October 20, 2021

Salt Marsh Opera Presents ‘Carmen’ at ‘The Kate’ This Afternoon

OLD SAYBROOK —  Salt Marsh Opera was founded in 2010 by Simon Holt, who initially served as its Music Director and then become Artistic Director in 2015. He also currently serves as Director of Music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and Music Director of Cappella Cantorum in Deep River, Conn.

Salt Marsh Opera’s 2021 fall production is fast approaching and tickets are limited.
Carmen is one of the most famous operas in the world but for Georges Bizet, who composed the opera, Carmen is his only operatic success.
Bizet died suddenly after the 33rd performance, unaware that the work would achieve international acclaim within the following 10 years.
There are a many reasons why Carmen gained popularity. One of them is the fascinating music by Bizet, which has been widely acclaimed for its brilliance of melody, harmony, texture, and orchestration, and for the skill with which Bizet musically portrayed the emotions and suffering of his characters.

Following a story of love and jealousy, Carmen is a not-to-be-missed performance.

Carmen will be performed Oct. 1 and 3, at The United Theatre in Westerly, R.I. and Oct. 8 and 10, at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center.

Use the appropriate link below to purchase tickets.

Old Saybrook performances:
Oct. 8

Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club Welcomes New, Current Members at Meeting Tonight

LYME/OLD LYME The Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC), which has a pending name change to Valley Shore Women’s Club, has been meeting to schedule both fundraising and community service activities.

This Thursday, Sept. 23, the club is holding a General Meeting at High Nine Brewing in Deep River. All members and potential members are welcome.

Founded as a 501(c)3 in 1965, the LOLJWC is open to all women over the age of 18 in Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester and Ivoryton.

The primary mission of the club is to offer community service to each town as well as fundraise to provide scholarships for high school students. The club is always seeking additional ways to make a positive difference in its respective communities. 

Seeking Members

The club is seeking new members. Participation can be flexible based upon individual availability. General members meetings are held on the third Thursday of each month. For more information on how to join, visit the LOLJWC website.

Upcoming events – “in the works”

LOLJWC is planning a number of events which are listed below. For up-to-date information, follow LOLJWC on Facebook at this link.

September:

  • 23, at 7 p.m. General Meeting, 
  • 26, at 1 p.m. Road Side Trash Pick-up meet at Quality Inn, Old Saybrook

October:

  • 21, at 7 p.m. General Meeting
  • 30 or 31– Community Pumpkin carving – to be determined
  • Enter a Scarecrow in Essex Annual Scarecrow Contest

November:

  • 14, – Participant at High Hopes Craft Fair Old Lyme
  • 18 at 7 p.m. General meeting create holiday cards for the elderly  
  • 26, – Green Friday, planting bulbs at Cross Lane Playground

Death Announced of Ernest P. Bauer, Grandfather of Tosh Urbowicz of Old Lyme

OLD SAYBROOK — Ernest Philip-Paul Bauer, of Old Saybrook, passed away peacefully on July 14, 2021. He is now reunited with his beloved wife, Ellen, and is at home with the lord …

… Family was everything to Ernie and he was very proud of his 57 year marriage to Ellen.

He is survived by his son Erich Adam Bauer and his wife Sacha of Salem, OR; daughter Karen Perkins-Pulaski of Boulder City, NV; grandchildren Tosh Urbowicz of Old Lyme and her husband Keith Urbowicz, Forrest, August and Ansel. His great-grandson Beckett loved his ‘Pop’ very much …

Visit this link to read the full obituary published on Dignity Memorial.

Saybrook Stage Company Performs Heartwarming Ephron Play Through Sunday as Benefit for ‘The Kate’


OLD SAYBROOK —
 Determined to prove that a great show is always in fashion, The Saybrook Stage Company gives back to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, The Kate, during this summer of transition with a special fundraising performance of Nora and Delia Ephron’s Love, Loss and What I Wore.

The play is a funny, heartwarming and powerful collection of intimate monologues and ensemble pieces about women, their clothing and the memories they hold. It is staged just with a cast of five women – each seated on a bar stool dressed in chic black with their scripts on a music stand – as they reveal comedic, wistful and universal moments in their lives through the prism of their closets.

Performances will take place on the following dates at these times:
Thursday, July 15 at 7:30pm
Friday & Saturday, July 16 & 17 at 8pm

Saturday July 17 at 2pm
Sunday July 18 at 2pm

The price of admission is $20 for adults $20 and $15 for students. Register at this link for tickets or call 860.510.0453.

Share in the laughter and enjoy a long-awaited and well-deserved night of live theater with The Saybrook Stage Company.

All proceeds benefit The Kate.

Editor’s Note: The Saybrook Stage Company will be returning to The Kate stage in January 2022 with a full-scale, celebratory production.

Greg Shook, Essex Savings Bank President & CEO, to Retire July 31 After 47-Year-Career

Gregory R. Shook, who is retiring as President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, after 22 years  at the helm.

OLD LYME/ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President and CEO of Essex Savings Bank, will retire after 22 years at the helm and a career spanning 47 years in banking. He is the longest serving president and CEO in Connecticut and will retire on July 31.

A Westport, Conn., native and  Madison resident, Shook began his career as a management trainee in 1974 in a  subsidiary of Philadelphia National Corporation, Signal Finance and Mortgage, Fairfax,  Va. He managed their Cleveland office and then became a Vice President at State Home Savings in Bowling Green, Ohio.

In December 1984, he joined First Federal Savings of Madison, Conn. In 1987, he joined Branford Savings Bank where he rose to  Senior Vice President and Corporate Secretary and was named Interim President and CEO where he found a right’s offering used for manufacturing companies to successfully raise capital to support the bank’s continued existence via a 1991 stock offering.

Highlights of his career include being elected by his peers and serving five years as a Director of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, a $62 billion bank, from  2015 – 2019. He was also appointed to serve on the first two years of the Federal Reserve of Boston Community Depository Institution Advisory Committee (CDIAC)  mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act to provide input from Banks under $10 billion to the Federal Reserve system.  

Professional associations have included the Connecticut Bankers Association, legislative committee, executive committee and the American Bankers Association Mutual Institutions Advisory Committee. He serves on the Board of Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services. Following his retirement, he will continue to serve on the  Essex Savings Bank Board of Directors.

He is a corporator of the Middlesex Health  Care System (parent of Middlesex Hospital). He is also on the advisory committees of  the Community Music School and the leadership counsel of the Middlesex Coalition on  Housing and Homelessness.  

In 2011 Shook received the Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce Distinguished  Citizen Award and was elected Chairman in 2016 and continues to serve on its Executive Committee and its Board of Directors.

He has been recognized by numerous organizations for his dedication to community service and has served on non-profit boards and advisory committees. He was a finalist in the New England Division of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year program in 2009. He has been a featured speaker for a variety of seminars and radio shows.  

During his tenure, Essex Savings Bank grew its assets from $110 million to over $525  million, expanded its physical footprint from four to six branches, participated in the  growth of assets under management or administration of Essex Financial Services from $700 million to $3.2 billion and Essex Trust from a de novo to $871 million and has  rolled out new technology and capabilities leading the Bank through the pandemic.

He  is the 17th President since 1851. The Bank is currently celebrating 170 years of service and trust to the community.  

Shook commented, “The best part of Banking is building long term relationships and I am so appreciative of  everyone’s support and trust over the years. I am extremely proud of what we’ve been  able to accomplish together for both our customers and the communities in which we serve. It has been both my great privilege and honor to work with so many dedicated  and talented people – the absolute best.”

Looking to the future, Shook said, “I am confident that Essex Savings Bank will continue to garner new relationships and remain an outstanding business serving the  personal and business banking, trust and investment needs of the community. On Aug. 1, I am pleased to turn the business over to Diane Arnold, formerly our Senior Vice President and Chief Lending Officer as she will be our 18th President and CEO,  who is poised to lead this business to new heights.”

During the month of July, Shook will be looking forward to wishing many of his customers, friends and colleagues a fond farewell as he embarks on his next voyage.  

Editor’s Notes: i) This article was prepared from a press release issued by Essex Savings Bank.

ii) Essex Savings Bank is a FDIC insured, state chartered, mutual savings bank established in 1851. The Bank serves the Connecticut River Valley and shoreline with  six offices in Essex (2), Chester, Madison, Old Lyme and Old Saybrook providing a full complement of personal and business banking. Financial, estate, insurance and retirement planning are offered throughout the state by the Bank’s Trust Division, Essex Trust and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc.

Help Achieve Immunity in the Community! Drive-Thru Vaccination Clinic to be Held Today in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK — The last chance locally for a while to vaccinate adults and 12- to 15-year-old children against COVID-19 will be held this Sunday, May 23.

The clinic will be held at Old Saybrook Middle School (OSMS) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. You choose whether to have a Pfizer, Moderna or J & J vaccine administered.

You will not need to exit your car to receive the vaccine.

After you and/or your child has been vaccinated, you can choose a breakfast sandwich between 9 and 11 a.m. and a hot dog or hamburger between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The OSMS is located at 60 Sheffield St., Old Saybrook.

 

Old Lyme Town Attorneys Suisman Shapiro Name New Managing Partner, Welcome Two Attorneys  

Atty. Eric Callahan of Old Saybrook is the newly-appointed Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law.

NEW LONDON/OLD LYME — Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law has announced that Eric W. Callahan will serve as the firm’s next  Managing Partner. Callahan joined the firm in 2004 and was elevated to Director in 2011; he was  unanimously appointed to the top leadership position by the board of directors on May 3.

The firm is also  pleased to announce the addition of two new lawyers, Laura A. Raymond and Samuel M. Nassetta, who will  practice in the firm’s litigation department.  

“Eric Callahan is a skilled attorney and demonstrated leader who embodies the institutional values of Suisman  Shapiro and will effectively lead our law firm into the next generation,” said John A. Collins, III, of Old Lyme, former Managing Partner of the firm.  

“We are pleased to welcome Laura Raymond and Sam Nassetta to our litigation team. These new hires  demonstrate the firm’s enduring commitment to outstanding client service,” Eric W. Callahan added. 

Eric W. Callahan, an Old Saybrook resident, concentrates his practice in the areas of business law, municipal law,  commercial transactions and real estate law. Attorney Callahan also practices appellate law and has successfully  briefed and argued numerous appeals before the Connecticut Appellate Court and Connecticut Supreme Court.  

Since 2013, Eric Callahan has been recognized by Super Lawyers for his work in business and corporate law; no  more than five percent of the lawyers in the state are selected for this honor. 

Laura A. Raymond will focus her practice on general litigation including municipal, commercial and personal injury  law. She received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law in 2018 where she  was the Articles Editor for the Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal. Attorney Raymond resides in Norwich and  previously worked as an attorney representing clients in complex medical malpractice, products liability, multi district litigations, premise liability, workers’ compensation, and bad faith actions. 

Samuel M. Nassetta received his J.D. from the Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2020. During law school, he  served as a Legal Aid Intern for the Columbus House Shelter in New Haven, CT, where he worked with clients on  custody cases and misdemeanor charges. He also interned with the Division of Public Defender Services in New  London, Stamford and New Britain courts. Attorney Nassetta lives in New London and was admitted to the  Connecticut bar in December 2020. He represents criminal, employment and workers’ compensation clients. 

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

Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London CT 06320 For more information, visit www.suismanshapiro.com or call (860) 442-4416

A View from My Porch: A Primer on Vaccines, Part 2.5: Where Are We With Vaccines? CT’s Distribution Plan, Immunity Questions & More

Editor’s Note: This is a previously unplanned third of three parts of a highly topical essay titled, “A Primer on Vaccines,” by Thomas D. Gotowka. Part 2.5 reviews Connecticut’s readiness to distribute the vaccine, identifies some of the side effects that may be experienced, and considers the acquisition of individual immunity. Read the previous parts of the essay at these links:
A View from My Porch: A Primer on Vaccines: Part 1; “Still Running to Daylight”

A View from My Porch — A Primer on Vaccines: Part 2; “Approaching Daylight”

When Part 2 of this series was published in mid-December, only the Pfizer vaccine had received emergency use authorization (EUA); the FDA then granted Moderna’s EUA on Dec. 18. As a result, we are now in the earliest stages of a massive vaccination campaign that will span the United States; and millions of Americans will reach the vaccination on-deck circle in 2021. 

The COVID “playbook” is still evolving; and guidance will change as the scientific and medical communities discover more about this virus and its reaction to the vaccines. That’s a good thing. 

The COVID Data Remain Troubling:

The first autopsy-confirmed COVID-related death in the United States occurred on Feb. 6, 2020 in Santa Clara County, Calif. Just 10 months later, i.e., by year’s end, over 345,000 Americans had been killed by the virus; and, incredibly, we surpassed 20 million cases, with an increase of more than a million cases in the last week of the year.

Unfortunately, this trend will continue through this dark winter; and, by this morning, Jan. 7, we’ve reached nearly 364,000 American fatalities. Finally, COVID hospitalizations are increasing in Connecticut, and may be evidence of another post-holiday spike.

New Vaccines:

Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash.

Last week, Great Britain became the first country to authorize the use of Astra Zeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine. In addition, a promising vaccine candidate from Johnson & Johnson is proceeding through clinical trials. However, for the foreseeable future, Americans will receive the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines, both of which require two doses, three or four weeks apart, respectively.

Poorly Executed Federal Vaccine Rollout:

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported that Operation Warp Speed’s promise to vaccinate 20 million Americans by the end of December fell remarkably short of goal; and only about 2.8 million people were provided the vaccine — primarily front-line health care workers, and nursing home residents.

Earlier in December, General Gustave Perna, COO of Operation Warp Speed, apologized for a “planning error” that caused dozens of states to receive substantially fewer vaccine doses than were originally promised.

Predictably, the outgoing Administration then announced that, like testing, vaccine distribution will now be the responsibility of the individual states. Transition to the states occurred rapidly, and with only limited assistance and oversight.  There is no plan for logistical support.

They essentially told the states that “this is now your responsibility, figure it out.” Many states will have significant difficulty in meeting this challenge. However, the Coronovirus Relief Bill, which was reluctantly signed into law by the outgoing president at the end of December, includes some financial assistance for the states’ vaccination rollout.  

Vaccine Distribution in CT:

Connecticut began preparing for vaccine distribution well before the candidate vaccines were on the threshold of the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) emergency use authorization. 

Governor Lamont had appointed a broad-based Vaccine Advisory Group, who worked with the state’s Department of Health (CT DPH), the local health departments, CDC, and a group of providers and healthcare institutions to develop a phase-based program, which the Governor presented last October. The Governor also stated, at that time, that the state’s goal was to have everyone in the state “who wants a dose” to be vaccinated by early fall of 2021.

You can review the details of CT’s vaccination plan at Phases (ct.gov)

At present, Connecticut is vaccinating people who meet Phase 1a eligibility, which includes front-line healthcare workers, and residents and staff of long-term care facilities. CVS Pharmacy teams began to administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in Connecticut skilled nursing facilities on Dec. 21. 

By the end of that month, they had administered more than 50,000 vaccine doses. The role of CVS in Connecticut’s vaccination program is reviewed in: A View from My Porch — A Primer on Vaccines: Part 2; “Approaching Daylight” (LymeLine.com)

By the end of December 2021, more than 50,000 vaccine doses of Coronavirus vaccine had been administered. Photo by Kristine Wook on Unsplash.

Phase 1b:

The Governor has confirmed that Connecticut remains on track to complete Phase 1a by the end of January; and the CDC recently reported that Connecticut is ahead of most states in vaccine distribution. Phase 1b is expected to begin immediately after completing Phase 1a objectives, and will probably extend into June. 

The Governor’s Vaccine Advisory Group has just recommended that Phase 1b target frontline essential workers, residents of congregate settings and those aged 75 and older. This will include teachers, grocery store workers, police officers, food service workers and sanitation workers. 

Congregate settings include homeless shelters, prisons, psychiatric facilities and group homes. The Advisory Group has not yet decided whether this next phase will also include residents, who are under the age of 75, but have underlying health conditions that place them at high-risk of serious illness from COVID-19. It appears that heathy people, ages 65 to 74 years old, may, otherwise, be deferred to Phase 1c.

Side Effects:

The most common side effects for both vaccines include pain and swelling in the arm where you received the injection; fever, chills, fatigue, and headaches, and muscle and joint pain. There was some early concern regarding a few claims of “Bell’s Palsy” following receipt of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine in the clinical trials. (“Bells” is a condition that causes temporary and mild weakness or paralysis of the facial muscles).

This was not considered significant, however, because the incidence rate of the condition in the clinical trial was very comparable to the incidence of Bell’s Palsy in the general population.

Note that the CDC and FDA are monitoring adverse reactions, using a national data collection system. Healthcare professionals are required to report certain adverse events; and vaccine manufacturers are required to report all adverse events that come to their attention. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) (hhs.gov)

Even you have received the first shot of vaccine, keep wearing your mask until one to two weeks after your second dose.  Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash.

Immunity ETA:

As noted above, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two doses, three or four weeks apart, respectively. Based on the current literature, you will have some protection about 12 days after the first dose. 

However, you will not receive the strongest immunity until after the second dose — at least seven days after the second for the Pfizer vaccine; but at least 14 days after the second for the Moderna vaccine. Therefore, it is important that you continue wearing a face mask, practice social distancing until one to two weeks after your second dose.

Questions (Always) Remain:

There is still a need for continuing study. We do not yet know how long vaccines will confer immunity. Although the vaccine may be more than 90 percent effective in blocking the symptoms of COVID-19 at the individual level; it is still unclear whether it will reduce transmission and stop the symptomless spread that accounts for a large portion of cases

Some Final Thoughts:

Vaccinations for the general public are not expected to begin until late-summer but, by then, vaccines will be available in a wide range of healthcare sites: physician’s offices, hospitals, pharmacies, community health centers, and other locations that would normally administer influenza vaccines. Note that Connecticut is not mandating vaccination.  So, it’s an extremely important public health program that requires we “rely on the kindness of strangers.”

As I write this, I am distracted by the televised play-by-play of a violent attack on the Capitol by a group of domestic terrorists, which was apparently instigated and applauded by the outgoing Executive Branch. 

All that said, I believe that Connecticut is well-prepared to carry out this massive vaccination program. Other states are woefully unprepared. For example, Florida has what appears to be a poorly organized, “first come, first served” program.

We must make certain, however — and especially as other states reach readiness — that the vaccine supply line is continually sufficient to meet immediate requirements. 

I’ll close by paraphrasing Queen Elizabeth II: 2020 was without question an “annus horribilis.” Let’s not allow its ‘horrible-ness‘ to spill over any further into 2021.

This is the opinion of Thomas D. Gotowka.

Tom Gotowka

About the author: Tom Gotowka’s entire adult career has been in healthcare. He’ will sit on the Navy side at the Army/Navy football game. He always sit on the crimson side at any Harvard/Yale contest. He enjoys reading historic speeches and considers himself a scholar of the period from FDR through JFK.

A child of AM Radio, he probably knows the lyrics of every rock and roll or folk song published since 1960. He hopes these experiences give readers a sense of what he believes “qualify” him to write this column.

Dec. 21 COVID-19 Update: Old Lyme’s Cumulative Confirmed Cases Climb to 131; Lyme Holds at 38

Map of Connecticut dated Dec. 21, showing both Lyme and Old Lyme now in the CT DPH-identified ‘Red Zone.’ This is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is over 15.

LYME/OLD LYME — In light of the serious rise in Coronavirus cases, we have started a new daily update reporting confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The state is now issuing a COVID-19 metric report daily around 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, which includes current data up to the previous evening. The Monday reports include data for the weekend as well as the previous Friday.

The Daily Data Report for Connecticut issued Monday, Dec. 21, by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (CT DPH) for data as at 8:30 p.m., Dec 20, shows the following:

Both Lyme and Old Lyme are in the state-identified ‘Red Zone;’ Old Lyme was ‘red’ for the past two weeks but Lyme had moved into the gray (lowest) zone. As of today’s report, only two towns in the state — Canaan and Warren — remain in the ‘Gray Zone.’ Barkhamsted is the single town in the state in the ‘Orange Zone.’

  • The red category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town exceeds 15.
  • The orange category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is between 10-14.
  • The gray category is defined as when the Average Daily Rate of COVID-19 Cases Among Persons Living in Community Settings per 100,000 Population By Town is less than five or less than five reported cases.

In all three cases, this rate does not include cases or tests among residents of nursing home, assisted living, or correctional facilities.

Old Lyme

Old Lyme now has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 129 confirmed COVID-19 cases and two probable cases, making a total of 131 cases.

This represents an increase of THREE over the 126 confirmed cases reported Friday, Dec. 19, and no change in the number (two) of probable cases reported the same day. 

The total number of Old Lyme residents tested is 3,604.

There have been two fatalities in Old Lyme.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 18 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from 11/29 through 12/12, Old Lyme had 17 cases in Week 1 and 17 in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 17.

The case rate in Old Lyme for 100,000 population is 33, reflecting a significant increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 18.4. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

Lyme

Lyme has a cumulative total (since the outbreak began) of 35 confirmed cases and three probable cases, making a total of 38 cases.

This represents no increase in the number of either confirmed or probable cases reported Friday, Dec. 18.

There have been no fatalities in Lyme.

The total number of Lyme residents tested is 862.

CT DPH Two-Weekly Report

The Dec. 18 report issued by CT DPH shows that during the two-week reporting period from11/29 through 12/12, Lyme had six cases in Week 1 and five in Week 2. This data was updated Dec. 12.

The case rate in Lyme for 100,000 population is 33.6 reflecting a significant increase from the previously reported two-week-rate of 12.2. A case rate of 15 or more cases per 100,000 population places a town in the state’s ‘Red Zone.’

***

The next CT DPH Daily Data Report for Connecticut will be issued Tuesday, Dec. 22.

State Rep. Devin Carney to Ring Bell for Salvation Army Today

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd)

OLD SAYBROOK – On Saturday, Dec. 19, at 3 p.m., State Representative Devin Carney (R-23) will be at the Old Saybrook Walmart, 665 Boston Post Rd. helping to raise money for local families this holiday season by ringing bells as part of the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle Campaign.

All kettle donations stay in the communities where the funds are collected and the money helps to provide meals, shelter, toys, clothing and many other services throughout the year.

Rep. Carney welcomes readers to stop by and help make the fundraising event a success.

If you are unable to be there in person, but would still like to make a contribution, visit Rep. Carney’s online donation page at https://give.salvationarmy.org/give/t333520/#!/donation/checkout or text ‘CTREP’ to 71777.

Rep. Devin Carney Named Ranking Member of Legislature’s Transportation Committee

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) File photo.

HARTFORD – State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd), who was reelected in November to the position he has held since 2015, has received his committee assignments for the 2021 legislative session.

These include being named as the Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee by House Republican Leader-elect Vincent Candelora.

“Whether it’s highway congestion in Fairfield County or a failing bridge in the state’s Quiet Corner, transportation-related issues have and will continue to be a major point of conversation at the capitol,” Candelora said. “Devin understands both the importance of improving our transportation grid and the budgetary challenges that stand in the way.”

Candelora continued, “His ability to see all sides of an issue and understand a proposal’s impact on the people we’re elected to serve make him a perfect fit for this role, and I look forward to working with him as he helps lead discussion on this committee whose work affects so many aspects of life in Connecticut.”

Having been a member of the committee for the past six years, the familiarity of responsibilities that come with this appointment is one Rep. Carney knows well, having served in the same capacity from 2017 to 2018 under former Minority Leader Themis Klarides.

“It’s an honor to have been chosen to serve as the Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee,” Rep. Carney said, continuing, “Serving in this capacity will not only allow me to be a strong voice for our region, but also address issues ranging from the safety of I-95 to wait times at the DMV. I look forward to working with the committee members on these types of issues again next year.”

The Transportation Committee has oversight on all matters relating to the Department of Transportation, including highways and bridges, navigation, aeronautics, mass transit and railroads; and to the State Traffic Commission and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

He will also return as a member of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and the Ranking Member of the Transportation Bonding Subcommittee and will begin his first term on the Education Committee. Rep. Carney was also named an Assistant House Republican Leader and chosen, again, to serve on the House Republican Screening Committee.

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee focuses on issues relating to finance, revenue, capital bonding, fees and taxation. The committee also oversees employer contributions for unemployment compensation and all matters relating to the Department of Revenue Services and the revenue aspects of the Division of Special Revenue.

The Education Committee has cognizance of all matters relating to the Department of Education; local and regional boards of education and the substantive law of collective bargaining covering teachers and professional employees of such boards; vocational rehabilitation; the Commission on the Arts; and libraries, museums and historical and cultural associations.

The House Republican Screening Committee is a select committee that reviews all bill proposals before they reach the floor of the House for a final vote.

Editor’s Notes: i) The 23rd House District includes Lyme, Old Lyme Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.
ii) This article is based on a press release issued by the House Republican Office of the Connecticut General Assembly.

Sen. Paul Formica Named Senate Republican Deputy Leader, Kevin Kelly Named Leader

State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th)

HARTFORD – State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21st) has been named the next Senate Republican Leader by the Connecticut Senate Republican Caucus. Sen. Kelly has named State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) to serve as his deputy, taking the title of Senate Republican Leader Pro Tempore.

Sen. Kelly was chosen by his fellow caucus members to serve as the next caucus leader following the retirement of Senate Republican Leader Len Fasano (R-North Haven) who has served as leader since 2014.

Kelly said of Senator Formica that he, “…  is one of the hardest working and most caring lawmakers I have ever met.”

He added, “Paul is a consensus builder and a budget expert, who was instrumental in crafting the historic bipartisan budget of 2017 that implemented smart financial policies Republicans have long advocated for including a spending cap, bonding caps and a volatility cap.”

Kelly continued, “Those successes are the reason why our state has a record-breaking rainy day fund today and has enable our state to start contributing more to paying down on our state’s unfunded pension liabilities. Paul Formica’s expertise on the budget, experience as a small business owner and job creator, as well as his ability to bring people together will make him an exceptional partner in leading our caucus during these difficult times.”

“I am deeply honored to have been selected to help lead our caucus as deputy leader,” said Sen. Formica. “Connecticut is the greatest state in the greatest nation in the world. But there is so more that must be done to help all people in our state achieve the American Dream. I look forward to helping lead our caucus and our state through these challenging times, with a focus on keeping people safe, healthy and creating opportunities for all people.”

Senator Formica represents the residents of the 20th Senatorial District, which includes Old Lyme, as well as Bozrah, East Lyme, a portion of Montville, New London, , a portion of Old Saybrook, Salem, and Waterford. He was first elected in 2015 and prior to that served as the First Selectman of East Lyme from 2007-2015.

He has also been the owner and operator of Flanders Fish Market & Restaurant for over 35 years.

Senator Formica currently serves as Ranking Member of the Appropriations Committee and the Energy and Technology Committee. He is a founder of the bipartisan Tourism Caucus and co-chairs the Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities Legislative Caucus. A resident of East Lyme, he is the father of four adult children — three daughters and one son.

Sen. Kelly said, “I am incredibly honored to be named the next leader of the Senate Republican Caucus,” said  “Our caucus is made up of hard-working individuals who love our state and are ready to fight for it.”

He continued, “We must lead our state through the unprecedented challenges of pandemic recovery by simultaneously focusing on job growth and protecting those most vulnerable to COVID-19: our elderly population and minority communities.”

Sen. Kelly is currently the Ranking Member of the Aging Committee, the Insurance and Real Estate Committee, and the Committee on Children. He also serves as a member of the Regulation Review Committee.

Kelly has been an advocate for health care affordability and accessibility, supporting the needs of senior citizens, growing jobs, improving women’s health care, and advancing “Aging in Place” initiatives.

Sen. Kelly has served in the State Senate since 2011 representing Monroe, Seymour, Shelton and Stratford. He resides in Stratford with his wife Cindy. Their family includes four children and soon to be seven grandchildren.

For more information on State Senator Paul Formica visit www.senatorformica.com. Follow Sen. Formica at www.Facebook.com/SenatorFormica, on Twitter and Instagram @SenatorFormica.

For more information on State Senator Kevin Kelly visit www.senatorkevinkelly.com. Follow Sen. Kelly at www.Facebook.com/SenatorKevinKelly, on Twitter @21KevinKelly or Instagram @SenatorKevinCKelly.

 

‘The Day’ Announces Carney Has Won Re-election Bid, Returns to House for Fourth Term

State Rep. Devin Carney

Karen Florin of The Day tweeted a short time ago, “Republican Devin Carney wins a fourth term in the state house 23rd. He awaited results with friends and family at the Westbrook beach home of his late, famed grandfather Art Carney.”

Florin has now written the following article in The Day:

Voters in the 23rd state House District appeared Tuesday to have sent Rep. Devin Carney, R-Old Lyme, back to Hartford for a fourth term.  

As of deadline, Carney had beat Democratic challenger Dave Rubino in three of the district’s four towns, Old Saybrook, Westbrook and Old Lyme, and lost to him in Lyme. The unofficial vote tally, which didn’t include 750 absentee ballots from Westbrook, was 8,521 to 6,740.

Read the full article by Karen Florin published 9:54 p.m. on TheDay.com at this link.

Groups Fighting for Social Justice Co-Host ‘Teach-In’ in Old Lyme, Wednesday

  • LYME/OLD LYME — – The Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice has announced that it will hold a “teach-in” the day after the election – in conjunction with the Old Saybrook March for Justice.

The teach-in is titled The Work That Lies Ahead: Desegregating Hearts, Minds and Spaces in the Aftermath, and will be held Wednesday, Nov. 4, at 5 p.m., outside Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall.

The timing of the event reflects the reality that, whatever the outcome of the election, the Partnership’s work along the Connecticut shoreline will remain the same – fighting for social justice in Lyme and Old Lyme.

The teach-in will feature two speakers:
• Kevin Booker from the New London City Council – an educator, social justice advocate and
council member for the City of New London.
• Erica Watson – an educator and wellness advocate.

All are welcome. It is requested that everyone should wear a mask at the event.

Upcoming events sponsored by the partnership or the Old Saybrook March for Justice will take place as follows:
• Wednesday, Nov. 11 – Essex, in front of Town Hall
• Wednesday, Nov. 18 – Deep River, in front of the Congregational Church
• Wednesday, Nov. 25 – Old Saybrook, in front of the Kate
• Wednesday, Dec. 2 – TBD

The Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership’s mission is to educate area residents on important topics of social justice and call attention to opportunities where citizens can support local, state and national social-justice efforts. For more information or to stay abreast of news, visit the partnership’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LOLPartnership4SJ or send an email to LOLPartnership4SJ@gmail.com.

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

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

For further information, email osbmarch@gmail.com.

Letter to the Editor: You Know What’s Scary? Democrats for Who Vote for Carney

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to this Oct 29 letter written by Karen Palenski.

Did you watch Hamilton on Disney+ this summer over Fourth of July weekend as I did, fireworks streaking across the sky in the background? What did you think about? I thought about how horrified our founding fathers would be to see the division that has overtaken our nation…and our neighborhoods right here in District 23.

I realize that what I am about to say plays into the division I am decrying, but you know what? There is too much as stake. I am urging democrats who are satisfied with Carney’s performance to divorce themselves from their alliance to him. “Moderate” Republicans seem to trade on issues like the environment and the opioid crisis but it’s not where their passion lies. It can’t be in the era of Trump. For a democratic candidate like Dave Rubino, these issues—and proactive measures to prioritize them—are the rule not the exception. Here’s what else you get with Rubino at the wheel:

Sophisticated, relevant experience: Rubino is a highly accomplished human rights attorney who has practiced his profession on a global level. He possesses the ability (read: smarts) to spot opportunities, whether it’s crafting a new law, or adjusting existing ones as necessary so that the rights of everyone in our community are served and protected.

An agenda that protects our seniors: A Medicare Asset Test could have irrevocable effects on the finances of senior citizens who don’t own yachts. Rubnio knows this and will fight against it. I like the specificity of this stance and am pretty sure Carney doesn’t have an opinion either way. Or if he did it would be dangerously milquetoast. Our seniors deserve better.

Belief in science and the gravity of climate change: Dave has been endorsed by both The Sierra Club and the Sunrise Movement. He will also aid in crafting legislation mandating climate change education in public schools (it is right now only “encouraged” but is not part of the required curriculum).

Police accountability: A bill was passed this summer. Rubino is patently in favor of it. Carney voted against it. For the seats in the back, especially in Saybrook, Carney voted against the police accountability.

On Nov. 3, do not throw away your shot. Vote for Rubino.

 Sincerely,

Amy Elliott,
Old Saybrook.

Two Last Letters, One Supporting Carney, the Other Supporting Rubino

LYME/OLD LYME — We said yesterday that we were not going to publish any further Letters to the Editor but we have received two today. In the interests of fairness, we have decided to publish them both since they support respectively the competing candidates for the 23rd House District. The letter supporting State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) is at this link and the letter supporting his challenger, David Rubino (D) is at this link.

Letter to the Editor: Rubino Has Been Fighting for Women’s Rights for Years; If Elected, He Will Continue the Fight in Hartford

To the Editor:

As a woman voter, I am concerned about the threat to women’s rights. It seems ironic, that we are celebrating the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, a women’s right to vote, and at the same time are at risk of losing ground in so many other ways. Despite the success of the early suffragists, and gains made in recent decades, women are now facing the deleterious impact of a possible shift in national policy. There is a clear threat to reproductive rights, achieved with the Supreme Court decision of Roe vs. Wade in 1973. Additionally, legislation in many states has strategically eroded those rights.

Women need legislators who will provide strong state leadership and fight for their rights. I believe Dave Rubino is that leader. As a human right’s lawyer, he has worked diligently to protect women’s rights. He advocates for women’s equality, but also understands that progressive legislation must support that goal. He will work to ensure a living wage, pay equity, affordable housing, and childcare which is so essential to the quality of life for women. He will also support legislation that protects women from sexual harassment in the workplace, job discrimination, and domestic violence. He will make certain that Connecticut has legislation that serves as a firewall to national policy that threatens women’s rights.

Women need to know which candidates they can trust. Before they cast their vote, they need to know who will vote to protect their rights.

I have done my homework. I know that Dave Rubino will be there for me.

Sincerely,

Lorianne Panzara,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Rubino Has a World View That Can be Applied Locally, Beneficially

To the Editor:

These days the world is more connected than ever before.  One thing we’ve learned from COVID-19 is that something going on anywhere in the world can have a quick and substantial impact here in our hometown.  We need leadership who understands this connectivity on all levels and can help us manage our relationship with the world while also maintaining the unique nature of our small towns.

Dave Rubino and his family have lived around the globe and witnessed all forms of government. They chose to end up here in the 23rd District, near where Dave’s wife grew up, to start a law practice, raise their family, and now, participate in state governance.  Dave knows how to do this and he understands us, in ways that Devin Carney does not. He will be getting my vote on November 3rd.

Mara Lowry,
Old Lyme.

Letter to the Editor: Carney, Rubino Display Distinct Differences in Response to President; Rubino Rebukes Trump, Carney Does Not

To the Editor:

In 2016, Devin Carney said of Donald Trump, “Up to this point I have not expressed support for him and have not endorsed him. I’m not supporting him. I’m not supporting Mrs. Clinton either.”  Of course, the polls favored Hillary Clinton at the time so the politically opportune thing for a Republican to do was to ride the fence. Don’t endorse, but don’t rebuke. Since that time, Donald Trump has been caught on video making vulgar comments about women, ignored a global pandemic so profoundly that the U.S. has seen more than 220,000 deaths, overseen the biggest recession since the depression, and sowed racial divisions like no other President in recent history. Even Fox News confirmed that he called our fallen veterans “losers” and “suckers.”  One would think that Carney has ample reason to pick a side now. But he hasn’t. Because disavowing the President will lose him votes. We need a leader who has the courage to take a position on the important issues of the day – even if it will cost him politically.  

Dave Rubino has rebuked President Trump from the get-go. When Trump pushed the myth that absentee ballots would lead to fraud, Dave pushed back with the facts. Voters in our district should not have to choose between their health and their Constitutional rights. When Trump said that states like Connecticut had to send their students back to school or lose Federal funding, Dave spoke out. Most significantly, when in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the political tides favored support of Black Lives Matter, Carney spoke with vigor at BLM rallies. But when Trump and his enablers came out against police accountability, Devin fell in line and voted against the police accountability act.

We deserve better than that. We deserve a leader who will stand for what’s right regardless of the political consequences. We deserve Dave Rubino.

Sincerely,

Kim Thompson,
Old Lyme.

March for Justice Meets This Evening in Old Saybrook; Pullitzer Prize-Winning Author David Blight to Speak on Frederick Douglass

Professor David Blight. Photo credit: DavidWBlight.com

OLD SAYBROOK/LYME/OLD LYME  — The Old Saybrook March for Justice has announced that Professor David W. Blight of Yale University will speak at its Wednesday, Oct. 7 event, in front of the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Art Center in Old Saybrook.  His topic will be, “Frederick Douglass in His Times and Ours.”  

Dr. Blight is the author of the recent book, Frederick Douglass: A Prophet of Freedom, for which he was awarded a a Pulitzer Prize. He is a teacher, scholar and public historian.

At Yale University, he is Sterling Professor of History and Director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition

Dr. Blight’s latest book has garnered nine book awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. 

In receiving the Pulitzer Prize, Dr. Blight received these words of praise:  “A breathtaking history that demonstrates the scope of Frederick Douglass’ influence through deep research on his writings, his intellectual evolution and his relationships.”

“We are so grateful that Dr. Blight has accepted our invitation to speak. Frederick Douglas is one of the great prophetic voices in our country’s history, comments Rev. David W. Good, Minister Emeritus of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and one of the organizers of the Old Saybrook March.

He continues, “Our communities would benefit greatly from remembering the story of one who not only escaped from slavery but tirelessly worked for the liberation of others and should be remembered and celebrated along with such other voices of conscience as Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth and all those who helped to give birth to such Civil Rights leaders as Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis.”

Goood adds, “Now, as our country struggles to overcome segregation and systemic racism in all its ugly manifestations.  Dr. Blight’s Pulitzer  prize winning book,  “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” is an extraordinary gift and can help us to be emancipated from the shackles of racism and so help us to become the country we endeavor to be.” 

The Old Saybrook March for Justice is comprised of residents living in Old Saybrook, Essex, Old Lyme, Lyme, Deep River and other communities committed to standing up for human rights and justice.

The group is committed to educating itself and the community to be antiracist by creating greater equity through education about history, increasing affordable housing and changing zoning restrictions to be more inclusive and creating greater access to health care.

The site of the march rotates weekly between Old Saybrook, Essex, Lyme/Old Lyme and Deep River.  If interested in joining the March or obtaining more information, contact Osbmarch@gmail.com.