May 17, 2022

May 16 COVID-19 Update: Second Highest Daily Number of Cases in Old Lyme for Entire Pandemic, 39 Cases in OL Take Cumulative Total to 1223, Eight Cases in Lyme Raise its Total to 300

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Monday, May 16, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) shows a total of 39 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and eight in Lyme.

These cases raise Old Lyme’s cumulative case total to 1223 from 1184 on May 13, and Lyme’s to 300 from 292, also on May 13.

This total of 39 cases is the second highest single day case total for Old Lyme for the entirety of the pandemic. The highest number recorded ever during the pandemic was 59 on Jan . 10, 2022. Today’s number if inflated because CT DPH does not issue reports over the weekend, but this situation is the same for every Monday during the pandemic

April 5, 2022 was the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either town.

Prior to March 25, Lyme had gone for 23 consecutive days with no new cases being reported. Two new cases were reported in Lyme on March 25.

Prior to April 5, the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either Lyme or Old Lyme was March 24. There were also no new cases on March 9 and 4, and Feb. 24. The previous date prior to Feb. 24 when no new cases were reported in either town was Dec. 12, 2021.

Statewide Situation – Weekly Update

This map, updated May 12, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. One hundred and fifty eight (158) towns (representing a total of 93.5% of the state) are now found in the Red Zone. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities. Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper.

On Thursday, May 12, the (CT DPH) also released its latest weekly COVID-19 Alert Map (pictured above), which indicates that 158 municipalities are now in the Red (highest of four) Zone for case rates. These towns in the Red Zone include both Lyme and Old Lyme.

This number has increased by 13 over the 145 towns recorded in the Red Zone last weekthus increasing the number of towns in the Red Zone to 93.5% of the state.

This total of 158 Red Zone towns is moving rapidly towards the Jan. 27, 2022 number, when the total was 168 out of 169 towns.

As of May 12, 2022, all nine towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone. The LLHD is no longer issuing reports with updated Case Rates and other metrics.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, May 19 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The color-coded zones on the map above are:

Red: Indicates case rates over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population
Orange: Indicates case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population
Yellow: Indicates case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population
Gray: Indicates case rates lower than five per 100,000 population

CDC Categorizes New London, Fairfield Counties at Medium Risk: All Other Counties are High

Map issued May 13 by the CDC showing Community Levels in Connecticut. Map courtesy of CDC.

On May 13, the CDC listed six Connecticut counties in the “High” category as part of its COVID-19 ‘Community Levels’ Map (see above). Only Fairfield and New London Counties are listed in the “Medium” category.

The COVID-19 Community Levels map—which was launched in late February—informs CDC recommendations on prevention measures, such as masking and testing. The guidelines include a color-coded system available on the CDC website of “Low,” “Medium” and “High.”

This approach focuses on preventing hospitals and health care systems from being overwhelmed and directing prevention efforts toward protecting people at high risk for severe illness.

“This latest update comes as no surprise considering the trajectory that this latest omicron sub-variant is taking,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “And I cannot stress enough that the tools to combat this virus are in place and easily accessible. These include vaccines, first and second boostersTest to Treat locations, therapeuticsself-tests and state-supported testing.

Residents who live in New London (which includes Lyme and Old Lyme) and Fairfield Counties—which is listed in the Yellow/Medium Category—who are at high risk for severe illness in these counties should talk to their health care providers about when they need to wear a mask and take other precautions. These residents should also stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms.

Residents living in the High/Orange categories—Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, Tolland and Windham Counties—should wear a mask indoors in public; stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for residents who are at high risk for severe illness.

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

Statewide Situation – Daily Update

The state’s COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate broke the 10% watershed on May 4 at 10.32%. It has now broken the 13% mark — the May 16 Rate of 13.05% is down marginally from the May 13 Rate of 13.71%, which was the state’s highest recorded COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate since Jan. 25, 2022 when the Rate stood at 13.74%.

On May 16, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations increased to 331 from the 323 recorded on May 13.

In contrast, on Jan. 12, 2022, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations was 1,939.

Of those hospitalized on May 16, the number not fully vaccinated was 104 (representing 31.42%).

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut held at 10,914 on May 16, according to The New York Times.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by CT DPH Tuesday, May 17, around 4 p.m.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 780 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 851 new cases there since that date.

Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 186 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

The LLHD is no longer issuing weekly updates unless there is, “any significant change in case rates, hospitalizations, etc.”

On April 14, LLHD sent LymeLine.com this press release issued by CT DPH the same day. It begins: With the current uptick of COVID-19 cases—coupled with the upcoming schedule of spring holidays and family gatherings—the Connecticut Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the tools currently in place to help contain the spread of the virus. 

The new Community Levels tool created by the CDC can be viewed at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Four COVID-related fatalities have now been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third and fourth fatalities, which were reported respectively in 2021 and on Feb. 4, 2022, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Situation in LOL Schools

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing.

LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained the latest developments in LOL Schools COVID protocols in an email dated April 1 to the school community, saying, “As noted in my email of February 17, 2022, beginning April 1, 2022 we will no longer report daily COVID-19 cases in the schools.”

He then stated, “For the remainder of this school year, that information will be complied on a weekly basis and will be available on our website at the following link: https://www.region18.org/parents/covid-data.”

Details published to date show the following number of positive cases in LOL Schools by week.
April 3-9: 0
April 10-16: 0
April 17-23: Spring Break
April 24-30: 7
May 2-7: 27
May 8-14: 41

The total number of cases recorded in Lyme and Old Lyme for the week May 8-14 was 51, indicating the majority of cases had a connection to Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

For a summary of cases in LOL Schools between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022, visit this link.

View a full listing of cases between 8/26/21 – 12/23/21 at this link.

‘Friends of Music’ Hosts ‘Great Gatsby Gala’, May 26; All Welcome

OLD LYME — On Thursday, May 26, from 6 to 9 p.m., the Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Friends of Music (FOM) will host a Great Gatsby Gala at the Old Lyme Inn.

This scholarship fundraising event is sure to be an enjoyable evening, with plenty of food/drinks, and  entertainment. 1920s attire is strictly optional, but encouraged at the themed cocktail party.

There will also be an extensive Silent Auction, including wonderful gift baskets, gift certificates from local businesses for dining, goods, and luxury experiences; plus one of a kind artwork and antiques.

Tickets are $50/person. All are welcome. Seats are limited so prompt reservations are recommended.

Visit this link to buy your tickets online and/or to donate.

Send your payments/donation via mail to:
Friends of Music
PO Box 4
Old Lyme, CT 06371

Consider attending this event and help FOM continue their mission of providing scholarships and supporting music enrichment for Lyme-Old Lyme students.

Friends of Music is a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible.

May 13 COVID-19 Update: Five New Cases in Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 292, Two in OL Take Its Total to 1184

Photo by CDC on Unsplash.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Report issued Friday, May 13, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) shows a total of two new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and five in Lyme.

These cases raise Old Lyme’s cumulative case total to 1184 and Lyme’s to 292.

April 5, 2022 was the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either town.

Prior to March 25, Lyme had gone for 23 consecutive days with no new cases being reported. Two new cases were reported in Lyme on March 25.

Prior to April 5, the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either Lyme or Old Lyme was March 24. There were also no new cases on March 9 and 4, and Feb. 24. The previous date prior to Feb. 24 when no new cases were reported in either town was Dec. 12, 2021.

Statewide Situation – Weekly Update

This map, updated May 12, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. One hundred and forty five towns (representing a total of 93.5% of the state) are now found in the Red Zone. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities. Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper.

On Thursday, May 12, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) also released its latest weekly COVID-19 Alert Map (pictured above), which indicates that 158 municipalities are now in the Red (highest of four) Zone for case rates. These towns in the Red Zone include both Lyme and Old Lyme.

This number has increased by 13 over the 145 towns recorded in the Red Zone last week, thus increasing the number of towns in the Red Zone to 93.5% of the state.

This total of 158 Red Zone towns is moving rapidly towards the Jan. 27, 2022 number, when the total was 168 out of 169 towns.

As of May 12, 2022, all nine towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone. The LLHD is no longer issuing reports with updated Case Rates and other metrics.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, May 19 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The color-coded zones on the map above are:

Red: Indicates case rates over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population
Orange: Indicates case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population
Yellow: Indicates case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population
Gray: Indicates case rates lower than five per 100,000 population

CDC ‘Community Levels’ Categorization

Map issued May 13 by the CDC showing Community Levels in Connecticut. Map courtesy of CDC.

On May 13, the CDC listed six Connecticut counties in the “High” category as part of its COVID-19 ‘Community Levels’ Map (see above). Only Fairfield and New London Counties are listed in the “Medium” category. 

The COVID-19 Community Levels map—which was launched in late February—informs CDC recommendations on prevention measures, such as masking and testing. The guidelines include a color-coded system available on the CDC website of “Low,” “Medium” and “High.”

This approach focuses on preventing hospitals and health care systems from being overwhelmed and directing prevention efforts toward protecting people at high risk for severe illness.  

“This latest update comes as no surprise considering the trajectory that this latest omicron sub-variant is taking,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “And I cannot stress enough that the tools to combat this virus are in place and easily accessible. These include vaccines, first and second boosters, Test to Treat locations, therapeutics, self-tests and state-supported testing.  

Residents who live in New London (which includes Lyme and Old Lyme) and Fairfield Counties—which is listed in the Yellow/Medium Category—who are at high risk for severe illness in these counties should talk to their health care providers about when they need to wear a mask and take other precautions. These residents should also stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. 

Residents living in the High/Orange categories—Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, Tolland and Windham Counties—should wear a mask indoors in public; stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for residents who are at high risk for severe illness. 

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

Statewide Situation – Daily Update

The state’s COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate broke the 10% watershed on May 4 at 10.32%. It has now broken the 13% mark — Friday’s rate of 13.71% is the state’s highest recorded COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate since Jan. 25, 2022 when the Rate stood at 13.74%.

On May 13, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations increased to 323 from the 291 recorded on May 12.

In contrast, on Jan. 12, 2022, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations was 1,939.

Of those hospitalized on May 12, the number not fully vaccinated was 102 (representing 31.58%).

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut rose to 10,914 on May 12, according to The New York Times.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by CT DPH Monday, May 16, around 4 p.m.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 741 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 812 new cases there since that date.

Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 178 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

The LLHD is no longer issuing weekly updates unless there is, “any significant change in case rates, hospitalizations, etc.”

On April 14, LLHD sent LymeLine.com this press release issued by CT DPH the same day. It begins: With the current uptick of COVID-19 cases—coupled with the upcoming schedule of spring holidays and family gatherings—the Connecticut Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the tools currently in place to help contain the spread of the virus. 

The new Community Levels tool created by the CDC can be viewed at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Four COVID-related fatalities have now been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third and fourth fatalities, which were reported respectively in 2021 and on Feb. 4, 2022, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Situation in LOL Schools

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing.

LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained the latest developments in LOL Schools COVID protocols in an email dated April 1 to the school community, saying, “As noted in my email of February 17, 2022, beginning April 1, 2022 we will no longer report daily COVID-19 cases in the schools.”

He then stated, “For the remainder of this school year, that information will be complied on a weekly basis and will be available on our website at the following link: https://www.region18.org/parents/covid-data.”

Details published to date show the following number of positive cases in LOL Schools by week.
April 3-9: 0
April 10-16: 0
April 17-23: Spring Break
April 24-30: 7
May 2-7: 27
May 8-14: 41

The total number of cases recorded in Lyme and Old Lyme for the week May 8-14 was 51, indicating the majority of cases had a connection to Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

For a summary of cases in LOL Schools between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022, visit this link.

View a full listing of cases between 8/26/21 – 12/23/21 at this link.

Ledge Light Health District Offers COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics at Local Senior Centers; Friday in Waterford

AREAWIDE — UPDATED WITH DETAILS OF ADDITIONAL CLINIC: Ledge Light Health District has scheduled the following COVID-19 vaccine clinics, which Lyme and Old Lyme residents can attend:

  • Friday, May 20, 11am-1pm, Waterford Senior Center (24 Rope Ferry Road). Call Waterford Senior Services at 860-444-5839 to schedule an appointment. 
  • Monday, May 23, 2-4pm, East Lyme Senior Center, 37 Society Road, Niantic
  • Tuesday, June 7, 1-3pm, Groton Senior Center, 102 Newtown Road, Groton

Only the Moderna vaccine will be available at these clinics, for individuals 18 years or older who need a 1st or 2nd dose (primary series) or are eligible for a 1st or 2nd booster dose.

The following groups are eligible for a 1st booster shot at this clinic:

  • individuals 18 years of age and older who have completed a primary series of a mRNA COVID-19 vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer) and it has been at least 5 months since completion of primary series
  • individuals 18 years of age and older who have had a primary dose of Janssen COVID-19 vaccine and it has been at least 2 months and would like a mRNA booster

The following groups are eligible for a 2nd booster shot at this clinic:

  • individuals 50 years of age and older who have received a first booster dose of any authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine and it has been at least 4 months since first booster dose

The clinics are free and open to the public. No appointment (except for the clinic at Waterford on Friday, May 20), insurance, or ID is necessary. Bring your CDC vaccination card if you have one. CDC recommends that everyone ages 5 years and older get their primary series of COVID-19 vaccine, and that everyone ages 12 years and older also receive a booster.

For a complete list of community clinics including those where vaccinations are available for people younger than 18, visit LLHD.org.

Community members 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).

Rep. Carney Hosts Post-Session Office Hours in Old Lyme, Wednesday Evening

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

OLD LYME — State Rep. Carney (R-23rd) offers residents of Lyme and Old Lyme an opportunity to meet with him on Wednesday, May 18, from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Community Room.

He will be available to discuss the recently concluded 2022 legislative session and any questions you may have about state issues.

Rep. Carney will also hold Post-Session Office Hours, Tuesday, May 24, in Old Saybrook at Acton Library from 5 to 6 p.m.

Readers, who are unable to attend, but would like to contact Rep. Carney may do so by email at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov.

This Afternoon ‘Ekklesia’ Performs ‘Body and Land’ Contemporary Dance at Saint Ann’s in Old Lyme

On May 14, the ‘Ekklesia’ contemporary dance company will perform ‘Body and Land’ at Saint Ann’s Church. All are welcome.

OLD LYME — On Saturday, May 14, at 4 p.m., Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church will present Ekklesia, a contemporary dance company. The new church entrance terrace and scenic lawn will form a natural backdrop for this experience.

In their piece “Body and Land”, dancers will move through the four seasons using the music of Vivaldi and composer Simonelli with words from poet Blankson. This work uses the arts to embody the challenges our modern earth faces from climate change.

“Saint Ann’s has been named a Level 2 Green House of Worship by the Connecticut Interreligious Eco-Justice Network,” explains The Rev. Dr. Anita Schell. “That’s why it’s so fitting we welcome Old Lyme and all our neighbors to experience Ekklesia’s moving message.”

The suggested donation for this production is $15.00.

Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Rd., Old Lyme.

Old Lyme Boys’ Tennis Crush Old Saybrook 6-1, Advance to Six-Game Winning Streak; “I’m So Proud of Them All” (Coach Tyrol)

Freshman Andy Sicuranza prepares to make a shot in a recent match, when he played as part of the #2 doubles team.

OLD LYME — The Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Girls’ Tennis team has been having an extraordinary season but let’s not forget the boys, who, thanks to Friday’s 6-1 win over Old Saybrook and Thursday’s 7-0 victory over Portland, are now on a six-game winning streak.

In rookie coach Andrew Tyrol’s enthusiastic words, “We’re making a run toward the state tournament!”

Tyrol, who is a 2013 graduate of LOLHS and now has returned to is high school as a Special Education teacher, comments, “We have a match Friday against Old Saybrook, then our Senior Night against Waterford on Saturday, followed by HK [Haddam-Killingworth], Morgan, and Stonington to round out our regular season prior to the individual and state tournaments.”

The Lyme-Old Lyme Boys’ Tennis team has been enjoying a strong end to the season.

Asked how he felt about his team’s improving form, Tyrol responded by email, saying, “The boys have found their stride in the back half of the season and it really came after a couple of tough losses to HK and Valley. After the HK loss, I saw the Old Lyme boys rally together and start to gain traction with a new competitive and positive team culture.”

He noted, “Practices raised their intensity and I saw a desire and motivation to get better every day. We’ve been talking all season about growth-mindset and I’m so proud of them all for understanding the true meaning of failure–as an opportunity to get better.”

Senior Co-Captain Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum serves in a recent match.

Tyrol stressed that he wished to acknowledge the leadership of senior captains Mike Klier and Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, and sophomore captain, Griffin McGlinchey on, “… pushing everyone on this team to continue to improve, especially after losses.”

After losing to Valley (who are undefeated and the #1 team in the state) in a tough third set with a score of 3-4, Tyrol said, “We saw the potential that this team has. Every member of our team, has been playing an integral role from practice to game days.”

He concluded, “We are excited to close out the regular season and improve our chances on making a run in the state tournament.”

The boys’ four previous wins to Thursday’s over Portland were Cromwell (7-0), Westbrook (4-3), Coginchaug (7-0), and Waterford (6-1).

Old Lyme would actually be on an eight-game streak if they had defeated Valley on April 29, but they came home with a 3-4 loss instead. In Tyrol’s words, “It was an absolutely incredible match from Griffin McGlinchey [of Old Lyme] and Tomas Dahl,” which went to a nail-biting three sets, but which Dahl ultimately won.

Here are the full results from April 18 to date:

May 13
Old Lyme (H) Defeats Old Saybrook 6-1
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Logan Medbury: 6-0, 6-0
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Victor Fuda: 6-0, 6-3
3. Will Danes vs. Daniel Steindl: Forfeit Loss (Illness)
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Brent Ling: 6-0, 6-3

Doubles:
1. Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum & Micah Bass vs. Jack Forrestt & Mike Kapij: 6-2, 6-3
2. Mike Klier & Andy Sicuranza vs. Zach Nichols & Joe Maselli: 6-0, 6-3
3. Alis Bicic & Leland Hine vs. Forfeit Win
May 12
Old Lyme (H) Defeats Portland 7-0
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Ryan Kerr: 6-0, 6-0
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Ben McGrew: 6-2, 6-0
3. Will Danes vs. Cooper Rettich: 6-2, 6-3
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Elliott Rowland: 6-2, 6-3
Doubles:
1. Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum & Micah Bass vs. Yusuf Kadrich & Patrick May: 6-0, 6-3
2. Mike Klier & Andy Sicuranza vs. Forfeit Win
3. Alis Bicic & Leland Hine vs. Forfeit Win
May 11
Old Lyme (H) Defeats Cromwell 7-0
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Tyler Daniele: 6-2, 7-5
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Zach Daniele: 6-1, 6-3
3. Will Danes vs. Darragh McNeil: 6-4, 6-0
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Gowrish Sriramalinga: 6-3, 6-2
Doubles:
1. Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum & Micah Bass vs. Thomas Garcia & Quentin Shorter: 6-0, 6-1
2. Mike Klier & Andy Sicuranza vs. Forfeit Win
3. Alis Bicic & Leland Hine vs. Forfeit Win

May 10
Old Lyme (A) Defeats Westbrook 4-3
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Joey Caslin: Win–Scratch
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Elliot Koplas: 0-6, 1-6
3. Will Danes vs. Jonah Freund: 7-5, 5-7, 7-2 (3rd set tiebreak)
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Josh Davey: 6-2, 6-3

Doubles:
1. Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum & Micah Bass vs. Mason Malchiodi & Ryan Engels: 1-6, 4-6
2. Mike Klier & Andy Sicuranza vs. Enzo Adorno & Jon Freund: 6-4, 6-1
3. Alis Bicic & Leland Hine vs. Dev Patel & Justin Tapia: 6-0, 6-2

May 3
Old Lyme (A) Defeats Coginchaug 7-0
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Zack Ryer: 6-1, 6-1
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Luke Charest: 6-0, 6-0
3. Will Danes vs. Will Fournier: 6-0, 6-0
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Forfeit Win

Doubles:
1. Micah Bass & Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum vs. Liam Ullman & Cole Wright: 6-0, 6-0
2. Andy Sicuranza & Jed Arico vs. Nick Piscatelli & Yusha Hossein: 6-3, 6-0
3. Alis Bicic & Leland Hine vs. Forfeit Win
April 30
Old Lyme (A) defeats Waterford 6-1
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Ian Balfour: 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Enzo Guarnieri: 6-0, 6-1
3. Will Danes vs. Peter Colonis: 3-6, 3-6
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Noah Westkott: 4-6, 6-1, 6-0
Doubles:
1. Micah Bass & Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum vs. Gabriel Povent & Corey Sewndoru: 6-4, 6-7, 6-2
2. Andy Sicuranza & Mike Klier vs. Max Whitlock & Quinn LeBelle: 6-4, 6-2
3.  Alis Bicic & Leland Hine vs. Alistair Wayland & Andrew Bertrond: 6-0, 6-1
April 29
Valley Defeats Old Lyme 4-3
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Nick Wyszkowski: 1-6, 4-6
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Tomas Dahl: 5-7, 6-4, 6-2
3. Will Danes vs. Hayden Lombardi: 4-6, 6-7
4. Aidan Kerrigan vs. Jack Whittacker: 1-6, 2-6
Doubles:
1. Micah Bass & Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum vs. Kaid Matesky &Aidan Garrity: 6-4, 6-1
2. Andy Sicuranza & Mike Klier vs. Sawyer Joy & Peter Fitton: 6-1, 6-0
3. Alis Bicic & Nevin Joshy vs. Charlie Whelan & Shep Whitney: 6-1, 4-6, 4-6
April 27
Old Lyme Defeats Morgan 5-2
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Joseph Morse: 3-6, 2-6
2. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Steve Kinser: 4-6, 6-4, 6-3
3. Will Danes vs. Matt Lopez: 6-4, 6-2
4. Jed Arico vs. Nick Bausch: 2-6, 1-6
Doubles:
1. Micah Bass & Nikolai Stephens Zumbaum vs. Tarik Hasic & Damian Sevieri: 3-6, 6-3,  6-3
2. Andy Sicuranza and Mike Klier vs. Nate Kinser and Ryder Watson: 6-2, 6-4
3. Alis Bicic and Leland Hine vs. Page Cuptill and Ryan Mansfield: 6-1, 7-5
April 22
Old Lyme Defeats Portland 4-1
Singles:
1. Charles Hinckley vs. Ryan Kerr: 6-1, 6-2
2. Andy Sicuranza vs. Ben McGrew: 6-4, 6-1
3. Ryan Clark vs. 6-2, 1-6, 4-6
4. N/A
Doubles:
1. Micah Bass and Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum vs. Yusuf Kodric and Pat May: 6-0, 6-2
2. Leland Hine and Will Danes vs. Forfeit
3. N/A
April 18
East Hampton Defeats Old Lyme 6-1
Singles:
1. Griffin McGlinchey vs. Pat Gavrylchuk: 6-1, 1-6, 2-6
2. Will Danes vs. Konrad Piech: 7-5, 6-1
3. Ryan Clark vs. Ben Fields: 1-6, 0-6
4. Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack vs. Reilly Howard: 0-6, 0-6
Doubles:
1. Micah Bass & Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum vs. Matt Piela & Roman LeFloc’h: 2-6, 0-6
2. Andy Sicuranza & Leland Hine vs. Anthony Miro & Chris Anderson: 6-2, 5-7, 4-6
3. Nihad Bicic & Alis Bicic vs. Ben Maynard & Ethan Fields: 2-6, 2-6

May 12 COVID-19 Update: Over 93% of CT Now in Red Zone, CT Positivity Rate Over 13%; 13 New Cases in Old Lyme Take Cumulative Total to 1182, Three New Cases Take Lyme’s Total to 287

This map, updated May 12, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. One hundred and forty five towns (representing a total of 93.5% of the state) are now found in the Red Zone. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities. Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper.

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Reports issued Thursday, May 12, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) shows a total of 13 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and three in Lyme.

These cases raise Old Lyme’s cumulative case total to 1182 and Lyme’s to 287.

On Thursday, May 12, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) also released its latest weekly COVID-19 Alert Map (pictured above), which indicates that 158 municipalities are now in the Red (highest of four) Zone for case rates. These towns in the Red Zone include both Lyme and Old Lyme.

This number has increased by 13 over the 145 towns recorded in the Red Zone last week, thus increasing the number of towns in the Red Zone to 93.5% of the state.

This total of 158 Red Zone towns is moving rapidly towards the Jan. 27, 2022 number, when the total was 168 out of 169 towns.

As of May 12, 2022, all nine towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone. The LLHD is no longer issuing reports with updated Case Rates and other metrics.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, May 19 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The color-coded zones on the map above are:

Red: Indicates case rates over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population
Orange: Indicates case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population
Yellow: Indicates case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population
Gray: Indicates case rates lower than five per 100,000 population

CDC Places All Eight CT Counties in COVID-19 High ‘Community Transmission’ Category
New London, Fairfield Counties are in Medium ‘Community Level’ Category, All Other Counties are High 

Map issued May 13 by the CDC showing Community Transmission levels in Connecticut. Map courtesy of CDC.

On May 13, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed all eight Connecticut counties as having “High” Community Transmission (see map above).

Map issued May 13 by the CDC showing Community Levels in Connecticut. Map courtesy of CDC.

On May 13, the CDC listed six Connecticut counties in the “High” category as part of its COVID-19 Community Levels Map (see above). Only Fairfield and New London Counties are listed in the “Medium” category. 

The COVID-19 Community Levels map—which was launched in late February—informs CDC recommendations on prevention measures, such as masking and testing. The guidelines include a color-coded system available on the CDC website of “Low,” “Medium” and “High.”

This approach focuses on preventing hospitals and health care systems from being overwhelmed and directing prevention efforts toward protecting people at high risk for severe illness.  

“This latest update comes as no surprise considering the trajectory that this latest omicron sub-variant is taking,” said Connecticut Department of Public Health Commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “And I cannot stress enough that the tools to combat this virus are in place and easily accessible. These include vaccines, first and second boosters, Test to Treat locations, therapeutics, self-tests and state-supported testing.  

Residents who live in New London (which includes Lyme and Old Lyme) and Fairfield Counties—which is listed in the Yellow/Medium Category—who are at high risk for severe illness in these counties should talk to their health care providers about when they need to wear a mask and take other precautions. These residents should also stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. 

Residents living in the High/Orange categories—Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, Tolland and Windham Counties—should wear a mask indoors in public; stay up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and get tested if they have symptoms. Additional precautions may be needed for residents who are at high risk for severe illness. 

More on the Local Situation

April 5, 2022 was the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either town.

Prior to March 25, Lyme had gone for 23 consecutive days with no new cases being reported. Two new cases were reported in Lyme on March 25.

Prior to April 5, the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either Lyme or Old Lyme was March 24. There were also no new cases on March 9 and 4, and Feb. 24. The previous date prior to Feb. 24 when no new cases were reported in either town was Dec. 12, 2021.

Statewide Situation – Daily Update

The state’s COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate broke the 10% watershed on May 4 at 10.32%. It has now broken the 13% mark — Thursday’s rate of 13.24% is the state’s highest recorded COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate since Jan. 25, 2022 when the Rate stood at 13.74%.

On May 12, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations decreased to 291 from the 300 recorded on May 11.

In contrast, on Jan. 12, 2022, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations was 1,939.

Of those hospitalized on May 12, the number not fully vaccinated was 102 (representing 35.05%).

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut held at 10, 883 on May 12, according to The New York Times.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by CT DPH Friday, May 13, around 4 p.m.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 739 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 810 new cases there since that date.

Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 173 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

The LLHD is no longer issuing weekly updates unless there is, “any significant change in case rates, hospitalizations, etc.”

On April 14, LLHD sent LymeLine.com this press release issued by CT DPH the same day. It begins: With the current uptick of COVID-19 cases—coupled with the upcoming schedule of spring holidays and family gatherings—the Connecticut Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the tools currently in place to help contain the spread of the virus. 

The new Community Levels tool created by the CDC can be viewed at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Four COVID-related fatalities have now been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third and fourth fatalities, which were reported respectively in 2021 and on Feb. 4, 2022, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Situation in LOL Schools

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing.

LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained the latest developments in LOL Schools COVID protocols in an email dated April 1 to the school community, saying, “As noted in my email of February 17, 2022, beginning April 1, 2022 we will no longer report daily COVID-19 cases in the schools.”

He then stated, “For the remainder of this school year, that information will be complied on a weekly basis and will be available on our website at the following link: https://www.region18.org/parents/covid-data.”

Details published to date show the following number of positive cases in LOL Schools by week.
April 3-9: 0
April 10-16: 0
April 17-23: Spring Break
April 24-30: 7
May 2-7: 27
May 8-14: 41

The total number of cases recorded in Lyme and Old Lyme for the week May 8-14 was 51, indicating the majority of cases had a connection to Lyme-Old Lyme Schools.

For a summary of cases in LOL Schools between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022, visit this link.

View a full listing of cases between 8/26/21 – 12/23/21 at this link.

It’s Prom/Summer Party Season! Let’s Work Together to Stop Teen Access to Alcohol

LYME/OLD LYME — With Prom and summer just around the corner, it’s a great time to focus awareness in Lyme and Old Lyme on underage drinking. Remember alcohol continues to be the number one substance used by youth. 

One way we can work to prevent teens from drinking is to prevent easy access to alcohol and recognizing that teen drinking is not inevitable.

The Lyme-Old Lyme 2021 Youth Survey reports that 62 percent of high school seniors do not drink alcohol regularly.

Unfortunately, 70 percent of 12th graders report that it is easy to get alcohol. Most teens who drink get alcohol without having to pay for it. They obtain it from friends (83 percent) or family members, at parties, or by taking it without permission.  

The 2021 Youth Survey shows that nearly 50 percent of students, who report drinking, take it from their parents with and without permission. Underage drinkers, who pay for alcohol, usually give money to someone else to purchase it for them.

Here’s what you can do to reduce access to alcohol:

  • At home, make sure teens can’t access alcohol without your knowledge. Unmonitored alcohol, including alcohol stored in a cabinet, refrigerator, basement or garage, can be a temptation. When in doubt, lock it up.
  • Liquor stickers can be a helpful tool and are available at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau.
  • Exercise your influence. Data shows that teens continue to care what their parents think, even while they are in high school and college – 63 percent of students choose not to drink because they feel their parents would disapprove. Let your teen know that you don’t want them to drink and that most teens, in fact, don’t drink.

  • Speak up, because silence can be misinterpreted. It may have happened already. A neighbor announces she is hosting a teen party, but you shouldn’t worry — she’s taking the car keys from every kid who comes in. Or a colleague says he’s serving alcohol to his high school son’s friends so they can “learn to drink responsibly.”
  • If you hear about a situation, say that you don’t want other people serving alcohol to your teen or condoning teen drinking. Let your friends, neighbors, and family members know that the minimum drinking age is a policy that protects teens, and that you don’t want your teen to drink.
  • Take action before a situation arises. Start talking to the parents of your child’s friends early — as early as 6th grade. Tell them about the risks of teen drinking and let them know that you don’t want anyone to allow your teen to drink alcohol.
  • Talk to adults, who host teen parties. Let them know that the overwhelming majority of parents support the legal drinking age and agree that it is not okay to serve alcohol to someone else’s teen — and not okay to turn a blind eye to teen alcohol consumption.
  • Let local law enforcement know that you encourage active policing of noisy teen parties that may signal alcohol use.
  • Tell local alcohol retailers that you want them to check ID’s before selling alcohol. Limiting alcohol sales to legal purchasers is an important goal and well worth the time it takes.
  • Consider joining the Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition.

For more information on how to help your teen make healthy choices surrounding drugs or alcohol, visit www.lysb.org/prevention or contact Alli Behnke, Prevention Coordinator, abehnke@lysb.org

Alli Behnke

About the Author: Alli Behnke, MSW, MA is the Prevention Coordinator at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau. She has been a Social Worker for 20 years working in the fields of prevention, therapy, youth leadership, and health coaching. Alli believes strongly in providing accurate information, education, and tools for success when empowering the Lyme/Old Lyme Prevention Coalition and REACH Youth Coalition to work together on strengths-based campaigns. The Coalitions address substance abuse and other risky behaviors challenging our youth and families. Contact her at abehnke@lysb.org or visit  www.lysb.org to become involved in this important community work.

A View from My Porch: The Shady History of Connecticut Tobacco — The Finale

Tom Gotowka digs deeper into The Shady History of Connecticut Tobacco. Photo by Shaun Meintjes on Unsplash.

It’s been a little while since the publication of Part 1 of The Shady History of Connecticut Tobacco , but during that hiatus, there has been other remarkable news covered in the media.

Decisions regarding COVID mitigation were moved to municipal leadership, including school superintendents. Judge Ketanjii Brown Jackson, who was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Biden, was confirmed by the Senate, and became both the first African-American woman and native Floridian to serve on the “highest court” in the U. S. Federal Judiciary. 

Without provocation, Russia brutally and relentlessly attacked Ukraine; arousing support for the courageous citizens defending their homeland by nearly the whole of the free world, and the emergence of President Volodymyr Zelensky as a leader somewhat reminiscent of a wartime Winston Churchill.

Locally, Old Lyme announced the availability of American Rescue Plan economic recovery and community initiative grants for small businesses and non-profits.

Finally, and much closer to my home, my son landed in Bahrain on an extended U.S. Navy mission with a multi- national coalition task force charged, “to provide reassurance to merchant shipping in the Middle East.” On some days, reciting the lyrics to Bob Dylan’s “A Hard Rain …” is a good distraction for his parents, along with, “Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?”

Part 1 Redux:

The prior essay provided some historic context for the development of tobacco farming in Connecticut. I reviewed the initial stages of the international tobacco trade, beginning with the early voyages of the Spanish and Portuguese explorers in the “Age of Discovery”. I considered how the English developed their insatiable appetite for what King James I called a “noxious weed.”

I reflected on England’s dependence on Spain as their primary source for tobacco; which resulted in a substantial trade deficit that has been cited by many historians as a precipitating factor in the decision by King James to establish a permanent colony in the Americas in 1607.

Unfortunately, the Jamestown, Va. colony was nearly doomed to fail when the settlers disembarked onto a swampy and infertile peninsula infested with malaria – carrying mosquitos; and absent the wealth and riches that the Spanish brought home after looting the Aztec empire; nearly became a financial disaster for investors.  

The colony was on the brink of disaster by1610, when John Rolfe arrived in a convoy with additional settlers and supplies. Rolfe began cultivating tobacco and developed the colony’s first profitable export. His tobacco proved immensely popular in England; and by 1617, the colony’s tobacco exports had broken the Spanish monopoly, and strengthened the colony’s economy. 

In this essay, I review the expansion of English settlements into New England, focusing on how tobacco developed as an important cash crop in Connecticut; and discuss how Martin Luther King, Jr.’s experience on a tobacco farm in Connecticut’s Farmington River Valley in the 1940s so remarkably impacted his life.

I’ll consider both the key features of the tobacco farms landscape that we observed near West Simsbury; and the romanticization of Connecticut tobacco in literature and cinema. 

The Connecticut Colony:

Connecticut began as several separate settlements by the English separatist Puritans (the “Pilgrims”) from Plymouth, Mass. and England; all of which united under a single royal charter as the Connecticut Colony in 1663. 

One of the earliest of these adventurers was William Holmes, who in 1633 brought a party of traders from Plymouth aboard the colony’s “great new barke.” After sailing up the Connecticut River and past a hostile Dutch fort downstream from what is now Hartford, he established the first English settlement in Connecticut at the convergence of the Farmington and Connecticut rivers at present-day Windsor. 

Despite the challenge of smallpox and some sporadic combative relations with local native Americans, the Windsor settlement succeeded, and eventually contained what later became the “daughter towns” of Barkhamsted, Bloomfield, Enfield, the Granbys, Litchfield, Simsbury, Suffield, and others. 

Connecticut’s Tobacco Valley:

When the first settlers came to the Connecticut River Valley, tobacco was already being grown and consumed by native Americans (i.e., the Podunk peoples), who used it in pipes. The Windsor area’s exceptionally fertile sandy loam soil and hot, humid summers were perfect for growing tobacco; and, in less than 10 years, the settlers had imported tobacco seeds from Virginia and harvested their first tobacco crop.

The earliest Connecticut tobacco variety, ‘shoestring,’ was mainly for use in pipes, but, given the settlers’ English heritage, was also brewed and consumed as a tea.  

By 1700, tobacco was being exported to European ports; and in the mid-19th century, Connecticut’s Tobacco Valley, which runs from Hartford to Springfield, had become the center for tobacco agriculture in the state. Note that tobacco farms also flourished in Connecticut’s Farmington River Valley towns, westward from Windsor to Simsbury.  

Cigars:

Photo by Alexandre Trouvé on Unsplash.

The origin of cigars has been traced back to the 10th century Mayan civilization in Central America. There is no record of the Mayans trading with the early Windsor settlers.

Connecticut folklore credits General Israel Putnam, of Brooklyn, Conn., who fought with distinction at the Battle of Bunker Hill, with increasing the popularity of cigars in New England when he returned from an expedition to Cuba in 1762 with thousands of Havana cigars.

“Don’t fire until you see the whites of their eyes” is often attributed to Putnam at Bunker Hill.

‘Shoestring’ was replaced with ‘Broadleaf,’ a variety from Maryland, favored because the leaf was much larger, produced greater crop yields, and was suitable for cigars — although used primarily for the two outside layers, the binder and the wrapper.

Note that most cigars are comprised of three separate components: the shredded filler, the binder leaf that holds the filler together, and a wrapper leaf, which is often the highest quality leaf used.

Connecticut ‘Broadleaf’ was grown in direct sunlight, which toughened the leaf and produced a more rugged look — much rougher in texture and appearance. This eventually put Connecticut farmers at a disadvantage against others producing a more pristine leaf for cigars. 

The Origins of Connecticut Shade Tobacco:

By the turn of the 20th century, cigar makers were using tobacco from Sumatra, which competed fiercely with Connecticut-grown wrapper tobaccos, and threatened the livelihood of Connecticut growers.

Science:

W. C. Sturgis, a Connecticut botanist, had already grown Sumatra tobacco from seed in 1899, reproducing the thinner leaf. During the initial trials, natural sunlight scorched the leaves. Learning that the tobacco-growing season in Sumatra occurred predominantly in overcast weather or under jungle shade, however, he erected cheesecloth tents over the experimental crops to block direct sunlight.

Botanists from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) also began experimenting with tropical tobacco varieties. 

Marcus Floyd, the USDA’s leading tobacco expert at the time came to Connecticut to oversee the first crop of this experimental tobacco, now known as “shade tobacco.”

Results exceeded expectations; the tobacco leaves were more refined, and a golden leaf emerged after curing and aging; and today is considered the gold standard of cigar wrapper leaves.

Connecticut appropriated $10,00 in 1921 (over $158,000 today) for the Tobacco Research Station in Windsor to investigate cigar wrapper tobacco production and disease control. 

Note the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station, the first such operation in the United States, had been established in 1875.  

Connecticut’s Transition to Shade:

Connecticut farmers were accustomed to the simple cultivation process and single harvest of broadleaf tobacco. In contrast, Connecticut tobacco historian, Dawn Byron Hutchins estimates that each shade tobacco leaf is handled 12 times before it becomes part of a cigar.

She describes the cultivation of shade-grown tobacco as more labor-intensive and more complicated. To wit, the growing season begins in May with weeding and transplanting seedlings. As the plants grow, they are fastened to guide wires, and then cloth tents are spread over them to increase humidity, protect the tender plants from direct sunlight, and maximize the short New England growing season. 

The remainder of cultivation takes place by hand. Field workers spend weeks in high humidity and extreme heat moving among the rows, pulling off shoots and tobacco worms. Multiple harvests of leaves are brought to barns, where workers sew the leaves together to string on wooden lath. The laths are then hung in the rafters of barns to cure.

After curing, the tobacco is moved to sorting sheds and warehouses, where processing continues throughout the rest of the year.

“Working Tobacco”:

Prior to the First World War, the Greater Hartford-Springfield area was able to fulfill the need for seasonal tobacco workers with residents and immigrants. When war broke out, however, many workers were drafted, while those remaining home took jobs at munitions and other defense-related plants, which promised higher wages.

Consequently, Connecticut’s tobacco farms began to employ migrant laborers from the South and the Caribbean. 

The Connecticut Tobacco Company advertised in the New York World in 1915 for “500 girls to work as sorters”. The planters “gathered up 200 girls of the worst type, who straightaway proceeded to scandalize Hartford” (sic). The blunder was managed and Emmett J. Scott, secretary-treasurer of Howard University, included the incident in his 1920 book, “Negro Migration During the War”.

The Company then sought assistance from the National Urban League (NUL), who already served as a clearinghouse and civil rights advocate for African American migrants to the North. They placed advertisements in African American newspapers like The Chicago Defender, which was circulated in the South. Unfortunately, this program was similarly unable to produce a reliable labor force. 

Marcus Floyd (see USDA above), president of the Connecticut Tobacco Company since 1911, then began investigating recruitment of a special group of Southern workers: college or college-bound students. At that time, students from historically black colleges were already accompanying their professors north to work seasonal service jobs at New England resorts.

College students provided Connecticut growers with an English-speaking, educated work force, “who, as seasonal workers, would have only limited impact on the local communities”. 

The NUL introduced Floyd to Dr. John Hope, the first black president of Morehouse College. A deal was struck, and Floyd recruited the first Morehouse students for the 1916 season at Hazelwood plantation on the Windsor/East Granby border.

The Hartford Daily Courant reported in August 1916 that “students were paid $2.00 per day, and, in turn, paid $4.50 per week for room and board. Students could clear $100 for the entire summer,” which is equivalent in purchasing power to more than $2,500 today. Roundtrip transportation was covered for those who completed the entire season.

Recruiters also sought student workers from other historically black colleges, including Florida A&M, Morris Brown College, Howard University, Livingstone College, and Talladega College. Growers minimized their labor problems by developing residential camps or building dormitories on their tobacco farms and providing religious and social opportunities.

A Morehouse dormitory was built in 1938 in Simsbury, and was expanded in 1946. 

Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Martin Luther King, 1964. Photo by the Nobel Foundation. Public Domain.

After qualifying for early admission to Morehouse College, MLK left the South to work the summers of both 1944 and 1947 on the Cullman Brothers tobacco farm in Simsbury to earn money for tuition. 

“For him and a lot of the students, it’s their first time out of the South and away from segregation,” said Clayborne Carson, senior editor of “The Papers of Martin Luther King Jr.,” which included MLK’s teenage letters home describing the liberating experience of escaping the segregated South.

He was struck by the distinction between the segregation on the train ride from Atlanta to Washington D.C. and the freedom he experienced after changing trains for Connecticut. “After we passed Washington, there was no discrimination at all,” he wrote to his father; adding that up North, “We go to any place we want to and sit anywhere we want to.” 

He wrote in his autobiography, “It was a bitter feeling going back to segregation after those summers in Connecticut. It was hard to understand why I could ride wherever I pleased on the train from New York to Washington and then had to change to a Jim Crow car (i.e., racially restricted) at the nation’s capital to continue the trip to Atlanta. I could never readjust to the separate waiting rooms, eating places, and rest rooms; partly because the “separate was always unequal”; and partly because the very idea of separation did something to my sense of dignity and self-respect.”

Corey Kilgannon wrote in the New York Times that the dream of equality that MLK first glimpsed in Simsbury helped reshape his world view. He adds, “It was during those summers that King began his path to becoming a minister. He decided to attend Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania, and explained in his 1944 application that he felt, “An inescapable urge to serve society.”

He was ordained as a minister at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 1948. 

Literature and Cinema: 

The 1952 novel, East of Eden, by John Steinbeck is set primarily in the Salinas Valley, although an early portion of the novel is set on a Connecticut tobacco farm.  This is a very cruel story and describes the overlapping fates of several generations of two families, the Trasks and the Hamiltons; and the toxic relationship of bible-thumping Cyrus with his sons, Adam, and Adam’s violent half-brother, Charles.

Many reviewers cite East of Eden as Steinbeck’s best work and an allegory for the story of Cain and Abel. The 1955 movie, which is based on the fourth and final part of the novel. starred James Dean and Raymond Massey. 

The 1958 novel, Parrish, by New London native, Mildred Savage, tells the story of the shade tobacco industry in the Connecticut River Valley in the 1940s and 1950s, and the violent conflict between the established growers, who had owned vast farms for generations, and a ruthless outsider, Judd Raike, who threatened them through hostile and underhanded acquisitions of their farm lands.

Parrish McLean and his mother work for the Sala Post tobacco farm, which is engaged in a brutal conflict with Raike. Mrs. McLean marries Raike, who then insists that the recalcitrant Parrish learn the business from the ground up; and the story proceeds from the point of view of Parrish, who still has a relationship with Sala. 

The 1961 movie starred Troy Donahue (as Parrish), Claudette Colbert, and Karl Malden. It was filmed in Windsor and includes some amazing aerial panoramas of the shaded fields and farm landscapes of the time (available via Phoebe.)

I can’t close the book on Windsor without mentioning the 1941 Joseph Kesselring Broadway play and 1944 Frank Capra movie, Arsenic and Old Lace, starring Cary Grant. Arsenic was based on events at the Archer Home for Elderly People and Chronic Invalids on Prospect Street in Windsor, Conn. Sixty men died between 1907 and 1917 while in the care of Amy Archer-Gilligan. Most were proven to be victims of arsenic poisoning.

Tobacco Farms Landscape:

I mentioned last time that I was first introduced to tobacco farming when I did several years of active duty in the late 1970s at a Naval Hospital in Southern Maryland. I “mustered out” to Connecticut, and we settled in West Simsbury. We had anticipated dairy farms, and a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, but we also got fields of shade tobacco. I reminisce a little on our initial impressions in what turned out to be our final stop in an unplanned odyssey amongst the tobacco-centric regions of the eastern United States.

Making the Shade:

Tobacco fields are arranged in a grid pattern, set with posts and connecting wires. Cheesecloth was stretched across the top and along the sides. Currently, nylon mesh is used in lieu of cheesecloth. The shade diffuses sunlight, encapsulates heat and humidity, and creates an environment whose temperature is much higher than outside the shade. 

Tobacco Barns:

Tobacco barn in Simsbury, Connecticut used for air curing of shade tobacco. By Sphilbrick – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11530818

Adjoining the fields are very distinctive, vertically-sided weathered barns, raised for curing tobacco, which is hung on stalks in the barn’s rafters. The barns are constructed with long narrow boards, which are hinged at the top. Called “Yankee hinges”, they are designed to swing open when needed in order to lower the temperature and increase air flow in the barn.

Note that there are barn designs other than the “Yankee hinges,” which are also used for curing tobacco. They include horizontal siding with top-hinged vents and gable-end doors, or a series of large doors along one of the long sides of the building with the other sides of the building vented.

Epilogue:

Tobacco production in Connecticut today is a fraction of what it was at its peak in the 1930s, when 30,000 acres of farmland grew tobacco; reflecting an overall decline in cigar smoking from a century ago, and greater public awareness of smoking-related disease.  At present, just over 2,000 acres are dedicated to tobacco production. 

The method of growing tobacco under shade is now common in many areas, including the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, and Cuba.

Connecticut seed tobaccos are also grown in a number of other countries; most notably, Ecuador.

The three-story Morehouse dormitory, mentioned earlier, which originally housed hundreds of tobacco workers, was still in service when we arrived in West Simsbury, but was weathered and in the early stages of disrepair and dilapidation. It was destroyed by fire in 1984 as part of a training exercise for volunteer firefighters.

In spring 2021, the vacant 288-acre site of the 1940s Cullman Brothers tobacco farm in Simsbury, then called Meadowood, was slated for a development of hundreds of homes. As noted above, MLK worked the summers of 1944 and 1947 on the farm.

Richard Curtiss, a history teacher at Simsbury High School, initiated a student project to investigate what was then a local legend. Research not only included books and old newspaper articles, but gathering oral history from people like 105-year-old Bernice Martin, who said that MLK attended her church in Simsbury, The First Congregational Church; and had been recruited to sing in the choir.

The students put their findings in a video, Summers of Freedom, which was covered by the CBS Evening News and other major outlets; and residents then followed with a grassroots citizen petition process and special town meeting that put the question of the Meadowood purchase on a referendum in May 2021.

Residents authorized $2.5 million for the purchase and preservation of the 288-acre Meadowood property by a resounding 87 percent. The property has since been nominated for historic designation.

The stage had already been set for that referendum on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in January, with the unveiling of a permanent MLK memorial. The memorial was made up of five glass panels representing the different stages of MLK Jr.’s life. It was made possible by groups of Simsbury High School students, who raised $150,000. It will now be listed as a destination on Connecticut’s Freedom Trail. 

If you have read any of my past columns, you know that I enjoy reading history; and especially enjoy ferreting out instances of the unique. I anticipate expanding on the folklore that surrounds the life of General Israel Putnam, cited above as an “influencer,” who played a significant role in increasing the popularity of cigars.  

A prominent member of the expat community and chronicler of the local zeitgeist lamented, after publishing the first essay in this series, “The British role in the whole [tobacco] business is not a glorious one”! 

All that said, I have never used any tobacco product.

Sources: 

  • Connecticut Valley Tobacco Historical Society
  • Connecticut Valley Agricultural Museum
  • Preservation Connecticut
  • Simsbury and Windsor Historical Societies
  • The Connecticut Agriculture Experiment Station
  • Holt’s Cigar Company
  • Cigar Aficionado
  • New York Times,  Nov. 12, 2021; article by Corey Kilgannon

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

Tom Gotowka

 About the author: Tom Gotowka’s entire adult career has been in healthcare. He will sit on the Navy side at the Army/Navy football game. He always sit on the crimson side at any Harvard/Yale contest. He enjoys reading historic speeches and considers himself a scholar of the period from FDR through JFK. A child of AM Radio, he probably knows the lyrics of every rock and roll or folk song published since 1960. He hopes these experiences give readers a sense of what he believes “qualify” him to write this column.

Duck River GC Hosts Program on Creating Wildlife Habitats with Native Plants, May 25; All Welcome

OLD LYME — The Duck River Garden Club of Old Lyme will hold its monthly meeting and program on Wednesday, May 25, at Memorial Town Hall on Lyme St. in Old Lyme. A community social begins at 6:45 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m., which is open to all.

A business meeting for all active members will be held prior to the social, at 6 p.m.

The May program is titled Creating Wildlife Habitat with Native Plants, and is presented by Shaun Roche, who is  Visitor Services Manager at the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge in Westbrook, Conn.

Roche focuses on education and outreach at the Refuge.

The focus of his talk will be how to make a difference in your yard in terms of its attractiveness to wildlife. Roche will demonstrate how you can invite wildlife to your own yard and neighborhood simply by planting native plants that provide habitat for beautiful creatures.

He comments, “Imagine more singing songbirds, happy hummingbirds, flitting butterflies and myriad other small creatures visiting your home. What a sight to see and what a positive difference you can make with simple changes and additions to your garden.”

Roche grew up in Waterbury and attended Central Connecticut State University, earning a degree in public history. He  worked for the National Park Service at the Sagamore Hill National Historic Site (home of Theo. Roosevelt) in Oyster Bay, NY from 2004-2010 and then returned to Connecticut in 2010 to work with the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Guests and potential members are always welcome to DRGC programs, and no registration is needed.

Contact Karen Geisler at (860) 434-5321 if you would like more information about the program or the club.

Editor’s Note: For more information on the work in which Roche is currently involved, visit the Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge Facebook page.

 

Old Lyme Historical Society Presents Talk Tonight on History of Artisan Tiles; All Welcome

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Historical Society Inc. (OLHSI) presents a talk on the History of Artisan Tiles this evening, Thursday, May 12, at 7 p.m. at the Society’s building at 55 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

The guest speaker will be Paul Halferty of Lilywork Artisan Tile, which is located on Lyme Street in Old Lyme.

All are welcome and admission is free.

This is the first in a series of speaker events sponsored by the OLHSI.

Donations are welcome. Proceeds benefit the Carol Noyes Winters Scholarship Fund.

A Taste of Ayurveda: Virtual Class Hosted by Old Lyme Library Tonight; All Welcome


OLD LYME —
The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library presents a virtual, four-part series titled, A Taste of Ayurveda with Claire Ragozzino. All the sessions take place on Thursdays and are free. Attend any of the sessions individually or join all four. Preregistration is required at this link.

This series will highlight one of the world’s oldest holistic healing practices.

Featuring concepts and recipes from her book Living Ayurveda, Ragozzino will explain the benefits of using Ayurveda to help balance the principal doshas (health types) responsible for an individual’s physiological, and emotional health according to Ayurvedic practices.

The second program in the series will be held Thursday, May 12, at 6 p.m., when Ragozzino will explain how to eat and move to balance the Kapha dosha during the spring season.

Ragozzino will provide a shopping list, recipes and cooking instructions so participants can cook along with her during the program. (The shopping list and recipes will be sent to registered patrons before the program)

This series is co-sponsored by Bigelow Free Public Library, Lyme Public Library and Mystic & Noank Library.

May 10 & 11 COVID-19 Update: 10 New Cases in Old Lyme Over Two Days Take Cumulative Total to 1159, Three in Lyme Take its Total to 284

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Reports issued Tuesday, May 10 and Wednesday, May 11, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) shows a total of 10 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and three in Lyme.

These cases raise Old Lyme’s cumulative case total to 1169 and Lyme’s to 284.

Old Lyme recorded five cases each day on May 10 and 11; Lyme recorded no cases on May 10 and three on May 11.

April 5, 2022 was the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either town.

Prior to March 25, Lyme had gone for 23 consecutive days with no new cases being reported. Two new cases were reported in Lyme on March 25.

Prior to April 5, the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either Lyme or Old Lyme was March 24. There were also no new cases on March 9 and 4, and Feb. 24. The previous date prior to Feb. 24 when no new cases were reported in either town was Dec. 12, 2021.

Statewide Situation – Weekly Update

This map, updated May 5, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. One hundred and forty five towns (representing a total of 85.8% of the state) are now found in the Red Zone. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities. Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper.

On Thursday, May 5, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) also released its latest weekly COVID-19 Alert Map (pictured above), which indicates that 145 municipalities are now in the Red (highest of four) Zone for case rates. These towns in the Red Zone include both Lyme and Old Lyme.

This number has increased by 14 over the 131 towns recorded in the Red Zone last week, thus increasing the number of towns in the Red Zone to 85.8% of the state.

This total of 145 Red Zone towns is moving rapidly towards the Jan. 27, 2022 number, when the total was 168 out of 169 towns.

As of May 5, 2022 all nine towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone.

The LLHD is no longer issuing reports with updated Case Rates and other metrics.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, May 12 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The color-coded zones are:

Red: Indicates case rates over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population
Orange: Indicates case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population
Yellow: Indicates case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population
Gray: Indicates case rates lower than five per 100,000 population

Statewide Situation – Daily Update

The state’s COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate broke the 10% watershed on May 4 at 10.32%. It has now broken the 13% mark — Wednesday’s rate of 13.01% is the state’s highest recorded COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate since Jan. 25, 2022 when the Rate stood at 13.74%.

On May 11, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations increased to 300 from the 239 recorded on May 10.

In contrast, on Jan. 12, 2022, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations was 1,939.

Of those hospitalized on May 11, the number not fully vaccinated was 112 (representing 37.33%).

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut increased by eight to 10, 883 on May 11 from 10,875 on May 10, according to The New York Times.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by CT DPH Thursday, May 12, around 4 p.m.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 726 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 797 new cases there since that date.

Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 170 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

The LLHD is no longer issuing weekly updates unless there is, “any significant change in case rates, hospitalizations, etc.”

On April 14, LLHD sent LymeLine.com this press release issued by CT DPH the same day. It begins: With the current uptick of COVID-19 cases—coupled with the upcoming schedule of spring holidays and family gatherings—the Connecticut Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the tools currently in place to help contain the spread of the virus. 

The new Community Levels tool created by the CDC can be viewed at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Four COVID-related fatalities have now been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third and fourth fatalities, which were reported respectively in 2021 and on Feb. 4, 2022, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Situation in LOL Schools

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing.

LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained the latest developments in LOL Schools COVID protocols in an email dated April 1 to the school community, saying, “As noted in my email of February 17, 2022, beginning April 1, 2022 we will no longer report daily COVID-19 cases in the schools.”

He then stated, “For the remainder of this school year, that information will be complied on a weekly basis and will be available on our website at the following link: https://www.region18.org/parents/covid-data.”

Details published to date show the following number of positive cases in LOL Schools by week.
April 3-9: 0
April 10-16: 0
April 19-23: Spring Break
April 24-30: 7
May 2-7: 27

For a summary of cases in LOL Schools between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022, visit this link.

View a full listing of cases between 8/26/21 – 12/23/21 at this link.

A la Carte: Can’t Imagine Grilling a Salad? Then Try This, But Don’t Forget Blue Cheese & Basil!

Lee White

When I was little, my mother used to call me Sarah Bernhardt. I had no idea who Sarah Bernhardt and she told me Bernhardt was a famous actress in the early 1900s. 

I think today my mom would call me a drama queen. She also suggested I not wish my life away, that someday I would wish I could get those years back.

I thought about this again as I was reading my newest food magazines, wishing it were summer again so I could write about late June strawberries, July’s sweet corn, August’s tomatoes, and earthy fall squashes.

Look, I’m doing it again, and it is only mid-May.

On the other hand, it is time to fire up the grill. I saw a recipe for grilled kebabs of cake and fresh pineapple on skewers tossed with brown sugar, vanilla and little salt. I have a fresh pineapple on the counter and a few slices of pound cake. 

I also have romaine in the crisper and some blue cheese, too.

I can wing the dessert, but here is a recipe for the entrée.

Photo by Petr Magera on Unsplash.

Grilled Romaine Salad with Blue Cheese and Basil
From Food magazine, May/June, 2022
Yield: serves 4 to 6

Dressing:
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 teaspoon capers
Kosher salt
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
½ teaspoons hot sauce
6 oil-packed anchovy fillets (or a teaspoon or two anchovy paste)
½ to ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:3 romaine lettuce hearts, halved lengthwise
Extra-virgin olive oil for tossing
Kosher salt
1 lemon, halved
20 fresh basil leaves
1 cup crumbled blue cheese
Sliced rotisserie chicken (optional)

Preheat grill to medium. Make dressing: in a blender combine lemon juice, vinegar, capers, 1 teaspoon salt and the garlic. Blend until smooth. Add Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, anchovies and ½ cup oil until smooth. Taste for seasoning. Blend in up to ¼ cup more oil if needed. Set dressing aside.

Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss 4 of romaine halves with a little olive oil and season with salt, put them in a single layer on the grill and cook 3 minutes per side (the romaine should feel slightly warm and tender). Spoon a little dressing on each of 4 to 6 plates.

Finely chop rest of the romaine and add to a medium bowl. Add remaining dressing, a touch of lemon juice and the basil leaves. Toss to coat.

Top the grilled romaine with the remaining dressing. Garnish with blue cheese and serve immediately, topped with diced chicken, if desired.

About the author: Lee White has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant. She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing and the Times newspapers, both of which are owned by The Day. She was a resident of Old Lyme for many years but now lives in Groton, Conn. Contact Lee at leeawhite@aol.com.

Death Announced of William Haynes Kelly, Jr., 53; Son of Haynes & Sally of Old Lyme, Member of LOLHS Class of 1986

MELROSE, MA — It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of William Haynes Kelly Jr. (Will) [on April 21, 2022], 53 years old, of Melrose, MA. Will is survived by his two  children, who were the center of his world, Alex and Paige Kelly, as well as his parents, Haynes and Sally Kelly of Old Lyme, CT, his former wife Stacey Arrigo Kelly, also of Melrose, MA, his sister Kim Gray, brothers Scott and Chad Kelly …

Will grew up in Old Lyme and graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 1986. He studied biology & economics at Tufts University & then entrepreneurship at Babson College.

He was a member of Zeta Psi Kappa Chapter at Tufts …

A Memorial Service will be held at 10AM, Tuesday, May 24th at Bellevue Golf Club, Melrose, MA. To leave an online condolence, visit www.ruggieromh.com East Boston-Peabody.

Visit this link to read the full obituary published by the Ruggiero Family Memorial Home.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Middle School Announce Q3 Honor Rolls   

Lyme-Old Lyme High School
Honor Roll
2021-22 Quarter 3

HIGH HONORS
Grade 12:
Emily Almada, Hannah Britt, John Caulkins, Ryan Clark, John Conley, Elise DeBernardo, Elizabeth Duddy, Eleanor Dushin, Lauren Enright, Shawn Grenier, Austin Halsey, Lillian Herrera, Daniel Hoblin, Fiona Hufford, Julia Johnston, Nevin Joshy, Kian Kardestuncer, Quinn Kegley, Cora Kern, Robyn King, Felse Kyle, William Larson, Reese Maguire, Stephanie Mauro, Elle Myers, Emily Nickerson, Bella Orlando, Isabel Prentice, Olivia Schaedler, McLean Signora, Abby Speckhals, Drew St.Louis, Nikolai Stephens-Zumbaum, Victoria Stout, Madison Thompson, Olivia Turtoro, John Videll, Evan Visgilio, Aidan Ward, Melanie Warren, Ellie Wells, Jenna Woods, Avery Wyman, Jerry Zhang

Grade 11:
William Barry, Callie Bass, Livie Bass, Jordan Beebe, Gillian Bradley, Jamie Bucior, John Buckley, Hayley Cann, Liam Celic, William Danes, Anna Davis, Jacob Derynioski, John Eichholz, Zachary Eichholz, Arber Hoxha, Owen Ingersoll-Bonsack, Charlotte Judge, Jair LataYanza, Ford Macadam, Marielle Mather, Kennedy McCormick, Madeleine Morgado, Alexander Olsen, Alain Pecher-Kohout, Kelsey Pryor, Rhyleigh Russell, Eli Ryan, Stefan Ryer, Anders Silberberg, Alyssa Spooner, Mary Surprenant, Tova Toriello, Gesami Vazquez, Kaitlyn Ward, Harry Whitten

Grade 10:
Alexis Antonellis, Beatrice Barnett, Emma Bayor, Oliver Berry, Drew Brackley, Natalie Buckley, Sophia Cheung, William Coppola, Ava Cummins, Ella Curtiss-Reardon, Eric Dagher, Sydney Doboe, Amelia Gage, Marcia Geronimo, Calla Gilson, Sydney Goulding, Alexis Grasdock, Justin Green, Douglas Griswold, Katherine Gryk, Abby Hale, Ella Halsey, Agatha Hunt, Beatrice Hunt, Sabina Jungkeit, Grady Lacourciere, Katherine Mullaney, Delaney Nelson, Ronald Olin, Grace Phaneuf, Jack Porter, Hannah Thomas, Keara Ward, Louisa Warlitz, Summer Wollack, Duohui Yan, Grace Zembruski

Grade 9:
Quinn Arico, Molly Boardman, Mark Burnham, Mason Bussmann, Chase Calderon, Andrew Clougherty, Tabitha Colwell, Chloe Datum, Andrea DeBernardo, Zoe Eastman-Grossel, Caeli Edmed, Anna Eichholz, Grace Ferman, Manu Geronimo, Ava Gilbert, Kaela Hoss, Rowan Hovey, Shyla Jones, Simon Karpinski, Aven Kellert, Olivia Kelly, Ella Kiem, Peter Kuhn, Ada LaConti, Elise Leonardo, Andrew Liu, Abigail O’Brien, Kanon Oharu, Sophie Pennie, Mutia Quarshie, Ysabel Rodriguez, Ryan Shapiro, Kelly Sheehan, Paula DeSilva, Drea Simler, Madeline Supersano, Charlotte Tinniswood, Nicholas Turtoro, Kathleen Walsh, Gabriella Ziegler

HONORS
Grade 12:
John Almy, Grace Arnold, Nihad Bicic, Mackenzie Bussolotti, Evan Clark, Caroline Crolius, Michael DeGaetano, Liam Fallon, Victoria Gage, Aiden Goiangos, Meyer Goldberg, Ethan Goss, Liam Grethel, Nicolette Hallahan, Jackson Harris, Andrew Hedberg, Madison Hubbard, Zoe Jensen, Abigail Manthous, Grace McAdams, Jacob Ritchie, Calvin Scheiber, Abigail Sicuranza, Daniel Stack, Alexandra Tinniswood

Grade 11:
Whitney Barbour, Ava Brinkerhoff, Gretchen Burgess, Sarah Burnham, Jennifer Cajamarca, Luke Celic, Alexander Chrysoulakis, Grace Colwell, Nicholas Cox, Alexis Fenton, Matthew Grammatico, Willa Hoerauf, Aidan Kerrigan, Phoebe Lampos, Jonah Lathrop, Sophia Marinelli, Madalyn McCulloch, Joseph Montazella, Cooper Munson, Olivia Powers, Jaden Reyes, Izzadora Reynolds, Benjamin Roth, Jenna Schauder, Dylan Sheehan, Ned Smith, Samantha Tan

Grade 10:
Peighton Andrews, Alis Bicic, Elliot Bjornberg, Jackson Bullock, Macklin Cushman, Lucas DaSilva, Eva D’Onofrio, Mohamad Hamou, Jordan Hanes, Sedona Holland, John Holzworth, Griffin McGlinchey, Matthew Miller, Elaina Morosky, Isabelle O’Connor, Kayla O’Leary, Luisa Raby, Cailin Ruhling, Noah Sanford, Haley Shaw, Madeleine Soriano, Mason Wells, Tyler Wells

Grade 9:
Christopher Anderson, Micah Bass, Hannah Bonilla, Benedict Frazier, Hoshena Gemme, Abigail Griffith, Kyle Ingersoll-Bonsack, Hannah Johnston, Evan LeQuire, Colette Marchant, Nathan Morgan, Filip Pecher-Kohout

Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School
Honor Roll
2021-22 Quarter 3

HIGH HONORS
Grade 8:
Sienna Bari, Ilona Binch, Zoe Brunza, Alec Butzer, Trevor Buydos, Makayla Calderon, Tyler Cann, Annabelle Coppola, Colman Curtiss-Reardon, Christopher Dagher, James Dahlke, Sophia D’Angelo, Rose Dimmock, William Donnelly, Alexa Donovan, Elena Gerardo, Chase Gilbert, Alexander Glaras, Scarlette Graybill, Teagan Iglesias, Christopher Kachur, Thomas Kelly, Katherine King, Jade Lawton, Jayden Livesey, Emily Looney, Ian Maeby, Carter McGlinchey, Ryan Miller, Madeline Murphy, Nina Nichols, Ryan Olsen, Ryan Ortoleva, Isabella Presti, Taylor Quintin, Jenna Salpietro, Luca Signora, Emma Singleton, Addison Spooner, Louis St., Pierre St., Andrew Taylor, Meredith Thompson, Margaret Thuma, Madeleine Trepanier, John Turick, Eve Videll, Elisabeth Viera, Warren Volles, Oliver Wyman, Stella Young, Carl Zapatka

Grade  7:
Lucia Arico, Addison Arndt, Zak Avelange, Mia Bonatti, Ceciley Buckley, Marla Bulas, Brooke Burgess, William Burgess, Anna Bussmann, Brennan Butzer, Lillian Calabrese, Chase Catalano, Isaac Chartier, Sophia D’Amico, Amirah D’Lizarraga, Elliot Dunn-Sims, Samson Edmed, Lauren Fulara, Taiyo Gemme, Angeline Gencarella, Antonio Gencarella, Samuel Gilbert, Gavin Goulis, Harrison Goulis, Skylar Graybill, Tessa Grethel, Owen Holth, Marley Iaia, Marley Igersheimer, Josephine Kiem, Alexa Legein, Olivia Lovendale, Kaylee McCarthy, Matilda Miller, John Morosky, Emelia Munster, Grace Osborne, Eva Oulahan-Smith, Mia Palmer, Arthur Riccio, Ainsley Rinoski, Cameron Russell, Allegra Schaedler, Owen Shapiro, Kevork Shegirian, Nicholas Sokolowski, Madeline Stiles, Carli Teixeira, Magdalena Tooker, Ethan Trepanier, Kaylyn Vernon, Ivy Wilson, Brody Ziolkovski

Grade 6:
Kaitlyn Ackerman, Lillian Acosta, Lauren Belval, Scarlett Blatter, Vivian Boller, Lana Brunza, Naomi Cameron, Gabrielle Clark, John Comstock, Colin Discordia, Albert Enman, Katharine Ferman, Jonah Filardi, Avery Goiangos, Frederick Goss, Elaina Graves, Gavin Gray, Sawyer Graybill, Alistair Hampton-Dowson, Colleen Harrington, Jordyn Harris, Morgan Harris, Ryan Hill, Sophia Huang, Fiona Judge, Jillian Kleefeld, Kaedyn Koproski, Treyton LaConti, Holden Leonardo, Graham Macadam, Benjamin Mattox, Liam McCormick, Rowan McCormick, Charles McEwen, Caitlyn McHugh, William McKeever, Clarissa Mock, Addyson Morosky, Grace Morrissette, Marielle Munster, Theodore Neary, Mila Pacelli, Remi Patz, Jonah Scheckwitz, Audrey Sheehan, Avery Spooner, Charlotte Thuma, Delilah Tooker, Jonathan Toriello, Renee Viera, Ashlynn Ward, Avery Wesch, Charles Zapatka, Avery Zbierski, Ella Ziolkovski

HONORS
Grade 8:
Charlotte Antonino, Julia Clark, Jack Conroy, Benjamin Goulding, Elizaveta Gregoire, Harrison Kleefeld, William Landon, Maya LeQuire, Sebastian Lopez-Bravo, Elise Marchant, Samuel Masanz, Sybil Neary, Quenten Patz, Marleigh Piacenza, Sophia Shaposhnikova, Tanner Snurkowski, Lucian Tracano, Connor Vautrain, Katherine Zhang

Grade 7:
Collin Anderson, Phineas Barrett, Zachary Belval, Morgan Buerger, Aidan Carpentino, Brady Donovan, Kaedin Gerster, Zachariah Guidi, Charles Halsey, Lauren Herrera, Curtiss Johnson, Elsa Jungkeit, Allisondra Krol, Callahan Lacourciere, Maddux Murphy, Kaitlyn Pannier, Alexandria Sanford, Bowen Turick

Grade 6:
Anna Bjornberg, Noah Brant, Ashlynn Edwards, Alistair Grenier, Warner Grenier, Aiden Guidi, Gift Mahwayi, David McAdams, Ava Novak, Grayson Standish, Judah Waldo,

May 9 COVID-19 Update: Highest Single-Day Case Total Since Jan. 24 for Old Lyme; 22 New Cases in OL Take Cumulative Total to 1159, Lyme Holds at 281

Photo by CDC on Unsplash,

LYME/OLD LYME — The Daily Data Reports issued Monday, May 9, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) shows 22 new, confirmed COVID-19 cases in Old Lyme and none in Lyme. This number of 22 is the highest single-day total for Old Lyme since Jan. 24, 2022, when 24 cases were reported on a single day.

These cases raise Old Lyme’s cumulative case total to 1159 while Lyme’s hold at 281.

The CT DPH does not issue reports on Saturdays or Sundays so this is the first report since Friday, May 6.

April 5, 2022 was the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either town.

Prior to March 25, Lyme had gone for 23 consecutive days with no new cases being reported. Two new cases were reported in Lyme on March 25.

Prior to April 5, the most recent day on which no new cases were reported in either Lyme or Old Lyme was March 24. There were also no new cases on March 9 and 4, and Feb. 24. The previous date prior to Feb. 24 when no new cases were reported in either town was Dec. 12, 2021.

Statewide Situation – Weekly Update

This map, updated May 5, 2022 shows the average daily rate of new cases of COVID-19 by town during the past two weeks. Both Lyme and Old Lyme remain in the Red (highest) Zone. One hundred and forty five towns (representing a total of 85.8% of the state) are now found in the Red Zone. Only cases among persons living in community settings are included in this map; the map does not include cases among people who reside in nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities. Map: Ver 12.1.2020 Source: CT Department of Public Health Get the data Created with Datawrapper.

On Thursday, May 5, the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) also released its latest weekly COVID-19 Alert Map (pictured above), which indicates that 145 municipalities are now in the Red (highest of four) Zone for case rates. These towns in the Red Zone include both Lyme and Old Lyme.

This number has increased by 14 over the 131 towns recorded in the Red Zone last week, thus increasing the number of towns in the Red Zone to 85.8% of the state.

This total of 145 Red Zone towns is moving rapidly towards the Jan. 27, 2022 number, when the total was 168 out of 169 towns.

As of May 5, 2022 all nine towns in the Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) remain in the Red Zone.

The LLHD is no longer issuing reports with updated Case Rates and other metrics.

The CT DPH will issue an updated map of the zones Thursday, May 12 — the map is updated weekly on Thursdays.

The color-coded zones are:

Red: Indicates case rates over the last two weeks of greater than 15 per 100,000 population
Orange: Indicates case rates between 10 to 14 cases per 100,000 population
Yellow: Indicates case rates between 5 and 9 per 100,000 population
Gray: Indicates case rates lower than five per 100,000 population

Statewide Situation – Daily Update

The state’s COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate broke the 10% watershed on May 4 at 10.32%. It has now broken the 11% mark — Monday’s rate of 11.3% is the state’s highest recorded COVID-19 Daily Positivity Rate since Jan. 25, 2022 when the Rate stood at 13.74%.

On May 9, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations increased by 37 to 276 from 239.

In contrast, on Jan. 12, 2022, the number of COVID-related hospitalizations was 1,939.

Of those hospitalized on May 9, the number not fully vaccinated was 90 (representing 32.61%).

The total number of COVID-related deaths in Connecticut increased by 1 to 10,875 on May 9, according to The New York Times.

The next Daily Data Report will be issued by CT DPH Tuesday, May 10

, around 4 p.m.

Increase in Cases in Lyme & Old Lyme Since August 2021

The cumulative total of confirmed cases for Old Lyme has now increased by 716 since Wednesday, Nov. 10, when the total stood at 443 — that number had stood unchanged for a week since the previous Thursday, Nov. 4.

On Aug. 26 — which was the day Lyme-Old Lyme Schools started the new academic year — Old Lyme’s cumulative case total stood at 372, meaning there have now been 787 new cases there since that date.

Meanwhile, Lyme’s cumulative total on Aug. 26 was 114 indicating 167 new cases have also been confirmed there during the same period.

Ledge Light Health District Update

The LLHD is no longer issuing weekly updates unless there is, “any significant change in case rates, hospitalizations, etc.”

On April 14, LLHD sent LymeLine.com this press release issued by CT DPH the same day. It begins: With the current uptick of COVID-19 cases—coupled with the upcoming schedule of spring holidays and family gatherings—the Connecticut Department of Public Health is reminding residents of the tools currently in place to help contain the spread of the virus. 

The new Community Levels tool created by the CDC can be viewed at this link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/your-health/covid-by-county.html

Ledge Light Health District continues to focus its vaccination efforts on homebound populations and providing initial vaccinations and boosters to individuals, who were vaccinated previously. Information about vaccination opportunities can be found at https://llhd.org/coronavirus-covid-19-situation/covid-19-vaccine/.

An explanation of the new CDC Community Levels tool by Thomas Gotowka can be found at this link.

COVID testing opportunities can be found at COVID-19 Testing | Ledge Light Health District (llhd.org)

The following link provides centralized access to Connecticut COVID data: https://data.ct.gov/stories/s/COVID-19-data/wa3g-tfvc/

Fatalities Due to COVID-19 in Lyme, Old Lyme

There has been one COVID-related fatality of a Lyme resident: a 57-year-old male passed away Nov. 16, 2021. On Nov. 30, the state finally included this fatality in its data

Four COVID-related fatalities have now been reported in Old Lyme. The first two fatalities from Old Lyme, which were reported in 2020, were a 61-year-old female and an 82-year-old male.

Details of the third and fourth fatalities, which were reported respectively in 2021 and on Feb. 4, 2022, have not been made available.

COVID-19 Situation in LOL Schools

Under new state protocols for schools, Lyme-Old Lyme (LOL) Schools are no longer required to carry out contact tracing.

LOL Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser explained the latest developments in LOL Schools COVID protocols in an April 1 email to the school community, saying, “As noted in my email of February 17, 2022, beginning April 1, 2022 we will no longer report daily COVID-19 cases in the schools.”

He then stated, “For the remainder of this school year, that information will be complied on a weekly basis and will be available on our website at the following link: https://www.region18.org/parents/covid-data.”

Details published to date show the following number of positive cases in LOL Schools by week.
April 3-9: 0
April 10-16: 0
April 19-23: Spring Break
April 24-30: 7
May 2-7: 27

For a summary of cases in LOL Schools between Jan. 1 and March 31, 2022, visit this link.

View a full listing of cases between 8/26/21 – 12/23/21 at this link.

Old Lyme Girls’ Tennis Defeats Cromwell 7-0, Clinch Shoreline Conference Title

The Lyme-Old Lyme (left) and Cromwell High School teams listen to the ‘team talk’ prior to the start of yesterday’s match. Old Lyme went on to win the match 7-0 and also secured the Shoreline Conference title. Photo by A. Fenton.

OLD LYME — Playing on their home courts yesterday, the Old Lyme Girls’ Tennis team continued their extraordinary, unbeaten season with a 7-0 victory over Cromwell, confirming the girls as Shoreline Conference 2022 winners.

Read our recent article about Coach Lauren Rahr and her team at this link.

The full results were (Old Lyme girls in blue):

1st Singles:
Abby Sicuranza vs Kelly McTeague 6-2, 6-3

2nd Singles: 
Callie Bass vs Caroline Rogozinski 6-0, 6-0

3rd Singles: 
Elaina Morosky vs Emily Green 6-0, 6-2

4th Singles: 
Olivia Schaedler vs Amina Beskovic 6-2, 6-1

1st Doubles: 
Livie Bass / Alexis Fenton 6-1, 6-0
Gabriella Voccio / Amira Abdelghany

2nd Doubles:
Aggie Hunt/ Beatrice Hunt 6-0, 6-0
Julia Baymuradova / Olivia Lusitani

3rd Doubles:
Fiona Hufford / Izzy Reynolds 6-1, 6-0
Julia Drew / Aisling Gollareny

Happy Mother’s Day!

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash.

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms — and all those fulfilling the role of mom full-time, part-time or just occasionally — everywhere!

And very special thoughts to all those missing their moms today ….

To celebrate the power of mothers and motherhood, here are some of our favorite — and most thought-provoking —  quotes:

“Sometimes the strength of motherhood is greater than natural laws.” – Barbara Kingsolver

“To describe my mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power. Or the climbing, falling colors of a rainbow.” – Maya Angelou

“Being a mom has made me so tired. And so happy.” – Tina Fey

“[My mother] had handed down respect for the possibilities—and the will to grasp them.” – Alice Walker

“Having kids—the responsibility of rearing good, kind, ethical, responsible human beings—is the biggest job anyone can embark on.” – Maria Shriver

“[Motherhood is] the biggest gamble in the world. It is the glorious life force. It’s huge and scary—it’s an act of infinite optimism.” – Gilda Radner

“Motherhood: All love begins and ends there.” – Robert Browning

This year, we are adding mention of a topical Facebook post by Heather Cox Richardson, dated May 7, 2022.

She opens with the words, “I told this story here two years ago, but I want to repeat it tonight, as the reality of women’s lives is being erased in favor of an image of women as mothers …”

She then continues: If you google the history of Mother’s Day, the internet will tell you that Mother’s Day began in 1908 when Anna Jarvis decided to honor her mother. But “Mothers’ Day”—with the apostrophe not in the singular spot, but in the plural—actually started in the 1870s, when the sheer enormity of the death caused by the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War convinced American women that women must take control of politics from the men who had permitted such carnage. Mothers’ Day was not designed to encourage people to be nice to their mothers. It was part of women’s effort to gain power to change modern society.”