September 20, 2014

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

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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

marina-1-580x435

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.

Share

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.

Share

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.

Share

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

Share

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.

Share

Camp Claire Receives Donation Of Automated External Defibrillator Machine

Surrounded by Camp Claire campers, Russell Sage, center, Michael Sage's father and Director of the MVSDF, stands with James P. Berryman (left in photo in blue shirt), a Director at Suisman Shapiro, which is a major sponsor of MVSDF, after the presentation of an AED to Camp Claire's Director, Beth Owen-Mishou.

Surrounded by Camp Claire campers, Russell Sage, center, Michael Sage’s father and Director of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation, Inc. (MVSDF), stands with James P. Berryman (left in blue shirt) — a Director at Suisman Shapiro, which is a major sponsor of MVSDF — after the presentation of an AED to Camp Claire’s Director, Beth Owen-Mishou.

Representatives of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation, Inc. (MVSDF) donated a new automated external defibrillator (AED) machine to Camp Claire last Thursday, July 10, at a group meeting for staff and campers.

An AED is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume in a heart that is experiencing sudden cardiac arrest.
Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) is the leading cause of cardiac related death in the United States; it strikes without warning, and if not treated within minutes, quickly leads to death.

There are 1,900 to 14,200 cases of out-of-hospital SCA in children each year. Early defibrillation with an AED and CPR can more than double chances of survival. The American Heart Association estimates that 20,000 to 100,000 Sudden Cardiac Arrest deaths could be prevented if defibrillation was readily available.

The MVSDF was established in memory of Michael Vincent Sage, who died on February 5, 2010 at the age of 29 from a sudden cardiac arrhythmia (SCA). He was active in sports for most of his life and never exhibited any of the warning signs associated with SCA, such as episodes of dizziness, fainting, or seizures. He arrived at work at the New London offices of Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law on a beautiful February morning, had a cup of coffee with his colleagues, then collapsed and died.

People on the scene attempted to revive Michael using CPR, but there was no AED available, and by the time the paramedics arrived, Michael could not be saved. In a matter of moments, Michael was gone.

The mission of the MVSDF is to raise awareness and support research into the early diagnosis and prevention of sudden cardiac arrest, including bystander awareness education, CPR training, and availability of automatic external defibrillators (AEDs) in schools, athletic facilities, and other public forums.

Michael Sage's father, Russell Sage, addresses campers and staff at Camp Claire.

Michael Sage’s father, Russell Sage, addresses campers and staff at Camp Claire during the presentation of an AED.

Camp Claire, a summer camp for children aged 7-14 located in Lyme, Conn., applied to the MVSDF for the donation of an AED defibrillator machine and was selected by the Board of Directors to receive the gift. Organizations must meet various criteria including the required number of CPR-trained employees; the number of persons served and their age groups; current AED status; and overall worthiness/need of the organization.

The cost of an AED defibrillator machine ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. The MVSDF has donated more than 30 machines to organizations in Connecticut over the last two years.

The mission of Camp Claire is to provide a natural community environment that encourages curiosity and creativity, and increases self-esteem, while providing a lifetime of memories that prepares children for an active place in a multicultural society. The camp began as a conference retreat for members of the First Congregational Church of Meriden in 1916. It incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1954, and relies on the support of alumni and friends to continue its mission of providing children with an enriching and memorable camping experience.

Major sponsors of the Michael Vincent Sage Dragonheart Foundation include Suisman Shapiro Attorneys-at-Law (New London), Defibtech, Inc. (Guilford, CT), The Survival Group (North Haven, CT), and The Ralph L. Rossi Foundation (Hamden, CT).

For more information about the MVSDF, visit the Foundation’s website at www.defibandlive.org

To learn more about Camp Claire, visit www.campclaire.org .

 

Share

Chiropractic Doctor Suzanne Murphy Joins Vitality Spa & Wellness

The new resident chiropractic doctor at Vitality Spa in Old Lyme is Dr. Suzanne Murphy.

The new resident chiropractic doctor at Vitality Spa in Old Lyme is Dr. Suzanne Murphy.

Lindsay Eisensmith, owner of Vitality Spa & Wellness on Lyme Street in Old Lyme, announced last week that Dr. Suzanne Murphy has joined the center as their resident doctor of chiropractic medicine.  By way of introduction to Murphy, Eisensmith recalls a quote from Thomas Edison, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”  She notes, “This quote sums up our philosophy of wellness at Vitality.”

Eisensmith continues, “Dr. Murphy’s natural, gentle and highly professional approach perfectly compliments the range of Wellness Services provided at Vitality and we are delighted that she has joined us,” adding, “There is a fundamental relationship between the spine and health, which is mediated through the nervous system. Ensuring that this relationship is healthy, is the key work of a chiropractor.”

Chiropractic medicine is a comprehensive health care profession that addresses many factors that impact personal health and physiology. Chiropractic physicians specialize in natural and non-invasive health care and are trained to use a full range of medical diagnostic tools and a wide array of effective treatment options in patient care.

Types of conditions that respond well to chiropractic care include: low back pain and sciatica; neck pain, headaches and scoliosis; sprains, strains, sports Injuries and Injuries from overuse of one muscle group; tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff injuries and impinged hip and knee pain.  Being completely natural, chiropractic medicine is also a great way of dealing with pregnancy-related back pain.  To find out more about the range of treatments that Dr Murphy offers, visit her website.

Dr. Murphy is a 1993 graduate of Western State Chiropractic College (WSCC) in Portland, Oregon where she earned her Doctorate of Chiropractic Degree with cum laude honors.  Prior to attending WSCC, she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a specialty in Exercise and Systems Physiology from Rutgers College.  She is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the New York Chiropractic Association, and has been published in the American Public Health Association Journal.

Dr. Murphy was the owner and clinical director of the Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Millbrook, N.Y., for 20 years, but has now moved to Lyme on a permanent basis, having had a family home there for nearly 10 years.

Share

Rafal Ranked 12th in Barron’s Special Report on Nation’s Top 100 Financial Advisors

Essex Finacial Services founder John Rafal, who has been named a top independent financial advisor by Barrons.

Essex Finacial Services founder John Rafal, who has been named a top independent financial advisor by Barrons.

Barron’s, the financial and investment newsweekly, has published the 2014 list of America’s Top 100 Financial Advisors, and John W. Rafal of Old Lyme, Conn., is ranked number 12.  Very few independent advisors, such as Rafal, were included in the list, which is mostly composed of advisors from the major wire house firms.

Rafal is the Founder and current Vice Chair of Essex Financial Services, which is owned by Essex Savings Bank.  The ranking appears in the April 21 edition of Barron’s (www.barrons.com).

In the story accompanying the list, Barron’s noted that Rafal was among a small group of financial advisors who have appeared on the top 100 list every year since inception in 2004.

“I am gratified to Barron’s for the recognition and accept the honor on behalf of the entire team at Essex Financial Services,” said Rafal.  “I want to express my sincere thanks to our clients, many of whom we have represented for over 30 years.  It’s a privilege to earn and retain your trust.”

Doug Paul, Chairman of the Board of Essex Savings Bank, which also owns Essex Financial Services, stated, “The Barron’s ranking is a testament to John Rafal and the entire team at Essex Financial Services.  On behalf of the entire board and management team, I want to offer our congratulations to John Rafal.”

Essex Financial Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Essex Savings Bank, is one of the leading independent financial advisory firms in the country

Share

South Lyme Scoop Shop Opens for Season with New Hours, Expanded Space

The South Lyme Scoop Shop has a striking new storefront.

The South Lyme Scoop Shop has a striking new storefront.

South Lyme Scoop Shop, located at 389 Shore Road, Old Lyme, has re-opened for the season with a fresh, new look and expanded offerings and hours.

After extensive renovations, the shop has doubled in size after moving into the space formerly occupied by the South Point Convenience Store.   In addition to its famous Salem Valley Farms and Guida’s ice cream, the new shop now offers fresh coffee, pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, newspapers, cold drinks, ice, candy and snacks and for every palette (including health-conscious ones).  A small selection of groceries is also available.

The South Lyme Scoop Shop has doubled in size.

The South Lyme Scoop Shop has doubled in size.

South Lyme Scoop Shop is currently open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Summer hours (7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily) will begin Thursday, June 26.

Share

Bee & Thistle Offers an Open ‘Art Night’ This Evening with Author B.A. Shapiro, Then Sit-Down Dinner

shell_outsideDelight the senses from palette to palate!  The Second Annual ‘Bee Inspired’ Art Night will be held this evening, Thursday, May 15, at the Bee and Thistle Inn.

Visitors will have the opportunity to tour The Bee’s dining and guest rooms and beautiful grounds to meet the artists whose work fills the Inn’s spaces both inside and out.

Acclaimed author, B.A. Shapiro, will be on hand to greet fans and sign her New York Times bestselling novel, The Art Forger, a literary thriller about Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum heist that spans three centuries of forgers, art thieves, and obsessive collectors.

B.A. Shapiro

B.A. Shapiro

Creative cocktails and bar specials will be offered throughout the evening.  A “pop-up” boutique featuring work by local artisans will include items for purchase.

Admission is free for this part of the event.

At 8 p.m. an exclusive sit-down dinner with Ms. Shapiro, featured artists and celebrity guests will be presented by Chef Kristofer Rowe, showcasing his imaginative “art on a plate” accompanied by wine.

This intimate gathering is the place to “see and ‘Bee’ seen!”  Tickets are required for this part of the evening only and are $75 each, all inclusive.  Advance reservations are still available by calling the Inn at 860-434-1667.  Seating is limited, so prompt reservations are advised.

Sculpture by Gil Boro.

Sculpture by Gil Boro

‘The Bee’ serves as a ‘springboard’ for local artists to gain exposure, featuring work by Brian Keith Stephens, Chamomile Hixon, Thomas Caleb Goggans, Elizabeth Weiss, Jacques Pepin, and Pola Esther.

Striking outdoor art installations by Gil Boro, Michael McLaughlin and Chandler Davis also dot the picturesque grounds surrounding the Inn.

Share

What is a Conservator? When Should One be Appointed? Probate Judge Lomme Explains

Judge of Probate Terrance Lomme.

Judge of Probate Terrance Lomme.

Let’s take an all too common case along the shoreline.  Grandmother has been a widow for several years now, and gradually, gradually, the ordinary chores of keeping a banking account, paying bills, and having her finances in order, have become too much for her.

In such a case, grandma herself can go before a local Probate Judge and request the appointment of a Conservator to keep her books and pay her expenses.  The person to be appointed could be a relative, or a trusted friend of the person seeking the court’s appointment of a Conservator.

It is not necessary to go to the expense of hiring a lawyer in a case such as this.  Rather, if the person needing help has a person that they want to handle their affairs, they simply have to go before the Probate Judge and obtain the judge’s approval for the appointment.

Old Saybrook District Probate Court

The Probate Judge for the Town of Lyme is Terrance Lomme, and he is based in Old Saybrook.  His probate district also includes the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Haddam, Killingworth, Old Saybrook and Westbrook.

Lomme’s offices are on the second floor of the Old Saybrook Town Hall, and the Court’s telephone number is 860-510-5028.

There are, of course, other cases, which are far more complicated, and they may require a private attorney’s services.

Different Kinds of Conservators

The simple case mentioned above involves a “Voluntary Conservator” appointment.  There are also “Involuntary Conservator” appointments, which require, among other things, a doctor’s report stating that the appointment of a Conservator is a medical necessity.

“Involuntary Conservator” appointments are the most common kind of Conservator arrangement and, before they are approved, there must be a formal hearing before the Probate Judge.  Also, this kind of Conservatorship will only be granted, if there is clear and convincing evidence presented at a hearing that a Conservator’s involvement is necessary.  There is also a statutory appeals procedure for Involuntary Conservator appointments.

Another type of appointment of a Conservator is one just for a limited period of time, such as 30 days.  When the temporary appointment time limit expires, the affected person resumes making his or her own decisions.

Making things even more complicated, a Conservator can also be appointed for the Conservatorship of an “estate,” meaning essentially, control over tangible assets, and not over a person.  Banks can be appointed as a Conservator for an estate, but not for a person.  Also, hospitals and nursing homes are not allowed to be appointed either for a person or for an estate.

Periodic accountings are also required of a Conservator of Estate, and the posting of a bond is customary.  As for Conservators concerning persons, they must obtain court approval before placing the subject person in a long term care institution; or approving a change of residence, the selling of household furnishings, the sale or transfer of real estate, investing the subject person’s funds or placing the person in psychiatric care.

A Conservator of Estate can be terminated if the funds therein are below $1,600.  It can also be terminated if the person under a Conservator arrangement becomes capable of managing his or her own affairs.  A conserved person has a right to request restoration, and a court must hear this request within 30 days.  Furthermore, if a conserved person cannot obtain an attorney, one will be appointed for him or her in these situations.

Conservatorships Program at Essex Library

A program is scheduled this coming Tuesday, May 13, at 6:30 p.m. at the Essex Library, which is the second in a series on what you need to know about probate.  It will focus on the law and procedures of Conservators as part of ageing and estate planning and will be hosted by Probate Judge Terrance Lomme.  The public is invited to attend and ask questions.

Share

A Weekend of Celebrations at Old Lyme Inn, Side Door Jazz Club to Celebrate First Anniversary

Ken and Chris Kitchings are ready to welcome guests to the Inn's celebratory weekend.

Ken and Chris Kitchings are ready to welcome guests to the Inn’s celebratory weekend.

The Old Lyme Inn and its on-site Jazz Club, The Side Door, at 85 Lyme Street in Old Lyme, invite the public to one great weekend, with two reasons to celebrate.

On Saturday, May 10, The Side Door will celebrate a one-year milestone of hosting talented jazz artists, each and every weekend throughout this first year.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m. for a “birthday party” that includes free champagne toast, hearty hors d’oeuvres, and, of course … cake.

Performers taking the stage at 8:30 p.m. that night include jazz virtuosos, Larry Corvell, Buster Williams, Javon Jackson and Lenny White.  Tickets are $75 each and may be purchased online at http://thesidedoorjazz.com.  Seating is limited in this intimate club setting and early reservations are suggested.

For more information about the anniversary weekend performers visit, their websites at:

www.javonjackson.com                     www.larrycoryell.net
www.lennywhite.com                       www.busterwilliams.com

On Sunday, May 11,  from noon to 7 p.m., the Old Lyme Inn will host moms and their families with a three-course meal from a specially prepared menu.  Offering a fresh take on traditional favorites, including: oyster Rockefeller, filet of beef, passion fruit crème brulee, and many other options, mom will be assured an delicious experience filled with great memories.

To add to the occasion, and in recognition of our Jazz Anniversary Weekend, Guitarist Tommy Giarrantano will be entertaining in the lobby for the enjoyment of all guests to the Inn that afternoon.  Seating is limited and reservations may be made online at http://oldlymeinn.com or by calling 860.434.2600.  This three-course meal is prix fixe at $55 per person/$25 for children 12 and under.

To review the full Mother’s Day menu, visit http://oldlymeinn.com/restaurant/mothers-day

The view from the veranda at the Old Lyme Inn long ago.

The view from the veranda at the Old Lyme Inn long ago.

The Old Lyme Inn building was constructed circa 1856 by the Champlain family.  The 300-acre-estate was a working farm until the Connecticut Turnpike construction began in the early 1950s.

It once housed a riding academy, where Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis reportedly took lessons.  At the turn of the century, many of Old Lyme’s famous impressionist artists hauled their painting wagons into the beautiful fields and Connecticut woodlands behind the Inn.  The Inn’s barn also served as a studio for artists from the Florence Griswold

When the turnpike arrived, the Champlain family home was sold and ultimately became the Barbizon Oak Inn.  The Inn was named after the Barbizon School of painters, as well as the 300-year-old Oak tree located on a hill behind the Inn property.  It was a friendly establishment with rooms for boarding.

In 1965, the building endured a major fire that ultimately closed the Barbizon Oak.  With its staircase and interior walls destroyed and not replaced, it passed through the hands of new owners several years later that ultimately restored the building and deemed it the Old Lyme Inn.

 

 

In 2011, Ken and Chris Kitchings, long-standing members of the Old Lyme Community purchased the beautiful, but sadly neglected, Old Lyme Inn.  Following an extensive and passionate renovation, the Kitchings have brought this icon back to life, providing the community with a place to eat, drink and celebrate.

The Sidedoor Jazz Club is the realization of a long cherished dream.  Ken Kitchings has always been a true fan of jazz music and brought many great artists to The Garde Theatre in New London, CT during his time there.

Once the inn became an established part of the community, Ken set his sights on an unused “side door” space attached to the inn, visualizing the perfect jazz venue: intimate, welcoming, elegant and a quality, great sounding room in which the very best jazz artists would be happy to play.

George Wein cuts the ribbon to signify the opening of The Side Door while a delighted Ken Kitchings stands at right.

George Wein cuts the ribbon to signify the opening of The Side Door while a delighted Ken Kitchings stands at right.

On May 10, 2013 its door and stage was opened by none other than the venerable George Wein and his Newport All Star band, cutting the ribbon and giving his blessing to an awestruck Ken Kitchings.  This gala night opening  set the standard and placed The Sidedoor firmly on the jazz venue map.

Share

Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber Hosts 14th Annual “Taste of Lymes” Business Expo Today

R_Lacey_design_57KB

Four local chefs will present cooking demonstrations at the 14th Annual  “Taste  of the Lymes Business Expo” on Sunday afternoon, April 27, from 3 to 5 p.m., to be held this year at the Old Lyme Country Club.

Many local businesses and Chamber members will exhibit at the Business Expo including Fresh Ayer Gallery, Amity Home Construction & Design, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Florence Griswold Museum, The Woman’s Exchange, and Office Express.

Food preparation demonstrations by chefs from The Bee & Thistle Inn, Amanda Cushman of Simple Real Food, Café Flo (Gourmet Galley) and the Old Lyme Country Club will provide seasonal recipe ideas.  Landscape Designer Sheila Wertheimer will conduct a demonstration on planting a spring patio pot, and Julie Garvin Riggs of the Florence Griswold Museum will provide ongoing demonstrations of how to create handcrafted greeting cards.

Sample delicious foods from local restaurants, refresh your palate with a treat from the Old Lyme Ice Cream Shoppe cart, and participate in drawings to win prizes at this annual event.  The Old Lyme Country Club will host a cash bar.

The promotional art work for this event was created by Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts graduate Rick Lacey, who is a past Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce scholarship recipient.

Tickets at $10 per person are available at “Lyme Tree: The Woman’s Exchange” in the Old Lyme Marketplace or at “Fresh Ayer Gallery” in the Old Lyme Shopping Center, or at the door.

For additional information, visit www.visitoldlyme.com or e-mail email@lolcc.com.

Share

Middlesex Hospital Hosts “Open House” at New Medical Center in Westbrook

Exterior of Emergency Center with helicopter coming in to land.

Exterior of Emergency Center with helicopter coming in to land.

Middlesex Hospital held a very successful preview of its new Shoreline Medical Center in Westbrook on Saturday, April 19.  The new center is located off I-95 at Exit 65 and has a street address of 250 Flat Rock Place in Westbrook. The four-hour preview event, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., attracted a flood of visitors to the new 44,000 square foot medical facility.

The new medical center will open its doors for patients on Monday, April 28.  Until then, Middlesex Hospital will continue to provide medical services at its present medical center in Essex.  Once the new center opens in Westbrook, the Essex center will be closed down permanently.  It should be noted that Middlesex Hospital has been providing emergency medical services at various locations in Essex since the 1970s.

Middlesex Hospital’s new facility on Flat Rock Place in Westbrook is housed in a single long building, which is divided into two discrete sections.  The section on the right, when facing the building coming off Flat Rock Road, houses the Emergency Center.  The section on the left houses the Outpatient Center.  There is a single walk-in entrance to the Emergency Center.  There are two entrances to the Outpatient Center, one facing Flat Rock Place, and the other at the left side of the building.

The Emergency Center

The Emergency Department, named the “Whelen Emergency Pavilion,” offers emergency medical treatment, for things such as a heart attack, or a crushed limb.  Also, located at the Emergency Center is an “Express Care” treatment center, which offers treatment for injuries of a non-emergency nature, such as a sprained ankle, or for a minor cut.

Laurel Patt, Director, Radiology Services; Paula Howley, radiologic technologist; and Kim Carey, radiologic technologist.

Laurel Patt, Director, Radiology Services; Paula Howley, radiologic technologist; and Kim Carey, radiologic technologist.

There is also a separate ambulance entrance to the Whelen Emergency Pavilion, with a helipad located just beyond the ambulance area.  To give visitors a little extra excitement during the recent open house, the LifeStar helicopter made a special landing on the helipad and allowed visitors to explore it.

The Outpatient Center

The Outpatient Center is the section of the Medical Center, which is to the left of the Emergency Center when entering from Flat Rock Place.  The Outpatient Center has two separate entrances, one at the front of the building and another on the left side of the building.  The services offered at the Outpatient Center are extensive.  They include: a Radiology Department, which offers state-of-the-art imaging services, including the latest generation MRI, CT scanning, X-ray, digital fluoroscopy, among other services.

Interior of waiting area of the Outpatient Center.

Interior of waiting area of the Outpatient Center.

A Women’s Imaging Center is also located in the Outpatient Center.  It includes private spaces for digital mammography, ultrasound and bone density examinations.  Also in the Outpatient Center has a new MRI unit, which features the most advanced imaging with a wider and shorter opening aperture.

In addition, this is the location of the Medical Center’s laboratory, which is accessible to outpatients and for emergency services.  Finally, in the Outpatient Center there is an infusion section with a private area for receiving intravenous (IV) fluids.

On an artistic note there is also a Community Gallery featuring rotating works of art by professional, amateur and student artists.  There is also an open area stone garden off the left end of the building.

Entertainments for the Day

At the recent Saturday Open House, in addition to tours of the Emergency and Outpatient Centers, there were vehicles on display from the Westbrook and Essex Ambulance Associations, the Middlesex Hospital Paramedic service and neighboring commercial car dealers.  Also, there were free blood pressure screenings offered to visitors, and a roving magician to entertain the young.  Connecticut State Police officers distributed child fingerprint ID’s, among other amusements for the young and old.

Share

Shoreline Medical Center Hosts Open House Today

Westbrook-Medical-center

The brand new Middlesex Hospital Shoreline Medical Center, pictured above, which held its official ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday, is hosting a community Open House on Saturday, April 19, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 Bring the whole family to enjoy:

    • Medical Center tours hosted by the staff
    • Free health fair with blood pressure screenings, child fingerprint IDs and more
    • “Touch-a-Truck” featuring paramedic and other vehicles
    • A roving magician and balloon sculptor to entertain the kids
    • Local food trucks offering barbecue, seafood, desserts & more for purchase

The Medical Center is located at 250 Flat Rock Place, Westbrook, CT 06498 .

For further information, contact Kathleen Russo at 860-358-6200 or Kathleen.Russo@midhosp.org

Share

The Bowerbird Donates Almost $5,000 From Gift Wrap Program to Lyme-Old Lyme Lions

 

Pictured presenting the check are (from left to right) Chris Kitchings, owner of The Bowerbird, Marianne Szreders, President of L-OL Lions club and Phil Parcak, Vice-President of the L-OL Lions Club.

Pictured during presentation of the check are (from left to right) Chris Kitchings, owner of The Bowerbird, Marianne Szreders, President of Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club and Phil Parcak, Vice-President.

The Bowerbird in Old Lyme recently wrapped up their 2013 gift-wrapping campaign to raise funds for the Lyme-Old Lyme Lions Club.  The organization was presented with a check in the amount of $4,883.00 representing 2,870 packages wrapped.  The Bowerbird charges a nominal fee for gift-wrapping purchases and then donates 50% to local non-profit organizations.

The Bowerbird has selected the Eastern Connecticut Ballet as the recipient of the proceeds from their 2014 gift-wrap program.  The program runs from Nov. 1, 2013 through October 31, 2014.

In the past 20 years, The Bowerbird has donated over $65000.00 to 26 statewide and local non- profits.

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

Share