September 25, 2020

Lyme Library Hosts Zoom Meeting on ‘Equality, Opportunity, Promise of 19th Amendment,’ Saturday

LYME — The Friends of Lyme Public Library host a topical meeting on “Equality, Opportunity, and the Promise of the 19th Amendment,” Saturday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m.

The presentation will be given by MaryAnn Borelli via Zoom. This program is free and open to all, but you will need to register in advance to receive your invitation to the Zoom program.

There is a momentousness to constitutional amendments in the United States, of the well over 11,000 proposed to Congress since 1789, just 27 have been ratified. Each has brought great change and the 19th Amendment is no exception.

Its declaration – “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” – has reshaped patterns of access and privilege, moving some closer to power while pushing others further to the margins.

This difference endures although the Amendment itself seems unequivocal in its commitment to equality and political opportunity. What has undermined or reinforced the authority of the 19th Amendment? Why has its provision of the right to vote remained so contentious?

In a year when voting is at the forefront of our lives, the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment can and should inspire meditations about our country’s past, clarify diverse understandings of our present, and invigorate shared commitments for our future.

All are welcome to join this conversation, sharing your wisdom about politics and participation in the United States. 

Professor MaryAnn Borelli

MaryAnn Borrelli is the Susan Eckert Lynch ’62 Professor of Government at Connecticut College. The recipient of several teaching awards, her courses in United States politics include Congress, Gender and U.S. Politics, The U.S. Presidency, and Political Speechmaking.

Professor Borrelli’s books and articles focus on gender and identity in the presidency, specifically in the President’s cabinet and in the office of the First Lady. She has also co-authored briefing papers for the White House Transition Project, which has advised newly elected presidents since 2000. 

For more information and to register for this program, email programreg@lymepl.org.

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Free ‘Introduction to Photography’ via Zoom Presented by CT Valley Camera Club, Classes Start Tuesday

Richard Spearrin will teach the upcoming free ‘Introduction to Photography’ classes.

LYME/OLD LYME — Have you ever wanted to take better pictures? Or wondered why your pictures are not always sharp? Or perhaps you are overwhelmed with all the adjustments of your camera?

The Connecticut Valley Camera Club (CTVCC) will host two virtual tutorials to enable beginning photographers to start taking better pictures and enjoy using their cameras. Classes are free and will be offered through Zoom.com software.

The instructor is Richard Spearrin from Essex, a member of the CTVCC Steering Committee.

Spearrin started learning the successful elements of photography during his high school years working for a small CT newspaper. Most recently he has become extremely active in exhibiting at multiple area venues, arranging photo shoots for the camera club and mentoring beginning photographers.

The first of the two sessions, “Principles of Photography,” will concentrate on understanding the basics of good photography: exposure, lighting, focus and composition. In addition, attendees will understand how to use their digital camera more effectively.

The second session is titled, “Fun Principles of Photography,” and will discuss specific photographic activities such as capturing fireworks; creating silky streams and waterfalls; capturing light streaks; stopping action and extreme close up. Flash photography is also included in the second session.

Each session is scheduled for one hour and 30 minutes to accommodate questions and answers. And it does not matter if you use a smartphone, a point and shoot camera or a high-end adjustable camera.

As Ansel Adams, renowned environmental photographer, said, “A camera did not make a great picture any more than a typewriter made a good novel”. A good photograph is based on the heart, eye, and soul of the photographer.

Classes are free and will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 29, and Tuesday, Oct. 13 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

To register, send your name and email address to Richard Spearrin at wrspearrin@yahoo.com.  You will receive an invitation to attend the Zoom meetings prior to the first class.

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Partnership for Social Justice to Hold March, Teach-In on Desgregating CT, This Evening in Old Lyme

Signs were held high at a previous rally as the marchers crossed Main Street in Old Saybrook.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Partnership for Social Justice and the Old Saybrook March for Justice are co-hosting a march and “teach-in” focused on desegregating Connecticut on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 5:30 p.m. in front of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Participants will meet at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Rd., then march to Old Lyme’s Memorial  Town Hall, where the “teach-in” will take place. All are welcome.

All are requested to wear masks at the event.

Speakers anticipated to address the crowd include:

  • Fionnuala Darby-Hudgens from CT Fair Housing
  • Luke Reynolds from Desegregate CT
  • Tony Lyons from the HOPE Partnership
  • Sadie Frankel, a local high school student
  • Dave Rubino, candidate for District 23 State Representative
  • Rev. Steve Jungkeit from the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

The LOL Partnership’s mission is to educate residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social-justice efforts. 

For more information, visit the Partnership’s Facebook page at this link or send an email to LOLPartnership4SJ@gmail.com

The Old Saybrook March for Justice is an inclusive and welcoming coalition of friends and neighbors, who care deeply about basic human rights.

Their mission statement states, ” We are outraged by centuries of structural racism in this country. We stand with Black Lives Matter. We listen, learn and act. We understand that silence is not an option. We aim to be allies and antiracist. We are respectful, nonpartisan and inclusive. We welcome all who share our values. We educate ourselves and join in weekly marches.”

The schedule for subsequent marches is as follows:

Wednesday, Sept. 30:  Deep River – in front of Town Hall with speaker Professor O’Leary.

Wednesday, Oct. 7: Old Saybrook – in front of the Kate with speaker Professor Blight, the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Frederick Douglass.
All marches are on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
For further information and to raise any questions, email osbmarch@gmail.com with any questions.
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Death of Patricia Bugbee of Old Lyme Announced; Lifelong Resident, ‘Beloved Fixture at LOL High School’ for 21 Years (Neviaser)

Patricia Ann Bugbee, 1953-2020.

OLD LYME — UPDATED 5:30pm: It is with deep sadness that we share news of the passing of Patricia Ann Bugbee.

“Ms. Bugbee,” as she was known to generations of Lyme-Old Lyme High Schoolers, will be deeply missed.

Asked his reaction to the news of Ms. Bugbee’s passing, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser responded to LymeLine.com, “Ms. Bugbee was a beloved fixture at Lyme-Old Lyme High School. Her cheerful demeanor and great sense of humor were recognized by many in the 21 years she served our district. We extend our deepest condolences to her family.”

In our experience, Pat was a wonderful person, always going out of her way to help and comfort those in need. With her bright personality and sharp sense of humor, she brightened everyone’s day at the high school.

We at LymeLine.com also extend our deepest sympathies to all Pat’s family.

Her full obituary reads:

Patricia Ann Bugbee, 67, of Old Lyme passed away Thursday, Sept. 17, 2020, at Shoreline Clinic.

Patricia was born at L+M Hospital March 10, 1953. She grew up in Old Lyme attending Elementary, Middle and High School. Upon graduation, she worked for Chesebrough-Ponds for over two decades. She took an early retirement from there, and after a few other careers, became the Administration Assistant to the Vice Principal at the Lyme-Old Lyme High School for over 21 years.

She will be sadly missed by her father Donald S. Bugbee Sr; brother Donald S. Bugbee Jr; son John Duddy and his wife Melinda; and son-in-law Edward Wysocki. Patricia’s grandchildren were the light of her life, Eric J. Wysocki, Alexandra M. Duddy, Kelly A. Wysocki and Elizabeth M. Duddy. She loved being their Nana. Patricia was surrounded by a very large family of cousins, nieces, nephews, aunts and uncles, and amazing lifelong friends and coworkers that were all loved by her. Patricia is predeceased by her mother Dorothy K. Bugbee; sister Deborah Rutty and daughter Heather Ann (Duddy) Wysocki.

She was a lifelong resident of Old Lyme and loved being a part of her community. She was seen out at band and chorus concerts, years of theatrical productions, many years of supporting the districts sporting events but especially volleyball and softball games and soccer matches in East Haven. She was known for her kindness, laugh, work ethic and her desire to help. Family and friends have reached out to her for recipes for all types of foods. She was called upon, for decades, to help many with her seamstress abilities. There are many quilts, blankets, prom and wedding dresses, dolls and needlepoint pieces with her heart sewn in each piece.

There will be a private viewing for family held Saturday, Sept. 26, at the Fulton Theroux Funeral Home at 13 Beckwith Lane, Old Lyme. There will a public burial service at 11 a.m. the same day, Sept. 26, at the Laysville Cemetery in Old Lyme, at the Intersection of Grassy Hill and Boston Post Road. Social distancing and Masks will be required. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be a celebration of her life at some point in the future.

The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Heart Association or the Old Lyme Fire Department in her name.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney Deserves Re-election, No One Works Harder for Lyme-Old Lyme Community

To the Editor:
Rep. Devin Carney is a champion for Lyme and Old Lyme at the State Capitol. Among his many accomplishments, he has worked to defeat the high-speed train from decimating our community,  helped secure funding for Old Lyme’s library and open space in Lyme, and supported local parents in their fight to stop state-mandated school regionalization.  

Locally, Devin is active in Old Saybrook Rotary, which provides scholarships to Lyme–Old Lyme students; he’s a member of the Lyme–Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce; and he serves on the Old Lyme Zoning Board of Appeals.  No one works harder for our community!

Over his six years in office, Devin has amassed a successful record of fighting for his constituents; he knows his district and he knows his way around the capitol. There is still work to be done, and with his committee assignments and House leadership status, Devin Carney is the right person to continue representing the 23rd District in Hartford. He has my vote and I hope he can count on yours.
Sincerely,
Ellen Cole,
Old Lyme.
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All You Need to Know About Registering to Vote, Applying for an Absentee Ballot and VOTING!

LYME/OLD LYME — Yesterday, Tuesday, Sept. 22, marked the 9th annual National Voter Registration Day – a nonpartisan and collaborative effort that involves partners of all stripes and sizes across the country to register voters ahead of the November election.

One in four eligible Americans is not registered to vote, and National Voter Registration Day seeks to make voter registration calls to action impossible to ignore, so that as many citizens as possible are empowered to participate in our democracy.

There are two simple ways to register to vote:

  • You can register online here.  To register online, you must have a current, valid driver’s license, learner’s permit or non-driver photo ID card issued by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and a signature on file with DMV.
  • If you are a Lyme resident, you can register in person any weekday during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at the Lyme Town Hall at 480 Hamburg Road.
  • If you are an Old Lyme resident, you can register to vote Monday through Friday (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) in the Registrar’s Office or in the Town Clerk’s office if the Registrars are not available.

If you are not sure if you are registered, you can check your current voting status by visiting the link here and entering your name, town of residence and date of birth.

Latest Information on Absentee Ballots for Nov. 3 Election From our Towns

Town of Lyme

The Secretary of the State’s office has mailed absentee ballot applications to every registered voter in Connecticut for the November 3, 2020, General Election.  Registered voters in Lyme began receiving their absentee ballot applications in the mail on Thursday, September 17.  If you wish to use the absentee ballot application you received in the mail, follow the directions on the insert included with the application, which are also listed here:

  1. Check that your personal information is correct in Section 1.
  2. Select a reason for voting by absentee ballot in Section 2. All voters may choose “COVID-19.”
  3. Sign your application in Section 3.
  4. Seal it in the envelope and drop it in the secure Official Ballot Drop Box at Lyme Town Hall on the sidewalk (preferred) or mail it in the postage-paid envelope included.

Things to remember:

  • If you have already submitted an absentee ballot application to the Lyme Town Clerk for the General Election on November 3, please destroy the application you receive from the State.
  • If you submitted an absentee ballot application for the Primary in August, that application was only for the Primary. If you wish to vote by absentee in the General Election in November, you must submit an absentee ballot application for the General Election.
  • Be sure to sign your application in Section 3, not Section 4. If someone assisted you in completing the application, that person would sign in Section 4.  You will not receive a ballot if you do not sign the application in Section 3.
  • Deposit your application in the Town of Lyme Official Drop Box only, not in the drop box of any other town. Residents should only deposit their applications in the drop box for the town where they are registered voters.
  • Absentee ballots will be sent out starting October 2.

Should you have any questions, contact the Town Clerk by phone at 860-434-7733, Mondays through Fridays, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Town of Old Lyme

Due to the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, all voters will be permitted to vote by absentee ballot rather than appear in person in the Nov. 3, 2020 Election.

For those who wish to appear in person, the polling place located at the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, 53 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day to cast your ballot.

The Secretary of the State’s (SOTS) office will be mailing Applications for Absentee Ballot to all registered voters beginning mid-September.  The completed Applications can then be sent to the Town Clerk’s office and absentee ballots will be issued by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office.

You may also drop your completed Application in our Official Ballot Drop Box located in the front of the Town Hall.

The Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will begin mailing out Absentee Ballots on Friday, Oct. 2, 2020.

As great numbers of voters wishing to vote absentee are anticipated, the following is recommended:

  • Do not use the Application for Absentee Ballot which was mailed to you for the Aug. 11, 2020 Primaries as it will be rejected. You will receive a new one specifically for the Nov. 3, 2020 election.
  • Applications for Absentee Ballots will be mailed to you from the SOTS beginning mid-September.
  • If you do not receive your Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election in the mail by Sept. 30,  contact the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or you may visit the link here to obtain one.
  • If you have previously filed an Application for Absentee Ballot for the Nov. 3, 2020 election with the Town Clerk’s office, disregard the one received from the SOTS.  Your initial Application will be processed.
  • Completed Applications for Absentee Ballot can be mailed to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or dropped in the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.
  • Absentee Ballots will be mailed by the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office beginning Oct. 2, 2020.
  • Once you have received your Absentee Ballot and cast your vote, you may mail it to the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office or drop it into the Official Ballot Drop Box located in front of the Old Lyme Town Hall.  As time is of the essence, do not wait to deliver it to us as the Old Lyme Town Clerk’s office will need time to process it.

Should you have any additional questions concerning the upcoming election, contact the Town Clerk’s office at (860) 434-1605 Ext. 220 (Vicki) or Ext. 221 (Courtney).

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Lyme Library Hosts Zoom Meeting Tonight with Holocaust Survivor

Endre (Andy) Sarkany

LYME — The Friends of the Lyme Public Library are sponsoring a Zoom meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 22, at 7 p.m.

Endre (Andy) Sarkany was born in Budapest, Hungary on October 31, 1936. The building he lived in was located inside the Budapest ghetto, which is where he remained during the Holocaust.

The building housed a nursery/kindergarten on the ground floor. The school was affiliated with the Jewish Agency of Hungary and was led by Mr. Eugene Polnay. The building also housed on the top floor a dance, acrobat and ballet studio.

These facts were significant in Endre’s survival and that of at least 150 orphaned children. Endre’s father was taken to Mauthausen concentration camp in the spring of 1944, fortunately he survived.

After WWII, Hungary became a communist nation. Although Endre graduated high school in 1955, he was not accepted to university because he was deemed an undesirable element of society. This label was given to anyone
who owned a business before the communists took over the country.

Endre was fortunate to escape Hungary after the October 1956 uprising and was able to immigrate to the United States. He received his bachelor’s degree from Tusculum College in Tennessee and his Master of Science degree in Applied Mathematics and Computer Science from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Endre worked for both the McDonald Douglas Corporation and the IBM Corporation.

Over the past 10 years, Endre has been speaking to students about his personal experiences during the Holocaust, living under the brutality of the Soviet regime in Hungary, and finding a home in the United States.

Mr. Sarkany is married, has a daughter and son, and five grandchildren.

For more information and to register, email programreg@lymepl.org. You must be registered to receive an invitation to join the meeting.

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New COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Lyme, Old Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

OLD LYME/LYME — UPDATED SEPT. 21: Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has informed LymeLine.com that a new COVID-19 case has been confirmed in Old Lyme. He said that this new case was reported Sept. 15 and is a 19-year-old female.

Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) also confirmed a new case of COVID-19 in Lyme in their weekly report issued Friday, Sept. 18. This report covers cases by town for all the towns in the health district they cover. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are included in that district.

Ledge Light Health District has now confirmed that the new case in Lyme is a 62-year-old female.

Old Lyme now has a total of 27 cases including two fatalities while Lyme has a total of nine.

The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme ranges in age from 19- to 82-years-old and comprises 12 males and 13 females. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

The nine cases in Lyme comprise four females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527

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

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61
  25. Female, age 19

Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21
  9. Female, age 62

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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In-Person Services at FCCOL, Saint Ann’s, Christ The King with Online Options; Other Lyme, Old Lyme Churches Continue Online Services

LYME-OLD LYME — The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is holding an outdoor service at 11 a.m. this Sunday. Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church and Christ The King church are offering in-person services, the latter with a restricted number of congregants. All three churches offer an online option while the remaining churches in Lyme and Old Lyme host online services this Sunday, Sept. 20.

CHRIST THE KING CHURCH:

Public attendance is now allowed at all Masses (Monday through Friday at 8 a.m.; Saturday at 5 p.m.; and Sunday at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.) in accordance with directives from the Norwich Diocese.

All who attend are required to wear face masks, use hand sanitizer, and follow social distancing guidelines.

All Masses will be live-streamed via Zoom for those who cannot come to church or are in a vulnerable population and wish to stay home..

If you are sick, have a fever, or think you may have been exposed to the Coronavirus, you are urged to stay home.

The Sunday obligation to attend Mass is still suspended.

Click here for links to participate to live-streamed Masses.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF LYME:

This is a reminder that after this Sunday, reminders for church services will be sent only to those that opt in by emailing pastorsusanolson@gmail.com. Email Pastor Susan Olson at pastorsusanolson@gmail.com or Emily Bjornberg for the URL to view today’s service.

FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF OLD LYME:

Here is the link for the Sunday, Sept. 13 service.

The Church will also host a Fellowship Hour via Zoom at 10 a.m. Sunday morning. Visit this link for more details of how to access the event.

SAINT ANN’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH:

Between now and Labor Day weekend, Saint Ann’s will offer one, in-person service on Sunday mornings that will also be available “live” on Zoom at 9:30 a.m. Later in the day, the recorded Zoom service will be available on their Online Worship Services page.

For those who attend the 9:30 a.m. service, there will be some new traditions. Six feet social distancing, wearing of masks, and sanitizing of hands will be practiced and there will be no communion, choral music nor coffee hour.

The priest, Vestry and ushers will give guidance on procedures – there will be signs as well.

Bible Study will be offered at 11 a.m. via Zoom.

SOUTH LYME UNION CHAPEL:
Worship services are being held online at 11 a.m. each Sunday. Email Karen Geisler at karengr007@gmail.com for connection details.

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Old Lyme Zoning Delays Decision on LOL Schools’ Proposed Artificial Athletic Field Pending Drainage Review, ‘It’s All About Drainage’ (Cable)

This image, courtesy of Milone & MacBroom, shows the current field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School (left) and the proposed synthetic turf field (right.)

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Zoning Commission listened patiently in their meeting held Monday evening via Zoom to a presentation by representatives from Milone & Macbroom on the proposed synthetic turf multi-purpose field, which Lyme-Old Lyme Schools plan to build to the rear of Lyme-Old Lyme High School. The first part of the meeting constituted a Public Hearing for the project.

The new field, priced at approximately $2.5 million, will be built on top of the existing geothermal system and the presenters agreed the selected contractor would have to perform, “Pre-construction tests to make sure the the geothermal system isn’t compromised.”

They also detailed how, “The premise is that water is going completely through the carpet [the synthetic turf]” and then drained away through a vast system of pipes.

Asked whether there was any danger of pollution from the drained water, the presenter replied, “Because of the way we design the system, the water running off is clearer than the rain going in,” adding, “There’s chemicals in there, but the materials do not ever leach out. We don’t see any environmental impacts.”

He noted that the use of recycled tires for the production of synthetic turf also, “Saves tires going into landfills.”

Asked by commission member Jane Marsh how long the artificial field could be expected to last, the presenter responded, “Eight years is the expected life … I’ve seen up to 14 years. He concluded, “The fields should easily last 12 years.”

When the time comes to replace the field, the presenter explained, “All the infrastructure below the turf [the geothermal system] will remain. Just the turf will be replaced.”

There were no questions or comments from the public and so the commission voted unanimously to close the Public Hearing.

The commission then went on to discuss the project as an item of business in their regular monthly meeting and that was when things took an unexpected turn. Long-term commission member Jane Cable stated, “I don’t feel competent to evaluate the drainage. This should automatically have gone to Tom [Metcalf – the Town Engineer.]”

Commission member Maria Martinez agreed with Cable saying, “We should do due diligence and double-check.”

Cable said pragmatically, “It’s all about drainage.”

Marsh added, “My breath is being taken away by the cost of this thing,” but Martinez reminded her that the commission’s job is not to consider the cost of the project but rather, “We have to approve [its] safety.”

Members of the commission concurred that the Old Lyme Inland Wetlands Commission had already approved the project but with a condition relating to the permeability of the walkway. They requested that Land Use Coordinator Dan Bourret should send the plans to Metcalf for his review, to which Bourret agreed.

Cable then proposed a motion, “… that we put our decision off to next month to get the review from Tom.” The motion to continue the discussion to next month’s meeting was unanimous.

Editor’s Note: Visit this link for more information about the proposed synthetic turf field, 

 

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SECWAC Hosts Shimer on ‘100 Years of Covert, Electoral Interference” in Virtual Event Tonight

David Shimer.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents David Shimer speaking on, “Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference, based on his new book of the same name, in a virtual Zoom meeting to be held this evening, Wednesday, Sept. 16, at 6 p.m.

Shimer is a Global Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and an Associate Fellow at Yale University. His reporting and analysis have appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Washington Post and Foreign Affairs.

He is pursuing a doctorate in international relations at the University of Oxford as a Marshall Scholar; he received his undergraduate and master’s degrees in history from Yale University.

In his book, Rigged: America, Russia, and One Hundred Years of Covert Electoral Interference, which the New York Times calls “extraordinary and gripping,” Shimer restores history to the subject of covert electoral interference and shows how Russia’s operation in 2016 marked a continuation of the past.

In this session, Shimer will discuss how states interfere covertly in the elections of other states, what to expect from Russia and other foreign actors between now and Election Day, and how America can and should be defending itself.

Copies of the book are available for sale through local bookstore Bank Square Books.

There will be a short annual meeting at 5:45 p.m. prior to the talk to which all are also welcome.

Registration is required at this link. The link to join the meeting will then be emailed with your registration confirmation.

The meeting is free to members and guests may attend for $20.

If you are new to Zoom virtual meetings and would like to learn more about how to join via Zoom, visit zoom.us for more information. Also feel free to call 860-912-5718 for technical advice prior to the event.

It will not be possible to resolve issues during the meeting. A link to the recording will be shared via email following the meeting.

Save the date for the next SECWAC meeting, which will feature New York Times and The Atlantic writer and author George Packer, who will speak on his book, “Our Man: Richard Holbrooke and the End of the American Century,” on Sept. 30.

The mission of the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs by study, debate, and educational programming, primarily through a Speakers Series of 8 to 10 monthly meetings.

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COVID-19 Case Numbers Unchanged in Old Lyme, Lyme; Totals Remain at 26 in OL (Including 2 Fatalities), 8 in Lyme

Photo by CDC on Unsplash

LYME/OLD LYME — This past Friday afternoon, Sept. 11, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) issued their weekly report of COVID-19 cases by town for all the towns in the health district they cover. Both Lyme and Old Lyme are included in that district.

The numbers reported on Friday (Sept. 11) showed no change from those we reported earlier in the day, when we said Old Lyme had a total of 26 cases including two fatalities while Lyme has a total of eight.

On Friday, Sept. 4, Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) reported two new COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and one in Lyme. The new cases in Old Lyme are both male, ages 74 and 61 respectively. The new case in Lyme is a 21-year-old female.

The number of surviving cases in Old Lyme ranges in age from 21- to 82-years-old and is equally divided between males and females with 12 of each. The two fatalities were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

The eight cases in Lyme comprise three females and five males ranging in age from one- to 68-years-old.

To demonstrate the growth in confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme, the table below is a summary of the cases that LymeLine.com has reported since March 31 when the first case was announced and also includes both fatalities.

DateCumulative no. of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme
March 311
April 44
April 96
April 107
April 1510
April 1812
May 113
May 1515
May 2616
June 817
June 1018
June 1419
June 2221
June 2422
July 1722
July 2823
Sept. 224
Sept. 426
Sept. 1527

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

  1. Female, age 64
  2. Female, age 21
  3. Male, age 27
  4. Female, age 53
  5. Female, age 61
  6. Female, age 29
  7. Male, age 40
  8. Male, age 53
  9. Female, age 60
  10. Male, age 45
  11. Female, age 20
  12. Female, age 43
  13. Female, age 48
  14. Male, age 70
  15. Male, age 67
  16. Female, age 68
  17. Male, age 50
  18. Male, age 21
  19. Female, age 48
  20. Female, age 34
  21. Male, age 20
  22. Male, age 28
  23. Male, age 74
  24. Male, age 61

Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold has previously noted that the 21-year-old female with a confirmed case (#2 in the list immediately above) was tested in Florida, but used an Old Lyme address although she does not live here. Because she gave the Old Lyme address, Griswold said that LLHD must report her as an Old Lyme resident.

Gender and age details of the confirmed cases in Lyme to date are:

  1. Male, age 34
  2. Female, age 61
  3. Female, age 34
  4. Male, age 1
  5. Male, age 34
  6. Male, age 20
  7. Male, aged 68
  8. Female, age 21

Residents and businesses are urged to access up-to-date information regarding the pandemic from reputable sources including the Ledge Light Health District website (www.llhd.org), Facebook (@LedgeLightHD), Twitter (@LedgeLightHD), and Instagram (@LedgeLightHD).

Editor’s Note: Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) serves as the local health department in southeast Connecticut for the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme as well as East Lyme, Groton, Ledyard, New London, North Stonington,  Stonington and Waterford. As a health district, formed under Connecticut General Statutes Section 19a-241, LLHD is a special unit of government, allowing member municipalities to provide comprehensive public health services to residents in a more efficient manner by consolidating the services within one organization.

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Old Lyme Zoning to Discuss Lyme-Old Lyme Schools’ Proposal for Synthetic Turf Field Tonight

This playing field behind Lyme-Old Lyme High School is the proposed site of the turf field. This project will be discussed at the Old Lyme Zoning Commission meeting this evening.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Zoning Commission meets this evening via Webex at 6:30 p.m. for its regular monthly meeting. Agenda items include a Public Hearing regarding a proposal to change one of the playing fields on the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools campus on Lyme St. from manicured lawn to synthetic turf.

A Special Permit Application has been submitted, “to permit proposed field improvement, which will modify the playing geometry and playing surface from manicured lawn to synthetic turf, at the Lyme-Old Lyme Regional High School located at 69 Lyme Street.”

After the Public Hearing, the application will then be discussed by the Commission during their regular meeting.

If you wish to join the meeting via Webex, use the following link: https://oldlymect.webex.com/oldlymect/j.php?MTID=m992a8cacca14fba3609037  with meeting number (access code): 173 919 2428 and password: GJwFDpmh694.

If you wish to join the meeting by phone, dial+1-408-418-9388.

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Volunteers Invited to Join CT River Conservancy’s ‘Source to Sea’ Cleanup Through September

GREENFIELD, MA/ LYME, CT/ OLD LYME, CT– (From a press release sent by the CRC)  Registration is now open for the Connecticut River Conservancy’s (CRC) Source to Sea Cleanup. This annual event, now in its 24th year, has grown into one of the largest river cleanups in the country.

The CRC invites volunteers to safely continue the tradition of getting dirty for cleaner rivers in September. The banks of the Connecticut River in Lyme and Old Lyme have both been Cleanup sites in previous years.

For more information, event safety guidelines, or to register for the Cleanup visit www.ctriver.org/cleanup.

“The Source to Sea Cleanup strengthens community while cleaning up our rivers and streams. It’s an opportunity for you to make a difference,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “When people help clean their rivers, they make lasting connections with each other and with their rivers.”

The annual Source to Sea Cleanup is a river cleanup coordinated by CRC in all four states of the 410-mile Connecticut River basin (NH, VT, MA, CT).

This year’s Cleanup continues throughout September, rather than the typical two-day event, for better social distancing of volunteers. “We’re excited to work with volunteers to tackle trash, even during the pandemic. We’ve redesigned the event to keep everyone as safe as possible while still making a difference for cleaner rivers,” says Stacey Lennard, CRC Cleanup Coordinator.

Each fall, thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities clean the Connecticut River and its tributaries on foot or by boat. Volunteers remove trash along rivers, streams, parks, boat launches, trails and more. In 2019, more than 3,600 volunteers hauled nearly 67 tons of trash from riverbanks and waterways across our four river states.

Volunteers remove everything from recyclable bottles and cans, fishing equipment and food waste to tires, televisions, and refrigerators. To date, volunteers have removed more than 1,167 tons of trash from our rivers.

“There are lots of ways to get involved,” continues Lennard. “Volunteers can report a trash site in need of cleaning, organize and register your own local cleanup group, or be a #RiverWitness on social media. Join us to celebrate our collective efforts – together yet apart – at a virtual Source to Sea Shindig on Sept. 30 to wrap up the Cleanup.”

New this year, CRC added #RiverWitness to help people connect with each other online through their shared concern for and appreciation of our rivers. Take a photo or video when you are at the river, participating in the Source to Sea Cleanup or enjoying time outside. Or make art inspired by river beauty or river pollution. Share on social media, include #RiverWitness and tag Connecticut River Conservancy.

If you’re not on social media, share images on CRC’s website: www.ctriver.org/riverwitness. Your images will be added to an online mosaic photo display and video. Select images will be used to call on decision-makers to enact trash solutions to keep trash out of our rivers.

If your group wants to get involved but needs a cleanup site, if you have questions, or if you know of a trash site in need of cleaning, contact CRC’s Cleanup Coordinator Stacey Lennard at cleanup@ctriver.org.

Learn more about the event at www.ctriver.org/cleanup.

Since 1952, the CRC has been the voice for the Connecticut River watershed, from source to sea. They collaborate with partners across four states to protect and advocate for your rivers and educate and engage communities. They bring people together to prevent pollution, improve habitat, and promote enjoyment of your rivers and streams. Healthy rivers support healthy economies.

To learn more about CRC, or to make a contribution to help protect your rivers, visit www.ctriver.org.

Thoughts from CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk on the national trash problem

“After cleaning up 1,167 tons of trash over the past 23 years, it’s clear that repeated cleaning is not the solution to our trash problem,” says CRC Executive Director Andrew Fisk. “Consumers need to avoid single use items. And it’s time for the businesses who created and have been profiting from this trash to now help solve the problem through fundamental redesign of how our products are made and disposed of.”

The CRC insists we need to redesign our economy so there isn’t waste in the first place and that it is time businesses step up voluntarily to do the right thing by offering more sustainable, reusable, recyclable, and compostable options. “As individuals, we should always properly dispose of and recycle our waste,” continues Fisk. “And it’s time that corporations also take responsibility for their role in trashing our rivers.” 

As consumers, we have been trained by businesses to rely on unnecessary disposable and single-use plastics. Meanwhile, businesses and manufacturers are profiting by making these products out of cheap, petroleum-based plastic that is harmful and doesn’t easily break down. Producers and manufacturers then pass the responsibility and disposal costs for the products they make to the consumers, which lead to litter and polluted rivers.  

According to CRC, the best way businesses and corporations can cut down on their products becoming litter in our rivers is to offer more reusable options, like coffee mugs and drink cups. Additionally, bio-plastics are emerging as a promising alternative to plastic made from fossil fuels.

There are plenty of eco-friendly cups and dishware items on the market that businesses should be using. These new plastics are compostable, break down in the marine environment as food, are made from waste, and are made with less energy and environmental impact than traditional petroleum plastics.  

“We all have a responsibility to solve this problem,” says Fisk. “We are responsible as consumers to make good choices in how we purchase and dispose of products. Manufacturers, businesses, and government are also responsible and it’s time they do their part.”

Fisk continues, “By working together, we can make a real difference for our rivers. These ideas are going to take time, decades even. And we’ll keep at it as long as it takes. But our rivers need change now.”  

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So Much on Offer at Lymes’ Senior Center — Even When It’s Closed!

Lymes’ Senior Center Board Chair Jeri Baker (right) and Carole Diffley (left), the Center’s Kitchen Manager, take some well-deserved time out while helping at the Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade held at the Center last month.

LYME/OLD LYME — September is National Senior Center Appreciation Month and Jeri Baker, who serves as chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, would like the communities of Lyme and Old Lyme to celebrate the fact that they have a thriving, buoyant Senior Center in their midst.

She is quick to point out, however, that this is in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has created major challenges for the Center since March of this year in terms of both its danger to the health of seniors and the fact the Center has been forced to close because of it.

Lymes Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould

Baker comments, “It is hard to believe that there could be much to celebrate during this pandemic; but under the tireless efforts of Director Stephanie Gould, the Lymes’ Senior Center is still a huge part of the lives of seniors in our communities.” 

She explains, “It is now a model virtual world of opportunities and vital information.  Stephanie, our volunteers and staff maintain constant contact with our members online and in person through calls and mailings.” 

Asked to expand on the ways in which the Center has kept engaged with the Lyme-Old Lyme senior community during its closure, Baker notes that the center currently offers 15-23 exercise classes weekly, and these are also open to the greater communities regardless of membership.  Over 200 residents participate at this point.

She also notes that with a monthly calendar collaboration with other centers throughout the state, 75 additional free programs are also offered through Zoom. These offers include lectures, entertainment, virtual games, discussions, and other group activities in an effort to keep or seniors connected and entertained.  

Baker is effusive in her praise for how Gould has responded to the pandemic, saying, “At the very beginning of the pandemic and once the center physically closed, Stephanie sprang into action to conduct outreach to our members, especially those most vulnerable and who may not have online access.”

Baker adds, “Right now, volunteers, staff and the director personally keep in touch with weekly calls to 200 seniors through this effort and 70 more through direct mailing,” and in fact, online communications, personal contacts and the Center’s newsletter reach all members every month at minimum.

Another event that sparked a really positive response happened in August. Baker explains, “Last month we held a Drive-Thru Pick-Up Parade, at which seniors, who were required to followed all safety precautions, drove around the building to greet us as we dropped several useful and entertaining items into a bag for them. Some members even dressed up and decorated their cars.” 

Baker says enthusiastically, “This was the first in-person event held since the pandemic started, and it was such a pleasure to see so many friendly faces!”

The exterior of the Lymes’ Senior Center on Town Woods Rd. in Old Lyme.

There are numerous other ways that the Center is helping its members and these include volunteers, who deliver books and puzzles to members. Another is a table outside the Senior Center building, which has free books, puzzles, magazines, word circle and crossword puzzle packets for seniors to pick up and borrow.

And a third is that, in conjunction with the Estuary Council of Seniors, Lymes’ Senior Center continues to serve over 50 residents weekly through their Meals on Wheels and “Grab and Go” food curbside program. 

Baker concludes positively, “Since there is no projected reopening for the Center at this time, we will maintain our efforts and expand them as well to reach all members and to inform the greater community about our work.” 

Editor’s Note: For more information about the Center and all the opportunities it offers, contact Lymes’ Senior Center Director Stephanie Gould at 860 434-1605 ext. 240 or seniorcenter@oldlyme-ct.gov. Reach Jeri Baker, Chair of the Lymes’ Senior Center Board of Directors, at 860 434-0781 or Jbaker262@comcast.net.

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Local Residents Form ‘Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice’ to Support Education Reform, Affordable Housing, Police Accountability


LYME/OLD LYME –
A group of nearly two dozen area residents – consisting of both students and adults – have gathered together to form the Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice to energize local efforts aimed at supporting education reform, affordable housing and police accountability in Lyme, Old Lyme and New London. 

The all-volunteer group’s mission is to educate residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social- justice efforts. The partnership has formed four task forces so far: 

  • The Task Force on Education Reform is working with school administration and the school board to assist in these groups’ efforts to foster changes in curricula, provide diversity training for school staff, recruit teachers of color, establish a zero-tolerance policy for racism and create a diversity committee of staff, parents and students. 
  • The Task Force on Affordable Housing is focused on increasing the availability of affordable housing. 
  • The Task Force on Police Accountability is focused on supporting regional and state efforts to reform the criminal justice system. 
  • The Task Force on New London Partnerships is focused on establishing an ongoing working network between the partnership and New London-based organizations. 

The group plans to: 

  • arrange informative monthly seminars, meetings and/or webinars to educate area residents on social justice issues; 
  • appear before appropriate town boards and commissions that oversee issues of social justice; and 
  • forge an active network of residents willing to contact their elected officials by phone, mail or email on issues of importance; and submit letters to the editor to local media. 

The group can be found on this Facebook page and reached by email at LOLPartnership4SJ@gmail.com.

New members are welcome to join.

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Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center Launches Urgent Fall Fundraising Campaign

Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center on Lyme Street has launched a fall fundraising campaign.

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) on Lyme St. has announced a fall fundraising effort, saying in a letter from the board to supporters and friends, which is also posted on their website, “As a non-profit organization, we have certainly felt the impact of COVID-19 at the Center these past few months.”

The OLCLC board comprises Kristen St. Germain (president), Nicole McCarthy, Marie Ryan, and Elizabeth Sked.

The board continues in their letter, “We recently reopened our doors on Aug. 3, after temporarily closing due to the health crisis in our nation. We are slowly gaining our parents and families back but, unfortunately, not without a huge financial strain on the Center.

Thanks to the dedication of our OLCLC community, we continue to offer the best child care services to our families. The legacy of Constance Pike carries on through the hard work of the OLCLC Board of Directors, the directors, the staff, as well as through the support of the families and friends of the Center who continue to back our facility and programs each year.

As we continue to work hard to stay above water and to support the many essential workers who need quality child care for their children, we are reaching out to our current and former patrons hoping you will all consider us in your donations this upcoming school year.

We do not take it lightly that for over three decades, parents have placed their trust in OLCLC to provide safe, nurturing programs for their children. Of course, this caliber of care comes with a price tag.”

The letter notes that due to COVID-19, this year’s planned Holiday Home Tour fundraiser has had to be cancelled. The Tour, of which LymeLine.com was proud to be a sponsor, typically raises over $10,000 towards OLCLC’s funding.

Explaining how they have managed to maintain their funding to date, the letter states, “Because we were fortunate to receive one of the federal payroll grants, we were able to maintain most of our staff through this crisis, but now have to dip into our savings to continue to run effectively. Those staff members we did lose left us for teaching positions or because of their own health reasons …

… On top of all this, we are also facing licensing restrictions under COVID-19, so our normal revenue has been drastically impacted. We have been fortunate to get a licensed RN on board to assist us with our COVID-19 protocols and we are thrilled to report that our safety measures in place continue to make the Center a safe place for all of our children and families.”

Finally, the board asks, “We reach out to you today with a plea to help us through these difficult times so we can maintain the wonderful programs that Connie Pike started and made a reality for families in Southeastern Connecticut. The daycare industry as a whole has been impacted terribly through this ordeal and although we have a dedicated Board of Directors, directors, staff, and families helping us in any way they can, we are going to need more financial support to get back up and running comfortably again.

Please consider a contribution to our Special Fund that we hope will allow us to continue to be an asset to families who are certainly struggling to find care for their children and find themselves having to go back to work again. Please visit our website if you can make a contribution to our Center. We have a donate button established that will allow you to make a donation immediately.

Alternatively, online donations can be made at this link. We will also, of course, accept donations via the mail.

We are grateful for any consideration you may give to helping us get back on our feet. With your help, we will hopefully be able to keep OLCLC a fundamental part in the development of our community’s children for many more years to come, even through the pandemic we are all facing.

Editor’s Note: The OLCLC is located at 57 Lyme Street Old Lyme, CT 06371. Contact the Center at (860) 434-1728 or visit www.olclc.com.

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Lyme Land Trust Earns National Recognition

The beautiful Banningwood Preserve is protected and managed by the Lyme Land Trust.

LYME — The Lyme Land Trust has been protecting open space in Lyme since 1966. In August 2020, the Land Trust was awarded renewal of accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.

This distinguished award signifies that the Lyme Land Trust has demonstrated, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts, that it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.

The Lyme Land Trust first earned accreditation in December 2014, after being carefully vetted and certified to meet the highest standards of excellence. The granting of renewal affirms the Land Trust’s ongoing commitment to permanent protection of its conserved lands.

Accredited land trusts now steward almost 20 million acres – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.

Lyme Land Trust protects more than 3,124 acres. For public access, it hosts more than 13 miles of trails on 651 acres. In addition, the trust manages over 70 private conservation easements. Popular preserves like Banningwood and Brockway-Hawthorne will be protected forever, making Lyme a great place for lovers of open space.

For more information and for trail maps of all the Lyme Land Trust Preserves, visit lymelandtrust.org.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts.

For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.

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Bat Tests Positive for Rabies in Lyme

Photo by James Wainscoat on Unsplash.

LYME — Ledge Light Health Department (LLHD) has reported that a bat from the area of Hamburg Rd. in Lyme was tested and found to be positive for rabies on Sept. 4.

The health department urges the public to refrain from feeding or approaching any wild or stray animals.

Rabies is a deadly disease caused by a virus that can infect all warm-blooded animals, including people.  It is spread mostly by wild animals, but stray cats and dogs may also become infected and spread the virus.

The rabies virus lives in the saliva and brain tissue of infected animals.  Rabies can be spread by scratches from infected animals or when infected saliva comes into contact with open wounds, breaks in the skin or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, mouth, etc.)

If you have any questions or concerns, contact LLHD at 860-448-4882 or Lyme Town Hall at 860-434-7733.

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The Movie Man: Positive Thoughts on Dealing With the “Ambiguous Loss” of a Night at the Movies

Kevin Ganey is ‘The Movie Man.’

Around the start of 2019, I published a piece lamenting the rise of A-list movies being released through direct-streaming services such as Netflix. I figuratively begged the cinematic geniuses to never go down this path and always stick to theatrical releases.

I was frustrated to learn that my favorite filmmaker, Martin Scorsese, was releasing his highly anticipated crime-epic, The Irishman, via Netflix, (but he revealed the main reason for choosing the source of lazy date ideas was because Netflix was the only studio that would fund the picture for its de-aging effects.)

But nobody would have anticipated this “new normal” that we would come to experience due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Studios that planned for new releases suddenly needed to get creative in order to assure they did not suffer financial losses, so many of these flicks were released via streaming services.

The first one that I watched through this ‘New Normal’ was Pixar’s Onward and it did not feel the same. It was as if I stumbled upon a movie that had been released in the last few years but had slipped my mind when it came to catching (this accounted for the fact that I watched it mid-afternoon while the sun shone through the windows.)

The new Bond movie No Time to Die was scheduled for a theatrical release in April but was postponed to this coming November. I fear that it is highly likely that the 25th installment of Ian Fleming’s iconic spy (and Daniel Craig’s last run as the character) will be released via Amazon or Apple TV via purchase, something Albert R. Broccoli and Harry Saltzman (the original creators of the James Bond films) never could have imagined.

My biggest lament when I wrote my original piece was that we would be deprived of the movie-going experience, from purchasing your ticket at the box office (or scanning your previously paid ticket on your phone), picking out your snacks, finding your seats, and chatting with your friends as the commercials and movie trivia games were displayed before you. Then the lights went down for the previews and you shared your desire to see it or skip it, after that the lights went down even further for the feature presentation, and finally — after the credits — you walked out, letting it all soak in.

Now it’s just turning on the TV, finding the app, starting it (and pausing it in case you need to take a phone call or go to the bathroom, which can lead to distractions and never finishing the movie.) Assuming you do finish it, you look over to whomever you were sitting with (assuming this is someone you can invite into your home without fear of infection) and critiquing it amongst yourselves.

But guess what?

Life happens, and pandemics are part of life, even if they only occur once every century, and we need to adjust. We need to make sacrifices. The main sacrifice that we have had to make is to forfeit our ability to socialize, which is truly a burden on us as social creatures.

This has led to athletes competing in “bubbles” as fans are no longer allowed to spectate, concerts have been called off, and, as we have recently seen, political conventions could only be screened on TV (though some participants still deliver their speeches as if there is a crowd before them, leading to an awkward scene [you know which person I’m talking about …]) Of course, this also includes going to the movies.

We’ve seen so many industries that have been delayed because of this and need to take a break in order to safely get back to work. This also includes the production of highly anticipated films and TV series that probably will not be able to be completed until it is deemed safe for the cast and crew to assemble together, and will perhaps require creativity to present our heroes always standing six feet apart.

Imagine how romance scenes will be filmed as they keep their distance while confessing their undying love for each other?

My mother recently shared the term, “Ambiguous loss,” with me, which she teaches in her therapeutic horseback riding work. Basically it’s a loss like any other, but there is no tangible or concrete end, such as losing somebody during wartime and having no answer to where they are.

It is quite clear that we are in the middle of an “ambiguous loss” at the moment, as we wonder what will transpire in the coming months (or even years) as we anticipate the arrival of a vaccine to defeat COVID-19.

She also shared a phrase that is often thrown around as a way to console others, “Everything happens for a reason.” I had to balk at that because there are clearly some things that happen, which have no rhyme nor reason whatsoever. She agreed, having observed in recent years that words matter and can have negative consequences.

After much discussion, we ultimately decided that a better way to justify these losses is to consider them not as the end, but rather that they could lead to something better if we put the appropriate effort into them.

While we must make sacrifices in the meantime, they will lead us to appreciate everything that we cherished or even took for granted. I hope that from a cinematic perspective, we can appreciate movies in the way in which they have been historically presented to us: as an extension of the theater — accessible to all throughout the world for all time. While the theater is no longer a top venue of entertainment, I hope that we can eventually appreciate our movie-going experiences and treat them like a night out at the theater.

As we long for an unimpeded return to restaurants, concerts, and sports events, so too we should anticipate and celebrate the return of a night at the local cinema.

About the Author: Though no longer a resident of Lyme, Kevin knows he can never sever his roots to the tree of his identity. When not attending to his job in Boston, he is committed to ensuring a better grasp of current (and past) releases of cinema to his home community as he strives to leave his own mark in the same field that has always been his guide to understanding life. If you enjoy his published reviews here on LymeLine.com, follow him on his new website at ‘The City of Cinema and read more of his unique insights into entertainment.

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