeting in the Central Office Conference Room at 5 p.m.

The public is welcome to attend all these meetings.

Share

Op-Ed: Region 18 School Budget is Cause for Concern, Public Forum Tonight is an Opportunity to Raise Questions

This op-ed was submitted by Emerson Colwell of Old Lyme.

As a taxpayer in Lyme/Old Lyme, I am writing today because I am extremely concerned about the 2019/2020 School Budget. I feel like there should be a great deal more discussion around a town funded preschool program, something that will directly affect our taxes forever if adopted. Below are just a few of the questions and concerns I have about the proposal.

Region 18 has a large responsibility with the highly achieving academics in our K-12 programs. While the idea of free preschool is one that most people would feel positive about, is $400,000 an expense that you feel should come before our current program needs?

At the last Board meeting on January 16th, Mr. Neviaser clearly stated that he would not take the preschool program out if the budget does not get approved. Region 18 is willing to spend $400,000 + of taxpayer money (that has not been approved by the town) to start a preschool for 17 children and take money out of programs for our currently enrolled 1200 students to fund it?

How is spending $400,000 on a new program that will require yearly funding and take potential funds away from existing programs “for” our kids?

Why is it necessary for taxpayers to pay for every kid to go to preschool?

One “fear” brought up in favor of rushing the proposed plan is that if it’s not done this year, the cost of remodeling Center School will go up. Let’s counter that with the “fear” that the longer our facilities are left unrepaired, the larger those costs will be on the taxpayers.

For less than $400,000, Lyme Consolidated could have a new hvac system and gym floor, two costs identified as necessary in the five year plan. For $250,000, Region 18 can fully fund the entire cost of the tennis courts which were deemed unusable. Why isn’t there a rush to repair our existing facilities that are servicing our 1200 students? Why can’t either or both of these costs be in this year’s budget instead of a new program that services so few children?

I’ve heard that the school board is going to ask to borrow money in a few years to cover all the facility costs. Does it make sense to push through a new preschool program that will need continuous yearly funding when we aren’t putting money in to repair our existing programs that need immediate repair?

There was a lot of talk about kindergarten readiness. Chances are that, here in CT, most kids have been provided with some form of early education. Does anyone know exactly how many of our current kindergarteners have had zero school exposure before entering Region 18? Do we know how many people would willingly pay to send their kids to preschool? Is it really necessary for the taxpayers of Lyme and Old Lyme to pay $400,000 for all of the 17 four year olds to have a preschool experience? Especially when we have current programs that are not being funded in the 2019/2020 budget?

The proposed preschool expansion cost of $400,000 is approximately $22,000 per child for 17 children. This cost is not just this year, it’s forever. How can they forecasted the complete annual costs for the program including facilities, repairs, teachers, IAs’, and the cost of the specials programs? Will the program require an administrator? Have they created a twenty year projection of the tax impact on the people who live in town? Have the BOE thought about using existing classrooms at Lyme Consolidated or Mike Creek that already have age appropriate toilets? Then Center School wouldn’t need $180,000 for a four to three room makeover, that’s a large amount of money that could be saved. Just because a space is empty doesn’t mean that you spend $400,000 to fill it.

The current success of our K-12 schools and programs has nothing to do with whether the children attended preschool or not. It has to do with the education and support they are receiving during those years. Is the current Region 18 staff 100% happy? Are they being provided enough support? Is there money that should be used to better support our current teachers and administrative staff? I understand that they are working on a review program, that’s great. I hope they really hear the concerns of the public

I highly encourage everyone opposed or in favor of this proposal to attend the BOE meetings tomorrow night at Center School at 5 pm for facilities meeting and 6:15 pm for the proposed 2019/2020 budget.

Editor’s Note:  Information we have received indicates that the Special Board of Education Meeting, which includes a Public Forum on the proposed 2019-2020 budget for the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools, is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. in the Board of Education Conference Room at Center School.

Share

Two Bills in Hartford Propose Regionalizing, Consolidating School Districts

This morning we are providing links to several articles and an op-ed relating to a subject of great interest to residents of Lyme and Old Lyme.  Two bills have been proposed in Hartford that promote the regionalization and consolidation of school districts in Connecticut.

The first three were published by CTNewsJunkie.com, a fellow member of the Local Independent Online News (LION) publishers national organization, with whom we are pleased occasionally to cross-publish our stories.

The second three were published by another member of LION publishers, Good Morning Wilton.com.

Down in Wilton, Conn., there has already been a great deal happening in response to the proposed Senate Bill 738 formerly 454, including the formation of a grass roots group called Protect Wilton Schools organized by Wilton residents and opposed to the regionalization proposals.

Links are provided to each article at the end of the brief introduction taken verbatim from the article itself.

Regionalization and Consolidation of School Districts Has Towns on Edge

HARTFORD, CT — The concept of regionalizing and consolidating school districts to save the cash-strapped state is not a new one, but two new bills pushing the initiative have moved the issue front and center this legislative session.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, proposed a bill which would force school districts in towns with less than 40,000 residents to consolidate with a neighboring district.

Senate bill 454 would force the regionalization of a large number of towns in the state, merging their school districts with larger municipalities or cities. Only 24 municipalities in Connecticut …

Read the full article by Jack Kramer and published at 5 a.m. on CTJunkie.com Jan. 28, at this link.

Education Committee: ‘Let’s At Least Talk About Regionalization’

HARTFORD, CT — A routine meeting of the Education Committee drew a standing-room-only crowd because the agenda included an item on school regionalization.

The Education Committee voted unanimously to draft 30 “concepts” as bills. One of those “concepts” was …

Read the full article by Jack Kramer and published at 1:47 p.m. on CTJunkie.com, Jan. 28, at this link.

OP-ED | Proposal For Forced School Consolidation A Nonstarter

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from covering local and state government on and off for the last 23 years, it’s that breaking up fiefdoms is a terribly difficult thing to do. And nowhere is that simple truth more evident than in the reaction to a couple of bills floating around the Capitol that propose to force smaller school districts to consolidate with larger ones.

Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven, has put forward legislation that …

Read the full op-ed by Terry Cowgill and published Feb. 4, on CTNewsJunkie.com at this link.

Another of fellow members of LION publishers, Good Morning Wilton.com, has been covering the developments.  Here are links to a selection of their articles:

Bill that Would Consolidate Wilton & Norwalk School Districts Proposed in Hartford

Wilton residents up in arms over a state bill proposing regionalizing school districts have formed “Protect Wilton Schools,” to organize efforts to try to stop the bill completely. At a meeting Thursday night attended by more than 200 people, organizers provided information about the legislative process and the plans they’ve started building to coordinate opposition.

The bill was introduced by the State Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney (D-11), who represents New Haven. It calls for …

Read the full article by Heather Borden Herve and published Feb. 1, on GoodMorningWilton.com at this link.

“Protect Wilton Schools” Group Formed to Respond to Hartford’s School Regionalization Push

Wilton residents up in arms over a state bill proposing regionalizing school districts have formed “Protect Wilton Schools,” to organize efforts to try to stop the bill completely. At a meeting Thursday night attended by more than 200 people, organizers provided information about the legislative process and the plans they’ve started building to coordinate opposition.

The effort to defeat the bill was organized by …

Read the full article by Heather Borden Herve and published Feb. 1, on GoodMorningWilton.com at this link.

School Consolidation Wrap Up: The Latest in Wilton’s News on SB 454/738

Since last week’s grass roots start of Protect Wilton Schools, the group organized by Wilton residents opposed to regionalization of school districts in Connecticut, there have been some new developments. Here’s the latest on what’s new, and some helpful links to information and news about the issue.

New Logo and Hashtag:  Hands Off Our Schools

Protect Wilton Schools introduced a hashtag for residents …

Read the full article by Heather Borden Herve and published today, Feb. 5, on GoodMorningWilton.com at this link.

Share