March 28, 2015

Solarize Lyme & Old Lyme Final Workshop Offers Electric Vehicle Display, Tomorrow

Old Lyme’s Solar Team is busy preparing for the final Solar Workshop planned for Saturday, March 28 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall. Solar Power and Electric Vehicles are a natural pairing and the team sought out a few display vehicles.  But as they saw the vehicles their enthusiasm grew … as did the number of vehicles!

Stephen Dix of the Solarize team says “Many of us grew up in the 1960s knowing all the specs and styles of all the muscle cars that “scooped the loop” in our town. Coming from Michigan, many of my friends worked for GM and we saw the great ones like the Old’s Toranado and the Chevel SS 396 as soon as they rolled off the line.”  He adds with a smile, “There’s a new form of muscle car today – and it can be sun powered … the only real question is which one fits your life style.”

So far the team has Electric Vehicles from BMW, VW, Nissan, Chevy, Ford, Toyota, and Mercedes. Jean Dailey will also bring her electric Smart Car and discuss her plans to use her solar array to power her commute.

The plan calls for the Old Lyme Town Hall parking lot to be closed off from traffic so residents can browse the vehicles.  Visitors to the event are requested to come in the front of Town Hall and register.  Solar Installers will be on hand and can discuss how a Solar System can power your transport needs.

The Solarize team will be ready to discuss how to access installers, how to finance a system, accessing state and federal incentives, how solar impacts the value of your home among other things. Residents are invited to drop in learn and explore.

To learn more about Solarize Lyme and Old Lyme, visit this link.



Carney, Formica Host Office Hours at LYSB This Evening in Old Lyme

Rep. Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney

State Senator Paul Formica

State Senator Paul Formica

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd) and State Senator Paul Formica (R-20th) will be holding a Legislative Office Hour in Old Lyme Thursday, March 26, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, 59 Lyme Street in Old Lyme.  They will be ready to discuss the issues shaping the 2015 Legislative Session.

All are welcome to drop in with questions and comments.

Due to the risk of inclement weather or the possibility of the legislature being called into session, visit to check for cancellations.

For more information, contact Peggy Tibbals at or 1.800.842.1421


Nilsson Offers Five Day Painting Workshop in August

Leif Nillson painting outdoors

Leif Nillson painting outdoors

Acclaimed local artist Leif Nilsson is offering a five day painting workshop from Aug. 3 to 7, 2015 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for $500 per student.

This workshop will explore the lower Connecticut River Valley’s landscape, its architecture and the light that reveals it through a combination of one shot “alla prima” paintings and by further developing other canvases over the course of several days, all on location in the open air.

Nilsson’s medium of choice is oil paint but he is familiar with other media such as pencil, pastel, watercolor and acrylics, so participants are asked to bring whatever they are comfortable using.

Subjects during the course may include painting the Village of Chester, Nillson’s studio garden (possibly with a live model) and the Connecticut River.

Throughout each day, he will provide a variety of tips and suggestions from how to set up one’s equipment and choosing a composition to learning how to see more through squinted eyes through formal and spontaneous demonstrations and individual discussions.

Technical assistance with drawing, perspective, proportions, color mixing and application will be offered as students work on their own paintings and as the need arises.

A general materials and suggested equipment list will be provided upon registration.

The daily schedule for the course will be:

9 a.m. to noon: Meet at a predetermined location at 9am and work until noon.

Noon to 1 p.m.: Take an hour break for lunch. Students are responsible for providing their own lunch. Chester has some excellent markets for eating in and take out.

1 to 5 p.m.: Start up again at 1 p.m. at an agreed upon location and work until 5 p.m.

Students are welcome to start earlier and work later if they’d like to without me present.

Nillson and his wife Caryn Davis, who is a professional photographer, will host one or two informal dinner parties at their home and gallery during the week to welcome students, share in lively discussions and view everyone’s work.

A list of local motels, B&Bs and Inns is available at:

A 50 percent non-refundable deposit of $250 is required by May 15, 2015 to secure a place. If the workshop is cancelled, the deposit will be refunded in full.

For more information, visit


‘Discovery Sundays’ Start April 12 at Florence Griswold Museum

A family enjoys 'Discovery Sunday' at the Florence Griswold Museum.

A family enjoys ‘Discovery Sunday’ at the Florence Griswold Museum.

On Sunday, April 12, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme invites visitors to shake off any leftover winter blues and celebrate the beginning of Discovery Sundays. In addition to the popular “Make-A-Painting” activities, where visitors of all ages use the Museum’s supplies to create their own masterpieces, Discovery Sundays now include a new outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

To celebrate the start of the season, the Co-Co Beaux, an all male a cappella group from Connecticut College, performs in the art gallery from 2 to 4 p.m.. In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center open for the season. And with any luck you’ll find some pops of color starting in the garden!

The Museum is open every Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and all activities are included with admission. Children 12 and under are always free. The Museum is closed Easter Sunday.

The Florence Griswold Museum is known as the Home of American Impressionism. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where the artists of the Lyme Art Colony lived, the Museum features a modern exhibition gallery, education center, landscape center, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

The Museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95 and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students, and free to children 12 and under.

For more information, visit the Museum’s website or call 860-434-5542 x 111.



Join a Community Conversation on Mental Health in Old Lyme, March 31

mental-health-logoOne in four people has a mental illness.  It touches each of us — become involved and be a part of the conversation.

The Regional Mental Health Board, Region II, Catchment Area Council 10 is sponsoring two Community Conversations about Mental Health for the Lyme-Old Lyme community.

Both will be held in the Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme St., from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on consecutive Tuesdays, March 24 and March 31.

The first meeting this evening will bring together members of the community to discuss mental health and explore the issues and barriers in our community regarding mental health.

The second meeting (March 31) will discuss and help determine what actions can be taken to break down the barriers and improve mental health in the community.

Plan to attend both meetings.  Trained facilitators will assist the dialogues

Refreshments will be provided.  There is ample parking at the location. Seating is limited so register promptly  to add your voice to the discussion.

Register today via email at or call 860-262-5027.  Use the same contact information for questions.  Seating is limited.


Opening Reception for CT River Museum’s ‘New Deal’ Art Exhibit, April 2

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, will open April 2nd. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allen Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, opens April 2. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allen Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.

During the depths of the Great Depression, the federal government created work relief programs to put unemployed Americans back to work. President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” programs provided all types of jobs – including opportunities for out-of-work artists. The Federal Art Project (1935 – 1943) paid artists to paint murals and easel art, sculpt, and teach art classes. Their art was always located in a public place such as a school, library, or government building so that all Americans had access to it for inspiration and enjoyment.

The subject matter for much of this artwork is known as the “American Scene” – showcasing regional history, landscapes, and people. The Connecticut River Museum’s new exhibit has selected artwork that represents artists from the Connecticut River Valley, or that depicts views of regional or maritime traditions of the Connecticut River and coastline.

“These paintings offer us a glimpse at Connecticut from sixty years ago,” says Museum Curator Amy Trout. “We think of that time as being dark and depressing, but these paintings show us a vibrant time and place.”

The exhibit contains 20 works of art ranging from pastels, etchings, watercolors, and oils. There are also examples of bas relief work from Essex sculptor Henry Kreis who designed the state’s Tercentenary medal and coin in 1935 under the Civil Works Authority (CWA) funding. The paintings come from area museums such as the Lyman Allyn Art Museum, Mystic Arts Center, Connecticut Historical Society, and the Portland Historical Society, among others.

Even though these paintings were originally intended for public viewing, many have found their way into museum storerooms and are rarely seen. “It’s important to get them out on display and remind people of the wonderful legacy that was left to us. It gives us a chance to talk about Connecticut during the 1930s and appreciate the art that gives us greater insight into that period,” says Trout. The artists are also relatively unknown. Many continued in the field of art after the Depression, but few achieved great fame. “They needed to make a living, so many became commercial artists, illustrators, or teachers.”

The exhibition will open Thursday, April 2, with a preview reception at 5:30 p.m. featuring a short lecture by curator Amy Trout.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex and is open daily from 10 a.m. through 5 p.m. and closed on Mondays after Columbus Day. Admission is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $5 for children age 6-12, free for children under 6.

For more information, call 860-767-8269 or go to

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Photo Caption:
The Connecticut River Museum’s spring exhibit, New Deal Art Along the River, will open April 2nd. This painting, On the Rail by Yngve Soderberg is a watercolor on paper on loan from the Lyman Allen Art Museum. Photo courtesy of Lyman Allen Art Museum.


Ivoryton Playhouse Hosting Auditions for ‘Memphis,’ March 28


The Ivoryton Playhouse will be holding local auditions for Equity and non union actors for Memphis on Saturday, March 28, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Rehearsal Studio, 24 Main Street, Centerbrook.

Memphis begins rehearsing July 21, opens Aug. 5 and runs through Aug. 30.

The director is looking for singers, dancers and actors – especially African American.

Auditions are by appointment only. Bring a headshot and resume and prepare a song.

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


Local Fire Departments Host Areawide Food Drive, April 11

Food donations collected last year are gathered beside an Old Saybrook firetruck

Food donations were collected in Old Saybrook last year by the Old Saybrook Fire Department.

For the fourth year, local Fire Departments are hosting an area-wide food drive to collect non-perishable food for area residents in need.

The fire stations will be open to receive donations of non-perishable food on Saturday, April 11, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The donations will go to five local food pantries run by The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP).

SSKP hopes to include as many fire departments as possible in the 11 shoreline towns they serve. So far, the Old Saybrook, Chester, Killingworth, Clinton, Niantic and Westbrook fire departments have committed to the event. All fire departments are welcome to participate.

At a time of year when food donations are low, this food will help to restock the pantries and ensure that everyone in our communities will have a place at the table.

The Soup Kitchens’ five pantries combine to distribute approximately 17,000 pounds of food every week. Only 40 percent of this food comes from the CT Food Bank; the remainder must be either purchased or donated, so every item is appreciated. Last year’s drive raised 6,500 pounds of food. Join the effort by bring your donation to a participating firehouse on April 11.

The most needed items are:

Canned Meats (tuna, chicken, salmon)

Canned Fruits & Vegetables

Peanut Butter

Canned & Boxed Meals

Canned or Dried Beans

Pasta & Rice


Items that cannot be accepted:

Rusty or Unlabeled Cans

Perishable Items

Homemade Items

Noncommercial Packaged or Canned Items

Alcoholic Beverages & Mixes

Open or Used Items

For more information call (860) 388-1988 or or visit

The Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries provides food and fellowship to people in need and educates the community about hunger and poverty, serving the Connecticut shoreline towns of Essex, Chester, Clinton, Madison, Old Saybrook, East Lyme, Lyme, Old Lyme, Killingworth, Westbrook and Deep River. Founded 26 years ago, in 1989, at the Baptist Church in Essex, the agency continues in its mission to feed the hungry in body and spirit. Last year with a small staff and over 900 dedicated volunteers, SSKP served almost 950,000 meals worth of food to shoreline neighbors in need.


Become Part of FrogWatch USA! Learn How at Lyme Library Presentation, March 25

Learn how to identify the American toad (pictured above) at the upcoming Lyme Library presentation. Photo by Jill Sharp for Frogwatch USA

Learn how to identify the American toad (pictured above) at the upcoming Lyme Library presentation. Photo by Jill Sharp for Frogwatch USA

Come learn how to be an amphibian scientist!

On Wednesday, March 25, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Lyme Public Library, The Nature Conservancy will be hosting Jim Sirch, the Education Coordinator of the Yale Peabody Museum.  He will guide participants on becoming FrogWatch USA volunteers.

FrogWatch USA is a program created by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help engage the public in monitoring local frog and toad populations.  Frogs and toads serve as important clues to environmental health because they are highly  sensitive to changing environmental conditions.  They also help keep insect populations low, preventing the spread of disease.

Sadly, however, frogs and toads are on the decline.  Thirty eight species of the 280 native amphibian species in the United States are currently listed under the Endangered Species Act.

At this training, Sirch will teach you how to identify different amphibian calls, where and how often to monitor your local wetlands and how to submit your data to the larger FrogWatch USA effort, so you can help contribute meaningful information about the frogs and toads in your neighborhood.

Space is limited.  Contact Liz Robinson of The Nature Conservancy at (203) 568-6270 x 6409 to register.


Basketball Game Between Wildcat Teachers, Harlem Rockets Postponed

03/20 Update:  This event has been postponed due to the inclement weather anticipated.  A new date will be announced as soon as it is agreed.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class (LOLHS) of 2017 will be hosting some very special guests this Friday, March 20, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the LOLHS gymnasium.  The Harlem Rockets, a talented group of basketball entertainers, who combine showtime basketball skills and family-friendly comedy, will face the All-Star Wildcat Teachers in a game benefiting the Class of 2017,

Having played over 2,500 games in 16 years without a single defeat, the Harlem Rockets offer something for everyone to enjoy.  Sports enthusiasts will be intrigued by the pure athleticism and sheer size of the Rockets, while basketball aficionados will be …

  • Dazzled by the ball-handling wizardry of Kaseem “The Ankle Breaker” Williams — one of the world’s extraordinary street-ball dribblers, aka … Ankle Breaker.
  • Satiated by the game of Junie “King Of The Battleground Champion” Sanders
  • Awestruck by high-flying dunks of Anthony “Amazing” Gordon and Angelo “TNT” Gordon.

And since this is comedy basketball, the Harlem Rockets present to you the Zaniest Showman Of All Time … Tex Barnwell.  Dubbed “One Of Show Basketball’s All Time Greats,” he is also nicknamed, “The Crowned Prince Of Laughs.”

The Harlem Rockets incorporate the audience, especially children, into the show and are always available to meet the fans and give autographs at halftime and after the game.

In this special fundraising event for the LOLHS Class of 2017, the high school teachers have graciously agreed to face the Harlem Rockets and are expected to give the pro’s a real run for their money!

Tickets for what promises to be a fun-filled evening for the community are available at the door the night of the event or through the website at this link. Tickets are priced at $10 for adults and $8 for children/students prior to the event, and $12 and $10 respectively at the door.  All ages are welcome at this family-friendly event.

If you have any questions, contact Brett Eckhart at 860-434-1651 ext 1202 or


‘Nights on Broadway’ Gala to Benefit Community Music School, April 18

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

Looking forward to welcoming guests at Nights on Broadway are (standing L to R): Melissa Lieberman and David LaMay of Essex Financial Services; Robin Andreoli, CMS executive director CMS; vocalist Courtney Parrish; vocalist Richard Pittsinger; honorary co-chairs Jennifer and John Bauman. Seated are Laureen Sullivan of Essex Savings Bank and Charles Cumello, CEO of Essex Financial Services.

Curtain Up! Light the Lights! On Saturday, April 18, Community Music School students and faculty take center stage performing classic Broadway show tunes for Nights on Broadway, the School’s 10 annual benefit galaGuests will gather at the charming Lace Factory, 161 River Street, Deep River, for a lively party with gourmet food stations inspired by Broadway hits and prepared by Cloud Nine Catering, silent and live auctions, and a fun photo booth. Nights on Broadway promises to be a magical, musical evening!

Selections from the shows Wicked, RENT, Fiddler on the Roof, and Les Misérables are scheduled to be performed. Featured student performers include Emma Hunt (vocals) of Essex; Michael Rasberry (saxophone) of Lyme; Sonny Capaccio (vocals) of Guilford; Courtney Parrish (vocals) of Westbrook; Arnold Moore (violin) of Killingworth; and Richard Pittsinger (vocals) of Essex, a recipient of the Carolyn R. Greenleaf Memorial Music Award. Faculty performers include Karli Gilbertson (piano/vocals), Matthew McCauley (bass), Kevin O’Neil (guitar), Andrew Studenski (saxophone), and music director Tom Briggs (piano).

Support of the Community Music School gala provides the resources necessary to offer scholarships to students with a financial need, music therapy services, and outreach through arts education and community concerts.  “Nights on Broadway is an extremely important event for us,” stated Executive Director Robin Andreoli, “Proceeds will help us continue our mission of enrichment through the arts with a focus on public performances and community outreach.”

She continues, ” Of course, musical theater has always been a part of our programming with Broadway Bound, a summer program for ages 8 to 15, so it’s fitting that Broadway music is this year’s theme. Programs like Broadway Bound, Kate’s Camp for Kids, the CMS Jazz Ensemble, New Horizons Band and many others allow students of all ages to build on their individual and ensemble skills for performance.”

Nights on Broadway sponsors include Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services, Bogaert Construction, The Clark Group, Tower Laboratories LTD, Grossman Chevrolet-Nissan, Thomas H. Alexa – Comprehensive Wealth Management, Angelini Wine LTD, The Bauman Family Foundation, Brewer Pilots Point Marina, Essex Winnelson, Gowrie Group, Guilford Savings Bank, Leonardo & Associates P.C., W. Jay Mills CFP® – The Oakely Wing Group at Morgan Stanley, Periodontics P.C., Ring’s End, The Safety Zone, and Valley Courier.

Tickets for the evening are $100 per person ($40 is tax deductible). A sponsor ticket of $150 per person provides a greater charitable gift ($90 is tax deductible) and is also available.  Tickets may be purchased online at, at the school located at 90 Main Street in the Centerbrook section of Essex or by calling 860-767-0026.  Now in its 32nd year of building community through music, the Community Music School is a private, non-profit organization.


SLDW to Host Panel Discussion Commemorating 50th Anniversary of Griswold v. CT, April 2

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women (SLDW) has announced it will host a  panel presentation and discussion Commemorating the 50th  Anniversary of Griswold v. Connecticut.  The event will be held at 7 p.m., Thursday evening, April 2, Westbrook Library (Lower Level), 61 Goodspeed Drive, Westbrook, CT  06498.

Guest panelists include Connecticut State Representative Kelly Luxenberg and Susan Yolen, VP for Public Policy and Advocacy for Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. This event is free and open to the public.

In 1965, Estelle Griswold of Executive Director of Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut and Yale Physician and Professor Dr. Buxton challenged the State’s interference in a woman’s right to access birth control, and by extension a woman’s right to privacy over her own body.  Upon opening a clinic in New Haven, they were both promptly arrested and appealed to the Supreme Court. Winning a 7-2 victory, they established case law that would ensure women this basic human right across the United States.

Fifty years later, the SLDW shines a light on Griswold and Buxton, and remembers the rights we take for granted today were often hard won, but are inalienable.

The SLDW ( is a chapter of the Connecticut Federation of Democratic Women (CFDW), which is a chapter of the National Federation of Democratic Women. The SLDW continues to seek membership from women who live in Old Lyme, and Lyme as well as Clinton, Madison, Guilford, Branford, Killingworth, Old Saybrook, Essex, Westbrook, Chester and Deep River. Meetings are held monthly from September through May.

The SLDW is dedicated to educating its members about political and social issues important to women of all ages in the Valley-Shore area. Women in the local district are encouraged to join the SLDW and participate in the organization’s valuable work in the community. Members can be involved in any capacity, whether it is 30 minutes a month, or 30 minutes a year. As a part of the SLDW educational charter, members will be notified of important pending state and national legislation.

For more information, email or contact Kathleen Skoczen at 860-669-7034 or Belinda Jones at860-399-1147. Visit the SLDW website at


To the Movies and Bach: Con Brio Presents Spring Concert, April 19

Kerry Gotschall

Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its spring concert on Sunday, April 19, at 4 p.m. at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, Conn. Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with Associate Conductor and Keyboardist, Susan Saltus, the chorus will be joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists: Danielle Munsell Howard, soprano; Kelly Gottshall, mezzo-soprano and Christopher Grundy, bass.

The concert will open with two 16th century pieces that the chorus learned on its last tour in France: “Tourdion” and the motet “Jubilate Deo.” Then follows the premier piece of the concert: J. S. Bach’s “Mass in F.” Bach composed four short masses in the 1730s, borrowing from some of his finest earlier cantatas. This short mass, or Missa Brevis, is known as one of Bach’s Lutheran Masses These masses are not often heard, or recorded, despite being exquisitely beautiful, filled with “splendid choruses” and “deeply moving arias,” as one reviewer puts it.

Christopher GrundyChristopher Grundy

The second half of the concert will be devoted to diverse choral music spanning four centuries, which has been used in films. Carl Orff’s 1936 setting of a 13th century poem complaining about fortune, “O Fortuna” from “Carmina Burana,” holds the record for the past 75 years as the most popular piece of classical music. It, along with Mozart’s dramatic “Dies Irae” from his Requiem Mass, holds the record for use in films. The best movie song of all time, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” a popular jazz version of “When I Fall in Love,” and “One Day More” are audience favorites.

Samuel Barber himself arranged his “Agnus Dei” as a choral version of his much beloved, hauntingly beautiful “Adagio for Strings.” William Blake’s 18th century poem provides the text for Parry’s stirring “Jerusalem,” which some call the unofficial national anthem of England. Blake’s text imagines the legend of Jesus restoring Jerusalem by coming to England and transforming the “dark Satanic mills” that mar the land.

Allegri’s 17th century “Miserere,” a translation of Psalm 51, was never supposed to be transcribed. The story is the 14-year-old Mozart heard it just once and wrote all of it down. Hogan’s traditional spiritual, “Elijah Rock,” cries to the prophet Elijah, the rock, for help. The concert ends with the audience joining the chorus in John Rutter’s stirring arrangement of the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

All are welcome at this exceptional concert.

Tickets are $30, $15 students, and may be purchased from any Con Brio member, on line at, or by calling 860 526 5399.

Christ the King Church is located at 1 McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme, CT.


Presentation of Nehantic State Forest 10-Year Forestry Plan This Afternoon in Old Lyme

A presentation of the proposed 10-year Forestry Plan for Nehantic State Forest will be given from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday in the auditorium of Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall.  The Old Lyme Open Space Commission and the Old Lyme Land Trust are hosting the event.  All are welcome to attend.

Emery Gluck from the Division of Forestry, Bureau of Natural Resources, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, will open by discussing, “Management Goals and Proposed Bio-Indicators for Nehantic State Forest Management Plan”

The next speaker will be Margo Burns, Environmental Planner for the Lower Connecticut River Council of Governments, who will present, “The Lower Connecticut River  and Coastal Region Natural Resource Base Strategic Conservation Plan: A GIS Overlay Analysis”

Tom Worthley, UConn Extension Forester, will discuss, “Background and Rationale for Managing Forests,” and Lisa Wahle from the DEEP Wildlife Division’s will present, “Connecticut’s New England Cottontail Program.”

Other speakers will include Dick Raymond, a DEEP Forestry, Municipal and Private Lands Forester for New London, Tolland and Windham Counties and Elizabeth Robinson, Land Steward for The Nature Conservancy Eight Mile River Watershed.

All are welcome to attend the program. An open discussion will follow the presentations.

The goals of the Nehantic State Forest Resource Management Plan are:

1) To promote biological diversity (viable populations of all forest species of plants and animals native to the area) by promoting upland ecosystems and populations that are not adequately sustaining themselves under current conditions.

2) Maintain or improve aquatic system integrity

3) To promote healthy and sustainable forests

Indicators will be used to measure and monitor progress toward the management goals. Proposed indicators use a “Bio-diversity Scorecard” format developed by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences as a guide. It can be found at A Forest Biodiversity Scorecard

A landscape wide approach has been incorporated into the plan so management strategies in Nehantic take into account the condition and trends of the surrounding forest.

The plan will follow a “natural disturbance model of management” to promote biodiversity.

The model uses nature as a guide for management. A combination of active and passive management will be used to promote an array of all the different forest types and structures that have historically sustained all native plant and animal populations.

Active management generally involves trees harvests. Background information can be found at DEEP: Why We Harvest Trees in Connecticut State Forests and DEEP: Young Forest and Shrubland Initiative


‘Stand By Your Man: The Tammy Wynette Story’ Opens Ivoryton Playhouse 2015 Season

Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*.  Photo by Jacqui Hubbard

Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*. Photo by Jacqui Hubbard

IVORYTON – Tammy Wynette was a country music icon. Called the “First Lady of Country Music,” she was one of country music’s best-known artists and biggest-selling female singer-songwriters. Wynette’s “Stand by Your Man” was one of the best-selling hit singles by a woman in the history of country music. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Wynette charted 23 No. 1 songs, helping to define the role of women in country music.

‘Stand By Your Man,’ opening at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Wednesday, March 18, brings the woman behind the legend and the incredible songs that made her the first lady of country music, off the stage and into your heart. Through her eyes, the audience relives her journey from the cotton fields of Itawamba, Miss., to international superstar.

With comic flare and dramatic impact ‘Stand By Your Man,’ recounts triumphs and tragedies and explores Tammy’s relationships with the five husbands she stood by, including George Jones, her beloved daughters, her strong-willed mother and two of her dearest friends: colorful writer and producer Billy Sherrill and film star Burt Reynolds. Among the 26 songs are “D-I-V-O-R-C-E,” “Til I Can Make It on My Own” and “Golden Ring.”

Directed and musically directed by the husband and wife team of David and Sherry Lutken, who were last at the Playhouse in 2012 with ‘Ring of Fire,’ the show stars husband and wife team Katie Barton* and Ben Hope*. Hope made his Broadway debut in 2012 as the lead in the Tony Award winning musical, ‘Once’, and Barton has just recently finished the national tour of ‘Million Dollar Quartet.’ The show also features Eric Anthony*, Guy Fischetti, Jonathan Brown, Marcy McGuigan*, Morgan Morse, Sam Sherwood*, Lily Tobin* and Louis Tucci*.

The set is designed by Dan Nischan, lighting by Marcus Abbott, wigs by Liz Cipollina and costumes by Anya Sokolovskaya.

‘Stand By Your Man,’ runs through April 5. 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.

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 (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)

The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Generously sponsored by: A.R. Mazotta and Essex Savings Bank

*member of Actors Equity


Niantic Bay Sailing Academy Offers Junior Sailing Program Scholarships

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.28.49 PMNiantic Bay Sailing Academy (NBSA) is offering eight scholarships to its Junior Sailing program this summer – two to each of the four town school systems located between the two rivers (Connecticut and Thames), namely, Lyme-Old Lyme, East Lyme, Waterford and New London.

Eligibility is up to Grade 8,  but the program is more focused on younger students.  The NBSA is especially seeking local youth, who may not have otherwise been exposed to sailing — a sport which offers camaraderie, competition and the development of lifelong skills.

Screen Shot 2015-03-16 at 2.29.14 PMVisit NBSA at the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau Summer Camp & Activities Fair on Wednesday, April 1 (no foolin’!), from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Commons.

In the meantime, visit the NBSA website or Niantic Bay Yacht Club website for more information about the programs.

Niantic Bay Sailing Academy is a not for profit, 501(c)(3) organization based at the Niantic Bay Yacht Club (NBYC) in Niantic, Conn., a leader in junior sailing nationally and internationally for over 50 years.  Hundreds of sailors have had the opportunity to experience sailing through this program.  Sailors from NBYC’s Junior Program have gone on to compete in collegiate, national, world competition as well as the America’s Cup, and even, the Olympics.

Equally important are the countless young men and women who have taken their experiences at NBYC and gone on to make sailing a lifelong passion whether it be ocean/coastal cruising, competitive racing, day sailing, or just “messing around” in boats.

The NBSA was formed to teach sailing to area youth with an emphasis on the environmental sensitivity to the waters on which we sail.  Its goal is very simple — to provide a fun and safe learning environment for young sailors.

Niantic Bay Sailing Academy offers a  four- or eight-week summer program (June 22 – August 14), which provides instruction for ages 7 – 17.  All abilities are welcome – from beginner sailors to those who seek more competitive racing.  Classes meet several times per week for several hours depending on ability.  Participants must pass a swim test.


How to Raise a Drug-Free Child: Country School Holds Parenting Event, April 9

MADISON - The Country School presents How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: THE STRAIGHT DOPE FOR PARENTS, an evening of conversation with Dr. Joseph A. Califano, Jr. and Yale University psychiatry experts.

On April 9 at 6 p.m. in The Country School’s DeFrancis Gymnasium, join Dr. Califano, former US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, founder of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA), and author of the new completely revised and updated edition of How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents, as he provides insights on how to help get children through the dangerous decade from 10 to 21, those formative pre-teen, teen, and college years.

Topics covered will include: legalized and synthetic marijuana, social media, the prescription drug epidemic and abuse of ADHD medications, rampant drinking and drug use on college campuses, and the latest findings on the critical connection between teen brain development and substance use.

Dr. Califano’s talk will be followed by a panel discussion and Q & A session with Yale psychiatry experts, including his daughter, Claudia Califano, MD, Adolescent and Child Psychiatrist, Assistant Clinical Professor at the Yale Child Study Center, and a Country School parent; Joseph L. Woolston, MD, Albert J. Solnit Professor of Pediatrics and Child Psychiatry at the Yale Child Study Center; and Greer Richardson, MD Psychiatrist and Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University.

The panel will be moderated by Samuel A. Ball, PhD, President and CEO of The National Center of Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) and Professor of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine.

This event, part of The Country School’s Teacher Institute-Partnering With Parents Initiative, is supported by M.A.D.E. in Madison (, a coalition of community members striving to promote positive youth development. The evening is free and open to the public, but all attendees are asked to RSVP ahead of time.

Email by April 2, 2015, with your name and the number of guests joining you (limit four people per RSVP). All attendees will receive a copy of Dr. Califano’s book. Beverages and hors d’oeuvres will be served.

The Country School thanks Dr. Califano, the panelists and moderator, and M.A.D.E. in Madison for partnering with the school in the search to improve lives through education. Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving students in PreSchool through Grade 8 on its 23-acre campus. The Country School is located at 341 Opening Hill Road in Madison. Learn more at


Class of 2015 Plans Paper Shredding Fundraiser, April 25

On Saturday, April 25, the Senior Class of 2015 will shred documents for businesses and individuals. Anyone can bring their papers to the Lyme-OId Lyme High School from 9 a.m. to 12 noon to shred for $10 a bag.

Many people have unwanted papers sitting in boxes or on desks around their house.  The papers could be old tax returns, bank statements, bills, credit card statements, newspapers or school ditto sheets. This fundraiser provides the community an opportunity to securely discard unwanted papers from houses or businesses.

The Class is excited to hold this Shred-it Fundraiser because the demand for secure document shredding services is growing. This fundraiser provides a low cost way to accomplish this community service.

The Class of 2015 has conducted this fundraiser for the last three years.  It has collected over 120 bags of unwanted papers and generated over $1,200 each year.

The Class used the funds for its activities. Class activities included three dances and many community service projects throughout town. This year the Class will use the funds to give a Class gift to the school and pay for end of the year activities such as the senior banquet.


The Bowerbird Names CT Children’s Medical Center as New Recipient for Annual Donation

Chris Kitchings, owner of The Bowerbird (back row, second from left) presents a check to the Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

Chris Kitchings, owner of The Bowerbird (back row, second from left) presents a check for $5,228 to the Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

The Bowerbird in Old Lyme has selected Connecticut Children’s Medical Center located in Hartford, Conn., as the recipient of the proceeds from their 2014 gift-wrap program. The program runs from Nov. 1, 2014 through Oct. 31, 2015.

The Bowerbird in Old Lyme recently wrapped up their 2014 gift-wrapping campaign to raise funds for the Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

Eastern Connecticut Ballet was presented with a check in the amount of $5,228.00 representing 4,000 packages wrapped. The Bowerbird charges a nominal fee for gift-wrapping purchases and donates 50 percent to local non-profit organizations

The Bowerbird pioneered ‘cause’ marketing when they created their gift wrap donation program in 1992. In the past 22 years, The Bowerbird has donated over $71,000 to 27 statewide and local non- profits proving that small businesses can make a difference.

The Bowerbird is located in the Old Lyme Marketplace.

For a complete listing of past recipients, visit


Watershed Council Appoints New Steward to Protect Lower Connecticut River

Alicea Charamut

Alicea Charamut

The Connecticut River Watershed Council (CRWC) has announced the appointment of Alicea Charamut as the new Lower River Steward for the Connecticut region. She works from CRWC’s office in the deKoven House in Middletown, CT. However, she is responsible for protecting the Connecticut River basin from the Massachusetts border all the way to Long Island Sound.

“Water is one of our planet’s most critical resources,” notes Alicea. “Unfortunately, our rivers and streams are taken for granted. It is up to organizations like CRWC with its passionate members, staff, and volunteers to protect and restore our watersheds for future generations. I consider myself fortunate to join the staff and begin work on behalf of the Connecticut River watershed.”

Charamut is already working on a number of important projects, including: Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs), upcoming water quality standard revisions, Long Island Sound clean-up plan revisions, extension of the Connecticut River Paddlers’ Trail into MA & CT, Connecticut Yankee barrier, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for tires, state-wide Water Planning, and is co-lead on CRWC’s Source to Sea River Cleanup.

An advocate for Connecticut’s rivers and streams for nearly a decade, Charamut has a strong background in biology and water resource issues. She currently serves as the President of the Farmington Valley Chapter and on the Executive Committee of the State Council of Trout Unlimited. Her work as a volunteer leader has given her many useful skills and knowledge of water issues, which she is eager to put to work for our rivers.

Charamut can be reached at 860-704-0057 or

The Connecticut River Watershed Council works to protect the watershed from source to sea. As stewards of this heritage, we celebrate our four-state treasure and collaborate, educate, organize, restore and intervene to preserve its health for generations to come. Our work informs our vision of economic and ecological abundance. To learn more about CRWC, or to make a contribution to help protect our rivers, visit or call 413-772-2020, ext. 201