February 1, 2015

Carney Proposes Ban on Electronic Cigarette Use in Schools, on School Grounds

State Representative Devin Carney

State Representative Devin Carney

State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23) hopes to prohibit the use of electronic cigarettes on school grounds in his bill H.B. 5219.  Current regulation is limited to the use of electronic cigarettes by anyone under the age of 18; this legislation, however, would seek to expand upon the current bans to include prohibiting the use of electronic cigarettes on school grounds entirely. Schools already ban tobacco-based products, so this would add e-cigarettes to that ban.

“It’s critical that our schools be free from negative influences. Countless studies show that electronic cigarette use among high school and even middle school aged kids is rapidly rising. Not to mention that many kids who would have never tried a traditional cigarette are experimenting with e-cigarettes – especially flavored ones,” Carney said. “The bad habits brought on by them lead to the increased potential for addiction to nicotine-based products in the future.”

A recent Yale study notes that one in four Connecticut high school students have tried an e-cigarette. In addition, 26 percent of students who had reported to have never tried one were interested in trying one in the future.

Carney adds, “The availability of electronic cigarettes and ease at which they can be purchased by minors is a bit unsettling to me. We are fortunate to live in an area where many schools have already taken this initiative – a statewide ban on them on school property will strengthen those initiatives while also ensuring other schools, who may not have banned them yet, will have a ban in place.”

Carney has also proposed other bills including several proposals to lower taxes and increase the overall quality of life for the residents of the 23rd District.


Lyme-Old Lyme Schools Re-Open Today, Update on Trash Pick-up

Looking up a snow-covered road in Old Lyme.

Looking up a snow-covered road in Old Lyme.

Close to 20″ of snow fell overnight in Lyme and Old Lyme, school is cancelled, businesses are closed, but the snow ploughs are already out and hard at work.

Both Wednesday and Thursday’s trash and recycling will be picked up on Thursday.

Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools, the Lymes’ Senior Center, and the Old Lyme Transfer Station will all be closed on Wednesday.

Trash and recycling from Tuesday’s Old Lyme route will be picked up on Wednesday, starting at 10 a.m.

Although the snowfall is winding down, and the statewide travel ban has been lifted, continue to follow these simple safety precautions:

  • Exposure to cold temperatures and sustained winds can contribute to hypothermia and dehydration. If you go outside, dress in layers and wear hats, scarves and gloves.  Remove wet clothing as soon as you are back indoors.
  • Make sure outside vents to your home are cleared of snow.  Do not run a vehicle inside a garage that is attached to your home, even with the door open.
  • If you suspect you may have been exposed to CO and experience dizziness, light-headedness or nausea, seek medical attention immediately.
  • Call 911 to report all emergency situations
  • To report a power outage, call 800-286-2000,or text the word “outage,” followed by a space and your zip code, to 24612.

Tidal flooding is still possible — the next high tide is 5:29 a.m. tomorrow morning.

A parking ban remains in effect throughout Old Lyme — keep all vehicles off the roads so they can be safely cleared by the Old Lyme Public Works Department.

The Old Lyme Emergency Operations Center telephone number is 860.598.0120.

If you have not already done so, register for Old Lyme Alerts to receive phone/ text messages about emergency situations.  You can register anytime – it’s not too late. Click on Emergency Management on the Town website: www.oldlyme-ct.gov and follow the simple instructions.

The Regional Emergency Shelter administered by the Red Cross  is open at East Lyme Middle School on Society Rd. Old Lyme residents and their pets are welcome.  Take all medications with you.

Please send us your photos of the snow for possible publication to editor@lymeline.com

Thank you and stay warm … and safe!


Compassion Counts: Join a Shoreline Community Forum in Westbrook Tonight

Join this shoreline community conversation to listen and learn from each other and work together to support mental wellness with meaningful action. This discussion titled, ‘Compassion Counts: Exploring Mental Wellness in an Age of Stress and Anxiety’ will explore mental wellness in an age of stress and anxiety.  It will be held on Thursday, Jan. 29, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Westbrook High School, 156 McVeagh Rd, Westbrook.

Snow date is Feb. 3, same place and time.

Light refreshments will be served.

Dan Osborne, Executive Director, Gilead Community Services will be the moderator.

Robert W. Plant, Phd the Senior Vice President at Valueoptions – CT Behavioral Health Partnership, will give the introduction.

Panelists include:

  1. Squitiero, a mother of a son recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
  2. Allen, a professional recovering from drug and alcohol abuse.
  3. Dr. Lisa Donovan of Old Lyme, a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
  4. Alicia Farrell, Phd, a cognitive psychologist and daughter of a suicide victim.
  5. Robert W. Plant, Phd, Senior Vice President at Valueoptions – CT Behavioral Health Partnership.

A light meal will be provided.

This is a FREE event. You may register online here.

For more information, contact Lucy McMillan at (860) 301-6634 or lmcmillan@gileadcs.org.

Free 1.5 CEUs: This program has been approved for 1.5  Continuing Education Units by the National Association of Social Workers, CT and meets the continuing education criteria for CT Social Work Licensure renewal.

Partners for this event include:

• Aware Recovery Care • Child & Family agency • Clearview Consulting & Mental Fitness •
• Community Foundation of Middlesex County • essex Community Fund • Gilead Community Services • • Hamilton Educational Learning Partners • Joshua Center Shoreline-Natchaug Hospital •
• Middlesex Hospital • naMI Connecticut • Pathways • Region ll Regional Mental Health Board •
• River Valley Services•Comerrudd-Gates & Linda Nickerson•Rushford: a Hartford Healthcare Partner • Sierra Tucson • Turning Point •


JLN Associates of Old Lyme Purchases Top Rung Inspection & Testing of Salem, CT

JLN Top Rung
JLN Associates LLC of Old Lyme has announced the acquisition of the Top Rung Inspection and Testing Company. Top Rung has been a leader in the testing of fire department ground and aerial ladders in the New England region since 1996.

By incorporating the Top Rung business line into JLN Associates, it aligns a proven process with the strengths and resources of JLN Associates that will allow JLN to further extend its services to the municipal fire services on the east coast.

The addition of the ladder inspection and testing services will complement JLN’s municipal services division. Ladder testing services will be added to JLN’s hose testing and community risk and fire department support business lines.

JLN Associates Principal John L. Nickerson said.“The acquisition allows JLN to become a more valuable supplier of services to the emergency response community. The core values of Top Rung and JLN align and make for a seamless transition into the JLN business model.”

JLN Associates has been providing safety and fire protection services since 1999. JLN core services include a diverse safety product line including field safety services, providing emergency response management and staffing to industrial facilities, technical consulting to municipal emergency services community, along with regulatory required safety and specialized training at JLN’s Training Center located in Old Lyme, Conn.

For further information about JLN Ladder Testing or other Safety/Training Services, visit JLN’s Web Page or contact John L. Nickerson at (860)-434-3443 or (855)-SAFEJLN.


Lyme, Old Lyme Second Solarize Workshop Rescheduled to Monday

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. 2, at 6 p.m. at Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School.  The event has been rescheduled from Monday, Jan. 26, when it postponed due to the 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 110 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 www.solarizect.com/Lyme and www.solarizect.com/OldLyme.

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 Feb. 2, at 6 p.m.


Community Foundation Supports Scholarships for KinderMusik Program, Free Preview, Jan. 27


01/27 Update: The Community Music School is closed today due to the inclement weather. This event will be rescheduled.

Through a generous grant from the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Community Music School is pleased to offer scholarships for the award-winning early childhood development program, Kindermusik.

A free demonstration day is being offered on Tuesday, Jan. 27, at 10 a.m. for families with infants and toddlers interested in the program. The demonstration takes place at Community Music School, 90 Main St. in Centerbrook (in the Spencer’s Corner complex next to Essex Elementary School).

The Community Foundation of Middlesex County is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for the people of the County, now and in the future, by developing endowments, making grants that have impact and assisting donors in meeting their philanthropic objectives. Since its founding in 1997, the Community Foundation has awarded 1,100 grants totaling over $3.3 million for the arts, cultural and heritage programs, educational activities, environmental improvements and for health and human services.

With more than 25 years of experience in early childhood development, Kindermusik is the world’s most trusted name in musical learning. It is a carefully researched, developmentally based program that offers children their first experiences with music and movement in classes that are inviting and enjoyable.

The classroom curriculum is supplemented with engaging take-home materials. If you’re looking for something special to share with your child, Kindermusik is the answer. Community Music School faculty member Martha Herrle will lead these engaging and fun music education sessions.

For additional information about the Kindermusik program or for a scholarship application, please call 860-767-0026 or visit www.community-music-school.org.


Winter Storm Juno Arrives, Two Feet of Snow Possible, Parking Ban Announced in Old Lyme

Updated map of predicted state snowfall accumulations.

Updated map of predicted state snowfall accumulations.

As Winter Storm Juno begins to affect our towns, a parking ban has been announced throughout Old Lyme from 6 p.m. tonight until further notice. Keep all vehicles off the roads so that they remain open for emergency vehicles and can be safely cleared when the storm ends.

Governor Dannel Malloy has announced that all non-emergency travel must cease on all roads in the state tonight after 9 p.m.

If there is a fire hydrant on or near your property, please help by keeping it clear for emergency use.

The following cancellations and early closings have been announced in Lyme and Old Lyme:

  • The Solarize Meeting and Annual Town Meeting have both been cancelled for tonight and will be rescheduled
  • The Lymes’ Senior Center is closed for the remainder of the day and will be closed on Tuesday
  • Region 18 schools have early dismissal today, all evening activities cancelled and will be closed on Tuesday.
  • There will be no trash or recycling pick-up on Tuesday.

The Old Lyme Emergency Operations Center  @ 860 598 0120 will open mid-afternoon.

To report a power outage, call 800-286-2000, or text the word “outage,” followed by a space and your zip code, to 24612.

Stay away from downed power lines and call 911 to report them.

Travel will be hazardous. Stay off the roads during the storm.

Your cell phone will be an important tool during this emergency — make sure it is charged.

Exposure to cold temperatures and sustained winds will contribute to hypothermia and dehydration. If you go outside, dress in layers and wear hats, scarves and gloves. Remove wet clothing as soon as you are back indoors.

Call 911 to report all emergency situations

Snow has already begun and will intensify during the afternoon commute.

Snow tonight will increase with rapid intensity at rates of 2-4 inches per hour.

High winds will also be present, gusting up to 60 mph along the coast.

Expected snow accumulation is from 12-25” across the state, with wind gusts up to 40 mph, and the risk of blizzard conditions through 6 pm Tuesday.

Tidal flooding can be expected with tides being 3-4 feet above normal.

Flooding can also be expected in low lying areas around town.

High tides are predicted at 3:04 pm Monday.

Tuesday’s high tides will be 10:15 am and 11:18 pm. 

This is the map issued by the state’s Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) showing predicted snowfall totals for Winter Storm Juno.  It looks like there’s little chance we’ll dodge the snow this time, in contrast to last week when we were let off pretty lightly

Here’s a link to track the storm and another on how to prepare for the storm.


Old Lyme’s Citizen of the Year to be Announced at Annual Town Meeting Tonight

1/25: 10:05pm – DUE TO THE IMPENDING BAD WEATHER, THIS MEETING HAS BEEN CANCELLED.  IT WILL BE RESCHEDULED.  Old Lyme’s Annual Town Business Meeting will be held Monday, Jan. 26, at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School at 18 Lyme Street.  This meeting immediately follows the Solarize Lyme,Old Lyme workshop, which starts at 6 p.m. at the same location.

There are currently only two agenda items for the town meeting.  The first is discussion and acceptance of the Annual Town Report for the fiscal year July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013, as submitted by the Board of Finance.

And secondly, the First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder will announce the currently closely-guarded secret of the recipient of the board of selectmen’s Citizen of the Year for 2013.


Old Lyme Church Hosts Organ Concert, Feb. 8, as 350th Anniversary Celebrations Continue

Illustration by Arthur L.Keller taken from a 1906 edition of the Ladies' Home Journal.

Illustration by Arthur L.Keller taken from a 1906 edition of the Ladies’ Home Journal.

Throughout 2015, the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will celebrate 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.

The next event in the year-long celebration is:

Simon Holt: An Organ Recital
“Spanning 350 Years of Organ Music”

Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015 at 4 p.m.

Public worship began on the east side of the Connecticut River in 1664 when the New London County 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 minister, Moses Noyes, a Harvard graduate from the Boston area, settled in the growing community in 1666. Rev. Noyes helped to found the Collegiate School in Saybrook that later became Yale and was elected the twelfth Trustee of the college. Most famous among Lyme’s ministers was Rev. Stephen Johnson, who used a pen name to publish fiery letters in a New London newspaper urging colonists to resist British authority and fight for liberty. He later served as chaplain in the regiment led by Col. Samuel H. Parsons from Lyme and reached Roxbury at the end of the fight for Bunker Hill.

In colonial times, the meetinghouse was not only a place for public worship but also for town meetings and, after stocks were erected in 1685, for public punishments. Over the centuries, community disputes, family quarrels and local scandals played out within its walls. Beginning in 1719 with the creation of a separate Congregational parish in the east section of Lyme, other churches, first Baptist and Methodist followed by Episcopal and Roman Catholic, met the religious needs of the community.

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.

For more information, visit www.fccol.org 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.


Saint John School Hosts Open House Today

school_pixOLD SAYBROOK – Saint John School will host an Open House for students in Pre-K (ages 3-5) through Grade 8 on Sunday, Jan. 25, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at 42 Maynard Road in Old Saybrook. The school principal, teachers, parents, and students will be available to provide tours and answer questions about preschool, elementary, and middle school.

The Open House follows the opening Mass of the annual Catholic Schools Week at 9:15 a.m. the same day at Saint John Church, 161 Main Street. Catholic Schools Week celebrates the tradition of “Faith, Knowledge and Service” of students, families, teachers and staff, parishioners and alumni. Special events and recognitions continue through Jan. 31.

The school is now accepting admissions registrations for the 2015-2016 school year. Personal tours, registration, and classroom visits are also available by appointment. For more information, call 860-388-0849, email principal@saintjohnschoolos.org or visit our website www.saintjohnschoolOS.org.

Saint John School is fully accredited with certified teachers, and is known for individual student growth, building self-discipline, and confidence. A comprehensive 6th to 8th grade Middle School program prepares students to excel in high school and beyond. Full day Pre-K (ages 3-5) and Kindergarten is offered, including structured academics and creative play.

The school environment includes a modern facility, close-knit family atmosphere, and adherence to Christian values, which promotes, “educating the whole child.”


Grabowski, Mesham to Receive Eagle Scout Awards, Feb. 7

Luke Grabowski (left) and  Owen Mesham will receive their Eagle Scout awards at a Feb. 7 ceremony in Old Lyme.

Luke Grabowski (left) and Owen Mesham will receive their Eagle Scout awards at a Feb. 7 ceremony in Old Lyme.

Boy Scout Troop 26, who are sponsored by the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme and hold their meetings at the Lyme Fire House, will be hosting a very special event next month, as they honor two young men who have achieved Scouting’s Highest Rank, Eagle Scout.  Luke Grabowski and Owen Mesham have completed the rigorous requirements and will be presented their awards at an Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Saturday, Feb. 7, in Old Lyme.

The fact that a young man is an Eagle Scout has always carried with it a special significance, not only in Scouting, but also as he enters higher education, business or industry, and community service.  Achieving the rank requires perseverance to complete the extensive requirements list over a scouting career, culminating in a significant Service Project that the Scout must both design and lead.  The project must also require a substantial amount of planning and coordination.  Only about five percent of all Boy Scouts earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

Grabowski’s service project was construction of a bridge on the Honey Hill Preserve in Lyme.  With the guidance of the Lyme Land Conservation Trust, he planned and led the construction of a bridge roughly 35 ft. in length that connected two sides of a trail over a stream on the Preserve.  Grabowski prepared the blueprints, obtained materials and led fellow troop members in the construction last summer.  He is a senior at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, whose future plans include attending college in the fall of 2015 to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

Mesham’s project was to construct a 28 ft. long wooden foot bridge that spanned a stream in the Lyme Land Conservation Trust’s Gungy Preserve in Lyme. The bridge is for hikers, but it was specially designed to facilitate mountain bikers also. Behind the construction phase of the bridge were many hours of designing, gathering materials, communicating and coordinating with the troop.  Mesham, who is currently a senior at the Sound School in New Haven, has received a congressional nomination to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, in King’s Point, N.Y., and hopes to receive an appointment this spring.  If accepted, he plans on majoring in Marine Transportation.

Both boys will be honored at a Court of Honor to be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 7, at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme on Ferry Rd., Old Lyme.


Two New Exhibitions on View at LAA

Winter Harmony by Michael Rogan is one of the signature pieces of the 'Wonders of Winter' exhibition opening Friday at the LAA.

‘Winter Harmony’ by Michael Rogan is one of the signature pieces of the ‘Wonders of Winter’ exhibition opening Friday at the LAA.

The 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition and Wonders of Winter are on view at the Lyme Art Association (LAA) through Feb. 27.

The LAA’s 23rd Annual Associate Artist Exhibition of landscape, portrait, and still life paintings, as well as sculpture by Associate Artist members will be on view in the Association’s front galleries while Wonders of Winter, which showcases winter scenes by members of all levels, will be on display in the Goodman gallery.

“The Annual Associate Artist Exhibition is often characterized as one of our un-themed exhibitions when, in fact, there is a theme. The theme is the range, creativity, and excellence of our Associate Artist members, whether it is a painting that captures the beauty and grandeur of the Connecticut landscape, or one that depicts the personal objects and surroundings of everyday life,” says Katherine Simmons, President of LAA’s Board of Directors.

'Talking Pears' by Paula Dewell is featured in the 23rd Annual Associate Artists exhibition.

‘Talking Pears’ by Paula Dewell is featured in the 23rd Annual Associate Artist exhibition.

She continues, “The Wonders of Winter exhibition in the Goodman Gallery is an established favorite on our exhibition calendar. Each painting celebrates an aspect 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 located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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


Local Lawmakers Meet With Old Saybrook Chamber 

Gathering for a photo at the legislative forum are, from left to right, Angus McDonald of Angus McDonald/Gary Sharpe & Associates; Leigh-Bette Maynard of Liberty Bank; Kristen Roberts of Comcast; Leland McKenna of Middlesex Hospital Primary Care; Kenneth Gribbon of Saybrook Point Inn & Spa; Lori Woll of the Octagon @ Mystic Marriott; Judy Sullivan – Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; Linda Brophy of Edward Jones and Suzie Beckman – Executive Director of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.

Gathering for a photo at the legislative forum are, from left to right, Angus McDonald of Angus McDonald/Gary Sharpe & Associates; Leigh-Bette Maynard of Liberty Bank; Kristen Roberts of Comcast; Leland McKenna of Middlesex Hospital Primary Care; Kenneth Gribbon of Saybrook Point Inn & Spa; Lori Woll of the Octagon @ Mystic Marriott; Judy Sullivan – Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce Executive Director; Linda Brophy of Edward Jones and Suzie Beckman – Executive Director of the Old Saybrook Economic Development Commission.

State Sen. Art Linares (R-33) and State Rep. Devin Carney (R-23) on Jan. 15 met with the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce to discuss issues facing the state legislature and their efforts to improve the state’s business climate.

“This type of discussion and transparency amongst elected officials and constituents is essential,” Rep. Carney said. “We have to understand the concerns held by the people of our towns, along with the input from the business community, and be their voice in the Capitol.”

“We can make Connecticut a Top 20 state for business,” Sen. Linares said. “To get there, we must pass policies which reduce tax and regulatory burdens on businesses. We must pass pro-growth policies which unlock our potential as a state, address our weaknesses, and capitalize on our strengths. We need to listen to what Connecticut businesses here in Old Saybrook and across the state are telling us.”

Attendees at the legislative forum discussed a variety of issues, including state taxes, funding for transportation infrastructure, and the need to eliminate burdensome unfunded state mandates.


Nautilus Architects of Lyme Receives ‘Best Of Houzz 2015′ Award

Pool house on Cove Rd. designed by Nautilus Architects

Pool house on Cove Rd. designed by Nautilus Architects

Nautilus Architects of Lyme, Conn., has been awarded “Best Of Houzz” for Design & Customer Satisfaction by Houzz, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. This modern design studio was chosen by the more than 25 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than 500,000 active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.

The Best Of Houzz award is given in two categories: Design and Customer Satisfaction. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 25 million monthly users on Houzz, known as “Houzzers.” Customer Satisfaction honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014.

Winners will receive a “Best Of Houzz 2015” badge on their profiles, helping Houzz users around the world who discover and love a professional’s work to learn even more about that business’ popularity and satisfaction rating among their peers in the Houzz community.

Christopher Arelt of Nautilus Architects, says, “I encourage my clients and those considering any building/renovation project to use Houzz as a way to discover design ideas that work.”

Liza Hausman, vice president of industry marketing for Houzz, comments, “Houzz provides homeowners with a 360 degree view of home building, remodeling and design industry professionals, empowering them to engage the right people and products for their project.” She comments, “We’re delighted to recognize Christopher Arelt of Nautilus Architects, among our “Best Of” professionals as judged by our community of homeowners and design enthusiasts who are actively remodeling and decorating their homes.”

Follow Nautilus Architects and Chris Arelt at this link.


Mindfulness Series Starts at Vitality in Old Lyme


From the boardroom to the classroom to the yoga room, mindfulness techniques are being used to manage stress, improve performance, gain insight and clarity and improve time management.  Find out what mindfulness is all about in a six-week series starting today at 5:45 p.m. at Vitality Spa & Wellness of Old Lyme.
Anderson Cooper started everyone talking about mindfulness in early December when his CBS 60 Minutes program discussed the time that he spent with Jon Kabat-Zinn on a weekend-long mindfulness retreat.  A meditation expert of over 47 years, Kabat-Zinn is the founder of the Center for Mindfulness at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and developer of the mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) program.
But Cooper was not the first skeptical newscaster to benefit from mindfulness.  ABC News Anchor Dan Harris talks about how MBSR helped him after his very public on-air breakdown in 2004.  He was drawn to mindfulness despite “massive misgivings” but found that MBSR provided a secular and sustainable practice that allowed him to regain control of his life and his career.
One of those “well known secrets,” MBSR is finally gaining traction as medical experts recognize it is a valuable tool in the management of stress and depression.  Both the US National Institutes for Health and the National Institute of Clinical Excellence in the UK recommend mindfulness as a treatment and as a preventative tool in addition to, or as an alternative to traditional pharmacological treatments.
“Have you been wondering about the benefits of meditation, but didn’t know what to ask? Do you want to start a mediation routine in your daily life, but are not sure you have the time?” asks Karen Gomez, a Holistic Life Coach at Vitality Wellness, who has been practicing and teaching mindfulness techniques for over 20 years.
Gomez notes, “One of the most rewarding things about my work is seeing people who come keyed up … ‘come on, get on with it, teach me these techniques, I haven’t got time to hang around’ … and by the end of the series they realize that mindfulness has created time for them.  It has given them back time, it has created that 25th hour in the day or better still it has taught them that they really don’t need 25 stressful hours to achieve all that they want to achieve.”
She continues, “Mindfulness has taught them to live in the moment, these techniques have shown them how being present in every moment of your life and not wasting time on the past or the future creates space, creates time and creates balance.  Their performance at work improves, they gain clarity in their thinking at work and at home with their families and most importantly they reduce stress and learn to live and love life again.”
Each weekly interactive class will cover techniques you can integrate into your busy schedule easily, a group coaching component, as well as a meditation segment.  The purpose of this series is to enable participants to gain a sound background in holistic approaches for stress management and share a variety of effective relaxation techniques which include, deep breathing, positive thinking, affirmations, visualizations, muscle relaxation, with reviews of Yoga, Meditation, and Reiki.
If you would prefer to schedule 1:1 sessions at Vitality, call 860.434.1792.
Call Vitality at 860.434.1792 for more information or find Vitality Spa & Wellness at 14 Lyme St. Old Lyme or on Facebook and online at http://www.vitalityspa.com.

Xmas Tree Collection in Old Lyme Continues Through Jan. 30

Old Lyme Public Works will be picking up Christmas trees from Tuesday, Jan. 20, through Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. Residents are asked to place their Christmas trees at the curbside prior to Jan. 20 for pick-up and disposal.


MLK Day Closings in Lyme, Old Lyme

Lyme and Old Lyme Town Hall offices are closed today, Monday, Jan. 19, which is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Lyme landfill is closed Monday for the holiday, and the Old Lyme Transfer Station is normally closed on Mondays.

The trash and recycling pick-up schedule in Old Lyme is not changing for this holiday.


Old Lyme Library Announces a Hollywood Theme for this Year’s Bookworm Ball, March 21


The Friends of the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library have announced the theme for this year’s Bookworm Ball. Guests at the popular annual event planned for March 21, will find the Old Lyme Country Club – the site selected for this year’s Ball – transformed into the setting for a glittering movie premiere. It will be Hollywood Night at the Bookworm Ball.

Previous balls have featured such themes as the Roaring 20s, Buccaneers’ Ball, Rockin’ 50s and last year’s Evening in Paris. This year instead of costumes and historical props, plans call for a glamorous night of stars on the red carpet in their fashion finery, music and dancing, live and silent auction excitement, and elegant edibles — all in support of a beloved community resource, The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.

This file image from the 2014 Oscar red carpet celebrations gives a hint of the glamorous night ahead at the 2015 Bookworm Ball!

This file image from the red carpet celebrations at the 2014 Oscar  celebrations gives a hint of the glamorous night ahead at the 2015 Bookworm Ball!

The Friends of the Library go all out for the fundraiser, with an event that last year brought in $27,000. The ball takes thousands of volunteer hours to put together, with sponsors providing financial support as well as donated items to be auctioned. Each year the non-profit organization pledges to raise more than $40,000 annually to buy new books and bring educational programs for tots, teens, and adults to the library. All net proceeds from the Ball are dedicated to the financial support of the Library’s programs and collections.

“We’re always thinking of ways to make sure this important fundraiser is first and foremost a fun event, ” said Leslie Massa, vice president of the Friends. We know that the library is much loved in the community, but it’s great to see so many people come out to support it.  It seems that word has gotten out that the Bookworm Ball is a good time, and thanks to the support of our sponsors, we’re able to keep the party affordable.” This year those sponsors include Reynolds Subaru, AXA Advisors, Paul Burdick Oil, All-Pro Automotive, Essex Financial/Savings, Jeffrey N. Mehler CFP, LLC and LymeLine.com

Tickets to Hollywood Night at the Bookworm Ball can be reserved by calling the Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library at (860) 434-1684.

For more information about the Ball and the library, visit http://www.oldlyme.lioninc.org/bookworm-ball-2015/


Late Registration Tonight in Old Saybrook for Cappella Cantorum’s Upcoming Concert

Late registration for Faure’s “Requiem” and Schubert’s “Mass in G” will be held Monday, Jan. 19, at 7 p.m., at St. Mark Episcopal Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook.

Register, pay and order music online at CappellaCantorum.org.  Registration is $40 and the scores for Faure’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in G, and the Cantique de Jean Racine are respectively $11, $8 and $2.

Cappella Cantorum MasterWorks Chorus, led by Barry Asch, is a non-auditioned chorus, which meets each Monday evenings to rehearse at 7:30 pm.  All singers are welcome to join.

The Concert is Sun. March 22, at 3 pm. The featured soloists are Soprano-Patricia Schuman and Baritone-Christopher Grundy


Nature Conservancy Applauds U.S. Department of Agriculture Program to Help Long Island Sound Watershed

The Nature Conservancy offers the following statement of gratitude for U.S. Department of Agriculture support of efforts to reduce excessive runoff and nutrient loading to Long Island Sound from private lands within the Sound’s multistate watershed.

The Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program is one of 115 high-impact projects that will collectively receive more than $370 million in federal funding as part of the USDA Regional Conservation Partnership Program, a new program in the 2014 Farm Bill administered by the USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS.) The grant awards were announced Wednesday, and the Long Island Sound program is the focus of an announcement today and event in Hartford, Conn.

“The Nature Conservancy is excited to be part of the Long Island Sound Watershed Regional Conservation Partnership Program,” said Kim Lutz, director of the Conservancy’s Connecticut River Program. “These funds will provide critical dollars to address conservation needs in two connected natural systems that are priorities for the Conservancy: the Long Island Sound and the Connecticut River systems. We’re especially happy to have the opportunity to expand our work helping improve resilience in the face of a changing climate.”

“The Conservancy is extremely grateful to Congressman Joe Courtney, of Connecticut’s 2nd District, and Congressional representatives throughout the multistate Long Island Sound watershed for support of this funding,” Lutz said. “We look forward to working with the NRCS and a diverse array of partners throughout the region to achieve the project’s ambitious goals.”

According to the project description: Excess nutrients have been identified as the primary driver of hypoxic conditions in Long Island Sound and are also impacting upland water resources within the watershed, which encompasses areas of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont. This project will develop a comprehensive, whole-farm management certainty program for farmers in the area and use both working lands and easement programs to improve soil health and nutrient management, establish community resiliency areas with a focus on enhancing riparian areas, and institute a land protection program to protect agricultural and forestry areas.

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.