Shoemaker and Lampos Make a Case for Selectmen of Old Lyme

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CT Examiner sat down with Old Lyme Democrats Martha Shoemaker, a candidate for First Selectman, and Jim Lampos, a candidate for Selectman, to discuss their campaign for the November election. Shoemaker is a longtime member of the Old Lyme Board of Education. A native of New London, she and her family moved to Old Lyme in 1996. She was a teacher for 35 years and now works for a small business in Old Lyme, FiberQ. Lampos is a member of the Community Connectivity Grant Committee, which has overseen the installation of sidewalks along the upper portion of Hartford Ave. and

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As Second Whale Falls Ill, Mystic Scientists Offer Impassioned Defense of their Work

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MYSTIC — After news on Tuesday that a second of five beluga whales recently transferred to Mystic Aquarium had fallen seriously ill — the first died earlier this month — CT Examiner spoke on Wednesday afternoon with Stephen Coan, the president of the aquarium, and two senior staff scientists, about the care and health of the whales, about the facility where the whales lived prior to the move, and about the possible source of the recent health issues. In a lengthy question and answer by conference call, the staff vigorously defended the health and care of marine mammals at Mystic

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Stephen Coan on Science, Whales and Tourism at the Mystic Aquarium

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CT Examiner’s Cate Hewitt and Gregory Stroud arrived at Mystic Aquarium on Monday afternoon to interview Stephen Coan, the long-time head of what has become Connecticut’s largest tourist attraction.  The aquarium is a genuine marine biology research institution — with a strong faculty connection to UConn and a significant staff of in-residence and affiliated scientists — that also draws crowds and ticket sales with its crowd-pleasing focus on marine mammals including beluga whales, penguins and sea lions. At a time when climate change and melting glaciers are a concern for much of the public, Mystic Aquarium’s Arctic Coast habitat, with

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Halls Road Committee Moves Forward on Master Plan, Housing Remains an Issue

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OLD LYME — Now in its fifth year — after local elections in 2019 that turned in part on questions of housing and development —  the Halls Road Improvements Committee is quickly moving to create a master plan to encourage redevelopment and new housing in the commercial district in Old Lyme. The committee will fund the plan with the roughly $48,000 remaining from an abandoned effort to implement Tax Increment Financing and to hire Yale Design Urban Workshop. Committee chair Edie Twining said at a May 14 meeting that the committee has informally asked three firms to bid on the

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Charlestown’s Virginia Lee Offers Alternative on Shoreline Development

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CHARLESTOWN, RI — Open space. Dark skies. Limited development. Good schools. Low taxes. How has Charlestown, a small coastal town packed into the crowded Eastern seaboard, blazed its own decades-long path of holding to its environmental values while also staying financially stable and attracting families to live there? And is Charlestown’s model fiscally and environmentally sustainable?   “We’re the ‘model of yes to this.’ Yes to what the people who live here want: A rural, safe, kind community with good schools, dark skies. Safe to live in, quiet and private so that you can commute to all the hecticness but you

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Chef Everett Reid Returns with Hot Fried Chicken in Chester

CHESTER — Dressed in jeans and a sweatshirt, taking a moment to speak with us after hauling an ice machine upstairs, chef Everett Reid, lately of L&E and Good Elephant, chatted easily in the cozy front dining room of his new venture in Chester on Thursday morning, just hours before the restaurant would first open for dinner. Before taking a break from the restaurant business and closing L&E in 2017, Reid was widely regarded among the best chefs in the region, and his return tonight has already sparked gossip in kitchens and social media. Prior to opening restaurants in Chester,

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Audit Details Lax Oversight, Excessive, Improper and Undocumented Expenses by Connecticut Port Authority

The Connecticut Port Authority spent thousands of dollars on restaurants, alcohol, and hotel rooms with little oversight or internal controls, according to a report by the State Auditors of Public Accounts released on Thursday. “Out of 252 transactions selected from CPA bank accounts, 52 (totaling $17,401) had no supporting documentation. Of the 52, 36 pertained to restaurant and hotel expenses, and 16 pertained to other expenses,” according to the report. Of 141 expenses for travel, food and entertainment expenses, totaling $21,977, the authority could not document 36 of the expenses, or $5,754. Seventeen of the transactions, or $2,701, had itemized

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Speaking for Small Connecticut Towns with COST’s Betsy Gara

As Betsy Gara explains it, for the small towns she represents, state funding is not just a matter of dollars and cents, but weeks and months.  Tree-trimming, declining enrollments, recycling revenues, the summer schedule for road paving, the winter schedule for salting and clearing roads. Up in Hartford, these daily-life constraints can be lost as governors and state senators and representatives fight for leverage and long-term legislative priorities, spending and spending cuts. “I think his heart is certainly in the right place,” said Gara, when asked to characterize the Lamont administration. “But I think we do have some concerns with

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Ørsted and Eversource Pitch “Non-zero-sum Game” for Agreement with Port Authority

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It’s no wonder that Connecticut has a case of the flutters — with so much unknown to the public, and the Connecticut Port Authority and port operator Gateway New London LLC on the verge of signing a long-term lease and partnership agreement with Eversource and Ørsted that could reshape the economic future of New London, as well as energy production and prices for Connecticut. As Matthew Morrissey, Vice President and Head of New England Markets for Ørsted explained it, more than once, “it’s really not a zero-sum game.” At least as we understood his thinking, that was a way of

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The Hops-growing Agriculture Revival in Connecticut

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Standing along a row of towering hops vines, known as “bines,” Heather Wilson picked a pale green cone and broke it open to check for ripeness Thursday afternoon. “Rub the cone between your fingers — it should be papery,” she said. “You can feel there’s a lot of moisture there and they still smell a little grassy — it’s not ready to harvest.”  The right amount of moisture — not too little and not too much — is key to growing, harvesting and brewing hops, a crop that has not been grown commercially in Connecticut since Prohibition. Wilson and her

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Sound View Residents Say Old Lyme Referendum Not Last Word on Sewers

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More than 70 Old Lyme property owners, many with family ties to the Sound View neighborhood dating back three and four generations, filled the Shoreline Community Center on Hartford Avenue Sunday morning to discuss the town-wide August 13 referendum to borrow $9.5 million for sewers and to gauge support for a legal challenge.  “This is not right. This is a town infrastructure project,” said Frank Pappalardo, chair of the town’s Sound View Commission but speaking in his capacity as a resident of Swan Avenue, to summer residents and business owners who sat in folding chairs and stood along the back

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A Tour of New London Development with Felix Reyes

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That Orsted, the Danish wind giant, chose two floors in an 1833 three-story brick building at 42 Bank Street above Muddy Waters Cafe as its base of operations in New London, speaks volumes about how the city of New London approaches the economic possibilities of the recently announced wind energy project and the $93 million State Pier redevelopment project slated to serve it.

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