March 3, 2015

Free Learn to Row Classes in Old Lyme

Learn to RowTomorrow, Sunday, March 1, Lizzie Simons is hosting a Free Learn To Row Day from 2 to 3 p.m. at Healthy Addiction, 5-1 Davis Rd. East, Old Lyme. Simons is the only local Concept2 Rowing/UCanRow2 Certified Indoor Rowing Instructor.  

In the class tomorrow, Simons will lead you through the basics of the rowing ergometer.

The benefits of rowing are numerous; it is a total-body low-impact cardiovascular exercise which can also build muscular strength and endurance. Check out the following links:

Indoor Rowing is hailed as “The New Spinning” by Harper’s Bazaar:

If you are thinking of attending tomorrow’s class, all you need to take are socks, sneakers, tight-fitting shorts or long athletic pants, a tee-shirt or tank-top and a bottle of water. 

Indoor Rowing classes are half price for this month.

Simons has created a Facebook page for tomorrow’s class at

RSVPs on that page would be appreciated in order to facilitate planning.


Catfight Coming — Wildcats Face Panthers in Shoreline Quarters

Senior Captain Jacob Ballachino is hoping to lead the team to victory tonight.

Jacob Ballachino

Breaking News:  Wildcats defeat Cromwell!  This evening the second-seeded Old Lyme Wildcats face the Cromwell Panthers in the quarterfinal round of the Shoreline Conference.  Tip-off is at 5:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School gym. The ‘Cats are coached by Kirk Kaczor.

Senior Captain Jacob Ballachino will hoping to lead the team to a memorable victory tonight.

Go Wildcats!


Wildcat Girls Play in Shoreline Basketball Semifinals Today

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl's varsity basketball team posed for this photo prior to today's game.  Photo by Jodi Strycharz.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl’s varsity basketball team who play in the Shoreline Conference semi-final today. Photo by Sloan Sweitzer

Don Bugbee’s third-seeded girls face number two seeds Cromwell at Coginchaug High School gym at 6 p.m. today in a Shoreline Conference semi-final.

Click to read Wildcats Make Late Surge to Steal Victory, Advance to Semis in Shoreline Conference and find out how the girls reached the semi-finals.

Go Wildcats!


“We’re Off to See the Wizard” at Lyme-Old Lyme MS, Friday, Saturday

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 12.20.28 AMThe Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School (LOLMS) Drama Club presents its 2015 musical production, “The Wizard of Oz,” this coming Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27 and 28.

More than 60 middle school students are involved in the cast and crew of this iconic stage production.  Fans will recognize the lines and lyrics of the 1939 American musical fantasy film by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which was based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Dual leads will perform the roles of Dorothy, her side-kicks Scarecrow, Tin Man and Friendly Lion, and also Glinda the Good Witch, the Wicked Witch of the West and the Wizard.  The show also includes the Munchkins, winged monkeys, residents of Oz and the whole cast of characters from the classic film.

This all-student production also includes the rare Jitterbug dance scene that was deleted from the popular film version.  The play is directed by LOLMS Choral Director Laura Gladd (Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2007), assisted by Jennifer Skelly and Heather Saia.

Performances are at 7 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, and Saturday, Feb. 28.

Tickets can be purchased for $8 in advance at The Bowerbird, 46 Halls Rd. in the Old Lyme Marketplace and at the LOLMS Office, 53 Lyme St., Old Lyme during school hours from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.  Tickets also can be purchased on the door before the shows.


Wildcat Girls Make Late Surge to Steal Victory, Advance to Semis in Shoreline Conference


Photo by Sloane Sweitzer. The game’s top scorer Julia Strycharz (#10) reaches for the ball.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Wildcats (16-5) suddenly soared to victory over North Branford in the first round of Saturday’s Shoreline Conference.  With the score tied at 41-41 with three minutes left on the clock, overtime was looking a distinct possibility, but then the ‘Cats surged forward scoring 12 points in a row to win decisively with the scoreboard reading 53-41 at the buzzer.


Photo by Sloane Sweitzer. Strycharz (#10) was in action all over the court.

It was particularly sweet victory because North Branford had defeated Old Lyme twice during the regular season.


Photo by Sloane Sweitzer.

Don Bugbee’s third-seeded girls now face number two seeds Cromwell in a semi-final game at Coginchaug High School in Durham next Tuesday with a 6 p.m. tip-off.  Cromwell beat Old Lyme during their only meeting in the regular season.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl's varsity basketball team posed for this photo prior to yesterday's victory over North Branford.  Photo by Jodi Strycharz.

The Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl’s varsity basketball team posed for this photo prior to yesterday’s victory over North Branford. Photo by Sloane Sweitzer.

Go Wildcats!


Lyme, Old Lyme Hold Second Solarize Workshop Tomorrow

Dave McCullough stands in front of his solarized home in Old Lyme.

Dave McCullough stands in front of his solarized home in Old Lyme.

Residents of Lyme and Old Lyme are invited to a joint Solarize workshop next Monday, Feb. 23, at 6 p.m. in the Old Lyme Town Hall auditorium.  The event has been rescheduled from Monday, Feb. 2, when it postponed for the second time due to another winter storm.  It will bring together informed town residents, solar installers, solar finance experts, and representatives of the Connecticut Green Bank.

The Solarize campaigns in the two towns have generated strong interest with over 120 residents registering their properties for a free solar evaluation. This workshop will provide information for both newcomers to the process, as well as those who are already actively involved in evaluating their options.

Computers and solar coaches will be available to help residents sign into the online marketplace platform and get started with their free evaluation.

There are 15 communities in Round 5 of Solarize – with a goal to more than double the amount of solar in each community. Over 40 communities have already participated in Solarize campaigns, resulting in over 2,000 homeowners signing contracts for solar.

More information about Solarize Lyme and Old Lyme can be found by visiting and

For those seeking help with the online marketplace platform, call Kimberly Le at 617.302.6523.

In the event of a snow cancellation, the meeting will be held the following week, Monday, March 2, at 6 p.m.


Tufts ‘Beelzebubs’ Perform at Lyme-Old Lyme High School

The Beelzebubs. Lyme-Old lyme High School alumnus Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn stands first from left.

The 10 members of The Beelzebubs include Lyme-Old Lyme High School alumnus (Class of 2014) Johnny Fairfield-Sonn (first from left.)

The Tufts Beelzebubs (the ‘Bubs’), Tufts University’s oldest all-male a cappella singing group, will appear in concert at Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) tonight.  The concert, sponsored by Friends of Music of Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools, takes place this evening, Friday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m.

Prior to the concert, the singing group will offer LOLHS students a workshop in a cappella singing, during which the students will learn techniques and Beelzebub arrangements; participants in the workshop will be invited onstage during the concert to demonstrate the skills they learned.

First formed in 1963, the Beelzebubs have been entertaining audiences all over the world for more than 50 years. They have sung for President Barack Obama, President Bill Clinton and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, among other luminaries, and have traveled to such far-away locales as Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and South America. They competed – and were first runners-up – on the first season of NBC’sThe Sing-off; and in season two of Fox’s ‘Glee,’ it was the Beelzebubs who gave voice to the fictional Dalton Academy Warblers.

The Bubs’ diverse repertoire ranges from rock to pop to hip-hop, and they are known for their lively original arrangements of recognizable tunes.

The 2014–15 Beelzebubs are made up of 10 Tufts students, including LOLHS alumnus John Fairfield-Sonn, a freshman at the school.

Admission to the Beelzebubs concert at LOLHS is $5 plus a nonperishable food item for the Shoreline Soup Kitchen.  Tickets will be available at the door, which will open at 7 p.m.  All are welcome.

Lyme-Old Lyme High School is located at 69 Lyme Street, Old Lyme. The auditorium is handicapped accessible.


Linares Meets with AARP Volunteers to Discuss Issues Affecting Seniors

Gathered for a photo during Senator Linares's meeting with AARP volunteers are (from left to right) Barbara Rutigliano of Essex, Marian Speers of Old Saybrook, Sen. Art Linares, and Jean Caron of Old Saybrook.

Gathered for a photo during Senator Linares’s meeting with AARP volunteers are (from left to right) Barbara Rutigliano of Essex, Marian Speers of Old Saybrook, Sen. Art Linares, and Jean Caron of Old Saybrook.

Sen. Art Linares (R-33rd), whose District includes the Town of Lyme, met with Connecticut AARP volunteers at Essex Coffee and Tea Co. on Feb. 5, to discuss issues impacting seniors.

Linares urged seniors from throughout the region to contact him with any issues of concern.  He can be reached by phone at 800-842-1421 or email at or on the web at


LVVS Seeks Volunteers to Help Valley Shore Residents with Reading, Writing

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

Tutor training is a 14-hour program conducted over seven sessions held each spring and again in the fall of every year. The next training session begins March 26 and runs through May 12.

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

If you are interested in becoming a tutor, contact the Literacy Volunteers office in the basement of Westbrook’s Public Library by phone at 860-399-0280 or by e-mail at Registration for the fall session is open now and the deadline for applications is March 2.


High Hopes Hosts Volunteer Enrichment Conference Today, All Welcome

HorsesHigh Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. is hosting a Volunteer Enrichment Conference today, Monday, Feb. 16, which is also President’s Day.  The event, which runs from run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., is a one-day conference offering sessions on a variety of topics related to the High Hopes’ volunteer experience.

A small registration fee gives you the choice of four sessions during the day and lunch is also included.  Sign up now and spend an interesting and fun day at High Hopes.

Choose from topics offered during three different sessions and hear experts talk about equine care, people care, great High Hopes stories from our past (did a horse really fall into a swimming pool?) and more.

Presenters include experts like Jane Strong, certified Equine Experiential Learning Instructor, Marty Whittle, a certified Yoga Alliance RYT instructor, Tim Hayes, a nationally recognized natural horsemanship clinician and Carolyn Jagielski, Physical Therapist.

Registration is just $10 and includes a lunch from Coffee’s Country Market and Deep River Snacks.

All are welcome.  

Click here to view detailed information on the presentations from which to choose and/or register.


Community Music School, Musical Masterworks Present Master Class Today Featuring Todd Palmer

Clarinetist Todd Palmer

Clarinetist Todd Palmer

CENTERBROOK – Community Music School and Musical Masterworks present a master class with clarinetist Todd Palmer on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 12 p.m. at Community Music School, 90 Main St., Centerbrook. Palmer will offer advice on technique and performance for four student musicians, who will each play during the class. The clarinet master class is free and open to the public. Call 860-767-0026 for additional information.

Having been involved in an array of creative and diverse artistic presentations throughout his career, clarinetist Palmer has appeared as soloist, recitalist, chamber music collaborator, educator, arranger, and presenter in a variety of musical endeavors around the world.

He has appeared with many symphony and chamber orchestras including those of Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati, Montréal, BBC Scotland, and has collaborated with many of the worlds finest string ensembles such as the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo, Pacifica and Daedelus quartets.

Palmer has also shared the stage with sopranos Kathleen Battle, Renée Fleming, Heidi Grant Murphy, and Dawn Upshaw, and commissioned and appeared in the world premiere of composer Ricky Gordon’s theatre work, Orpheus and Euridice, with coloratura Elizabeth Futral on Great Performers at Lincoln Center.

Since winning the Young Concert Artist International Auditions, Palmer has appeared as recitalist and lecturer at major performing arts centers and universities in 48 states. His appearances abroad have included concerto, recital and chamber music performances in Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, England, Canada, Mexico, Columbia, Brazil, the Caribbean, China and Japan.

In addition, Palmer has been closely associated with composer Osvaldo Golijov, and is regarded as the champion of his great klezmer clarinet quintet The Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind. He recorded this work with the St. Lawrence Quartet for EMI Classics which received two Grammy Award nominations in addition to the Classical Prelude Award from the Netherlands. Palmer worked extensively with Golijov on the newly orchestrated version which he premiered with the Santa Rosa, Oakland and Marin Symphonies in 2006.

Palmer will be performing for Musical Masterworks on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m. with Gilles Vonsattel (piano), Bella Hristova (violin), and Edward Arron (cello) at The First Congregational Church in Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd., Old Lyme. They will be performing works by Debussy, Weber, Beethoven and Stravinsky.

Tickets to the concert are $35 and student tickets are $5; additional concert information can be found

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.

Additional information can be found at or


Literacy Volunteers Feature Romance Novels in February Book Sale

AREAWIDE — February’s monthly book promotion by Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) features romance novels. Authors include Barbara Taylor Bradford, Jackie Collins, Jude Deveraux and many more. Hard covers are on sale for $2 and paperback for only 50 cents.

The book sale is located at the LVVS offices in the lower level of the Westbrook Public Library 61 Goodspeed Dr. Westbrook, Conn. Hours are: Monday- Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays 9 a.m. to 12 p.m.

All proceeds LVVS tutoring programs. Contact us at or 860-399-0280.


Musical Masterworks Hosts Two Concerts This Weekend

The featured artist in this weekend's concerts is Gilles Vonsattel.

The featured artist in this weekend’s concerts is Gilles Vonsattel.

Musical Masterworks will continue its series of chamber music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with concerts on Saturday, Feb. 14, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Feb. 15, at 3 p.m.  Featured artists will include pianist Gilles Vonsattel, clarinetist Todd Palmer and violinist Bella Hristova.  Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron will perform on cello and serve as host for the concerts.

The program will feature Beethoven’s Trio in c minor for Piano, Violin and Cello; two works by Claude Debussy, and the Suite from L’histoire du Soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) by Igor Stravinsky.  The finale of the program will be an performance of the Grand Trio Concertant for Piano, Clarinet and Cello by C.M. von Weber, arranged by Todd Palmer.

Featured pianist Gilles Vonsattel has won numerous prestigious awards including the 2002 Naumburg International Piano Competition and an Avery Fisher Career award.

He is an artist member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Clarinetist Todd Palmer has performed as soloist, recitalist and chamber musician with ensembles including the Houston, Atlanta, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Montreal Symphonies and has shared the stage with performers including sopranos Renee Fleming, Dawn Upshaw and Kathleen Battle; and with the St. Lawrence, Brentano, Borromeo and Lark String Quartets.  He has held principal clarinet positions in the Minnesota Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and other renowned ensembles.

Bella Hristova Photo by LisaMarie Mazzucco

Bella Hristova
Photo by LisaMarie Mazzucco

Violinist Bella Hristova won a 2013 Avery Fisher Career Grant and first place in the 2009 Young Concert Artists International Auditions.  They will be joined by Musical Masterworks Artistic Director and cellist Edward Arron, who is known as one of the world’s finest cellists performing today.

Tickets to the concerts on Feb. 14 and 15 are $35 with $5 student tickets available.  For tickets and information, please call 860-434-2252 or visit

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


District 18 to Host Public Forum Tonight on 2015-16 Budget

The Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools Board of Education will host a Public Forum on the 2015-16 budget on Wednesday evening, Feb. 11, starting at 6:30 p.m. in the Lyme-Old Lyme High School (LOLHS) Media Center.  The location for this meeting has been changed due a band concert being held in the LOLHS auditorium.

All are welcome to attend this meeting, which will include a presentation on the budget proposal to spend a total of just over $32.5 million ($32,547,409) in the next finical year, which represents a 1.83 percent increase over the 2014-15 budget.

The date currently anticipated for a referendum to be held in both Lyme and Old Lyme on the budget is Tuesday, May 5.

Click to read a more detailed report on the budget proposals by Kimberly Drelich and published in The Day, Feb. 7.


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Host Kindergarten Registration Today


Registration for Kindergarten in Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools for the fall of 2015 is being held today, Tuesday, Feb. 10, 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, 2016 are eligible to register for Kindergarten for September 2015.

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, call the school at these numbers to place your child’s name on the Kindergarten list:

Lyme Consolidated: 860-434-1233

Mile Creek: 860-434-2209



More Cancellations Announced by Town of Old Lyme

The Town of Old Lyme has announced that the following meetings have been cancelled due to the inclement weather:

Tonight’s Zoning Commission Meeting.

Tomorrow’s WPCA Meeting — the next meeting will be Tuesday, March 10.

Ethics Commission — the next meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m.


Old Lyme Church Launches 350th Celebrations Today with Organ Recital by Simon Holt

Music Director  Simon Holt sits at the church organ.

Gifted professional organist Simon Holt, pictured above, will give the recital on Sunday. He is not only the Church’s Director of Music but also the Artistic Director & GM of Salt Marsh Opera and Executive Director of United Theatre in Westerly, R.I.

Throughout 2015, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is celebrating 350 years of history. A series of concerts and a talk on the historic landscape of Lyme Street will commemorate the rich legacy of the past and ongoing connections that link the church and the larger community.

On Sunday, Feb. 8, at 4 p.m., the church’s Director of Music Simon Holt will give an organ recital titled, “Spanning 350 Years of Organ Music.”  The concert includes works by seven composers originating from five European countries and written in three different centuries.

In a remarkable program demonstrating the versatility and musical complexity of the majestic instrument, the concert opens with J.S. Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in E minor (BWV 548), features Léon Boëllman’s Suite Gothique for organ and Edward Elgar’s Imperial March, and concludes with Charles-Marie Widor’s Toccata in F Major.

Holt comments, “The program not only reflects differing styles of organ music written over the last 350 years, but also features great organ composers, who themselves were musical giants blazing compositional trails, much like the numerous inspirational leaders over the years at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.”


A special feature of the concert will be the installation of a camera to project the image of Holt’s hands and feet, while he is playing, onto large screens at the front of the church.

There will be a reception following the concert in the church’s Fellowship Hall.  All are welcome.

Holt began his musical training at St. Michael’s College, Tenbury Wells, a choir school in the heart of England.  In 1979, he moved to Malvern College (an independent high school) and by 17 years of age had obtained his performing diploma (ARCM).

He began a graduate degree course at the Royal College of Music in London in 1984, as well as becoming a scholar at the Royal College of Organists.  At the end of the three-year-course, he graduated with a teaching diploma (Dip. RCM) and his graduate degree (GRSM, Hons.)  The following year he studied at Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, for his Postgraduate Teaching Certificate, which he obtained in 1988.


While living in the United Kingdom (UK), Simon gave organ recitals in Westminster Abbey, St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, numerous Cathedrals and the Royal Albert Hall, London.  His discography includes a cassette of solo organ music and three CDs, two as an accompanist and the third conducting the Bristol Cathedral School orchestra.

He has also performed several times on national UK radio and television, including a live performance in the Albert Hall, London, while still at The Royal College of Music.  He has also toured Europe widely and his performances have included recitals in Notre-Dame and Sacré Coeur in Paris, France, as well as St. Mark’s in Venice, Italy.  He has also performed in Holland, Austria, Germany, the Czech Republic, Belgium and Switzerland.

In May 1999, Holt and his family moved to Stonington, Conn., where he became Director of Music at Calvary Church.  In September 2000, he collaborated with Calvary Church in founding Calvary Music School and, in the same year, he founded Salt Marsh Opera Company and is now its Artistic Director and General Manager.

A view of the interior of the church in 1887.

A view of the interior of the church in 1887.

Holt was appointed Director of Music in School at St. Thomas Choir School in New York City in September 2007,  He was subsequently named Chair of the Fine Arts Department and Head of Music at Saint James School in Hagerstown, Md., (the oldest Episcopal boarding school in North America), where he spent two years.  Holt returned to Connecticut in 2012 and is currently Executive Director of The United Theatre in Westerly, R.I. and Director of Music at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Since moving to the United States, Holt has given many concerts including organ recitals at St. Ann’s in Old Lyme, Harkness Chapel at Connecticut College, Park Church in Norwich, Christ Church in Westerly, R.I., Peacedale Congregational Church in Peacedale, R.I., the Pequot Chapel and St. James Church in New London, and Christ Church in Charlotte, N.C.

A donation of $10 per person is suggested.  All proceeds will benefit church programs and missions.

For more information, visit or call the church office at (860)-434-8686.

The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is located at the intersection of Ferry Road and Lyme Street in Old Lyme, CT.


Prelude and Fugue in E minor, BWV 548 The Wedge
Johann Sebastian Bach  (German) 1685-1750

Largo, Allegro, Aria & Two Variations 
Michael Christian Festing (English) 1705-1752

Thema met variaties                                                    

Hendrik Andriessen (Dutch) 1892-1981

Suite Gothique for Organ                                            

  •             Introduction-Chorale
  •             Menuet Gothique
  •             Prière à Notre-Dame
  •             Toccata
    Léon Boëllman (French) 1862-1897

Adagio in E major                                           

Frederick Bridge (English) 1844-1924

Imperial March
Edward Elgar (English) 1857-1934

Humoresque” LOrgano Primitivo
Pietro Yon (Italian)  1886-1943

Toccata in F major
Charles-Marie Widor (French) 1844-1937

A Brief History of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

FCCOL_exterior_Photo_by_Nigel_Logan_122KBPublic worship began on the east side of the Connecticut River in 1664 when the Court acknowledged that there were “thymes and seasons” when inhabitants could not attend Sabbath meetings in Saybrook and ordered them to agree on a house where they would gather on the Lord’s Day.

A year later, Articles of Agreement defined a “loving parting” that created a separate “plantation” on the river’s east side, which would soon be named Lyme.

The first three meetinghouses stood on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound. After a lightning strike destroyed the third of those structures in 1815, the church was relocated to its present site closer to the village.

Master builder Samuel Belcher from Ellington was hired to design a fourth meetinghouse beside the town green and the cornerstone was laid on June 10, 1816. That stately white church with its graceful steeple and columned façade, painted repeatedly by the country’s most prominent landscape artists, burned to the ground on July 5, 1907, in what was almost certainly an act of arson.

Rebuilt to replicate Belcher’s design after a community-wide, fund-raising campaign, the fifth meetinghouse, dedicated in 1910, remains today as both a vibrant center of faith and fellowship and the town’s most important historic landmark.






Mile Creek Teachers Crowned ‘Queen Bees” at Trivia Night Challenge

The winning "A Mile Up the Creek Without a Paddle" team from Mile Creek School

The winning “A Mile Up the Creek Without a Paddle” team from Mile Creek School

Four teachers from Mile Creek School strutted their stuff last night in the 3rd Annual Trivia Bee Challenge to beat the other 22 teams competing in the contest and be crowned champions. In a battle to the finish, the teachers of Mile Creek ended up pitted against a team made up current and former teachers of Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School in the championship round.

One of the three 'Swarms' that entered the 2014 Triva Challenge work on their answers to questions posed by Master of Ceremonies and New Channel 3 News Bureau Director Kevin Hogan.

One of the three ‘Swarms’ that entered the 2014 Trivia Bee work on their answers to questions posed by Master of Ceremonies and New Channel 3 News Bureau Director Kevin Hogan.


Kevin Hogan

In one question after another, both teams consistently gave the correct answer until finally ‘Bee Keeper’ Mike Kane declared it was time for a tie-breaker and Master of Ceremonies Kevin Hogan posed the final question.

The Mile Creek teachers came through in the clutch moment and were declared the victors.

All District 18 parents can now sleep easy in their beds knowing that their children’s teachers are the brightest folk in Lyme and Old Lyme!


Free Tax Help Available for Households Earning $53,000 or Less Through VITA Program

Volunteer David Morgan assists a client with taxes last year at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site at the Middlesex United Way office.

Volunteer David Morgan assists a client with taxes last year at the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance site at the Middlesex United Way office.

The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program is an official IRS program, and all tax preparers are trained and certified to ensure that low- to moderate-income families receive the refunds and credits that they have earned, including the federal and state Earned Income Tax Credits and the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit.

In 2014, the two VITA sites in Middletown helped more than 530 Middlesex County area residents file their taxes for free and returned $767,781 back to taxpayers. Those who filed with Middletown VITA sites had an average Adjusted Gross Income of $19,676 and received an average refund of $1,706, money they have earned. This impacts not only those who filed their taxes, but also their families and the local economy.

Appointments are required and are being offered during the evenings and on Saturdays in downtown Middletown. To make an appointment, dial 2-1-1 from any phone. 2-1-1 is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Individuals should bring a check or bank statement for direct deposit of their refund. Direct deposit is the quickest way to receive the refund, usually within 7 to 14 days. When attending their pre-scheduled appointment, individuals should bring: valid photo ID for yourself and your spouse; social security cards or ITIN for everyone in the household; birth dates for everyone in the family; documentation for all income; interest and dividend statements; documentation for deductible education expenses and student loan payments; total amount paid for child care as well as day care provider’s tax identification number and address; property taxes paid, including automobile taxes; evidence of health care coverage in 2014; a copy of last year’s federal and state income tax returns, if available; and the current year’s tax package if you received one.

Middletown VITA sites are coordinated by the Middlesex VITA Coalition, a partnership of Middlesex United Way and the North End Action Team. The Middlesex VITA Coalition receives support from the Connecticut Association of Human Services.


Chester Historical Society Offers Creative Challenge to Artists

Photo by Skip Hubbard. The Chester Historical Society invites you to take this year’s creative challenge. Named Hooked Again!, the challenge is based on products from the Brooks factory. Pick out three sealed envelopes to work with; no one knows exactly what is in them.

Photo by Skip Hubbard.
The Chester Historical Society invites you to take this year’s creative challenge.  Named Hooked Again!, the challenge is based on products from the Brooks factory.  Pick out three sealed envelopes to work with; no one knows exactly what is in them.

If you have a creative eye, this is a hook you can handle …

The Chester Historical Society has come up with its fifth creative challenge linking Chester history and art. This spring, those accepting the 2015 Hooked Again! Challenge issued by the Historical Society will be working with assorted sample eyehooks, handles and hardware, still enclosed in small sealed manila envelopes, from the M.S. Brooks & Sons factory.

As with the Bishop and Watrous Bone Art challenge and the Bates Square Roots challenge offered by the Chester Historical Society in past years, the Hooked Again! challenge is for area artists, sculptors, photographers, engineers, jewelry designers, and all others with a creative mind.

Anyone who wants to take the challenge is invited to stop in at the Chester Gallery on Main Street in the center of Chester to pick out three sealed envelopes and pay their entrance fee of $30, which includes two tickets to the event.

The finished works will be exhibited and sold by silent auction at the Historical Society’s Hooked Again! Challenge Reception on Saturday, April 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Chester Meeting House.

For more information, call Sosse Baker at Chester Gallery at 860-526-9822.