October 13, 2015

Debate Dates, Participants Finalized in Old Lyme; Questions Invited

Two election debates are being held in Old Lyme, the first on Oct. 22 for the candidates for the Region 18 Board of Education and the second on Oct. 29, for the candidates for the Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.

Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsoring a “Meet the Candidates for Board of Education” event on Thursday, Oct. 22, in the Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School auditorium.

The four positions open on the board are all four-year terms.  The candidates who will be present to give prepared statements and answer questions are:

(Vote for any three)
Mimi Roche (D)  (incumbent)
Paul Fuchs  (D)  (incumbent)
Peter Hunt (D)
Erick Cushman (R)
Stacy Winchell (R)

(Vote for one)
Mary Powell-St. Louis (R)

This event will be taped for broadcast on Comcast Public Access Channel 14 at 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:

Monday, Oct. 26
Tuesday, Oct. 27
Friday, Oct. 30
Monday, Oct. 2

There will be a second debate sponsored by the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce and The Day on Thursday, Oct. 29, in the Old Lyme Town Hall, which will feature the four candidates for Old Lyme Board of Selectmen.  The candidates are:

First Selectman
(Vote for one)
Bonnie Reemsnyder (D – incumbent)
Cathy Carter (R)

(Vote for one)
Mary Jo Nosal (D – incumbent)
Arthur “Skip” Sibley (R – incumbent)

The Chamber and LYSB have requested that we offer LymeLine.com readers the opportunity to submit questions for possible inclusion in the debate.

Questions for the board of education debate will be selected by representatives from LYSB, the Chamber and the debate moderator, Olwen Logan, editor of LymeLine.com.

Questions for the board of education debate will be selected by representatives from the Chamber, The Day and the debate moderators, Paul Choiniere, managing editor of The Day and Olwen Logan, editor of LymeLine.com.

Send your questions to editor@LymeLine.com with the subject line ‘Questions.‘  The deadline for receiving questions for consideration is Thursday, Oct. 15.



‘Summer Sculpture Showcase’ Extended at Studio 80, All Welcome to Closing Reception Oct. 23

Gints Grinsbergs' "Queen Annes Lace" is one of the signature pieces of the exhibition.

Gints Grinsbergs’ “Queen Annes Lace” is one of the signature pieces of the exhibition.

Gilbert Boro, owner and sculptor at Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds in Old Lyme, is currently hosting an exciting exhibition on the grounds of his studio featuring examples of his own contemporary work accompanied by a selection of works created by a number of other widely acclaimed sculptors working in contrasting media.

In response to overwhelming public demand, this Summer Sculpture Showcase has now been extended through Friday, Oct. 23, when a Closing Reception will be held from 5 to 7 p.m.  All are welcome to attend the reception at which Boro will present a brief overview of the exhibition and several of the exhibiting artists will also be present to discuss their own works.  Light refreshments will be served.

Twelve sculptors are exhibiting in Boros expansive Sculpture Gardens located on the 4.5 acres of his residence on historic Lyme Street in the heart of Old Lyme, Conn.  Their works will be interspersed amongst Boros own sculptures along with works by 13 other contributing artists on the beautifully landscaped grounds offering a unique plein air experience combining both large- and small-scale contemporary sculptures, many of which are for sale.  The sculptors whose work – and in some cases, more than one piece – was selected for theShowcase are:

Diane Barcelo, Ashby Carlisle, Fay Chin, Bryan Gorneau, Gints Grinsberg, James Hall, Deborah Hornbake, Elizabeth Knowles & William Thielen, David Millen, Elizabeth Miller McCue and Bill Shockley.

The signature piece of the exhibition is Queen Annes Lace by Gints Grinsbergs.  It is a large — 144” in height, 56” in diameter — yet delicate structure that evokes the intricate design of lace in its welded and stainless steel structure.  Grinsbergss work has been featured at various museums and galleries and is Included in private and corporate collections throughout North America.

"Modern Dance" by Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen

“Modern Dance” by Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen

Modern Dance, a multi-colored sculpture utilizing wire fencing wrapped in vinyl surveying tape, is a collaborative work by Elizabeth Knowles and William Thielen. Natural patterns inspire the work of Knowles and Thielen, who live and work respectively in New York City and Carbondale, Ill.  Both have an extensive body of individual work and have received numerous awards, grants and residencies.

Boro has enjoyed a distinguished career as a sculptor, architect, educator and international design consultant.  He explores the interplay of space, place and scale in a wide range of media including stone, wood, metal and fiberglass.  His vast body of work has been exhibited in numerous galleries throughout the US and internationally, and has also been purchased by collectors, corporations and foundations in both the US and Europe.  Boro currently has several works being exhibited at off-site locations including Sculpture Expo 2015 (SE15) at Red Hook, N.Y., and Ramey Fine Art in Palm Desert, Calif.  He was also recently awarded second place in the South Carolina-based Art League of Hiltonheads Biennale 24th National Juried Exhibition.

Sculptor Gilbert Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

Sculptor Gilbert Boro in his studio in Old Lyme.

This inaugural Summer Sculpture Showcase offers a unique opportunity for established sculptors to exhibit their work in a different location, while also effectively creating a new exhibition within the Sculpture Gardens.  Boro comments, “Im delighted to be able to open my grounds to these exceptional sculptors whose work intrigues me.  Each one offers original creative thinking resulting in a fascinating combination of contrasting conceptual designs in a variety of media.  I think any visitor to the exhibition is going to be thoroughly engaged by what he or she sees – including children.”

Boro is somewhat unusual as a professional sculptor in that he loves to see folk of all ages directly interacting with his sculptures, noting that he has a strong aversion to exhibitions, “… where people cant touch my work.”   Apart from attracting visitors to see the works on his grounds, Boro is thoroughly invested in the vibrant Old Lyme arts scene and hopes this exhibition will help cement the town as a year-round destination for art-loving visitors from near and far.

Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds are located at 80-1 Lyme Street, less than a minute from Exit 70 on I-95, the Sculpture Grounds are open 365 days a year from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.  Admission is free.  Children, field trips and group visits are all welcome. The Studio is open by appointment. 

For further information, contact 860-434-5957, visit www.gilbertboro.com or www.sculpturegrounds.com or email studio80sculpturegrounds@gmail.com


South African Choir Presents Concert Tonight in Old Lyme

The Pretoria Indigenous Choir stands on the steps of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme. Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit at left and chorus Director Mxolsi Duda at back row third from left.

The University of Pretoria Indigenous Choir stands on the steps of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme with Senior Minister Steve Jungkeit at left and chorus Director Mxolsi Duda front right, with back to camera.

As part of the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme’s continuing celebrations of its 350th anniversary, a choir made up of 22 members of the University of Pretoria (South Africa) Indigenous Choir will present a concert Saturday, Oct. 10, at 7 p.m. in the church.  All are welcome and admission is free.  A freewill offering will be taken.

The Choir singing at a recent church service.

The Choir singing at a recent church service.

The choir will be directed by Mxolisi Duda, who originally visited the church as a student in 2002. The choir has not only already performed at a number of church services during their stay, but also has visited and sung at several elementary schools.

Smiling faces on arrival in the US.

Smiling faces on arrival in the US.

For more information, visit www.fccol.org or call 860.434.8686.



Old Lyme Fire Department Hosts Open House Tonight

Fire Department members will demonstrate the Jaws of Life at their Open House on Wednesday. File photo.

Old Lyme Fire Department members will demonstrate the ‘Jaws of Life’ at their Open House on Wednesday. File photo.

The Old Lyme Fire Department will host its annual Open House this evening from 6 to 8 p.m. The event will be held at the main firehouse located on 69 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, Conn.

Learn how to prevent this!

Learn how to prevent this!

Activities will include fire safety and firefighting demonstrations. State of the art firefighting apparatus and equipment will be demonstrated and on display.

Information pertinent to preventing fire-related incidents and home evacuation will be available for all ages.  Complimentary refreshments will be served.

Fire Department and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) personnel will be on hand to answer any questions the public may have to ensure a safer environment for children and adults.

Admission is free and all are welcome.


Musical Masterworks Celebrates its 25th Season in Old Lyme, Opens Oct. 24-25

MM_25_Logo_CMYK Vector Whiteborder jpg[1] copyMusical Masterworks is celebrating a quarter century of magnificent chamber music at Old Lyme’s First Congregational Church, beginning with the first concerts of their season on Saturday, Oct. 24, at 5 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25, at 3 p.m.

This concert will feature two of chamber music’s rising stars: violinist Bella Hristova and, in her Musical Masterworks debut, pianist Anna Polonsky. They will join with one of Musical Masterworks’ favorite horn players, Eric Ruske, and Musical Masterworks’ Artistic Director and cellist Edward Arron, for a program including trios by Schubert and Brahms, Schumann’s Three Fantasy Pieces for horn and piano, and a work by contemporary composer David Ludwig.

Musical Masterworks has prepared a very special 25th Anniversary Season of chamber music.  “This anniversary season, we will celebrate with masterworks of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Schumann,  Brahms, Dvorák, Ravel and Bartók, alongside vibrant and transporting works by some of the most dynamic composers of our time,” said Edward Arron, Artistic Director of Musical Masterworks.

In a bold break from their traditional programming of repeat concerts on Saturday and Sunday, on Feb. 13 and 14, 2016, Arron and pianist Jeewon Park will play the entire cycle of Beethoven’s works for piano and cello, providing a fascinating window into the arc of Beethoven’s career.

Book_cover_MM_25_YearsIn celebration of this milestone anniversary, Lee Pritchard and Jamie Murphy, Musical Masterworks’ Honorary Director and Founder, respectively, have embarked on an exciting project to chronicle Musical Masterworks’ 25-year journey.  Assembling treasured photos and recounting the memories and milestones shared by its audience, musicians, volunteers and staff over the years, Pritchard and Murphy have compiled a commemorative book that will be available for purchase beginning with Musical Masterworks’ October concerts.

“This keepsake book relates fascinating facts and memorable moments that have brought us to where we are today,” said Alden Rockwell Murphy, President of Musical Masterworks.  “The photos capture the energy and excitement of our journey, as well as the array of magnificent musicians who have been with us over the years; we are thrilled to be able to share our story with the community that has nurtured us.”

Edward Arron

Musical Masterworks Artistic Director Edward Arron

“Our special season will culminate with Mendelssohn’s glorious Octet for Strings, led by Musical Masterworks’ veteran violinist, Chee-Yun,” said Arron.  “I feel extraordinarily privileged to be the curator of this unique concert series. As the years go by, I continue to be inspired by the beauty of the Congregational Church, the art of chamber music, the artistry of my colleagues and the warmth of our audience.”

The anniversary season will be celebrated with a free gala party after the final concert on May 1, 2016 to which all ticket buyers will be invited.

To purchase a series subscription ($150 each) or individual tickets ($35 individual; $5 student) to this 25th season, visit Musical Masterworks’ new website at www.musicalmasterworks.org or call 860.434.2252.


Saint Ann’s Church, LYSB Host Harvest Festival, Family ConcertToday

Harvest_Festival_2015Saint Ann’s Episcopal Church of Old Lyme and Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau will host a Harvest Festival Sunday, Oct. 4, including an exciting family concert with the acclaimed singer/songwriting duo, The Nield Sisters. The day’s activities run from 12 to 4 p.m. and have been generously sponsored by Essex Savings Bank and Essex Financial Services.

The Harvest Festival will take place on the grounds of Saint Ann’s at 82 Shore Rd. in Old Lyme and kicks off at 12 noon with games, music, craft sales, activities and food for the whole family.  Highlights include: an origami artist providing hands-on demonstrations; artist Elizabeth O’Brien creating silhouette portraits; and Upper Pond Farm in Old Lyme with farm activities and produce sales.

Other participants include Bushnell Farm, the Connecticut River Museum and Bushy Hill Nature Center, all hosting hands-on games and activities that are fun for all ages.  Food vendors include the ever-popular Rolling Tomato pizza truck, the Kiwanis of Old Lyme grilling up delicious hamburgers and hot dogs and Cupcakes and Flying Hearts serving fabulous cupcakes for dessert.  Music during the festival is provided by the folk duo, Sweet Beats.

The finale of the day at 3 p.m. is a special Family Concert with The Nield Sisters – the renowned folk-rock sister duo of Nerissa and Katryna Nield.  As Spin Magazine notes, “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.”  The Nield Sisters’ family concerts encourage audience participation and are geared towards engaging all members of the family – young and old.  A donation of $10 per family will be asked for the Nield Sisters Family Concert.

Saint Ann’s is an Episcopal parish in Old Lyme, Conn., and, under the direction of the rector the Rev. Canon Mark K J Robinson, invites and welcomes all visitors to this family friendly event.

The mission of LYSB is to empower and enrich the lives of youth and families in our community through a wide range of innovative and effective programs.

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

For 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.


See ‘Whimsical Kingdoms’ at Florence Griswold Museum Through October, Over 30 Faerie Houses on Display

LogoIt’s the return of the Florence Griswold Museum’s highly anticipated annual outdoor exhibition, Wee Faerie Village. This year the walking trail highlights over 30 faerie-sized castles, towers, and palaces celebrating fiction’s greatest royal tales.

The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme presents Wee Faerie Village’s ‘Whimsical Kingdoms’ on the grounds of museum’s campus from Oct. 1 through Nov. 1. Visitors follow the “Treasured Map” to over 30 hand-crafted faerie kingdoms and scenes – from Cinderella’s enchanted castle to Rapunzel’s towering tower to Aladdin’s shimmering palace. All ages will marvel at the detail and craftsmanship as they visit scenes from King ArthurHarry PotterA Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Lord of the Rings.

This year’s Wee Faerie Village is the seventh of the Museum’s annual outdoor creative installations. Last year 14,000 visitors enjoyed the 2014 event, Wee Faerie Village in a ‘Steampunk’d Wonderland’ during its four-week run. In keeping with the steampunk theme, many of last year’s scenes were made from found objects like cogs and gears.

More than 14,000 visitors came to see last year's Steam Punk'd Wonderland exhibit.

More than 14,000 visitors came to see last year’s Steampunk’d Wonderland exhibit at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme.

This year, the artists have been challenged to create their kingdoms using natural materials. Their imaginations are sure to create fanciful edifices detailed with pinecone pinnacles, fungus fortresses, acorn-topped timbered towers, bark-covered buttresses, fluttering feather flags, and driftwood drawbridges. The annual event has come to signify an enriching, not-to-be-missed outing for visitors of all ages.

Along with the 30 wee-sized creations, two artists are fashioning grand structures out of natural elements as a special feature of ‘Whimsical Kingdoms.’

Jared is hard at work creating a magical castle from a tree trunk.

Jared Welcome is hard at work creating a faerie tower out of a tree trunk on the Florence Griswold Museum’s grounds.

Jared Welcome of JareBear Carvings from Connecticut will create a faerie tower out of a 77-year-old tree on the Museum’s campus. Hurricane Sandy took its toll on the once sturdy maple. The tree was scheduled to be removed earlier this year, but instead, was saved for this project. Using a chainsaw and sander Jared reveals an over ten feet tall fanciful tower hidden beneath the bark.

Greg J. Grady of Professional Sculptures in New Hampshire is a master sand sculptor. He will forge a splendid castle using seven tons of “Hi-G” (dense, flat-grained) sand.

Special Events

As part of its Wee Faerie Village exhibition, adults and families with children can enjoy a month of faerie-themed activities. Events include a visit from Princess Merida, baking contest, parties, performances, story-telling, book discussions, and craft activities. Many events are included in Museum admission.

Visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org for a complete list.

Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12

The Museum will open on Columbus Day, Monday, Oct. 12 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Faerie dance lessons begin at 11:30 a.m. At noon, an artist from the TEN31 living statues troupe will lead visitors in a parade. Wings, crowns, tiaras and Medieval attire is encouraged.

Sand-sculpting demonstrations will take place at the sand castle during the day.

Hands-on crafts 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. .

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., shop for artful objects created by local artisans and crafters inspired by the faerie realm.

This quirky and creative artisan fair is a special one-day, pop-up event at the Museum.

Beyond the Faerie Realm

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce encourages visitors of the Museum’s Wee Faerie Village to explore participating shops and restaurants in the historic town of Old Lyme for prizes and surprises. See www.VisitOldLyme.com for details.

The Florence Griswold Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, exit 70 off I-95. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with extended hours on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission during the exhibition is $15 for adults, $14 for seniors, $13 for students, $5 for members. Children 12 and under are free thanks to the support of an anonymous donor.

Admission includes the outdoor walking tour of the faerie village as well as the Florence Griswold House, Chadwick Studio, Rafal Landscape Center and the Krieble Gallery special exhibition, The Artist in the Connecticut Landscape.

Wee Faerie Village is supported by an anonymous donor, the Joffray Family, and the Platner Family Foundation.


Old Lyme Historical Society Hosts Plant Sale Today

Fall_flowersThe Old Lyme Historical Society (OLHS) is having a Plant Sale at its 55 Lyme St. headquarters Saturday, Oct. 3, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is anticipated that all the available plants, too numerous to mention, will go quickly.

This is a great chance to get your garden refreshed for spring beauty next year while supporting the efforts of the OLHS to bring the area’s history to life for new generations.

For more information, visit www.oldlymehistoricalsociety.org


From a Reporter’s Notebook: WFSB’s Kevin Hogan Reveals What You Didn’t See on TV When the Pope Visited the US

WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan on assignment covering Pope Francis's visit

WFSB News Director Kevin Hogan on assignment in New York City covering Pope Francis’s visit

Editor’s Note: Lyme, CT resident and WFSB New London Bureau Chief  and Weekend News Anchor Kevin Hogan covered Pope Francis’s recent trip to the US in each of the three cities of Washington DC, New York and Philadelphia that the Pope visited.  We are thrilled that Kevin has chosen to share some insights with us from those hectic days on the road and express our sincere appreciation to him on behalf of all our readers.

During my 42 years as a broadcast journalist, I’ve covered many high-profile world leaders.  Last week I had the distinct, exhausting pleasure to cover Pope Francis in Washington, New York City and Philadelphia.

While the Holy Father was in Cuba, my Channel 3 videographer Jeff Kolan and I set the GPS in our news car for the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.  The Marquis was the media mecca for all 3,000 journalists cleared by the Secret Service and the Vatican to cover Pope Francis on this historic trip.  Even before checking in to our hotel in Arlington, we had to obtain our credentials for the week.

The planning for our coverage began months earlier when we had to apply for credentials, our managers had to coordinate with our CBS Newspath directors to ensure broadcast quality transmission and communication in all three locations and venues.   Weeks before we even filled up the car and gathered gear, I was making contact with all the known and possibly unknown religious and other organizations planning to be with the Holy Father.  Yes, the Archbishop from Hartford and Bishops from Bridgeport and Norwich diocese were attending, as well as the Knights of Columbus in New Haven.  The Knights World Headquarters is in the Elm City.

Thankfully it was up to my managers to secure hotel reservations.  We knew getting around each city under extremely tight security was going to be a challenge.  So getting a hotel close to the heart of the action at this stage of the game was not going to be easy.  In Washington, we were put up in Arlington, Va.  Not a bad drive.  Some taxis were available, but most of the time we walked.  Jeff and I averaged 4 to 5 miles per day in DC.

Kevin Hogan stands in front of the Capitol in DC.

Kevin Hogan stands with the waiting crowds behind him in DC.

We walked with the throngs of visitors along miles of steel mesh barricades, through Airport Style electronic security sensor checkpoints with bomb sniffing dogs to stand for hours on the lawn of the Capitol.  While Pope Francis was giving the first address by a Pope to a joint session of Congress, we were attempting to find Connecticut residents amongst the gathering of 50,000.  We found people with relatives in Connecticut, Priests who’ve studied in Connecticut and even TV reporter Les Trent from Inside Edition.  Nice guy, by the way.  His photographer recognized my photographer from an earlier assignment.

We found Nutmeggers in DC, who were not there necessarily to see Pope Francis but to hawk Vatican related souvenirs.  Dave Thomas of New Haven brought $150,000 worth of supplies to sell.  No, he didn’t have a Pope doll or the much sought after Pope bobble-head because they were made of  a breakable ceramic that would be a security risk.

Dumb me, on the morning of the Canonization Mass for Franciscan Junipero Serra, it didn’t dawn on me until I was in checkpoint line for security that I realized I had two of my coveted multi-tools in my LL Bean canvass shoulder bag.  Lesson learned.  Security was nice about it.  No, I couldn’t get that back.

We had the most perfect vantage point during the Mass, four stories high on a scaffolding riser with all the other world media watching down and absorbing this beautiful event.

Our producers wanted us to talk to the morning team on Thursday … anchors Eric Parker of Old Lyme and Irene O’Connor.  Our wake up time was 4 a.m.  We were LIVE on the air at 5:10 a.m. and ready for another looooong day.  Thursday was also the day we had to checkout early and hit the road after our live broadcast at 6 and head for New York.

Kevin Hogan and Jeff Kholan take a brief break for a photo.

Kevin Hogan and Jeff Kolan take a brief break for a photo.

Videographer Jeff Kolan grew up in southern New Jersey and he made a calculated foodie stop at his favorite hotdog stand, The Doghouse.  He treated me to a real, honest-to-goodness Philadelphia Cheese steak loaded with mushrooms and onions. Funny, you see all these world leaders and you gravitate to the food memory.  I savored it all.

We checked into our hotel at midnight and got up at 8 a.m.  Why the Doubletree in midtown doesn’t have a coffee maker in the room, I’ll never figure that one out.  I needed one.

We were in New York one day, packed and checked out bound for Philadelphia and the last leg of our trip.

Did you see the Pope?  Not in person in DC or New York because our timing was off.  If you wanted to see the Holy Father in Person, you had to take a position in an area he was scheduled to be and stake it out for hours.

In the Big Apple, we hooked up with Susan and Dr. Robert Staab of Old Lyme and members of Christ the King Church.  The Staabs, as members of the Order of Malta — a 900-year-old organization that helps the Vatican — were invited to attend the Papal Mass Friday evening in Madison Square Garden.  They were just 13 rows from the Holy Father.  Me?  Jeff and I were on the road for Philly hoping to get ahead of the Pope.

Philadelphia was given the name “POPEACOLYPSE”.  Because a more than two square mile area was walled off to vehicles, pedestrian traffic only.

Our hotel was on the fringe of the fence line.  On Saturday morning we woke at 5 and were out the door heading to a live location at KYW TV, the CBS affiliate.  It was a short 2.5 mile walk through two security checkpoints, minus my multi-tools.

As soon as we finished our live shot … and watched on TV as the Holy Father’s Aircraft landed we got word that his motorcade would drive right near the TV station.  Jeff and I bolted and made feet for a fixed position right on the highway exit ramp.  In a matter of minutes, a long procession of motorcycle officers roared past followed by black SUV’s and more motorcycles with the U.S. Flag and the flag of the Vatican See.

Yes, it was Pope Francis.

With an excited Kevin Hogan watching, Pope Francis drives by in his famous Fiat

With an excited Kevin Hogan watching, Pope Francis drives by in his famous Fiat through the streets of Philadelphia.

Homeland Security warned us to back off the ramp … as we did a small black FIAT carrying Pope Francis on the other side … came into view.   Like a little child I raised my arm stretching my Channel 3 Microphone high into the air and waved it wildly!  I saw Pope Francis raise his left arm and wave back.  I snapped a selfie shot … and captured a moment in time.

There were hundreds of thousands of people in Philadelphia.  On Saturday we walked 13.5 miles.  We walked a total of 38 miles during the whole U.S. tour.

Each day we encountered wonderful people, officers, security personal from all over the U.S.  Amazingly the visitors of all ages and cultures dressed as if they were going to Sunday Church.  There was a calm in each city we visited.  There was excitement in the air because The Pope was here.


Movie Night at Old Lyme Church Tonight Features Film About Gaza


All are welcome to a screening of ‘Where Should the Birds Fly’ this evening at 7 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme.

Admission is free to see this powerful film about Gaza made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade.

‘Where Should The Birds Fly’ is the first film about Gaza made by Palestinians living the reality of Israel’s siege and blockade of this tiny enclave.   It is the story of two young women, survivors of Israel’s Operation Cast Lead — Mona Samouni, now 12-years-old and the filmmaker, Fida Qishta, now 27.

The film is a visual documentation of the Goldstone Report.  It reveals the strength and hope, the humanity and humor that flourishes among the people of Gaza.  Few films document so powerfully and personally the impact of modern warfare and sanctions on a civilian population.

The film itself breaks the blockade.  Filmmakers in Gaza have never had the opportunity to make a full length, professional documentary of their reality.  Fida Qishta, born and raised in Rafah, Gaza, began her film-making career as a wedding videographer, and soon moved on to working with international human rights observers in Gaza, documenting day to day life under siege. 

Her commentary on the siege was published in The International Herald Tribune.  Her video reports of Operation Cast Lead were published widely including in the UK newspaper The Guardian and in their weekly news magazine, The Observer.

Qishta founded The Life-Maker’s Centre, Rafah, Gaza.  She was the manager and a teacher at this free facility for 300  children affected by war.  The center continues to provide a safe place to play and offers counseling and English language tutoring.

For more information, visit http://whereshouldthebirdsfly.org


‘The Bowerbird’ Seeks Help to Select Next Annual Donation Recipient

Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 10.13.17 AM

In a few short weeks, The Bowerbird located in the Old Lyme Marketplace on Halls Rd. will be selecting a new recipient for their 2015-2016 gift wrap give-back program.  Usually, this is a closed process; however, this year the store is soliciting suggestions from their customers and LymeLine.com readers.  Do you have a favorite non-profit that could benefit from some extra funds?

Eligible organizations must be registered as a tax-exempt nonprofit 501 (c) organization, be located in Connecticut or have a Connecticut chapter.  In addition, they are not eligible if they have previously received funds through the store’s gift wrap program.

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

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

The current recipient is the Children’s Medical Center located in Hartford.

The 2015-2016 year’s wrap donation program will begin Nov. 1, 2015.

For more information, stop by The Bowerbird in the Old Lyme Marketplace.


‘Bound for the Sound’ Road Race This Morning Benefits Lyme-Old Lyme Education Foundation

And they're off! Runners participating in last year's 10K start the race.

And they’re off! Runners participating in last year’s 10K take their first steps in the race.

Eric Parker, the morning anchor on Channel 3 News, will be the emcee and official starter for the Lyme–Old Lyme Education Foundation’s (LOLEF) 4th annual Bound for the Sound Road Race. The race takes place on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 8 a.m., at the Sound View Beach in Old Lyme.

Runners can choose between a 10K or 5K course, or a one-mile Fun Run. The course travels through the scenic, easy terrain of South Lyme. All proceeds from the race benefit the Foundation’s educational programs in the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools.

Runners of all ages are welcome, including those in strollers. Register for the race at http://lolef.org or in person before the race. Registration is $35 for adults, $10 for high school students and younger, with faculty and staff of the Region 18 Schools receiving a $10 discount off the registration fee. All proceeds will benefit the programs of the Lyme–Old Lyme Education Foundation.

Parker, an Old Lyme resident and parent of a young student, said he is looking forward to the event. Michael Kane, LOLEF president, commented, “We draw a great a great crowd each year, especially for the 10K. It’s one of the few 10K races in the region: the course is beautiful and runners really love it.” Vice-president Nicole Wholean added, “It’s a great community event that supports public education while promoting health and wellness.”

The LOLEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, charitable organization, governed by a volunteer board of directors from the towns of Lyme and Old Lyme.

Their mission is to create, continue, and enhance the valuable educational programs above and beyond those traditionally provided by the Lyme-Old Lyme Public Schools. The Foundation aligns its work with the District’s strategic planning process to encourage innovative and effective learning opportunities for students of all ages. It raises and distributes funds to enhance enrichment programs, support innovative teaching and learning, and build educational partnerships between Lyme-Old Lyme students and the community.


Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet: Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Today

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day Logo - DEA

On Saturday, Sept. 26, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.,  Lymes’ Youth Services Bureau (LYSB) and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will give the public another opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

Bring your medications for disposal to the Lyme Street Fire House at 69 Lyme Street, Old Lyme.  The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked.

This event is sponsored by the Old Lyme Police Department, Old Lyme Fire Department, the DEA and the Coalition for Substance Free Youth (CASFY) overseen by LYSB.

The CASFY organization is the local prevention coaltion for Lyme and Old Lyme. Their mission is to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use among youth by collaborating with the community to raise awareness, modify social norms, educate youth and adults, initiate policy change and promote healthy activities. The group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at LYSB.

Members of the public are welcome to join the group at any meeting or contact Prevention Coordinator Karen Fischer at 860-434-7208 x 308 for more information. Visit CASFY’s website to learn more about their programs, Lyme-Old Lyme youth survey reports, and resources.

More than 300 people died of heroin or other opioid overdoses in the Connecticut in 2014, according to the latest available figures from the Office of Chief Medical Examiner.  This is a significant increase from 257 deaths in 2013 from overdoses involving opioids.

People begin their addiction to heroin by first misusing prescription pain medications.  A majority of abused prescription drugs are obtained from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet.  There are many other people who visit a home and might search the medicine cabinet, including caregivers and people who clean, repair, or deliver items. Open Houses held by realtors present another opportunity to find drugs.  Drug seekers are searching for unsecured prescription drugs, especially prescription pain reliever medications and depressants (Valium, for example).

Mary Seidner, Director of LYSB, comments, “In Connecticut, there are now more deaths from drug overdoses than from car crashes and most of the drug overdoses are from medicine abuse.  We can do better.  You can help by disposing of your unwanted medications on Saturday.”

Karen Fischer, Prevention Coordinator at LYSB, emphasized, “All prescription medications should be secured for everyone’s safety and unwanted ones should be disposed of safely.”

This service is free and anonymous.  For questions contact Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau at 860-434-7208 or www.lysb.org





Op-Ed: Valley Warriors Need to Reconsider Outdated, Distressing Mascot

valley regional2I am a proud alum of Lyme-Old Lyme High School, class of 2010. I could not have asked for a better education or community. One of the most important experiences I had as a student there was my involvement in athletics. I enjoyed every moment of cross country that did not involve running, and during basketball games, I ensured that the team’s bench remained warm at all times. I also supported my friends in their athletic pursuits, especially those dedicated enough to travel to another school to play football for the Valley Regional Warriors. Having heard about their growing success, I’ve begun to follow along once more and I’m proud to see that some of the team’s best players are from LOLHS, some of whom I know from my time as a summer camp counselor in town. However, I was saddened to see that the image used for the mascot is an antiquated, stereotypical depiction of Native Americans.

The image used to represent the “warriors” is a red face with black hair and two loosely hanging feathers. It is, in my opinion, a highly problematic image. The image would be problematic anywhere, but it is particularly troubling given the region’s history of violence against native peoples. The Pequot War, the war that ensured colonial hegemony in Connecticut, culminated with the Mystic Massacre of 1637, during which colonists and their native allies attacked a Pequot village and shot or burned to death over 400 hundred men, women, and children. The attackers targeted the village after bypassing a stronghold of warriors, knowing that non-combatants would put up less of a fight. To misappropriate the imagery of that time period is a deeply uninformed way of grappling with our violent history.

This imagery also promotes a racialized view of American life. The idea that there is a race of “red” people is an idea that Euro-Americans constructed in the 18th and 19th centuries to justify campaigns of conquest and displacement. Far from being an ideology of the past, this racism is still very much alive and dangerous. Few people know that police kill Native American men at about the same rate as African American men. It has been encouraging to see the removal of imagery that glorifies the Confederacy and chattel slavery, and we must now remove symbols that trivialize the centuries-old abuses of native peoples. Only then can we begin to combat the caustic racism that continues to permeate our society.

Finally, using Native Americans as mascots promotes the myth of the “vanishing Indian.” This myth, which dates back to the early-19th century, contends that Native Americans died out in the course of American history, unable to adapt to new contexts or hold their lands. The myth could not be more wrong. Native peoples, who represent countless languages, cosmologies, and identities, have displayed remarkable resilience and have been intertwined in American life since the early-colonial period. Native peoples have shaped American politics, contributed to the American ethos, and served in our wars in greater proportion than any other population. And they have fought tenaciously to preserve their lands and cultures. While they lost a great deal under the onslaught of imperialism, and now grapple with the resulting poverty and trauma, they are proud of what they have maintained. I’ve travelled to numerous reservations—I recently returned from a month-long trip to the beautiful Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota—and the people there work tirelessly to elevate their communities without losing sight of their heritage. They continue to fight, every day, to revitalize their languages and resist new forms of encroachment, such as the Keystone XL Pipeline. They’re not a novelty or a relic of the past. They are students and teachers and parents and artists, and they cannot be encapsulated by a picture of a red face and feathers.

I’m being oversensitive, you might say. Perhaps. The mascot debate is by no means our most important. But it’s a good place to start. So can we change the image used by Valley Regional’s football team? The important things—the lines on the field, the minutes in a half, the positive impact of playing on a team—will remain unchanged. This problematic image will be the only thing to go, and when it does, our boys will have even more to be proud of.

Editor’s Note: Michael McLean graduated from Lyme-Old Lyme High School in 2010.  He went on to obtain an undergraduate degree from Trinity College in 2014 and is currently studying for his PhD in American History at Boston College.  He is a contributor to the online history magazine, “We’re History” at http://werehistory.org.



CASFY Coalition Launches Third Media Campaign to Reduce Underage Drinking

The new and powerful campaign message from CASFY.

The new and powerful campaign message from CASFY.

Community Action for Substance Free Youth (CASFY), the local prevention coalition for Lyme and Old Lyme, has launched a new media campaign aimed at teens, parents and all adults in the communities of Lyme and Old Lyme. Community members can already see Shoreline Sanitation trucks with the image of hands holding red cups and the message, “Don’t be a party to underage drinking.  It’s against the law.”

Residents will see this message on posters in the community, on social media, at community events and on a Hall’s Road banner before Thanksgiving, a time when underage drinking tends to increase.

“While underage drinking has decreased nationally and in Lyme-Old Lyme among our school age youth according national and local data, it is still our Number One youth drug problem,” reports Karen Fischer, CASFY’s Prevention Coordinator.  “CASFY members chose our new campaign with the objective of informing underage drinkers and their families about the legal and other risks they take by breaking alcohol-related laws.”

Mary Seidner, Director of Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB), notes that residents can take a quiz on alcohol laws on www.lysb.org.  “Select the link to Alcohol Law Quiz.  You will read about the laws and seven scenarios where underage drinking or related violations occur.  You determine what charges may apply in each scenario and then can check your answers.”

Rebecca Griffin was one of the CASFY members who took the quiz at a recent meeting.  She comments, “Believe me, the answers are eye-opening and in some cases jaw-dropping.”

Old Lyme residents will see the campaign message all over town on Shoreline Sanitation trucks.

Old Lyme residents will see the campaign message all over town on Shoreline Sanitation trucks.

CASFY’s campaign is a reminder to parents to discuss alcohol laws and the possible consequences of breaking them, as well as their own family rules.  Resident Trooper Gary Inglis emphasizes, “Few teens and underage young adults realize that breaking underage drinking laws can place their families and themselves in legal and financial jeopardy.”

He adds, “Even an infraction for underage possession of alcohol is not just a ticket.  The underage youth who received the ticket is subject to suspension of a driver’s license for 30-60 days, depending on where the infraction occurred, in addition to a fine. Plus the family’s car insurance will likely significantly increase or could even be cancelled.”

Ellen Maus, the school nurse at Lyme-Old Lyme High School, reminds adults to secure any alcohol and prescription medications to reduce access and prevent any legal or health problems that could occur in their own homes.  “I’m especially thinking about sleepovers or parties where parents might not be aware that teens in their home are taking alcohol or pills from their liquor or medicine cabinets.”

“This campaign is one example of how the whole community has pulled together to work on keeping our youth safe,” stresses Fischer.  “School personnel, police officers, members of the business community, parents, youth—the cooperation and collaboration is outstanding.”

CASFY would especially like to thank Gary Yuknat of Shoreline Sanitation for donating the use of his trucks for displaying CASFY’s campaign graphics.

Local businesses and others wishing to participate in the campaign by displaying campaign images on posters, flyers, websites and Facebook pages or other social media should contact Karen Fischer, 860-434-7208 or email fischerk@childandfamilyagency.org.

Funding for the media campaign is from a federal grant through the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and Child and Family Agency of Southeastern Connecticut.

The mission of CASFY is to prevent and reduce alcohol and other drug use among youth by collaborating with the community to raise awareness, modify social norms, educate youth and adults, initiate policy change and promote healthy activities.  All youth and adults who live or work in Lyme or Old Lyme are invited to join in their efforts, or their next meeting on the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. at LYSB. 

For more information or to contact CASFY, visit lysb.org or call 860-434-7208.


Joining Night for Girl Scouts in Old Lyme

girl-scouts-logoOld Lyme Girl Scouts’ Joining Night will be held Monday evening, Sept. 14, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Old Lyme -Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, 1 Library Ln.

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


‘Joining Night’ for Cub Scouts in Old Lyme is Wednesday Evening

Boy_Scouts_of_AmericaOld Lyme’s Cub Scout Pack 27  will host their Joining Night Wednesday, Sept. 16, 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.

For more information, contact Erik Olsen at 860-434-5605 or 5olsens @comcast.net


NL County Residents Receive Free Admission to Florence Griswold Museum Today

During Free Summer Second Sundays, visitors can enjoy the exhibition All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York as well as a variety of outdoor activities and hands-on projects.

During Free Summer Second Sundays, visitors can enjoy the exhibition All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York as well as a variety of outdoor activities and hands-on projects.

Thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, all residents of New London County receive free admission to the Florence Griswold Museum on second Sundays this summer – the last remaining dates of the season is tomorrow, Sunday, Sept. 13.

The Museum’s riverfront landscape is situated on an 11-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme. In addition to the restored Florence Griswold House, where a generation of Impressionist artists lived, the Museum features an exhibition gallery, education and landscape centers, extensive gardens, and a restored artist’s studio.

Pictured from the 'All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York' exhibition, James Edward Buttersworth’s Yacht Race off Fort Wadsworth, ca. 1870 from the Museum of the City of New York.

Pictured from the ‘All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York’ exhibition, James Edward Buttersworth’s Yacht Race off Fort Wadsworth, ca. 1870 from the Museum of the City of New York.

Visitors to Summer Second Sundays will enjoy, All the Sea Knows: Marine Art from the Museum of the City of New York, an exhibition of that highlights the Museum of the City of New York’s renowned marine art collection. From folk art gems to Hudson River School panoramas to moody Tonalist contemplations of man and sea, these works capture the excitement of the age of sail and steam.

Visitors can also tour the historic Florence Griswold House, restored to its appearance as the boardinghouse for the Lyme Art Colony, stroll through Miss Florence’s historic gardens, and relax along the banks of the Lieutenant River. Can You Find Me cards in the gallery and a scavenger hunt in the historic house make the trip both fun and educational for families.

Visitors of any age can drop in at the Museum’s Education Center for a quick painting lesson before heading down to the river or out in the garden for an afternoon of plein-air painting. All materials included. The new outdoor Art Cart invites exploration of the grounds through interactive, hands-on projects.

“Free Summer Second Sundays is a great way for the Museum to make new friends in New London County,” notes David D.J. Rau, the Museum’s Director of Education and Outreach. He adds, “We are grateful for the support of The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.”

New London County residents can enjoy Free Summer Second Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m. with proof of residency. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme St., Old Lyme, exit 70 off I-95.

For additional information, contact the Museum at 860-434-5542 or visit www.FlorenceGriswoldMuseum.org.


Local WWII Heroes Gather for Patriot Day Commemoration in Old Lyme

Photographed on Patriot Day, September 11, 2015 are WWII veterans (from left to right) are (front row) Norman Emerson, Thomas Clements and Francis Fetrow; (second row) George King, George Hunt, James (Tim) Keenan and Edmund Wolcott;(standing); (third row: Janet Littlefield, James Noyes and Page Wodell.

Photographed on Patriot Day, Sept. 11, 2015 are World War II veterans (from left to right, front row) Norman Emerson, Thomas Clements and Francis Fetrow; (second row) George King, George Hunt, James (Tim) Keenan and (standing) Edmund Wolcott; and (third row) Janet Littlefield, James Noyes and Page Wodell.  Photo by James Meehan.

A distinguished group of Old Lyme area World War II veterans is seen here grouped below the handsome pastel “The Spirit of the Doughboy,” which hangs over the main staircase in Old Lyme’s Memorial Town Hall. The painting, the work of the noted portrait and mural painter Alfred Herter (1871-1950), depicts a mother and her son in World War I.

The painting will be seen in the 2016 Now & Then Community Calendar published annually by Old Lyme Historical Society, Inc.

Former Old Lyme First Selectman Timothy Griswold, who was present at the event along with Old Lyme First Selectwoman Bonnie Reemsnyder, State Representative Devin Carney and Old Lyme Historical Society Board Member Alison Mitchell, noted, “The vets had a good time reconnecting with each other.”

Appreciation is extended to the Atria assisted living facility staff member who transported Messieurs Clements and Fetrow from Waterford.



Last Few Days to Donate to Old Lyme Church’s Rummage Sale

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 gently used 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. 16 (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. 19, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and features the King’s Rummage Sale, a basket raffle/auction, 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. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon (with steep discounts on Rummage Sale items!).

Visit www.christthekingchurch.net for directions.  For more information, call 860-434-1669.