Developer Who Pushed for Quick Decision Postpones Vote on Data Centers in Groton

GROTON — The Town Council vote on the NE Edge Data Center Host Municipality Fee Agreement — scheduled for Wednesday — was unexpectedly canceled by the applicant, Thomas Quinn, on Monday. Quinn had previously pushed for a quick vote by the council members, who only received final drafts of the host fee agreement on Friday.  According to an email from Town Manager John Burt to council members late Monday afternoon, Quinn canceled the vote in order to allow the town more time to complete its due diligence.  “… he has requested that the Council cancel the vote on Wednesday, and

More

50 Years of Pictures and Stories, a New Book from Lyme Photographer

LYME — From photographing the President of the United States to hanging off a helicopter miles from the coast of Crete, Skip Hine has pictures to show and stories to tell. “The helicopter hatch was open and my feet were hanging in the air. We kept circling the ship and I kept shooting, then we landed on the tanker — I think of that as one of the most thrilling jobs I ever had,” said Hine about being hired by a Greek shipping company to create a photo library of their oil tankers.  “At the time I was thinking, I can’t

More

Jayme Stevenson of Darien Announces Candidacy for Congress

DARIEN — Republican Jayme Stevenson, a former first selectman of Darien, announced her candidacy Sunday to unseat Congressman Jim Himes, a Democrat, in the 4th district. Himes has held the seat since 2009.  “I’ve actually thought about it for a couple of years. I’m just really displeased with the discourse that I see in Washington with our representatives, which in my opinion, has reached a fever pitch,” Stevenson told CT Examiner by phone Sunday.  As a mother of five and now a grandmother of two, she was also motivated by concerns about the world that the next generations will grow up

More

Milton Avery Show Opens at Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art

HARTFORD — The evolution of Milton Avery as a figurative and abstract artist — and notable colorist — can be traced from his early landscapes to his late works in a wide-ranging retrospective of his paintings at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art that opens Saturday, March 5.  Arranged in chronological order, the 70-piece show reflects Avery’s personal life and artistic influences, culminating in the richly-colored figurative and abstract pieces he was later known for as a modernist painter.  The show is a kind of homecoming for Avery (1885–1965), who grew up near Hartford, where he took his first art

More

Yale Prof Explains the Ins and Outs of Data Center Technology Planned for Connecticut

/

CT Examiner spoke with Dr. Lin Zhong, a professor of computer science at Yale University, about his research on cloud and edge data centers to help our readers understand the opportunities for information technology in Connecticut, and the recent controversy regarding plans by NE Edge to build data centers in Groton. Zhong has said his research is concerned with both mobile computing and how information technologies can serve people untethered.  What is the difference between an “edge” data center and a cloud data center? Edge data centers are located closer to the user populations and tend to be much smaller

More

Bumgardner Runs to Reclaim the 41st-District Seat as State Rep. for Groton and Stonington

GROTON — Democrat Aundré Bumgardner announced today that he will run for state representative of the recently revised 41st district seat, vacated by incumbent Democrat Joe de la Cruz. On Feb. 10, 2022, the state announced new congressional district boundaries, which will remove portions of New London and add parts of Stonington to the 41st. Bumgardner, who has held a variety of offices at the state and local levels, said he would focus on the “five E’s”: economic recovery, environmental quality, educational excellence, energy affordability and ethics reform.  “In the time I’ve spent door to door listening to voters in my

More

Slambovian Circus of Dreams Kicks Off 2022 Tour in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK — The Slambovian Circus of Dreams will return to Connecticut for its first show of 2022 at the Kate on Sunday as they present their sixth album, “A Very Unusual Head.”  “We were mixing the album when COVID hit. The whole album has to do with thinking outside the box and that’s how we can really solve our problems,” said Tink Lloyd, who plays accordion, cello, theremin and flute in the band.  Josiah Longo, singer and songwriter for the band, who’s married to LLoyd, said the songs are about finding ways to bring people back together, especially after

More

Developer Pushes Hard for Quick Approval for Data Centers in Groton

GROTON — Despite numerous questions about his previous business dealings, a developer is asking Town Council members to approve an agreement for a large data center — two days before a scheduled public information session about the project.  Thomas Quinn, the developer, urged the Town Council at its Feb. 8 meeting to approve a Host Municipality Fee Agreement to allow his company to build two 55-foot tall, 250,000-square-foot data centers on several contiguous wooded parcels south of I-95 and west of Flanders road.  Quinn formed NE Edge LLC just weeks ago, Dec. 14, 2021. Quinn was previously the CEO of GotSpace,

More

Planning and Zoning Again Rejects Change to Allow 78,000 SF Mixed-Use Development in Groton Neighborhood

GROTON CITY — For the second time, the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-3 on Tuesday to deny a developer’s application to change the zoning rules for the Five Corners neighborhood to  allow the construction of a five-story mixed-use apartment building.  Residents at the meeting said the 80-unit, 78,000-square-foot building proposed by GBU Capital of Scottsdale, Ariz., was too tall and dense for the neighborhood near Electric Boat. The rejected proposal would have created a floating zone known as the Mixed Use Development District, or MUDD, and would have covered 1 Mariani Court, 2 Benham Road/91 Poquonnock Road, 8 Benham

More

Surge in Eviction Filings Leaves Thousands Facing a Future of Diminished Housing Options

A great wave of eviction cases against renters between 2017 to 2021, will have long-term consequences as thousands of potential tenants with tarnished records will find it difficult or impossible to rent even state-regulated affordable housing. Landlords across the state filed 75,429 eviction cases in that four year period despite the pandemic eviction moratorium, according to a new report by the Connecticut Data Collaborative.  “When you hear the word moratorium, you think that zero evictions were filed. In fact, there were still eviction cases being filed during the moratorium and in recent months, the number of eviction cases filed by

More

New Turf Field Sends Fourth of July Fireworks Packing in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The town’s tradition of holding fireworks at the high school’s back field is officially over.  The new $2.3 million artificial turf field would make it dangerous to set off fireworks at the field, said Don Bugbee, director of Parks and Recreation for the town. In a phone call with CT Examiner, Bugbee said the Board of Finance discussed the fireworks as a budget item on Feb. 8.  “The discussion was they usually hold the fireworks on the back field behind the high school, and the new turf field is there now, so that’s not going to happen,” he

More

Lamont Embraces COST Priorities, Stefanowski Says Promises Were Broken

/

PLANTSVILLE — In his speech to members of the Connecticut Council of Small Towns on Tuesday, Gov. Ned Lamont began with the federal infrastructure bill, which he said could be transformative for the state.  “We’ve got 100 year old bridges and roads. We really need this going forward,” Lamont said. “[But] it’s about more than roads and bridges, it’s also about broadband. It’s about making sure that each and every one of those small towns has access, making sure you can do everything for Brooklyn, Connecticut, you can do from Brooklyn, New York. It’s making sure we have free WiFi in

More

Stagnant Job Numbers, Anemic Population Growth Underscore Region’s Housing Goals

ESSEX — With economic growth stagnant in the Connecticut River Valley, the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments, known as RiverCOG, recently outlined two scenarios for housing growth in the region over the next decade – one that calls for each year building 200 new housing units in the region over a decade, and other 600 yearly. “If things improve, if the state and regions can reposition and turn around our demographic decline and see some job growth, then the high number is 600 units per year,” said Donald Poland of Goman+York Advisory Services, one of the planning firms

More

Zoning Change Would Add Options for Halls Road Development in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The Halls Road Improvements Committee held the first of two virtual workshops on Wednesday to explain how a proposed overlay district could affect business and property owners.  “The C30 commercial zone that’s there now would remain. Then we have an overlay zone that lies over that [and] allows additional land uses, additional density, more lenient parking requirements and a number of other things that a developer or property owner could propose to use to build new buildings on their property” Jef Fasser, a landscape architect with BSC Group, told zoom attendees, who included two Halls Road business owners

More

Lyme Academy Takes Tradition Forward

OLD LYME — Lyme Academy of Fine Arts will enroll 14 students into its core program beginning in the spring trimester — an important milestone, according to Jordan Sokol, artistic director for the school. “We had our first cohort of students last trimester, which was 11 students, we’re up to 12 students this trimester and we’re anticipating continuing to grow enrollment — we have two new students starting next trimester already. That will bring us to 14 students, which was our projected maximum for our first year,” he said.  Sokol said that the first year was limited to 14 students because

More

Developer Proposes 47 Manufactured Houses in Waterford, Neighbors Object

WATERFORD — A Norwich developer met significant opposition on Monday night for a proposal to build 47 manufactured houses on a 16-acre property using a state statute that lets affordable housing developers override local zoning laws.  Attendees of the forum raised numerous objections to the project, including the density of development, traffic safety, potential damage to the wetlands, and property values, during a presentation of the proposal by Mark Branse of Halloran Sage on behalf of Kingstown Properties at the Waterford Public Library. Branse said that under the state’s 8-30g affordable housing law, the project would price 30 percent of

More

Norman Ives, Painter and Designer, Opens at Lyman Allyn in New London

NEW LONDON — Letterforms and type were a lifelong fascination for Norman Ives, an American artist, designer, teacher and publisher whose work traversed the boundaries between mid-century-modern abstract painting and graphic design. His work — a stunning range of paintings, collages, prints, posters, logos, murals and bas-reliefs — can be seen in the “Norman Ives: Constructions & Reconstructions” show at the Lyman Allyn Museum from Jan. 29 through April 24.  Tanya Pohrt, a curator at the museum, told CT Examiner that Ives often created a letterform pattern and then carried it through in a number of pieces, changing the colors, scale

More

Martha Marx Announces Third Run for State Senate, Vies for Formica’s Seat

NEW LONDON — Democrat Martha Marx announced Thursday night that she will run for state senator in the 20th district, a seat long held by Republican Sen. Paul Formica who is not running for reelection.  Marx ran against Formica in 2018 and 2020, narrowly losing the elections by 1,581 and 1,175 votes respectively. She said she had no hesitation about starting a new campaign after she heard that Formica was stepping down. “It took me about 30 seconds to decide I was running,” she told CT Examiner by phone Thursday evening.  She said she will blaze her own path as a

More

State Lawmakers Signal Common Ground on Proposals to Tackle Fentanyl Overdoses

/

HARTFORD — Senator GOP Leader Kevin Kelly, and Deputy Leader Paul Formica, called a press conference on Thursday to announce a three-part proposal intended to target fentanyl overdoses. The proposal includes increased law enforcement penalties for selling fentanyl, allowing access to Narcan in schools, and spending a portion of an anticipated $300 million settlement with pharmaceutical companies to create a public awareness campaign. Speaking at the Capitol at noon on Thursday, Kelly said the opioid epidemic is a public health and safety crisis in Connecticut and that illicit manufactured fentanyl has caused the crisis to explode even further.  “Fentanyl is a

More

Mrs. London’s Bakery to Open Westport Location in February

WESTPORT — Max London, whose parents started the well-regarded Mrs. London’s Bakery in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. in the late 1970s, has announced plans to open a second location of the bakery at 44 Church Lane in Westport. “We’re targeting early February, hopefully for Valentine’s Day,” London told CT Examiner by phone on Monday.  London, who grew up in his parents’ bakery, said it has always been a dream to expand the Mrs. London’s name and brand.  “It’s my family’s name and we’re proud of that and proud of the fact that we can still put out a great product, and

More

Lamont Talks High-speed Rail with Amtrak Officials, No Word on Bypass Plans

NEW HAVEN — Investment in high-speed rail — potentially with federal funding — was the focus of discussion today in a meeting between state and Amtrak officials.  “Gov. Ned Lamont, Connecticut Transportation Commission Joseph Giulietti, Amtrak president and CEO Stephen Gardner, and Amtrak Board Chair Tony Coscia discussed the need to accelerate investment in high-speed rail, leveraging the new federal funds provided by the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act,” said Kafi Rouse, chief communications officer for the state Department of Transportation, in a statement. The infrastructure law authorized $30 billion in competitive grants that could be used to improve real

More

Afghan Family, U.S. Army Driver, Find Safety and New Home in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — The Popal family readied their house for guests on Monday night to the happy noises of children playing and the aromas of chicken, meatballs and kabuli pulao — a rice dish garnished with carrots and raisins. In the dining room, tablecloths were spread across the center of a rug. Visitors were invited to sit on floor cushions while husband and wife Hayatullah and Bibi Nebiah Popal, both in their late 20s, set out the feast. “Have some food,” said Hayatullah, as he handed plates piled high for each guest.  From the kitchen he brought more food — a

More

Private Road Nixes Open Space Deal in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — “It simply got down to the point where the restrictions on the road and the properties were obstacles that we could not overcome,” said Evan Griswold, co-chair of the Open Space Commission, on Tuesday, about the end of a deal to purchase two parcels of the Ames property for town open space.  Last year the commission signed a $400,000 contract with owner Steven Ames for two lots on Whippoorwill Road. The properties, totaling 35 acres, would have connected with the town’s 195-acre Ames Open Space and provided space for a parking area and access points to the

More

Ledyard Opts for Hosted Short Term Rentals with Stronger Regulations

LEDYARD — After extensive discussion at a public hearing, the Zoning Commission unanimously approved a zoning regulation for short term rentals that will require the owner of the building to live on the premises, a practice known as hosting. “We didn’t think the ordinance was terrible, it just didn’t have the teeth necessary in zoning,” said Juliet Hodge, town planner at the commission’s Jan. 13 meeting.  She said the new zoning regulation is more specific than the ordinance and will give the town opportunities to stop nuisance short term rentals using faster methods than taking legal action.  “You can always

More

Soft Opening on Saturday for Long River Local in Old Lyme

OLD LYME — On Friday afternoon, Chef Shelley DeProto had been working for 18 hours straight, getting ready for the soft opening of Long River Local, a retail food shop at 96 Halls Road located in the little yellow house that was a plant nursery a decade ago.  “We’ll be open from 2 to 5 p.m. on Saturday,” DeProto said, surveying the refrigerators she had been filling with grab-and-go foods. “We have the best chicken soup — what’s included is you can choose matzo balls, rice or egg noodles.” Coffee, baked goods, retail foods like cheeses and pasta, and prepared

More

UConn Agreement in Doubt as Officials Plan New Dorm and Dining Hall

/

MANSFIELD — A loophole in a 40-page agreement may allow the University of Connecticut to demolish one of the last architectural links to the college’s beginnings as the first state-supported agricultural school in the United States. The agreement, which was signed in 2017 after a lengthy fight that drew support from preservationists across the state, committed the university to maintaining two of nine faculty houses dating to between 1912 and 1920 that were part of a campus plan by noted landscape architect Charles Lowrie.  “We came to the table and signed it in good faith that it was an agreement.

More

Old Lyme Property Owner Asks to Reconfigure Stalled Storage Unit Project

OLD LYME — Eighteen months after receiving approval to build four storage buildings at 224 Shore Road that included an office and maintenance shop, Mar Holdings, LLC has asked to change the size of the project to two larger buildings on a slightly smaller footprint, citing increased costs of materials due to the pandemic.  At the Zoning Commission public hearing on the project Monday night, neighbors raised concerns about the hours of operation, permitted uses, environmental damage, lighting and noise — echoing their concerns from the original permit approval on July 13, 2020.  Robert Doane, an engineer who represented Mar Holdings,

More

Old Lyme Property, Once Slated for Affordable Housing, Sold to ‘Overseas’ Buyer

//

OLD LYME — A 12.3 acre parcel at 16 Neck Road, which was the subject a contentious application in 2018 to build 37 units of affordable housing, has been sold to an unknown buyer for $1,050,000. The buyer is a newly-formed LLC, 16 Riverview Property Corp., according to town clerk records, with an address matching Westport-based Keystone Capital Corporation, whose president and CEO Frank Nocito told CT Examiner that he had bought the property on behalf of an “overseas” group. He did not provide further information.  “I had very little to do with it. I just happened to be the

More

Cate Hewitt Looks to the New Year.

2021 was a year of trying to return to pre-pandemic times — back when masks were unnecessary, social distancing was an unknown term, and no one questioned whether it was safe to gather with family at the holidays.  It became a year of developing a “risk budget” to assess how safe an event or place will be because, as a friend recently said, “We cannot predict the future arcs of Covid surges, and we cannot control the caution levels of other people.” I’ve been cautious since the pandemic began. I wore a mask indoors at town meetings and the grocery

More

As East Lyme Changes Course on Sewers, Old Lyme Faces Further Delays

OLD LYME — The Town of East Lyme has asked the Town of Old Lyme for a separate intermunicipal agreement for the upcoming installation of sewers in Soundview and the neighboring chartered beaches in Old Lyme — a significant reversal from prior understandings that has left Old Lyme officials with a number of unanswered questions. In the original agreement Old Lyme was to join the town’s three chartered beach associations — Miami Beach, Old Colony Beach and Old Lyme Shores — in an intermunicipal agreement with East Lyme to pump up to 170,000 gallons of sewage per day through East

More