April 1, 2015

The Bowerbird Names CT Children’s Medical Center as New Recipient for Annual Donation

Chris Kitchings, owner of The Bowerbird (back row, second from left) presents a check to the Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

Chris Kitchings, owner of The Bowerbird (back row, second from left) presents a check for $5,228 to the Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

The Bowerbird in Old Lyme has selected Connecticut Children’s Medical Center located in Hartford, Conn., as the recipient of the proceeds from their 2014 gift-wrap program. The program runs from Nov. 1, 2014 through Oct. 31, 2015.

The Bowerbird in Old Lyme recently wrapped up their 2014 gift-wrapping campaign to raise funds for the Eastern Connecticut Ballet.

Eastern Connecticut Ballet was presented with a check in the amount of $5,228.00 representing 4,000 packages wrapped. The Bowerbird charges a nominal fee for gift-wrapping purchases and donates 50 percent to local non-profit organizations

The Bowerbird pioneered ‘cause’ marketing when they created their gift wrap donation program in 1992. In the past 22 years, The Bowerbird has donated over $71,000 to 27 statewide and local non- profits proving that small businesses can make a difference.

The Bowerbird is located in the Old Lyme Marketplace.

For a complete listing of past recipients, visit www.thebowerbird.com.


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: http://www.harpersbazaar.com/beauty/health-wellness-articles/rowing-fitness-trend-1014

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 https://www.facebook.com/events/1553769191577756

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


‘Healthy Addiction’ in Old Lyme Offers Variety of New Indoor Rowing Classes, All Levels Welcome

Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 8.07.37 AM
Healthy Addiction, located at  5 – 1 Davis Rd. East in Old Lyme, has announced the opening of four, new indoor rowing classes each week.   These classes are run by Lizzie Simons, a certified “rowing” and “learn-to-row” instructor, as well as a personal trainer.

Monday and Thursday classes are for advanced rowers, meeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m., with “Long and Strong” rowing on Mondays, and “Strength and Speed” on Wednesdays.  Tuesday and Thursday classes take place between 5:30 and 7 p.m., with an emphasis on “Heart Health”.

Lizzie Simon in action

Lizzie Simons in action

Rod Clingman, a Tuesday-Thursday rower, comments, “Staying true to my New Year’s resolution of keeping in shape, I was very happy to learn about the offerings of Healthy Addiction … I took advantage of a free learn to row seminar on a Sunday afternoon and was quickly brought up to speed by the instructor, Lizzie Simons.  I was now ready to row!  He continues, “We run through different drills which include rowing and stretching.  Lizzie has a new lesson plan for each session to keep your workout fresh.  Healthy Addiction really is a hidden gem.”

For more information, visit HealthyAddiction.net or call 860.237.3707.


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.


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.

Santa & Mrs. Claus, Blumenthal, Courtney in New London 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 www.tribalcrafts.org

Like Tribal Crafts on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tribalcraftsinc

Visit Tribal Crafts’ online shop at www.etsy.com/tribalcraftsinc


Business Breakfast This Morning Features Political Candidates

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce hosts a Business Breakfast this morning at 7:30 a.m. at the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Ave., featuring local candidates for State Senator and State Representative.


Collins of Old Lyme Named a ‘Best Lawyer in America’

Attorney John A. Collins III

Attorney John A. Collins III

John A. Collins, III, of Old Lyme has again been selected by his peers for inclusion in the 21st Edition of The Best Lawyers in America® 2015. Collins is an attorney specializing in the field of Personal Injury Litigation at Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law in New London.  Two of Collins’s fellow attorneys at Suisman Shapiro, Matthew E. Auger and Matthew Shafner, were also named on the Best Lawyers listing.

Auger specializes in the field of Medical Malpractice Law and Shafner in Workers Compensation Law.  Shafner was also named “Lawyer of the Year” for 2014, and is one of a distinguished group of attorneys who have been included in Best Lawyers for twenty years or longer. “Lawyer of the Year” awards are presented annually to a single outstanding lawyer in each practice area and designated metropolitan area.

Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers® has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey.  Over 52,000 leading attorneys cast more than 5.5 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas. Lawyers are not required or allowed to pay a fee to be listed; therefore inclusion in Best Lawyers is considered a singular honor. Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers “the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.”

Best Lawyers honors are particularly humbling because recipients are chosen by our peers,” said John Collins, III, Managing Director.  “We are particularly proud of Attorney Matthew Shafner for receiving the coveted ‘Lawyer of the Year’ award.”

Collins has successfully obtained verdicts or public settlements up to $10 million on behalf of injured victims over a 28 year law practice.  He currently serves as the Managing Partner of Suisman Shapiro.  The Connecticut Bar Foundation honored Attorney John A. Collins, III, in 2005 with his selection as a Life Fellow.  “Selection as a Fellow requires demonstrated superior legal ability and devotion to the welfare of the community, state and nation, as well as to the advancement of the legal foundation”.  Source: Connecticut Bar Foundation.

Auger handles serious personal injury cases, including wrongful death claims, automobile collisions, slip and falls, medical malpractice, nursing home negligence and product liability.  Mr. Auger is a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate with the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  He is also a Captain in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Naval Reserve.

Shafner is a nationally recognized lawyer in the fields of asbestos injury, personal injury, maritime injury and workers compensation. He was admitted to practice in Connecticut, the Federal Courts of Appeals in the 1st and 2nd Circuits and the U.S. Supreme Court.  His reported decisions have been published by the Appellate Court, Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals in the 1st and 2nd Circuits.  Attorney Shafner is a member of the Million Dollar Advocate Forum.  He is only the ninth person ever to receive the Connecticut Trial Lawyers Association’s lifetime achievement award since the association formed in 1954.

Suisman Shapiro Attorneys at Law is located at 2 Union Plaza, P.O. Box 1591, New London CT 06320. For further information, call (860) 442-4416 or visit www.suismanshapiro.com


Vitality Spa to Expand Premises in Old Lyme, Also New Offerings in Classes, Clothing and More

Lindsay Eisensmith, Founder and Director of Vitality Spa & Wellness,

Lindsay Eisensmith, Founder and Director of Vitality Spa & Wellness,

Lindsay Eisensmith, founder and director of Vitality Spa & Wellness, has announced the spa’s expansion to the space formerly occupied by the Diane Birdsall Gallery on Lyme Street.

She explains, “This exciting move will enable Vitality to continue to grow in both the number of clients that we are able to serve as well as expand our range of Spa and Wellness offerings. Vitality has grown consistently over the past eight years and we are excited to now offer classes such as yoga, spin and meditation as well as an expanded retail space to our clients.”

Vitality recently announced that a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine, Suzanne Murphy, had joined the practice, offering gentle, natural chiropractic care and Ideal Protein® Weight Loss Intervention Program. Dawn Swope is also a recent addition to Vitality, specializing in Holistic Health Counseling and Nutrition.

To add to that line up, Vitality has now partnered with personal trainer Donna Scott of IFoundFitness.

Scott’s main studio is in Deep River, but, as a long term resident of Lyme-Old Lyme with three daughters who have grown up through the Region 18 school system, the partnership with Vitality was an obvious move as she looked around to expand her business.

Scott notes, “I was delighted to have been voted No.1 Personal Trainer in the area by The-e-List readers and realized that this was the right time to expand IFoundFitness with classes that fit perfectly with the range of health and wellness services offered by Vitality.”

IFoundFitness will be offering Spin and Yoga, as well as one of the first Barre Classes in the area with instructor Sky Washington. Yoga will be taught by Meredith Dow who is a Kripalu Certified Instructor and Spin Classes will be taught by Scott. Strength classes specific to those undertaking the Ideal Protein® weight-loss intervention will also be offered. For teachers on the Lyme-Old Lyme School’s Campus, it is now a short walk to after-school classes.

In the expanded retail space, Vitality will be offering a boutique clothing line, The Stand Juices, healthy treats for clients on the go, as well as an expanded range of fitness and rehabilitation equipment. They will also be bringing in new lines such as Alicia Winalski’s Jewelry and will be the premier retail location for Solavedi Organic Skincare; 100 percent organic, food-grade, skin care products for the whole family from their Guilford CT Formulary.

Reflecting on the reasons for her expansion, Eisensmith says, “We are sad to see the closure of the Diane Birdsall Gallery. Diane has been a great neighbor and we wish her all the best in her new venture. Diane has always been generous in our use of the gallery space for Vitality events, which is why we knew that this expansion was not only a great move for Vitality, but for the historic neighborhood too. Our new offerings will always be in keeping with our location, but at the same time will give a new reason for visitors to travel down Lyme Street to see what is on offer at the Village Shops”.

A Grand Opening and Wellness Tasting will take place at Vitality on Friday, Oct. 3, between 5.30 and 9 p.m. and all are welcome. For more information, follow Vitality’s Facebook page or visit Vitalityspa.com.


LymeLine Makes the News!

We were thrilled to read the article about LymeLine published Sept. 5, in the Street Fight online magazine, which has a national and international readership and is subtitled, “Inside the Business of Hyperlocal.”  Titled, “How LymeLine Succeeds Against a 133-Year-Old Daily,” Tom Grubisich explores LymeLine’s growth from its creation by Jack Turner in December 2003, when it received some 80 visits in its first month of existence, to its current situation when it generates overs 26,000 page views monthly.

Thank you to all our readers for supporting LymeLine along its exciting journey.


Centerbrook Architects Designing New Exhibition Hall for Mystic Seaport

Schematic design by Centerbrook Architects of Essex for new Mystic Seaport Museum.

Schematic design by Centerbrook Architects of Essex for new Mystic Seaport Museum.

Centerbrook Architects of Centerbrook, Conn., is designing a new 14,000-square-foot Exhibition Hall for Mystic Seaport in Connecticut that will be the keynote building at the northern entrance to the 19-acre riverfront campus. The new building, for which zoning approval is currently being sought from the town of Stonington, will be located where the Seaport’s existing indoor-oriented exhibit spaces are concentrated, helping to form a “Gallery Quad.”

Along with a 5,000-square- foot exhibition gallery with a high ceiling for displaying boats, the building will feature visitor reception and events space, a retail shop, a café, and outdoor terraces overlooking the Mystic River.

Leading the design team is Centerbrook partner Chad Floyd, who has worked on numerous cultural projects, among them the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College, the Garde Arts Center, the Florence Griswold Museum, and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. Locate in Essex, Centerbrook Architects has a national clientele and was awarded the prestigious Firm Award from the American Institute of Architects.

The building’s asymmetrically curving roof and end walls recall nautical themes while also establishing a contemporary architectural presence amid a recreated 19th century maritime village. Along with its existing neighbors, the building forms a sociable courtyard for outdoor gatherings, events, and concerts.

Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea, was founded in 1929 and is the home to the Charles W. Morgan, the nation’s last remaining wooden whaling ship.


Sixth Annual Car Show to be Held at Saybrook Point Inn Today

Classic car owners and spectators alike will enjoy the Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show on Sept. 1 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Saybrook Point Inn.

Classic car owners and spectators alike will enjoy the Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show on Sept. 1 from 12 to 4 p.m. at Saybrook Point Inn.

Calling all classic cars and car enthusiasts …  the Saybrook Point Inn is sponsoring its Sixth Annual Labor Day Car Show on Monday, Sept. 1, from 12 to 4 pm, at the Inn, Two Bridge Street in Old Saybrook.  Owners of classic, antique, rare or muscle cars are invited to bring their cars down to this beautiful setting near the Saybrook Point Inn Marina.

The day’s activities include live music by The Cartells and refreshments, including hot dogs and hamburgers, on the Fresh Salt patio.  A 50/50 raffle will also be held.

Numerous “People’s Choice” trophies will be awarded to the cars in various categories.  Entry fee is $10 per car, with a portion of the proceeds from the fee going to support a local charity to be announced.  The first 100 vehicles at the show will receive complimentary dash plaques for their support.

For more information or to reserve a car space, contact Show Chairperson, Chris Loader at Saybrook Point Inn at (860) 395-2000 or via email at chrisloader@saybrook.com.


Essex Island Marina Sells for $3,465,000, More Than Some Expected


The welcoming building at the Essex Island Marina.

One of the prospective bidders said before the auction took place that he had decided not to bid, “because of possible environmental problems that a purchaser might have to address.” Also, this naysayer said that there was a rumor that Jack Brewer tried to buy the property before the auction took place, but that his offer had not been not accepted by the owner.

Typical luxury yacht found at Essex Island Marina

One of the many luxury yachts found at Essex Island Marina.

Since there was no mutually agreed upon sale of the property before the auction date of August 5, the formal Absolute Auction of the Essex Island Marina was ready to go. The auction began shortly after eleven o’clock on Tuesday, August 5, and there was an interested crowd of some 100 people in attendance, all seated under a large tent on the grounds of the Essex Island Marina. Most of those in attendance were interested spectators, but at least 20 in the crowd were serious bidders, who came prepared with $75,000 deposit in-hand.

A sizable crowd attended the JJManning’s “Absolute Auction” of the Essex Island Marina

The interest in the property by these serious bidders was understandable, since what was being auctioned off was one of the premium marinas along the entire Eastern Seaboard of the United States.

The auction itself was conducted by Justin J. Manning, who is the President and CEO of JJManning Auctioneers, which is headquartered in Yarmouth Port, Massachusetts. Manning began the auction with the friendly query, “Did anyone come by boat today?” However, it turned out that no one had, so he got down to the business at hand.

The “Manning” Style of Running an Auction

Manning’s style in conducting the auction of the Essex Island Marina was to engage in a continuous line of chatter. He would only pause to accept a bid of a certain amount. Then, immediately after accepting this bid, he would ask for a higher one. Generally, the higher amount that he called for, was in the $50,000 range.

Justin Manning, who conducted the recent "Absolute Auction" at the Essex Island Marina

Justin Manning, who conducted the recent “Absolute Auction” at the Essex Island Marina.

The only time Manning paused in his continuous line of chatter of accepting and asking for new higher bids, was to permit a bidder to stop the auction for 30 seconds, so that the he or she could speak with an attorney or money source on the telephone. Once the thirty seconds was up, Manning immediately continued his auction patter.

In his introduction before the formal bidding began, Manning noted that his family has been in the auctioning business since 1976. As for the mindset of the present owner of the Essex Island Marina, Manning said, “He’s done, he wants to retire, and get out of the marina business.”

Also, before the auction began Manning read out loud a detailed description of the property being auctioned. He also said that prospective bidders had been given confidential information about the property that was not available to the general public.

Manning explained that the winner of the auction would have to pay a 10% Buyer’s Premium on top of the highest bid, to arrive at the total purchase price, and the final closing of the sale would take place on or before September 18.

In his remarks before the auction began, Manning stressed that the property was being sold “as is,” In addition, he said the boats presently with slips at the marina for the season would not have their leases cancelled. Manning also noted before the auction that there were 35 slip owners, presently at the marina, who wanted to turn the marina into a private yacht club condominium. However, this prospect faded quickly, when the actual bidding began.

The sale at auction included all the real estate of the marina, Manning said, and the equipment listed in the P&S.

The “Absolute Auction” Begins

At the auction itself, Manning first asked for a bid of $5 million for the property. No one responded, so he slipped down to asking for $2.5 million. There was still no response. Finally, the bidding opened at $400,000, then $1.2 million, $2 million, $2.3 million, $2.4 million, $2.5 million, $2.6 million, $2.65 million, and then before you knew it the bidding had climbed to well above $3 million, until it reached the final auction price. Manning exhorted the bidding to continue, but to no avail. After a further pause, he proclaimed the winner of the auction, who was none other than Jack Brewer.

The actual bidding in the auction took no more than forty minutes. Also, worth noting was that the auctioneer Justin Manning wore a stylish, dark blue suit, with a tastefully appropriate shirt and tie. Clearly, this was no “blue collar “country auction, where the auctioneer pauses from time, to time to spit from the tobacco he has been chewing.

When it was all over a number of guests at that auction stayed around to compare notes. It was a general consensus that Jack Brewer could have paid less for the marina, if he had been able to strike a deal with the marina owner before the actual auction took place. JJ Manning proved to be a master in running up the price to over $3 million.

Jack Brewer Now Owns 29 Marinas

Nevertheless, even though Brewer may have paid somewhat more than what was anticipated, in the view of one the visitors at the auction, he has purchased a property that will be the flagship of what is now his 29 Brewer marinas. Also, since he already owns two marinas in Essex Harbor he has a clear monopoly on rental slips there.

The former owner of the Essex Island Marina, Wally Schieferdecker said, when the auction was all over, “I’m not happy, I’m not sad, and I am glad it is over.” The Schieferdecker family had owned and operated the marina for 56 years.


Page Taft, Rachel Thomas Real Estate Merge

logoPage Taft Real Estate announced Wednesday that the company has merged its Essex, Conn., office with Rachel Thomas Real Estate.  The Essex office of Page Taft~Christie’s International Real Estate will now be located in the former Rachel Thomas location at 5 Essex Square. The office will be home to 23 agents specializing in shoreline and Connecticut River Valley properties.

“We’re very pleased about our merger with Page Taft~Christie’s. Our agents are of like minds and both believe in the importance of fantastic customer service. By joining with an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate and one of the strongest companies in our marketplace, we are able to double the resources and services that we offer our clients,” said Maureen O’Grady, co-owner of Rachel Thomas Real Estate.

Rachel Thomas Real Estate has served Essex and surrounding communities under the expert guidance of  Maureen and John O’Grady since 2000.  During that time, the company has become a force in the luxury real estate market and was selected by Who’s Who in Luxury Real Estate to be the exclusive “Regent” affiliate for the greater Essex area.

“I’m delighted to have a quality company like Rachel Thomas join forces with Page Taft.  This strategic alliance will increase our presence in the communities we serve, from Branford to Old Lyme,” said Karen Stephens, Broker and Executive Vice-President of Page Taft.

Since opening its doors in 1980, Page Taft has earned an exemplary reputation in the Connecticut shoreline real estate market, earning a 96 percent customer satisfaction rating from the Real Living Premiere Service customer satisfaction survey.   The agency is part of the Randall Family of Companies which also includes Randall, REALTORS in Rhode Island and Connecticut, Kinlin Grover on Cape Cod and Pequot Commercial in Connecticut.

“We’re excited about joining the experience and resources of Page Taft and Rachel Thomas,” commented Douglas Randall, CEO of the Randall Family of Companies. “I think it will be hard to find a more knowledgeable team of real estate professionals if you’re looking for a property along the Connecticut shore.”

Information about the Randall Family of Companies, their affiliates and the southern New England market area can be found on http://www.coastalnewenglandliving.com.


Saybrook Point Inn Donates $25,000 to The Preserve

The terrace at the Saybrook Point Inn.

The terrace at the Saybrook Point Inn.

The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa, through the Louis F. and Mary A. Tagliatela Family Foundation, has donated $25,000 to “The Preserve,” a swath of 1,000 acres of coastal forest along the towns of Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook, Connecticut.  As the largest unprotected coastal forest between New York and Boston, this land is rich in natural resources, wildlife and habitat that not only offers residents with outdoor recreational opportunities, but also provides an important coastal buffer against storm waters during natural disasters.

Residents of Connecticut treasure this 1,000-acre coastal forest as a place to connect with nature close to home. Known locally as The Preserve, the woodland plays an important role in maintaining water quality in Trout Brook and the Oyster and Mud rivers, which feed into the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.  The partnership to preserve and protect this natural ecosystem in Connecticut consists of the State of Connecticut, neighboring towns (Old Saybrook, Essex and Westbrook), and The Trust for Public Land.

“On behalf of my family, we are proud to be able to preserve and protect one of Connecticut’s most sacred ecosystems for generations to come,” said Stephen Tagliatela, Innkeeper/Managing Partner, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa.  “It’s always been a founding principle of our family to care and maintain the environment we live in.  It’s through our efforts, in cooperation with the Trust for Public Land, Town of Old Saybrook, and Essex Land Trust, that we will conserve this important coastal forest to forever as a natural asset for our region and our state.”

On Tuesday, July 8, voters in Old Saybrook overwhelmingly approved the purchase of “The Preserve,” which will now be protected in perpetuity as open space for Connecticut residents for generations to come. As the largest unprotected coastal forest between New York City and Boston, this 1,000-acre ecosystem will be permanently protected from future development. It will connect to 500 acres of existing town parkland providing expanded opportunities for hiking and viewing a variety of birds and other wildlife.

“We are very grateful that the Tagliatela family has made this very generous gift to support the Campaign to Protect the 1,000 Acre Forest,” said Kate Brown, Project Manager for The Trust for Public Land.  “This is a wonderful boost that will help us move closer to the fundraising goal and permanent protection of the land.”

The Louis F. and Mary A. Tagliatela Foundation was established in 1997 by North Haven business leader Louis F. Tagliatela. Over the years, the Foundation has donated more than $9 million to support local non-profit organizations including hospitals, schools and churches. In addition, the organization helped establish the Tagliatela School of Engineering at the University of New Haven and the Tagliatela School of Business at Albertus Magnus College.

The Preserve is a 1,000-acre coastal forest located in Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, Connecticut.  It is the largest unprotected coastal forest remaining between New York City and Boston.  The dense canopy of forest and the Pequot Swamp Pond act as a refueling stop for many migratory birds, and the many freshwater seeps on the property are home to amphibian species such as the northern dusky salamander, spotted turtles, and box turtles.  Bobcats and fisher cats have also been spotted on the property.  The land includes 38 vernal pools, 114 acres of wetlands, headwaters of the Oyster River, and tributaries of the Mud and Trout Brook Rivers.  These rivers eventually flow into Long Island Sound.

The property has a 15-year history of development proposals, foreclosure, and lawsuits by neighbors and conservationists opposing its development.  The land is currently owned by Lehman Brothers Holdings, the holding company that emerged from the 2008 Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.  The holding company has agreed to sell the property to The Trust for Public Land for its fair market value of $8.09 million.  If protected, this highly unusual intact coastal forest will be preserved and the public will have passive recreational access to the property via trails.

The Trust for Public Land is working in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environ-mental Protection, the Towns of Old Saybrook, Essex, and Westbrook, the Old Saybrook Land Trust, the Essex Land Trust, The Connecticut Fund for the Environment, the Alliance for Sound Area Planning, Audubon Connecticut, The Nature Conservancy, and others to raise the funding necessary to protect The Preserve.  The goal of the fundraising effort is to raise $10 million to cover the purchase price, costs and stewardship. A further $3 million is expected to be raised via a private fundraising campaign, to supplement $7 million in public funding.

Since it opened 25 years ago, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa has adapted and changed. It has taken a decidedly green direction, winning numerous awards for its often best-in-class green practices, including the first Connecticut inn to be named a Certified Energy Hotel in 2007.

The Inn now features SANNO, a full service European spa, as well as Fresh Salt, a restaurant designed by Peter Niemitz that opened to strong reviews in 2011.  The property employs more than 260 hospitality professionals in the town of Old Saybrook, Conn., and is among the town’s top employers and economic engines.

Saybrook Point Inn & Spa recently opened its new Three Stories guesthouse adjacent to the main Inn. This completely renovated Italianate home overlooking Long Island Sound was originally built in 1892 as a single-family home for the prominent engineer William Vars.  The property has been fully refurbished and revitalized as a seven-room guesthouse with wrap around porches and private gardens.

As a testament to its rich history, each room at Three Stories tells the story of a famed local resident who made sure that the history of the community was well preserved.  This includes Katharine Hepburn’s mother, who was a co-founder of Planned Parenthood and leading suffragette, and Anna Louise James, who had the distinction of being one of the first African-American female pharmacists in America and ran the James Pharmacy locally.

Situated along the picturesque coastal community of historic Old Saybrook, Conn. in the hamlet of Saybrook Point, Saybrook Point Inn & Spa features 82 elegantly appointed guestrooms, a rejuvenating full-service spa called SANNO, and a casual fine dining restaurant named Fresh Salt.

Fresh Salt diners savor fresh, seasonal and local cuisine served in Old Saybrook’s most spectacular setting – the spot where the fresh waters of the Connecticut River meet the salt of Long Island Sound.

The Saybrook Point Inn & Spa also features the historic Saybrook Point Marina, a landmark yachting dock conveniently located at the mouth of the Connecticut River with easy access to Long Island Sound.  It can accommodate vessels from 12 to 200 feet and has received numerous premier Connecticut marina awards.  More information is available at www.saybrook.com.

Founded in 1972, The Trust for Public Land is the leading nonprofit working to conserve land for people.  Operating from more than 30 offices nationwide, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than three million acres from the inner city to the wilderness and helped generate more than $34 billion in public funds for conservation.  Nearly ten million people live within a ten-minute walk of a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. Learn more at www.tpl.org.


Join a Business Breakfast Today to Discuss Sound View Changes, All Welcome

The Town of Old Lyme and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce are hosting a business breakfast this Wednesday, July 16, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Avenue.  Topics under discussion will include:

  • Sound View: Changes Ahead
  • Sound View Bike Path/Revitalization
  • Coastal Wastewater Management Project

All are welcome to this free event and a continental breakfast will be provided.

Free parking will be available in the Community Center parking lot across the street from the Center, and along Hartford Avenue)

A reply is appreciated to selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov or  860 434 1605, ext. 210


Attend a Free Lecture Tonight on ‘Health, Vitality with Essential Oils’ at Old Lyme Inn

lymeline150x150EOvitalityDawn Krause Swope CHHC, AADP Holistic Health Coach at Vitality Spa and Lisa Wilson, CHHC and Board Certified Natural Health Practitioner and founder of the Raw Food Institute will be hosting a lecture on, “Health & Vitality with Essential Oils,” at the Old Lyme Inn at 6:30 p.m.  Come and find out more about essential oils and how to use them in your home, your life and to create your own natural medicine cabinet.

The event will take place this evening, Wednesday, July 16, at the Old Lyme Inn, Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

The Inn will be open for cocktails from 5 p.m. prior to the lecture.  Entrance is free and the event is sponsored by Vitality Spa, The Old Lyme Inn, IFoundFitness and the Raw Food Institute.  If you cannot arrive early, grab some friends and stay for dinner afterwards.

The evening is free, but it would help to get a feel for numbers so readers are requested to express their interest by emailing the spa or sending an RSVP through the Facebook event.

Driven to restore her health and wellness following chemotherapy and radiation treatments for breast cancer, Swope began exploring various food philosophies and diets.  What she learned from her doctors at Yale University Hospital and from her training at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition is that good nutrition is not enough to keep us healthy.  One must strive to be healthy in all areas of life and to be healthy one must find balance.

Lisa Wilson is a Certified Health Coach, Board Certified Natural Health Practitioner and Cancer Researcher and is certified by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.  She is part of the Nutrition Team at National Integrative Health Associates, NIHAdc.com, Washington, DC’s premier integrative medical center, founded by Holistic MD’s.  As founder of the prestigious Raw Food Institute, Wilson received the award for best, “Raw Vegan Center”, as well as the winner of, “The Medical Awareness for Raw Food.”  As a national speaker, writer and consultant, Wilson’s areas of focus include family health, obesity, ADHD, Lyme and Cancer Nutritional Support, Low Energy and Weight Loss.