December 21, 2014

Join – or Listen to – a Messiah Singalong at ‘The Kate’ This Afternoon

logoParticipate in the sounds of the season this afternoon at 4 p.m. when Cappella Cantorum presents what has become a holiday tradition at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate,” in Old Saybrook.

The event is open to all who want to sing-along and combines CappellaCantorum’s professional soloists with a chorus of talented volunteers.  Sit in the back and listen or sit down front and participate!

Bring your Messiah Scores if you have them or they will be provided.  Singers call time is 3:30 p.m. for rehearsal.  There is a $10 fee.

Click here for more information.


Foster Caddell’s Widow Gifts $250,000 to Lyme Art Association

Foster Caddell’s particular fondness for the Lyme Art Association has led his widow in Voluntown to give a $250,000 gift from his estate to the Old Lyme-based organization.

The association’s South Gallery will be renamed the Foster Caddell Gallery at a dedication ceremony in May set to coincide with the 94th annual Elected Artist Exhibition …

Read the full article by Elizabeth Regan and published in the Norwich Bulletin on Dec. 18, 2014, at this link :


Lyme Land Conservation Trust Earns National Recognition

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust has been awarded accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

“This accreditation demonstrates our commitment to permanent land conservation that benefits the entire community,” said Land Trust President John Pritchard in making the announcement. “Our land trust is a stronger organization today having gone through the rigorous accreditation program.”

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust was awarded accreditation this December. It is one of only 285 land trusts in the country that have been accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission. There are more than 1,700 land trusts nationwide.

LTAC_seal_green“Accreditation provides the public with an assurance that, at the time of accreditation, a land trust has met high standards for quality and that the results of their conservation work are permanent,” explained Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn.

Each accredited land trust submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation land trusts conduct important planning and make their operations more efficient and strategic,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged and trained citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”

Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program; the 285 land trusts now accredited account for three quarters of the more than 20 million acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement,” said Van Ryn.

The Lyme Land Conservation Trust was founded in 1966 and currently manages more than 3,000 acres of forests, farms and marshes that are preserved as wildlife habitat and productive agricultural land for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations.

In making the announcement, Pritchard thanked the many volunteers and staff who work to maintain the properties under Lyme Land Trust management and singled out those who spent hundreds of hours preparing the Land Trust’s accreditation application.

He personally thanked Environmental Director Lisa Niccolai, who led the Land Trust’s accreditation team, as well as Vice President Don Gerber, Treasurer Andy Baxter, Executive Director George Moore, and former President Linda Bireley for the hundreds of hours they worked in preparing and organizing the Land Trust’s records and operations documentation to meet the exacting standards of the Accreditation Commission.

Pritchard also thanked and recognized the Lyme community leaders who have served as officers and board members of the Land Trust during its almost half century of preserving the town’s bucolic farms, wetlands, and back country.

“They were the leaders, the visionaries,” said Pritchard. “What Lyme has achieved today in preserving its beauty and natural environment was made possible by earlier generations of Lyme civic leaders who were committed to conservation.”

According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth.

In addition to health and food benefits, research has shown that conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development that require less public service infrastructure, and reduces the need for expensive water treatment facilities.

Across the country, local citizens and communities have formed land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means.

Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.

Editor’s Notes: The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website,  The Land Trust Alliance, of which the Lyme Land Conservation Trust is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at


Rep-Elect Carney Assigned to Legislative Committees

State Representative-elect Devin Carney will serve on three committees during the 2015 legislative session.

Carney has been assigned to the legislature’s committees on Environment, Transportation as well as Higher Education and Employment Advancement. His two-year term begins Jan. 7.

“Carney will make an excellent addition to these committees, I am confident that he will serve the House Republican caucus with distinction,” said state Rep. Themis Klarides, incoming House Republican Leader.  “Committee members serve as our eyes and ears when it comes to developing important legislation.”

Carney, who runs a small business, commented, “I look forward to representing the 23rd District on committees of such great importance as Environment, Transportation and Higher Education and Employment Advancement. The 23rd District is like no other with its scenic beauty and I want to ensure that both residents and tourists are able to enjoy it for generations to come. Transportation is a priority to many folks across the district and I will work extremely hard to try and repair our broken infrastructure.”

He added, “Finally, I believe it’s time for my generation to step up and start taking the lead towards restoring our prosperity in an area that has affected it, higher education. Working to ensure we have a diverse, skilled workforce, aligned with available jobs, is part of the bigger picture of boosting our economy and preventing the further exodus of our youth.”

The Environment Committee has cognizance of all matters relating to the Department of Environmental Protection, including conservation, recreation, pollution control, fisheries and game, state parks and forests, water resources, and all matters relating to the Department of Agriculture, including farming, dairy products and domestic animals.

The Transportation Committee has cognizance of all matters relating to the Department of Transportation, including highways and bridges, navigation, aeronautics, mass transit and railroads; and to the State Traffic Commission and the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee has cognizance of all matters relating to (A) the Board of Regents for Higher Education and the Office of Higher Education, and (B) public and independent institutions of higher education, private occupational schools, post-secondary education, job training institutions and programs, apprenticeship training programs and adult job training programs offered to the public by any state agency or funded in whole or in part by the state.

“Committee rooms are where the laws of our state are outlined and where we can achieve the best for the people of the state of Connecticut,” Klarides said.



Blood Drive in Old Lyme Today

“It’s not the fanciest accessory, nor the most expensive, but to someone in need of life-saving blood, it’s the most valuable.”

A  Blood Drive is being held today, Wednesday, Dec. 17, at Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall from to 1 to 5:45 p.m.  All are welcome.

To make an appointment to donate your blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit


‘Magic of Christmas’ Now on Show at Florence Griswold Museum, Events Galore Through Holiday Season

Palettes_on_treeThe perennially popular “Magic of Christmas” exhibition is now open at the Florence Griswold Museum on Lyme St. in Old Lyme.  For more than a century visitors to Miss Florence’s house and the quaint village of Old Lyme, Conn. have found the perfect destination to rekindle their holiday and creative spirit.

This year, the Museum will unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer — a generous gift of the Tamsky family — and host several new activities and budget-friendly discount packages along with the ”Magic of Christmas” exhibition, which runs through Jan. 4, 2015.

A holiday activity list for Museum visitors should include a ‘selfie’ in front of one of the three unique and iconic trees (use #FloGrisTree) dressed in more than 150 painted palettes in a variety of styles and scenes in the Krieble Gallery.

Enjoy a stroll through the historic late-Georgian style Griswold House decorated as it was in 1910 and stop in for a Sunday ‘Joy in the Making’ with hands-on arts and crafts.

It’s also possible to spend a day with the Snow Queen on Saturday, Dec. 13, and celebrate Miss Florence’s birthday at a party with cake and crafting on Sunday, Dec. 28.

Nationally acclaimed illustrator Tim O'Brien painted this creative new palette for this year's tree.

Nationally acclaimed illustrator Tim O’Brien painted this creative new palette for this year’s tree.

For over a decade, visitors from across the region have admired the painted palettes on Miss Florence’s Artist Trees in the Krieble Gallery. This year 12 palettes will be added to the collection of pieces created by more than 140 noted artists from across the country who have donated works; an effort that alludes to the door and wall panels artists painted throughout Miss Florence’s boardinghouse over a century ago.

'The Skaters' by Miriam Barer

‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer

The Museum is proud to unveil ‘The Skaters’ by Miriam Barer, a generous gift of the Tamsky Family that will be displayed in the historic Griswold House.  Also on display in the Griswold House will be Three Fantasy Trees – one a nod to Tonalist art, one celebrates Impressionism, and the other captures the spirit of the painting “The Skaters.”

Painted in 1943 and inspired by the novel outdoor rink at New York’s newly-completed Rockefeller Center, Barer captures the energy of the city during the holiday season in ‘The Skaters.’  The New Haven-born Barer trained at the Yale School of Fine Arts, where she learned the ancient technique of egg tempera painting, using pigments she ground by hand. ‘The Skaters’ relies on this method, borrowed from early Italian painting, but the artist updates the composition with swooping angles and rippling silhouettes that announce the vitality of the contemporary American Scene. This painting captures the delight of winter.

Other events at the Museum through out the holiday season are as follows:

Christmas Time Teas

Tuesdays through Saturdays at 3 p.m. from Dec. 5-20

Museum visitors can relax and celebrate the holiday season at one of the afternoon Christmastime Teas featuring delicious scones with clotted cream, tea sandwiches and cookies prepared by Gourmet Galley, a local caterer known for delicious flavors and impeccable presentations. Savor a cup of “Miss Florence’s Tea” which is a special blended tea from Sundial Gardens. Reservations are required. Call 860-434-5541 x. 111. Cost is $35 (members $30). The fee includes admission to the Museum and a 10% discount to the Museum Shop, which is filled with a carefully curated array of gifts and treasures.

Art Bar Happy Hour: Decorate Glass Ornaments

On Dec. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

This popular evening event takes a holiday twist. Gather your friends, enjoy a glass of wine and create a gift-worthy masterpiece. This event is for guests 21 and over and is a great excuse to have a girl’s night while creating gift-worthy piece of art with the assistance of the museum’s talented instructors. For reservations call 860-434-5542 or visit

Girls Night Out Special

December 5 – January 4, 2015

To extend a Museum visit or night out at the Florence Griswold Art Bar Happy Hour, walk across the road to the Old Lyme Inn for a holiday meal featuring traditional comfort food with a modern twist.  Built circa 1856 and once part of a 300-acre-estate, The Old Lyme Inn’s bar and restaurant feature a full menu and holiday inspired cocktails including the Miss. Florence’s Chocolate Martini for $8 and a specialty FloGris Bailey’s Coffee for $6. The Inn’s SideDoor Jazz club features live music and was voted “Best Live Jazz” by Connecticut  Magazine. For details and the discount code visit

Joy in the Making: A Creative Approach to the Holidays

Sundays, Dec. 7, 14, 21, 28 and Jan. 4 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Sunday visitors of all ages are invited to make mirth and more during these fun-filled holiday craft workshops.  Come delight in several creative projects relating to the spirit of the season and the decorations on view.  Workshop included with museum admission.

“O Artist Tree,” An Old Lyme Escape for Ye

December 5 – January 4, 2015

The historic Bee & Thistle Inn has designed a relaxing escape for two in time for the holidays. Spend the day exploring The Florence Griswold Museum and shopping in Old Lyme and enjoy a perfect retreat and dinner for two. The winter package includes two night’s accommodations and gourmet breakfast each morning, Champagne and chocolates upon arrival, a one hour Swedish couples massage, dinner for two at the Chestnut Grille and lounge and two passes to the Florence Griswold Museum. Midweek package starts at $600 and weekend packages are $750.  For details and reservations visit

Meet the Snow Queen: Crafting and Tea Party

Dec. 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Children of all ages will love this daylong crafting and tea party, enjoying sweet treats and celebrating with the Snow Queen who will share stories and song before posing for pictures every hour on the half hour from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Included with museum admission. And children 12 and under are always free.

Baking Chez Moi Book Talk & Signing

On Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.

Called a “culinary guru” by The New York Times, Dorie Greenspan is a celebrated author of nine cookbooks including Around My French Table and Baking: From My Home to Yours. Dorie will discuss and sign her latest book, Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere, a collection of simple desserts from French home cooks and chefs. Talk included with museum admission and cookbooks will be available for purchase.

Miss Florence’s Birthday Bash

On Dec. 28 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Museum will host a hands-on-creative celebration of Miss Florence’s Christmas Day birthday in its Hartman Education Center.  Guests will enjoy birthday cake and fun celebratory activities to honor the woman who started it all. Miss. Florence would be 164 this year, but age is just a number. Included with museum admission.

Ode to the New Year: Harp Music by Faith Leitner

On Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Come and hear harpist Faith Leitner play Miss. Florence’s favorite instrument, a relaxing way to begin New Year’s Eve celebrations. Included with museum admission.

Life Stories in Art

Oct. 3-Jan. 25

Together, these three exhibitions highlight the contributions of three important women artists in Connecticut in three different media over the course of three centuries. The Museum’s Krieble Gallery will feature more than 70 works by 19th century painter Mary Rogers Williams; 20th century sculptor Mary Knollenberg; and contemporary glass artist Kari Russell-Pool. Although separate exhibitions, they each carry the theme “Life Stories in Art” and serve as an exploration of these women’s individual journeys of sacrifice, self-discovery, and balancing multiple roles in the pursuit of their art.

The Florence Griswold Museum’s Krieble Gallery and Griswold House are open Tuesday – Saturday, 10-5 and Sunday, 1-5 and will be closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,. Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors, $8 students and free to visitors 12 and under. Admission includes access to exhibitions, the historic Florence Griswold House, and the rest of the Museum’s grounds.

Founded in 1936, the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is a center for American art and history accredited by the American Association of Museums.  Located in a stately Late Georgian mansion designed by Samuel Belcher and built in 1817, the Museum and its grounds served in the early years of the twentieth century as the center for the Lyme Art Colony, one of America’s most famous art colonies.

Today, the Florence Griswold Museum is complimented by the contemporary architecture of the award-winning Krieble Gallery and together stand as one of the only places in America where visitors can walk through a landscape setting, view paintings of those landscapes and experience first-hand where a colony of prominent American artists lived and worked. The recipient of a Trip Advisor 2014 Certificate of Excellence and ranked as the number one attraction in Old Lyme, the Florence Griswold Museum has been called “Giverny in Connecticut” by the Wall Street Journal, and a “must-see” by the Boston Globe.

With an eye toward the integration of art, history and landscape in all of its program plans, the Museum has spent the last 10 years redefining itself as a central part of community life –building an education center for hands-on experiential programs, constructing an award-winning exhibition gallery for its collections, and completing a thorough restoration of the Griswold House as a boardinghouse for artists, c. 1910.

Visit for more information, including history, events and hours of operation.


Champions! Old Lyme/Valley Football Defy Odds to Win State Class S-Large

CIAC Class S-Large Champs!

CIAC Class S-Large Champs!  Photo by W. Visgilio.

Congratulations to coach Tim King and his Warriors on an incredible win! On Monday, to celebrate the victory, all students at Lyme-Old Lyme High School are being asked to wear red and black.

New Britain – Quarterback Chris Jean-Pierre’s four-yard touchdown run with 22 seconds remaining rallied top-seeded Valley Regional/Old Lyme to a 21-20 victory over No. 2 Ansonia in their Class S-Large state championship football game at Willow Brook Park on Saturday morning. Click here to read the remainder of this full initial report of the game by Ned Griffin, which was published in The Day today

And here’s another link to great article about the game.

And, finally, here’s Old Lyme’s very own Tim Devlin’s video of all Saturday’s state game highlights.



Old Lyme Fire Department Hosts Toy, Giving Drive Today

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder was out collecting in last year's Toy Drive.

Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder (right) was out collecting donations with this appropriately dressed elf in the 2011 Toy Drive.

The Old Lyme Fire Department (OLFD) is holding a Toy and Giving Drive on Sunday, Dec. 14, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Old Lyme firefighters will be collecting monetary donations, food and toys at both the Lyme St. Fire Department and on Hall’s Rd. near Big Y.

All donations will be distributed to Lyme/Old Lyme families in need.  This event is sponsored by OLFD with assistance from the Old Lyme Police Department and Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB).

The Youth Services Bureau wishes to thank their friends in the OLFD for supporting our youth and families during the holiday season and throughout the year.

To learn more about the Holiday Giving Program, visit the LYSB website at


Con Brio Presents ‘Star-Spangled’ Christmas Concert in Old Lyme This Afternoon

Ransom Bruce

Ransom Bruce

Con Brio, the shoreline’s renowned all-auditioned chorus, will present its annual Christmas concert on Dec. 12 and 14, at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.  Directed by Dr. Stephen Bruce with keyboardist, Assistant Director Susan Saltus, the choir is joined by the Con Brio Festival Orchestra and soloists, Adele Paxton, Karli Gilbertson, Ransom Bruce and Greg Flower.  Con Brio’s Christmas Concerts have become an eagerly awaited, joyous holiday event.

This year is the 200th anniversary of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”  Con Brio will sing a very special arrangement written by Connecticut native Dudley Buck (1839-1909), one of the most successful American composers of the post-Civil War era.  The audience will have a chance to join in singing our national anthem.

The concert continues with two very different approaches to Christmas themes.  Schubert’s rarely performed Magnificat in C Major, drawing from the classical mass tradition, uses Mary’s text expressing joy and thanksgiving.  Astonishingly, Schubert composed this piece over a period of 10 days when he was only 18-years-old.  Stroope’s Cantus Natalis offers a powerful contemporary celebration of Jesus’ birth, with a fourth movement reminiscent of Orff’s Carmina Burana in its rhythmic dynamism.  Stroope’s shorter piece, “Winter,” thrilled an earlier Con Brio audience and this piece is certain to do the same.

The second half of the concert includes two of the most popular motets of the twentieth century, Franz Beibl’s Ave Maria and Distler’s Wachet Auf.  Beibl’s piece, an amalgam of early chant and contemporary choral writing, soared to popularity when it was recently recorded by Chanticleer.  Distler’s piece uses the well-known chorale tune (Sleepers, Wake) to construct a piece wholly different from the original.  Con Brio will then, as is now a tradition, spread out around the wonderful space of Christ the King to perform a 10-part motet by Giovanni Gabrieli.


The audience will be invited to sing along with a Hanukah favorite, Hanerot Halalu and some favorite Christmas carols.  The concert concludes with a rousing Christmas spiritual, Oh Jerusalem and a powerful arrangement of We Saw Three Ships.Con Brio Presents A Star-Spangled Christmas with Con Brio – Dec. 12 and 14

Buy your tickets early from any Con Brio member, online at, or by calling 860 526 5399.  Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students.  The Dec. 12 concert begins at 8 p.m., the 14th at 3 p.m., at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Road, Old Lyme, CT.


Old Lyme/Valley Warriors Looking for First State Championship in Today’s Game


Warrior football action from the Old Saybrook game earlier in the season.

The Old Lyme/Valley Warriors co-operative football team, which sports an unbeaten record this season, meets the Ansonia Chargers (11-1) this morning at 10 a.m. at Willowbrook Park in New Britain in the CIAC ‘Class S Large’ state football championship.

The Warriors, who are coached by Tim King, are looking to stop the Chargers winning their fifth consecutive title and also racking up a record-breaking 20th victory.  It will be a first state championship for the Warriors if (when!) they win.

Go Warriors!

Click here to read a preview of the game by Jimmy Zanor and published 12/12/14 on


Free Holiday Concert at Lyme-Old Lyme High School Tonight


The 102nd Army Band

Not in the holiday spirit yet?  You soon will be if you attend this Saturday night’s free concert at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS)!

The 50-member Lyme-Old Lyme High School Wind Ensemble welcomes the 102nd Army Band for a joint performance of holiday favorites, along with a few patriotic selections.  Among the pieces the bands will perform: “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” and highlights from the Disney film Frozen, as well as the “Armed Forces Salute” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

The 102nd Army Band is an outfit of the Connecticut National Guard in Rockville, Conn. As goodwill ambassadors for Connecticut and the nation, they perform at concerts, ceremonies, and parades all over the U.S. and around the world.

The concert, taking place in the LOLHS auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m., also welcomes back LOLHS alumnus Russell Faircloth, Class of 2014, who plays trumpet with the 102nd Army Band.  Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School librarian Bob Hibson is also a member of the 102nd Army Band.

All are welcome.  The auditorium is handicapped-accessible and there is plenty of parking at the school.


Santa & Mrs. Claus, Blumenthal, Courtney in New London Today to Support ‘Toys for Tots’ Campaign

Santa will have gift for every child at Saturday's event.

Santa will have a free gift for every child at Saturday’s event.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will ride into the new Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson in New London this Saturday, Dec. 13, from 12 to 3 p.m. to join United States Senator Richard Blumenthal and Congressman Joe Courtney in supporting the U.S. Reserve Marine Corps annual ‘Toys for Tots’ campaign.

This free event will include photos with Santa and the whole family … even pets are welcome. Santa will greet visitors in a Harley-Davidson® sidecar set in front of a traditional stone fireplace within the former Coca-Cola® factory. Local sports celebrities including Casey Cochran (UConn football player) and Roger LaFrancois (former Boston Red Sox player and St. Louis Cardinal’s coach) will be on hand to sign autographs.

The brand new showroom not only features motorcycles, ATVs and watercraft, but also boasts an extensive selection of riding gear, accessories, clothing, and toys; there’s something fun for every member of the family at this exciting new venue. Each child will receive a free gift from Santa, and festive refreshments will be offered.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is the New London County collection and staging headquarters for ‘Toys for Tots’, locally sponsored by the Thames River Detachment Marine Corps League. For months, the community has been donating toys and the Marines have been collecting, sorting and staging the gifts inside of Mike’s Famous®. The initiative will provide toys to children represented by dozens of charities and non-profit organizations this holiday season. Additionally, non-perishable food items are being accepted for donation to the Gemma E. Moran United Way Food Center.

NL shop front

Mike’s Famous Harley Davidson store in New London

“We are thrilled beyond belief to be working with Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson this year on our annual toy drive,” said Jim Reid, Junior Vice Commandant of the Thames River Detachment Marine Corps League. “Mike has gone above and beyond the call of duty and has spent a lot of resources to accommodate our needs. In past years, we have worked in unheated warehouses and other tough conditions. Our very comfortable headquarters at Mike’s Famous is absolutely fantastic, and his staff has been great to work with. We are extremely grateful,” Reid added.

Following the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s positive November jobs report, the 2015 economy looks bright for the region. This bodes well for U.S. businesses like Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson, and its owner, Mike Schwartz, who invested in the City of New London this past year. He purchased the former Coca-Cola® bottling plant on Bank Street in the late summer of 2013, and by soliciting suggestions from the community, transformed the crumbling building into a customer led showroom and retail destination, which opened in the spring of 2014. This adaptive reuse project has created 40 full and part-time jobs in a  unique, authentic environment, which merges two iconic brands, Coca-Cola® and Harley-Davidson®.

Coca-Cola’s® 2014 holiday campaign, “Make Someone Happy,” focuses on the spirit of generosity and togetherness, and encourages small acts of kindness. Coke® is bringing back their original Santa, imagined over 80 years ago by artist Haddon Sundblom, to elicit a feeling of history and nostalgia. In keeping with this theme, elected officials, local celebrities, Boy Scouts, Young Marines, senior Marine officers and military personnel are donating their time on Saturday to participate in the ‘Toys for Tots’ event at Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson, bringing the larger community together to help others.

The objectives of ‘Toys for Tots’ are to help less fortunate children throughout the United States experience the joy of Christmas; to play an active role in the development of one of our nation’s most valuable resources – our children; to unite all members of local communities in a common cause for three months each year during the annual toy collection and distribution campaign; and to contribute to better communities in the future.

Mike’s Famous Harley-Davidson is located at 951 Bank Street in New London, CT. The new dealership opened in March of 2014 in 55,000 square feet within the former Coca-Cola® bottling plant. It also represents the Can-Am® brands of ATVs, Side-by-Sides, Spyders® and Sea-Doo® Watercraft, and carries the full line of Polaris® recreational products.


Final Weekend for Tribal Crafts Annual Holiday Sale in Old Lyme

Hide Painting by Travis Harden

Hide Painting by featured artist Travis Harden

Tribal Crafts Inc., will hold its annual holiday sale each weekend through Dec. 14.  Storefront hours are Saturdays 10 am to 6 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 86 Halls Rd. in the Old Lyme Marketplace (next to Rob Rivers Salon).

Assorted Lakota crafts and jewelry

Assorted Lakota crafts and jewelry

The non-profit organization is based out of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme (FCCOL) and the sale of items directly benefits Lakota artists and crafters of the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota.

The Lakota people face immense challenges on the reservation. According to 2010 census data, Ziebach County, which makes up the majority of the Cheyenne River Reservation, is America’s poorest county with unemployment estimates of above 75 percent.

Reservation life is about daily survival.  Being able to help by way of Tribal Crafts is a vital part of the organization’s mission.  Not only does Tribal Crafts affirm and celebrate the beautiful traditional crafts for which the Lakota are known, but it is also an important source of financial assistance.

The featured artist this year is Travis Harden:  among his items are paintings on hide, paper and pottery.  Harden also crafts jewelry from buffalo horn and elk bone and inlays it with turquoise, yellow sandstone and pipestone Harden says it is not always easy to sell artwork on the Reservation.  “When you know Tribal Crafts is coming, you know they’ll be buying from you and that could be your rent for the month,” notes Harden, referring to the annual trip made by representatives of Tribal Crafts and FCCOL.  The church and the people of Cheyenne River will celebrate 30 years of partnership in 2015.

In recent years, Tribal Crafts has also sold the work of Haitian artists affiliated with The Crosby Fund for Haitian Education, a program with strong ties to FCCOL. Other items on sale include hand-made silver and beaded jewelry, vibrant Haitian paintings and sculptures, dream catchers, quilts, purses and more.

Necklaces by featured artist Travis Harden, who will be in the store Nov. 22, 23.

Necklaces by featured artist Travis Harden, who will be in the store Nov. 22, 23.

To learn more, visit

Like Tribal Crafts on Facebook at

Visit Tribal Crafts’ online shop at


See ‘The Carol of the Bells’ at Ivoryton Playhouse Through Dec. 21

Jenna Berloni and R. Bruce Connelly*

Jenna Berloni and R. Bruce Connelly*

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to Dublin to visit Paddy and the gang at Bell’s Pub.  But what is going on here?  Guinness and Irish Stew are gone and tapas and red wine are on the menu??  Oh Paddy, did the crock of gold that the leprechauns gave you go to your head?

An original holiday production for the whole family, written and directed by Ivoryton Playhouse Executive Director, Jacqueline Hubbard, The Carol of the Bells – the sequel to The Bells of Dublin – opens tonight at the Ivoryton Playhouse.

Hubbard comments, “An Irish pub, great music and Christmas – the winning trifecta for a fun filled, family holiday show.  We had such a terrific time with Paddy Bell and his family last Christmas I couldn’t resist bringing him back again this year.  So, if you enjoyed The Bells of Dublin, come back and see what trouble Paddy gets into this year.  And if you missed it last year, no worries; when the curtain goes up and we’re in Paddy’s pub, everyone is family!”

Norm Rutty and Michael McDermott*

Norm Rutty and Michael McDermott*

This funny and fantastic tale is filled with songs you know and songs you wish you did – with a band of local musicians directed by Melanie Guerin, who also arranged much of the music. The cast includes many Playhouse favorites – R. Bruce Connelly*, Michael McDermott*, Ted Philips and Norm Rutty from the local band Save the Train, Jenna Berloni, Nancy and David Cardone,  Olivia Harry,  Larry Lewis, Maggie McGlone Jennings, Michael Hotkowski, Holly Price and Celeste Cumming.  The set for this production is designed by Dan Nischan, costumes by Breeana Korcak and lights by Marcus Abbott.

Experience the true magic of the season Dublin style with this original Christmas musical – for two weeks only.

The Bells of Dublin Part Two: The Carol of the Bells runs through Dec. 21.  Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.  Evening performances are ThursdayFriday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m.  There is also a Wednesday matinee on Dec. 17.  Tickets are $32 for adults, $30 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at  (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.)  The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

*member of Actors Equity


Tree Lighting Ceremony in Old Lyme Today

christmastreeThe Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Old Lyme will host a Christmas tree lighting ceremony this afternoon at 4 p.m. outside Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall at 52 Lyme Street.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School band conducted by Carrie Wind will play carols and seasonal music to accompany the ceremony.

Hot chocolate and cookies provided by Essex Savings Bank will be offered after the event.

A collection of non-perishable food donations to support local families will be taken.

All are welcome.


You Have Been Warned! Old Lyme PD Participating in ‘Click It or Ticket’ This Holiday Season

With the 2014 holiday travel period fast approaching, Connecticut’s law enforcement agencies intend to promote safe driving and increase the protection of all motorists.

Law enforcement officials are out on Connecticut’s roads enforcing the State Occupant Protection laws and issuing citations to those who are unbuckled.  The Old Lyme Town Police are participating in this “Click it or Ticket” campaign.


Musical Masterworks Offers Concert This Afternoon Featuring Jacobsen, Cords

Violinist Colin Jacobsen plays in this weekend's Musical masterworks' concerts. Photo by Sarah Small.

Violinist Colin Jacobsen plays in this weekend’s Musical Masterworks’ concerts.
Photo by Sarah Small.

Musical Masterworks will continue its series of chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with concerts on Saturday, December 6 at 5 pm and Sunday, December 7 at 3 pm.  Featured performers will include violinist Colin Jacobsen and violist Nicholas Cords.

Edward Arron will host this weekend's musical masterworks program

Edward Arron will host this weekend’s musical masterworks program

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will include an arrangement for string trio of J.S. Bach’s famousGoldberg Variations, originally written for keyboard; and 17th century composer Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber’s Passacaglia for solo violin.

Violinist Colin Jacobsen has won numerous awards including a recent Avery Fisher Career Grant.  He tours often with Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble, and is equally acclaimed as a composer.  He and violist Nicholas Cords founded the ground breaking string quartet, Brooklyn Rider, an ensemble that is credited with recreating the 300 year-old form of string quartet as a vital and creative 21st century ensemble.   They will be joined by Edward Arron, an artist known as one of the finest cellists performing today.

Tickets are $35 with $5 student tickets available.  Visit or call 860-434-2252

The First Congregational Church is located at 2 Ferry Rd. in Old Lyme, CT 06371.


‘Elephants in Winter’ Open Today at OL Church

xmas_sale_compressedThe annual ‘Elephants in Winter’ Sale at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme at 2 Ferry Road will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon.  Christmas decorations and gifts along with handmade items from the Sewing Group will be on sale.

International and Tribal Craft items will also be for sale plus coffee and doughnuts will be offered.

Enjoy some holiday shopping for a great cause at this event.


Event Listing for ‘Light Up Old Lyme’ This Weekend

Delicious cookies will be on sale to benefit Child and Family on Saturday at the famed Cookie Walk.

Delicious cookies will be on sale to benefit Child and Family on Saturday morning at the famed Cookie Walk.

It’s time to ‘Light up Old Lyme!’

This weekend, there are numerous events to celebrate the season.  Here’s a selection from which you can take your choice …

Saturday, Dec. 6

Elephants in Winter
9 a.m. – 12 p.m. (also after services on Sunday, Dec. 8)
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Assorted Christmas decorations and gifts. Handmade items by the Sewing Group. Tribal Crafts. International items, coffee and donuts.

OLPGN Library Friends’ Annual Holiday Book Sale & Artist/Artisan Boutique
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Community Room of the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library

The Friends of the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library (PGN Library) will hold its annual Holiday Book Sale at the Library on Saturday, December 6, 2014 from 10- 2 pm in the Community Room. Start your holiday shopping early at The Friends of Library Annual Holiday Book Sale!    Prices are below retail on excellent copies of the latest best sellers, classics, a wide array of children’s’ books, music CDs and a broad selection of nonfiction titles. A limited number of signed copies of Bill Berloni’s Broadway Tails will be for sale. This is a wonderful chance to purchase like-new books at reasonable prices for everyone on your holiday list. All proceeds go to benefit the library.

Child and Family Cookie Walk
10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Amity Construction in the Old Lyme Marketplace

Purchase your holiday cookies at the Child & Family Agency’s Cookie Walk, taking place this year  at  during the holiday festival.

Photos with Santa
10 a.m. to 12 noon
Amity Construction in the Old Lyme Marketplace

Hosted by Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau.  Santa’s Elves will be on hand as well to help you write a note to the North Pole.

Donations to benefit LYSB appreciated.

Tax Free Day at A Woman’s Exchange
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Old Lyme Marketplace

Home for the Holidays House Tour

Holiday Boutique
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Old Lyme Town Hall.

Self-guided House Tour
12 to 4 p.m.

Hosted by the Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) presents “Homes for the Holidays” House Tour of Old Lyme.

The self-guided House Tour will spotlight six beautifully decorated Old Lyme village homes, including historic Boxwood, featuring a holiday performance by the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Select Singers.

Advance tickets are available for $25 by mail by visiting or in person at OLCLC (57 Lyme Street, Old Lyme); Nightingale’s Café (68 Lyme Street); The Chocolate Shell (18 Lyme Street); Salon Pure (11 Halls Road, Old Lyme); and Homeworks (711 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook). Tickets the day of the event are $30.

The tour will be held rain, snow or shine.

Proceeds will benefit OLCLC enrichment programs.

Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center is a non-profit accredited early childhood school and child care center.

For more information, visit or call (860) 434-1728 ext. 1.

Musical Masterworks
5 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Edward Arron will perform an arrangement of Bach’sGoldberg Variations and other works.

Sunday, Dec. 8

Elephants in Winter
10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Assorted Christmas decorations and gifts. Handmade items by the Sewing Group. Tribal Crafts. International items, coffee and donuts.

Musical Masterworks
3 p.m.
First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Violinist Colin Jacobsen, violist Nicholas Cords, and cellist Edward Arron will perform an arrangement of Bach’sGoldberg Variations and other works.


Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center Hosts Holiday Homes Tour Today

Boxwood Manor.  This photo by James Meehan is featured in the Old Lyme Historical Society's 2014 Now & Then' calendar.

A photo of Boxwood Manor by James Meehan.  This expansive property on Lyme Street is featured not only on the ‘Homes for the Holiday’s’ tour, but also in the Old Lyme Historical Society’s 2014 Now & Then’ calendar.

The Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center (OLCLC) presents “Homes for the Holidays” House Tour of Old Lyme on Saturday, Dec. 6.  The tour begins at Old Lyme Town Hall, located at 52 Lyme Street, and will feature a Holiday Boutique from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The self-guided House Tour will run from 12 to 4 p.m. and will spotlight six beautifully decorated Old Lyme village homes, including historic Boxwood, featuring a holiday performance by the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Select Singers.

Advance tickets are available for $25 by mail by visiting or in person at OLCLC (57 Lyme Street, Old Lyme); Nightingale’s Café (68 Lyme Street); The Chocolate Shell (18 Lyme Street); Salon Pure (11 Halls Road, Old Lyme); and Homeworks (711 Boston Post Road, Old Saybrook). Tickets the day of the event are $30.

The tour will be held rain, snow or shine.

Proceeds will benefit OLCLC enrichment programs.

Old Lyme Children’s Learning Center is a non-profit accredited early childhood school and child care center.

For more information, visit or call (860) 434-1728 ext. 1.