Fitch Announces Upgraded Bond Rating for New London

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New London — Fitch Ratings upgraded New London’s bond rating from A+ to AA- on Friday and announced the city’s rating outlook has been revised from positive to stable. Fitch, along with Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s, is one of the major credit rating agencies known as the “big three.” Fitch assigns long-term credit ratings on an alphabetic scale beginning with AAA as the highest and scaling to D as the lowest, with =/- modifiers in between. According to Fitch Ratings’ report, the one-notch rating upgrade for the city’s Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and general obligation (GO) bonds “is driven

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Engineers Map Right of Way for Sidewalk Installation at Hartford Avenue

OLD LYME — Members of the Community Connectivity Grant Committee met with engineers and several residents Monday morning to do a site walk along the northern part of Hartford Avenue and a portion Route 156 where sidewalks will be installed next year . The project will be largely funded by a $400,000 connectivity grant sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “We are at the very early stages of the design process. Today is a great opportunity to walk with the committee and folks that live in the area on the street and really for us to listen to your

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White Gate Farm in East Lyme Prepares for Thanksgiving Holiday

EAST LYME — “Where else have you seen Swiss chard this size?” asked Kent Girty, farm manager at White Gate Farm, as he examined glistening dark green leaves threaded with crimson that grew in a long row alongside other vegetables in the chilly Friday morning sunshine.  “And then we have broccoli, then kale and cauliflower and then two other iterations of cauliflower,” said Girty, pointing to other rows of vegetables. “We plant multiple iterations so that when crop is done, we have others, so it extends the season,” he said.  In another row grew parsnips and in another next year’s

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Planning and Zoning Candidates Draw Sharp Lines in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — In the last several weeks, three candidates for the Planning Commission and three for the Zoning Commission individually discussed their reasons for running and their goals for the town during phone interviews with CT Examiner.  Out of the eight total candidates across the two commissions, two Democrats and four Republicans responded to CT Examiner’s request for phone interviews and answered questions about the future development of the town.  Planning Commission — Ross and Klose Democratic candidate and incumbent alternate Alexander Klose, is competing with incumbent board member Steven Ross, a Republican, for a seat on the Town

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State Holds Hearing on Water Supply to Miami Beach and Hawk’s Nest in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — The Miami Beach Water Company, which serves 117 residences within the Miami Beach Association and at Hawk’s Nest Beach is under investigation for failing to comply with a state order concerning the availability, or potability, or the provision of water at adequate volume and pressure.  In a May 29, 2019 letter to First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder from Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Executive Secretary Jeffery R. Gaudiosi, the town was informed that the Department of Public Health and PURA, were establishing a joint proceeding, filed as PURA docket 18-11-01, to examine Miami Beach Water Company’s failure to comply

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Board of Education Candidates Debate Lyme – Old Lyme Schools

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OLD LYME — “Why are you running for the Board of Education?” was Tuesday night’s opening question to four candidates who gathered on the middle school stage to answer questions and state their positions on topics which included Region 18’s strengths and weaknesses, declining enrollment and regionalization, among others.  Republicans Suzanne Thompson and Steve Wilson and Democrats Sarah Bowman and Jason Kemp participated in “Meet the Candidates for Board of Education,” hosted by Lymes’ Youth Service Bureau (LYSB) and the Lyme-Old Lyme Chamber of Commerce and sponsored by LymeLine.com. Two candidates, Democrat Lorianne Panzara-Griswold and Republican Jennifer Miller, were unable

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Meeting with the Beekeepers of Southeast Connecticut

LYME — Warmed by the October sun, bees flitted from flower to flower in a patch of pink Sheffield daisies, collecting nectar to bring back to John Pritchard’s nearby beehives Monday afternoon.  “You can see it’s almost like a landing field with a gazillion planes. All those bees hovering in front are waiting to go in and you see the bees coming out and they’re going out to forage,” said Pritchard, of Lyme, observing the entrance platform of one of his two hives. “These are worker bees. They’re in the last three weeks of their seven-week life at which point

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Sabilia Emphasizes Tax Base, Infrastructure, Fire Services in Run for First Selectman

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WATERFORD — If elected first selectman, Democratic candidate Beth Sabilia said her top priorities will be diversifying the town’s tax base, improving the town’s infrastructure and streamlining fire services. “I’ve been out knocking on doors and asking people what are your concerns and I hear ‘taxes, infrastructure, security, public safety issues,’” said Sabilia, in an interview at her office on September 24 with CT Examiner. “We have the big 800-pound gorilla, meaning Millstone, which is under the 10-year agreement,” she said. “Bear in mind that merchant nuclear plants are historically getting out of the business, they’re being retired early. It’s

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City Officials Tweak Regulations, Streamline Planning to Encourage Growth

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NEW LONDON — “Our commission is a joint commission and I’m always cognizant if I’ve got my planning hat on or my zoning hat on,” said Barry Levine, chair of New London’s Planning and Zoning Commission, on Friday. “Zoning is ‘how does it fit with the rules?’ Planning is ‘what do you want the rules to be?’” he explained. “In New London, we want the taxes to go down and we want affordable housing and the only way to do that is to increase the grand list and create more development that brings more cash into the coffers — and

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Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust Markets First Affordable Home

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New London — The Southeastern Connecticut Community Land Trust is marketing its first affordable home to qualified buyers over the next two months. The price of the two-family home at 34-36 Prest Street is $128,000 for buyers who fit the 2019 HUD income limits for New London. The stone house, built in 1870, has two apartments — a one-bedroom on the lower level and a three-bedroom on the two upper floors. The land trust has a selection process for applicants that includes filling out a program application, obtaining a pre-approval letter stating income qualifications, verification of first-time-buyer status or not

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Chesebrough Calls Coastal Resiliency a Top Priority, Emphasizes Fiscal Preparedness

STONINGTON — With a diverse background that includes two years of experience on the Board of Finance, three-plus years on the Economic Development Commission and eight years as a senior analyst in investor relations for the United Nations, Danielle Chesebrough, an unaffiliated candidate endorsed by the local Democratic Party for first selectman, said her top three priorities if she is elected on November 5, will be coastal resiliency, economic development and fiscal preparedness. Chesebrough, 36, moved to Stonington halfway through her sophomore year of high school. She has a husband, Sam, and three children ages two, four and six. She

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Prue Puts Focus on Aging Infrastructure, Careful Timeline on Coastal Investment

STONINGTON — If elected first selectman, Republican John Prue said he will focus on improving the town’s aging infrastructure, completing capital projects that have already begun and promoting an atmosphere of unity and trust among the town’s three villages. Prue, 57, has served for two years as selectman. He also served for two years on the Zoning Board of Appeals and six years on the Planning and Zoning Commission including one as chair. “Our Grand List has been growing slower than municipal expenditures, which means our taxes have been rising — therefore, no matter what, we need new development to

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Denied a Town Meeting by Petition, Officials Provide No Legal Explanation

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OLD LYME — Without a clear legal basis, the town has denied a petition for a special meeting with the Water Pollution Control Authority submitted by a group of Sound View residents. “We the residents/taxpayers of Old Lyme request a meeting with the Old Lyme WPCA, where we the people of Old Lyme will ask questions and receive answers to those questions regarding aspects of the WPCA actions to install sewers in Sound View and Area B,” stated the petition signed by 61 Sound View residents.  On August 13, voters approved a $9.5 million bond for sewer construction in Sound

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Affordable Housing Committee Candidates and Other Old Lyme Board of Selectmen News

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OLD LYME — As part of the “Other Business” portion of the agenda, First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder announced a list of nominees for a Affordable Housing Exploratory Committee at Monday’s Board of Selectmen meeting. The 10 nominees are: Fred Behringer, Peter Cable, John Coughlin, Michael Fogliano, Jennifer Miller, Edward “Ted” Mundy, Tom Ortoleva, Harold Thompson, Karen Winters and John Zaccaro.  The committee list included nominees’ names and qualifications in an excel sheet, which Reemsnyder, along with Selectmen Mary Jo Nosal and Christopher Kerr, will use to rank the names in order of preference. The committee would likely have seven members,

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After a Dozen Years in Storage, Connecticut College Opens Nut Museum Exhibition

NEW LONDON — Elizabeth Tashjian, a visual and performance artist who curated and ran the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, is finding her place as an outsider in the art world. Examples of her paintings and drawings, performances, interviews and nut collection will be exhibited in “Revisiting the Nut Museum: Visionary Art of Elizabeth Tashjian” at the Cummings Arts Center and Shain Library from October 21 to December 6. The show is curated by Christopher Steiner, Professor of Art History and Anthropology at Connecticut College, with assistance from students in the “Bad Art: Looking Beyond the Canon,” a class that’s

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Camille Alberti Makes Her Case For East Lyme First Selectman

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EAST LYME — With a background in management consulting and seven years on the Board of Finance, Democrat Camille Alberti said, if elected, she will bring a unique set of skills and qualifications to the role of first selectman and will focus on growing the grand list through redevelopment, finding a solution for Oswegatchie Hills and creating efficiencies in the town’s inventory of buildings.  “What I think I can bring to the table is a unique set of skills and qualifications to elevate and almost brand our town as a model in the state around issues such as creating more

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Sound View Pump Station Reviewed in Tuesday’s Zoning Hearing

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OLD LYME — The special permit application for the proposed pump station at 73 Portland Avenue proceeded fairly quickly through a Zoning Commission public hearing Tuesday. The pump station will be the “central collection and discharge point for the wastewater generated in the participating Old Lyme beach areas. The station will convey flow through approximately 16,000 feet of proposed force mains to an existing sewer manhole at 275 West Main Street in East Lyme, about 1,900 feet east of the town line at Four Mile River,” according to the special permit application prepared by Fuss & O’Neill, dated September 6

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Frank Chan Proposes New Formula for Assessing Sewers Fees in Sound View

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OLD LYME — At the October 8 Water Pollution Control Authority meeting, Vice-Chair Frank Chan proposed a new formula to calculate Equivalent Dwelling Units for the Sound View Beach that would narrow the difference between minimum and maximum assessments. “Our basic premise is every dwelling will receive [the] sewer as a benefit and larger sized dwellings with a larger capacity generate [more] wastewater and therefore will be assessed a larger amount,” he said. “The minimum to maximum ratio should be small, should be reasonable, instead of 10 to one [it] should be two or three to one.” Under new benefit

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Old Lyme Zoning Commission Debates Jurisdiction, Coastal Setback

OLD LYME — Complex differences between special permits and variances came to light at Tuesday night’s Zoning Commission meeting as commissioners and the public debated a potential text amendment to the town’s Tidal Waters Protection, section 4.3, that would restrict new construction to 100 feet from the coastal jurisdiction line, doubling the former 50-foot requirement. One of the public’s biggest concerns centered on section 4.3.7 that stated “The Zoning Board of Appeals shall not grant a variance of this Section 4.3.7,” which meant decisions about properties near the town’s waterways and coastal areas would be restricted to the Zoning Commission.

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Musical Masterworks Opens Season October 19 & 20… Beethoven’s String Quartets a High Point

The 29th season of Musical Masterworks will come to a crescendo with a special celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, featuring all of Beethoven’s string quartets in two three-day weekends of music March 13-15 and May 1-3. For the two Beethoven weekends, the series is adding a Friday concert in addition to the usual Saturday and Sunday schedule in order to fit in all 16 of Beethoven’s string quartets, said Ed Arron, cellist and artistic director of Musical Masterworks in a telephone conversation on Oct. 8. The theme of friendship extends throughout the season, which kicks off on October 19 and

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Tagliatela Charts Future of Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Land Sale

The Lyme Academy of Fine Arts has put its 26.31-acre parcel at 83 Lyme Street up for sale, asking $5 million. Reached by phone on Friday, Stephen Tagliatela, chair of the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts Board of Trustees, said the academy has been looking for sources of revenue to keep its buildings open after University of New Haven disaffiliated with the school in August, and the school lost its accreditation. Tagliatela said the site for sale is part of a land condominium that has five parcels. The academy owns one parcel for sale outright as well as one other.

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Zoning Proposal to Double Setback Near Water Raises Questions and Opposition in Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — Multiple town commissions and members of the public are expected to raise objections to a proposed text amendment to Tidal Waters Protection regulation at Tuesday’s meeting of the Zoning Commission in Old Lyme. The amendment would double the current 50-foot setback to 100 feet along coastal and riverfront properties. “Most, if not all, of the wetlands and waterfront that the proposed amendment seeks to regulate is within the jurisdiction of the Harbor Management Commission,” read an email on Wednesday from Steven Ross to Jane Cable, chair of the Zoning Commission, questioning why the proposed amendment hadn’t been

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A Roundup of Old Lyme News from Monday’s Board of Selectmen Meeting

Old Lyme — The Board of Selectmen discussed a number of ongoing municipal issues Monday night. Here’s a roundup: Hains Park bathroom and well: Architectural drawings are “90 percent done” and will go to the Boathouse/Hains Park Improvement Committee for comments, then design will be put out to bid. The town is waiting for state approval to drill a new well. Community Connectivity Grant: In 2019, the town was awarded a $400,000 state grant for the construction of sidewalks on Hartford Ave. between Bocce Lane and Route 156 (Shore Road) and sidewalks on the north side of Route 156 between

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Palmer Warner House in East Haddam Opens As Trailblazing LGBT Site

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EAST HADDAM — Preserved letters, diaries, photographs, a house and its gardens tell the story of Frederic Palmer and Howard Metzger, two men who met fell in love in the 1940s and lived together as a couple as openly as society allowed. Considering the time period, what’s unique about Palmer (1901-1971)and Metzger (1921-2005), who lived in the historic Warner-Palmer House at 307 Town St., is the fact that their personal history is preserved at all, and intact at that. “The Palmer Warner House contains a complete record of [Palmer and Metzger’s] lives and that’s highly unusual in LGBT history for

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New London’s Director of Planning and Development Praises Port Authority’s New Direction Under Kooris

NEW LONDON — When David Kooris became chair of the Connecticut Port Authority in July, communication “absolutely changed” from “zero” and “we’ll let you know” to negotiations that have dramatically opened up between the Ørsted-Eversource partnership and the City of New London, according to Felix Reyes, director of planning and development for the city. “Whatever we get is whatever we get and the day will come when we finalize that, but compared to when [former board chair] Scott [Bates]  and [former port authority executive director] Evan [Matthews] were there, there was more of an attitude of ‘we’re working on things,

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Mystic Sewer Amnesty Yields Modest Returns

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STONINGTON — Under the town’s announced sump pump amnesty, sixty-five property owners in Mystic admitted to having a sump pump discharging into the municipal sewer system, an illegal practice. The amnesty is part of a broader effort by Stonington to address sewer capacity issues. Stonington Water Pollution Control Authority Director Douglas Nettleton sent a letter in early August to 1,400 property owners in Mystic offering amnesty from August 15 to September 30 to any violators. “If you (responded) within that time period, you would be exempt from any penalties later on down the road. If you didn’t take advantage of

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State Pier Operator Boosts Connecticut Port Authority Plans for New London

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NEW HAVEN — “Fifteen years ago, the largest steel coil that was being brought off a ship was probably 15 tons. Today, you’re bringing in 30- to 35-ton coils of steel. The same thing with the heavy lifts, the cranes on the ships have gotten larger and larger, so port facilities have had to change to be able to handle those,” explained Gateway Terminal President James Dillman, an industry veteran and new hire by the New-Haven-based terminal operator. “It’s the same way with the container industry. Today the ships that are calling at container ports are almost three times as

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Connecticut Adds New Test Site for EEE in Lyme, Old Lyme and East Lyme

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For the first time ever, the state of Connecticut began testing freshwater habitat in Old Lyme for mosquitoes likely to carry Eastern Equine Encephalitis. For the last 20 years the state has had a testing site for mosquitoes in Old Lyme, but in saltwater habitat on Great Island more suitable for mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus. The new site for testing was established this week in the interior region of Old Lyme, Lyme and East Lyme, near to where positive results were found for the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus on Wednesday.  This new testing supplements regular testing by the Connecticut

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Freshwater Mosquitoes, Positive Tests, and the Latest News on Eastern Equine Encephalitis in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — Rather than spraying pesticides, the town is asking residents to take extra precautions against mosquitoes that carry the Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus, following the deaths of two residents from Old Lyme and East Lyme during the last month.  First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder said by phone Wednesday that the town will not spray pesticides to kill mosquitoes because the Department of Public Health has advised the town that spraying is not an effective solution. “The mosquito population is going to be in the dense woods, in the shade. Yes, they will come out at night, but you really

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With Sewers Slated, First Demolition in Sound View Neighborhood of Old Lyme

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OLD LYME — By 5 p.m. Monday, the 1930s-era building that once housed KiddieLand and prior to that O’Connor’s Dance Hall, was a jumble of metal, wood and concrete being prodded and crunched into a pile by the jaws of an excavator.  Across Hartford Avenue, building owner Frank Noe and his wife, Lois Noe, observed the process with friends and neighbors who gathered on the sidewalk to reminisce and talk about the future, some passing around old photographs. “The structure is all down and the next move is just cleaning it up and waiting for sewers and then deciding what

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