September 3, 2015

Last of the (Eightmile River) Dams to be Removed

The Ed Bills Dam locale in winter.

The Ed Bills Dam locale in winter.

The only remaining dam on the East Branch of the Eightmile River will come down as part of a river restoration project led by The Nature Conservancy and American Rivers.

Construction activities will remove the nearly 80-year-old Ed Bills Pond Dam and restore a natural river channel. The restored site will be ready for the return of migratory fish next spring. The project will provide habitat for such native species as brook trout, turtles, and mussels, as well as migratory alewife, blueback herring, Atlantic salmon, American eel and sea lamprey—all also native species.

“Connecticut has more than 5,000 dams. Most of these dams no longer serve their original purposes, yet they unfortunately still prevent fish from reaching spawning habitat critical to their survival. Projects like this one allow us to help change that and restore natural river conditions,” said Amy Singler, who is managing the project for the Conservancy and American Rivers.

The Ed Bills Pond Dam is near the mouth of the East Branch of the Eightmile River on Salem Road.  While the project will be visible from Salem Road, the dam is on private land. For the purpose of safety, public access is restricted. The public will be able to see photos as the project progresses and learn more about it at and

The dam is privately owned, and the dam owner is working closely with local and regional project partners to advance river restoration.

Funding partners include The Nature Conservancy, American Rivers, the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Long Island Sound Futures Fund, Newman’s Own Foundation, Patagonia, Corporate Wetlands Restoration Partnership, and many generous private donors.

The project will remove the dam and existing fish ladder in order to restore unrestricted natural river conditions through the area flooded by the dam, resulting in access to 9.7 miles of free- flowing river.

Like so many Connecticut Rivers, the East Branch of the Eightmile River has been dammed for more than 100 years; however, the dam being removed was built as recently as the 1940s for aesthetic and recreational purposes. The location of the fish ladder entrance at the dam is not optimal to allow passage of significant numbers of migratory fish.


Ivoryton Playhouse Hosts Christmas Musical Auditions, Sept. 17

The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for non-Equity actors for I’ll be Home for Christmas – a Christmas musical by Tony Javed and David Edwards – on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Rehearsal Studio, 22 Main St., Centerbrook, CT 06409.

The Playhouse is looking for strong singers for these parts:

Debbie – the mom – plays 30s-40s, soprano mix

Ray – the dad – plays 30s-40s, baritone

Grandma – plays 60s-80s, mezzo/mix

Shirley – mom’s friend, plays 30s-40s, mezzo/belt

Jay – dad’s school chum, plays 30s-40s, baritone/tenor

Jenna – the college-age daughter, soprano/belt

Jeffrey – son -plays early 20s, bari/tenor

Celine – child, middle-school age, treble

James – child, plays grade school, treble

All auditions are by appointment and actors should bring a picture and resume. More information is available on line at

For audition appointments, call 860-767-9520, ext.203


Special Town Meeting Scheduled in Old Lyme for Tuesday; Approval of Dollars for Dredging, Heating System on Agenda

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen will host a Special Town Meeting next Tuesday, Sept. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in the Meeting Hall of the Old Lyme Town Hall at 52 Lyme St., Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Items on the agenda at this point, which are scheduled to be first discussed and then voted on by residents, are as follows:

  1. To authorize the expenditure of $1,614,074.00 for the Black Hall River and Four Mile River Navigation Channel Dredging Projects, as recommended by the Harbor Management Commission, the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen, which projects will be funded by a grant in said amount from the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).
  2. To authorize the expenditure of an amount not to exceed $63,000.00 from the Town Building Improvements Fund for the Emme heating system, as recommended by the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen.

Old Lyme Registrars Plan Lottery to Determine Order of Candidate’s Names on Election Ballot

The Old Lyme Registrars of Voters have announced they will hold a lottery to determine the horizontal order of candidates’ names for any office with a number of openings in the Nov. 3 municipal election.  The names will then appear in the order drawn within the appropriate row on the election ballot.

Candidates’ names will be drawn at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, in the second floor Conference Room of Memorial Town Hall on Lyme St.  The public is welcome to attend.


State Awards Old Lyme $2.05 Million to Rehab Rye Field Manor

On Wednesday, Aug. 26, the Department of Housing (DOH) announced that approximately $2.05 million will be awarded to the Town of Old Lyme in the form of a grant, and will be used to rehabilitate Rye Field Manor.

Rye Field Manor, which is located on Boston Post Rd., is a 39-unit development consisting of 13 buildings, plus a community building and is home to affordable elderly housing.

The funds come as part of the state’s efforts to expand access to affordable housing for low-income residents. Rehabilitation includes the replacement of the well water system, windows, insulation in crawl space and attic to minimize air infiltration, and the replacement of existing furnaces with energy-efficient units.


State Representative Devin Carney

These grants focus on the revitalization and expansion of affordable housing across the state said State Representative Devin Carney, who represents Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. He noted, “I am pleased to see the state’s dedication to providing more housing options for seniors in the 23rd district.”

Carney continued, “As many seniors struggle to make ends meet, and there are fewer opportunities for new developments, rehabilitation efforts are key to ensuring that our senior population is taken care of. All seniors, regardless of income, deserve the opportunity to age-in-place and Rye Field Manor, with assistance from the state, is providing that opportunity.”


Collins of Old Lyme Named a ‘Best Lawyer in America’ … Again

Attorney John A. Collins III

Attorney John A. Collins III

John A. Collins, III, of Old Lyme has again been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® 2016. Collins is an attorney specializing in the field of Personal Injury Litigation at Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law in New London.

Two of Collins’s fellow attorneys at Suisman Shapiro, Matthew E. Auger and Matthew Shafner, were also named in the Best Lawyers listing — Auger in the practice area of Medical Malpractice Law and Shafner in the area of Workers’ Compensation Law.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey.  Over 55,000 leading attorneys cast more than 6.7 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.

Best Lawyers first international list was published in 2006 and since then has grown to provide lists in over 65 countries. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor.

“Best Lawyers is the most effective tool in identifying critical legal expertise,” said CEO Steven Naifeh. “Inclusion on this list shows that an attorney is respected by his or her peers for professional success.”

Collins has successfully obtained verdicts or public settlements up to $10 million on behalf of injured victims over a 29-year law practice.  He currently serves as the Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro.  The Connecticut Bar Foundation honored Attorney John A. Collins, III, in 2005 with his selection as a Life Fellow.  “Selection as a Fellow requires demonstrated superior legal ability and devotion to the welfare of the community, state and nation, as well as to the advancement of the legal foundation”.  (Source: Connecticut Bar Foundation)

Auger handles serious personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims, automobile collisions, slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and product liability.  Mr. Auger is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate with the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  He is also a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Naval Reserve.

Shafner is a nationally recognized lawyer in the fields of asbestos injury, personal injury, maritime injury and workers compensation. He was admitted to practice in Connecticut, the Federal Courts of Appeals in the 1st and 2nd Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.  His reported decisions have been published by the Appellate Court, Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 1st and 2nd Circuits.  Attorney Shafner is a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum.

In 2015, Best Lawyers recognized Matthew Shafner as “Lawyer of the Year.” He is only the ninth person ever to receive the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association’s lifetime achievement award since the association formed in 1954.

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


Exhibit by Old Lyme’s Acclaimed Photographer Burt on Show at CT River Museum

Tri-colored heron ©Wm Burt (15.2 x 20)

Tri-colored heron ©Wm Burt (15.2 x 20)

An exhibition of photos by William Burt of Old Lyme titled, “Water Babies – The Hidden Lives of Baby Wetland Birds,” is on show at the Connecticut River Museum through Oct. 12, at the Connecticut River Museum. This is the fourth of William Burt’s photo exhibitions, each based on one of his books, to show at the Museum.

The exhibition features 40 framed archival pigment prints, all made by the photographer, and 18 text panels quoting passages from the book of the same name. The pieces are sequenced such that every “water baby” is juxtaposed with the adult bird it becomes.

For 40 years, photographer William Burt has chased after the birds few people see: first rails, then bitterns, nightjars, and other skulkers – and now these, elusive creatures of a very different kind: the Water Babies. They are the subjects of his coming book, and also this exhibition at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex. The book will be published in October 2015 by W. W. Norton/Countryman.

Red-necked phalarope ©Wm Burt

Red-necked phalarope ©Wm Burt

The “babies” are the downy young of ducks, grebes, gallinules and shorebirds, herons, and other wetland birds – those that get their feet wet, as it were – and challenging they are, to birder and photographer alike: quick-footed, wary, and well-camouflaged, to say the least; and temporary.

You have only a week or two each year in which to find them. But above all else, they are endearing. From the comic-monster herons to the fuzzy ducklings and stick-legged sandpipers, these tots have personality, and spunk. You see it in their faces, each and every one.

To find these youngsters and adults, Burt prowled their wetland breeding grounds each spring and summer for some seven years, all over North America, from the Arctic Circle to the Gulf of Mexico. The result is a portrait of these wild birds of the wetlands as both young and old, unknown and known, new and familiar.

Burt is a naturalist, writer, and photographer with a passion for wild places and elusive birds – especially marshes, and the shy birds within. His feature stories are seen in Smithsonian, Audubon, National Wildlife, and other magazines, and he has written three previous books: Shadowbirds (1994); Rare & Elusive Birds of North America (2001); and Marshes: The Disappearing Edens (2007).

Burt’s photo exhibitions have been shown at some 35 museums across the U.S. and Canada. He lives in Old Lyme, Conn.

For more information on this and other museum programs, visit

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main St., Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 860-767-8269 or visit


Auditions for Community Music School Jazz Ensemble, Sept. 12

Auditions for the CMS Jazz Ensemble will be held Sept. 12.

Auditions for the CMS Jazz Ensemble will be held Sept. 12.

CENTERBROOK –- Auditions for the Community Music School (CMS) Jazz Ensemble will be held on Saturday, Sept. 12, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the School, located at 90 Main St. in Centerbrook.

Directed by Tom Briggs, the ensemble is for students ages 13 to 18 with a strong interest in jazz performance and learning more about improvisation. Instrumental students on trumpet, trombone, flute, clarinet, saxophone, and guitar are encouraged to audition.

Call CMS at 860-767-0026 to schedule a 20-minute audition timeslot. The regular Jazz Ensemble rehearsal schedule begins on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m.

The CMS offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30 year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. Community Music School programs cultivate musical ability and creativity, and provide students with a thorough understanding of music so that they can enjoy playing and listening for their entire lives.

For additional information about the Jazz Ensemble and other CMS programs, visit


Essex Savings Bank Donates to Non-Profits

ESSEX — Gregory R. Shook, President & CEO of Essex Savings Bank announced the completion of distribution from the Directors’ portion of the Community Investment Fund. Total distributions for the year will amount to $100,000 and will surpass $4 million since the program’s 1996 inception of distributing 10% of after tax net income. Donations for this portion have been allocated to the following non-profit organizations.

Angel Charities, Inc. * Camp Hazen YMCA * The Chester Historical Society, Inc. * Child & Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, Inc. * Community Foundation of Middlesex County * Connecticut River Museum at Steamboat Dock * The Deep River Historical Society * Essex Historical Society * Florence Griswold Museum * The Ivoryton Library Association * Ivoryton Village Alliance * Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center & Theatre * Lawrence & Memorial Hospital * Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts * Lyme Art Association * Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau * MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation, Inc. * Madison Land Conservation Trust * Middlesex Hospital * Middlesex United Way * The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library Association, Inc. * Rotary Club of Essex Foundation * Tri-Town Youth Service Bureau, Inc. * Valley Shore YMCA * Vista (Vocational Independent Supported Transitional Alternative).

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 Department and wholly-owned subsidiary, Essex Financial Services, Inc., Member FINRA, SIPC.


NL County Residents Receive Free Admission on Second Sundays to Flo Gris Museum, Next Date Sept. 13

During Free Summer Second Sundays, visitors can enjoy the exhibition All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York as well as a variety of outdoor activities and hands-on projects.

During Free Summer Second Sundays, visitors can enjoy the exhibition All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York as well as a variety of outdoor activities and hands-on projects.

Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, all residents of New London County receive free admission to the Florence Griswold Museum on second Sundays this summer – the last remaining dates of the season is Sept. 13.

The Museum’s riverfront landscape is situated on an 11-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where a generation of Impressionist artists lived, the Museum features an exhibition gallery, education and landscape centers, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

Pictured from the 'All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York' exhibition, James Edward Buttersworth’s Yacht Race off Fort Wadsworth, ca. 1870 from the Museum of the City of New York.

Pictured from the ‘All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York’ exhibition, James Edward Buttersworth’s Yacht Race off Fort Wadsworth, ca. 1870 from the Museum of the City of New York.

Visitors to Summer Second Sundays will enjoy, All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York, an exhibition of that highlights the Museum of the City of New York’s renowned marine art collection. From folk art gems to Hudson River School panoramas to moody Tonalist contemplations of man and sea, these works capture the excitement of the age of sail and steam.

Visitors can also tour the historic Florence Griswold House, restored to its appearance as the boardinghouse for the Lyme Art Colony, stroll through Miss Florence’s historic gardens, and relax along the banks of the Lieutenant River. Can You Find Me cards in the gallery and a scavenger hunt in the historic house make the trip both fun and educational for families.

Visitors of any age can drop in at the Museum’s Education Center for a quick painting lesson before heading down to the river or out in the garden for an afternoon of plein-air painting. All materials included. The new outdoor Art Cart invites exploration of the grounds through interactive, hands-on projects.

“Free Summer Second Sundays is a great way for the Museum to make new friends in New London County,” notes David D.J. Rau, the Museum’s Director of Education and Outreach. He adds, “We are grateful for the support of The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.”

New London County residents can enjoy Free Summer Second Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. with proof of residency. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, exit 70 off I-95.

For additional information, contact the Museum at 860-434-5542 or visit


Two New Exhibitions on Show at LAA, ‘Summer Days, Starry Nights’ and ‘Purely Pastel’

'Viareggio, Italy' by White is one of the signature paintings in  the new show at the LAA.

Nelson White’s ‘Viareggio, Italy’ is one of the signature paintings in the new ‘Summer Days, Starry Nights’ show opening at the LAA on Friday.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme presents Summer Days, Starry Nights, a juried member exhibition celebrating portraits, landscapes, still life paintings and sculpture, from Aug. 7 through Sept. 18Purely Pastel, a separate show presented by the Connecticut Pastel Society, will also be on view.

Caron's 'Summer Flowers' is featured in the show.

Jerry Caron’s ‘Summer Flowers’ is featured in the ‘Summer Days, Starry Nights’ show.

The Lyme Art Association is pleased to offer this wonderful selection of affordable fine art that showcases the varied talents of our artist membership,” notes LAA Gallery Manager, Jocelyn Zallinger. “This exhibition includes representational work featuring many media, themes, and subjects from exuberant florals, pensive portraits, through of landscapes. There will truly be something for everyone.”

Buchanan's "Searching the Shore" evokes summer memories.

This painting by Clayton Buchanan (CPS), “Searching the Shore,”which  evokes summer memories, is featured in the  ‘Purely Pastel’ show.

The Connecticut Pastel Society (CPS) exhibition, Purely Pastel, in the Goodman Gallery, will be juried by Barbara Groff.  Awards will be given for excellence in the pastel medium.  The CPS will provide a free Triple Demonstration using pastels on Aug. 8, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Pastel paintings created at the demonstration, as well as other small works, including some by Allan Alain, will be available at the silent auction that runs the length of the exhibition.  This year’s triple demonstration artists are: Claudia Post (portrait/figure), Deborah Quinn Munson (landscape/objects) and Shauna Shane (animal subject).  Light refreshments will be available and the public is invited.

Cindy Streit Mazzaferro, CPS Membership Chair and Purely Pastel Exhibition Chair comments, “I am delighted with the wide range of breadth of artistry and so very excited to once again bring to Lyme some of the best pastel painting artists in CT.  Everyone in attendance is in for a treat and will be captivated by the luscious colors captured with this medium.”

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the American Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme St., Old Lyme, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within a national historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 12 to 5pm.

For more information on exhibitions, including how to enter a juried exhibition at the LAA, visit or purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call (860) 434-7802.


Malloy to Attend Opening Ceremony for ‘The Preserve’ Today; Post-Ceremony Hike Planned

Governor Dannel Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Phil Miller

State Representative Philip Miller (D-Chester/Deep River/Essex/Haddam) will participate in an event celebrating the permanent protection of “The Preserve,” the 1,000 acre coastal woodland.

Miller will be joining Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy and other state and local officials at a reception and ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. at Great Cedars (West) Conservation Area, 155 Ingham Hill Rd., Old Saybrook.

Miller is inviting attendees to join him in a hike he will be leading at “The Preserve” following the opening ceremony.

Miller notes,“This is going to be a wonderful ceremonial event to celebrate the protection of this coastal land that will remain a treasured open space for everyone to enjoy,” adding, “Looking forward to welcoming as many people as possible who can attend.”


Old Lyme’s Eastman-Grossel Finishes Sixth in Junior Olympics Long Jump

Zoe Eastman-Grossel stands on the medal- winners podium after placing sixth in the Junior Olympics long jump.

Zoe Eastman-Grossel stands on the medal- winners podium after placing sixth in the Junior Olympics long jump.

Zoe Eastman-Grossel of Old Lyme finished sixth out of 77 qualifiers in the long jump at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Junior Olympics.  Participants from across the country competed in the Norfolk, Va., event held Aug. 1-8.

A smiling Zoe Eastman-Grossel proudly wears her Junior Olympics medal.

A smiling Zoe Eastman-Grossel proudly wears her Junior Olympics medal.

Eastman-Grossel competed in the 8-and-Under division of the girl’s long jump and set a personal record of 3.37 meters (11.00.75 ft.) to earn a medal and All-American status in the event.

This past season Eastman-Grossel was the Connecticut AAU District and Regional champion in the long jump.  She went undefeated in Connecticut while breaking meet records at each meet and finishing no lower than second in the long jump during the regular season.

She also qualified for and competed in the 100 meter dash at the Junior Olympics in which she finished 58th out of 104 participants.

Eastman-Grossel is a member of the Connecticut Hawks Track Club in New Haven and attends the Regional Multicultural Magnet School in New London.


Literacy Volunteers Seek Trainee Tutors to Help Valley Shore Residents

AREAWIDE — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS), CT, Inc. is a private non-profit organization. Its mission is to train tutors to teach Basic Reading (BR) and English as a Second Language (ESL) to residents of the Valley Shore area, who wish to improve their reading, writing or speaking English to improve their life and work skills. This one-to-one instruction is held confidential and is completely without charge to the student.

Tutor training is a 14-hour program conducted over seven sessions held each fall and again in the spring each year. The next training session begins Sept. 17, and runs through Nov. 12. Registration for the fall session is open now and the deadline for applications is Aug. 28.

Workshop Leaders have developed a comprehensive program that provides prospective tutors the skills and resources to help them succeed. A background in education is not necessary – just a desire to tutor and a commitment to helping a student improve their skill in basic literacy or English as a Second Language over the period of one year after the completion of training.

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office in the lower level of Westbrook’s Public Library by phone at 860-399-0280 or e-mail at


Acton Public Library Presents Repro of Infamous Mercer-Williams House

OLD SAYBROOK — For the months of August and September, the Acton Library in Old Saybrook will be hosting a reproduction of the Mercer-Williams House. The reproduction was painstakingly made by Maribel Girnius.

The house and the infamous crime that occurred in it were the focus of the book and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt.

The Acton Library is open from 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday.


Acton Library Hosts Job Search Boot Camp; Third Session Covers Interview Questions, Aug. 31

CTWORKS Job Search Boot Camp will be held at Acton Public Library in Old Saybrook on three dates this summer as follows:

  • Monday, June 29: to discuss interview questions
  • Monday, July 27 : to discuss job search tools
  • Monday, Aug. 31: to discuss questions to ask employers during the interview

Boot Camp brings area people together who are unemployed or in career transition. These programs are free and presented by CTWORKS.

To register, call the Library 860-395-3184 or email or for more information visit the library online at


Move to ‘Memphis’ at Ivoryton Playhouse! Show Opens to Rave Reviews

Taavon Gamble*, Michael Sullivan, Teren Carter*, Mya Rose and Kevin Moeti in a recent rehearsal.

Taavon Gamble*, Michael Sullivan, Teren Carter*, Mya Rose and Kevin Moeti in a recent rehearsal.

IVORYTON – After the first two previews and two instantaneous standing ovations, the phones are ringing off the hook at the Ivoryton Playhouse.  Memphis exploded onto the Ivoryton stage yesterday evening and audiences were captivated from the first “fantastical” number.

The Ivoryton Playhouse has now left the sunny tropical shores of the South Pacific and traveled to the sizzling backstreets of ‘50s Memphis. The show is set in the places where rock and roll was born – the seedy, underground dance clubs, radio stations and recording studios in 1950s Memphis, Tenn. Inspired by true events, this high energy musical tells the story of DJ Huey Calhoun who falls in love with a beautiful singer and battles cultural divides as he tries to bring her voice to the airwaves of America.

Renee Jackson* and Chawnta Marie Van in rehearsal.

Renee Jackson* and Chawnta Marie Van in rehearsal.

As their careers rise, a revolution erupts when his vision meets her voice and the music changed forever. With an original score, this musical is filled with heart, soul and energy to burn! Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards, Memphis was written by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, All Shook Up) with electrifying blues, rock, ballads and gospel music created by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan.

Writer Joe DiPietro will be joining the cast on stage for talk back after the performance on opening night, Friday, Aug. 7, followed by a reception with the cast and crew. Limited tickets are still available for this performance.

Renee Jackson* and Carson Higgins* practice a song.

Renee Jackson* and Carson Higgins* study their parts for Memphis.

The Playhouse production of Memphis is directed and choreographed by Todd Underwood, whose last work was seen at the Ivoryton Playhouse as choreographer for La Cage aux Folles and Dreamgirls. The show features Carson Higgins* as Huey, Rénee Jackson* as Felicia Farrell, Teren Carter* as Delray, Jamal Shuriah* as Gator.

This musical is directed by Michael Morris, the set is designed by Martin Scott Marchitto, lighting by Doug Harry and costumes by Elizabeth Cipollina.


Memphis opens at the Ivoryton Playhouse in previews on Wednesday, Aug. 5, and Thursday, Aug. 6 (official opening Friday, Aug. 7) and runs through Aug. 30. Performance times are Wednesday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. Evening performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. There will be two additional Saturday matinees on Aug. 22 and 29 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $42 for adults, $37 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860.767.7318 or by visiting our website at (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*denotes member of Actors Equity

This production of ‘Memphis’ is generously sponsored by Pasta Vita, First Niagara, Sennheiser and Saybrook Country Barn.


Local Republican Legislators to Propose Elimination of Propane Tax

Rep. Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

State Senator Paul Formica

Local Republican state legislators Representative Devin Carney (R-23) and Senator Paul Formica (R-20) have announced that they will propose legislation to eliminate Connecticut’s gross receipts tax on propane.

“After the crazy weather we have experienced in recent years, many people bought generators.  They were trying to be proactive in case of another catastrophic event. Now, they are finding out that they are getting taxed for thinking ahead,” said Formica.

“This tax is unconscionable,” Carney said. “The government recommends smart storm preparedness, yet taxes home owners for doing just that. When the legislature meets next session, I intend to propose a bill to create a tax exemption for those using propane for all home and generator use, not just exclusively for heating. I hope my colleagues on the other side of the aisle will do what’s right for the people of Connecticut and support this proposal.”

The State of Connecticut assesses a tax on fuel delivered to a customer who uses a propane tank connected to a generator. This 8.81% tax is assessed on the delivery ticket, even if the propane also supplies an exempt heating use (such as home, pool, hot water, cooking, etc.).

Connecticut law says that in order to be exempt from this tax, the propane “must be used exclusively for heating purposes”. Because the propane to a generator produces electricity and not heat, this tax is assessed on deliveries to tanks which solely supply generators.

“People are frustrated and want some action.  I intend to bring this up in my capacity as the ranking member of the Energy and Technology Committee,” added Formica.

The 2016 session of the Connecticut General Assembly begins in February. The legislators said they would be pressing for a public hearing on the issue so that propane users can speak out about the tax.


Women’s Golf Association Tournament Raises Funds for Terri Brodeur Cancer Foundation

The participants in the Terri Brodeur Foundation benefit at the Old Lyme Country Club gather for a photo.

The participants in the Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Foundation Golf Tournament at the Old Lyme Country Club gather for a photo.

The Women’s Golf Association (WGA) of the Old Lyme Country held its annual Terri Brodeur Breast Cancer Golf Tournament July 23, at the Old Lyme Country Club.

Over 37 ladies participated in the tournament and raised $4,240 for the Terri Brodeur Foundation. The event included 9-holes of golf, a silent auction, raffle, and a luncheon. All of the funds pledged go directly to breast cancer research. Administrative costs are either sponsor-supported or volunteer provided. The Terri Brodeur Foundation has an office in New London that was donated to the organization. Since 2006, over 3 million dollars have been raised and awarded to 30 researchers.

The winners of the tournament this year were:

FIRST GROSS: Paula Bingham (Old Lyme), Louise Ferrebee (Old Lyme), Debbie English (Centerbrook), and Suzanne Kitchings (Essex).

FIRST NET: Mardee Moore (Guilford), Carolyn Daddona (Centerbrook), Eleanor Way (Old Lyme), Diane Deutermann (Old Lyme), and Kathy Jose (Old Lyme).


It was Another Magnificent Midsummer Festival in Old Lyme …

Can you believe it’s been a full week since the Midsummer Festival was held in Old Lyme? Here (finally!) is our traditional photo essay of the event for which — yet again — the weather cooperated offering clear skies and warm air right through from Friday evening when concert-goers gathered behind the Florence Griswold Museum to Saturday night when fireworks lit up the sky behind the high school — all in all, it was — yet again — a positively perfect Festival!

Enjoying the Friday night concert on the Florence Griswold's lawn on the banks of the Lieutenant River.

Festival-goers enjoyed the Friday night concert on the Florence Griswold’s lawn on the banks of the Lieutenant River …

... and the stunning sunset looking west.

… and watching the stunning sunset looking west.


Saturday morning Lyme Street was a hive of activity, especially outside Patricia Spratt’s home goods business, which was also hosting clothes from her daughter Lilly’s original fashion line.


Food and more was on offer at the Lyme Street Firehouse.


And down at the Lyme Art Association, some four-legged folk had moved in …


… and, as always, were drawing quite a crowd.


There was music everywhere …

... and vegetables ...

… and vegetables …

... and flowers ...

… and flowers …

... and jams and jellies ......

… and jams … and jellies ……

... and olive oils!

… and olive oils!

.. and sheer delight  for this little girl as she plucked a violin string for this Wandering Minstrel!

And, perhaps summing up the Festival, we catch the sheer delight of a little girl as she plucked a violin string for this wandering minstrel!