February 16, 2019

Chester Gallery Hosts Exhibition of New Work by Locally Based, Nationally Acclaimed Artist, Gilbert Boro

Sculptor Gil Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

When our souls become heavy with life’s burdens, art has the potential to soothe and solace.  Indeed, Pablo Picasso wrote, “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” That theme will be explored in an exhibit of new works by nationally and internationally renowned sculptor Gilbert Boro at the Main Street Gallery of Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) in Chester, Conn.

The exhibition titled, Coming Together, features works created by Boro, which were spawned during the period of intense grief that he experienced subsequent to the passing in 2013 of his beloved wife of 48 years, Emily Seward Boro.  An opening reception for the exhibition will be held on Sunday, Feb. 3, from 3 to 5 p.m.  All are welcome and admission is free. 

Detail of a sculpture from “The Knot” series.

The exhibition is a prequel to the opening of the synagogue’s “Meditation Garden,” scheduled for 2020, which will include a large-scale sculpture loaned by Boro, who subsequently plans to donate the original model of the loaned garden sculpture to CBSRZ.  Boro lives and works at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, where, together with his late wife, he has created an outdoor, park-like setting to exhibit more than 100 sculptures.

The show has special significance for Boro because the synagogue is the repository of a Memorial Light celebrating Emily’s life.  The period of sadness and depression that followed her passing acted as a catalyst for creativity, Boro believes, sparking multiple new ideas in his mind that culminated in his “Musical Master Works” and “What’s Knot to Like” series. Ten to 15 works of aluminum, steel, and copper from these series, plus some larger pieces, will be on public display for the first time. 

The Master Works and Knot series are Boro’s most recent works, incorporating original design concepts with a touch of playfulness. The “Musical Master Works” series transpired after attending a number of musical performances, which, in turn, inspired him to consider the tangible forms and shapes that the music might create. The “What’s Knot to Like” series reflects the many years Boro was deeply committed to offshore sailboat racing and cruising with his wife and family.

Boro credits his interaction with CBSRZ’s designer, the celebrated artist Sol LeWitt, with stirring his creative imagination at a young age. “I found LeWitt’s extensive range of artistic expression extremely stimulating,” Boro explains, noting, “He inspired and challenged me to broaden my vision, which resulted in the application of my fine arts education to architecture. Having my sculptures exhibited here therefore has special meaning for me.”

Photography by Christina Block Goldberg will also be part of the show. Goldberg’s captivating images give viewers a unique insight to Boro’s sculptures by offering intimate, close-up inspection of the joints and details. The images will be printed on thin sheets of aluminum using a dye sublimation process. 


“This exhibit is rather novel,” notes gallery curator, Linda Pinn, continuing, “in that to a large degree the works to be exhibited will be scale models of those he [Boro] anticipates placing in the garden.”  She explains that the “Meditation Garden” is envisioned to draw on the therapeutic power of nature and inspiring capacity of art since many studies now conclude that exposure to creative works is an elixir for our emotions when struggling with anxiety, depression, loss, and pain.

Pinn points out that Florence Nightingale, considered the founder of modern nursing, said, “Variety of form and brilliancy of color in the objects presented to patients are an actual means of recovery.”  Combining the two in a meditation garden, says Pinn, is an idea that “goes beyond any specific artist or garden,” adding that the intent is to bring, “art and nature together to create a peaceful, contemplative environment where people can walk, relax, and be calm.” 

The Coming Together exhibition will be on display until April 30. 

The Main Street Gallery at CBSRZ focuses on art works with themes relating to issues of concern in our society and the world at large. It is always open to the public free of charge, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Sundays when Sunday school is in session. It is located just off Rte. 154 at 55 East Kings Hwy, Chester, CT. 

For more information, visit www.cbsrz.org.

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Halls Rd. Improvement Committee Offers ‘Frequently Asked Questions’

We received the following Frequently Asked Questions from BJ Bernblum, the Halls Rd. Improvements Committee Chairman. He asked that we publish them since, in his words, “At the Old Lyme public meeting held on Dec. 6, 2018, and in emailed comments received by the Halls Road Improvements Committee afterwards, a number of questions were raised that need to be answered.”

Bernblum states that this document of Frequently Asked Questions prepared by the committee, dated Jan. 28, and published below, “… attempts to do this.”

A view of Halls Rd. today looking north. Photo courtesy of the Yale Urban Design Workshop.

We thank the Halls Rd. Improvement Committee for sending us these FAQ’s and, as always, we look forward to hearing reader’s thoughts on them.

Question 1:  Why should the town get into the development business?  Isn’t that better left to private developers?

Answer:  It shouldn’t and yes.  We are not suggesting that the town take charge of development on Halls Road but, rather, that we take steps to encourage private parties to develop the neighborhood in a manner and direction that will comply with current requirements (safety, complete streets, ADA accessibility, etc.) and best serve the needs of the community.  These steps would include adopting a “master plan” and guidelines for future development, investing limited funds in infrastructure and public spaces, and making appropriate changes to the town’s zoning code and Plan of Conservation and Development, all intended to allow for and encourage private developers to invest in upgrading existing structures and undertaking new construction. 

Question 2:  Halls Road is fine the way it is—why is the town considering changes? 

Answer:   Halls Road, our central commercial center, has developed haphazardly over many years.  It is inhospitable to pedestrian and bicycle traffic, portions of it are esthetically unattractive or looking tired, and residents currently have to leave town to seek products or services they cannot obtain locally. 

If nothing is done, we are concerned that the business environment will deteriorate, businesses will close, and even fewer goods and services will be available.  With thoughtful planning and inducements, we should be able to:

i.  improve the business environment, thereby assisting existing businesses, attracting new ones, and growing and diversifying the tax base;

ii.  create a physically-attractive neighborhood, safe and inviting for pedestrians and bicyclists;

iii. stimulate the development of housing that is inviting to down-sizing residents and to young folks wanting to move to town; and

iv. provide public spaces for civic events and recreation.

The ultimate objective is to create a vibrant town center that has more to offer the citizens of Old Lyme and is one we can be proud of. 

Question 3:  What is the new plan for Halls Road?

Answer:  The plan does not yet exist; it is still developing and is flexible. The goal is to reach majority agreement on what the Halls Road neighborhood might ideally look like.  Initially, we held a public meeting to obtain feedback regarding those elements residents would like to see included.  The meeting produced many ideas, including the ability to park once and walk the entire road, creation of green space with a community gathering area, development of mixed-use facilities (or a mix of uses), and esthetic enhancements.  

We recently held a second public meeting to gain further input, and will hold more meetings in the future.  The Yale Urban Design Workshop is assisting us in developing a master plan, but we need substantial input from town residents and stakeholders in order to come up with sound ideas that enjoy widespread support.

Question 4:  What is the process for developing a master plan?

Answer:  Once we have enough public input to begin to see the outlines of a plan, we will present these ideas to local and state governmental authorities for input and necessary approvals.  At the town level, the plan will likely need buy-in from the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance, the Zoning Commission and the Planning Commission, as well as amendments to the zoning regulations and the Plan of Conservation and Development. 

At the state level, we will need approval from the Department of Transportation, which owns Halls Road.  A master plan can be finalized only when it enjoys broad public support and satisfies governmental requirements.

Question 5:  What is the anticipated time-frame for implementing the plan?

Answer:  The Committee intends to develop a master plan and set of guidelines for the future development of Halls Road.  The plan would consist of several phases to be pursued in an orderly sequence over time, so that work done in one phase supports, or at least does not interfere with, improvements to be made in a subsequent phase.  Each phase will also be expected to “stand on its own,” in the sense that its completion will add value to the town even if subsequent phases are not pursued. 

For example, an initial phase might consist of improving access, such as by adding sidewalks, a bike path, improved signage, and a pedestrian bridge over the Lieutenant River.  The timing and exact nature of subsequent phases, and the changes that will be implemented, will of course depend on future events, including available funding and the decisions made by private developers and property-owners. 

Hence the timing is unpredictable, but this is surely a multi-year process over which the master plan will evolve, perhaps substantially but consistent with the guidelines, to address changes over time in the town’s commercial and residential needs.

Question 6:  Will the plan result in unfettered growth and additional traffic?

Answer:  We view this project as a rehabilitation of the Halls Road neighborhood, and any potential growth must be managed to fit the needs and the character of the town.  For example, we would encourage architectural design in keeping with the small New England town flavor of Old Lyme. 

There is no intent or appetite to change our “town business center” into a dense retail environment but, instead, to attract a limited number of businesses that our neighbors would like to enjoy locally (e.g., a restaurant, coffee shop, bakery, jewelry store), and enhance the patronage for existing businesses.  These changes would increase auto traffic somewhat. 

However, we intend to limit congestion through a design that encourages folks to park once and then walk the neighborhood, rather than drive from place to place.

Question 7:  How can this plan survive the overflow traffic from tie-ups on I-95?

Answer:  These tie-ups will not be materially exacerbated by a normal increase in Halls Road traffic, and they occur infrequently enough so that they should not discourage business development along the road, which is currently a pass-through. 

The plan might call for locating parking behind the main shopping and business buildings and creating tertiary access roads and walkways, which would mitigate the Halls Road bottleneck.  For example, we might explore the construction of a local access road south of the current Old Lyme Marketplace buildings (the Big Y plaza).  

Question 8:  Will private property owners be required to make changes or invest money?

Answer:  No one will be required to do anything.  Other than the state right-of-way along Halls Road, the real estate in question is privately owned and changes must be voluntary.

The expectation is that property owners will see the advantages of making changes to their property in order to increase profitability.  Alternatively, they may discover that they can sell their property at an attractive price to a motivated developer who is ready to invest in a significant project consistent with the town’s guidelines. 

Question 9  How will the plan be financed and how much will it raise property taxes?

Answer:  The objective is to have this project be tax neutral or result in a tax rate decrease because of an increase in the tax base.  The public infrastructure would hopefully be financed, at least in part, through state and federal grants, and from new tax revenue generated by the new construction, although this might initially require town bonding.  The private development will be financed by developers and property owners, who may also help pay for common amenities such as wastewater management, sidewalks and landscaping. 

The town might consider creating a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District like the one just approved in Old Saybrook, under which new tax revenue generated by new construction may be allocated, in whole or in part, to improvements in the district and to financial inducements to developers.  In all events, any material town expenditures will have to be approved at a town meeting.

Question 10:  What happens if I-95 is widened in the future or the exit or entrance ramps are reconfigured?

Answer:  That question is impossible to answer, not knowing what properties the government might want to seize by eminent domain.  However, given the current economic condition of the state and the absence of any such plans, we do not think it prudent to forego changes benefitting the town because of a remote, future risk.

Question 11:  What do you mean by residential housing on Halls Road and why is it needed?

Answer:  We would seek to enable the construction of reasonably-priced rental properties and condominiums.  Many concerns have been expressed about young people who want to move to town (perhaps after college) or out of their parents’ homes, and older folks who are retiring or downsizing and would like to remain in Old Lyme, but cannot do so because of the lack of appropriate housing. 

The Halls Road neighborhood, as envisioned with expanded resources, offers an ideal location for this housing, since both groups prefer to live in areas where they can walk to stores, restaurants, banks, recreational facilities and other amenities.  Furthermore, the retailers in the neighborhood would surely benefit from the presence of these residents.

Question 12:  How do you intend to address increased wastewater?

Answer:  A good question that must be addressed, but there are solutions other than municipal sewers.  For example, it might be feasible to construct a community treatment facility that would process the wastewater to a condition where it can safely be discharged.  

Question 13:  How can the town validate what types of improvements would be the most successful for the town, its businesses and the tax base?

Answer:  One way would be to retain a professional consultant such as CERC (the Connecticut Economic Resource Center) to perform an economic review of Old Lyme and the region, and recommend what improvements would likely be most viable.  Such a study would give our residents and businesses guidance on the development possibilities and the impact on taxes.  It would also serve as an attraction to serious investors, both for its content and as an indication of the town’s seriousness about supporting the project.

Question 14:  How can I have input to the plan or keep updated on the progress?

Answer:  There are several ways for you to stay informed and be heard, and we hope you will utilize them.  We will hold more public meetings and focus groups, and intend to develop a page on the town’s website where we can provide updates and receive input.  You can also send an email to the Halls Road Improvements Committee at hallsroadcommittee@oldlyme-ct.gov, or ask to speak personally with any of us.

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Meehan’s Presidential Memorabilia on Display Through February at Old Lyme Library


The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library will be hosting a display of James Meehan’s presidential memorabilia, which offers a fascinating history of the United States.  The collection by Meehan, who is an Old Lyme resident, will be on display from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28.

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Active, Veteran Military & EB Employees Invited to USS S. Dakota Commissioning,Thursday

On Jan. 31, from 5 to 8 p.m. Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson at 951 Bank Street, New London, CT, will host the official kick-off reception to celebrate the commissioning of the USS South Dakota (SSN 790) the Navy’s next generation Virginia class fast attack submarine.

The invitation-only event will honor the first sailors of the original USS South Dakota. In addition, all active and veteran military, and those who built the new submarine at General Dynamics Electric Boat in Groton, Conn. are welcome at the event. See below for details of how to obtain tickets if you are active or veteran military or an EB employee.

Commanding Officer Cmdr. Craig L. Litty, Chief of Boat YCOB-HMCS Adam Goulas, South Dakota’s former Governor Dennis Daugaard, the USS South Dakota Commissioning Committee and a host of high-ranking Connecticut government officials will be in attendance along with Harley-Davidson® representatives and other VIP guests.

There will be entertainment, food and beverages by RD86 Restaurant of New London, and guest speakers at this official kick-off reception.

Additionally, there will be a private viewing of the Commemorative USS South Dakota 2018 H-D Street Glide® motorcycle and 1956 Ford Thunderbird Medal of Honor Car hand painted by word-renowned artist, Mickey Harris, who will also be in attendance and speak about these fabled machines. Both historic pieces will be displayed together under one roof from Jan. 29-31 only at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson.

The public is invited to visit the dealership to see these vehicles on Tuesday, Jan. 29, and Wednesday, Jan. 30, from 12 through 7 p.m. Food and beverages will be complimentary from 12 to 2 p.m. and a happy hour will occur from 5 to 7 p.m.

After the commissioning, the Commemorative Street Glide® motorcycle will be on its way to the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum & Hall of Fame in South Dakota. A motorcycle ignition key will remain on board the submarine and any USS South Dakota sailor can ride the bike when visiting the museum. The bike will stand ready as the crew’s official motorcycle and will help build bonds between the CT-based sailors and the State of South Dakota as they experience the excitement of riding a motorcycle on open road.

There is limited availability for the private reception on Thursday, Jan. 31. All military and Electric Boat employees should use the links below to register for tickets today:
For active, retired or veterans, visit: https://militarymembers.eventbrite.com
For all Electric Boat Employees visit: https://ebemployees.eventbrite.com

For the preview days, Tuesday, Jan. 29 and Wednesday, Jan. 30,
which are open to the public, use the link below:

For the general public, visit https://bikeandcarpreviewdays.eventbrite.com
for reservations or information on Jan. 29-30 events at Mike’s

The Virginia Class is the first class of submarines developed for post-cold war missions. These fast-attack submarines have the newest technology the Navy has to offer. The USS South Dakota (SSN 790) is armed with four torpedo tubes as well as two Virginia Payload Tubes (VPT), each capable of holding six vertical launch Tomahawk missiles that can hit on-shore targets up to 1,240 miles away. 

The ship is 370 feet long, 10 feet longer than a standard football field.  It is 34 feet wide and is nearly as tall as a 12-story building.  The USS South Dakota will be manned by 132 crew members: 15 officers and 117 enlisted servicemen. The employees of General Dynamic Electric Boat will also be acknowledged for their building of this new submarine.

Established in 1899, Electric Boat has established standards of excellence in the design, construction and lifecycle support of submarines for the U.S. Navy. Primary operations are the shipyard in Groton, CT, the automated hull-fabrication and outfitting facility in Quonset Point, RI, and an engineering building in New London, CT.

 A proud supporter of the United States Military, Mike’s Famous® is the largest Harley® dealership in southern New England. In 2015 Mike’s Famous® received the Military Community Support Award as Business of the Year by the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce.

Mike’s Famous® is the official Toys for Tots headquarters for southeastern Connecticut, and serves as host for the Gift Run, one of the oldest bike runs in Connecticut which is celebrating its 40th year in 2019. The business resides in a historic former Coca-Cola® bottling factory, circa 1939. The 55,000 square foot factory houses a museum-like experience including automobilia, collectibles, signage, and Coca-Cola® and Harley-Davidson memorabilia. About J&L Harley-Davidson Sioux Falls South Dakota: 

J&L Harley-Davidson in Sioux Falls, SD calls riders from all over the country. Their flagship store is located in Sioux Falls, SD. They have been a strong partner in the Sioux Falls and surrounding communities for over 41 years.

While Harley-Davidson® Motor Company donated the USS South Dakota Tribute 2018 FLHX H-D Street Glide® to the Navy League of South Dakota, J&L Harley-Davidson has sponsored the bike including providing the H-D® parts and labor for the life of the motorcycle, and coordinating the painting of the bike which will be on permanent display at the Sturgis Motor Cycle Museum & Hall of Fame. 

*The Navy League of the United States, South Dakota Council and Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson are working in partnership on the events listed above. The United States Department of Defense is not affiliated with these events in any manner and does not endorse or otherwise have any relationship with Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson, the Harley-Davidson Motor Company® or any of their affiliates.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is located at 951 Bank Street New London, CT 06320. For further information, visit mikesfamous.com

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Op-Ed: Time to Re-evaluate Town Priorities in Old Lyme

SEE ADDITIONAL COMMENT ADDED 1/30

As a concerned citizen and taxpayer, I pay attention to where and how our Town Government spends our tax dollars.  The reader should take the following facts and expenditures into consideration when assessing the effectiveness of our current Town leadership in the next election cycle:

  1. The Town is currently spending $26,400.00 on The Yale Urban Design Workshop to develop conceptual designs for reconfiguring and developing Halls Road under the auspices of the Halls Road Improvement Committee.  Further, the Town has approved expending an additional $38,500.00 for consulting fees to determine the means for utilizing TIF (Tax Incremental Financing) for this same redevelopment concept.  In addition, the Board of Selectmen (BOS) voted 2 to 1 for a CERC (Connecticut Economic Resource Center) economic development study that will cost $47,000.00 plus $16,640.00 for a year’s worth of Town Economic Development support.  The Board of Finance for the Town had previously voted against these CERC related expenditures.

  2. The Halls Road Improvement Committee was established by the Board of Selectmen to develop Halls Road.  This initiative which has never been vetted by the Town’s Taxpayers has taken on a life of its own.  The proposed redevelopment concept includes 3 and 4-story mixed use buildings – commercial and residential, narrowing of road to accommodate along-road parking, many new shops and stores at the edge of the road, and structures flanking the entrance to Halls Road from Rt. 156.  Photos can be seen on the SECoast.org website.  All of this development will require substantive zoning regulation changes.  The development will need to be funded by private business and taxpayers’ dollars.  What makes no sense:  Not only haven’t Town residents been asked for concurrence with such plans, but neither have the business owners along Halls Road.  I know this because I have spoken to several of those business owners.

    The total cost expenditures to date for this unsanctioned initiative which will, in my opinion, irrevocably and detrimentally affect the character of Old Lyme are $128,540.00.  Did you know this is how your money was being spent? I, like many, do not oppose sensible aesthetic improvements to Halls Road.  But I will not support unfettered development such as that being proposed currently.

  3. Between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, the Town of Old Lyme will spend $102,000.00 on the services of the Lyme Youth Services Bureau (LYSB).  I think as Town citizens, we can all agree that LYSB is a valuable and worthwhile investment for our tax dollars.  The Town’s future rests in the success and health of its youth.  Yet, the Town spends far less on LYSB, a time proven asset to the children in this Town, than it has on the Halls Road redevelopment initiative.

When I talk to friends in Town with children in our school system, I hear about a lack of after-school activities for kids, marijuana and other drug usage concerns, and non-involvement issues for kids that aren’t on school sports teams.  These issues should have priority status in how this Town spends its money.

While as a taxpaper in this Town you probably were not aware of the Halls Road Run-Away-Improvement Train, you undoubtedly recognize the need to invest in a better community environment for our young people.

So, getting our spending priorities right seems like a No-Brainer to me.

Editor’s Note: This op-ed was submitted by Robert A. Nixon of Old Lyme.

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Letter From Paris: It’s Been a Rocky Ride, But Will Macron Still Make It?

Nicole Prévost Logan

France always seems to stand out by doing the best or the worst through social and political upheavals.  The movement of the gilets jaunes has been like an earthquake shaking the system to its foundations.    It has created the most serious political crisis the Fifth Republic has known since its creation by General de Gaulle in 1958. 

It is a pivotal moment for France and many other Western democracies when the mechanism of political institutions does not seem to work any more. 

The gilets jaunes are the voice of a rural population never heard before and which feels abandoned.  It is a lower middle class of workers and retirees, who can’t make it to the end of the month and feel squeezed between the very poor — benefiting from social relief — and the more affluent middle class. 

At first overwhelmingly supported by the public opinion, their number –occupying roundabouts and tolls — has reduced from over 280,000 on Nov. 17, to about 84.000 today. Public opinion is becoming weary of the continuous violence.

“Act XI” is taking place as this article is being written. 

French President Emmanuel Macron.

A spectacular fist fight on the footbridge linking the Quai d’Orsay and the Tuileries garden marked the month of January.  Over time a hard core of  gilets jaunes has become more radical, asking for the dissolution of Parliament, the suppression of the Senate, and basically total destruction of the system in place.  It refuses dialogue while chanting “Macron. Demission” (Macron. Resign.)  

The Rassemblement National (RN) extreme right party of Marine Le Pen and the communist party or France Insoumise (LFI) are riding the wave. They help circulate false news to discredit Macron and his government.  The terrorist attack in Strasbourg in early December or the recent deadly explosion due to a gas leak in the center of Paris were just diversion tactics by the Executive, they say. 

On Jan. 23,  France and Germany signed the treaty of Aix La Chapelle to reinforce cooperation between the two countries and facilitate trans-border relations.  The treaty was followed by the announcement of outrageously distorted news on social networks that Alsace-Lorraine was being returned to Germany. 

Eighteen months into his mandate, Macron started  to suffer a catastrophic collapse in the polls. It was not a first for a French president:  Sarkozy and Hollande before him suffered the same disaffection soon after their election. For Macron though, the intensity of the fall was all the more spectacular as his victory had created a surge of hope.

Today he is trying to turn the tide around and pull the country out of its crisis.  And his method? A “Great Debate” throughout the country lasting until March 15.

On Jan. 13, the president posted a “Lettre aux Français” suggesting four themes open to discussion: taxes, public services, energetic transition, and political institutions, including immigration.  France is being turned into a laboratory to experiment with new forms of government – representative, participative or direct (with frequent referendums).

The hard core of gilets jaunes declined to participate.

Macron’s initial step was to face some of the 35.000 mayors of France.  First 700 of them in Normandy, then two days later 700 in the Lot department (Occitanie region.)  It was an impressive show of participative government in action.  Selected mayors presented their grievances related to very concrete and local problems: closing schools, disappearance of public services, medical “desertification,” lack of accessible transports, inadequate internet and phone access, hurtful impact of giant shopping malls on small business, and the demise of downtown areas of small town and villages.

Each speaker was polite, direct and, at times, quite tough. Macron’s performance was phenomenal.  As each speaker took the microphone, the president was taking notes furiously.  For close to seven hours, he absorbed the remarks then answered each one, recalling the interlocutor’s name.  His language was familiar, bringing smiles to the faces in the audience and devoid of any demagoguery. 

For instance, he expressed his opinion on how dangerous popular referenda can be, especially when based on false information — citing the UK’s Brexit vote as an example. Overall it was refreshing to witness courteous and constructive exchanges, far from the heinous invectives to which the president has been submitted lately. 

The “Great Debate” is a courageous, but risky exercise.  Talking to the mayors was the easy part. It will be harder for him to convince broader public opinion — including the moderate gilets jaunes — how to make a synthesis from all the wide array of  grievances and turn them into immediate and concrete measures?

Macron must meet some, if not all, of the demands being made by the gilets jaunes without appearing to be weak and submissive. In spite of the popular pressure for lower taxes and more benefits, he cannot afford to lose his objective, which is to reform France and make it economically competitive. Finally, time is short since there will only be two months left after the debate before the European elections are held. 

Violence hit cities throughout France causing widespread damage.

The violence brought on by the weekly street warfare in Paris, Bordeaux and many other cities has tarnished the image of France abroad.  The damage caused  to the urban landscape, small businesses and whole sectors of the economy can be numbered in millions of Euros. The loss of one point of France’s GDP has even become worrisome for the IMF. 

On Jan. 22, Macron invited 125 of the most important world CEOs, who were on their way to the Davos Economic Forum, to  a lavish lunch at the Chateau de Versailles, in order to reassure them of his country’s viability and stability prior to a possible Brexit.

The polls have risen slightly in favor of Macron but the president still faces an uphill battle. France is fortunate to have a young president full of energy … but the jury is still out on his future.

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

Nicole Prévost Logan

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

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Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Kindergarten Registration Today

Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Schools for the fall of 2018 is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Jan. 28 and 29, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lyme Consolidated School and Mile Creek School.

Children who will be five-years-old on or before Jan. 1, 2019 are eligible to register for this year’s Kindergarten class.

While you may complete the registration process at either school, your child’s school placement will depend on District attendance zones.

Please bring to registration your child’s

  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization/Health Records
  • Three forms of proof of residency

If you cannot register on these days or would like additional information, call either school at these numbers to place your child’s name on the Kindergarten list and/or have your questions answered:

  • Lyme Consolidated: 860-434-1233
  • Mile Creek: 860-434-2209

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools look forward to welcoming your child.

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Old Lyme Annual Meeting to be Held Tonight; Announcement of 2018 Citizen of the Year Now Postponed

9:18am, 1/28 UPDATE: We have just been informed that the announcement of the 2018 Citizen of the Year has now been postponed due to a “schedule conflict.”

Old Lyme’s Annual Town Business Meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium, 53 Lyme St.

The agenda is as follows:

  • To accept the Annual Town Report for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, as submitted by the Board of Finance.
  • To announce the recipient of the Board of Selectmen’s Citizen of the Year for 2018. NOW POSTPONED
  • A request by the Board of Selectmen to appropriate $46,000.00 for Technology Upgrades.
  • To consider and vote on a resolution (a) to authorize the Town to issue and sell its notes and bonds pursuant to the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, or any other provision of law thereto enabling, in an amount not to exceed $1,250,000 to finance an appropriation for the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library renovation project being undertaken by the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association; and (b) to authorize such other actions relating to the foregoing as may be necessary or appropriate. The full text of the foregoing resolution is on file and open to inspection at the office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Connecticut and on the Town website (www.oldlyme-ct.gov)
  • Election to fill a vacancy in the panel of regular members of the Board of Assessment Appeals.
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Talking Transportation: Global Warming vs. Northeast Travel — An Apology to Future Generations

What follows is a public apology.  Not to you, dear reader, but to future generations.

“To my grand children:  I’m sorry we left you with this mess.  We should have done more, when we still had time.”

What am I referring to?  Not the national debt.  Not even global terrorism.  No, this apology is about coastal flooding that threatens the Northeast Corridor’s rail lines.

I won’t even get into the debate about what’s causing sea-level rise.  Whether it’s man-made or natural, it is happening and we have not been planning for its inevitable effects.  Sure, when the tides are high and the winds are from the east, we already see a little flooding along the Connecticut coastline.  “Look Dad!  The beach parking lot is under water,” the kids would say.  But the tides and winds then subsided and we’d forget about it.

Aside from pretty beaches and expensive homes, what else is along Connecticut’s coast?  Our railroads:  Metro-North, Shore Line East and Amtrak.  And according to a long hidden report, those tracks, and the trains that run on them, are being threatened by sea level rise.

Just before Christmas, Bloomberg wrote about a three year study, “Amtrak NEC Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment,” that was finished in 2017 but never released to the public.  Using an FOI request, they got hold of a redacted (censored) portion of the study, and its findings are frightening.

The Northeast Corridor of Amtrak runs 457 miles from Washington to Boston and carries 12 million passengers a year on 2200 daily trains.  Those tracks not only serve Amtrak’s inter-city trains but also many commuter rail lines, like Metro-North and Shore Line East.  And the rising sea level is already lapping at its edge, where in some areas those tracks are just feet from the ocean. By 2050 the water may be two feet higher.

When it was originally built in the 19th century, the coastline made perfect sense as a location for the railroad tracks:  the coast is where the major cities were and the terrain was flat, perfect for trains.  Sure, there were storms (even hurricanes) that caused short-term flooding, but nothing that was persistent.  Until now.

So what’s to be done?

Amtrak and the Federal Railroad Administration have no plans to raise the tracks.  They’re already facing $40 billion in unfunded projects just to keep the darn trains running.  As for building a “wall” to keep out the sea water, even a temporary version erected before a storm would take 12 to 30 days to assemble and cost $24 million a mile.

Keeping this all in perspective, Amtrak reminds us that the cities they serve along the coast are also in danger of flooding, so what are a few damp railroad tracks when your city-center looks like Venice?

What’s most concerning is that this study was suppressed by Amtrak and the FRA because, as Bloomberg wrote, “The disclosure of that information “could possibly cause public confusion.” 

I’m not confused, are you?  Maybe enraged, but not confused.  I may not be around to see these predictions come to pass, but I do feel some sense of obligation (guilt) to future generations to whom I can offer little more than an apology.

Sorry kids.  We left you with a mess.  We should have done more.

Posted with permission of Hearst CT Media.

Jim Cameron

About the author: Jim Cameron is founder of The Commuter Action Group, and a member of the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are only his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

For a full collection of  “Talking Transportation” columns, visit www.talkingtransportation.blogspot.com

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Old Lyme Annual Meeting to be Held Tonight; Announcement of 2018 Citizen of the Year Now Postponed

9:18am, 1/28 UPDATE: We have just been informed that the announcement of the 2018 Citizen of the Year has now been postponed due to a “schedule conflict.”

Old Lyme’s Annual Town Business Meeting will be held on Monday, Jan. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School Auditorium, 53 Lyme St.

The agenda is as follows:

  • To accept the Annual Town Report for the fiscal year July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018, as submitted by the Board of Finance.
  • To announce the recipient of the Board of Selectmen’s Citizen of the Year for 2018. NOW POSTPONED
  • A request by the Board of Selectmen to appropriate $46,000.00 for Technology Upgrades.
  • To consider and vote on a resolution (a) to authorize the Town to issue and sell its notes and bonds pursuant to the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended, or any other provision of law thereto enabling, in an amount not to exceed $1,250,000 to finance an appropriation for the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library renovation project being undertaken by the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association; and (b) to authorize such other actions relating to the foregoing as may be necessary or appropriate. The full text of the foregoing resolution is on file and open to inspection at the office of the Town Clerk, Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Connecticut and on the Town website (www.oldlyme-ct.gov)
  • Election to fill a vacancy in the panel of regular members of the Board of Assessment Appeals.
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SECWAC Presents Talk by Conn. College Prof. Sayej Tonight on Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq

Carollen Sayeh

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) has announced that Caroleen Sayej will speak on ‘Patriotic Ayatollahs: Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq’ at 6 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 28, 2019, at Crozier Williams Student Center Building, Connecticut College, 270 Mohegan Avenue, New London, CT 06320. (MAP HERE)  

Members are encouraged to RSVP via online registration, but walk-ins and guests will be accepted.

Sayej, Associate Professor of Government and International Relations at Connecticut College, will discuss the contributions of senior clerics in state and nation-building after the 2003 Iraq war. These Grand Ayatollahs, the highest-ranking clerics of Iraqi Shiism, took on a new and unexpected political role after the fall of Saddam Hussein.

Sayej will focus on the role of Ayatollah Sistani, who has been dubbed by observers as “the most important political figure in Iraq.” Contrary to standard narratives about religious actors, the Grand Ayatollahs were among the most progressive voices in the new Iraqi nation.

Sistani, in particular, held a transformative position as the “guardian of democracy” after 2003. He was instrumental in derailing American plans that would have excluded Iraqis from the state-building process—a remarkable story in which an octogenarian cleric took on the United States over the meaning of democracy.

Sayej received her Ph.D. in Political Science in 2006 from New York University, where she studied comparative politics with a focus on the Middle East.  Currently, she is an associate professor of government and international relations at Connecticut College.

She is also a core faculty member of the college’s Global Islamic Studies program.  Her research is on the relationship between state and society in Iraq, with an emphasis on the impact of religious groups on state and nation-building. 

Her first book, The Iraq Papers, was a co-edited interpretive reader on the Iraq War of 2003. Published by Oxford University Press in 2010, it chronicled the planning and execution of the war as well as the prevalent themes of the time: civil war, democracy, human rights, and oil politics. 

Her most recent publication, Patriotic Ayatollahs: Nationalism in Post-Saddam Iraq, was recently published by Cornell University Press in 2018.  It explores the critical role of the grand ayatollahs of Iraq in shaping the state, and is also the title of her presentation.

A reception on the second floor of the Crozier Student Center will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the main event beginning at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC 2018-2019 Speaker Series.

For non-members, tickets ($20) may be purchased at the door or securely online prior to the event; ticket cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership. Attendance is free for SECWAC members (and their guests); members can RSVP online. Membership September 2018 through June 2019 is $75; $25 for young professionals under 35; free for area college and high school students.

Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Connecticut College. Reservations are required by Friday, Jan. 18, 2019, via online pre-registration, calling 860-912-5718, or emailing info@secwac.org.

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Letter to the Editor: Pre-K for Some, But Not All

SEE COMMENT ADDED 1/27. According to the writer of the Comment, the Region 18 Board of Education has changed its proposed policy to include children born between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31

To the Editor:

The LOL Board of Education has proposed to expand the current special-needs lottery pre-K program into one available to all children in the district. This is great news!  Unfortunately, there is a gaping hole in the proposed program. It introduces a September 1st age eligibility cut off date even though the state of Connecticut strongly encourages children turning five before January 1st to enter kindergarten. This discrepancy means that children born after September 1st cannot participate in the program the year before they are slated to begin kindergarten.

Leaving out children born in the last four months of the year results in one out of every three children in a potential incoming kindergarten class being excluded from attending pre-K. It seems to directly contradict the stated intentions of the program. If the proposed pre-K program wants to “ensure limited variability among kindergartners in terms of skills and school readiness,” then why are we leaving out one in three kids?  Surely kindergarten teachers would prefer all of their students, not just some, have access to pre-K before coming to them.

This program has the potential to be a transformative equalizing force for our children and for our town, but it needs to truly include every child in order to do so. If the program is just available for some of our children while leaving out the youngest members of an incoming kindergarten class, it becomes instead something great for only some and a way for others to be left behind, and that isn’t universal or fair.

If you are interested in signing a letter in support of having the LOL pre-K expansion program’s age eligibility align with that of Connecticut kindergarten, please go to https://tinyurl.com/preK4all and thanks!

Sincerely,

Danielle Kuczkowski,
Old Lyme.

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Wildcats Secure Two Victories on the Road to Continue Unbeaten Conference Season

Tonight, Kirk Kaczor’s Wildcats crushed the East Hampton Bellringers away 67-40. Junior Aiden Using, pictured above, led all scorers with a powerful 19 points while Connor Hogan contributed 13 vital points and eight rebounds.

Brady Sheffield notched 11 points along with eight steals and completing the tally of double-digit scoring was Jared Richie with 10 points.

Old Lyme is now 11-1 overall and 11-0 in the Shoreline.

Last Tuesday, Old Lyme soundly defeated Coginchaug 63-44.  Employing the defensive tenacity of a five-person guard rotation comprising Brady Sheffield, Ray Doll, Connor Hogan, Quinn Romeo, and Liam Holloway, the Wildcats took control of the game at an early stage. 

Brady, Jared Ritchie and Aedan Using combined to score a remarkable 47 points. 

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Old Lyme Church Seeks Return of Waterbury Resident to Husband, Two Young Children

During a sermon on Sunday, Jan. 13, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) announced it would be working with local immigration experts to return Glenda Cardena Caballero to her husband and two young children in Waterbury while her deportation case winds its way through the lengthy immigration appeals process.

Last August, her husband Miguel Torres pictured above with their two children Nathaly (11) and Keneth (7) – all of whom are U.S. citizens – were forced to watch helplessly as Glenda was taken from them by ICE, placed on an airplane and deported to Honduras.

Glenda had been in the US since 2005; she had complied with all of ICE’s directives; and her case was under appeal in the court system. Despite following immigration rules and regulations, ICE agents deported her suddenly and arbitrarily in front of her children and husband, leaving her family bereft and heartbroken.

The city to which she was deported, San Pedro Sula, is considered the most violent city in the world outside of a war zone. In December, the house where she is living with her mother was strafed with bullets; then, the very next day, she had a gun held to her head and was robbed of her money and phone on the street.

The church’s goal is to bring Glenda home to her family in the U.S. while her case continues to wind its way through the appeals process.  According to Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit, the church is:
>working to get Glenda into a safe, protected space so her husband and children won’t be constantly worried about her health and safety;
>building a case for a humanitarian parole – an exception the State Department can grant that will allow her to return to her family while her case is under appeal;
>building a community of love and support for Miguel, Nathaly and Keneth that they can lean on when the emotional toll of separation is too much to bear.

The Torres family in happier times.

Jungkiet said the church’s humanitarian efforts to help the Torres family are centered in a story from the Book of Genesis, where two family members built a cairn called a Mizpah to symbolize a peace they established after resolving a bitter dispute.  As they parted company, they said words that have become known in Hebrew and Christian beliefs as the Mizpah prayer:  “The Lord watch between thee and me while we are absent one from the other.”

The meaning of the words has evolved over time to symbolize an unbreakable emotional bond between people who have been painfully separated, and the cairn has become symbolic of a place of sanctuary where people meet during emergencies.

The church will be chronicling its humanitarian efforts on its website (www.fccol.org/BringGlendaHome) and Facebook page (www.facebook.com/congregationalchurchofoldlyme).

Donations to help the family bring Glenda home can be sent to FCCOL.  Checks should be made out to FCCOL with “Immigration Assistance Fund” written on the comment line – and mailed to 2 Ferry Road, Old Lyme, CT 06371.   Contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law.

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Life-Saving Narcan Training Offered This Evening, All Welcome

Would you like to be able to do something in the event of an opioid overdose happening near you?

The Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition is hosting a Community Narcan Training session Thursday, Jan. 24, at 6:30 p.m. in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall

The purpose of this training is to put the opioid reversal agent, Naloxone, in the hands of the community, and the family and friends of individuals at risk of overdose. Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) Director Mary Seidner commented to LymeLine.com, “We are so pleased that the Prevention Coalition is hosting this event. It’s another way to make our community stronger and safer.”

Seidner explained that funding for the program is coming from a State Targeted Response Grant for Opioid Awareness in the community that LYSB was recently awarded. She continued, “It’s so important for people to get trained how to use Narcan. You never know when you might find yourself dealing with an overdose situation related to someone in your life.”

At the completion of the training, all attendees will receive a (2pk) Naloxone Nasal Spray kit.

The training session includes:
. Overdose Prevention Strategies
. Signs & Symptoms of Overdose
. How to Administer Naloxone
. Good Samaritan Law
. Support Information & Resources

The training will be presented by Rayallen Bergman, Community Coordinator, SERAC (Southeastern CT Regional Action Council)

Registration for the event would be appreciated at lysb.org for planning purposes, but walk-in’s are welcome too.

For information or questions, contact Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau at 860-434-7208 or www.lysb.org

Every time a life is saved, that person has an opportunity to enter into treatment and get the support they need to recover.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Prevention Coalition always welcomes new members of all ages and backgrounds. The group meets monthly at LYSB alternating between morning and evening meetings. For more information, visit http://lysb.org/resources/lolpreventioncoalition/

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Old Lyme’s Mya Johnson Named ‘Female Athlete of the Year’ by CT Sports Writers’ Alliance

Mya Johnson, a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, is the recipient of the Hank O’Donnell Female Athlete of the Year Award, named in honor of a former sports editor and columnist for the Waterbury newspapers whose career spanned 61 years. Johnson tallied 19 goals and 10 assists in 2018 to lead Old Lyme to its fourth straight Class S state soccer championship.

Lyme-Old Lyme Senior Captain Mya Johnson, who was named the Hank O’Donnell Female Athlete of the Year yesterday by the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance. Photo by Jennifer Alexander.

She was at her best in the big moment, scoring the Wildcats’ final five goals of the tournament, including a hat trick in a 3-1 semifinal win over East Hampton and both goals in the 2-1 state title victory over longtime powerhouse Immaculate.

Trailing by a goal in the finals, she tied the score by booting home her 100th career goal, then converted the game-winner for number 101.

Johnson scored both goals for the Wildcats to defeat Immaculate 2-1 in the 2018 Class S CIAC state championship.

The list of Johnson’s awards and accolades is remarkable, reflecting her exceptional talent. She was named an All-New England player in 2018 and 2017, and selected in 2018 as The Day’s All-Area Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year and named to the Class S All-State Team both for the third time. 

Johnson, who is also an outstanding artist, will continue her career close to home next fall at Connecticut College.

Harry Stanton, a 2018 graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown and three-time college All-American lacrosse player, will receive the Bill Lee Male Athlete of the Year Award, named after a longtime sports editor and columnist who wrote for the Hartford Courant for nearly half a century.

Stanton, a former three-sport athlete at New Canaan High School, led Wesleyan to the school’s first-ever team national championship, an 8-6 win over Division III power Salisbury at Gillette Stadium. Stanton netted two goals and added an assist in the championship contest to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.

Johnson and Stanton will be honored at the 78th Gold Key Dinner on Sunday, April 28, at the Aqua Turf Club in Southington. Gold Key Award recipients for 2019 are former college and pro basketball standouts John Bagley and Chris Smith, longtime NFL coach and Super Bowl champion Chris Palmer, St. Thomas More basketball coach Jere Quinn and ESPN founder Bill Rasmussen.

The Gold Key Dinner was inaugurated in 1940, with baseball legend Connie Mack and golf superstar Bobby Jones among the initial recipients. The roster of honorees since then reads like a Who’s Who of Connecticut sports – Joe Cronin, Julius Boros, Willie Pep, Andy Robustelli, Lindy Remigino, Floyd Little, Joan Joyce, Carmen Cozza, Otto Graham, Calvin Murphy, Joe Morrone, Gordie Howe, Bill Rodgers, Tony DiCicco, Geno Auriemma, Rebecca Lobo, Brian Leetch, Kristine Lilly, Marlon Starling and Dwight Freeney are just a few of the past Gold Key winners. A complete list is available at www.ctsportswriters.com.

Tickets to the Gold Key Dinner are $75 apiece, and may be reserved by contacting CSWA President Tim Jensen of Patch Media Corp. at tim.jensen@patch.com or 860-394-5091.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Bo Kolinsky Journalism Scholarship, named after a longtime Hartford Courant sportswriter and past CSWA president who died unexpectedly in 2003.P

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Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents two new juried exhibitions of work by member artists beginning Friday, Jan. 18. There will be an opening reception for these two exhibitions on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Caboched in oil by Rosemary Webber is one of the featured works in the new exhibitions at the LAA..

The Associate Artist Exhibition features works by both emerging and established artists. This mid-level artist membership includes both well-known professional artists, who are relatively new to the Lyme Art Association, as well as long-time member artists.

“Our Associate Artists are very invested and engaged here and bring their best work to every show. You will find varied subject matter, all executed with skill and enthusiasm. These are our base and we love to celebrate them in this show,” says Gallery Manager Jocelyn Zallinger.

The Newly Elected Artists Show features the nine artists, who passed through the rigorous selection requirements to become Elected Artist members of the Association. They are Ralph Acosta, Harley Bartlett, Melissa Imossi, Karen Israel, Randie Karl, Steve Linde, Mary Mellot, Judy Perry, and Michael Rogan.

Laurie Pavlos, LAA Executive Director says, “These are fabulous, highly skilled artists and we are proud to now name them among our Elected Artist ranks.” 

The LAA is open Wednesday through Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and by appointment. The LAA is located at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme, at the corner of Halls Rd.

For more information, call (860) 434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

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Old Lyme DTC Issues Statement on Federal Shut-Down, Starts Donation Drive for Impacted Residents

Jane Cable, Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee (DTC) Chairman, has issued the following statement on behalf of the Old Lyme DTC regarding the US Federal Government partial shut-down and how the committee is responding to it locally.

‘The U.S. government has been partially shut down since Dec. 22, over President Trump’s demand for more than $5 billion for a U.S.- Mexico border wall. The Old Lyme Democratic Town Committee believes this action is intolerable for the country, and heartless toward the affected federal workers.

The Old Lyme DTC membership is donating cash and food cards to the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) to assist residents affected by the shutdown. To date, we have collected over $800 dollars in donations for the LYSB. Our commitment to provide assistance will continue until the conclusion of the shutdown.

If you would like to join us build a bridge of support, donations can be sent to the LYSB at 59 Lyme Street, P.O. Box 589, Old Lyme, CT 06371 or to
The Town of Old Lyme, Social Services at 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT 06371.

If you need a donation picked up, please email us to arrange this.”

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Lyme, Old Lyme Town Halls, Libraries Closed Today to Honor MLK Day

Lyme and Old Lyme Town Halls and libraries will be closed Monday, Jan. 21, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Transfer Station in Lyme will also be closed on Monday.

There is no change to the trash or recycling pick-up schedule in Old Lyme on Monday. 

A new 2019 color coded recycling calendar for Old Lyme is available on the Old Lyme Sanitation website and on the Town website under Trash & Recycling

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Third Annual ‘Women’s March on Washington’ Sister Vigil to be Held This Morning in East Haddam

Together We Rise – Building Bridges For Justice has announced that East Haddam, Conn., is again registered as an Official Sister Event location for Connecticut, along with Hartford and Kent, for the Jan. 19, 2019, Third Annual Women’s March:#WomensWave March on Washington.

Together We Rise will join more than 650 sister events/marches throughout the World, when an outdoor gathering and vigil will be held from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Two Wrasslin’ Cats Coffee House & Café, located at 374 Town St. in East Haddam, CT at the junction of Rtes 82 and 151.

Those interested in participating in the Together We Rise Jan. 19 Sister Event vigil should register by going to  https://www.womensmarch.com/2019/ and clicking on Sister Events, and entering zip code 06469. 

Participants are encouraged to arrive early. Parking Monitors will be on site to direct participants to parking venues near Two Wrasslin’ Cats.  Parking in Two Wrasslin’ Cats parking lot is available only to those with disabilities. 

Speakers at the Together We Rise Vigil in East Haddam will include Christine Palm, Emily Gerber Bjornberg, Marta Daniels and Ella Briggs.

Palm is the newly elected State Representative for the 36th Legislative District covering Chester, Deep River, Essex and Haddam. A lifelong Connecticut resident and progressive Democrat, her social justice advocacy began in high school when she marched with Caesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers. Palm’s work has culminated in her strong desire today to champion public policy that reflects the aspirations and concerns of people in the lower Connecticut River Valley.

Palm has been a journalist, high school teacher, communications manager, and small business owner. Most recently, she has served as Women’s Policy Analyst for the General Assembly’s Commission on Women, Children and Seniors, a group that advocates for policies that enhance the safety and economic security of these three under-represented populations. Before that, she was Communications Director of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. 

Daniels is a writer, activist, and public historian. Her 35-year professional career has focused on expanding and improving civic engagement in public policy issues on peace, justice, and the environment.

She was director or co-director of half a dozen national and state educational organizations and also served as a consultant for several environmental and humanitarian organizations. Daniels is the author of several books on peace, many research papers and hundreds of articles and op-eds on peace and disarmament, and US-Soviet relations.

Daniels lives in Chester and is an active member of the Chester Democratic Town Committee, the Historical Society, and the Land Trust.

Briggs is the 2019 Connecticut Kid Governor.  She is a 5th grader at Ana Grace Academy of the Arts Elementary Magnet School in Avon, CT.  Ella lives with her family in East Hampton.

In addition to these speakers, music will be provided by Thomasina Levy and Diane Adams. Levy was Connecticut State Troubadour for 2005 and 2006. An award-winning mountain dulcimer player, singer, poet and songwriter, her performances weave together traditional and contemporary folk music.

Adams is a local musician, who has performed at a variety of public events celebrating justice and equality including Together We Rise’s 2018 March for Our Lives event.

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