September 2, 2014

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.


Old Lyme Land Trust Hosts Swallow Cruise, Sept. 27

The famous, "Swallow Tide," above the Connecticut River, photographed by Atwood Johnson.

The famous, “Swallow Tide,” above the Connecticut River, photographed by Diana Atwood Johnson.

Join the Old Lyme Land Trust for an incredible natural spectacle on the Connecticut River.  In the late afternoon during the fall migration, hundreds of thousands of tree swallows gather on the river from 30 miles around and create beautiful sweeping formations in the sky.  Just as the sun sets, they converge into a huge funnel over Goose Island and disappear into the reeds to roost for the night.

Old Lyme Land Trust will host a cruise on the Connecticut River to view the swallows in action on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 5 to 8 p.m.  Tickets are $40 each.  Wine, beer, and soft drinks will be provided.  Guests are welcome to bring a picnic supper.

Contact Ted Mundy (860-434-5674) for more information or to purchase tickets.


‘Dinner and a Movie’ Event Benefits Childhood Cancer Research, Saturday

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 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 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 ( 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:

On Facebook:
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 and select “Achieve Change Together Event – CT”.


Old Lyme Historical Society Hosts Fundraising Dinner at Filomena’s, Sept. 14

Filomena’s Restaurant at 262 Boston Post Road in Waterford is donating $10 from every meal ticket sold by the Old Lyme Historical Society Inc. (OLHSI) for dinner on Sunday, Sept. 14.  This presents a great excuse to get out of cooking dinner …

The menu is two kinds of pasta, salad and focaccia bread with a cash bar available. Tickets are $20. Seating is open from 5 to 7 p.m., but tickets are required.

Tickets are available at the OLHSI office at the Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, Webster Bank in Old Lyme, call 860-434-0684 or order on-line at


Zhang’s Artwork Featured in Fresh Ayer Gallery Exhibition, Opening Reception, Friday

Artwork by Christopher Zhang.

Artwork by Christopher Zhang.

An Opening Reception for “Artwork by Christopher Zhang” is slated for Friday, Sept. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Fresh Ayer Gallery in Old Lyme.  The reception is free and open to the public.

Born in Shanghai, China, Zhang acquired a BFA degree in China and a MFA in the United States. In addition to creating subject matter paintings, he specializes in portraiture and landscapes. His versatile styles and skills in both still life and Chinese traditional painting and calligraphy have also won popularity.  His primary painting medium is oil.  Others are watercolor, acrylic, gouache and Chinese ink.

As a professional artist, Zhang has focused on two types of subject matter in his paintings:

  • Chinese minorities and their indigenous cultures and traditions:
  • Classical Ballet Dance



Old Lyme’s Hack Rows With US Men’s Eight In Today’s World Championship Race

The US Men's eight in action Wednesday.

The US Men’s eight in action Wednesday.

Old Lyme’s Austin Hack and his fellow crew members of the US men’s eight qualified for the 2014 World Rowing Championship final in Amsterdam in the repechage on Wednesday.  Hack is a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2010 and the Stanford University Class of 2014,

After missing a direct pass to the final on Monday, the U.S. crew of Hack along with coxswain  Zach Vlahos (Piedmont, Calif.), Thomas Dethlefs (Lawrenceville, N.J.), Nareg Guregian (North Hills, Calif.),Matthew Miller (Fairfax, Va.), Rob Munn (Redmond, Wash.), Steven Kasprzyk(Cinnaminson, N.J.), David Banks (Potomac, Md.) and Sam Dommer (Folsom, Calif.) needed to finish either first or second to advance to the final.

They were hard off the line and built a lead of more than three seconds by the thousand. In the third 500 meters, France cut into that lead, and in the final quarter, they caught up and then clipped the U.S. in the final strokes.

France won in 5:42.91 and the U.S. was second in 5:43.32. Sunday’s final will see France and the U.S. meet rep one winners Great Britain and Russia, and heat winners Poland and Germany.

“You want to win the race, but we really went hard at the beginning,” said Guregian. “We worked on the first half (of our race) in one day, so now we have four days to get ready for the final.”


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.


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 a 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?”


Old Lyme’s Hack Rows for US Team in World Championships

The US men's 8 competes in Monday's race in Amsterdam.  Austin Hack is fourth from right.

The US men’s 8 competes in Monday’s race in Amsterdam. Austin Hack is fourth from right.

Austin Hack, a member of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School Class of 2010 and the Stanford University Class of 2014, is currently competing in the 2014 World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam, Holland.  A member of the US men’s eight, Hack raced with his crew late Monday afternoon.

It was a tough race against crews from Russia, China, Italy, The Netherlands and Poland. The Poles pulled out for an early lead, but despite battling hard, overtaking the Russians and moving up from third to second place, the Americans could not overtake the leaders.  

Consequently, the US team must now participate in the repechage on Wednesday to secure a place in the medal round on Sunday.

Good luck, Austin, and the US Men’s Eight!

Click here for more details of today’s race.


Simple, Real Food: The Flavors of Jamaica

I lived in Jamaica for a few months back in the early nineties having always had a fantasy about living Caribbean style.  I moved to Negril and opened a Jamaican restaurant at a yoga retreat in town.  It was a short-lived experiment due to Hurricane Gilbert, which wiped out the entire island and I returned to NYC to start over once again.

Lately the weather here has reminded me of the warm winters they have on the islands and memories of that delicious Jamaican food has had me cooking dishes such as jerk chicken, curried goat and coconut rice.  Great for entertaining, this satisfying spicy and soulful cuisine is perfect for outdoor living.

With several weeks left of wonderful weather hopefully, I hope you get to try some of these dishes.  In case you don’t have time for cooking, my favorite hole-in-the-wall spot for Jamaican food in the area is Patty Palace in Middletown.  It is a family-run business and has really good jerk chicken and curried goat.

Jerk Chicken

Serves 6


2 tsp. allspice
2 Tb. chopped thyme
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ tsp. salt
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 one inch piece ginger, chopped
½ tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup vegetable oil
Juice of 3 limes
2 scotch bonnet peppers, chopped
6 scallions, chopped
4 pounds chicken thighs


1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a processor and blend to form a paste. Make a number of shallow slits on the chicken and rub all over. Marinate for at least two hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

3. Heat the oven to 450. Place the chicken on two baking sheets and roast for 30 to 35 minutes rotating the pan once.*

5. Increase the oven to broil and broil the chicken for 2 to 3 minutes until golden. Or light a grill and grill until browned and crispy. Serve on a large platter with steamed coconut rice.

  • If you grill the chicken – grill for 40 to 50 minutes over low heat covered, turning occasionally.
  • You also skewer the chicken and then grill as an appetizer

Jamaican Style Curried Goat

Serves 10



3 pounds goat meat, cut into 1/2-inch cubes, leg of lamb can be used instead
1/2 cup white vinegar
5 scallions, coarsely chopped
Juice of 2 limes
1 to 2 scotch bonnet peppers, seeded, minced
1 tsp. allspice
1 Tb. black pepper
4 Tb. Madras curry powder
1 Tb. kosher salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tb. Madras curry powder
3 large cloves garlic, minced


1. Combine the meat, vinegar, scallions, lime juice, peppers, allspice, pepper, 4 Tb. curry, and salt in a large bowl and marinate at least two hours or overnight.

2. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven and sauté the remaining 2 Tb. curry for 10 seconds. Add the garlic and cook another 20 seconds. Add the goat meat mixture and mix well. Cover and cook over medium low heat until the meat is tender about 2 hours. Add a little water or chicken broth if the pan is drying out. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve over rice.

Coconut Rice

Serves 8


2 Tb. vegetable oil
1 Tb. minced ginger
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
Fresh pepper
4 scallions, minced
1/3 cup sweetened coconut, toasted in a dry skillet until golden
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan. Add the ginger and onions and cook over medium heat 4 minutes. Add rice and cook 2 minutes, stirring. Add the coconut milk, and water to equal 3 cups, salt and pepper. Increase the heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook about 10 minutes. Allow rice to sit, covered for about 5 minutes.

2. Fluff rice and garnish with scallions, coconut and cilantro before serving.

Amanda Cushman

Amanda Cushman

Editor’s Note: Amanda Cushman of Simple Real Food Inc., is a culinary educator who has cooked professionally for over 30 years.  She has taught corporate team building classes for over 15 years for a variety of Fortune 500 companies including Yahoo, Nike and Google.  She began her food career in the eighties and worked with Martha Stewart and Glorious Foods before becoming a recipe developer for Food and Wine magazine as well as Ladies Home Journal.  Having lived all over the United States including Boston, NYC, Miami and Los Angeles, she has recently returned to her home state of Connecticut where she continues to teach in private homes as well as write for local publications. 

Amanda teaches weekly classes at White Gate Farm and Homeworks and is also available for private classes.  Her cookbook; Simple Real Food can be ordered at Amazon as well as through her website 

For more information, click here to visit her website.


Joining Night for Cub Scouts Slated for Sept. 10

Old Lyme’s Cub Scout Pack 27 Joining Night will be held Sept. 10, 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.


Big Book Getaway Hosts Authors Green, Greenspan at Bee & Thistle for Saturday Lunch

Jane Green Photo credit: Ian Warburg

Jane Green
Photo credit: Ian Warburg

The Big Book Getaway (BBG) team presents New York Times bestselling author, Jane Green, and award-winning cookbook author, Dorie Greenspan, at the next Big Book Getaway luncheon at The Bee & Thistle Inn this Saturday, Aug. 23, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Green, who is British but now lives in Connecticut, wrote one of her books, Family Pictures, while staying at the Inn.

Green will be introduced by award-winning cookbook author Dorie Greenspan of Westbrook, whose new book, “Baking Chez Moi: Recipes from My Paris Home to Your Home Anywhere” (Rux Martin Books, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), $40, will be available for puchase at the event.  

Green will then give the feature talk about her new book, titled, “Tempting Fate,” (St. Martin’s Press, $25.99, hardcover), which has been described as a, “riveting, heartrending, and ultimately hopeful new novel, praised by Kirkus as “a Scarlet Letter for the 21st Century.”

Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan

Both women will also sign copies of their new books at the event.  Book sales will be offered by Bank Square Books of Mystic, CT. 

The Big Book Getaway is a creation of LaFrancois Marketing Consultants and Essex Books.  Tickets to the luncheon and author talks may be purchased via the BBG website at this link.

For further information or questions, contact 914-310-5824.  


Death of Dr. William H. “Bill” James, 104, Announced

Dr._William_JamesDr. William H.  “Bill” James, age 104, of North Branford, Connecticut, died peacefully on August 19, 2014.

 Blessed with long life, good health, and a strong work ethic, William was possibly Connecticut’s oldest military veteran, serving in May this year as Grand Marshall of his town’s Memorial Day events, at which he gave a speech.  He leaves a record of accomplishment, drive, intelligence, and widespread friends and affiliations.  Born in 1910 to John and May James, William came of pioneer stock and spent his childhood on rural farms.  Starting in the 1920′s, he and his mother traveled to Europe where each pursued educational opportunities, with William studying at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, before returning to the U.S. to attend and graduate from Brown University in 1933.

William held a variety of jobs before, during and after college.  He began his professional career during the Depression, working as a public school teacher in New Canaan CT.  Three years later he switched to the school system in Easton CT, where he began as a Teaching Principal in 1936 and advanced to increasing responsibility until interrupted by WWII, for which he volunteered and served in the Air Force (chiefly in India, China, and on Tinian Island), ultimately retiring as a Major.  Returning home after WWII, William resumed his work with the Easton schools while using the GI Bill to obtain his Masters and Ph.D. degrees from Yale University.

William also married after the war, taking as his bride in 1950 the former Virginia Stowell of New Britain, CT, daughter of Austin and Doris Stowell of that city.   Promoted to Superintendent of Schools for Easton in 1953, William in 1958 relocated to the larger school system of Branford CT to become Superintendent of Schools there.  It was at  this time that he, Virginia, and their daughter Hillery moved to Northford CT where Hillery attended public schools and Virginia taught in the Wallingford school system. In 1966 William became an Associate Director of the Connecticut Commission for Higher Education, from which he retired in 1977.   He had also begun part-time college teaching in 1949 and continued until 1993 as an adjunct professor for several universities.  A long-time writer, William wrote newspaper columns during the 1930′s, writing about political and economic affairs, and he is the author of several books:  “The Monetarists and the Current Crisis” (1975), “The Monetarists and the Continuing Crisis” (1997) and “The Monetarists and the Evolving Crisis:  Wake Up, Americans, We are Losing our Great Nation” (2011).   From 2011 forward, William published occasional commentaries on public affairs. Besides writing, William stayed active with educational organization, Rotary International, the SAR (Sons of the American Revolution), the American Legion, and the VFW, among others.  He was also an avid follower of local, national, and world events, enjoying several newspapers each day.  In addition to his work and writing, William enjoyed small-town America and invariably became “Bill” during his many decades of visiting Lyme CT, Halifax VT, or New Harbor, ME.   Some of his greatest pleasures were talking with friends, meeting new people, telling stories, working outdoors, or enjoying nature and wildlife.  Well remembering his own struggles with early poverty, the chaotic ’20′s, the Depression, and WWII, Bill was sympathetic to those who struggle against forces larger than themselves; at the same time, he was a strong advocate of hard work and continuous self-improvement, believing that such effort gave any individual his or her  best chance for a good life.  William was predeceased by his sister, Lucy Merrill James; by his father, John James; by grandson Yoni Chung; and by his mother, Dr. May Hall James, who became a prominent Connecticut educator, author of “The Educational History of Old Lyme Connecticut 1635-1935,” and a former Dean at Quinnipiac College (now Quinnipiac University).  William is survived by his wife, Dr. Virginia James of North Branford; by their daughter, Hillery, and son-in-law Chris Chung, of New Smyrna Beach, FL; and by his grandson, Doron Chung, of Sanford, Fl.  He is also remembered by numerous former students, associates, neighbors, and extended family members in multiple communities.

Family and friends are invited to go directly to the Northford Congregational Church on Saturday morning, August 23rd at 10:00 to attend a funeral service and are also invited to attend the committal services immediately following with full military honors in Northford Cemetery.  The visiting hours will be Friday, August 22nd from 4 to 7 pm at the North Haven Funeral Home, 36 Washington Avenue, North Haven.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to either the Northford Congregational Church Steeple Fund (Old Post Rd, Northford CT, 06472) or the Maine Sea Coast Mission Society (



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.


Death of Maitland McNamara, “Coach Mac,” Announced

HeadshotA mass of Christian Burial for Maitland V. McNamara Jr., 86, of Old Lyme, will be held this morning at 11 a.m. at  Christ the King Church in Old Lyme.   Mr. McNamara passed away on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, surrounded by his family.  He was most well known for his avid involvement and support to Lyme-Old Lyme Athletics, affectionately known to many as “Coach Mac”.  Don Desautels, who served as coach of the Lyme-Old Lyme High School girl’s soccer team for more than 20 years with whom Mr. McNamara worked closely, will deliver the eulogy at today’s service.

Mr. McNamara was born on May 18, 1928, in Bridgeport, to Maitland McNamara Sr. and Mary Hemson. He married his wife of 63 years, Ramona Watkins, on Oct. 6, 1950 in South Dakota. He honorably served in the Army during World War II. He was a faithful member of the VFW in Old Lyme; serving as the chaplain for many years. 

Mr. McNamara is survived by his loving wife, Ramona McNamara; two daughters, Gail Griswold and her husband, Michael Griswold, of Cary, N.C. and Bonnie Russ and her husband, Paul Russ, of Waterford; and three grandchildren, Amanda Russ, Caroline Griswold, and Garrett Russ.

He was predeceased by his daughter, Beth Alane McNamara.

Calling hours will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, in Fulton-Theroux Funeral Home, 13 Beckwith Lane, Old Lyme. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014, in Christ the King Church, Old Lyme. Burial will be held at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, 2014, in Duck River Cemetery, Old Lyme.

Please visit for photos, tributes, directions, and more service information.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Maitland’s memory to the VFW Post in Old Lyme.


‘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


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


Carney Cruises to Victory, Even Winning Lanier’s Hometown of Old Lyme

Still smiling --- despite having just heard details of her loss in Old Lyme to Devin Carney, Vicki Lanier receives a comforting hug from her daughter.

Still smiling — despite having just heard details of her loss in Old Lyme to Devin Carney, Vicki Lanier receives a comforting hug from her daughter.  Campaign worker David Kelsey stands in the background.

After the Old Lyme Primary results had been announced in the Cross Lane Firehouse by Moderator Kurt Zemba, one voter muttered, “Blame the Giuliano endorsement.”  She was referring to the fact that Vicki Lanier did not even manage to win the 23rd State Representative primary in her hometown of Old Lyme against her Giuliano-endorsed opponent, Devin Carney.  Lanier netted 279 votes to Carney’s 294, losing by 15 votes;  in fact, the vote was closer in Lyme, where Lanier only lost by nine votes, netting 98 votes to Carney’s 107.

Lanier was gracious in defeat saying, “I offer congratulations to my opponent for a campaign well run.  I wish him all the best for November.  I look forward to endorsing my opponent.”  She added positively, “I ‘m excited to bring my message of experience and smaller government to the voters of the 23rd District.”  Asked her reaction to the result, she replied, “They’ve cast their votes,” noting pragmatically, “I expected to win in Old Lyme.”

Carney also won handily by over 500 votes in his hometown of Old Saybrook, predetermining that, despite the absence of the Westbrook vote numbers when this report was filed, he will face Democrat Mary Stone in the November election,.

The  full results in  Lyme and Old Lyme were as follows:


Old Lyme Result Lyme Result
Governor: GOP Primary
Tom Foley 330 117
John McKinney 238 90
Lt. Governor: GOP Primary
Penny Bacchiochi 170 51
Heather Somers 199 72
David Walker 183 79
Comptroller: GOP Primary
Angel Cadena 102 37
Sharon McLaughlin 397 142
State Senate Representative: 20th District Democratic
Elizabeth Ritter 252 n/a
William Satti 46 n/a
State House Representative:23rd District
Devin Carney 294 107
Vicki Lanier 279



[Read more...]


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 …


Primary Elections Being Held Today in Lyme, Old Lyme

Both political parties will be holding Primaries today in Old Lyme, while only the Republicans will be going to the polls in Lyme.

Voting will take place at the Cross Lane and Hamburg Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

One of the Republican Primaries sees Vicki Lanier of Old Lyme face off against Devin Carney for the right to meet Democratic candidate Mary Stone in the November election for 23rd District State Representative.  Incumbent Marilyn Giuliano is retiring from her seat at the end of this session.

We have  published numerous letters of endorsement for both candidates: click on this link to read them all.

The Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce attempted to organize a debate moderated by LymeLine publisher Olwen Logan between Republicans Lanier and Carney and Democratic State Senate candidates Betsy Ritter and Bill Satti.  We believe that neither Carney nor Ritter accepted the invitation and so the debate was cancelled.  Incumbent Andrea Stillman is also retiring from the 20th District State Senate seat she has held for five terms.

A debate between Ritter and Satti, sponsored by the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Southeastern Connecticut and the Waterford Public Library, was held Tuesday evening at Waterford Public Library.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primaries and registered Democrats in the Democratic Primary.
The candidates in the Lyme Republican Primary are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena
The candidates in the Old Lyme Republican Primary are:

Governor (R): Thomas C. Foley or John P. McKinney

Lt. Governor (R): Penny Bacchiochi or Heather Somers or David M. Walker

State Assembly 23rd District (R): Devin R. Carney or Vicki lanier

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena
The candidates in the Old Lyme Democratic Primary are:

State Senate 20th District (D): Elizabeth B. Ritter or William L. Satti

The results will be published on LymeLine within minutes of their announcement.


Letter to the Editor: Retiring State Rep. Giuliano Supports Carney to Succeed Her

To the Editor:

I write in support of Devin Carney for State Representative for Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook in the upcoming August 12th Republican primary.

Devin will work for all of us with energy, with integrity, and with an abiding interest not in politics, but in public service.

In the 12 years that I’ve served in the General Assembly, I’ve been an eye witness to what it takes to succeed in that world – the thought and deliberation required to craft good public policy; and the importance of each vote cast on behalf of 24,000 people. We speak of jobs, the economy, and political issues, but the work of the state representative is really about people, families and communities who count on the attention, the concern, and the commitment of their state representative. Devin Carney is known for these attributes and can be counted on to listen and to serve.

Each legislative session brings difficult challenges to confront and, for Connecticut, these challenges loom large. I am confident that Devin Carney will confront these tough issues with fairness, honesty, intelligence, and with an impassioned advocacy on behalf of us all.

Join me in supporting Devin Carney on August 12th.


Marilyn Giuliano,
Old Saybrook.
Editor’s Note: The author is State Representative for the 23rd District.