July 29, 2014

Magic of Midsummer Successfully Celebrated Again in Old Lyme

Photo courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum.  Hard at work, but with a smile, at the Florence Griswold's En Plein Air Market!

Photo courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum.   Hard at work, but with a smile, at the Florence Griswold’s En Plein Air Market!

They (well, my mother does anyway) say, “The sun shines on the righteous …”  One must therefore assume that the residents of Old Lyme are exceptionally righteous because their Midsummer Festival fell beautifully between damp weather on Friday afternoon before the art openings and concerts began, rain Saturday afternoon just towards the end of the day portion of the Festival and storms Saturday night after the spectacular fireworks.

The weather simply could not have been more cooperative — except, I suppose, if we’d had sun from start to finish!

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The Lyme Garden Club’s stand is always a popular spot in front of the Lyme Art Association.

In a nutshell, the Festival embraced a triumvirate that has been celebrated for many a long year here in Old Lyme — art, music and food.  But this is no ordinary celebration — we do it with a certain style and a touch of panache!  To that point, there is even a Parading Paws dog contest at the Florence Griswold Museum hosted by the Vista organization, which is full to capacity each year.

Everyone loves a parade?

Photo courtesy of the Florence Griswold Museum.  Everyone loves a parade?

Every year it is a little bit different.  Things move around sometimes — for example, the en plein air  “fence artists” were down at Center School this year.

The music was served with a new twist in the form of an after-concert party at the Bee and Thistle on Friday night, jazz at the Old Lyme Inn and a youth band called, School House Rock at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts.

And the food  … ah, the food.  Well, that too was simply splendid!

They wee tapping their feet and swinging their hips under the Old Lyme Inn's band tent.

Feet were tapping and hips were swinging under the Old Lyme Inn’s band tent, while a delicious spread of food was prepared on outdoor grills

The Florence Griwold’s Market en Plein Air aroused the senses — especially the taste buds — as always,  but where to next?  Lobster rolls at Lyme Academy College or grilled food at the Old Lyme Inn or what about a Maui-Wowi smoothie?

Maui-Wowi drew a continuous crowd.

Maui-Wowi drew a continuous crowd.

There were crafts to do, games to play, books to buy, flowers to admire and art of every description to view — and even, sometimes, buy!  Old Lyme more than lived up to its reputation as the place “Where Art Lives,” and the thousands of visitors who came by on Saturday would likely agree.

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Primaries in Lyme, Old Lyme Aug. 12 Include Carney, Lanier Contest

Primary elections of a selection of Democrats and Republicans will be held in both Lyme and Old Lyme, Tuesday, Aug.12, at the Hamburg and Cross Lane Firehouses respectively from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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

Absentee ballots are available in the Town Clerk’s offices.

Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican Primaries and registered Democrats in the Democratic Primary.

The candidates in Lyme 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 Old Lyme are:

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

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

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

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

Comptroller (R): Sharon McLaughlin or Angel Cadena

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Run (or Walk) for Caroline’s Miracle Foundation This Morning

LymelineAd2013c-01The Lyme-Old Lyme community is coming together Saturday, July 26, to honor the memory of Caroline O’Brien of Old Lyme when the Fifth Annual Caroline’s Miracle Foundation 5K Run, 5K Walk and Kids K are held.  This race attracted more than 500 runners last year, and continues to build in numbers every year.

Caroline was an 11-year-old girl, who passed away July 19, 2010, from Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) – a rare and inoperable form of brain cancer.

This event is being held to once again honor Caroline’s courage and bravery and also raise funds to support the charity she founded called Caroline’s Miracle Foundation. The mission of CMF is to bring smiles to the faces of children battling brain tumors and other serious illnesses, as well as supporting safety initiatives in Old Lyme.  To see some of the ways the foundation has “brought smiles to the faces” of children visit carolinesmiraclefoundation.org.

A committee of volunteers of all ages has planned the race, which will be timed and is both flat and fast.  The race will start in front of Lyme/Old Lyme Middle School, head down historic Lyme Street and weave its way through the historic village of Old Lyme.

This year’s race has a Beach Bum theme.  Young friends of Caroline have made posters and decorations to line the race route, including the now familiar ‘smiley face’ logo, which adorns the shirts for the first 200 registered runners.

Prizes will be awarded to the top male and female finisher plus the top three male and female finishers of the 5K in each age group.

Registration opens at 6:45 a.m. at the Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) at 59 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT.  There are three separate events; the 5K walk starts at 8:00 am, the 5K run starts at 8:15 am and the Kids’ K starts at 9:00 am.

Following the run, a party with music, food, free massages, and more will be held at LYSB.  After that, runners and their families are invited to stop by the Old Lyme Midsummer Festival, taking place all day on Lyme Street.

Participants are strongly encouraged to pre-register online at www.carolinesmiraclefoundation.org. On-line registration closesThursday, July 24, 2014 at 11:59pm.  On-site registration at LYSB starts at 6:45 am on the day of the race.

For further information, contact Jennifer O’Brien at 860-434-2246 or e-mail miracles@carolinesmiraclefoundation.org.

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Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival Begins Tonight with Art Openings, Concerts

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Old Lyme’s Midsummer Festival is a town-wide celebration of the arts, which this year will be held Friday and Saturday, July 25 and 26. Since the early 20th century Old Lyme has been known to artists and art lovers alike as a haven for the arts.

The Festival takes place in the heart of Old Lyme’s historic district, with activities spanning locations along Lyme Street.  Festival sites include the Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme Art Association, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, the Old Lyme Inn, the Bee & Thistle Inn, Studio 80 + Sculpture Park, Center School, the Old Lyme – Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library, and a variety of Lyme Street merchants.

Visitors to the Festival enjoy art, food, performances, hands-on activities for children, a dog show, a French-styled market, artisan vendors, book signings, and so much more!  For more information visit  www.OldLymeMidsummerFestival.com

A Great Egret photographer by Diana Atwood Johnson in Orlando, Fla.

This photograph of a Great Egret by Diana Atwood Johnson taken in Orlando, Fla., is the signature work of the ‘Bird’s Eye View’ exhibition on view during the Festival at Lyme Academy College.

On Friday, July 25, the evening begins with three receptions from 5 to 7 p.m., all with free admission.  At the Lyme Art Association, enjoy a great selection of affordable art by Association members.  At Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, visitors can view the exhibition Bird’s Eye View, Photographs of the Natural World by Diana Atwood Johnson in the Sill House Gallery.  A selection of student work is on view in the Chauncey Stillman Gallery. Most works in both exhibitions is for sale with funds benefiting the College and the students.  Atwood Johnson is generously donating all proceeds from the sale of her photographs to the College.  New York Times best-selling author Luanne Rice will also be visiting the exhibitions during the evening.  Refreshments will be available at both galleries.

At the Florence Griswold Museum, visitors can view the special exhibitions Art of the Everyman: American Folk Art from the Fenimore Art Museum and Thistles and Crowns: The Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore.

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The annual free concert from 7 to 9 pm at the Florence Griswold Museum is always a favorite and makes for a perfect summer evening.  This year’s band is The Mighty Soul Drivers.  Find your spot along the Lieutenant River and enjoy classic Southern Soul (think Percy Sledge, Otis Redding).  Folksinger Al Denty performs from 6-8pm. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a picnic dinner or let Gourmet Galley prepare a delicious meal.  Reservations can be made at www.Gourmet-Galley.com.

Walk from one free concert to another.  From 9 to 11pm, the Bee & Thistle Inn hosts ***New to the Festival Down by the River Rhythm N’ Blues DJ Dance Party.  Dance under the stars on the banks of the Lieutenant River.  Specialty cocktails and late night nosh are available for purchase.

The festival continues on Saturday, July 26, with activities at many locations along Lyme Street. Festivalgoers may park at Old Lyme Marketplace, Florence Griswold Museum, Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, Lyme-Old Lyme High School, Lyme-Old Lyme Center and Middle Schools, and Old Lyme Library. A shuttle bus runs between these locations from 9am to 3pm.

At the Florence Griswold Museum, the day begins with breakfast at 8:30am.  Gourmet Galley serves breakfast in the morning and lunch in the afternoon until 3pm.  One of the highlights of the day is Market En Plein Air.  This outdoor market features Connecticut-grown flowers, fruits, vegetables, breads, fine cheeses, herbs and specialty foods in a setting modeled after outdoor markets in French villages.  Crafted-by-Hand: An Artisan Fair features noted jewelry designers and other craftsmen.  These events open at 9am and close at 3pm.

At 10am, local cultural organizations provide creative projects for children of all ages at the Hands-On, Minds-On area. Included are activities by the Old Lyme -PGN Library, Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau, and High Hopes Therapeutic Riding. This event closes at 3pm.

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Four-legged friends can participate in the Parading Paws Dog Show hosted by Vista Vocational & Life Skills Center of Westbrook. Does your dog have the best smile, longest tail, biggest paws?  Registration is from 9- 10am.  Judging begins at 10:30am.  Special categories include Best Trick and Best Costume. The event is sponsored by Vista Vittles ~ 100% Natural Treats for Dogs.

Visitors enjoy a reduced admission of $5 to the Museum from 10am to 5pm, including the historic Florence Griswold House and the special exhibitions Art of the Everyman: American Folk Art from the Fenimore Art Museum and Thistles and Crowns: The Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore.

At 11am and 1pm enjoy an interactive, energetic concert by Dave Fry, guaranteed to make all ages smile.

Next door to the Museum, at the Lyme Art Association, activities begin at 8am with the Lyme Garden Club’s exhibition of flowers and design.  Many items are for sale.  This event closes at 4pm.  From 9am to 5pm visitors can enjoy a great selection of affordable art by Association members.

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Once again this year, the Lyme Art Association presents a festival favorite, the Oxen of Cranberry Meadow Farm, from 10am to 2pm. Learn more about these gentle giants, whose ancestors appeared in many original Lyme Art Colony paintings! ***New to the Festival, Tea at the Gallery from 10am to 4pm. Enjoy a respite from the heat of midsummer with tea or lemonade and light fare in our air-conditioned galleries.

At Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts, visitors can enjoy two gallery exhibitions, the best current work by students in all the College’s major programs and Bird’s Eye View, Photographs of the Natural World by Diana Atwood Johnson.  For lunch, there is LobsterCraft’s fresh, hot-buttered lobster rolls, lobster kielbasa, macaroni and cheese, and lobster bisque and the College Café will provide a variety of delicious summer salads, along with orange iced tea, ginger lemonade and coffee. Specialty vendors entice visitors with jewelry, art, linens, and more. These events take place from 10am to 3pm.

NYT best-selling author Luanne Rice will discuss her 31st novel, "The Lemon Orchard," and sign copies at Lyme Academy College starting at 11 am.

NYT best-selling author Luanne Rice will discuss her 31st novel, “The Lemon Orchard,” and then sign copies at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts starting at 11 am.

At 11am, New York Times bestselling author of 31 novels, Luanne Rice shares her latest book The Lemon Orchard, an unexpected love story of two people from different worlds.  People Magazine calls the book “Entrancing” while Kirkus Reviews calls it “Lovely and compelling, with quiet yet brave social commentary.”  Books will be sold by R.J. Julia Booksellers and Rice will be signing copies.

From 11am to 3pm, the Midsummer Festival Music Stage offers continuous music on the lawn.  Don’t miss the music stage with a variety of bands provided by Bring Our Music Back, Inc.  At 11am, A Moment of Fearless (Soulful Blues duo), at noon, St. Albans (Youth Folk/Rock), and from 1 to 3pm, School of Rock (Youth All-Star House Band, all genres).

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***New this year, live music by Musicnow Foundation, Inc. from 11am to 3pm at Nightingale’s Cafe and the Bee & Thistle Inn.

Located next to Lyme Academy College, visitors can explore Studio 80 + Sculpture Grounds from 9am to 5pm.  Stop in to meet the sculptors and learn about their work.  The outdoor sculpture collection is exhibited on beautifully landscaped grounds adjacent to the Lieutenant River.  Enjoy lectures, music, dance, and refreshments.

From 11am to dark, visit the Old Lyme Inn for Light Bites and Live Music.  Cool your heels and tap your toes to the sounds of funk band, Mass-Conn-Fusion under the big tent on the Old Lyme Inn front lawn.  Light bites and refreshing drinks available for purchase.

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From 9am to 4pm on the Center School lawn, meet the Plein Air Fence Show Artists.  Thirty-six of some of the area’s most accomplished local artists display their works for sale.  All mediums, styles, and prices are available.

From 10am to 5pm, the Lyme Street Merchants feature a sidewalk sale.  Follow the yellow balloons down Lyme Street to discover unique shops and galleries.  A musical cafe, designer linens on sale, homemade ice cream, exotic gems and designer jewelry, eclectic mix of galleries and an art studio, topped off with decadent chocolates and confections.

***New this year, offerings at the Old Lyme – Phoebe Griffin Noyes Library.  From 10am to 2pm, half price children’s and adult’s books in the Bookceller.  From 10am to 3pm, all ages are welcome to make a paper bag puppet!  Materials provided.  From 11:30 to 2pm, indulge in some delectable mini-cupcakes by Cupcakes and Flying Hearts.

From 1 to 2pm, meet Tony Award winner, trainer, actor and author, Bill Berloni.  Bill will sign his book Broadway Tails and share heartfelt stories of rescue dogs that became showbiz superstars.  Bill was a 20-year-old apprentice at the Goodspeed Opera House when a producer offered him his big break: a chance to act professionally and gain his Equity Card. In return, all Bill had to do was find and train a dog to play Sandy in the original production of Annie.

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The Old Lyme Town Band will strike up at 7:30 pm on the Middle School lawn and then to round off the evening, there will be the usual fabulous fireworks display visible from the same lawn.

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Old Lyme Town Band Gives Sound View Concert Tonight

The Old Lyme Town Band will be entertaining audiences in three different locations in the coming weeks.

The Old Lyme Town Band will be entertaining audiences in three different locations in the coming weeks.

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

The second in the series is this evening with the Old Lyme Town Band playing a little bit of everything from marches, movie-themed medleys, jazz, big band, pop, and classical; something for everyone.  Since 1975, the 40-piece band, whose members represent many area towns, has been entertaining crowds throughout the region.

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

On Saturday, July 26, enjoy the band’s performance beginning at 7:30 p.m. as you wait for the fireworks to begin behind Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School. The fireworks signify the end of what we hope will be another successful Old Lyme Midsummer Festival.

 

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Bjornberg Expresses Concern for Implications of Family Institute’s Support of Linares

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Emily Bjornberg

Emily Bjornberg, candidate for the 33rd District State Senate Seat, pledged she will oppose any efforts in Connecticut to limit contraceptive coverage for workers through their employer-provided health plans. 

“The recent decision by the US Supreme Court has serious ramifications on women’s rights and their reproductive health,” Bjornberg said, “The most appalling aspect of this decision is that women who are the victims of sexual assault will be denied coverage to emergency contraceptives.” 

Connecticut law requires fully-insured employee benefit plans to include contraceptive coverage, although certain companies such as Hobby Lobby, a lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case, are able to avoid this requirement due to preemption by federal law. 

The Hobby Lobby case has emboldened anti-choice organizations like the Family Institute of Connecticut to seek further legislative changes in states that would provide similar exemptions on what supporters say are religious freedom grounds.

Bjornberg pledged to oppose any efforts to change the law to further limit coverage of contraceptives. 

Her opponent, incumbent State Senator Art Linares, has yet to make any public statements on the issue. Linares did, however, earn the endorsement’s of the Family Institute in 2012 for his support of their issues opposing same-sex marriages and women’s reproductive choices. Family Institute members were seen demonstrating at a Connecticut Hobby Lobby store supporting the Supreme Court decision. 

“As a youth and family ministry director in Deep River I am a strong supporter of religious freedom in our country, but that freedom does not give anyone the right to impose their beliefs on others,” Bjornberg added, “The fact my opponent has been silent on this issue yet has been endorsed by an organization that opposes contraceptives even for victims of sexual assault should give every voter in the 33rd district cause for concern.” 

Editor’s Note: Connecticut’s 33rd State Senate District includes the communities of Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, East Haddam, East Hampton, Essex, Haddam, Lyme, Old Saybrook, Portland and Westbrook.

For more information about Emily Bjornberg, visit www.emily4ct.com.

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Adam Kolker Quartet Plays In Old Lyme Tonight with Bassist Fitzgerald of Lyme

Joe Fitzgerald

Joe Fitzgerald

There is a very special concert this evening, Thursday, July 24, at The Side Door – the jazz club at the Old Lyme Inn — when Joe Fitzgerald of Lyme and New York City is playing with the Adam Kolker Quartet, which features renowned jazz guitarist John Abercrombie.

Saxophonist and bass clarinetist Adam Kolker has long been recognized as an important part of both the NYC and international music world as a robust improviser, composer and band leader.  He has several critically acclaimed recordings under his name including “Flag Day” featuring Abercrombie and the late, great Paul Motian.

John Abercrombie is a long time ECM recording artist and a true legend in the world of jazz guitar and modern composition.  Fitzgerald on bass and Anthony Pinciotti on drums — two veterans of long standing in the NYC jazz scene — complete the band.

This is a rare opportunity to hear this exceptional band.

The band takes the floor at 8 p.m. and plays through 10:30 p.m.

Tickets are $25 at the door or in advance at www.thesidedoorjazz.com or by phone at 860-434-0886.

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Lyme-Old Lyme High School Fields, Fences, Nets Damaged by Car

Tire tracks indicate the car's route.

Tire tracks indicate the car’s route.

An Old Lyme man stands accused of driving a car over Lyme-Old Lyme High School playing fields early Monday morning.  Connor Robbins, 23, is also believed to have driven through a wooden fence and guard-rail, bringing down safety nets in the process.

The tracks head towards a wooden fence.

The tracks head towards a wooden fence.

As shown in the photo below, the car was abandoned on the running track.

car

Photo by Michael Mann.

Robbins has been charged with first-degree criminal mischief.

Fence and field damage.

Fence and field damage.

Read the full story in this article by David Moran published July 21 on the [Hartford] Courant.com.

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“Talking Transportation: Is It Safe To Ride Metro-North?

logoIt has been seven months since a drowsy engineer drove a speeding Metro-North train off the tracks at Spuyten Duyvil, killing four and injuring 59.

Months earlier a derailment and collision near Bridgeport sent 70 to the hospital. Ever since, the railroad has promised that improving safety is its top priority.  So does that mean the railroad is now “safe”?

Aside from taking the word of management, how are we to know?  Just because we haven’t had another accident doesn’t mean the railroad is safe.  Nobody suspected it was unsafe until those two accidents last year showed us just how dangerous our daily commute had become.

In April this year The Commuter Action Group surveyed 642 commuters and asked them, “Do you feel safe riding Metro-North?” and 56% said yes, 15% said no and 29% said they “weren’t sure”. Neither am I, but I ride those trains regularly, hoping for the best.  And so far, so good.

I take the railroad at its word when it says safety is its top priority, but I have no way of telling it that’s true.  As Donald Rumsfeld famously said, “We don’t know what we don’t know.” Waiting on a station platform, how can the average commuter look at the tracks, the overhead wires or signals and know that Metro-North is safe?  We can’t even see the engineers because they hide in their control booth behind jerry-rigged cardboard curtains ‘lest riders should watch them at work. Here’s what we do know.

The trains are running slower (on-time performance was only 79% in May).  And last week we also learned that an entire class of conductor trainees had been dismissed because they were caught cheating on a safety exam.  Good for the MTA for catching and disciplining them.  But the worry is whether this kind of cheating has been going on for years.

Reassuring?  The only way to be sure that Metro-North is safe is better federal oversight by the FRA, the Federal Railroad Administration.  That agency still hasn’t issued its final report on the May 2013 derailment… and only fined the railroad $5,000 following a Metro-North trainee’s mistake, which killed one of their own track foremen.

As US Senator Richard Blumenthal put it, “The watchdogs were asleep.  The FRA has been lax and sluggish.” That’s why commuters should be reassured that Senator Blumenthal will soon introduce a bill to give the FRA some real teeth:  increasing civil penalties for railroad mistakes, strengthening railroad oversight, mandating new safety gear, introduction of a fatigue management plan for personnel, requiring anonymous reporting systems for whistle-blowers, installation of cameras, alerters and redundant safety systems for track workers.

Further, the bill would also require stronger safety standards for crude oil rail-tankers, the “pipelines on wheels” carrying crude oil and petroleum products on US railroads. The only thing missing?  Mandatory transparency.  I’d hope that the FRA would be required to explain its oversight and reassure all railroad riders of their safety in a simple, understandable manner.

That would make me feel safe.

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron

Jim Cameron has been a Darien resident for 23 years.  He is the founder of the Commuter Action Group and also serves on the Darien RTM.  The opinions expressed in this column are his own.  You can reach him at CommuterActionGroup@gmail.com

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Nibbles: Chicken and Wine with Capers Perfect for Boules Bash

Inn-607x401When Linnea [Rufo - the owner of and executive chef at the Bee & Thistle in Old Lyme] and I talked about what she would make for her boules party, she thought about Lasagna Bolognese.  This can be made ahead of time and baked just before dinner time, usually around 7 pm.  A big salad (we usually have somewhere around 45 people for dinner), maybe Charlie van Over’s bread. I would do a bar dessert while Linnea would get ice cream and fruit.

A couple of weeks later, we talked again. I said I would make the Bolognese sauce and the salad, too, if she would like.  “No, I’m not doing lasagna. I’m going to do chicken in wine with capers.”  The Bee & Thistle doesn’t even have a walk-in freezer and here she is choosing chicken with wine and capers, and she wanted to play boules, too. I thought she was nuts.

It turns out she wasn’t crazy. She had done most of the work ahead of time and the final roasting would take place in a big, big oven (it is a restaurant, after all) along with roasted zucchini. Everything was delicious and I, who can’t find a word for how boring zucchini is to me, loved this zucchini. Here are her recipes:

Chicken and Wine with Capers

From Linnea Rufo, executive chef of Bee & Thistle inn

Yield: serves 6

6 very large skinless boneless chicken breasts

Flour, salt and pepper to taste, for dredging

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup of a nice white wine

1 large chopped shallot

2 cups low-salt chicken stock

One-half cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup capers, rinsed

One-half cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Garnish:

3 large lemons, halved (optional)

Cut each chicken breast horizontally so each opens like a book.

Chicken with white wine and capers

Chicken and wine with capers

Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet or a small roasting pan. Dredge the chicken in the flour, salt and pepper mixture, shaking excess and sear chicken until brown on each side. Do this in batches so you don’t cook them to the point where they will steam. If you are serving later, cool chicken and wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until just before dinner.

Before ready to serve, in the same skillet with all the browned pieces, heat and deglaze with shallots and wine. Add stock and lemon juice. Place chicken pieces in the broth and roast until chicken is done. Add capers and cook another few minutes. Place chicken and sauce in a platter and sauce with the juice. Sprinkle with parsley.

Optional: If garnishing, place half lemons on a grill until brown and serve each on top of each chicken.

Roasted Zucchini

Also from Linnea Rufo

Here is a zucchini that is truly memorable. And easy to make. So if a neighbor rang your doorbell and ran away and you open the door and see 10 pounds of zucchini, call him and thank him.

Small zucchini

Fresh chives

Extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry the zucchini. Cut the bottoms and tops off, cut them into thin strips and place in a large bowl. Mince the chives and add to the zucchini. Top with olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste. With your hands (or with a big spoon), toss together. Leave them to macerate on the counter for a few minutes or in an hour or so. Set the oven at 350 degrees. But the mixture in a baking sheet and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, tossing once or twice during the roasting. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

headshot_LeeAbout the author: Lee White (left) has been writing about restaurants and cooking since 1976 and has been extensively published in the Worcester (Mass.) Magazine, The Day, Norwich Bulletin, and Hartford Courant.  She currently writes Nibbles and a cooking column called A La Carte for LymeLine.com and the Shore Publishing newspapers, and Elan, a quarterly magazine, all of which are now owned by The Day. 

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Last Day to Enjoy Florence Griswold Museum’s Free Week for NL County Residents

The Florence Griswold Museum's Gallery Garden will be in full bloom during "Free Week."

The Florence Griswold Museum’s Gallery Garden will be in full bloom during “Free Week.”

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 from Tuesday, July 15, through Sunday, July 20.

The Museum’s riverfront landscape is situated on an 11-acre site in the historic village of Old Lyme, just 20 minutes from New London. 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.

The current exhibitions celebrate the artistry and skill of traditional folk art. Art of the Everyman: American Folk Art from the Fenimore Art Museum features both rare objects related to notable people or events and anonymous objects of beauty. Thistles and Crowns: Painted Chests of the Connecticut Shore traces the stories of these chests from their inspiration, to their fabrication, and ultimately to their lives in local homes.

Visitors can 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.

On Sunday, July 20, visitors of any age who want to try their hand at painting are given everything they need to paint down by the river or in Miss Florence’s garden. Their masterpiece makes a perfect souvenir for the day. In conjunction with the current exhibitions, visitors can also make folk art-inspired craft projects. There is no charge for any activity.

“Over the past six years, over 4,000 people from all over New London county have enjoyed these Free Weeks,” notes David D.J. Rau, Director of Education and Outreach. “For many it is their first visit and they are delighted by what they find here. For those who already love the Museum, it’s a great opportunity to see what’s new – for free!” He adds, “Our visitors appreciate this opportunity and we are grateful for the support of The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.”

New London County residents must show proof of residency to receive free admission. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Sunday from 1pm to 5pm. The Museum is located at 96 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, exit 70 off I-95.

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

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Enjoy ‘An Evening of Fine Wines’ Tonight

Wine-tasting
This evening the Sound View Beach Association, Inc. in association with Seaside Wines, hosts ‘An Evening of Fine Wines’ at the Shoreline Community Center, 39 Hartford Ave., Old Lyme from 4 to 9 p.m.

During the wine tasting, there will be a silent auction that includes a bottle of 15-year-old Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve Bourbon, which is nearly impossible to find, and a gently used wine refrigerator.

Admission is $15 for the tasting or $25, which includes a 2014 commemorative Sound View wine glass.

For information, call Dan 860-434-3266.

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Join a Business Breakfast Today to Discuss Sound View Changes, All Welcome

The Town of Old Lyme and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce are hosting a business breakfast this Wednesday, July 16, from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Avenue.  Topics under discussion will include:

  • Sound View: Changes Ahead
  • Sound View Bike Path/Revitalization
  • Coastal Wastewater Management Project

All are welcome to this free event and a continental breakfast will be provided.

Free parking will be available in the Community Center parking lot across the street from the Center, and along Hartford Avenue)

A reply is appreciated to selectmansoffice@oldlyme-ct.gov or  860 434 1605, ext. 210

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Salt Marsh Opera Hosts Free ‘Opera in the Park,’ Tonight

A free concert, “Opera in the Park,” will be presented by Salt Marsh Opera, on Tuesday, July 15, on Old Saybrook Town Green adjacent to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, 300 Main Street, at 6:30 p.m.

Cabiria Jacobsen

Cabiria Jacobsen

The artists are Cabiria Jacobsen, mezzo soprano, Eric McKeever, baritone, and Cathy Venable, accompanist.

Famous arias from operas such as “Carmen,” “Marriage of Figaro,” The Barber of Seville,” “Cosi Fan Tutte” and “Porgy and Bess” will be presented.

Eric McKeever

Eric McKeever

Ms. Jacobsen was recently praised by Opera Magazine (UK) as a “mezzo of richness and power.”  Mr. McKeever was hailed by the Chicago Tribune for possessing “a voice of power and brilliance.”

Simon Holt is Artistic Director and General Manager of Salt Marsh Opera.

Bring your chair, a picnic, and enjoy beautiful music under hopefully, sunny skies.  No rain date is planned.

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Camp Claire Receives Donation Of Automated External Defibrillator Machine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Old Lyme Residents Asked to Complete Recycling Survey to Help Determine Future Policy

recycle_logoThe Connecticut State Legislature recently approved increasing the State’s recycling goal from the current rate of 40 percent to 60 percent by the year 2024.  In response, the Town of Old Lyme is evaluating its recycling and trash services, and considering options to motivate residents to reduce trash through increased recycling.

The Town of Old Lyme has created a survey to gather information about your household trash and recycling habits. It will take less than five minutes to complete and will provide town officials with valuable information on which to base future policy.

Here is the link to survey:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1FzfaTeb4pQFUdMRkoaDvCwzjW0cDJ6kI5u_wSgju53M/formResponse

We urge all our readers, who are residents of Old Lyme, to complete it as soon as possible.

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White Elephant Sale Opens at 8am Today, Final Day of Deep Discounts

And they're off!  When the church bell rings at 9 a.m. on July 12, this will again be the scene.

And they’re off! When the church bell rings at 9 a.m. today, this will again be the scene.

The final day of the annual White Elephant Sale (WES) hosted by the First Congregational Church of Old Lyme is today from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and most prices are discounted by 50 per cent.

The sale opened yesterday at 9 a.m. precisely — but you can be sure that wasn’t be the same time that the first customers arrive!  People were standing in pole positions around the roped-off lawn outside the church much earlier vying for positions to snap up potential bargains spotted from a distance.

This is the 78th successive year that the sale has been held and it is firmly established as one of the main events on both the town and church calendars.

Garage and rummage sales are regular events, but few can match the size and color of this one.  The sale items are organized into some 20 departments that fill the church buildings and every available space on the lawn.

The sale is sponsored by the Ladies Benevolent Society (LBS) of the church and raises money for missions and good works both locally and through out the world.  Beneficiaries run the gamut from food pantries, health organizations, family support centers, children’s programs, world relief, housing and many many more.

Now so large, the sale has not only become a community event but also one that many visitors plan their vacations around so as to attend or work the WES.  In fact, many donations and a number of workers are from non-church members.  All 200 or so volunteers pitch in for two weeks collecting, sorting, pricing and organizing items awaiting the big day — Friday morning when the crowds anxiously gather outside the ropes surrounding the church.

When the clock in the bell tower strikes nine, the ropes come down and the shoppers run for their favorite departments looking for those hidden treasures.  There is lunch and soda to refresh the shoppers so they can repeat the same process again on Saturday morning, but then the sale starts at 8 a.m. and runs through noon, and most prices are discounted 50 percent.

Click to view a video of a recent sale on Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgdr_mumBxo

For further information, call the church office at 860-434-8686, option 5.

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An Important Holiday Message From Old Lyme Police

Very nice weather is predicted for the weekend of this July 4 holiday.  As a result of this, the Old Lyme Police anticipate that large amounts of people will be heading towards the shoreline and our beaches.   The police are expecting heavy traffic along our roadways and our “Sound View” beach area will most likely reach capacity crowds.

It is anticipated that the available legal parking areas will reach capacity early each day.  Roads will be closed in the beach areas to prevent hazardous traffic situations.

The town of Old Lyme and the Old Lyme Police would like to remind visitors of the Sound View Beach area rules that will be strictly enforced over the holiday weekend;

  • No alcohol is permitted on the beach or open in public.
  • No littering
  • No fires allowed on the beach
  • There are no lifeguards on duty
  • No fireworks
  • No dogs allowed on the beach
  • No ball playing
  • Illegal parking will result in vehicles being ticketed or towed

The Town of Old Lyme will have extra Police Officers on Duty specifically enforcing D.U.I. and hazardous moving violations throughout the entire holiday weekend.   Additional Police Officers and Beach Rangers will be also be assigned to the beach area over the weekend.

The Old Lyme Police would like to remind drivers of the following;

  • Do not drink and drive
  • Wear your seat belt
  • No cell phone use while driving
  • No texting while driving
  • Obey local speed limits
  • Share the road with pedestrians and bicyclists
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Sound View Hosts Independence Day Parade Today

Leading last year's parade was this cheerful flag-bearer.

Last year’s parade was led by this cheerful flag-bearer.

The Sound View Beach Association (SVBA) hosts its traditional Independence Day parade this coming Saturday, July 5, starting at 10 a.m. from the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Ave.  in Old Lyme. Described as a true “home town” community parade, children, adults, and civic groups are invited to march or spectate and enjoy this special experience.

The organizers suggest residents should decorate their bikes and wagons, build a float, or wear a patriotic costume.   Pets are also welcome to march.  There will be a VFW Honor Guard, child marchers, decorated bikes, floats, balloons, a marching band, police, fire and ambulance trucks, which will all contribute to a unique, small town experience.

Awards are given in categories such as best-decorated bike, most patriotic outfit, best float, and best-dressed pet. Assembly time for the parade is 9:45 a.m. at the Shoreline Community Center and step-off is 10 a.m.  The parade route includes Hartford, Swan, and Portland Avenues.

Entries in the Parade must be in good taste and in conformance with the Mission and family atmosphere of the SVBA. The decision of the board of directors is final. The SVBA is an all volunteer, non-profit, civic organization.  It owns and manages the Shoreline Community Center and also provides the flags in the Sound View area.

Everyone is invited to join or help. Frank Pappalardo, who is the chair of the SVBA, says, “We’re always accepting new members, volunteers and donations.  All donations are tax deductible and we are registered for “matching gift” grants with many companies.

For more information, call Gail at 860.434.6426, email info@soundviewbeach.com or visit www.soundviewbeach.com

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Last Day Today for Donations to White Elephant Sale

And they're off!  The annual White Elephant Sale starts each year on the first strike of 9 a.m. on the designated Friday.

And they’re off! The annual White Elephant Sale starts each year on the first strike of 9 a.m. on the designated Friday.

It’s once again time to start preparing for one of the biggest rummage sales in all of New England — the White Elephant Sale [WES] sponsored by the Ladies Benevolent Society of the First Congregational Church, which will take place this year at the church on Friday, July 11, and Saturday, July 12.  This popular sale raises money for missions and good works both locally and through out the world.  Some of the beneficiaries include food pantries, health organizations, family support centers, children’s programs, world relief, housing, along with many many more.

Donations are needed.  Look around in the attic for those treasures and bring them to the church starting Thursday, June 26, for eight days through July 5 [closed Sunday and July 4.]  Quality items will be accepted from 9-2 each day. Please visit the church website www.fccol.org and select the White Elephant Sale tab, for a calendar and a list of donations that are (and are not) acceptable. 

For those new to the town or those who have never taken part, this is the 78th successive year and is one of the main events on both the town and church calendars.  Everyone has seen garage and rummage sales but few can match the size and color of this one.

The sale items are organized into more than 20 departments that fill the church buildings and every available space on the lawn.  It has grown so large, it has become a true “community event” as many of the donations and a number of volunteer workers are non-church members.  Many people plan their vacations or family visits to Old Lyme so as to attend or work at the WES.

Some 200+ volunteers pitch in for two weeks collecting, sorting, pricing and organizing items for the big day — Friday morning when the crowds anxiously gather outside the ropes surrounding the church grounds.  When the bell tower clock strikes 9 a.m., the ropes come down and the shoppers run for their favorite departments looking for those bargains.

And if that isn’t enough — there is lunch and soda to refresh the shoppers so they can repeat the same process again on Saturday morning when the prices are discounted by 50 percent.  Check out the pictures on the church website and a Youtube video link of a previous sale.

To donate or to volunteer, call the church office at 860-434-8686.

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