March 5, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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High Hopes Hosts Volunteer Enrichment Conference Today, All Welcome

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

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

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

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

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

All are welcome.  

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

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Literacy Volunteers Feature Romance Novels in February Book Sale

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

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

All proceeds LVVS tutoring programs. Contact us at info@vsliteracy.org or 860-399-0280.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Old Lyme Police Advise Residents to Beware of Phone Scam

The Old Lyme Police Department has made the following announcement:

“Please share with your family and friends. Most important are the elderly, they are easily targeted.

Be aware of phone calls or messages that state the following of something similar, “this is and urgent last attempt to contact you, the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you, please call the following number”. They then identify themselves as the IRS and inform you that the Police will be visiting you in the very near future unless you wire them cash or purchase cash cards to provide them with the bar code information over the phone. They will demand that you do this immediately and not to contact the police.

PLEASE DO NOT FALL FOR THIS. THIS IS A SCAM.”

Contact the Old Lyme Police Department at 860.434.1986 if you receive one of these calls.

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

Looking up a snow-covered road in Old Lyme.

Looking up a snow-covered road in Old Lyme.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Old Lyme Emergency Operations Center telephone number is 860.598.0120.

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

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

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

Thank you and stay warm … and safe!

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Compassion Counts: Join a Shoreline Community Forum in Westbrook Tonight

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

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

Light refreshments will be served.

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

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

Panelists include:

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

A light meal will be provided.

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

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

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

Partners for this event include:

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

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

CMS_Kindermusik_kids

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The next event in the year-long celebration is:

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

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

Public worship began on the east side of the Connecticut River in 1664 when the New London County Court acknowledged that there were “thymes and seasons” when inhabitants could not attend Sabbath meetings in Saybrook and ordered them to agree on a house where they would gather on the Lord’s Day. A year later, Articles of Agreement defined a “loving parting” that created a separate “plantation” on the river’s east side, which would soon be named Lyme.

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

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

The first three meetinghouses stood on a hill overlooking Long Island Sound. After a lightning strike destroyed the third of those structures in 1815, the church was relocated to its present site closer to the village. Master builder Samuel Belcher from Ellington was hired to design a fourth meetinghouse beside the town green and the cornerstone was laid on June 10, 1816.

That stately white church with its graceful steeple and columned façade, painted repeatedly by the country’s most prominent landscape artists, burned to the ground on July 5, 1907, in what was almost certainly an act of arson. Rebuilt to replicate Belcher’s design after a community-wide, fund-raising campaign, the fifth meetinghouse, dedicated in 1910, remains today as both a vibrant center of faith and fellowship and the town’s most important historic landmark.

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

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

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Grabowski, Mesham Receive Eagle Scout Awards, Feb. 7

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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“House of Cards” Director to Speak at CBSRZ, Feb. 1

John David Coles

John David Coles

Connecticut fans of Netflix’s addictive phenomenon ‘House of Cards,’ can get a rare inside look into how this series on the struggle for power in Washington is made.

Executive producer/director John David Coles will speak at Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek in Chester at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 1, just weeks before the long-awaited Feb. 27 release of season 3. No tickets are required and the event is free of charge as part of the synagogue’s 100thanniversary cultural arts programming.

‘House of Cards’ stars Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright. Spacey, playing a sinister Frank Underwood, aims to beat back enough enemies to rise to the White House. A Washington Post reviewer noted that the “back stabbing, bed hopping, betraying, compromising and scandal mongering” captures ageless, Shakespearean themes. Coles and the creative team based the story on a 1990 BBC television miniseries and earlier book by Michael Dobbs, but let the actors and story craft fresh approaches to the ethics and psychology of power.

Coles is an award-winning director and producer known for evocative material with compelling performances from some of today’s most respected actors. He has enjoyed success in features, television and theater while his production company, Talking Wall Pictures, has focused on the development of cutting edge feature and television projects.

Coles shot his first full length 16mm film at age 17 – a wry update of “Casablanca” re-imagined in a high school. While at Amherst College he directed a documentary about the school that was aired on PBS, and soon after was making short films for Saturday Night Live.

He then went on to become an editor on Francis Coppola’s “Rumble Fish” and “The Cotton Club.” His feature directorial debut, “Signs of Life,” starred Beau Bridges, Vincent D’Onofrio, and Mary Louise Parker. The film won the International Critics Prize at Deauville and launched a prolific and versatile directing career.

In television, Coles is one of the few directors who is equally adept at both drama and comedy. He has directed numerous Emmy Award-winning series ranging from “Sex and the City” to “The West Wing,” and many other notable shows such as “Justified,” “Damages,” and “Bates Motel.” Coles recently directed A&E’s “Those Who Kill” with Chloë Sevigny, and the new Starz original series Power.

His success as an episodic director allowed Coles to begin a producing career and one of his first projects, “Thief,” led to Andre Braughers’ Emmy award for Best Actor. Other executive producer credits include hit drama “Elementary,” “Unforgettable,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent” with Jeff Goldblum, “3LBS” with Stanley Tucci, “New Amsterdam,” and the drama “Wonderland,” a critically acclaimed series that addressed the frail boundaries of insanity within a New York City hospital’s psychiatric ward.

Coles continues to write and create original dramas through Talking Wall Pictures, which produced the CBS drama “Songs in Ordinary Time” (based on the Oprah Book Club pick) starring Sissy Spacek and Beau Bridges and co-created and executive produced the series “Crash and Burn.” Talking Wall has developed numerous projects with HBO, CBS, New Line, IFC, Bravo and worked with numerous distinguished writers, including Academy Award nominated Mike Weller (“Hair”), Pulitzer Prize winner Doug Wright (“Quills”), Kate Robin (“Six Feet Under”) and Ann Peacock (“Nights in Rodanthe”).

In the theater world, Coles was a member of the Circle Rep Lab and an alumnus of Wynn Handman at the American Place Theater. His Off-Broadway credits include directing the critically acclaimed play “The Impostor” starring Austin Pendleton and Calista Flockhart, as well as “Johnny Suede,” starring Tom DiCillo.

Coles lives in New York with his wife Laura and his children, ­­­­­Sam and Jessica. He is a Sundance Director’s Lab Alumni, and teaches at the Columbia University Graduate Film Program.

Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek (CBSRZ) is located at 55 East Kings Highway in Chester. Founded 100 years ago, CBSRZ translates as House of Peace Seeking Justice. Pegged as a “cultural center and architectural landmark” by the Jewish Ledger, CBSRZ goes by the moniker “ancient and cool” because of its pioneering fusion of renewed tradition with spiritual learning, cultural expression, and prayer labs. Located on the Connecticut River, it is the only public building ever designed by the internationally renowned artist Sol LeWitt. Find more information, 860-526-8920 or www.cbsrz.org or www.ancientandcool.com.

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

hollywood-sign_compressed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fire Breaks Out at Structure Near Tiffany Farm Sunday Morning

Photo by Lisa Simiola.

Photo by Lisa Tiffany Simiola.

Fire broke out Sunday morning at a structure near Tiffany Farm in Lyme.  Lisa Tiffany Simiola tells LymeLine, “They say it was a chimney fire. We’re just blessed that the winds weren’t strong and that the fire house is right next door … The fire department has been a savior for us multiple times …”

The fire — at a house Tiffany Simiola says was occupied by a farmhand and his family — has now been extinguished.

Donations for those who experienced loss or damage due to the fire will be collected at Lyme Public Hall between 1 and 3 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 19.

Click to read more information on the WFSB website at this link:

http://www.wfsb.com/story/27878514/crews-extinguish-fire-at-home-near-tiffany-farm?autostart=true

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Saint Ann’s Church in Old Lyme Hosts Four Winter Concerts, Ukrainian Vocal Group Sings Today

The Yevshan singers who will perform at Saint Ann's Church on Sunday.

The Yevshan singers who will perform at Saint Ann’s Church on Sunday.

Over the winter months Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church in Old Lyme will present four exciting concerts in its ongoing Music Series. Concert performers and dates are as follows:

Sunday, Jan. 18 at 10:30 a.m. and 12 noon – Yevshan Singers

This Hartford-based Ukrainian a cappella vocal ensemble will join Saint Ann’s 10:30 a.m. worship service, singing two Ukrainian sacred songs. They will then perform a “mini-concert” (approximately 30-40 minutes) of their folk music during Saint Ann’s coffee hour. The performance is free and the community is welcome to attend either or both of these events.

Saturday, Jan. 24 at 4 p.m. – Family HooteNanny with The Nields

Gather up the kids and come to Saint Ann’s for an all-ages jam-along/family chorus. Led by Nerissa and Katryna Nields, the HooteNanny is about singing, dancing, playing instrument, big and small, and about indulging the imagination and creativity of the entire family. Admission cost for the concert is $10 per family.

Saturday, January 24 at 7 p.m. – An Evening Concert with The Nields

The renowned folk-rock sister duo of Nerissa and Katryna Nields performs a selection of original music. As Spin Magazine noted, “Listen to the Nields twice and you’ll start to catch the twists in the tales, the quirks and ironies that make every song a short story, and then you’ll be hooked.” Reflections upon life and relationships are the theme of the Nields’ songs–their performance is a must for lovers of intricate vocal harmonies. Admission cost for the concert is $10.

The public is invited to a Pasta Buffet Supper that will be served between the Nields’ two concerts – from 5 to 6:30  p.m.in the Griswold Room at Saint Ann’s. Tastily prepared, the menu will please the taste buds of all ages. Cost for the supper is $5, children 5 and under are free.

Sunday, March 1 at 3pm – Elm City Girls’ Choir.

Saint Ann’s welcomes the return of this pre-eminent New Haven-based choral ensemble. At this concert they will be joined by choral groups from Old Lyme and from the Isaac Middle School in New London. The Elm City Girls’ Choir is comprised of young women, ages 7 to 18, drawn from throughout the state. The choir has performed with many outstanding choral groups, including The American Boychoir, CONCORA, New York Virtuoso Singers, and Yale Schola Cantorum. They have also toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. A free-will donation will be taken; the proceeds will help to support Saint Ann’s concert series for the community.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme and, under the direction of the rector the Rev. Canon Mark K J Robinson, invites and welcomes all visitors to attend these performances in their music series.

Saint Ann’s is located at 82 Shore Road (Rt. 156), two miles off I95, exit 70. Parking is adjacent to the church.

For reservations and more information contact Kathy Rowe at 860-434-1621, via email at office@saintannsoldlyme.org , or visit Saint Ann’s online at www.saintannsoldlyme.org

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Bluesman Dan Stevens Opens MusicNow’s Winter 2015 Series

Dan Stevens

Dan Stevens

The MusicNow Foundation, Inc. kicks off Nightingale‘s Acoustic Series Winter Schedule 2015 this evening at 7 p.m. in the Sheffield Auditorium of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with a concert by American Bluesman, “Ramblin” Dan Stevens. Doors open at 6 p.m.

There will also be an Acoustic Young Artist Showcase featuring Noah Feldman, Ethan Cash and Drew Cathcart.
Stevens will perform a mix of traditional blues, americana and originals and has entertained audiences  throughout the US, Germany, UK, Canada and Virgin Islands.  His unique style of “bottleneck” slide playing popularized by early bluesmen.
A finalist in the International Blues Challenge on Beale St. in Memphis, Tenn., and protege of the legendary Dave Van Ronk, Stevens has been lauded as a raconteur and for the authenticity of his approach.   He will be joined by The Mellow Men, featuring multi-instrumentalist Kipp “Kidd Caviar” Sturgeon and harmonica virtuoso Blunt White plus special guests.

The ‘Blues Rag’ published by the Baltimore Blues Society describes Stevens as a,”Troubadour of acoustic blues [who] has a knack for capturing the essence of the blues.”

Tickets are $10 or $5 for students.  For reservations, email gstevens@musicnowfoundation.org

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Old Lyme Library Hosts Presentation on Smuggling at Sea During Prohibition

Motor boat making contact with a liquor-laden schooner.

Motor boat making contact with a liquor-laden schooner in 1923.

On Thursday Jan. 15, at 7 p.m., guest speaker Robert McKenna of Noank, Conn., will give a presentation at the Old Lyme Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library on the making of the 2013 Emmy Award winning documentary, The Real McCoy, about the pioneer Rum Runner who fueled the Roaring 20s.  The enterprising and adventurous Bill McCoy was one of the most celebrated characters of the Prohibition era.  

Learn the facts about the early days of rum running and the origin of the phrase, “It’s the real McCoy” through the film maker’s eyes and commentary.  Question and answer time will follow the presentation. 

All are welcome and admission is free.

Robert McKenna is an author and the expert on rum running during Prohibition.  He has researched, updated, edited, and republished six books about liquor smuggling in the 1920s, and was a researcher, subject matter expert, and Executive Producer of the five-time Emmy Award winning documentary film “The Real McCoy” (2012), and a contributor to Connecticut Public Television’s Emmy Award winning documentary “Connecticut Goes Dry” (2012).

He is also a lecturer on the “The Rum War at Sea,” and the author of the popular 2009 Wooden Boat Magazine article “The McCoy Brothers” about boatbuilding and rum running.  As a former Coast Guard officer he interdicted smugglers, and practiced the legal precedents that were established during the Prohibition-era.

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street in Old Lyme.  Winter hours are Monday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration required by calling 860-434-1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org to register online under the Events calendar.

If the Library’s parking lot is full, additional spaces are available on Lyme Street. There is also a parking lot behind the Old Lyme Memorial Town Hall across the street from the Library

 

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CASFY Hosts Workshop on Underage Drinking Family Predictors Tonight

beer_bottleThe Community Action for Substance Free Youth (CASFY) group is hosting an important workshop Tuesday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. at Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB), 59 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.

The workshop will review current research on family risk and protective factors in regard to their relationship with youth alcohol consumption.  The following topics will be considered:

>How choices parents make can influence their child’s decision to use alcohol.

>Strategies for effective prevention within the family system.

>Relevant factors including family management, attachment, attitudes, modeling, and involvement.

Underage drinking in this region starts at a young age.  It is never too early to use parenting tips from this workshop, which will be presented by Angela Duhaime, M.A. of the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

This program is free and open to the public, and suitable for parents of all ages.

For more information, contact LYSB at 860-434-7208 or visit  www.lysb.org

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Southeast CT World Affairs Council Presents Talk on Media & Human Rights

As part of its Speaker Series, the Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SEWAC) presents Tristan Borer, PhD, Professor of International Affairs and Government, Connecticut College, speaking on: “Shock and Care: Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights” on Monday, Jan. 12, 2015 at the Student Center, Connecticut College

A reception begins at 5:30 p.m. with the talk starting at 6 p.m.

Tristan Anne Borer is Professor of Government and International Relations at Connecticut College in New London, CT.  She received her PhD in Government and International Relations at the University of Notre Dame in 1995.

Her theoretical research interests include the politics of human rights, human rights and foreign policy, human rights and the media, the politics of refugees, and the comparative study of transitional justice.

For much of her career she has studied and written about the changing human rights situation in South Africa. In 1994 Borer served as an election observer to the first democratic election in South Africa with the United Nations Observer Mission to South Africa (UNOMSA), and in 2005, she addressed the Bureau of Intelligence and Research of the U.S. Department of State and the National Intelligence Council at a conference on “Assessing South Africa’s Future.”

She has twice received a residential scholar fellowship from the Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, as well as a research grant from the United States Institute of Peace. She is the author of the book Challenging the State: Churches as Political Actors in South Africa, 1980-1994, and the editor of the book Telling the Truths: Truth Telling and Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Societies, as well as the book Media, Mobilization, and Human Rights: Mediating Atrocity,” on which her talk will be based.

She has also published several articles in the field of human rights in a variety of journals including Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Human Rights, Violence Against Women, African Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Church and State. Milt Walters, SECWAC’s Chairman, commented “our Members have expressed a strong interest in human rights issues. We’re honored that Ms. Borer, a leading expert, will be sharing her views with us.”

The topic of Professor Borer’s presentation to SECWAC will be how atrocities are portrayed in the media and how that affects international human rights activism.

Based on a news report that the US State Department failed to respond in November 2013 to photographic evidence it had received of torture in Syria, Professor Borer contributed a Letter to the New York Times in January 2014 in which she expressed the concern that, “This conviction — that seeing gruesome pictures of distant atrocities will lead countries to finally take action — has sadly been proved to be nothing more than wishful thinking, a truism whose basis bears no resemblance to reality.  Human rights advocates are at a loss; their primary weapon — shock — has proved to be ultimately powerless. Shocking images could never compete with politics, which trumps human rights always and everywhere it appears.”

Her letter may be accessed at the following link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/27/opinion/human-rights-inaction.html?module=Search&mabReward=relbias%3AR%2C%7B%221%22%3A%22RI%3A9%22%7D&_r=0

In its next program, SEWAC presents Thomas de Waal, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, on Feb. 12, 2015 at the Crozier Williams Building, Connecticut College.  He will speak on “A Painful Centenary: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide?” the topic of his new book “Great Catastrophe: Armenians and Turks in the Shadow of Genocide.”  Signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Guests are welcome to attend these member-supported events.  To register as a guest call 860-912-5718 or email info@secwac.org.

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) is a regional, non-profit membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America. SECWAC fosters an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.  SECWAC’s principal activity is to provide a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between its members and U.S. policy makers and other experts on foreign relations (http://www.secwac.org).

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LOL Junior Women Announce Fundraiser at The Drunken Palette, Feb. 6

Paint a masterpiece like this at The Drunken Palette, Feb. 6!

Paint a masterpiece like this at The Drunken Palette, Feb. 6!

The Lyme-Old Lyme Junior Women’s Club (LOLJWC) is hosting a fundraiser at The Drunken Palette (TDP) in Westbrook on Feb. 6, 2015 from 7 to 9 p.m. to benefit the improvements of the Town Woods and Cross Lane Parks of Old Lyme.

In around two hours, while you’re enjoying refreshments, the artists will guide you through each step as you paint your own unique masterpiece. No experience is necessary. Everything you will need is included in the price of $45 per person: art supplies, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and appetizers.

Reserve your place by Jan. 29, 2015 by calling TDP Studios at 860-391-8989. The Drunken Palette Studios are located at 1586 Boston Post Rd. in Westbrook.

For more information about LOLJWC, visit www.loljwc.com or follow the club on Facebook.

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Five Towns, Including Old Lyme, Proclaim Feb. 15, 2015, as ‘Loving Parting’ Day

Mark Lander holds 'The Loving Parting Day' proclamation.

Mark Lander holds the ‘Loving Parting Day’ proclamation.

Mark Lander, Co-Chairman of the Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS), came to Monday night’s Old Lyme Board of Selectmen’s meeting seeking First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder’s signature on a proclamation announcing Feb. 13, 2015 as ‘Loving Parting Day.’  Reemsnyder duly signed the proclamation following on from Lyme First Selectman Ralph Eno, who had signed earlier in the day.

In a few short weeks, the respective signatures of the First Selectmen of East Lyme, Salem and Old Saybrook will join those of Reemsnyder and Eno on the document and the proclamation will be official.

Old Lyme Historical Society Co-Chair Mark Lander (left) explains the history of 'The Loving Parting' to the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

Old Lyme Historical Society Co-Chair Mark Lander (left) explains the history of the ‘Loving Parting’ to the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

Lander was invited by Selectman Arthur ‘Skip’ Sibley to explain the history of  the five towns that are celebrating the 350th anniversary of the ‘Loving Parting.’   According to the OLHS website, “Initially, Lyme was part of the Saybrook (“Saye-Brooke”) settlement centered on the west bank of the mouth of the Connecticut River.  It was established by the Earl of Warwick in 1631, occupied in 1635, and settled and named in 1636.”

Proclamation

The ‘Loving Parting Day’ Proclamation with Bonnie Reemsnyder and Ralph Eno’s signatures.

Lander noted that the ‘Loving Parting’ was signed on Feb. 13, 1665 as the formal acknowledgement of the separation of the lands on the east bank of the river, which were named after Lyme Regis in England, from the parent Saybrook colony.  He commented that the creation of Lyme marked the first time in the state’s history that a town had been formed by splitting it off from another settlement.

The Connecticut General Court named the new plantation “Lyme” on May 9, 1667.  Lyme set off the Town of East Lyme in 1839 subsequent to the latter town forming its own church, known as a ‘society.’  It seems likely that East Lyme’s church – the second ‘Society’ – was located on what is now Society Rd. in East Lyme.  The first – and original – ‘Society’ in Lyme was what is now The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

After East Lyme had formed its own ‘Society,’ Salem followed suit and was also declared a town in its own right.  Ironically, the final – and therefore youngest – town of the five to be created out of the lands originally identified in the ‘Loving Parting’ was the one called Old Lyme.

Lander said that in 1854-1855, the town of South Lyme on the shoreline at the mouth of the river was separated from part of the original settlement of Lyme to the north. Noting that there must have been, “Some sort of a disagreement between Lyme and Old Lyme,” Lander said that the residents of the southern area had petitioned for the separation and because the Town of Lyme was the aggrieved party, it was allowed to retain the name of ‘Lyme.’

Although the residents of the new southern portion originally accepted the name of South Lyme for their town, they soon felt, in Lander’s words, that, “It didn’t seem quite right,” and requested – and were approved to make – a change of town name to Old Lyme.

Some local folklore sources say that the choice of the ‘Old Lyme’ name by its residents was a final act of spite against their neighbors to the north in Lyme, who unquestionably lived in the older town!  But in 2015, all five towns will come together again as friends to celebrate the ‘Loving Parting.’  The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme will also be hosting a series of events to celebrate 350 years of continuous worship on its site this year.

All in all, 2015 promises to be quite a year for Lyme and Old Lyme!

 

 

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