February 13, 2016

Lyme-Old Lyme High School Hosts Prospective Student Day, Mar. 4

On Friday, March 4, 2016, Lyme-Old Lyme High School will welcome prospective students who do not currently attend a Region 18 school and their parents/guardians to preview the high school if they are considering enrolling here for the fall of 2016.

The School Counselors and Administration will be available to provide an overview of the school, its curriculum and student opportunities. Additionally, tours of Lyme-Old Lyme High School will be available.

RSVP to 860-434-2255 by February 26, 2016 if you plan to attend. On the day of the event, please arrive at 12:00 p.m. and check in at the Main Office before reporting to the Auditorium.


Musical Masterworks Hosts Beethoven Bonanza Over Two Concerts This Weekend

Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park

Cellist Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park

Musical Masterworks continues its celebration of a quarter century of magnificent chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme on Saturday, Feb. 13, at 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Feb. 14, at 3 p.m.

In a bold break from their traditional programming of repeat concerts, Edward Arron and pianist Jeewon Park will play two different programs in the Saturday and Sunday concerts, traversing the entire cycle of Ludwig van Beethoven’s works for piano and cello over the two days, providing a fascinating window into the arc of Beethoven’s compositional career.

The two different programs will include three sets of variations and five sonatas as follows:

Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m.

Sonata No. 1 in F Major, Opus 5, No. 1
Sonata No. 4 in C Major, Opus 102, No. 1
12 Variations in F Major on ‘Ein Mädchen oder Weibchen’, Opus 66
Sonata No. 3 in A Major, Opus 69

Sunday, Feb. 14 at 3 p.m.

12 Variations in G Major on ‘See the conqu’ring hero comes’, WoO 45
Sonata No. 2 in g minor, Opus 5, No. 2
Seven Variations on ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’, WoO 46
Sonata No. 5 in D Major, Opus 102, No. 2

For those who plan to attend both programs, Musical Masterworks is offering a 50 percent discount on tickets to the additional concert.

Musical Masterworks has partnered with the Old Lyme Inn with a special promotion for February concert-goers.  With a February Musical Masterworks ticket or stub, Old Lyme Inn will offer a 10 percent discount on dinner on Saturday, Feb. 13, (between 7 and 9 p.m.) and a 10 percent discount on brunch on Sunday, Feb. 14, (between 10 and 3 p.m.)

For more information or to order tickets, call the office at 860.434.2252 or visit www.musicalmasterworks.org.


Egyptologist Kent Weeks Inspires Students at The Country School

gyptologist Kent Weeks visited The Country School to speak with students about his work in Egypt. Fifth Graders are pictured here with their teacher, Kerri Kelly, and Dr. Weeks, along with a hieroglyphic message they created in his honor. Standing, left to right, are: Andrew Walter-Zona, North Branford; Ian Marshall, Killingworth; Philip Warren, Old Saybrook; Colin Higginson, Madison; Elke Zigmont, Madison; Wendol Williams, Madison; 5th Grade teacher Kerri Kelly, Essex; Liliana Boone, Middletown; Kameron Borden, Clinton; Madison Grady, Clinton, and Dr. Kent Weeks. Pictured front row, left to right, are: Jenson Taylor, Westbrook; Erik Howie, Madison; Jackson Chontos, Old Lyme; and Willa Wurzbach, Killingworth. Photo by Kate Cordsen

Egyptologist Kent Weeks visited The Country School to speak with students about his work in Egypt. Fifth graders are pictured here with their teacher, Kerri Kelly, and Dr. Weeks, along with a hieroglyphic message they created in his honor. Standing (L-R): Andrew Walter-Zona, Ian Marshall, Philip Warren, Colin Higginson, Elke Zigmont, Wendol Williams, teacher Kerri Kelly, Liliana Boone, Kameron Borden, Madison Grady, and Dr. Weeks. Front (L-R): Jenson Taylor, Erik Howie, Jackson Chontos and Willa Wurzbach. Photo by Kate Cordsen

MADISON – The Country School was delighted to welcome world-renowned Egyptologist Kent Weeks to campus recently to discuss his groundbreaking work in the Valley of the Kings. In addition to sharing stories about his efforts to excavate and catalog ancient Egyptian monuments, Dr. Weeks spoke about the library he founded in Luxor to support archeological research, educate local children about the importance of preserving Egypt’s monuments, and provide a community gathering place.

More than 200 people attended Dr. Weeks’ lecture. Along with all Country School students and teachers, visitors included students and teachers from Madison’s Brown Middle School and Country School alumni, parents, grandparents and friends.

Dr. Weeks’ visit was a particular thrill for Country School fifth graders, who are currently immersed in a multi-month study of ancient Egypt — an undertaking that will culminate this spring with a visit to the Egyptian wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

As a class, students have read, discussed and watched videos about Dr. Weeks and his work with the Theban Mapping Project, through which he is setting out to catalog the thousands of tombs and temples in the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens. They also know details of his major find – the discovery of KV5, the tomb of the sons of Ramses II.

During his talk, Dr. Weeks explained that resources for schools in Luxor are very scant, so the nonprofit Theban Mapping Project Library is filling a critical role in teaching local children about their heritage. Although researching, cataloguing and protecting Egypt’s monuments have been his life’s work, Dr. Weeks said the library may be the most important contribution of all.

“We’ve been at this for a number of years, but I think the library we are establishing is going to be one of the most important additions to protect the monuments of ancient Egypt,” he said. “They are important not just for the children in these slides here but for everyone all over the world. They’re all part of our own heritage.”

Country School students have been holding a series of fundraisers to support Dr. Weeks’ library, and after his visit they were able to donate $350 to benefit the Theban Mapping Project Library. They look forward to holding additional fundraising initiatives, including an ongoing student-run pop-up Farmers Market.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent PreSchool-Grade 8 school in Madison. The school regularly invites speakers to campus to talk with students and/or parents about topics of interest and importance.

The next event will be held on Thursday, Feb. 4, when the school hosts a screening of Most Likely to Succeed, the acclaimed documentary about the future of education. A panel discussion will take place following the screening, featuring Madison Superintendent of Schools Tom Scarice, Executive Director of the Connecticut Association of Independent Schools Douglas Lyons, and education writer Laura Pappano, author of Inside School Turnarounds: Urgent Hopes, Unfolding Stories and a frequent contributor to The New York Times Education Life, among other publications. The screening is free and open to the public.

The Country School will also have a series of speakers on campus this spring when, on April 23, the school hosts TEDxTheCountrySchool.

For more information about these and other events, visit www.thecountryschool.org.


Disabled Workers Committee Invites Applications for $10K Matthew Shafner Memorial Scholarship

The Disabled Workers Committee, Inc. has announced a $10,000 scholarship in honor of Matthew Shafner. The Committee is a Connecticut-based, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to help impaired workers. Shafner, a nationally recognized attorney and former Chairman of the Disabled Workers Scholarship Subcommittee, passed away in September 2015. The scholarship will assist a child of a worker, who lives in Connecticut and has been totally disabled in the workplace, to attend college.

The scholarship has been awarded since 1993. In 2016, it has been renamed the Matthew Shafner Memorial Scholarship for Sons and Daughters of Disabled Workers. The 2016 scholarship will provide one $10,000 award to be divided evenly over four years of college ($1,250 per semester.) It will be given to a student demonstrating both academic excellence and financial need.

Matthew Shafner was recentiy described as “a legal giant and humanitarian who broke new ground with asbestos, maritime injury and workers compensation cases,” by The Day. He was only the ninth person to receive the Connecticut Trial Lawyer Association’s lifetime achievement award since the association formed in 1954.In2015,U.S. News & World Report’s Best Lawyers in America recognized Shafner as a “Lawyer of the Year”.

“The pressures that fall on disabled workers and their families are tremendous,” explained Matthew Shafner in 2010 when he was Chairman of the Committee.”This scholarship fund eases one of the important financial burdens that disabled workers often face.”

Applications are available throughout Connecticut in the offices of high school guidance counselors, labor unions and Workers Compensation Commission offices. They should be received by April 1, 2016 at the Scholarship Fund, Disabled Workers Committee, Inc, c/o Suisman Shapiro Attomeys-at-Law, 2 Union Plaza, Suite 200, New London, CT 06320. A statewide committee of independent prominent educators will select the successful students.

The Disabled Workers Committee, Inc educates the public about helping impaired workers return to their workplace as soon as possible. The Committee is co-sponsored by the Connecticut State Medical Society and the New London County Medical Association


Tickets Now Available for Ivoryton Playhouse Comedy Night, March 18; Proceeds Support Ivoryton Illuminations

Vincent McElhone

Vincent McElhone

IVORYTON – Leave winter behind and come out for some big laughs at the Ivoryton Playhouse on Friday, March 18, when the theater hosts Comedy Night, headlined by Vincent McElhone.

McElhone, an Old Saybrook resident for 25 years, has worked such famous venues as the Tropicana Hotel in Las Vegas, Caroline’s on Broadway, Dangerfields in NYC and Mohegan Sun, sharing the stage with such acts as Brian Regan, Jim Gaffigan, Dom Irrera and Denis Leary. He returns to the Ivoryton Playhouse with his special blend of comedy, discussing subjects close to him such as his family, marriage, being raised Irish Catholic and living on the shoreline.

Also on the bill are comedians Tony Liberati and Rick Roberts. Since making his stand-up debut in 1998, Liberati entertains crowds all over the country. His energetic and charismatic delivery of observational humor connects with all types of audiences and his experience as an elementary school teacher blends a unique feeling of nostalgia and silliness that has audiences crying with laughter. He has been on ABC’s America’s Funniest People and his jokes have been published alongside greats like Chris Rock and Henny Youngman in The Idiot’s Guide to Joke Telling by Alpha Publishing.

Rick Roberts is a lawyer by day and comedian by night. He has performed in over 300 shows throughout the Northeast. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Comedy through Caroline’s, Rick performs regularly at comedy clubs in New York City. His unique and jaded perspective on the frustrations of middle-aged life and modern technology are central themes of his hilarious comedy.

Comedy Night takes place at the Ivoryton Playhouse at 103 Main Street. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Tables of six and eight are available. Tickets are $30. Balcony seats are $20. Wine and beer cash bar and teacup auction. Please call 860-767-9520 x205 to book your seats. A portion of the proceeds of this event will go toward producing the annual Ivoryton Illuminations in December.



Friends of Essex Library Host Eagle and Winter Wildlife Cruise on CT River, March 2


ESSEX – Join the Friends of the Essex Library on Wednesday, March 2, from 1 to 3:30 p.m., for a two-and-a-half-hour cruise aboard RiverQuest, departing from Eagle Landing State Park in Haddam.

The group will search for Bald Eagles, Golden Eagles and the rich variety of other birds wintering along the river. Along the way Captain Mark and his crew, accompanied by a member of the Essex Land Trust, will assist in bird
identification and will share information about the Connecticut River. Bring your cameras and binoculars.

RiverQuest has a heated cabin and an outdoor viewing area. Hot cider with optional rum is included. You are welcome to bring your own picnic and beverages.

Space is limited so please visit Essex Library at 33 West Avenue (860-767-1560) to reserve a seat. Cash or checks are accepted at $60 per person. Due to high fees credit cards cannot be accepted.

PLEASE NOTE: In case of very bad weather, the cruise will be rescheduled for Thursday, March 3, from 1 to 3:30 p.m. If you cannot cruise on March 3, please give your tickets to a friend or sell them to someone on the wait list. If very bad weather on both days prevents the group from going on the river, a full refund will be given for all tickets.


Vista Performs “Pirates of Penzance” May 20-22

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“The Pirates of Penzance” will run May 20 through May 22 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — The Kate — in Old Saybrook. Pat Souney will direct.

Editor’s Note: Based in Madison and Westbrook, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, visit www.vistavocational.org.


CANCELLED: Lyme P & Z Meets Tonight to Discuss Revised Zoning Regulations

Screen Shot 2016-02-08 at 8.05.10 AM2:00 PM UPDATE: We have just heard that this meeting has been cancelled due the snow.  It will be rescheduled but a date has not yet been determined.

Lyme Planning and Zoning (P & Z) Commission will host a Public Hearing on the revised zoning regulations during their meeting this evening (Monday) at 7:30 p.m. at Lyme Town Hall.

The regulations have been revised as a result of an application by Sunset Hill Vineyard for a special exception permit to offer tastings and sell wine at its Elys Ferry Rd. farm.  When the P & Z Commission first discussed the application back in November last year, more than 175 residents attended the hearing with many of those present speaking out either for or against the proposal.

Those objecting to the proposal contended that it will be allowing a retail business in a part of town that is now solely residential and farming in character while, supporters argued that Lyme has successfully retained its rural identity in part precisely because it has encouraged farming enterprises.

The Commission never rendered a decision on the vineyard’s application because the owners withdrew the application — the P & Z Commission agreed to review its regulations to accommodate applications involving vineyards in the future.

With the release of the new regulations for discussion, the two schools of thought have already let their initial responses be known. Chip Dahlke, owner of Ashlawn Farm on Bill Hill Rd. has written a Facebook post stating, “The Town of Lyme has rewritten its regulations to allow vineyards to operate within the town.”  He says, “I urge everyone to attend this meeting and support the change of regulations,” adding, “We’re almost there, but the vineyard needs your voice.”

Dahlke continues, “If you can’t attend and even if you can, also please send an email to zoning@townlyme.org to express your support. This is important to keep the town open for agriculture and maintain its character, not simply to be another elitist community along the shoreline.”

He notes, “We need all the open space we can get,” and adds enthusiastically, “Cheers. Here’s to being able to enjoy a glass of local wine!”

Meanwhile, Laura and Kieran G. Mooney, who are neighbors of Sunset Hill Vineyard, sent LymeLine a statement on behalf of the Lyme Rural Protection Group, which reads as follows,

“The Lyme Rural Protection Group supports farming, agriculture and the maintenance of open spaces in Lyme, all of which are clearly endorsed in the Lyme Plans of Conservation and Development. (POCD 1964-2014)

The POCD states that “Lyme has continued to remain quietly “off the beaten path” and, according to respondents to both recent surveys (2001,2014), they intend to “keep it that way.” (POCD Section 1) While the POCD encourages farming, agriculture and the maintenance of open spaces within the town, it also discourages tourism and the development of commercialism, including retail, outside the existing commercially zoned areas in Hamburg and Hadlyme such as those proposed by the change in regulations.

As supporters of the POCD we do not encourage the re-zoning of residential areas to permit commercial and retail enterprises nor do we support tourism. The State of Connecticut clearly views vineyards as tourism and vital to the growing tourist industry supported by the State. Hence the establishment of The Winery Trail. Consequently the group opposes several of the proposed changes and additions to the Town of Lyme Zoning Regulations as they have been currently drafted because we believe that they will fundamentally change the character of the town.

We would encourage the town to maintain those regulations that currently support farming, agriculture and open spaces, and to restrict all commercial and retail activities associated with farm wineries to currently zoned commercial areas in harmony with the opinions expressed by the respondents to the POCD.”





Carney, Linares to Hold Office Hours in Westbrook, Feb. 9

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State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) will hold pre-session office hours in Westbrook at the Westbrook Town Hall on Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m. State Senator Art Linares (R-33rd) and State Representative Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) will join Carney at the Westbrook event.

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R-20th)

This session will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government. Anyone with questions about the event can contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov.

Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

Linares represents the 33rd District comprising Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook


Two New Exhibitions on View at Lyme Art Association

'Cipollini Onions and Company' by Randie Kahrl is one of the signature paintings of the exhibition.

‘Cipollini Onions and Company’ by Randie Kahrl is one of the signature paintings of the ‘Annual Associate Artist Exhibition.’

The opening reception for the 24th Annual Associate Artist Exhibition and Wonders of Winter will be held this Sunday, Jan. 31, from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) at 90 Lyme St. in Old Lyme.

Both exhibitions are on view from Jan. 22 through Feb. 26.  The 24th Annual Associate Artist Exhibition is on view in the Association’s front galleries and features landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture by Associate Artist members while Wonders of Winter showcases winter scenes by members of all levels and is on display in the Goodman Gallery.

'Beaverbrook Farm in Winter' by Joan Wallace is found in the 'Wonders of Winter' exhibition.

‘Beaverbrook Farm in Winter’ by Joan Wallace is found in the ‘Wonders of Winter’ exhibition.

“The Annual Associate Artist Exhibition highlights the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members. This exhibition includes a variety of subjects, media, and styles: paintings or sculptures that capture the range of human emotion, the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” notes Jocelyn Zallinger, LAA’s Gallery Manager. She adds, “The Wonders of Winter exhibition in the Goodman Gallery celebrates the beauty of the winter landscape, its colors, textures, and dramatic lighting.”

The LAA 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 housed in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within the Old Lyme 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.


Dredging Update From Old Lyme Harbor Management Commission

Dredging in progress on the Four Mile River upstream of the railroad bridge.

Dredging in progress on the Four Mile River upstream of the railroad bridge.

Steven A. Ross, Old Lyme’s Harbor Management Commission (HMC) Chairman and Ned Farman, HMC Vice-Chairman, sent us the following update regarding the dredging on the Four Mile and Black Hall Rivers:

The Town of Old Lyme’s waterway dredging project shifted in late January from the Four Mile River to the Black Hall River.

The dredge company, Patriot Marine of Boston, plans to employ two dredge units at a time on the Black Hall in order to make up for work days lost due to high winds and waves.

Due to the low-lying Amtrak rail bridge, the Four Mile project was unusually challenging and labor-intensive. The general contractor for the dredge operations, working on behalf of the Town of Old Lyme and its Harbor Management Commission, is Coastline Consulting of Branford.

Permitted by Connecticut DEEP (Department of Energy and Environmental Protection) and the federal Army Corps of Engineers, the dredge projects are designed for environmental protection– improved water flow prevents stagnation and collapse of the salt marshes– and safer navigation at all tidal levels.

It is expected that users from all over the state — boaters, kayakers, those that fish and crab and bird — and the three marina owners will benefit from these infrastructure improvements.

With 100 percent grant financing from the Connecticut Deptartment of Transportation, the dredging of the two rivers is taking place at no cost to the Town of Old Lyme.


Country School Offers $10,000 Merit Scholarship

open_house_january_2016In celebration of The Country School’s 60th Anniversary, the school’s Board of Trustees is providing a $10,000 merit scholarship to a student applying for admission to Grades 4-8 for the fall of 2016. Additional scholarships will be offered to students entering those grades based on applicants’ qualifications and/or need. Founded in 1955, The Country School is celebrating its 60th anniversary during the 2015-2016 school year.

This will be the second 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship awarded in honor of The Country School’s founding six decades ago. Eloise de Landevoisin Campbell, currently an 8th Grader from Lyme, was awarded the 60th Anniversary Merit Scholarship for the 2015-2016 school year. In addition, other students received partial scholarships after applying for the merit scholarship.

Head of School John Fixx will share information about the 60th Anniversary Scholarship program on Sunday, Jan. 31, at 12:30 p.m. in conjunction with the school’s Winter Open House (taking place from 1-3:30 p.m.). While students sit for the Merit Scholarship test, parents will have the opportunity to tour campus and speak directly with faculty members, current parents, and administrators.

To learn more and register, go to http://www.thecountryschool.org/admission/60th-anniversary-merit-scholarship.

The recipient of the $10,000 Merit Scholarship will be selected on the basis of academic merit and personal promise as demonstrated by the merit scholarship testing, school records, and an interview. Finalists will be asked to write an essay describing how a Country School education might benefit them and will be invited to spend a day on campus. The scholarship recipient will be notified in early March.

On Sunday, Jan. 31, visitors will learn about the academic program and the wide academic, artistic, athletic, and leadership opportunities on campus. They will also learn about The Country School’s six decades-long history of preparing graduates for the strongest independent secondary schools and high school honors programs in the area and throughout New England. Families will receive the impressive list of where Country School graduates attend college and hear how the Secondary School Placement Office assists families in attracting similar scholarship support for secondary school.

Students will sit for the Merit Scholarship test and experience hands-on learning and design challenges similar to those current students experience on a regular basis. They will also explore the campus and meet teachers and students.

The 60th Anniversary Scholarship is for a new student and is renewed each year that the student is enrolled at The Country School, provided the recipient stays in strong academic standing and consistently demonstrates good citizenship. It is The Country School’s expectation that merit scholarship recipients will contribute significantly to the life of the School, creating a stronger overall experience for all students.

The Country School is a coeducational, independent day school serving 200 students in PreSchool through Grade 8, ages 3-14, on its 23-acre campus in Madison. This year, also in honor of the school’s 60th anniversary, the campus is undergoing a major transformation, with new athletic fields, tennis courts, and playground areas being installed. Future enhancements will affect classroom buildings, campus infrastructure, and outdoor common spaces.

For more information, contact Pam Glasser, Director of Admission and Curriculum, at 203-421-3113, ext. 122, or pam.glasser@thecountryschool.org.

For further information, visit www.thecountryschool.org.


Essex Winter Series Continues with Jeff Barnhart And His Hot Rhythm, Feb. 21

Jeff Barnhart

Jeff Barnhart

The 2016 Essex Winter Series (EWS) continues Sunday, Feb. 21, at Valley Regional High School at 3 p.m. with the Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert featuring Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm.

The 2016 EWS season, which has been designed by Executive Director Mihae Lee for its quality and variety, promises to be an exciting one, with three very different programs all by world-class artists. Enjoy great chamber music, hot jazz, expressive vocal music, and the thrill of a full orchestra.

All of the concerts are on Sunday afternoons at 3 p.m. in Deep River. Concerts take place at Valley Regional High School, with the exception of the March 6 concert, which will be presented at John Winthrop Middle School. The schedule is as follows:

Feb. 21: Stu Ingersoll Jazz Concert
Jeff Barnhart and His Hot Rhythm
Valley Regional High School

Jeff Barnhart, our jazz artistic advisor, has thrilled EWS audiences for years with his performances of hot jazz. The renowned pianist, vocalist, arranger, bandleader, re­cording artist, composer, educator, and entertainer will perform seminal jazz and pop standards from the first half of the 20th century with a top-notch band: Scott Philbrick on trumpet, banjo, and guitar; Joe Midiri on reeds; Paul Midiri on vibes and trombone; Anne Barnharton flute and vocals; Vince Giordano on bass, tuba, and bass sax; and Jim Lawlor on drums. Co-sponsored by The Clark Group and Tower Laboratories

March 6: Patricia Schuman, soprano
John Winthrop Middle School

We are delighted to welcome back to our stage the internationally-celebrated soprano Patricia Schuman. Her program, “Winter Romance,” will feature songs of love and loss as well as lighter fare from the great Amer­ican songbook and musical theater. She will be joined by harpist Megan Sesma, pianist Douglas Dickson, and a special surprise guest artist. Ms. Schuman has been engaged by the most distinguished opera houses throughout the world, and has collaborated with many of the foremost conductors and directors of our time. Co-sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

April 3: Fenton Brown Emerging Artists Concert
New Haven Symphony Orchestra with violinist Tessa Lark
Valley Regional High School

Now in its 121st year of continuous operation, the New Haven Symphony Orchestra is one of the country’s finest regional orchestras. Returning to our series, the orchestra under music director William Boughton will perform Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Haydn’s “London” Symphony, and Beethoven’s Violin Concerto, featuring our 2016 Emerging Artist, Tessa Lark. Lark won the prestigious Naumburg International Violin Award in 2012, and is one of today’s most sought-after young violinists. Co-sponsored by Guilford Savings Bank and an anonymous foundation

All tickets to Essex Winter Series concerts are general admission. Individual tickets are $35; four-concert subscriptions are $120, which represents a $20 saving over the single-ticket price for four concerts. Tickets may be purchased on the EWS website, www.essexwinterseries.com, or by calling 860-272-4572.

More program information, artist biographies and photos, and much more is available on the Essex Winter Series web site, www.essexwinterseries.com.


Seidner Named Old Lyme’s 2015 Citizen of the Year

After being named Old Lyme's 2015 Citizen of the Year Mary Seidner receives a hug and a bouquet from her daughter Libby.

After being named Old Lyme’s 2015 Citizen of the Year Mary Seidner receives a hug and a bouquet from her daughter Libby.

Judging by the number of people who came to the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium for last night’s announcement of the 2015 Citizen of the Year, Mary Seidner was an overwhelmingly popular choice.

The closely-guarded secret of the board of selectmen’s selection for the honor had clearly traveled to a few of the many corners of the community where Seidner makes a noticeable difference. In the audience were folk from Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, of which Seidner is Executive Director, representatives from the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library where she is a Friend, and members of the Midsummer Festival Committee, the Old Lyme Police Department (OLPD), and the Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut, in all of which she plays a significant role.

When Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder asked Seidner to come down to the front of the auditorium, the large crowd immediately rose to its feet to give her a spontaneous standing ovation.  Reemsnyder then read aloud the Citation announcing the honor to a visibly surprised Seidner, who received the first of many bouquets from her daughter Libby, who had traveled into town unbeknown to her mother for the ceremony.

Reemsnyder opened by saying, “Throughout 25 years as a member of the Old Lyme community, Mary Seidner has demonstrated an impassioned commitment to our children and families.”  She continued, ” An active Lyme Old Lyme Schools volunteer and Girl Scout leader, Mary was active in the Friends of Music at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, and became a Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau Board Member in 2002. A founding member of the Lyme-Old Lyme Early Childhood Council, and the new Community Connections, Mary is also on the MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation Board, a Trustee of Essex Savings Bank, and a member of the Child & Family Agency’s Lyme-Old Lyme Auxiliary.”

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder reads the Citizen of the Year Citation to Seidner (left).

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder reads the Citizen of the Year Citation to Seidner (center).

Reemsnyder then stopped for breath and drew a loud chuckle from the audience of around 70 people when she said with a smile, “But that’s not all …”   She went on to list numerous other organizations in which Seidner is involved in a variety of capacities such as the Essex Savings Bank, where she is currently a Trustee, the Community Foundation of Southeastern Connecticut, where she was until recently a board member, and the MacCurdy Salisbury Educational Foundation where she serves on the board.

Noting that, “Mary celebrates her 11th year as LYSB Executive Director this year. During her tenure, the LYSB has forged bonds with local businesses and community members.” Reemsnyder then went to mention several organizations whose very existence in large part can be attributed to Seidner, for example, the Community Action for Substance Free Youth (CASFY), the Lyme-Old Lyme Early Childhood Council, the new Community Connections, and “Most recently, [she] organized and initiated a Juvenile Review Board.”

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen stands with their Citizen of the Year 2015.

The Old Lyme Board of Selectmen stands with their Citizen of the Year 2015.

Reemsnyder described how Seidner has also helped to develop especially strong ties with the OLPD, “receiving a Youth/Police Grant for three consecutive years, hosting meetings and sponsoring events that have benefitted young community members.”  Reemsnyder also noted that under Seidner’s leadership, “LYSB’s youth groups … put together 100 backpacks filled with school supplies for survivors of Hurricane Katrina.”

In conclusion, the first selectwoman said, “Mary Seidner was honored as 2013 Board Member of the Year by the Connecticut Youth Service Association, and it is now the Board of Selectmen’s turn to honor Mary Seidner’s commitment to our community by naming her our 2015 Citizen of the Year.”

LYSB Chairman Chris Buckley congratulates LYSB Director Mary Seidner on being named Citizen of the Year.

LYSB Chairman Chris Buckley congratulates LYSB Director Mary Seidner on being named Citizen of the Year.

The LYSB Board Chairman Christopher Buckley spoke warmly of Seidner’s contribution both to the youth of  Lyme and Old Lyme, as well as the whole community. He remarked that she regularly describes the LYSB building as “the small house that does big things,” but Buckley pointed out that Seidner consistently omits to say that she is always there “in the small house” or elsewhere making those ‘things’ happen.

Former Old Lyme Citizens of the Year stand with the latest one to receive the honor: from left to right, Bob Pierson (2012), Lynn Fairfield-Sonn (2014), Jeff Sturges (2011) and Peter Cable (2013)

Former Old Lyme Citizens of the Year stand with the newest honoree, Mary Seidner (center): from left to right, Bob Pierson (2012), Lynn Fairfield-Sonn (2014), Jeff Sturges (2011) and Peter Cable (2013)


He told a brief story of how he and Seidner had both been kept late one night at a meeting and then had to be back at LYSB at 7:30 a.m.the next morning to meet a contractor.  Seidner seemed somewhat distracted during the morning meeting, which took place outside, and finally confessed that she needed to meet with a teenage youth, who was standing across the road waiting for her.

Buckley said it transpired this was a high school student going through a difficult period, who was at that time living in a shelter. Facing many problems — not least of which that he was cold and had no coat — the student had turned to “the one person he knew would help … Mary Seidner.”

Buckley ended there secure in the knowledge that he had demonstrated beyond question why Seidner was the perfect choice for the 2015 Citizen of the Year.

Congratulations, Mary!


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Kindergarten Registration


Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools for the fall of 2016 is being held today, Tuesday, Jan. 26, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Lyme Consolidated School and Mile Creek School

Children who will be 5 years old on or before Jan. 1, 2017 are eligible to register for Kindergarten for September 2016.

While you may complete the registration process at either school, your child’s school placement will depend on District attendance zones.

Please bring to registration your child’s

  • Birth Certificate
  • Immunization/Health Records
  • Three forms of proof of residency

If you cannot register on these days or would like additional information, call either school at these numbers to place your child’s name on the Kindergarten list and/or have your questions answered:

Lyme Consolidated: 860-434-1233

Mile Creek: 860-434-2209



Carney, Linares to Hold Office Hours in Westbrook, Feb. 9

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Representative Devin Carney (R-23rd)

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23rd) will hold pre-session office hours in Old Saybrook at the Saybrook Point Pavilion on Monday, Jan. 25, starting at 6 p.m., in Old Lyme at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on Wednesday, Jan. 27, starting at 6 p.m., and in Westbrook at the Westbrook Town Hall on Feb. 9, starting at 6:30 p.m.

Carney will be joined in Old Saybrook on Jan. 25 by State Senators Art Linares (R-33rd) and Paul Formica (R-20th).

At the Old Lyme event, Carney will be joined by State Senator Paul Formica: State Representative Jesse MacLachlan (R-35th) and Linares will join Carney at the Westbrook event.

State Senator Paul Formica (R-33rd)

State Senator Paul Formica (R-33rd)

These sessions will provide constituents with an opportunity to ask questions or share their ideas and concerns about state government. Anyone with questions about the event can contact Carney’s office at 800-842-1423 or devin.carney@housegop.ct.gov.

Carney represents the 23rd General Assembly District that includes Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and part of Westbrook.

State Senator Art Linares

State Senator Art Linares (R-20th)

Formica represents the 20th District comprising  Old Lyme, along with Bozrah, East Lyme, Montville, New London,Old Saybrook, Salem and Waterford.

Linares represents the 33rd District comprising Lyme along with Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam,  Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook


RiverQuest Now Booking Annual Winter Wonderland/Eagle Boat Cruises on CT River

1302_2013FebEagleWatch_024-3a-580x414Connecticut River Expeditions is ready to cruise on the lower Connecticut River this February and March for their 13th Annual Winter Wonderland/Eagle Boat Cruises. These perennially popular winter cruises will depart from Eagle Landing State Park in the Tylerville section of Haddam, Conn.

Cruises will start on Saturday, Feb. 13, and run through March 20.

These cruises are very popular; it is suggested you book early to reserve your spots.

“We are really looking forward to offering this unique cruise during the 2016 winter season. After last year’s horrific ice conditions on the river, we can’t wait to get to work this year,” says Capt. Mark of the quiet, friendly eco-tour vessel RiverQuest.

He  adds, “On this special cruise, our goal is to search for and learn about resident and visiting Bald Eagles and other wildlife we will find on our journey. We feel very fortunate that we are able to bring people out on the river during this quiet season to experience these magnificent raptors and one of our greatest natural resources, the Connecticut River.”

5_immature_eagles_in_a_tree_compressedWithout the summer boat traffic, there is a sense of tranquility on the river and with no leaves on the trees, the river’s edge offers a very different view, making it easier to find and see winter wildlife. In past years, bird sightings have included from one to 41 Bald Eagles, along with numerous hawk and duck varieties, falcons, cormorants and more. On occasion, fox, coyote, deer, bobcat and even seals have been seen.

Winter and early spring are also a great time of year to explore and experience the entire lower Connecticut River Valley. Come out, enjoy and support local businesses. There are shops and restaurants in Haddam, East Haddam and neighboring towns; stop by and visit one before or after your cruise. Although Gillette Castle, just 4.5 miles away from RiverQuest is closed, the park grounds are open for daytime visitors.

Take your camera and binoculars, but if you have no binoculars, there are extras available on RiverQuest for your use during the cruise. There will be complimentary coffee and tea on board.

Weekend and weekday times are available for these 2+ hour cruises. Cost is $40 per person.

It is requested that no children under 10 travel. For more information, departure times and easy on-line reservations visit RiverQuest at ctriverquest.com. 860-662-0577. Private charters and gift certificates are also available.


Laurel Double Reed Ensemble Presents Free Concert/Masterclass, Feb. 6

AREAWIDE – Community Music School and the Laurel Double Reed Ensemble will present a concert and master class on Saturday, Feb. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Centerbrook Meetinghouse, 51 Main Street, Centerbrook.

The Laurel Double Reed Ensemble is an eclectic and educational organization comprised of Anne Megan, oboe; Tamar Beach Wells, oboe d’amore; Marilyn Krentzman, English horn; and Rebecca Noreen, bassoon. They perform for schools and communities throughout Connecticut, showcasing the unusual and beautiful sounds of the double reed instruments.

At the Feb. 6 concert, the ensemble will perform a 45-minute “Arts in Education” program geared as an introduction to the double reed instrument family. The diverse musical program ranges from Let it Go from Frozen, to the traditional classical styles of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky and Franz Joseph Haydn. A master class with student performers will follow the performance.

The concert and master class are free and open to the public of all ages; at-will donations will be graciously accepted.

If you would like to participate in the master class, call Community Music School to reserve a spot, 860-767-0026.

Editor’s Note: Community Music School offers innovative music programming for infants through adults, building on a 30-year tradition of providing quality music instruction to residents of shoreline communities. CMS 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 visit www.community-music-school.org or call 860-767-0026.


Vista Hosts Auditions for “Pirates of Penzance,” Feb. 8-9

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AREAWIDE – Calling all performers! Vista is hosting open auditions for its upcoming production of “The Pirates of Penzance,” which sets sail in May. Auditions will be held Feb. 8 and 9, by appointment only, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at Vista’s Madison Campus, located at 107 Bradley Rd. in Madison.

Versatile adult performers of all abilities are needed. Bring 16 measures of sheet music for an audition song. An accompanist will be provided. Be prepared and dressed to move.

“The Pirates of Penzance” will run May 20 through May 22 at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — The Kate — in Old Saybrook. Pat Souney will direct.

To schedule an audition appointment or for additional information, contact Amanda Roberts at (860) 399-8080 ext. 255 or aroberts@vistavocational.org.

Editor’s Note: Based in Madison and Westbrook, Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center is a 501©3 nonprofit organization. Vista’s mission is to provide services and resources to assist individuals with disabilities achieve personal success. For more information about Vista, visit www.vistavocational.org.


Old Lyme WPCA Requests Well, Septic Info from Sound View, Hawks Nest Property Owners

The Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) is asking property owners in the Sound View and Hawks Nest Beach areas of Old Lyme to assist in the Town’s wastewater study by supplying information that might be relevant.

Four hundred and eighty six letters are being mailed to these property owners and were expected to go out last Friday or today.  The letter read:

The Town of Old Lyme Water Pollution Control Authority and the Town of Old Lyme Health Department are requesting copies of any information or records on your well or septic systems on your property.  The information is being collected to submit to the State of Connecticut DEEP in reference to the sewer study completed by the Town of Old Lyme engineering consultants Woodard & Curran.  Our town agencies would like to request you drop off copies of your information to:
1.  Town of Old Lyme, Town Hall, 52 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut  06371
2.  Bring the information to the Town of Old Lyme Town Hall, 52 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Connecticut to be photocopied by Town staff.
3.  Email information to John T. Sieviec, M.S.R.S., Sanitarian, Town of Old Lyme, Connecticut Health Department at jsieviec@oldlyme-ct.gov4.         Fax the information to the Town of Old Lyme Health Department at 860-434-4135.

The WPCA requests that property owners submit their information by Jan. 31.