April 25, 2019

Legislators, Superintendents, Residents Express Universal Opposition to Forced School Regionalization

Special to LymeLine.com

Sitting in the front row of the audience at Monday night’s forum on school regionalization were local school superintendents (from right to left) Ian Neviaser (Lyme-Old Lyme), Pat Ciccone (Westbrook) and Jan Perruccio (Old Saybrook.)

Over 100 people turned out for an Education and Regionalization Forum at Old Saybrook Middle School on Thursday, April 11. The event was hosted by Rep. Devin Carney, (R-23rd), with Senators Paul Formica, (R-20th), and Norm Needleman, (D-33rd).

While the two parties differ on Connecticut road tolls, all three local officials said they are against forced regionalization of school district bills proposed by Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney, Senators Bob Duff and Cathy Osten, Deputy President Pro Tempore, and by Governor Ned Lamont.

Rep. Carney said there was an enormous public outcry by small towns and school districts, thousands of pieces of testimony received and hundreds of people, including students from Region 18 schools, who testified in March hearings.  While this probably means that the idea of aligning school districts with recently consolidated probate districts is not advancing, the matter of reducing and reallocating education costs is very much still alive, and pieces of proposed legislation could still become law.

“Nothing is truly ever dead until we gavel out at midnight on June 5,” Rep. Carney said, explaining the state legislative process and timelines of the ongoing session in Hartford. 

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) addresses the audience Monday night while (left) State Sen. Paul Formica (R-20th) awaits his turn to speak. Almost hidden from view, State Sen. Norm Needleman (D-33rd) stands to Rep. Carney’s right.

Of the six bills introduced that address regionalization of schools or services, three have been passed by the Education Committee and further action could be taken on them:

  • Governors Bill 874 establishes an appointed Commission on Shared School Services that is charged with developing shared school services recommendations, requires boards of education (BOEs) to report on currently shared school services and requires regional BOEs to post online monthly current and projected expenditures and to submit information to their town’s legislative body. The commission would issue a report in December 2020, recommendations could be binding on towns and districts. Because of costs of setting up a commission, the bill has been referred to Appropriations Committee;
  • HB 7350 requires regional education service centers (RESCs) to distribute an inventory of goods and services to member BOEs, and the Department of Education (DOE) shall develop a report of best practices by RESCs for regional cooperation. (LEARN, at 44 Hatchetts Hill Road in Old Lyme, is a RESC);
  • SB 1069, proposed by Sen. Needleman, which allows the DOE to study the effects of towns working together as Local Education Agencies, is intended to encourage voluntary regional cooperation and maximize efficiencies and cost savings without being mandated to become regional school districts.

Superintendents Ian Neviaser (Lyme-Old Lyme), Jan Perruccio (Old Saybrook), and Pat Ciccone (Westbrook) addressed how their districts have been sharing services and resources to reduce costs while maintaining the quality of curriculum along with educational, extracurricular and sports activities and programs.  Standard practices include health and dental insurance, energy, financial software, food service and supplies, plus student transportation for specialized programs.

Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Region 4 (Chester, Deep River and Essex plus the three elementary schools for each of those towns, which are not part of Region 4) school districts already share staff, Perruccio said, in an arrangement that has the flexibility to change yearly based on each districts’ demographic needs.

Perruccio said she was alarmed that the forced regionalization bills showed a lack of regard and understanding of how school districts are already sharing resources with a focus on quality of education.

Ciccone cited how the districts are coordinating to provide professional development for their teachers, and how Westbrook’s school facilities, sports programs and fields are utilized by the Town Parks and Recreation Department and local YMCA. The schools and town share legal and financial services support, as well. 

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser stands at the podium during Monday evening’s forum.

“There is a money issue here, we need to be frank about it,” said Neviaser, pointing out that significant redistribution of wealth from school districts with higher property values and tax base already occurs. 

Fifty-one percent of New London’s school budget is paid by the state, he said., as is over 60 percent of Norwich’s, 33 percent of Montville’s and 14 percent of East Lyme’s school budgets. Meanwhile, Lyme-Old Lyme Schools receive less than one percent of operating expenses from the state.

“There was no mention of improving educational outcomes in these regionalization proposals,” commented Tina Gilbert of Lyme. “It is because of our school district’s focus on that, we are in the top four in the country in education.  There is no discussion of parent involvement in schools; we are not wealthy or privileged people, we chose to live in this school district for our children.  What it takes to build [highly performing schools] is parent involvement, working with parents.”

When asked if they moved to their town because of the quality of the schools, a high number of people in the audience raised their hands.

While the majority of questions and comments addressed specifics of proposed legislation, the overarching issue of state fiscal problems and how to address government spending arose. Lyme and Old Lyme residents were some of the most vocal about the impact of proposed legislation on property values, taxes and the quality of local school districts.

“The majority of the state doesn’t have a problem, town government works in Connecticut, but Hartford is not responsible,” said Curt Deane of Lyme, pointing out a seven-page summary of education service-sharing produced by LEARN in February.  “The initial [regionalization] proposals would have raised my property taxes by 50 percent overnight. Taxes go up, property values go down. People have to understand, this is going to hit our property taxes and hit hard. This isn’t going to go away.” 

“We can’t be a state with only great little towns and not great cities,” Sen. Needleman said, citing imbalances of health care outcomes and school performance between wealthier communities and the state’s large cities. He continued, “While we don’t want to mess up what we have, we can’t turn our backs on the disparities.”

The legislators encouraged voters to speak up, write letters, follow grassroots organizations such as Hands Off Our Schools or form their own group to express concerns to elected officials.

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Essex Winter Series’ Presents ‘Chanticleer’ This Afternoon in Old Saybrook

The final concert in this season’s Essex Winter Series will feature ‘Chaticleer.’

Essex Winter Series’ presents Chanticleer, the Grammy Award-Winning ensemble dubbed an orchestra of voices, on Sunday, April 7 at 3 pm at Old Saybrook High School, 1111 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook.

They are celebrating the ensemble’s 40th anniversary with the program, Then and There Here and Now, which contains music by some of Chanticleer’s favorite composers. From Palestrina and Victoria to Mason Bates and Steven Stucky, with lustrous examples of the South American baroque, as well as audience favorite arrangements by Jennings, Shaw and others. This program reflects the expansive aesthetic and seamless virtuosity in ensemble singing which have been Chanticleer’s hallmark for four decades.

Essex Winter Series is honored to be part of Chanticleer’s anniversary year and concludes its season with this fabulous program.

Seating is general admission and tickets may be purchased by calling 860-272-4572 or visiting www.essexwinterseries.com.

The 2019 season is generously sponsored by The Clark Group, Essex Meadows, Essex Savings Bank, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP LLC, Masonicare at Chester Village, Tower Laboratories, Guilford Savings Bank, and BrandTech Scientific.
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‘The Kate’ Hosts Dazzling Oscar Night Party Tonight

An evening of glamour and glitter is promised at the Oscar Night Party at the Kate, March 24.

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

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

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

State Rep. Devin Carney holds the Oscar won by his grandfather Art Carney. The Oscar will be on display at the Oscar Party to be held March 24 at the Kate.

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

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

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

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

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

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Last Chance to see ‘Other Desert Cities’ at ‘the Kate’ This Afternoon

The non-profit production company The Saybrook Stage Company will be performing Jon Robin Baitz’s Other Desert Cities live at the Kate in Old Saybrook from Thursday through Saturday, Jan. 17-19, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 20, at 2 p.m.

Rehearsing “Other Desert Cities’

Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz is a poignant play about the strong bond and love of family that overcomes any differences that exist between individual family members. This thoughtful, relevant play will have you sharing tears of laughter, sadness and joy as you become immersed in the heart-wrenching yet heart-warming story of the Wyeth family.

What is the price a family will pay to protect their good name? What is the price parents will pay to protect their children? These difficult questions are addressed in this wonderful and funny play!

It’s Christmas Eve 2004 and Brooke Wyeth is returning home to Palm Springs after a six-year absence to celebrate Christmas with her parents, her brother and her aunt.

Brooke announces that she is about to publish a memoir dredging up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history – a wound her parents don’t want reopened. In effect, she draws a line in the sand and dares them to cross it.

The cast of Other Desert Cities gathers for a photo .

A realistic story about family struggles and conflicts – The New York Times is quoted as describing this play as “The most richly enjoyable new play for grown-ups that New York has known in many seasons … Mr. Baitz makes sure our sympathies keep shifting among the members of the wounded family portrayed here. Every one of them emerges as selfish, loving, cruel, compassionate, irritating, charming and just possibly heroic … leaves you feeling both moved and gratifyingly sated.”

Other Desert Cities opened on Broadway in November 2011 and received critical acclaim in addition to many awards including a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama as well as Tony Award nominations for Best Play; Best Actress and Best Scenic Design.

Visit www.thekate.org or call 860.510.0453 to reserve your tickets.

Also, visit www.SaybrookStage.org for more information about The Saybrook Stage Company.

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Join a ‘Messiah, Christmas Section’ Sing or Listen at ‘the Kate’ This Afternoon

A ‘Messiah’ Sing or Listen, Christmas Section, will be sponsored by Cappella Cantorum on Sunday, Dec. 16, at 4 p.m. at The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, (the Kate), 300 Main St., Old Saybrook 06475. There will be a short rehearsal for singers at 3:30 p.m.

Soloists will be Soprano Danielle Howard, Mezzo-Soprano Rachel Abrams, Tenor William Sorenson and Baritone Kenneth Holton. The Sing is open to all, under the direction of Barry Asch and accompanied by Deborah Lyon.

Bring ‘Messiah’ scores if you have them or they will be provided. There is a $12 fee for singers and audience. Singers will sit in sections, the audience is invited to sit in the back, witness the short rehearsal, and then the Sing will begin at 4 p.m.

Tickets will be available online at www.thekate.org and through the Box Office, 869-510-0453, open Tues–Fri 10 a.m. –2 p.m., no reserved seats.

For more information, call Barry Asch at 860-388-2871.

The Sing ends at 5:15 p.m.

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Old Lyme Town Band Plays ‘Holiday Pops Concert’ at ‘the Kate’ Tonight

The Old Lyme Town Band will perform their ‘Holiday Pops Concert’ at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, ‘The Kate,’ in Old Saybrook on Wednesday, Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.

‘The Kate’s’ program information states, “Nothing says the holidays like the Old Lyme Town Band playing some festive selections for the season.”

Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children and available at this link.

Visit the Old Lyme Town Band’s website at this link or thekate.org for more details.

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Debate to be Held Tonight in Old Lyme Between State Rep. Carney, Challenger Pugliese

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

Matt Pugliese

This evening, the League of Women Voters (LWV) will host a debate between State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and his Democrat challenger Matt Pugliese. The debate will be held between 7 and 8 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium, 53 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.  All are welcome and admission is free.

The ground rules for the debate are:

Prepared statements:
Opening statement: two minutes each
Closing statement: one minute each

The order of speaking will be determined by the winner of a coin toss. The first speaker in one statement will be the second speaker in other.

Content:
The questions will be asked by a single LWV moderator.

Candidates response:
First responder: 60 seconds
Second responder: 90 seconds
First responder rebuttal: 30 seconds (thus giving a 90-second-total per question per person)
Candidates will alternate in being the first responder.

Questions will be solicited in writing by LWV people with cards and pens during the event.

No comments, oral questions or displays will be permitted in/from the audience in the auditorium.

No visible partisan material will be allowed in the auditorium during event.

Applause will only be permitted at the final conclusion.

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Letter to the Editor: Carney is a Fiscal Champion, Defended his Constituents from Tax Increases

To the Editor:

I am supporting Devin Carney for re-election as our State Representative for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. He has been the fiscal champion we need in a time of economic uncertainty.

Devin has always stood up for taxpayers in Old Lyme and fought against increases in taxes that would have negatively affected our quality of life. Did you know there were serious proposals to add a new tax every time you brought your dog or cat to the vet? Or serious proposals to add a new statewide tax on anyone who owned a secondary home (there are many in Old Lyme)? Or that the DOT wanted to spend our money on a study to look into a proposal that would tax us every mile we drive?

Has Hartford lost its mind? For the most part, yes. But, thankfully we have a representative who is rising above the insanity and standing up for us.

Devin successfully defeated all of these fiscally irresponsible proposals  and, instead, has focused on and making Connecticut more affordable. He supported reducing taxes on pensions and social security, reducing taxes on small businesses, and reducing government spending.

I hope you will join me on Tues, Nov. 6th in voting to re-elect Devin Carney – a representative taxpayers can be proud of.

Sincerely

Deb Czarnecki,
Old Lyme.

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Eastern CT Ballet Casts a Spell with “Ballet Spooktacular” Today at ‘the Kate’


The presenters of “Ballet Spooktacular” have a warning for those who plan to attend the Halloween-themed celebration this fall – buy tickets early before they vanish into thin air!

Eastern Connecticut Ballet (ECB) presents four performances of this popular and family-friendly annual performance on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13 and 14. The curtain rises at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) in Old Saybrook at 1 and 4 p.m. each day.

“Spooktacular,” will conjure up a spellbinding mix of ballet, music, and special effects. Dancing skeletons that glow in the dark, a malfunctioning magic wand, ghostly visions in veils and other sights will captivate young audiences.

Children — and parents too — show off their creative spirit by wearing costumes to the event. After the show, the audience gets into the action by parading onstage, trick-or-treating throughout the decorated theater, and posing for photographs with the dancers.

This year’s program features several short works choreographed by Artistic Director Gloria Govrin and Associate Director Krystin Dixon. Selections include “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” the tale of a little boy who gets in over his head when pretending to be a sorcerer. The score was made popular by a classic scene in Fantasia, Walt Disney’s animated film classic.

“Dancing Bones” features dancers as colorful, glow-in-the-dark skeletons, but the illusion is more fun than frightening.  Inspired by the music of Camille Saint-Saëns, the hauntingly beautiful “Halloween Waltz” displays the talents of ECB dancers.

Last year’s “Spooktacular” was a sell-out and tickets are likely to perform a disappearing act once again. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.thekate.org or call the Kate Box Office at 860-510-0453.

Founded in East Lyme in 1992, the nonprofit Eastern Connecticut Ballet is one of the state’s premiere schools for dance. The ECB offers an annual performance of “The Nutcracker,” (December 8-9, 2018) at the Garde Arts Center in New London and other events year-round.

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Salt Marsh Opera Performs ‘La Boheme’ at ‘the Kate’ This Afternoon


In a cold Parisian apartment, a poet is so poor he burns pages of his own manuscript for heat. A chance encounter and cleverly pocketed key lead him to discover a love strong enough to warm his soul. But in impoverished 19th-Century Paris even love is not free, and he is faced with a price he may not be able to pay.

What cost is too high for the woman he loves, and is it worth living without her by his side?

Find out the answers to these questions and more in a spectacular performance of Puccini’s ‘La Boheme’ at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — the Kate — at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook, this afternoon at 3 p.m.  A few tickets are still available for the performance by calling the Kate box office at 860.510.0453 or online by clicking here.

 

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Two Goals Down, Wildcat Soccer Girls Bounce Back to Defeat Saybrook Rams 3-2

In a thrilling game played yesterday on their home field, the Lyme-Old Lyme High School soccer girls defeated Old Saybrook 3-2.

Old Saybrook’s Allison Cody scored two goals in the first half, both unassisted, to lead the game 2-0.

Later with 5:25 minutes left in the first half, Wildcat Britney DeRoehn scored off of a cross from Kaylee Armenia.  Mya Johnson then scored unassisted at 23:46 in the second half to tie the game.

With 2:12 remaining on the clock, Johnson — the Wildcat’s all-time leading scorer — netted the game-winning goal off a corner kick assist from Danielle McCarthy.

Grace Coverdale and Sam Gray were in net for Old Lyme and made two saves each, while Kelsey True was in goal for Old Saybrook with 10 saves.

Old Lyme is now 2-0-1 overall and 1-0-1 in the Shoreline.

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Letter to the Editor: Democrat Pugliese Represents a Fresh, Viable Alternative in House 23rd District Race

To the Editor:

Matt Pugliese offers a refreshing, non-partisan voice in the state House of Representatives for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Matt brings business experience from the non-profit sector where he has managed tight budgets and competing union interests to deliver theatrical arts to communities in Middletown and at U Conn. Matt has been recognized for his business acumen by the Hartford Business Journal 40 under 40.

As a resident of Old Saybrook raising a young family, Matt knows first hand the importance of supporting education, working women and families. With his courage to speak up for policies that make sense, Matt has earned the endorsements of Moms Demand Gun Sense, CT Chapter of National Organization of Women and Planned Parenthood.

Connecticut has distinguished itself as a leader in gun control and voting equality. To retain these advances, our legislature needs to be controlled by those willing to stand up for these values. Connecticut needs to become a leader in business and the arts. Matt Pugliese has the experience and fortitude to be our next leader.

Sincerely,

Candace Fuchs,
Old Lyme.
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Take Off in “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System” This Morning at the Kate

Photo credit: Rachel Keenan

The popular Children’s Series at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) begins with a new TheatreWorksUSA’s musical adaptation of “The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System,” on Saturday, Sept. 15, at 11 a.m.

When the class gets lost on the way to the planetarium, Ms. Frizzle saves the day by blasting into outer space for an epic interplanetary field trip! But when rivalries both old and new threaten to tear the students apart, our young heroes must learn to pull together or risk getting forever lost in the solar system. This production is recommended for children in grades K through 5 and runs approximately 60 minutes.

The 2018-2019 Children’s Series also features a classic Christmas tale, the return of a mischievous Parisian schoolgirl, and a groovy blue cat. Shows include Virginia Rep’s musical production of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 8; ArtsPower’s “Madeline and the Bad Hat” on Saturday, Feb. 9, 2019 and “Your Alien” on Sunday, April 14, 2019; and TheatreWorksUSA’s “Peter the Cat” on Saturday, June 1, 2019.

The Children’s Series is sponsored by Crew 538 LLC and Vivian Partridge. For information and tickets for all shows at the Kate, visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0453. 

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Ann Nyberg to Receive 3rd Annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award at the Kate’s Summer Gala, Saturday

Ann Nyberg. Photo by Lora Karam Photography.

Ann Nyberg, Connecticut’s longest-serving, full-time female news anchor/reporter will receive the 3rd annual Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award. The award is given by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (the Kate) to an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary actress and will presented to Ann on Saturday, Aug. 25, at the Kate’s annual Summer Gala in Old Saybrook.

A resident of Madison, Nyberg is WTNH-TV’s longest-serving anchor/reporter in station history and has been nominated for multiple Emmys. In addition to anchoring several evening newscasts, she also produces and hosts the show Nyberg an on-air and online show she developed to share people’s stories with the masses.

In November of 2015, Nyberg was inducted into the prestigious Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) Boston/New England Chapter – an honor given to television professionals who have made significant contributions to their community and to the vitality of the television industry. In 2017, Nyberg was recognized, during the year of Harper’s Bazaar Magazine’s 150th anniversary, as a woman of success who pays it forward.

Nyberg has been a storyteller her entire life, which all started with a diary her mother gave her for Christmas when she was just 8-years-old, and the rest is history. As she says, “I never met a story I didn’t want to tell.” Her first book, Slices of Life, A Storyteller’s Diary debuted in October 2015, and is based on her diary. Her second book, released October 2016, is on the legendary Connecticut film actress, Katharine Hepburn. It is called Remembering Katharine Hepburn: Stories of Wit and Wisdom About America’s Leading Lady.

Nyberg began her journey in broadcast journalism immediately following graduation from Purdue University, where she earned a degree in journalism. She was a television journalist in Indiana and Oklahoma before making Connecticut her home. She and her husband have three daughters and two dogs, Henry Watson, a rescued Coon Hound and Mr. Trip Meeshu, a Golden Retriever.

Nyberg feels strongly about philanthropy and in 1993 she founded the Toy Closet Program at Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital. Thousands of toys and other items are given to children of all ages to help ease their trauma. A lover of the arts, she is a Trustee of the Kate, the only theater in the world named after the iconic four-time Academy Award winning Connecticut actress. Nyberg is also the only honorary female member of the Walter Camp Football Foundation, which raises thousands of dollars for charity every year.

An advocate for all things local, Nyberg’s website Network Connecticut spotlights people and places, small businesses and innovators and entrepreneurs all over the state. She also owns a boutique in Madison, called Annie Mame, where she carries several Connecticut-made goodies to help small businesses push ahead. The name of her shop is in tribute to her favorite movie, Auntie Mame which came out in 1958 and starred Waterbury native, Rosiland Russell.

The Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award, which will be presented to Ann Nyberg on Saturday.

The Kate’s August 25th Gala takes place on the historic Old Saybrook Town Green at 6 pm and includes a cocktail hour with silent auction and dinner by Max Catering. Ann will receive the award, a graceful statuette in the likeness of Hepburn by Kimberly Monson, an artist and faculty member of the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. An exciting auction and live music and dancing round out the evening. GSB Wealth Management, a subsidiary of Guilford Savings Bank, is the Executive Producer sponsor for the event.

For additional information and/or to order tickets at $275 per person and up, visit www.thekate.org or call 860-510-0453.

The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center is a non-profit performing arts organization located in an historic theatre/town hall on Main Street in Old Saybrook. Originally opened in 1911 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Center has been renovated with public funds from the Town of Old Saybrook and donations raised by the Trustees of the Center. It includes a 250-seat theatre and a small museum honoring Katharine Hepburn, Old Saybrook’s most celebrated resident. As befits an organization born of such a public/private partnership, programming is eclectic, offering something for all ages and income levels on the Connecticut shore and in the lower river valley.

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Chestnut Hill Chamber Music Series Finale Tonight at the Kate; Features Works by Mozart, Mendelssohn & Schumann


Now in its 49th season,Chestnut Hill Concerts will present four programs of chamber music this August at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook. The prestigious series is highly-regarded, not only for its programming, but also for the world-class musicians that artistic director Ronald Thomas invites for the performances.

The concerts will take place August 3, 10, 17, and 24, all Friday evenings at 8 p.m. Cellist and artistic director Ronald Thomas will host and perform in each concert.

The season finale tonight explores the music of Mozart, Mendelssohn, and Schumann, including the rarely-heard Horn Quintet in E-flat by Mozart, K. 407, written for one violin and two violas. The concert also includes Mendelssohn’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 49 and Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat major, Op. 47.

This performance introduces Frank Huang, concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic, to the Chestnut Hill audience, and brings back some of its favorite performers: William Purvis, horn; Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu, violin and viola, Cynthia Phelps, viola; Ronald Thomas, cello; and Mihae Lee, piano.

The 2018 season of Chestnut Hill Concerts is made possible with support from the Connecticut DECD Office of the Arts.

All concerts are Friday nights at 8 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate), 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook, Connecticut. Subscriptions to the four concerts are $140 (orchestra) and $120 (balcony). Single tickets are $40 for orchestra seats and $35 for the balcony. Kids and teens come free. To purchase tickets, contact The Kate’s box office at 860-510-0453, or visit www.thekate.org.

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Rep. Carney Earns 100 Percent Voting Record During 2018 Legislative Session

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) earned a perfect voting record during the 2018 legislative session. There were 317 votes taken this year according to information released by the House Clerk’s office.

“I have always made it a priority to be present for every vote,” said Rep. Carney. “In my opinion, the most important part of my job is to ensure the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook are heard on each and every piece of legislation that comes before the General Assembly. I am proud to have achieved this distinction for the district for the fourth year in a row.”

Rep. Carney currently serves as ranking member of the Transportation Committee, is on the Environment Committee and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

For an overview of important legislation addressed in the 2018 legislative session, visit the Office of Legislative Research website at www.cga.ct.gov/olr.

Anyone with questions, ideas or concerns about state-related issues can contact Rep. Carney’s office at Devin.Carney@housegop.ct.gov or 860-240-8700.

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Local DTC’s Host Reception Today in Old Lyme for Congressman Courtney

Congressman Joe Courtney

The Lyme Democratic Committee (DTC) – together with the DTCs of Old Lyme and Old Saybrook – is holding a reception to honor Congressman Joe Courtney on Saturday, June 30, from noon till 2 p.m., in Old Lyme.

The event will be held at the home of Alison Mitchel at 21 Lieutenant River Lane, Old Lyme. All are welcome but RSVP’s to Nick Boreen at nicholas.d.boreen@gmail.com are requested.  Suggested contribution levels start at $25.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be grilled, there will be some entertainment, and Congressman Courtney and other invited mid-term election candidates will address the attendees.

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Sing for Joy! Cappella Cantorum Hosts Vocal Camp in Old Saybrook, July 23-27

Bring the joy of singing to your summer by attending Cappella Cantorum’s Summer Vocal Camp July 23 to July 27 from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church on Great Hammock Road in Old Saybrook.

Founder of the Salt Marsh Opera and Cappella’s music director Simon Holt and nationally known tenor Brian Cheney will lead instructive sessions on improving singing skills and how to sing in a choral environment.

Physical therapist Bonnie Brenneman will talk on strengthening diaphragm muscles to improve breathing.

Each evening will consist of two workshops – one in vocal production and one in music theory. A short concert will be given by participants at the end of the week. Camp will be limited to 100 singers. Anyone interested in improving their singing from high school students to adults are encouraged to come and perfect their art.

The church is air conditioned. Cost will be $85. For more information or to register, visit CappellaCantorum.org. or e-mail wrspearrin@yahoo.com.

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‘Run for Something’ Endorses Matt Pugliese for Connecticut General Assembly

Matt Pugliese

Matt Pugliese has received the endorsement of Run for Something (RfS), the groundbreaking organization that recruits and supports strong voices in the next generation of progressive leadership.

“I am excited and honored to be endorsed by Run for Something. Hearing about the work that was being done by this organization to help encourage candidates to step forward was a motivating force in my own decision to run for office. I want to work to make a difference in our community.  This is a crucial moment in our state and our nation. I’m proud to be among the candidates stepping forward,” said Pugliese.

“RFS endorses candidates on two major criteria: heart and hustle. That’s what defines viability to us,” said Ross Morales Rocketto, RFS co founder. “These are candidates who are going to work hard to run grassroots, community-led campaigns. We are a critical time in history and the momentum these candidates generate will have a lasting impact for years to come.”

A selection of statistics from RfS are:

  • 40 first or second time candidates endorsed this month
  • RFS has endorsed 409 candidates total, from 45 states. 256 candidates have upcoming elections.
  • Campaign budgets range from $3000 to $300,000
  • Win numbers range from 645 to 100,000 votes

The endorsement process includes an extensive internal review with background check, staff interview and insight from local state experts.

Amanda Litman and Ross Morales Rocketto launched RfS on Jan. 20, 2017 with a premise to help young diverse progressives to run for down-ballot races in order to build a bench for the future. RfS aims to lower the barriers to entry for these candidates by helping them with seed money, organization building, and access to trainings needed to be successful. So far, about 18,000 young people from across the country have signed up as candidates and gained access to RfS resources.

Run for Something recruits and supports talented, young people who advocate for progressive values now and for the next 30 years, with the ultimate goal of building a progressive bench.

Matt Pugliese is running for State Representative in the 23rd District.  Pugliese is a non-profit theatre arts administrator and Chair of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.  He holds his Masters in Public Administration from UCONN and lives in Old Saybrook with his wife and their two daughters. Learn more at mattpugliesect.com and at Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at mattpugliesect.

For more information, visit www.runforsomething.net

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Carney Receives Republican Nomination for Re-Election to the 23rd District

Celebrating Devin Carney’s unanimous endorsement as Republican candidate for the 23rd District are, from left to right, Cathy Carter, Dave Evers, Dan Montano, Carney, and Jackie Miano.

State Representative Devin Carney received the unanimous endorsement of the Republican delegates representing Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and coastal Westbrook at the 23rd District convention on Wednesday, May 16. The convention was held at the Teresa Mulvey Municipal Building in Westbrook.

“It is truly an honor to be nominated for a third term by the Republicans of the 23rd District,” said Carney. “I have worked incredibly hard over the past four years as State Representative and always put the people of the district first. In these past two terms, I have advocated for small businesses and small towns, opposed massive tax increases, and worked across the aisle in order to achieve the best legislative results for the people of Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Connecticut still faces significant budgetary hurdles, so I plan on continuing to work to stabilize government finances while helping  to create an economic environment that provides opportunity for all.”

Carney was nominated by Old Saybrook First Selectman Carl Fortuna.

“As First Selectman of Old Saybrook, I often interact with the state legislature on issues that affect small towns and I always know I can count on Devin,” Fortuna said. “In these past four years, Devin has always stood up for his municipalities by supporting local education, pushing back against unnecessary unfunded mandates, and opposing legislation that would negatively affect the quality of life in shoreline Connecticut.”

In only his second term, Carney was named the highest ranked House Republican of the Transportation Committee where he has advocated for roadway improvements, local public transportation, and highway safety. In addition, he used that role to campaign against the Federal Railroad Administration’s NEC Future plan bypass, which would have devastated Southeastern Connecticut.

“Serving in leadership on the Transportation Committee has given me the unique opportunity to fight for local transportation concerns, including Shore Line East and 9-Town Transit, and also to call attention to issues that affect the region such as I-95 safety and the FRA’s NEC Future proposal,” added Carney.

Carney also serves on the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and the Environment Committee. Last year, Carney was recognized by the Connecticut Counseling Association with their “Legislative Service Award” for his work in support of licensed professional counselors and for supporting efforts to curb elder abuse and to combat the state’s opioid epidemic.

Carney also co-founded the legislature’s bipartisan Young Legislators Caucus and the bipartisan Clean Energy Caucus. Carney is active in many community organizations including serving on the Board of Trustees at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, on the Board of Saye Brook Village senior housing, and as a member of both the Old Saybrook and Lyme-Old Lyme Chambers of Commerce.

“As the next phase of the election begins, I look forward to discussing my accomplishments and bringing my message of fiscal stability and economic growth to each and every doorstep in the 23rd District,” said Carney.

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