January 20, 2020

Christmas Tree Pick-up by Old Lyme Public Works Starts Tuesday

The Town of Old Lyme Public Works Department will pick up Christmas trees in Old Lyme starting Tuesday, Jan. 21, through Friday, Jan. 24. If you would like the Town to pick up your tree, you must have it curbside by 7 a.m. on Tuesday.

There will be no return trips for curbside pick-up.

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SECWAC Presents Lyme-Old Lyme HS Alumna Megan O’Neill with ‘A Different Look at Rural African Education’

Megan ONeill shares a smile with an Imagine Scholar.

Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) Meeting to be held at First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Jan. 23

OLD LYME – The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) presents Megan O’Neill, a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Class of 2011, to speak on education in rural Africa at 6 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 23 at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Imagine Scholar is an educational non-profit organization based in the Nkomazi region of South Africa. The organization’s innovative and sustainable approach to education is creating meaningful impact in the local community and re-imagining education systems for rural, underserved communities. Through working with high-achieving, low-income secondary school students in the development of leadership, critical thinking, and community-mindedness, Imagine Scholar aims to build Africa’s next generation of change-makers.

O’Neill has spent the last five years working with Imagine Scholar. After graduating from LOLHS, she received a degree in Africana Studies from Dickinson College. Shortly after graduating from Dickinson, she moved to South Africa to join Imagine Scholar‘s staff, where she now serves as Associate Director.

She spent over three years working in South Africa with Imagine Scholar‘s students, where she facilitated classes centered around effective and empathetic communication skill development, developed curriculum for the program and mentored students through the university application process. She now leads Imagine Scholar‘s efforts in fundraising and strategic partnership development.

A reception will start at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2019-2020 Speaker Series.

For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership.  Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests). Membership September 2019 through June 2020 is $85 per person; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for students and educators; a corporate rate of $1,000 is also available, with unlimited access for employees.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $40 to attend a dinner with the speaker at the Old Lyme Country Club. Dinner reservations are required by Friday, Jan. 17, at 860-912-5718 or online.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policymakers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at http://secwac.org.

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Judge Tells Miami Beach Association to Take Down Its Fence, Stop Charging Fees

OLD LYME — In perhaps the longest running dispute in Old Lyme, a judge gave a ruling in a 17-page Memorandum of Decision dated yesterday.

Karen Florin of The Day writes in today’s print edition of the paper, “New London Superior Court Judge Kimberly A. Knox, ruling in favor of residents of neighboring Sound View Beach, ordered the Miami Beach Association on Wednesday to take down a black chain-link fence it had erected at the end of the 2016 beach season and to stop charging people a “clean beach fee” to sit on the 800-foot stretch of sand.”

Read the full article titled “Judge: Old Lyme beach fence must come down” and published yesterday evening on theday.com at this link

 

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Celebrating ‘the Kate’s’ 10-Year-Anniversary, ‘On Golden Pond’ Runs Through Sunday


OLD SAYBROOK —
On Golden Pond” opens tomorrow at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center – the Kate — in old saybrook as part of the Kate’s 10-year-anniversary celebrations.

The Saybrook Stage Company will be performing this poignant and comedic piece by Ernest Thompson, which inspired the Hollywood blockbuster movie. Appropriately, in light of the theater’s namesake, On Golden Pond  was not only one of Katharine Hepburn’s most cherished performances but also earned her a fourth Academy Award for Best Actress.

On Golden Pond is the love story of Ethel and Norman Thayer, who are returning to their summer home on Golden Pond for the 48th year. He is a retired professor, nearing 80, with heart palpitations and a failing memory—but still as tart-tongued and witty as ever. Ethel, 10 years younger, delights in all the small things that have enriched their long married life together.

They are visited by their divorced, middle-aged daughter and her new fiancé, who then go off to Europe, leaving his teenage son, Billy, behind for the summer.

Billy quickly becomes the “grandchild” the couple have longed for and Norman revels in taking him fishing and inspiring him with the classics. Norman, in turn, learns some new language and perspectives from Billy and the comedy ensues.

In the final, deeply moving moments of the play, Norman and Ethel are brought even closer together as they find themselves alone again on Golden Pond. 

The play originally opened on Broadway in 1979 and then was made into a movie in 1981 starring Katharine Hepburn and Henry Fonda – both actors won an Academy Award for their respective performances. Jane Fonda played the couple’s daughter.

Thompson was only 28-years-old when he wrote On Golden Pond; he also won a the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1981.

The cast includes Ralph Buonocore and Mark Gilchrist of Madison, Terri Corigliano of Old Saybrook, Jim Hile of Clinton, Amy Kirby of New London and Jake Totten of Granby.

Performances are Jan. 16, 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. with a 2 p.m. matinée Saturday and also Sunday, Jan. 19. 

Tickets  can be purchased directly at www.TheKate.org or  by calling  860.510.0453

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Community Connections Presents Speakers from Lyme Academy, Old Lyme EDC on How Healthy Communities Affect Organizations

Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Executive Director Frank Burns.

LYME-OLD LYME– Lyme-Old Lyme Community Connections hosts a Networking Luncheon and Discussion titled How a Healthy Community Affects Your Organization next Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 12 to 1:30 p.m. at the Old Lyme Country Club. All are welcome.

Volunteers and employees of local organizations know that the health of the community directly affects the future of their organizations. The guest speakers at the meeting will address two major initiatives in the Lyme-Old Lyme community.

The first will see two senior members of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts — Executive Director Frank Burns and board member Sue Grey — give an update on the Academy and its strategic planning.

The second will be presented by Howard Margules, Co-Chair of the Old Lyme Economic Development Commission, who will discuss the recent survey of Old Lyme residents and businesses, and share news about the results. Margules will offer insight into how recommendations and decisions are made for the town based on these survey results.  He will also discuss how economic development affects you and offer an opportunity for attendees to share thrir feedback. Margules also serves on the Halls Road Improvement Committee and will also share an update on that committee.

Roundtable discussions and networking to follow.

Admission is $25 and walk-ins are welcome.
Advance registration is appreciated and can be done in thrre ways as follows:

Community Connections is a forum to discuss community issues and interests, along with opportunities for collaboration among organizations serving Lyme and Old Lyme.

For more information, visit www.LOLCommunityConnections.org

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Old Lyme Basketball Boys Extend Unbeaten Run with Wins Over East Hampton, Portland

LYME/OLD LYME — The Old Lyme boys continued their unbeaten run last night with a 65-39 victory over East Hampton.
Jared Ritchie scored a career high 20 points and also scoring in double digits for the Wildcats was Ray Doll, who had 11 points and five assists.

Stephen Brady led East Hampton with 19 points.

On Jan. 3, Old Lyme jumped out to a 19-0 lead against Portland, but Portland climbed back eventually falling to the ‘Cats 61-44.  Ty Dean led all scorers with 15 points while Ray Doll, Brady Sheffield and Aiden Using added 10, 11 and 13 respectively for Old Lyme.
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Talking Transportation: A Conversation With the [DOT] Commissioner

Jim Cameron

Joseph Giulietti is finishing his first year as Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Transportation — CDOT.  He’s been busy and less visible in recent months, so imagine my surprise when he offered me a one-on-one, no-holds-barred interview.

“You’ve always been fair, Jim.  You’ve hit me hard but you’ve always been fair,” said the Commissioner.  That’s music to my ears and I hope he feels the same way after reading this column.

Our conversation covered every aspect of CDOT’s operations from Metro-North to CT 2030 to tolls (which we will cover next week in Part Two).  Here are some highlights from our conversation.

I reminded the Commissioner that before he joined CDOT he authored the infamous “30-30-30” report as a consultant to the Business Council of Fairfield County, arguing that it was possible to speed up trains to be able to go between Grand Central, Stamford, New Haven and Hartford in 30 minutes per leg.  Any regrets at such a promise?

Giulietti said such speeds are still possible … in a few years.  He wants to increase train speeds, re-do some bridges to avoid slowing down and save “five minutes here and 10 minutes there.” He also held out hope for faster service on Metro-North trains to Penn Station (after the Long Island Rail Road’s East Side Access project is finished going into Grand Central.)

“We’ve got cell-phone data from the Feds showing that 40 percent of riders to Grand Central continue south to Wall Street but 20 percent go west toward Penn Station,” he added.

He also held out hope for limited, rush-hour non-stop express service from New Haven to GCT and Stamford to GCT.

As for new rail cars… the additional 66 M8 cars that were to be delivered this year “are running a bit late”, but he called the M8’s a tremendous success.  Those M8 cars were supposed to also run on Shore Line East, but even with 405 M8s CDOT doesn’t have enough of them even for the mainline given increased ridership.  The Commissioner said he’s still looking at diesel push-pull double-decker cars where a ten-car train could carry almost 2000 passengers.

But he says that electrification of the Danbury and Waterbury branch lines just isn’t on the cards due to the cost.

As for fares:  he couldn’t say if they’d go up because he doesn’t know what funding in the Special Transportation Fund will be like.  But he did pledge cost savings in his department calling possible rail service cuts “the worst of all worlds.”

While the Walk Bridge project in Norwalk is running late and over-budget, he blamed litigation and said he has firm funding commitments from Amtrak on that bridge and the one over the Connecticut River.

But will CDOT have enough talented engineers after 2022 when 40 percent of the department’s most experienced staffers will be up for retirement?  The Commissioner said that succession planning is a huge priority for him.  He’s even grooming replacements for his own job.

But among the rank-and-file, it’s hard to keep talent.  “I can’t hold onto someone with a CDL (Commercial Drivers License.)  “Some of the towns are paying more [than CDOT.]”

With a special session of the legislature coming up in January to consider tolls, there’s a lot hanging in the balance.  What does Giulietti think of his boss [the Governor] and Mr Sasser’s “No Tolls CT” movement?

Read those frank comments next week in Part Two of our conversation.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own. You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com  For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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Learn More About CT Audubon’s ‘State of The Birds’ Report on ‘CT Outdoors’ This Morning with Suzanne Thompson

CT Audubon Society’s Executive Director Patrick Comins pauses for a photo with ‘CT Outdoors’ host Suzanne Thompson prior to his interview on her show, which is being broadcast this weekend.

LYME/OLD LYME — Are coastal Connecticut communities and Long Island Sound ready for unpredictable environmental changes? Find out on this week’s CT Outdoors radio show, which is hosted by Suzanne Thompson of Old Lyme.

Thompson’s guest this week is Patrick Comins, CT Audubon Society’s Executive Director, who discusses with Thompson the findings of the organization’s most recent State of the Birds report that focuses on Long Island Sound. The focus of the report is the varying impacts of sea level rise and changing climatic conditions on wildlife and people.

Listen Saturday, Jan. 11, fro 1 to1:30 p.m. or Sunday, Jan. 12, from 7 t 7:30 am, on WLIS 1420 AM/Old Saybrook and WMRD 1150 AM/Middletown, or streaming at www.wliswmrd.net. Play back on your PC or Mac anytime from http://www.wliswmrd.net, click the On Demand icon, look for pop-up screen from radiosecurenetsystems.net, and scroll to  CT-Outdoors-10720—CT-Audubon-Society

This 14th annual report includes articles on newly-emerging technologies to obtain accurate counts of Old Lyme’s migrating tree swallows, the improving health of the Connecticut River and challenges facing salt marshes and coastal bird species. A full copy of the report is at https://www.ctaudubon.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/CT-AUDUBON-2019StateOfBirds_Final.pdf

The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center in Old Lyme is one of seven nature centers of the statewide CT Audubon Society, which also manages 20 wildlife sanctuaries constituting almost 3,300 acres of open space in the state.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Asked to Consider Purchase of Lyme Academy-Owned 26+ Acres on Lyme St.

Aerial photo of the 26.31 acres for sale by Lyme Academy of Fine Arts taken from the Lyman Real Estate property listing and published with their permission.

OLD LYME — As part of its reinvention efforts over the past several months, Lyme Academy of Fine Arts officials recently approached the Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education inquiring whether the district would be interested in purchasing academy-owned land abutting the public school campus off Lyme Street.

The academy owns approximately 39 acres of land across the street from its main campus, which is also on Lyme Street. Approximately 26 acres of that land has been listed for $5 million through the Lyman Real Estate group

Read the full story by Mary Biekert and published Jan. 10 on TheDay.com at this link.

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Celebration of the Life of Michelle Friel to be Held This Morning at ‘The Kate’

Michelle Friel

OLD LYME/OLD SAYBROOK  — A Celebration of the Life of the late Michelle Friel of Old Lyme will be held this mprning, Saturday, Jan. 11, at 9:30 a.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook.

All are welcome to attend this celebration of Michelle’s life. She was a much beloved and highly respected resident of Old Lyme, who passed away Oct. 4, 2019 at her home.

Michelle’s obituary can be found at this link.

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Suisman Shapiro Joins With Avena & Kepple, Opens Satellite Office in Pawcatuck

Attorney James P. Berryman

Attorney John A. Collins III

NEW LONDON/OLD LYME — Suisman Shapiro, which is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut and also serves as the Town Attorney for the Town of Old Lyme, has joined forces with Avena & Kepple, LLC of Pawcatuck, R.I.

John ‘Jack’ A. Collins III and James ‘Jay’ P. Berryman are both Old Lyme residents and Directors of Suisman Shapiro.

Attorneys Robert A. Avena and Nicholas F. Kepple will serve as Directors in the firm’s municipal law department, also practicing in the areas of real estate, estate planning, business organization, land use and administrative law. They will be resident in Suisman Shapiro’s new satellite office at 20 South Anguilla Road, Pawcatuck, CT.

“We are pleased to announce the merger of two prominent law firms that collectively represent many of our region’s municipalities,” said Attorney Robert Tukey, Managing Partner at Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law. “Together, we will offer even deeper legal resources to our local communities by combining our capabilities in diverse practice areas including personal injury, divorce, workers’ compensation, estate planning, business services, and many other areas of the law,” Tukey added.

Robert A. Avena has served as a Waterford town attorney for the past 19 years and has served as town attorney in numerous southeastern Connecticut towns throughout his legal practice. He has advised municipalities regarding aspects of municipal law and litigated substantial cases in the Superior and Appellate Court of Connecticut, principally representing Town tax assessors, planning and zoning commissions, wetlands commissions, and zoning boards of appeal.

During his practice for individual clients, Attorney Avena was involved in the permitting process for the Pfizer Research Campus expansion and opening of the Mashantucket Pequot Casino.

Nicholas F. Kepple was admitted to practice in 1989 following his service as Selectman and First Selectman of the Town of Stonington. He has focused his practice on estate planning and municipal law, representing many Eastern Connecticut communities as Town Attorney including Waterford, Eastford, Voluntown, Franklin, Salem, Canterbury, Sterling, Windham, Plainfield, North Stonington and the Borough of Stonington.

In addition to practicing law, Attorney Kepple has served for over eight years as the Judge of Probate for the Southeastern Connecticut Regional Probate District which encompasses Groton, Ledyard, Stonington and North Stonington.

Suisman Shapiro is the largest law firm in eastern Connecticut, serving the community for over 75 years with a wide range of legal services.

Editor’s Note: Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London CT 06320. Its new satellite office is at 20 South Anguilla Road, Pawcatuck, CT 06379. For further information call (860) 442-4416  or visit www.suismanshapiro.com.

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‘The Country School’ Hosts Open House Jan. 26, All Welcome

MADISON — The Country School jn Madison is holding an Open House Sunday, Jan. 26, from 1 to 3:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to meet engaged students and passionate teachers. Also, attendees can learn about the rigorous academic program and commitment to honoring the creativity, sense of wonder, and exuberance of childhood.

MADISON — Learn about the school’s signature programs – STEAM, Elmore Leadership, Outdoor Education, and Public Speaking – and their rich offerings in the arts and athletics.

Tour the transformed 23-acre campus and hear how alumni are thriving at top high schools and colleges across the country.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8. To learn more and register, visit this link.

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Start the New Year with a Twist … of Yoga! Classes at Saint Ann’s Thursday Mornings, All Welcome

OLD LYME — Yoga With A Twist is an all-level gentle Yoga Class. It is appropriate for first-time yoga students and those who are more experienced. The class will include breath work, stretching and moving with the combined objectives of strengthening the body, and improving balance and overall well-being.  Chairs will be available for those who do not want to practice on the mat.   

The instructor is Deb Novack, who believes that Yoga is for everyone and no matter what your limitations are, you will feel an improvement the first time you come to class. Dhe is a Hatha-style Yoga Teacher, who incorporates meditation, breathing techniques, restorative and yin poses and shapes, into her teahing.  

Novack is excited about, and experienced in, introducing new people to the healing modality of Yoga and meditation.

Class will be held at Saint Ann’s Church, 82 Shore Rd., Old Lyme, Conn. in the Griswold Room on Thursdays from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. beginning on Jan. 9.  Bring a Yoga mat and any props you like working with (e.g., blocks, straps, blankets, etc.). Chairs will be available for use.

This is a community event and all are welcome.

The suggested donation is $10 and no reservation is required.  

Contact Deb Novack with any questions at debnovack1@yahoo.com or contact the Parish Office at Saint Ann’s #860-434-1621.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, which is under the direction of the Provisional Priest-in-Charge, the Rev. Dr. Anita L. Schell. Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rt. 156), two miles off I95, Exit 70. Convenient parking is adjacent to the church and the Sanctuary has ADA access. For more information, visit www.saintannsoldlyme.org .

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Potapaug Presents Talk in Old Lyme on Canoeing the Allagash This Evening; All Welcome

OLD LYME — On Thursday, Jan. 9, at 7 p.m., Potapaug Audubon offers its fifth presentation of the season titled, “Discovering the Allagash”: A Canoeing Guide to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, North Maine Woods,” in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme.

This talk will be presented by Jeff Sims, who will focus on this area as a wildlife preserve who has enjoyed endless opportunities to experience nature unencumbered by humanity.

Sims is the author of a book with the same title as the presentation. This book is the ultimate guide to the Allagash Wilderness Waterway (AWW) because it covers every aspect of the canoeing/camping experience from the skilled eyes of a seasoned camper, accomplished canoeist and dedicated Eagle Scout.

It includes maps based on the map/brochure issued by Maines Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry with permission from the AWW Superintendent. There are over 100 color photos, suggestions of what to bring, where to park, where to put-in and take-out, as well as brief summaries of what to expect at different campsites.

It is also a study of contrasts, as the author describes: quiet serene lakes; charging bull moose; terrifying intense winds creating three-foot waves; rainbows over calm water; embedded history of lumbering; spelunking in the Ice Caves; hiking nature trails with beautiful vistas; starring up at the Northern Lights; surviving the white water of Chase Rapids; falling asleep exhausted to the call of a loon, the babbling of a brook or the roar of a waterfall, and so much more.

The AWW is an extremely remote, nature sanctuary that has won the author’s heart. He hopes the guidance and advice in his book will allow others to canoe this wilderness paradise with confidence and insight, as they are reminded of Henry David Thoreau’s quote, “… in wildness is the preservation of the world.”

All are welcome. Come early to the meeting for cheese, crackers and cider, and catch-up conversations.

For more information, visit http://www.potapaugaudubon.com

To read a review of Sims’s book, visit https://www.awwf.org/good-read-new-book-documents-18-trips-on-the-allagash

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Old Lyme Girls Pull Off Confident Win at H-K

LYME/OLD LYME — On Tuesday, Don Bugbee’s girls traveled to Haddam-Killingworth and came away with a strong 46-32 victory. Leading scorer Sam Gray notched an impressive 19 points with eight rebounds while Emily DeRoehn added nine points with nine rebounds and five steals.

Coach Bugbee commented, “It was a solid team performance overall with offensive and defensive contributions from all players.”

The team’s current record is 5-2 in the Shoreline Conference.

On Friday, Old Lyme meets Amistad at home and next Tuesday, Jan. 14, they face East Hampton, also at home.

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Carney, Formica Host Pre-Session Legislative Update, Jan. 22; All Welcome

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

LYME/OLD LYME/OLD SAYBROOK – State Representative Devin Carney (R-35) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20) will host a legislative update to speak with residents prior to the start of 2020 legislative session, which convenes Wednesday, Feb. 5. 

The event will be held Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 12:45 to 1:45 p..m. at the Estuary Council of Seniors, 220 Main St., Old Saybrook and is open to the public and area residents who wish to discuss issues affecting the district, bill proposal ideas, or other legislative related topics.

If you are unable to make the event but would like to speak to either legislator, you can email Rep. Carney at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov, or call him at 800-842-1423 or email Sen. Formica at Paul.Formica@cga.ct.gov or call the senate offices at 800-842-1421.

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Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center Hosts Plethora of New Programs in New Year

OLD LYME — The Roger Tory Peterson Estuary Center (RTPEC) has announced an extensive range of new programs for the early months of 2020 as follows:

BUDDING NATURALISTS

Wednesday, Jan. 8 , 10-11am
Theme: A Long Winter’s Nap – Animal Hibernation
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Start their love of nature early. Join us for this parent/caregiver and child nature class designed for children who are 3 to 5 years old. Activities will encourage discovery, explorations, and expression through stories, hands-on activities, and art.  Adult is free with child participant.

$15 members; $20 non-members. Register here

OWL PROWLS

Tuesdays January 14, 21, 28, February 4, 11, and Monday, February 17, 5:30 pm
Old Lyme

Perhaps no other group of birds harbor as much mystery and intrigue as owls. As we’re heading to sleep they are just starting their day. These nocturnal hunters are perfectly adapted to life in darkness, from their silent flight to their unique eyes and ears. Join us at the newest and largest Old Lyme Land Trust property as we search for the incredible birds, and learn about what makes them such perfect nighttime fliers. Bring a headlamp or flashlight (preferably one with a red light setting) and binoculars, and bundle up! Appropriate for ages 10 and up. *Limit of 12 participants per program*

$5 for members, $10 for non-members

Tuesday, January 14 – Register
Tuesday, January 21 – Register
Tuesday, January 28 – Register

Tuesday, February 4 – Register
Tuesday, February 11 – Register
Monday, February 17 – Register

WINTER WATERFOWL WALK

Greater Scaup, male in foreground.

Saturday, Jan. 18, 9 – 10:30 am
Griswold Point, Old Lyme

As the lakes and ponds of the northeast freeze over, many species of waterfowl head to the coast, to open water. Sea ducks, Loons, Grebes and more call the coast of Connecticut home during the winter. The mouth of the Connecticut River, on Long Island Sound, is the perfect place to spot these winter species gathering just offshore. Bring your binoculars, and layer up! We will provide a spotting scope, an essential piece of equipment for waterfowl watching.

$5 for members, $10 for non-members, register here

MLK DAY VACATION PROGRAM WITH THE RTP ESTUARY CENTER

MLK Day Vacation Program with the RTP Estuary Center
Monday, Jan. 20; 9am – 4pm
Lyme Youth Services Bureau, Old Lyme

Explore the natural world of winter with the RTP Estuary Center! Outdoor explorations, hands-on science experiments, games, and creative activities are in store!  Winter attire required. Program is for ages 6 – 11. Each child should bring a water bottle and a nut free snack and lunch. Registration is required.

$40 members, $50 non-members. Registration is required. Register here

MURAL REVEAL

Thursday, Jan. 30, 5 pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Join us for the grand unveiling of our new CT River Estuary mural! This volunteer collaborated acrylic mural depicts our local estuary plants and animals at both the micro and macroscopic levels. You’ll also be able to see inside our ever changing and improving center and meet one-on-one with the teacher-naturalists and artists of the mural. Learn about the different styles that each of the artists brought to this collaborative piece and their background as budding or established artists. This event is free.

Register here

WHOO WANTS TO LEARN ABOUT OWLS?

Whooo Wants to Learn about Owls?
Saturday, Jan. 25; 10:30 – 11:30 am and 1-2 pm
Saturday, March 7; 10:30-11:30 and 1-2 pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Join us for an hour with an owl! Our teacher-naturalists will be presenting Cookie, the barred owl while we learn about this local species up close including where and when they nest, what they sound like and ways you can help ensure a healthy population of barred owls in CT! We will also be examining real owl feathers, dissecting owl pellets, and identifying mammal bones. $15 members, $25 non-member, $10 for children 10 and under

Saturday, Jan. 25 10:30-11:30am – Register
Saturday, Jan. 25 1:00-2:00pm – Register

Saturday, March 7 10:30-11:30am – Register
Saturday, March 7 1:00-2:00pm – Register

GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT

Photo by Brian Bennett

INFO SESSION
Wednesday, Feb. 12, 6:30-7:30pm
RTP Estuary Center, Old Lyme

Thursday, Feb. 13, 6 – 7 pm
Wild Birds Unlimited, Niantic

FIELD SESSION
Sunday, Feb. 16, 9 – 11 a.m.
Connecticut College Arboretum, New London

Since 1998, people all over the world have participated in the first citizen science project to collect wild bird data, the Great Backyard Bird Count! Join us at the RTP Estuary Center for an informational session about the history and background of the count, as well as how to conduct your own Great Backyard Bird Count! On Sunday, February 16 come practice your skills in the field at the Connecticut College Arboretum in New London, a designated important bird area. Whether you are a seasoned birder or a novice, this is a great opportunity to learn how to identify and count birds in the wild, and be a part of a worldwide citizen project.
This program is free, but we ask that you register.

Register for the RTPEC Info Session here

Register for the Wild Birds Unlimited Info Session at 860-739-7302 or at wbuniantic@sbcglobal.net

Register for Field Session here

FAMILY WINTER WALK

Feb. 22, 9-10:30am
Watch Rock Preserve, Old Lyme

Shake off your cabin fever, head outside and join one of our teacher-naturalists for a winter walk. We will look for tracks, listen for birds and enjoy the beauty of the woods in winter. Keep warm by trying to complete our winter scavenger hunt!

$5 members, $10 non-members, children 6 and under free, register here

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Lyme-Old Lyme HS Graduate, Now Playwright, Emily Zemba Launches Kickstarter to Fund New Play in NYC


LYME/OLD LYME —
If you’re an aspiring playwright, actually writing a play can be the relatively easy part but finding the funding to produce your play can be a major challenge.

Emily Zemba

Emily Zemba, a 2006 graduate from Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS), is trying a highly original approach to generate some seed money to bring her latest play to life on the stage.

She explained to LymeLine, “I have recently joined forces with two other amazing female writers to form The Pool — and our mission is to “take on the soul of America in rep” with our highly theatrical plays.” Along with fellow playwrights Kate Cortesi and Brenda Withers, Zemba has launched a Kickstarter campaign, which is aiming to raise $6,000 by next Saturday, Jan. 11, to cover the initial costs of putting on their respective plays in the fall of 2020 at the New Ohio Theatre in New York City’s West Village.

Asked about her play, Zemba says, “It is titled Superstitions, and is an absurd, dark comedy that links superstitions to cultural terrors and a collective national anxiety. I know, I know, anxiety is a riot! But I promise that the play is just as fun and ridiculous as it is unsettling. ” She notes that the play was nominated for 2018 Venturous Playwright Fellowship, and also that she has already received a grant from The Artists Patron Fund in support of this production.

After her graduation from LOLHS, Zemba attended Sarah Lawrence College and then went onto Yale University, where she obtained an MFA from the School of Drama in May 2015. Zemba’s parents are former Old Lyme Selectman Kurt Zemba and Catherine Frank, who retired from the position of Exceutive Assistant to Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder in October 2019.

Zemba notes that in addition to the Kickstarter, there will continue to be ways to donate directly through their website. Also, donations of $1,000 or more will be fully tax-deductible if made through their fiscal sponsor: New Georges (simply make the check out to New Georges with The Pool 2020 listed in the memo line.)

But the immediate challenge is to raise $6,000 by Jan. 11. At the time of writing, $4,597 has been raised so these young playwrights are close to the finish line. The Kickstarter page states: “We may still be about 10 months out from production, but there are several up-front costs which need immediate attention, for example:

  • The New Ohio requires a down payment a year out.
  • We have hired a PR Rep who will help launch our marketing campaign and assist with project visibility.
  • The directors who will helm our productions need contracts sooner rather than later, before their schedules get any busier.
  • We are hiring a creative producer to oversee and coordinate the myriad pieces of this ambitious undertaking.”

If you wish to donate to support these playwrights and help bring their plays to the stage, visit the Kickstarter page for The Pool at this link where there is more information about the project.

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Wildcat Girls Defeat Portland in Gritty Game

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme girls notched an important Shoreline Conference victory yesterday when they defeated Portland 32-28. The low-scoring game was played in Old Lyme and takes the Wildcat’s conference record to 4-2.

Coach Bugbee commented after the game, “After a slow start to the game, we improved throughout the second and third quarters,” adding, “We hung on through the fourth quarter for the win, against a very determined Portland team.”

Emily DeRoehn scored 14 points and took seven rebounds along with two steals while Sam Gray grabbed nine points, six rebounds and two steals.

Upcoming games for the girls are Tuesday, Jan.7, at Haddam-Killingworth and Friday, Jan. 10, when they face Amistad in Old Lyme. Junior Varsity games tip off at 5:30 p.m. and Varsity games at 7 p.m. All games are open to the public.

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Our Top 20 Stories of 2019

Articles and op-ed’s related to the Old Lyme election dominated our Top 20 most read stories of 2019. This photo shows First Selectman Tim Griswold, who was elected in November, and former First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, who lost per place on the board in the same election.

LYME/OLD LYME — Looking back over our most widely read stories in 2019 for Lyme and Old Lyme, it’s really no surprise that stories and op-ed’s related to the Old Lyme election dominated our Top 20.

Other topics featured in our Top 20 included the outbreak of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), which ultimately claimed the life of an Old Lyme resident, the proposed and now withdrawn (for the moment) plan by the Governor to impose a new regionalization structure on Connecticut public schools, the Sound View sewer referendum, and discussions relating to the future of Halls Rd.

Our top two stories however, were centered on Lyme, where Dexter the German short-haired pointer went missing, and sadly — as far as we know — was never found, and in another unfortunate affair, a luxury sailboat sank in Hamburg Cove.

While Lyme had a relatively quiet and uncontroversial election season in which, at the end of the day, the Democrats saw all their candidates elected or re-elected, Old Lyme went through a bitter and hard-fought election, which ultimately drew the highest percentage turnout (36.7 percent according to figures published by Connecticut Secretary of State Denise Merrill) in the state.  In a sea-change of town government, former Old Lyme Selectman Tim Griswold – a Republican, who was not even on the ballot when it was originally announced – unseated incumbent Democrate Bonnie Reemsnyder for the top spot and fellow Republicans swept into power pretty much across the board.  Election stories came in at 3rd, 5th, 7th, 18th, 19th and 20th.

The distressing EEE situation was covered in articles, which came in respectively at 4th, 8th and 17th place, while a piece on the Town of Old Lyme’s 300-acre land purchase from the McCulloch family notched 6th spot. The land acquired is intended to become Open Space apart from six acres designated for Affordable Housing.

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser’s comments on the state’s forced school regionalization proposal came in at 9th place closely followed by one of our favorite stories, which was about the work of Jennifer Tiffany and Bill Hurtle to re-launch the former Lyme Farmers Market as The Farmers Market at Tiffany farms.

Articles on the controversial sewer proposal for Sound View and subsequent referendum took 11th, 13th and 14th places while the 12th spot was taken by an optimistic piece on the re-birth of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts – once again an independent academy and no longer a college of the University of New Haven – as it moves forward in the world.

Our list is rounded out with the announcement of the death of Candy Green, former owner of the Old Lyme Inn and Rooster Hall, who passed away in February 2019, which garnered 15th place and the list of Frequently Asked Questions wriiten by the Halls Rd. Improvement Committee, which took the 16th spot.

This is also a perfect time to acknowledgeagain  the contributions of our loyal band of columnists, the majority of whom have been writing for us for many years.  Jim Cameron writes lucidly about a great variety of  transportation matters, Felix Kloman offers incisive reviews of books galore, Lee White tempts our palates with the most wonderful recipes, and Nicole Prevost Logan writes with a Paris perspective on European — sometimes global — affairs.  Two new columnists have recently joined their ranks; Doris Coleman takes a look at the fascinating facts and figures recorded by Old Lyme Emergency Services and Tom Gotowka writes about the always interesting view from his porch.

We thank them all sincerely for their terrific columns.

 

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