April 17, 2021

Café Flo Opens

Presentation on Pollinator-Friendly Lawns via Zoom

Learn how to create a pollinator-friendly lawn on Wednesday with Tom Christopher. Photo by Petar Tonchev on Unsplash.

OLD LYME — Zoom signups are now open for a free presentation on Pollinator-Friendly Lawns with Tom Christopher. All are welcome to the presentation, which begins at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, April 14.

Email PollinateOldLyme@gmail.com to request the Zoom link.

Pollinate Old Lyme! presents gardener, author, and podcast host Tom Christopher. Christopher will give practical advice about sustainable lawns, including different grasses, clover and grass mixes, how to reduce chemical inputs and change mowing practices.
The presentation will be followed by a Q&A.
A graduate of the New York Botanical Garden’s School of Professional Horticulture, Christopher has spent the last 45 years designing and tending gardens, authoring and editing gardening books, magazine features and giving talks. Most recently he launched the Growing Greener weekly podcast. Having lived for years in Middletown, Conn., Christopher and his wife Suzanne now do most of their gardening in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts.
Learn more about Christopher at https://www.thomaschristophergardens.com

Virtual Conversation on Creating Stronger Police Department Cultures Through ABLE™ Program

LOL Partnership for Social Justice & FCCOL Sponsor Zoom Presentation by Nationally Recognized Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE)™ Program Developed by Civil Rights Activists & Law Enforcement at Georgetown Law Center

LYME/OLD LYME – On Sunday, Apr. 11, at 5 p.m., residents from across Connecticut are invited to participate in a conversation via Zoom on creating stronger police department cultures through the Georgetown Law Center’s nationally recognized Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) program.

The conversation, which will take place on Zoom, is being sponsored by the Lyme-Old Lyme Partnership for Social Justice and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL).

All are welcome to register for this free program by sending an email to lolpartnership4sj@gmail.com. Zoom invitations will be sent out Saturday, April 10.

Building upon a training developed by Dr. Ervin Staub, the founding director of a program on the psychology of peace and violence at the University of Massachusetts, ABLE was developed by academics, civil rights activists and police officers working together to explore innovative  and evidence-based ways to reduce harmful behavior.

The ABLE program leverages social science and real-world experience to teach practical skills to intervene in another officer’s conduct in order to prevent misconduct (be it an unlawful search or a knee on a neck), reduce mistakes, and promote officer-health and -wellness. In doing so, ABLE seeks to instill a culture within police departments where it becomes the norm to intervene before harm takes place.

Other professions, including the medical profession, already have benefited from similar training, but it has never been applied to law enforcement – until now.

In announcing the event, FCCOL Senior Minister Rev. Steve Jungkeit said, “As the murder of George Floyd once  again enters the news cycle, there is renewed interest in measures to prevent police violence. One quite promising model for reform can be found in ABLE.”

While the program has been operational in New Orleans since 2016 under a different name, ABLE was given a national stage by Georgetown University Law Center and the global law firm Sheppard Mullin LLP in late 2020. The first national ABLE training took place in September 2020, and in the months that followed, more than 100 agencies have committed to the program, including Boston, the New  York City Police Department and Old Lyme.

Panelists expected to speak during the presentation include:

  • Jonathan Aronie, Partner, Sheppard Mullin; Chair, ABLE Project Board of Advisors
  • Brett Parson, Lieutenant, DC Metropolitan Police Officer (retired); Lead Training Instructor,  ABLE Project
  • Greg Guiton, Director of Strategic Partnerships, FBI National Academy; Captain, Ocean City  Police Department (retired)
  • Greg Hanna, Captain, Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Police (retired)
  • Deirdre Jones, Deputy Chief and LGBTQ Liaison, Cleveland Division of Police
  • John Thomas, Deputy Chief, Field Operations, New Orleans Police Department
  • Matt Weber, Resident State Trooper, Old Lyme

“The ABLE Project was created to ensure every police officer in the United States has the opportunity to receive meaningful, effective active bystandership training while helping law enforcement agencies transform their approach to policing,” said Professor Christy Lopez, co director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE.

She added, “Having duty-to intervene policies on the books isn’t enough. Building a police culture that supports and  sustains the successful use of proven peer intervention strategies is key to preventing harm.”

During the community conversation, residents will be able to learn about the origin of the  program, hear from civil rights activists, who shaped the program, and from police departments that have adopted it, and learn about ways to bring this important training to Connecticut communities.

OL Historical Society Presents ‘Down on the Farm’ Lecture

OLD LYME — The Old Lyme Historical Society presents the second lecture in its Spring Series, Wednesday, April 14 at 7 p.m.

Markham Starr presents, “Down on the Farm: The Last Dairy Farms of North Stonington.’ At the end of WWII, there were over 4000 dairy farms in Connecticut. Currently there are less than 100 farms still making milk commercially. This talk follows the operation of four family-owned farms thoughout the course of a year.

For log in info email the OLHS.

RTPEC Presents ‘The Secret Life of Plankton: The Base of the Marine Food Web’

April 29 will focus on The Secret Life of Plankton: The Base of the Marine Food Web.

SECWAC Presents ‘The Politics of Epidemics:’ Speaker Eileen Hunt Botting

Eileen Hunt Botting presents“The Politics of Epidemics, from Thucydides to Mary Shelley to COVID-19”

When: Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 6:00 p.m.

Where: Registration required. The link to join us will be emailed with your registration confirmation. We will be using Zoom meetings. https://scwac.wildapricot.org/event-4232302

If you are new to Zoom virtual meetings and would like to learn more about how to join us, visit zoom.us for more information. Also, feel free to call us at 860-912-5718 for technical advice prior to the event. We will not be able to resolve issues during the meeting. A link to the recording will be shared via email following the meeting.

Presenter: Eileen Hunt Botting, University of Notre Dame

The Topic: Eileen Hunt Botting will review our perceptions of pandemics through the writings of Greek historian and general Thucydides (of “The History of the Peloponnesian War” fame), Mary Shelley (of “Frankenstein” and “The Last Man” fame), and more contemporary writers like Mike Davis (“The Monster at Our Door” and “The Monster Enters”). In her recent essay in “Current History”, Professor Botting points out that plague has been “depicted as escalating within wider and deeper patterns of human social and political conflict”, arguing that “we ought to pause and consider the responses of past thinkers to the contagions that beset them”. In this way, perhaps, we may, to paraphrase Georges Santayana, avoid repeating past mistakes by learning from history, rather than being condemned to repeat it.

You can access her essay HERE.

Cost: Free for members, guests $20

Friends of Whalebone Cove Annual Meeting via Zoom

LYME — The featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Friends of Whalebone Cove (FOWC) will be Margot Burns, who serves as an Environmental Planner for the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments (RiverCOG),
In the last three years, underwater invasive hydrilla vines have been spreading rapidly throughout the Connecticut River, choking its coves, bays, and tributaries and making them almost impassable for kayaks, canoes, motor boats, and many fishermen.
Last September an inspection of Whalebone Cove found 60 to 70 percent of the waterways clogged with hydrilla vines. (See picture above.)
Burns will discuss the worrisome spread of hydrilla and what steps need to be taken to mitigate its effect on the Connecticut River watershed and prevent its spread elsewhere in the State.
The Zoom link for the meeting is: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88212665835?pwd=bHBRZ1lLTDV0eENaU0hWN2dkMnl3Zz09
Meeting ID: 882 1266 5835
Passcode: 838868

Membership of FOWC is: Single – $15; Household – $25. To renew or become a member, send payment to FOWC, PO Box 333, Hadlyme, CT 06439.For more information about membership, volunteering, or FOWC goals & mission, send email to: fowchadlyme@gmail.com

Halls Road Clean-Up Party

Follow-up Work Party
Saturday, April 17
Join volunteers on the old bridge access road between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
(Rain date Saturday, April 24th)

Come help detangle the wooded lot next to the old bridge abutment off Halls Road. Bring gloves, clippers, loppers, rakes, and hand-saws and be ready to do some bush-whacking.

Wear your protective clothing, & use tick repellant, it’s a jungle in there!

In the fall of 2018, the Halls Road Improvements Committee began the work to remove trash and untangle the wooded lot leading to the old bridge abutment on the Lieutenant River. It’s time to finish the project near the river and collect up any litter in the lot.

This is a fun way to get to know your neighbors and contribute to the efforts of Halls Road improvements.

Work in small socially-distanced groups, with masks on, to pull all the dead wood, trash, and invasive plants out to the access road.

Later, Old Lyme Public Works crew will dispose of the piles and do any final chain-sawing needed.

‘A Photographer’s Vision’ Zoom Presentation by Joe Standart

Winter scene by Joe Standart.

LYME — Join award-winning photographer Joe Standart on Wednesday, April 7, at 7 p.m. for a Zoom presentation featuring his photography of the natural world, and to celebrate the submissions and announce the winners for fall/winter season in the Lyme Land Trust’s photography program, Imagining Lyme.

Focusing first on his own luminous photographs, Standart will explain how site selection, composition, time of day, and light influence his creative process. His presentation will include landscape examples and highlights from his many years of experience photographing in Lyme and in remote landscapes in other parts of the world.

After his slideshow, Standart will announce the three photographs for the fall/winter season that best express a mood using light and the category for the spring season of Imaging Lyme will be announced and explained.

Sue Cope, Environmental Director of the Lyme Land Trust will moderate the program.

Standart is a Lyme Land Trust board member and an internationally-recognized photographer, who is well-known for his series of public art exhibits featuring monumental portraits of the diverse residents of New London, Litchfield, New Haven, Hartford, and other communities. His provocative exhibit, WE ARE-A Nation of Immigrants, was installed on the New Haven Green and surrounding buildings to act as a catalyst for honest dialog.

To register for the program, email sue.cope@lymelandtrust.org. You will be sent a link a few days before the Zoom event.

To see the showcase of all submitted photos go to: http://imagininglyme.org/galleries/

As part of the Imagining Lyme program, a walk with Joe Standart has been scheduled for May 1, 2021.

Prospective Student Day at Lyme-Old Lyme HS

Regular Board of Education Meeting

District Budget Hearing

Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Meeting

Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s Meeting

Good Friday-Lyme, Old Lyme Town Halls, Libraries Closed

Old Lyme Inland Wetlands Commission Regular Meeting

OLD LYME — This meeting will include the continuation of the Public Hearing regarding Big Y’s gas station/convenience store proposal at 99 Halls Rd. and 25 Neck Rd.,

Drug Take-Back Day

Site Walk of Proposed LOL Food Share Garden

Red Cross Blood Drive

‘Designing to Share’ Hosted by Old Lyme-PGN Library

Local Community-Building Graphic Designers Share Tips with Youth

In a heavily visual and virtual world, good design and curation is key to making an impact.

On April 8, 2021 at 9:30 a.m. Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library in partnership with Region 18 is offering Designing to Share, a panel for Youth audiences discussing the ins and outs of graphic design – particularly in the fields of arts, culture, and independent media. 

The program features Juanita Austin, founder of Cultured AF, New London, CT and Andre Salkin, founder of @leftnortheast, Lyme-Old Lyme High School ’20. They will share how they got started, their current projects, and how their design skills have helped them accomplish their goals. The panel, Designing to Share, will be moderated by Nike Desis, Young Adult Librarian, Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

Discussion will also cover topics such as free design software, establishing an audience and a “look,” using and citing credible sources, with time for Q&A with the presenters.

Juanita Austin is a curator and cultural producer, born and raised in New London, Conn. A graduate from the University of Connecticut, with a B.A. in Digital Media & Design, she has served as a leader on many grassroots community arts initiatives and now runs her own arts collective, Cultured AF.

She’s passionate about building community and creating experiences that brings art into everyone’s lives. Cultured AF’s headquarters are located at Cultured Studios, a gallery, arts boutique, and community event space in downtown New London.

Austin notes, “My work centers on supporting underrepresented artists and creating safe and equitable spaces for those artists to thrive.”

Andre Salkin is a co-admin of the grassroots, journalistic, justice-centered resource for young people known as @leftnortheast on Instagram. Attracting 52K followers in less than a year, @leftnortheast is “committed to discourse, education, and solidarity.”

Currently studying journalism at Boston University since matriculating from L-OL High School in 2020, Salkin’s academic studies inform his social media output, and the rigorousness and success of his social media platform help inspire his studies.

Commenting on corporate ownership of media he says ”I think sources of alternative media … can have a huge impact on how people see the world.”

Desis comments, “Youth who are at all curious about the creation of helpful and inspiring graphics seen on social media – especially as a tool for grassroots community building- will have a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes with the founders of impactful arts and media platforms.” –

To attend or find about more about the program, contact Nike Desis at ndesis@oldlymelibrary.org