September 19, 2014

Lyme Library to Close Tomorrow for Move to New Building

Architect's rendering of new Lyme Public Library building.

Architect’s rendering of new Lyme Public Library building.

The Lyme Public Library will close at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20 for the long-planned move into a new library building.  The Library will remain closed through at least Sept. 29. An opening date for the new library has not been determined yet, but is projected to be in early October.

Loan periods for most books and magazines (new books excepted) have been increased to six weeks, and patrons are encouraged to check out piles of reading material to last them through the move and lessen the number of books that have to be moved to the new library.

The Library’s hours during its last week in the current building are Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.  The Library is closed on Sunday and Monday.

Call 860-434-2272 for more information.

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Estuary Council of Seniors Hosts Celebratory ‘Forty and Fabulous’ Gala at ‘The Kate’ Tomorrow

Join the Estuary Council of Seniors (ECSI) to celebrate its 40th Anniversary at a “Forty and Fabulous” Gala on Saturday, Sept. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, “The Kate,” at 300 Main Street in Old Saybrook. This fund-raising Gala will benefit the Estuary’s Meals on Wheels program. Last year, the ECSI provided 70,000 hot, nutritious meals to individuals in its nine town district and Madison.

Comedian Vincent McElhone

Comedian Vincent McElhone

This Gala evening will include wine and hors d’oeuvres under the tent, catered by Coffee’s Country Market of Old Lyme and “Comedy Tonight” on the stage featuring Old Saybrook resident Vincent McElhone, who has worked all over the country from Caroline’s in New York to The Tropicana in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Vince will be joined by Tony Liberati, a professional stand-up comic for 15 years, whose jokes have been published alongside greats like Chris Rock and Henny Youngman.

The Fred Astaire Ballroom Dancers of Old Saybrook, Heiko and Vera Leyhausen, will grace the stage where dancing expresses the joy of living.

Music will be by the Von Zells, who will provide music that is enjoyable for listening or dancing and starring three individuals with one unique sound.

Tickets are $50 per person and are available by calling the Estuary at (860) 388-1611.  Attire is ‘Casually Elegant.’

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Donations Needed This Week For King’s Rummage Sale to be Held at Old Lyme Church, Sept. 27-28

Christ The King's Rummage Sale is always a great place to look for bargains.

Christ The King’s Rummage Sale is always a great place to look for bargains.

Summer’s over. The kids are back in school. It’s a great time to clean out the house and get it ready for autumn.  But what to do with all the toys, books, dishes, tennis racquets, bicycles, Christmas decorations, furniture, etc., that you don’t need anymore?

Donate them to the King’s Rummage Sale at Christ the King Church’s Harvest Fun Day!  Donations are being accepted now through Sept. 19 (Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 12 noon) at Christ the King Church, 1 McCurdy Rd., Old Lyme (parish hall entrance). All donated items should be in good condition and saleable. No clothes, please.

Call the parish office (860-434-1669) if you need help moving a large item.

Harvest Fun Day takes place at Christ the King Church on Saturday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and features the King’s Rummage Sale, a basket raffle, a bake sale, kids games and crafts, great food, and an autumn plant sale.

The Rummage Sale, bake sale, and plant sale will continue Sunday morning (Sept. 28) from 9 a.m. to noon (while supplies last).

Visit www.christthekingchurch.net for directions.

For more information, call 860-434-1669.

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Flat Rock Hill Rd. Bridge Rehab Update

For those of you being kept awake at night by the ongoing construction (like a significant number of LymeLine staff!), the State Department of  Transport has advised that the bridge rehabilitation project on Flat Rock Hill Rd over I-95 in Old Lyme is on schedule for completion in May of 2015.

On-going activities include removal of the stage 2 deck and steel girders, rehabbing existing concrete pier and abutments, pile driving and associated work — all of which are apparently extremely noisy activities … especially in the wee hours!

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Joining Night for Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts is Tonight in Old Lyme

girl-scouts-logoOld Lyme Girl Scouts’ Joining Night will be held Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 6 p.m. at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd.

Girl 
Scouts welcome girls from grades K-12.  The troop is also in need of adult volunteers to become leaders or assist with troops.

For more information, contact Jenna Duff at jduff@gsofct.org

Boy_Scouts_of_AmericaOld Lyme’s Cub Scout Pack 27  will also be hosting their Joining Night the same evening, Sept. 10, starting at 6:30 p.m. at The First Congregational Church of Old Lyme, 2 Ferry Rd.

Cub Scouts is open to all boys in 1st through 5th grade.

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‘Dinner and ‘Mrs. Doubtfire” Event This Evening Benefits Childhood Cancer Research

ACT flyerAn organization with a mission to raise funds for pediatric research, Achieve Change Together (ACT), is hosting a “Dinner, a Movie, Popcorn and More” event on Saturday, Sept. 6, at Clark Memorial Field in Old Saybrook.  Grass opens at 6 p.m. and the movie, now announced as “Mrs. Doubtfire,” starts at 7:30 p.m.  The costs is $20 per car, which includes the movie and popcorn.  Guests are asked to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets.

Every dollar raised goes directly toward childhood cancer research via The Truth 365’s “Dream Team” of leading oncologists.  These talented doctors represent The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Sloan Kettering, St. Jude’s and Seattle Children’s (visit www.thetruth365.org for details).

The following editorial was submitted by event organizer Kristen Michalski Alexander:

Not so long ago, I learned from a friend about Madison “Maddy” Garrett.

In 2012, Maddy had been diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma.  One of the rarest childhood cancers.  It had spread into limbs, snaked through her spine, and had penetrated into bone marrow; the tumor was wrapped around organs and arteries, through her intestine and into her chest. The tumor in her three-year-old belly was so large that she looked nine months pregnant.

Maddy had a 30 percent chance at survival.

Inspired by her bravery, I researched what I could.  Though average cancer survival rates have grown for the last 40 years, many childhood cancers have survival rates much lower than the average.  The facts are unsettling:

  • Less than 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s budget is directed to childhood cancer research (Source: St. Baldrick’s Foundation)
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children and adolescents in the United States. (Source: National Cancer Institute)
  • In the last 20 years, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved only two pediatric cancer drugs that were initially studied in children. (Source: American Association for Cancer Research)

During her journey to recovery, Maddy’s 5-year-old friend had been diagnosed with aggressive brain cancer.

Another child suffering.  Another family struggling.  I couldn’t sit back anymore.  I had to help win this war!

And so I decided to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer through a special event, “Dinner, A Movie, Popcorn and More.”  The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014.

I reached out to my high school classmate Lou Rolon, a guiding force for our community through Shoreline Neighbors, for advice.  Lou possesses an inspirational compassion, dedication, and strength. He offered to help however he could.

I then reached out to Arms Wide Open Childhood Cancer Foundation (http://www.awoccf.org/). AWOCCF helped produce The Truth 365, an Emmy Award-Winning documentary film and social media campaign that gives a voice to all children fighting cancer.

I asked their co-founder Dena Sherwood if we could work together.  When she graciously agreed, it meant we could host the event with their 501(c)(3) status.

For continuing updates, “Like” the ACT – Achieve Change Together Facebook page and remember to join us on Sept. 6.

For further information, call: 860-339-6310,  via e-mail: actquestions@gmail.com

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/ACT-Achieve-Change-Together/
Website coming soon

To donate: Please make a check payable to Arms Wide Open/The Truth 365 and mail it to P.O. Box 495, Ivoryton, CT 06442.  Or go online at http://www.awoccf.org/donate/ and select “Achieve Change Together Event – CT”.

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Old Saybrook Couple, Old Lyme Church Sponsor Trip to NYC to Join Climate March, Sept. 21

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Editor’s Note 9/14:  Bus is now full.
A committed Old Saybrook couple, Dave and Mariette Brown, have teamed up with the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme to arrange for a bus of local residents to go to New York City on Sunday, Sept. 21.  The purpose of the trip is to attend, “The world’s largest rally in history to support meaningful action to combat the scourge of climate change,” according to the rally’s sponsors.

The New York City rally will coincide with a meeting of international leaders at the United Nations, focusing on stemming changes in the world’s climate conditions.  Over 850 groups from across the country are slated to come to the ‘Big Apple’ for a massive outpouring of support to deal with climate change.

So far, according to the Browns, half of the seats on the rented, 54-passenger bus have been reserved with some 20 seats still available.  To reserve a seat on the bus, call 860-388-9194 or e-mail dmbrown@snet.net 

The New York round trip on the chartered bus costs $35.  Also, persons who are unable to take the trip to New York, but who wish to buy someone else a bus ticket, should contact the Browns.

Although the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is co-sponsoring the trip to New York City, the Browns are responsible for handling the sale of the bus tickets.

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Lyme-Old Lyme Boy Scouts Attend High Adventure Camp, Conquer New Mexico Mountain Challenge

The Philmont crew comprising Scouts and leaders from Lyme-Old Lyme Troop 26. From left to right standing are Connor Carberry, Mike Miller, Lauren Main, John Mesham, Paul Reid and Norman Main, and seated are Matt Miller, John Miller, Owen Mesham, Ranger Zach, Luke Grabowski, Brendan Wright and Dan Reid.

“Climb every mountain” was the theme for Boy Scouts of America Troop 26 of Lyme/Old Lyme this summer. Troop 26 was selected by lottery to attend a challenging seven-day-adventure at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico this August.

Philmont is the premier high adventure camp for scouts. Founded through the generosity of Oklahoma oilman Waite Phillips over 75 years ago, the ranch covers over 214 square miles and hosted 22,500 scouts this year.

Troop 26 spent 18 months training for this trip to perfect their backpacking and back country survival skills. Because of the rigorous nature of this adventure, Philmont requires scouts to be of high school age. Once selected to attend, the scouts form a crew and elect their own leaders.

The Philmont crew standing in front of the 'Tooth of Time' prior to making the 9,000 ft. ascent.

The Philmont crew standing in front of the ‘Tooth of Time’ prior to starting the 9,000 ft. ascent.

During their stay at Philmont, the scouts run every aspect of their trip including land navigation, meal preparation, water purification and – perhaps, the most important – how to keep their campsite free from critters (such as bears!) by using tree-hung bear bags.

Philmont runs a number of different treks so crews are spread out over the entire ranch. The Troop 26 crew participated in a very challenging trek that included 14-mile-hikes with backpacks weighing over 50 pounds, summiting the iconic Tooth of Time peak at over 9,000 feet and camping on Uracca Mesa at over 7,000 feet.

Mission accomplished!  View from the summit of the "Tooth of Time."

Mission accomplished! View from the summit of the “Tooth of Time.”

 

The crew also enjoyed horseback riding, challenge events and opportunities to engage with historical role players.

Another activity in which the crew participated while at Philmont was to volunteer on a conservation project that cleared up a section of the forest floor to minimize the damage that could be caused by a wildfire.

If any youth is interested in joining the Troop, meetings are on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Lyme Firehouse.

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Lyme Man Dies in Lime Rock Festival Vintage Car Race

A 73-year-old driver died when his vintage race car crashed during a race Saturday at the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival in Salisbury, Conn., state police said. Lee Duran, of Lyme, was driving his small, blue 1934 MG PA Special.

Read the full story in this article, Driver Dies In Crash At Lime Rock Park Historic Festivalby Brian Dowling and published in the Hartford Courant, Aug. 31.

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Lyme Ambulance Returns to Farmers Market Today to Sell Craft Goods

After a very successful appearance at the Lyme Farmers Market in July, the Lyme Ambulance Association returns to the market with another sale of high quality hand-crafted goods today, Saturday, Aug. 30.

Hand made quilts, handbags, throw-rugs, hand-woven wool rugs, and stunningly colorful stained glass panels are just a few of the items offered.

All proceeds will be donated directly to Lyme Ambulance Association, which is one of Connecticut’s few remaining “no-cost to the patient” ambulance services funded by donations.  The Association operates without adding any tax-burden to Lyme residents.

For more information, visit LymeAmbulance.org.

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Kicking Cancer: One Man’s Remarkable Victory Over the Pervasive Disease

dave old lyme sun

Dave Collins looks out over an Old Lyme sunrise — there was a time when he wondered how many more he might see.

On the cusp of spring in 2005, Dave Collins recalls looking out over the marsh in his Old Lyme backyard through tears early one morning and wondering, “How many more sunrises will I see?” This emotional moment was the culmination of a tumultuous one-week period during which a tumor was detected in Collins’ colon and it was confirmed that it had metastasized to his lungs and liver. He was told he had stage-4 colon cancer.  He was 48 years old.

Nine years later, Collins is in his sixth year of living cancer-free.  For him and his wife Kathy, the three-year ordeal of surgeries and treatments was grueling and stressful, but by sticking together and clinging to positive outlooks, along with the right treatments from good doctors, he beat the grim odds. And, by his own admission, he needed a dose of good luck.

His medical odyssey began in 2004, when Collins started to notice some blood during bowel movements.  An initial screening by medical practitioners speculated that, because it was a small amount and bright red, it was probably from hemorrhoids. The blood would only appear every couple of months, Collins says, so he kept monitoring it on his own. Then one day while at work in March of 2005, he experienced a sudden discharge of a significant quantity of blood through his rectum and left immediately to go to a doctor.

A sigmoidoscopy done on the spot in a gastroenterologist’s office identified a large tumor in the lower portion of his colon. Some blood was also drawn to measure its CEA level. [CEA (Carcinoembryonic antigen)is a type of protein molecule that can be present in different cells and a high level can be an indicator of a tumor.]

A few days later Collins went to the Middlesex Hospital’s clinic in Essex for a CAT scan and to get the results of his blood test. His blood revealed a distressing number. A normal range for CEA is 0-5. The level in Collins was 427. “The doctor said it was the highest level he had ever seen,” Collins recalls, continuing, “It indicated that there was a high chance that I had colon cancer.”

The CAT scan indentified more than two-dozen tumors in his liver. A biopsy confirmed cancer. A subsequent chest x-ray detected one tumor in each lung. “Talk about shock,” Kathy says, adding, “I was numb.”

“Initially, when we thought it was only in one location, we thought maybe this is something that’s beatable,” Collins remembers. “But when they said it was in both lungs and loaded in the liver, then we knew we were in trouble.” It really hit him hard when he asked his oncologist if he had other patients with the same diagnosis and he answered, “Yes, quite a few.”

When Collins asked how many of them survived, the doctor was evasive. “So I said to him, none of them made it, right?” And the doctor said quietly, “Correct.” Collins responded, “Well, I guess I’ll have to be your first one.”

“I still get chills when I think about that moment,” he says. “That was very emotional for me. That’s when we came home and just sat on the sofa and hugged each other and cried.”

“It was very surreal,” Kathy added. “Keep in mind all this was in the space of a week. It all occurred between March 17 and March 25 (2005).”

When asked if he felt defeated at that moment, Collins says, “I felt really scared at that point, and really emotional. I don’t think there was ever a time when I felt defeated, but I also never felt there was a time when I felt I’m going to beat this or felt cocky. We went into the mode of, let’s be smart about this, let’s play our cards as best as we possibly can.”

But Collins says he also felt a conflict between what he would think or say and what he felt in his heart. “I was trying to get myself on a mentally positive track. In my mind I was thinking I should try to be positive but my heart was not really believing that.”  Echoing that conundrum, Kathy added, “I don’t think either one of us wanted to accept that it couldn’t have a positive outcome.”

Kathy says that Dave’s oncologist, Dr. Robert Levy of Middlesex Hospital, was very honest with him. While he was never so blunt as to say Dave only had a short time left, he said that with cancers as advanced as his, there are no guarantees.

Right from the beginning, Kathy had the foresight to begin keeping a notebook and log, writing down everything as it was occurring. It became a running diary of the entire experience. Dr. Levy supported and enabled this, she said. Every visit to any doctor included note-taking so they would not have to rely on their memories once they got home; memories that were inevitably clouded by stress.

Collins says this was invaluable. “When you’re in an emotional state, it’s hard to remember or process the information that your doctors are giving you. A lot of times I would think the doctor said one thing, then Kathy’s notes would show something different. So it’s really important for someone to be with you and take notes.” Questions that either of them thought of between visits would also get jotted down immediately. “It was important for us,” Kathy says, “because it gave us a sense of control in a situation where we clearly had no control.”

Many Surgeries and Chemo Treatments

The steps to cure Collins’ cancer were a very prolonged, meticulous series of surgeries and treatments that began with removing the colon tumor in April 2005. A resection, as it’s called, removed about six inches of his lower colon where the tumor was and reattached the ends. That enabled his “plumbing,” as he puts it, to be put in good functioning order. A few weeks later he began a 10-month regimen of chemotherapy.

The chemo protocol was designed at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York to treat the extensive cancer cells throughout his body and keep them from spreading further. How his body reacted to this chemo would determine whether surgery could be performed on his liver and lungs. If it didn’t shrink some of his tumors, his condition would be terminal. Collins’ oncologist, Dr. Levy, says, “I have treated many stage-4 colorectal cancer patients. When the cancer has spread to both the liver and the lungs, surgery is typically not possible and the cancer is considered incurable.”

portable infusion pumpThroughout the 10 months, Collins wore a portable “fanny pack” in between treatments at an infusion center (see photo at left.) This contained the chemo drug and a small pump that fed a measured dose through a catheter into a port in his chest at regular intervals. With this pack attached, he began to exercise by jogging and riding an exercise bike.  [Implantable ports are very small ports that are surgically inserted under the skin that receive a catheter tube carrying the chemo drug.]  The chemo proved effective and a month after the treatments ended, Collins underwent surgery on his liver and lungs in March 2006.

A small tumor in one lung was killed with the chemo, but a larger one in the other lung required surgery to remove.  His liver had four tumors in the smaller left lobe. The right lobe had two-dozen tumors. The tumors in the left lobe were surgically removed. The right lobe was deemed inoperable. The only possible method of eliminating the pervasive tumors was a little-used procedure known as a liver resection. This required tying off the blood supply to the right lobe for a month, causing it to shrink and die. Such a procedure is possible because the liver will regenerate itself to compensate for the removed portion.

d_k_paris_river_seine_cropped

Dave and Kathy Collins share a winning smile.

The right lobe was removed from his body a month later, and soon Collins began to experience side effects from that procedure, including infections along the incision and fevers. This required frequent return visits to MSKCC over a three-month period. In between those visits, Collins’ wife Kathy, with some training from the nurses, became a de facto nurse. Twice a day she uncovered his dressings and carefully removed any infected bits of flesh, rinsed the incision, and repacked the dressing. Collins describes these session as pretty intense, comparing them to painful stabbing by a needle.

By the fall of 2006, the incision had healed and Collins found himself facing another nine-month round of chemo. Side effects during this period included, he recalls, “Hypersensitivity to cold, burning sensations in my fingers,” that could be triggered simply from grabbing a can of soda from the refrigerator. He also experienced random periods of numbness on the bottom of his feet that affected his balance. “If I closed my eyes, I would immediately fall over. To me this was humorous, not frightening.”

Determined to rebuild his physical condition despite his ordeal with chemo, Collins routinely jogged, rode an exercise bike, and even returned to the tennis court, a game he regularly played before the onset of his cancer.

But there was more. When another tumor was identified in his left lobe, a third liver surgery was necessary in February 2008. After that, yet another round of chemo went from March through September. This time it was injected by a pump similar in size to a hockey puck that was implanted under the skin on his belly.  This fed a highly concentrated dose directly into the liver and effectively put him into remission. Collins was told that if there is no recurrence over five years, the odds are good to stay cancer-free. If no recurrence after 10 years, it is unlikely that it will return. Now in his sixth cancer-free year, the odds are turning in his favor.

That wasn’t the end of his medical travails. During a visit with Dr. Levy, in June of 2010, a murmur was detected in Collins’ heart.  Further diagnosis found that one of the chordae, or “heart strings,” that help to control heart valve function, had broken. Medical opinion was this might have been a consequence of the intense chemo. This led to open-heart surgery in December 2010, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, to repair the strings of the mitral and tricuspid valves. Since that time Collins has no murmur and no valve leakage.

Good Attitude, Good Doctors and Some Luck

Everyone has his or her own way of dealing with adversity. Throughout his arduous ordeal, while his wife sometimes prayed, Collins never followed suit. Instead, he drew hope from the study of scientific journals and medical Web sites — perhaps a result of his engineering background. He also attributes his successful recovery to a generous dose of good fortune and luck.  “It’s not all in doctor’s hands. Everyone had to play their cards as best they could and then hope for a successful outcome. There’s a huge element of luck. I was lucky to get exceptional doctors and lucky I responded well to chemo.”

To someone who is newly diagnosed or now beginning treatment, he urges studying and learning as much as you can. Find out where the ‘center of excellence’ facilities are and glean all you can from them. Establish which is the top hospital for your particular condition? Search the Internet for clinical trials of your specific form of cancer.

Collins continually reached out, asked questions and sought advice wherever he could. “I did a lot of research. I would ask each doctor to explain the reasoning for his approach. Don’t take your doctor as infallible. Don’t just rely on him. Do your own research and develop questions. If something does not make sense to you, challenge the doctor.”

He speculates that this extra effort might result in better care. “When doctors see how knowledgeable you are, they respect and appreciate it and may give your case a little extra thought and attention. I’m grateful, respectful, and appreciative of my doctors.”

Collins emphasizes that as important as the doctors are, having a personal caregiver and advocate is crucial. After talking for several hours with the Collins’s, it was clear that his wife’s loving care might have been as important as any doctor or treatment. Dave says the love and support that Kathy provided is immeasurable and this experience moved their relationship “to a new level and made us closer.”

“How beautiful is someone who sits beside you on a backless stool during five hours of chemo treatment – who attends to your every need and whim – treatment after treatment after treatment? How beautiful is someone who sleeps on a cot beside you in the hospital room – so as to be there – to not leave your side? How beautiful is someone who gives you foot massages and washes your hair and holds your arm when you can barely stand up and take a step? How beautiful is someone who does this continually for over four years, never once complaining – not once – who continually seems happy to do whatever will help get you through the day?”

“This total support from my wife spoke to me silently and continually – a wordless message that connected straight to my heart. It said: ‘I want you to recover, I want you to stay with me, I want you to come back to me and be with me.’ This message definitely got into my heart and I feel it somehow resonated with my DNA – creating sort of a well of strength or energy that I could continually draw from. I was many times physically depleted but I never once felt emotionally weak or defeated.”

Collins says that during the first few years of his battle, those sunrises became spiritual and precious. “I would sometimes get up early and watch sunrises like they were rare, sacred events. During this time, hearing the Cat Steven’s song Morning Has Broken was very emotional to me. Deep inside I realized that I very probably would not have the amount of time on earth that I wanted – that I thought I would have. [But] I never said anything to anyone about loving life or missing life or my fear of dying. I never let Kathy see me cry at a sunrise.”

“Now,” he says, “if I get angry or frustrated or moody, I simply tell myself: do you realize how lucky you are to be alive?”

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‘Forty and Fabulous’ Gala, Sept. 27, Honors Estuary’s 40th Anniversary, Benefits Meals on Wheels

More calls are coming into the Estuary Center each day requesting services through the “Meals on Wheels” program, which benefits the nine estuary towns.

In order to support this nutritious program, a benefit gala, “Forty and Fabulous”on Sept. 20,  is being planned by a fund raising committee under the co-chairmanship of Old Saybrook residents President Gerri Lewis and committee member Ruth Yakaitis.

This gala event at The Kate in Old Saybrook will also honor the Estuary’s 40th Anniversary and promises to be an evening of wine and hors d’oeuvres under the tent, comedy on the stage, music, silent auction and more.  The evening begins at 6 p.m.

The Kate is located at 300 Main Street, Old Saybrook.

For additional information, call the Estuary’s Executive Director, Paul Doyle at 860-388-1611.

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Lyme Ambulance Association Needs You! Train to Become an EMT/EMR

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Are you recently retired and looking for a way to 
give back?  Or perhaps interested in a possible Emergency Response career?  Lyme Ambulance, one of Connecticut’s last remaining no-fee, all-volunteer ambulance services needs you, and has funds to reimburse volunteer Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) or Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) training expenses.

“Our policy is to reimburse the training expenses incurred by a new 
member, once that member has been both certified and has demonstrated a commitment by being an active Responder with Lyme Ambulance for six or more months,” explains Carl Clement, Lyme Ambulance Chief of Service. “If the volunteer is serious, it’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

If you have a sincere interest in the personal satisfaction gained 
from helping others in time of need, learning new skills that could save a life or possibly opening an opportunity for a new career, write
to: Lyme Ambulance Association, PO Box 911, Hadlyme CT 06439-0490.

Or call Carter Courtney at (860) 434-0057.  

You can also email Courtney at courtneyjc20@hotmail.com.  He will arrange an interview with you to ensure you have a full understanding of the training and responsibilities required to be an active operations group member.

Act promptly since classes start in September and Lyme Ambulance needs to get 
you pre-registered in training-sessions as soon as possible.

Lyme Ambulance has served the town of Lyme since it was established 
in 1976. It is a completely volunteer organization and is one of the last ambulance groups in the area that does not charge for its
services.

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Lyme Garden Club Unveils Landscape Plans for Town Building Project

Landscape plan for the Lyme Center Campus designed by Sarah McCracken.

Landscape plan for the Lyme Center Campus designed by Sarah McCracken.

LGC Logo_page_1The residents of Lyme have been eagerly watching the renovation of their town hall and the building of the new library over the last year; however, during the excitement of construction, the Lyme Garden Club has been quietly working on an often overlooked finishing touch for any building project, the landscaping.  They have been coordinating with town groups, businesses, and individuals, but the landscaping plans have only recently been made public.

The landscaping project began a little over a year ago when Steve Mattson, Lyme Selectman and Building Committee member, approached the Lyme Garden Club with a request for help – the project budget only allowed for grading and seeding the site.  The club members quickly agreed to take on the project, and they formed a committee to lead the effort.

One of the first steps the committee took was to hire Lyme resident and landscape architect, Sarah McCracken.  McCracken has broad domestic and international experience.  Locally, she has worked with numerous homeowners and at St. Ann’s Church in Old Lyme and the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.  “Sarah has done an amazing job,” said committee chair, Mary Ann Kistner.  “We could never pay her enough for all the work she has put into the project.”

old shovel stuck in the groundThe final design is simple, yet elegant, and fits into the Lyme aesthetic.  It covers the landscaping of both buildings as well as the development of the new town green that will be created when the old library is demolished.  Making use of grasses that don’t have to be mowed and hardy plants, the grounds will be easy to maintain and, by necessity, deer resistant.  The front of the library will be planted in an herb garden in recognition of much loved former club member, Betty Cleghorn, and of the library herb garden that the Lyme Garden Club has maintained for years.

Planting will be done in phases to take advantage of ideal planting seasons and as needed funds are raised.  So far, people have been generous with plant donations, and two local landscape companies have volunteered manpower and machinery.  The Garden Club is currently looking for donors to sponsor the planting of a tree at the donation level of $500 per tree.  “We have ten tree donors so far,” said Kistner, “but we need six more.  And of course there are many other ways people can contribute.”   Interested donors should contact Mary Ann Kistner by email at makistner@comcast.net  or at 860-526-3621.

To view the Lyme Town Campus landscape plans online, go to the project blog at www.lymetowncampus.blogspot.com.  There will be a link on the right sidebar.   Copies will also be on display at the Lyme Town Hall and the Lyme Public Library.

Editor’s Note: If you would like more information about the Lyme Town Campus project, contact Janis Witkins at 860 304-3318 or at janiswitkins@comcast.net.  For information about the Lyme Garden Club, contact Mary Ann Kistner at 860-526-3621 or at makistner@comcast.net

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Concert/Vigil for Gaza to be Held Tonight at Old Lyme Church

Michael Dabroski

Michael Dabroski

This eveningAug. 19, at 7 p.m., a concert/vigil for Gaza will be held at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme

Michael Dabroski, a concert violinist, will play an original composition in honor of the people of Gaza who have suffered so much tragic loss.  This composition and some classical selections will be interspersed with moments of silence, prayers and readings. 

There is a suggested donation at the door (optional).  Children are free.  There will a collection gathered as well. 

All proceeds will benefit ‘The Middle East Children’s Alliance,’ which is actively working in Gaza.

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‘Spark a Reaction’ at the Old Lyme Library This Afternoon

The Old Lyme-Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library will host a ‘Spark A Reaction’ science program this afternoon at 2:35 p.m.   Join Miss Alex for a new science experiment for teens every third Monday of the summer.  This week the task will be to make your own motor.

Registration is required.  Ages 12 and up.  This program is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, Aug. 21, the library will host Teen Summer Craft: Water Color Art at 2:35 pm.  Decorate your own tote bag with puffy paint, jewels and paint markers.  All supplies will be provided.  Registration is required. 

The Library is located at 2 Library Lane, off Lyme Street.  Summer 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 2 p.m.

For more information, call 860-434-1684 or visit www.oldlyme.lioninc.org.

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Final Day of the Hamburg Fair Today; Ox Pull, Powder Puff at 9am

view_of_fair

All the fun of the Fair.

The 112th Hamburg Fair, sponsored by the Lyme Grange Association, opens today at 9 a.m. with the Ox Pull and Powder Puff in the ring and the popular band “La La” will play on the stage from 12 to 3 p.m. and the Connecticut Bristol Old Tyme Fiddlers Club will conclude the festivities with a performance from 3 to 6 p.m.

Llamas are to love ...

Llamas are to love …

Sunday brings

Rides are always a major attraction at the Fair.

Rides are always a major attraction at the Fair.

It is a long-awaited event for everyone who lives locally, but many families from all over the state have also made this an annual summer tradition.   That old-fashioned feeling lost with so many of the bigger fairs has been carefully maintained in this annual Lyme event.  The fair may be small but it has a great deal to offer.  When was the last time you saw a watermelon-eating and seed-spitting contest, or a nail-driving competition?  There is a line-up of entertainment that echoes that same theme of old-fashioned, while the big top has new and old favorites alike.

The Hamburg Fair is the only fair in Connecticut this year to offer a discounted ride bracelet each day of the fair — even on (Friday) opening night.  A bracelet allows the purchaser to take as many rides as he/she wants (or can handle!)  It’s the organizer’s way of making it a little easier on families, so they can come out to enjoy this special fair.  In addition, children 11 and younger are admitted to the fair free.  Adults are $5 – Seniors are only $3.

Gates open at 5 p.m. Friday.  Park at the Lyme Church or Reynolds Garage and you will be supporting Old Lyme Scouts and also the Lyme Church.

Click here to visit the website for the Fair and view the full program of events for all three days.

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Bluegrass Band Gives Sound View Concert Tonight

bluegrass_band_instrumentsThe Town of Old Lyme and the Sound View Commission are sponsoring family-friendly concerts at Sound View Beach this summer.

The final concert  of the 2014 series is this Thursday, Aug. 14, featuring the Grass Routes Bluegrass Band. On the scene since 1980, they have been delighting audiences with repertoire ranging from traditional bluegrass standards to folk and contemporary songs, performed in their own unique bluegrass style with skillful instrumentals and tight vocal harmonies.

The free outdoor concerts will take place from 7 through 8.30 p.m., near the Flag Pole at the end of Hartford Avenue at Sound View Beach.  There is no rain location for this concert.  Should a weather cancellation be necessary it will be posted on the Town Web site “News & Announcements”

Bring a blanket or a lawn chair, and settle in for a lovely evening of sunset music.  Everyone is welcome to attend these family-friendly events.

Several local businesses will be offering discounts and special offers on concert nights. Look for “Promotion Sponsor” signs at participating area businesses to take advantage of these special deals.

Concert business promotion participants are:

The Carousel Shop Ice Cream

Buy 1 Soft-Serve Ice Cream, Get 1 Free, valid with coupon and only on day of concert

Teddy’s Old Lyme Pizza Palace

10% Discount on Total Order 5:00pm to 9:00 pm concert days

Vecchitto’s Italian Ice

Buy 5 get one small free Italian Ice during concert times

South Lyme Scoop Shop

$1 off any menu item with coupon

The Grille

Buy 2 glasses of wine and 1 appetizer for $15.00 with coupon expires September 7, 2014

Lenny’s on the Beach

20% off your entire food purchase with coupon

The Carousel at Old Lyme

Good for 1 carousel ride, valid with coupon and only on day of concert

Beach Donuts – Sound View Beach Association

Buy 1 Donut, Get 1 Free with coupon

The Carousel Shop Too

$5 off $25.00 or more purchase, valid only with coupon and on day of concert

The Pavilion

Free fries with any sandwich purchase with coupon expires August 31, 2014

Waffle Bar

Choice of 2 free toppings or bottle of water with the purchase of a waffle or 2-scoop sundae cup starting at 3pm till closing on concert days

E.Z. Minimart

1% Gallon Milk $2.99, Red Bull 8.4fl oz 2 for $4.00, 2 Liter Coca-Cola 2 for $3.59 + tax

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The Curious Case of the Flags on Lyme Street

The flags are flying again on Lyme Street.

The flags are flying again on Lyme Street.

After vanishing unexpectedly in the days following the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, the flags have returned to Lyme Street, to the apparent approval of a majority of the town’s residents.  Back up since last Friday, these Old Glories will stay until Veteran’s Day in November, just like last year.

The reappearance of the flags has been lauded by a significant number of the townspeople; likewise, the prior removal of the flags was vocally reviled.  After noticing that the Lyme Street flags had been taken down, numerous Old Lyme residents took action, turning to various news sources, social media, and the town government with their complaints.  A mere week or so after the flags’ removal, their efforts had succeeded.

As John Seckla, local owner of the Old Lyme Barber Shop, told LymeLine, “Just talk to the townspeople. They wanted them [the flags] back, so now, they’re back.”

For many, the flags are a show of respect for our nation’s soldiers and veterans, and a sign of gratitude for their service.  One Old Lyme resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, writes in an email to LymeLine, “…[the flags are] a reminder of all our men and women overseas and all of our veterans.  The flag represents freedom and reminds me of how hard our men and women have fought and are fighting to keep us free.”

The writer also considers the flags a mark of national pride and American patriotism; he adds, “There is nothing gaudy about being a American and showing it.  What the American flag represents is more than enough reason for them to be flying high and proud!”

Some townspeople share these sentiments, evidenced by Barbara Crowley, local owner of The Chocolate Shell, who writes on her business’s Facebook page, “… I am glad and proud to report that the flags are back up! … Long may they fly!!”

Formulated and installed by the Old Lyme Fire Department, the flags flew for the first time last summer, with the intention to hang them from Memorial Day through Veteran’s Day. However, after receiving several worried complaints that the flags were getting tangled up and overshadowing smaller, personal flags, among other things, First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder tells LymeLine that she made a compromise with the Fire Department last fall, so that the flags would only fly during holidays and major events for the summer of 2014.

OLFD signYet, when the flags were removed after the Midsummer Festival two weeks ago, as per the aforementioned compromise, there was a strong backlash among the Old Lyme community. After asking that all flag-related complaints be sent directly to her, Reemsnyder reports, “The response I got was overwhelmingly in favor of having the flags up.”

Reemsnyder further emphasizes that “I don’t like making decisions based on a single opinion,” and that the decision to remove the flags was not the result of a complaint by one lone individual, but rather the compromise with the Fire Department from last fall.  She would also like to remind the townspeople that the flags will be taken down before any major weather events, especially high-speed winds.

But for now, the flags are here to stay – with the obvious blessing of the Old Lyme Fire Department, who are expressing their appreciation publicly for the re-hanging of the flags.

But what do you, dear readers, think?  Are you happy that the flags will now remain up from Memorial Dy to Veteran’s Day every year?  Feel free to comment below …

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Miller’s Eagle Scout Project Restores Hamburg Fair’s Animal Ring to Former Glory

Working on the animal ring.

Working on the animal ring.

Visitors at this year’s Hamburg Fair on Aug. 15, 16 and 17, will see that the animal ring where the horse and oxen competitions are held has been refurbished.

Life Scout Matthew M. Miller of BSA Troop 26 of Lyme and Old Lyme led approximately 25 people over the weekend of June 14-15 as part of his Eagle Scout Project to repair the ring that was in desperate need of restoration.  The project benefited the Lyme Grange Fairgrounds where the annual Hamburg Fair is held every August.  The Fair draws several thousand visitors from all over the state each year.

Repairing the fence.

Matt Miller repairs the animal ring fence during Father’s Day weekend when he led a team of volunteers on the project, which will contribute to his Eagle Scout award.

Matt developed his project by meeting with the Lyme Grange and then submitting his plan for approval with BSA Mohegan District.

It Takes a Village - in this case, three young men, but there were many more on both days of the project - to fix an animal ring.

‘It Takes a Village’ – in this case, three young men, but there were many more on both days of the project – to fix an animal ring.

Everything came together over Father’s Day weekend under beautiful skies and clear weather.  His team replaced four gates, installed new gate latches, replaced the vast majority of wooden rails, replaced or repaired posts and gave the whole area two coats of barn red stain.

Congratulations, Matt – what a great project!

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