May 2, 2016

Essex First Selectman Needleman to Declare State Senate Candidacy Tomorrow, Challenging Linares

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman

Essex First Selectman Norman Needleman (D) will announce his candidacy for the 33rd State Senate District at a press conference to be held Tuesday, May 3, at 5 p.m. in the Gelston House in East Haddam.

Needleman, a Democrat who is currently serving his second two-year term as Essex First Selectman, will challenge incumbent Art Linares (R), who is completing his second two-year term as 33rd District State Senator and is running for a third term. Linares is Assistant Minority Leader of the state senate.

Apart from Lyme, the 33rd senate district includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Board of Education Hosts District Meeting Tonight on Proposed 2016-17 Budget, Referendum Tuesday

The Regional District 18 Board of Education will hold a District Budget Meeting on its budget proposal for the fiscal year July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Auditorium, 69 Lyme St., Old Lyme, at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, May 2. A referendum on the budget will then be held in the two towns which comprise Regional District 18 — Lyme and Old Lyme — the following day, Tuesday, May 2.  Residents can vote respectively in the Hamburg FireHouse in Lyme and the Cross Lane Fire House in Old Lyme from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The referendum result will be reported on LymeLine.com immediately after it is announced.

In April, the school board voted to present a $33,470,376 budget for the 2015-16 fiscal year, which represents a 1.83 percent increase over the current 2014-15 budget.

All interested parties are invited to attend and present their comments or questions.

Share

Musical Masterworks Celebrates Conclusion of its 25th Season

Violinist Chee-Yun

Violinist Chee-Yun

Musical Masterworks’ 25th Anniversary Season will end with a burst of excitement as eight extraordinary musicians perform works of Richard Strauss, Bartók, Mendelssohn and contemporary composer Giovanni Sollima.  The last concerts of this season, which will feature veteran violinist Chee-Yun, will be held Saturday, April 30, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m. 

The anniversary season will be celebrated with a free 25th Anniversary Party after the final concert on May 1, to which all ticket buyers will be invited.

The finale of each concert will be one of the best-loved works in the chamber music repertoire: the Mendelssohn Octet.  It promises to be a wonderful conclusion to the group’s first quarter century. 

Artistic Director, Edward Arron commented,  “I feel privileged to be the curator of this unique concert series. As the years go by, I continue to be inspired by the beauty of the Congregational Church, the art of chamber music, the artistry of my colleagues, and the warmth of our audience.”

To learn more about Musical Masterworks, visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.  This summer information will be posted about the 26th season, which begins in October 2016.

Share

Lyme Art Association Hosts Two New Shows Through June 3

Del-Bourree Bach's 'The Good Life' is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition opening at the LAA tonight.

Del-Bourree Bach’s ‘The Good Life’ is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition opening at the LAA tonight.

The Lyme Art Association (LAA) presents the annual showcase of the best new works of art by Elected Artists Members. These artists are professionals of note and significance whose works are known, collected, and exhibited throughout the country, as well as along the Shoreline.  The LAA hosts an opening reception for this show and Body Language, displaying artwork based on the human figure in all its forms, on Friday, April 29, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are welcome and admission is free — come and meet the artists, enjoy the music and celebrate fine art.

The 95th Annual Elected Artist Exhibition and Body Language are both on view through June 3, 2016.

Also on view in The Art Market is an unjuried show featuring an entirely new collection of affordable smaller works.  All artwork on display is for sale.

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 Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10am to 5pm or by appointment.

For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit www.lymeartassociation.org

 

Share

Enjoy a Tour of Private Gardens in Essex, June 4

See this beautiful private garden in Essex on June 4.

See this beautiful private garden in Essex on June 4.

ESSEX – On Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., plan to stroll through eight of the loveliest and most unusual private gardens in Essex. Some are in the heart of Essex Village while others are hidden along lanes most visitors never see. While exploring, you will find both formal and informal settings, lovely sweeping lawns and panoramic views of the Connecticut River or its coves. One garden you will visit is considered to be a ‘laboratory’ for cultivation of native plants. Master Gardeners will be available to point out specific features, offer gardening tips, and answer questions.

The garden tour is sponsored by the Friends of the Essex Library. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the Essex Library the day of the event. Cash, checks, Visa or Master Card will be accepted. Tickets can be reserved by visiting the library or by completing the form included in flyers available at the library and throughout Essex beginning May 2. Completed forms can be mailed to the library. Confirmations will be sent to the email addresses on the completed forms.

Your ticket will be a booklet containing a brief description of each garden along with a map of the tour and designated parking. Tickets must be picked up at the library beginning at 9:45 a.m. the day of the event.

Richard Conroy, library director, has said, “The Essex Library receives only about half of its operating revenue from the Town. The financial assistance we receive each year from the Friends is critical. It enables us to provide important resources such as Ancestry.com and museum passes, as well as practical improvements like the automatic front doors that were recently installed. I urge you to help your Library by helping our Friends make this event a success! Thank you for your support.”

The tour will take place rain or shine. For more information, call 860-767-1560. All proceeds will benefit Friends of the Essex Library.

Share

Lyme Library Board President Steps Down After 31 Years

Lyme Library Board President Judith Lightfoot is retiring after more than 30 years service.

Lyme Library Board President Judith Lightfoot is retiring after more than 30 years service.

After more than three decades of service to the Lyme Public Library, Judith Lightfoot has announced her intention to resign as board president this spring. Jack Sulger, a library trustee, will take over from Lightfoot.

Lightfoot’s resignation comes a year and a half after the opening of the library’s new, 6,800-square-foot, state-of-the-art building near Lyme Town Hall, an undertaking she first championed and then helped shepherd through construction and completion.

“Under Judy’s leadership, the library has evolved into a dynamic and modern institution that still retains its small-town charm, and the new library building for which she advocated so passionately for so many years is now a reality,” said Theresa Conley, Lyme Public Library Director. “It has been a privilege to work with and learn from her.”

Lightfoot was first appointed to the Lyme Public Library Board in April 1985 and was elected board president in 1989. During her 31 years of service, the library has won the Award of Excellence for Small Libraries, Excellence in Public Library Service Award, and the Governor’s Summer Reading Challenge Award.

In addition to moving into its new, larger, and more modern headquarters, the library has grown in ways that Lightfoot finds particularly important, becoming a busy, popular destination and gathering space for patrons of all ages. It has also become a community center where the unique qualities of Lyme and its residents can be adequately celebrated and honored.

The new building has several meeting rooms, including a large program room where large-scale events are regularly held, from author talks, poetry readings, and book groups for adults to reading, art, and science programs for children. The library also has a designated archive room, where the Lyme Local History Archives and the town archivist are now headquartered.

Lightfoot, a quintessential people person, was instrumental in inspiring others to support the library, its programs, and its mission. She and her husband, Richard, helped create a series of community-building and fund-raising initiatives for the library, including a popular concert and Mystery Dinner event, a centennial lecture series, panel discussions with local authors, and a tour of Lyme artists’ studios. 

In part through her efforts to promote and honor local talents, the library became the beneficiary of several important donations and collections. The late author Dominick Dunne, a Lyme resident and patron of the library, donated all the videos he had reviewed for the Oscars to the library, and the Jewett family donated 500 gardening books from the collection of the late Tucky Jewett.

The library has also received several important works of art, adding to its impressive collection of paintings by Lyme artists. Recent donations include a Lyme landscape by the late painter Barbara Eckhardt Goodwin and a collection of four collages by Judy Friday, two of the artists featured in the first Lyme Artist Studio Tour. This winter, Elizabeth Enders, featured in the second Lyme Artist Studio Tour, donated a contemporary landscape.

Lightfoot, who moved to Lyme with her husband and four children in 1976, has also served the local and broader community through her work with High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, where she served for many years as president and trustee. In addition, she served as president and trustee of North American Riding for the Handicapped of Denver, President and trustee of Horses and Humans Foundation of Cleveland, President and member of the Westchester, N.Y., Council of Junior Leagues, Secretary and trustee of the Hopkins School, New Haven, and Secretary and director of the Lyme Public Library Foundation.

For her many volunteer efforts, Lightfoot has received several awards, including the James Brady Award from North American Riding for the Handicapped and the Hartford Courant Volunteer of the Year Award. In 1990, she was invited to attend the White House signing of the American with Disabilities Act 1990.

Lightfoot, who has four children and 13 grandchildren, said she feels this is the right time to step down from her position on the library Board. “It has been a pleasure to serve the library for three decades,” she said. “I have so enjoyed watching it grow and thrive, and I am thrilled to be leaving it in the capable hands of my colleagues, Library Director Theresa Conley and incoming Board President Jack Sulger.”

Share

Registration for ‘Tour de Lyme’ Now Open; Event Benefits Lyme Land Trust, Bikes For Kids

SiloSmile Small Web viewThe Lyme Land Conservation Trust announced it is pleased to again host used bike drop offs along with Reynolds Subaru for Bikes for Kids, Old Saybrook, CT.  Any sized donated bike is welcome.

Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road (Rte. 156), Lyme, Conn., is accepting used bike donations from May 9 to May 21, 2016.

Registered riders for the Tour de Lyme can drop off used bikes for donation on May 15, 2016 on arrival at Ashlawn Farm’s parking lot prior to signing in for their cycling event.

Bikes for Kids is a charity organization that collects, refurbishes and distributes bikes primarily to kids, teenagers and some adults to CT families in need.  All refurbished bikes are distributed with new cycling helmets.

Bikes for Kids since its founding in 1989 has collected, refurbished and distributed 18,000 bikes to  families primarily in the inner cities of New Haven, New London, Middletown and Hartford.  Bikes for Kids efforts extend beyond CT and include deliveries to Bell Harbor, New York, Haiti and 30 mountain bikes to Tanzania.

John Pritchard, President of the Lyme Land Trust the organizer of the Tour de Lyme, said “Bikes for Kids is one of our area’s outstanding outreach organizations.  We’re delighted again to serve as a host site along with Reynolds Subaru for  used bike donations.”

David Fowler, President of Bikes for Kids, and a former science teacher in Lyme Old Lyme’s Middle School, indicated we put people on wheels who would either be walking or not really going anywhere at all.  “Last year we delivered almost 1,400 bikes and with the help of the Tour de Lyme collected 150 bikes in the last two years.  We hope to deliver and collect more this year.”

The motivating factor of Bikes for Kids’ Founder was “every kid needs a bike”.

For Early Bird home pick-up contact: Dave Fowler, 860-388-2453 or davefowler05@gmail.com

Or drop offs can be made from May 9 to May 21, at Reynolds Subaru, 286 Hamburg Road ( Rte 156), Lyme, CT 06371.

For additional information on the Tour de Lyme go to www.tourdelyme.org; for Bikes for Kids, www.bikesforkidsct.org

 

The Lyme Land Trust inaugurated Tour de Lyme in 2013 as an annual bike ride to raise funds to support its mission of preserving and protecting environmentally important land in Lyme.  More than 725 riders participated last year.

The Tour de Lyme is intended for all to enjoy. It is not competitive (there are no “races” or timed finishes), but rather is designed as a way to showcase and celebrate the preservation of Lyme’s spectacular natural beauty. While some of the courses will be challenging, there are others intended for casual cyclists, and there is even a family ride.

Departure times are designed so that all riders will return to Ashlawn Farm for lunch at about the same time.

Details of the ride options are as follows:

The Challenge– 60 miles – The name says it all.  Changes we have made are sure to please returning riders. A few more beautiful miles, a hill or two eliminated but still a challenge. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Challenge Ride 2016. Ride departs at 8:00am. Follow red arrows.

The Valley35 – 35 miles –The popular Valley rides are less hilly than the Classic. The Valley35 is a longer version of the original with the northern loop of 9 added miles along beautiful roads. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the  Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:00am. Follow green arrows.

The Valley26 – 26 miles – A scenic fun ride. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Valley 26&35 Rides. Ride departs at 9:30am. Follow green arrows.

The Classic – 25 miles – Shorter than The Challenge but still challenging. Ride departs at 9:30am. Detailed cue sheet here and a map of the Classic Ride 2016. Follow blue arrows.

The Family – 8 miles – ideal for families riding with children. For returning riders, please note we have reversed the route direction to avoid confusion at some turns.  Ride departs at 10:15am. The Family Ride cue sheet here and a map of the Family Ride. Follow purple arrows.

The Church Goers Ride – 7.6 to 8.8 miles – After services, approximately 11:45am riders leave Old Lyme Congregational and Christ the King and meet up with other riders at Saint Ann’s and then ride to Ashlawn Farm. Follow purple arrows.  Detailed cue sheet and map coming soon.

To register for any of the rides listed above, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/register/

For additional information about the Tour de Lyme, visit http://www.tourdelyme.org/

Share

‘The English Lady’ Presents Fundraising Lecture for South Lyme Chapel, May 12

Maureen Haseley-Jones

Maureen Haseley-Jones

Maureen Haseley-Jones presents her ‘Garden Earth’ lecture as a fundraiser for the South Lyme Chapel from 6.30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, Lyme Street in Sheffield Auditorium. She will teach how to create an organic garden without using harmful poisons.

Also known as The English Lady, Haseley-Jones is a sought after and highly respected lecturer, writer, and radio gardening expert heard monthly on WRCH Radio Lite 100.5 FM by thousands of dedicated fans throughout Connecticut.

In her naturally humorous and upbeat manner, The English Lady will teach how each of us can oxygenate our environment and develop a symbiotic relationship with the Earth. She will show not only how to create a beautiful garden that flourishes but more importantly how to maintain it organically and without the use of harmful poisons.

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 10.58.20 PMBut even closer to her heart, The English Lady will discuss ways in which we can, through our garden’s living spirit, become inspired to reach and connect at a deeper level with the meaning and purpose of Mother Nature and her changing seasons.

The English Lady recognizes that at present, more than any other time in history, people need to make conscious choices about their health, lifestyle, and homes.  She says, “People need to know that even the smallest gesture of a garden has positive effects and rewards on the environment.”

For more information on The English Lady, visit www.theenglishlady.com

There will be refreshments and a free raffle.  Donations will be appreciated at the door.

Share

Essex Savings Bank Announces 2016 Community Investment Balloting Results

essex-savings-bank-300x99Results from Essex Savings Bank’s customers recent voting in the Bank’s Community Investment Program were announced at a meeting of employees, directors and trustees at the Bank’s Plains Road Office on April 12. According to Thomas Lindner, Vice President and Community Relations Officer for Essex Savings Bank, 7,206 votes were cast this year for a total of $33,001.

The non-profits that received the top ten number of votes were in attendance for special recognition. They are, in order: Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, Forgotten Felines, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Valley Shore Animal Welfare League, Old Saybrook Fire Company Number One, Bikes for Kids, Dog Days Adoption Events, Essex Fire Engine Company Number 1, Tait’s Every Animal Matters (TEAM) and Pet Connections. See full results here.

The customer balloting portion of Essex Savings Bank’s 2016 Community Investment Program began on February 1 and concluded on February 29. The program entitled the bank’s customers to select up to three charities from this year’s list of 80 qualified non-profit organizations. Fund allocations are awarded based on the results of these votes.

Gregory R. Shook, President and Chief Executive Officer of Essex Savings Bank, said, “As we celebrate our 165th year of operation, we are proud to share in our success by giving back. Our Community Investment Program is designed to provide vital financial support to those organizations that enhance the quality of life in our communities.”

Each year the bank donates up to 10 percent of its net income to non-profit organizations within the immediate market area consisting of Chester, Deep River, Essex, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook. Since the program’s inception in 1996, the bank has donated over $4 million to well over 200 organizations. This year, the bank has allocated $110,000 to assisting non-profit organizations who offer outstanding services to our community and one third of that amount is then voted upon by the bank’s customers.

Editor’s note: 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.

Share

Old Lyme Artists Featured in Gallery One Exhibition at Guilford Art Center

Featured in the Gallery One exhibition at the Guilford Art Center is "Cottages, White Sands Beach #9" by Catherine Christiano, oil on panel, 4 1/4 x 6 inches, 2014.

Featured in the Gallery One exhibition at the Guilford Art Center is “Cottages, White Sands Beach #9” by Catherine Christiano of Old Lyme. The work is oil on panel, 4 1/4 x 6 inches, and was painted in 2014.

Gallery One,  a cooperative of mid-career artists working in a wide variety of media and styles from representational to abstract, including painting, sculpture and works on paper, will exhibit at the Guilford Art Center’s Mill Gallery, from Friday, April 22, through Sunday, May 15. The artists’ vision is to provide Southeastern Connecticut with a stimulating resource and to support one another as artists.

An opening reception will be held Friday, April 22, from 5 to 7 p.m. and a closing reception with Jazz Circle improvisational music inspired by the artwork on Sunday, May 15 from 2 to 4 p.m.  Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

“The Mill Gallery at the Guilford Art Center is a wonderful canvas for us to design the exhibition using our work as the compositional elements,” says Gallery One director Judith Barbour Osborne, “creating a flow from piece to piece (artist to artist), creating juxtapositions of similar and opposite pieces while considering formal aspects such as line, color, form, weight, and so on.”

Carlisle-BlusteryDay

‘Blustery Day’ by Ashby Carlisle will also be on view at the exhibition.

Member artists include David Brown, Ashby Carlisle, Catherine Christiano, Bette Ellsworth, Gray Jacobik, Rick Lacey, Judith Barbour Osborne, T. Willie Raney, Diana Rogers, Rick Silberberg and Jill Vaughn. Carlisle and Christiano are Old Lyme residents while Thelma Halloran, who uses the artist name of T. Willie Raney, is a teacher at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.  Deborah Hornbake of East Haddam, Conn., and Steve Lloyd of W. Brattleboro, Vt., (formerly of Chester, Conn.) will be joining them for this exhibition.

The Artists of Gallery One exhibit in various locations along the Connecticut shoreline. Additional information about the artists and upcoming exhibitions can be found at www.galleryoneCT.com.

For more information about the Guilford Art Center, visit www.GuilfordArtCenter.org

Share

“Invaders” Exhibit Now Open at CT River Museum

Sponsors of the exhibit gathered for a sneak peek prior to the Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water exhibit opening at the Connecticut River Museum. From left to right are: John Lombardo, Stephen Tagliatela, and Viola Tagliatela from Saybrook Point Inn and Spa; Thayer Talbot from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Representative Phil Miller; Cynthia Clegg from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Joanne Masin and Christopher Dobbs from the Connecticut River Museum; Brenda Kestenbaum from Eyewitness News (WFSB); and Tony Marino and Marilyn Ozols from the Rockfall Foundation.

Sponsors of the exhibit gathered for a sneak peek prior to the Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water exhibit opening at the Connecticut River Museum. From left to right are: John Lombardo, Stephen Tagliatela, and Viola Tagliatela from Saybrook Point Inn and Spa; Thayer Talbot from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Representative Phil Miller; Cynthia Clegg from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; Joanne Masin and Christopher Dobbs from the Connecticut River Museum; Brenda Kestenbaum from Eyewitness News (WFSB); and Tony Marino and Marilyn Ozols from the Rockfall Foundation.

On Thursday night, March 31, the Connecticut River Museum unveiled its 2016 feature exhibit, Invaders: They Come by Air, Land and Water. The exhibit explores one of the most significant threats today to the 410-mile-long Connecticut River Valley: invasive species.

Representative Phil Miller was one of many honored public figures and supporters in attendance. Miller said, “I’m thrilled that the State of Connecticut was able to provide some support for this important project and I encourage everyone to come out and see this great show. Building public awareness is a big part of the solution to the problem of invasive species.”

The vibrantly campy, yet serious exhibit was in production for two years and involved numerous organizations including Channel 3 Eyewitness News, the Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, the Connecticut DEEP Marine Fisheries Division, and the Long Island Sound Study. Stunned by the creative energy and theatrical elements of the exhibit, one observer said, “Move over Universal Studios.”

Taking on the feel of a classic, 1950s Ed Wood science fiction monster movie, the exhibit explores the many air, land and water invasive species to our region. Critical environmental, economic and recreational impacts are highlighted and help to answer why we should care about this invasion. More importantly, according to the museum’s executive director Christopher Dobbs, “The exhibit provides information on how we can make a difference by changing our habits, identifying invasive species before they are established, and getting involved with environmental organizations such as local land trusts.”

Stephen Tagliatela, owner of Saybrook Point Inn, said, “We are proud to support this kind of effort. The Connecticut River is one of our great regional and national assets. It is something that brings visitors to the area and it is our duty to ensure its vitality.”

The Invaders exhibit is on public display now through Oct.10. It has been made possible by Presenting Sponsor Long Island Sound Study. Other dedicated sponsors include: Channel 3 Eyewitness News; the William and Alice Mortensen Foundation; the Rockfall Foundation; the Department of Economic and Community Development, Office of Tourism; the Community Foundation of Middlesex County; the Saybrook Point Inn & Spa; the Edgard & Geraldine Feder Foundation; and the many supporters of the Connecticut River Museum.

The Connecticut River Museum is located at 67 Main Street, Essex, and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is the only museum dedicated to the study, preservation and celebration of the cultural and natural heritage of the Connecticut River and its Valley.

Share

D18 Superintendent Reacts to US News & World Report’s Stellar Rankings of Lyme-Old Lyme HS

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Superintendent Ian Neviaser

After learning that  Lyme-Old Lyme High School was ranked 8th in the state of Connecticut and 429th in the nation in a listing of public high schools published this week by US News & World Report, a delighted District 18 Superintendent of Schools Ian Neviaser commented to LymeLine.com, “Congratulations to the students, staff and community for yet another honor for this incredible institution.  This is an honor for not only the high school, but the entire Pre-K through 12 program and the students, staff and community that make it so strong.”

Click to read our story published 4/20, Lyme-Old Lyme High School Ranked 8th in State, 429th Nationally by US News & World Report

Click to read a related story published on NBCConnecticut.com 4/20, 11 Connecticut High Schools Get Gold Medals in National Ranking

Share

Old Lyme Historic District Commission to Hear Bee & Thistle’s Application for Outdoor Seating, May 2

The Old Lyme Historic District Commission (HDC) will hold a Public Hearing on Monday, May 2, at 9:45 a.m. in the upstairs conference room at the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall when members will hear and act on a Certificate of Appropriateness application from the Bee and Thistle Inn at 100 Lyme Street. The application is to install a patio on the south side of inn.

The public is invited to attend and express its views. Letters may be sent to the Historic District Commission at 52 Lyme Street, Old Lyme CT 06371.

Supporting material will be available at the May 2 Public Hearing.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Ranked 8th in State, 429th Nationally by US News & World Report

US News & World Report ranked Lyme-Old Lyme High School 8th in Connecticut in their just published listing of America's Best High Schools.

US News & World Report ranked Lyme-Old Lyme High School 8th in Connecticut in their just published listing of America’s Best High Schools.

LOLHSCementing its position as one of the top high schools in both the state and country, Lyme-Old Lyme High School  (LOLHS) has been named the eighth best public high school in Connecticut by US News & World Report in their listing of “Best High Schools” published this week.  Moreover, LOLHS was ranked nationally at #429 and consequently, as one of the top 500 schools in the country, was awarded US News & World Report’s highest honor of a gold medal.

In terms of its Connecticut ranking, Lyme-Old Lyme had the highest ranking of any school in New London County with the only other schools in the county placed being Waterford High School at #41 and Fitch at #43.  Although three schools in Fairfield County came ahead of Lyme-Old Lyme (Weston, Ridgefield and Wilton at 4th, 5th and 7th respectively),in a remarkable achievement, LOLHS came in ahead of Simsbury, Greenwich and Darien High Schools respectively at 9th, 10th and 11th places.

The top high school in Connecticut was the Connecticut IB Academy in East Hartford , with second place going to the Academy of Aerospace and Engineering at Hartford. Third place went to the Amistad Academy at New Haven and sixth position to Conard High School in West Hartford.

Other shoreline schools which received state rankings were Guilford at 22nd, Daniel Hand of Madison at 29th and Old Saybrook at 30th.  Along with Fitch and Waterford, these schools all were awarded silver medals.

U.S. News evaluated more than 28,000 schools in 50 states and the District of Columbia to determine the top public high schools nationally. Five hundred high schools received gold medals, 2,173 schools earned silver and 3,545 took home bronze in the national rankings. Schools were ranked based on their performance on state assessments, their graduation rates and how well they prepare students for college.  Click here to read full details of the methodology used by US News & World Report.

Share

Vista Accepting Applications for Summer Program until May 2

Vista is accepting applications for its summer program.

Vista is now accepting applications for its two-week summer program.

AREAWIDE – Individuals with disabilities 17 and older are invited to experience life at Vista Life Innovations for two weeks during the Exploring Independence summer program.

Exploring Independence is designed to provide prospective students with an introduction to Vista and the independence of adulthood in a supported learning environment. Participants will experience living away from home in a dorm-style setting and take part in a variety of interactive activities. The program combines hands-on learning in the areas of social skills, life skills and team building with fun activities, such as off-site day trips, arts projects and community immersion.

Participation in the Exploring Independence summer program is the first step in the admissions process for many Vista students and members. Among them is Vista student Tim Maloney, who participated in the 2015 summer program.

“I learned that you can be yourself and have a nice time away from home,” Tim said of his experience in the summer program. “My favorite part was making friends and doing activities.”

This year’s Exploring Independence program will run August 1-12. Applications are being accepted through May 2. Space is limited. For more information or to apply, contact Esther Vallas, admissions manager, at evallas@vistalifeinnovations.org or 860-399-8080 ext. 136.

With campuses in Westbrook, Madison and Guilford, Vista Life Innovations is a nationally accredited community-based education program for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, learning disabilities, seizure disorders, traumatic brain injuries, intellectual disabilities and ADHD.

Share

‘Discovery Sundays’ at Florence Griswold Museum

flo gris 1

One of the highlights of Discovery Sundays at the Florence Griswold Museum is an outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists. Explorer Kits are designed for various ages and skill levels.

OLD LYME – Beginning Sunday, April 3, the Florence Griswold Museum 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 an outdoor Art Cart that guides families to explore the grounds and its connection to the artists who famously painted there.

In addition, seasonal buildings including the Chadwick Studio and the Rafal Landscape Center will open for the season. And who knows! 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 ($10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students). Children 12 and under are always free.

The museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. For more information, visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org or call 860-434-5542 x 111.

Share

Hundreds Vigil for Late First Selectman Richard Smith, Selectmen to Meet Thursday to Discuss Succession

Candles are lit in honor of " a remarkable legacy to service, commitment, and dedication to the people of Deep River." Photo by Kim Tyler.

Candles are lit in honor of Dick Smith’s “… remarkable legacy to service, commitment, and dedication to the people of Deep River.” (Angus McDonald Jr.) Photo by Kim Tyler.

DEEP RIVER — The town showed its affection and appreciation for the late First Selectman Richard H. “Smitty” Smith Monday as hundreds gathered at sunset around town hall in a vigil for the longtime municipal leader who died suddenly Friday at age 65.

Hundreds gathered at Deep River Town Hall yesterday evening to pay tribute to their beloved First Selectman Dick Smith, who passed away Friday afternoon.Hundreds gathered at Deep River Town Hall Monday evening to pay tribute to their beloved First Selectman Dick Smith, who passed away Friday afternoon.

The vigil, which precedes the funeral for Smith Thursday at 11 a.m. at St. Joseph Church in Chester, came as the two remaining members of the board of selectman, Democrat Angus McDonald Jr. and Republican David Oliveria, scheduled a special meeting for Thursday to discuss the process for filling the vacancy for the remainder of Smith’s term that runs through November 2017.

A quiet, candlelit moment of contemplation on a life well lived.A quiet, candlelit moment of contemplation on a life well lived. Photo by Kim Tyler.

McDonald, who joined Oliveria to meet with town hall employees Monday afternoon, said the special meeting that begins at 5:30 p.m. in town hall would review “temporary organizational changes to cover leadership in the coming month.” McDonald, who was first elected with Smith in 2011, said he and Oliveria are still discussing who would assume the full-time job of interim first selectman through the unexpired term. The appointment of either McDonald or Oliveria to the top job would also create a new vacancy on the board of selectman.

A boy sets a candle in remembrance of Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith, who passed away last Friday, March 25.During the vigil, a boy places a candle on the town hall steps in remembrance of Deep River First Selectman Dick Smith, who passed away Friday, March 25. Photo by Kim Tyler.

“Dick Smith leaves a remarkable legacy to service, commitment, and dedication to the people of Deep River,” McDonald said. “While we know we can never replace him, we have an obligation to our community to move quickly to fill the vacancy.”

Photo by Kim Tyler.Candles light the faces of those gathered to remember Deep River First Selectman Richard “Smitty” Smith. Photo by Kim Tyler.

Town officials from both political parties joined elected officials from around the state in praising Smith, a Democrat whose 26-year tenure made him one of the longest serving municipal chief elected officials for both Middlesex County and the entire state. A South Carolina native who arrived in Connecticut around 1970, Smith was elected first selectman in 1989, and had been unopposed for a 14th consecutive term in the town election last fall. Smith had also served as a part-time town police officer since 1973.

Candles and roses are held in remembrance of Richard “Smitty” Smith at Monday night’s vigil. Photo by Kim Tyler.

Oliveria, first elected to the board in 2009, said Smith had done “an incredible job as first selectman running all aspects of the town.” Town Treasurer Tom Lindner, a Republican who was elected to the part-time position in 1989, said Smith was “always there for everybody in Deep River.”

State Senator Phil Miller addresses the vigil participants.State Senator Phil Miller speaks at Monday’s vigil. Photo by Kim Tyler.

Speakers at the vigil, where residents of Deep River and other nearby towns held lighted candles and roses in honor of the longtime town leader, recalled Smith’s tireless dedication to the town and its people. Jonathan Kastner, the first selectman’s assistant and friend, said Smith was “a problem solver who somehow found a way to keep adversaries from being too adversarial.” State Rep. Phil Miller, a former first selectman of Essex, said Smith was “a role model for anyone in any kind of public service.”

Photo by Kim Tyler.Remembering a leader who Sen. Phil Miller described as, “a role model for anyone in any kind of public service.” Photo by Kim Tyler.

Smith built a record of accomplishment that changed and improved Deep River during his 26 years as first selectman. There is the row of fully occupied industrial buildings at the Plattwood Park Industrial Area off Rte. 80, a 20-year- development process where Smith earned statewide recognition for using state and federal grant funds to construct buildings for small or start-up businesses as a way to help grow the town’s tax base. One of Smith’s most recent accomplishments was a Main Street redevelopment effort that began in 2005, and concluded in 2009 with construction of a Walgreen’s pharmacy on the former Deep River Inn parcel, along with various streetscape improvements for the entire length of Main Street.

Photo by Kim Tyler.Richard “Smitty” Smith: In Memoriam. Photo by Kim Tyler.

State statute gives the two remaining selectmen up to 30 days from March 26, the day after Smith’s death, to appoint an interim first selectman who would serve until November 2017. The appointment could be forced to a special election by a petition with signatures from five percent of the town’s total voter registration, or about 158 voter signatures, that must be submitted within 15 days after any appointment to fill the vacancy.

Roses in remembrance of Richard "Smitty" Smith. Photo by Kim Tyler.Roses in remembrance of Richard “Smitty” Smith. Photo by Kim Tyler.

Editor’s Note: Deep River resident and professional photographer Kim Tyler, who graciously supplied all of the photos published in this article to ValleyNewsNow.com, has also generously agreed to make many of the photos that she took at the vigil available to our readers at no charge. We applaud her wonderful act of public service. The photos have now been uploaded at this link. For more information about Kim Tyler Photography, visit ktphoto.net

Share

Registration Now Open for Literacy Volunteers Races in Essex, May 21

literacy volunteers run

AREAWIDE – On Saturday, May 21, Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) will hold its Ninth Annual Backward Mile and 5K Run/3K Walk. Registration for the races begins at 7:30 a.m. at the Essex Town Hall, on West Avenue. The Backward Mile race, open to runners older than 18, begins at 8:30 a.m.; the 5K race and 3K walk both begins at 9:15 a.m. T-shirts will be given to the first 100 runners.

Runners below the age of six can participate in the Lollipop Run, which begins at 8:50 a.m. All Lollipop runners will receive lollipops.

Registration forms are available from the LVVS offices, (860) 399-0280,or you can register online at www.register.fasttracktiming.com. Runners with additional questions about the race may contact Elizabeth Steffen, race director, at esteffen@vsliteracy.org. All proceeds from the race go to LVVS tutoring programs.

Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore, CT, Inc. teaches residents of the valley shore towns to read, write and speak English to improve their life and work skills. This one-to-one instruction is confidential and is completely without charge to the student. LVVS currently has 183 volunteers who serve 203 students in 11 shoreline towns: Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Share

Registration Now Open for High Hopes Summer Equestrian Camp for Ages 3-12

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding's summer camp in Old Lyme begins July 11 for children ages 3 to 12. No previous riding experience is needed.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding’s summer camp in Old Lyme begins July 11 for children ages 3 to 12. No previous riding experience is needed.

OLD LYME – High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Inc., is once again hosting a youth equestrian summer camp for area children ages 3 to 12, on its beautiful 120-acre campus in Old Lyme. High Hopes offers summer campers equine-related educational opportunities in partnership with its herd of more than 20 horses and ponies. Each camp session is designed to meet the needs of participant groups by age and/or riding skill level, and offers children diverse equine-based activities conducted by a certified therapeutic riding instructor.

Campers build and/or develop horsemanship skills both on and off the horse by grooming and tacking their horse each morning in addition to a daily riding lesson. Other activities include gymnastics on horseback, carriage driving, inclusive team-building games and equine arts and crafts. No previous riding experience is necessary. During the school year, High Hopes provides therapeutic horseback riding and other equine-assisted activities for people with cognitive, physical, and emotional disabilities.

Four weekly sessions are scheduled beginning the week of July 11. Each session is limited to 16 participants and is Monday through Thursday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration deadline is June 10. Contact Carrina Echeandia, cecheandia@highhopestr.org, 860-434-1974 ext. 118 for more information.

Editor’s note: High Hopes is one of the oldest and largest therapeutic riding centers in the United States, operating since 1974 and accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Intl.) since 1979. High Hopes is committed to providing the highest quality service to all who might benefit, regardless of their financial means. www.highhopestr.org

Share

Lyme’s Fat Stone Farm Wins Two Top Awards for Maple Syrup at CT Specialty Foods Awards Contest

Fat Stone Farm's organic maple syrup, which has just received two top state awards.

Fat Stone Farm’s organic maple syrup, which has just received two top state specialty food awards.

Fat Stone Farm, which is located in Lyme, Conn., has been awarded both a 2nd and 3rd place in the “syrups” category at the Connecticut Speciality Food Association’s (CSFA’s) 14th annual Product Awards Competition.

Over 165 specialty food items from Connecticut’s specialty food community entered into 39 categories. Fat Stone Farm was awarded 2nd place with its “dark” organic maple syrup, and 3rd place with its “hint of butter” amber organic maple syrup.

Liz Farrell of Fat Stone Farm comments, “It’s a real honor to be recognized by the CSFA. Our small batches and hand crafting really allow the flavor of pure organic syrup to shine through.”

A diverse panel of 15 judges consisting of food writers, Connecticut chefs, and wine specialists scored products for overall taste, flavor, texture, aroma, and appearance. Each judge was assigned to specific categories, responsible for evaluating an average of approximately 50 different products.

According to Tricia Levesque of the Connecticut Food Association, the entrepreneurial spirit of the participants is the type of fuel that is needed to create jobs here in Connecticut. Levesque notes, “This competition stands out because it features some of the best new food products in the region. It allows people with an idea and a dream to showcase the quality of food and beverages produced locally. The CT Specialty Food Competition is a win for food fans and small business trying to grow”.

Fat Stone Farm organic maple syrup is available at Reynold’s General Store in Lyme; Hadlyme Country Market; Ashlawn Café, FoodWorks II, Fromage and Atlantic Seafood, all in Old Saybrook; CT Farm Fresh Express (www.ctffe.com), and a number of other grocers in Connecticut.

For more information, visit ctspecialityfood.org.

Share