Courtney Boosts Job Training to Old Saybrook Rotary

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OLD SAYBROOK — Congressman Joe Courtney said Wednesday that Electric Boat is expected to add jobs in the coming years but that schools and governments will need to support workforce training programs to ensure that there are enough workers with the technical skills. Courtney took questions and had lunch with the Rotary Club of Old Saybrook at Luigi’s Restaurant that afternoon. EB and the U.S. Navy are currently working on a contract — which Courtney said was worth roughly $20 billion — that would have the Groton-based manufacturer building at least nine Virginia-class submarines between fiscal years 2019 and 2023.

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Rob Brule Elected First Selectman of Waterford in Strong Showing by Republicans

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WATERFORD — Republican Selectman Rob Brule won the open race to be the town’s next first selectman on Tuesday by a definitive margin, and Republicans had a strong showing in all other races for town boards. Brule defeated Beth Sabilia, a Democratic member of the Representative Town Meeting and former New London mayor, 3,012 to 2,370, or roughly 56 percent to 44 percent. Brule will succeed First Selectman Daniel Steward, who did not seek re-election after serving 14 years as the town’s chief executive. For the Board of Finance race, all three Republican candidates will be seated: incumbent James M.

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Nickerson Re-elected, Democrats take Board of Finance in East Lyme

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EAST LYME — Republican First Selectman Mark Nickerson won a third full term as the town’s chief executive on Tuesday, but with a thinner margin of victory than in his previous two elections, while town Democrats took a majority on the Board of Finance and made gains on other boards.  The election was set against the backdrop of a partisan debate about plans for a new emergency safety services complex. “This was a very tough campaign, a very ugly election season,” Nickerson said in a victory speech at Flanders Fish Market. “A lot of ugliness, a lot of Washington-style politics,

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Ivoryton Designer CAIT SHEA Opens Boutique and Coffee Bar, Talks “Slow Fashion”

ESSEX — Ivoryton designer Cait Shea, says she prioritizes ethical consumer practices, and styles designed to last, in an era of retail fashion meant to sell fast and wear out soon. “It’s all about going back to basics and focusing on the quality,” Cait Shea Clark said. “Trends are constantly moving, but a classic white linen shirt will never go out of style.” After about eighteen months at a previous location in Chester, on October 12 Clark opened CAIT SHEA + Sprouted Coffee Bar at 104 Main Street in Ivoryton. Clark’s family has lived in Ivoryton since she was 12.

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Four Candidates Vie for Three Seats on Old Saybrook Harbor Management Commission

OLD SAYBROOK — Four candidates are competing for three seats on the town’s Harbor Management Commission in this Tuesday’s elections. The harbor commission is responsible for managing Old Saybrook’s harbors and waterside facilities, as well as public access to the town’s waterways. The commission also oversees a harbormaster, who handles day-to-day operations for the town. The commission has a total of five seats with staggered elections and four-year terms. The candidates in this election are an equal mix of incumbents and newcomers. According to commission chair Robert Murphy, during the next term the commission will likely update the Harbor Management Plan.

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East Lyme Officials Project Savings with One-story Plan

EAST LYME — Town officials and hired architects tasked with laying out a vision for renovating the former Honeywell office building into a new town police station met Tuesday night to discuss revised design concepts for the building that would confine significant work to just one floor of the two-story structure. The Public Safety Building Vision Committee is now looking for further cost savings or cuts before approving the architects to begin work on a detailed design plan. The committee is trying to limit costs to within, or nearly within, the $1.7 million remaining for construction from a February referendum.

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Nickerson, Alberti Debate Development, Finances in East Lyme

EAST LYME — At a Tuesday night debate between candidates for first selectman, challenger Camille Alberti accused incumbent Mark Nickerson of mismanaging town finances, while Nickerson argued that East Lyme is in “the best place it’s ever been.” The candidates debated town administration’s handling of a multi-million dollar plans to purchase the former Honeywell office building and convert it into a public safety complex, as well as other development issues in town, before an audience of about 200 people in East Lyme High School’s auditorium. Alberti, a Democrat, cited her experience as an accountant, a management consultant, and Board of

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Plans for Pharmacy in Moodus Announced, as Nathan Hale Pharmacy Closes

EAST HADDAM — On the same night that East Haddam’s only operating pharmacy closed its doors, owners from a group of regional independent pharmacies announced their intentions to fill that gap with a new Moodus pharmacy early next year — plus more ambitious long-term plans to expand it into a grocery store. Greg McKenna and Chris Olender of Nutmeg Pharmacy said at a Monday night public meeting in East Haddam’s middle school that they’ve already signed a three-year lease for 38 William F. Palmer Road in East Haddam’s Moodus village, with plans to open a pharmacy in February. The audience

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East Lyme Finance Board Candidates Talk Priorities for Tight Budgets

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EAST LYME — Five candidates are competing for three seats on the Board of Finance in the November 5 election. The board has a total of six members, who serve staggered four-year terms. None of the five candidates are incumbents on the finance board, although all have served on other town boards previously, and one candidate — Peter DeRosa — served two years on the finance board, ending in 2017. In interviews with CT Examiner, the candidates discussed their qualifications and priorities if elected. Every candidate noted that all of Connecticut is facing uncertainty about likely reductions to state funding

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East Lyme School Board Candidates Explain Ideas for Budgeting in Tough Times

EAST LYME — Leading up to Election Day on November 5, seven candidates are vying for five contested seats on the Board of Education, in which all but one of the incumbents are Republicans and all of the newcomers are Democrats. Longtime school board chair Timothy Hagen is running for re-election for a two-year term in an uncontested race. The Democratic candidates are all seeking four-year terms and their party did not nominate a challenger to Hagen. The candidates consistently identified budgetary challenges as the most important issue facing East Lyme Public Schools in the years to come, noting cuts

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Recapping Board of Selectmen, Old Saybrook Considers Harbor Commission Jurisdiction

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OLD SAYBROOK — The Board of Selectmen reviewed a proposed ordinance revision that would clarify that the harbor commission has jurisdiction over Old Saybrook’s waterways and all waterfront facilities as assigned by the selectmen. Town attorney Michael Cronin Jr. and Harbor Management Commission Secretary Paul Connolly explained at the meeting that the current ordinance is not completely clear whether the commission has that power. Earlier this year, orne commission member had questioned whether the commission had power over facilities located above the high tide line. “We were reviewing things and it became clear that it was unclear,” Connolly said. Cronin

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ECSU’s Sustainable CT Encourages Best Practices

IN THE REGION — Over half of the towns and cities in Connecticut have registered with a program administered by Eastern Connecticut State University staff that encourages towns to catalog and publicly share their efforts at sustainability in economic development, arts and culture, and environmental conservation. The program, Sustainable CT, offers towns access to experts, interns, and grants. In turn, towns are asked to submit reports covering 10 different practices, including planning, transportation, and stewardship of natural resources. The reports are graded on a point system, and towns earning enough points are certified bronze or silver and the details of

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Nickerson cites experience, long-term planning, in East Lyme re-election bid

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EAST LYME — As he seeks a third full term as East Lyme’s chief executive, First Selectman Mark Nickerson said he hopes to win re-election based on his 20 years of experience in town government, long-term planning for economic development, public safety improvements, and seeking budget efficiencies through shared services with other towns. “East Lyme is one of the premier towns on the shoreline, and we didn’t get that way by accident. We got that way by steady leadership and big picture plans and getting things done,” the Republican incumbent said in an interview with CT Examiner in his office.

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Estuary Reserve Would Promote Education, Research, in Southeast Connecticut

In an era of changing climate, conservationists say the answers to critical questions about rising sea levels will be found in estuaries — the dynamic habitats typically formed where freshwater rivers meet tidal oceans or lakes. This has motivated Connecticut to seek a federal partnership for an estuary reserve along the state’s southeastern shore. In December 2018, Connecticut submitted a proposal to the federal government nominating portions of the Connecticut River Estuary, Thames River, and Long Island Sound to be recognized as the nation’s 30th National Estuary Research Reserve — a kind of federal and state partnership to promote education,

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Nickerson Supports Giving Up Vote on East Lyme Police Commission

EAST LYME — The Board of Selectmen will hold a public hearing on November 6 on an ordinance to remove the first selectman as a voting member of the town’s Police Commission.  The First Selectman would remain as an ex officio member of the commission — effectively an advisory role — but would not have a vote . The specific language of the ordinance forbids any member of the seven-member police commission from holding any other elected or appointed office within the town. Current First Selectman Mark Nickerson spoke in support of the proposed ordinance at Wednesday night’s selectmen meeting.

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East Lyme Candidates and Officials Debate Cuts and Additional Funding for Police Station

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EAST LYME — Town officials overseeing renovations of a new police building say that they expect to present a plan within the $2.2 million budget approved by voters last winter, while leaving the door open for an additional funding request. First Selectman Mark Nickerson told the Public Safety Building Vision Committee Monday night that the committee’s recommendation for converting the former Honeywell building needed two things: “We need a $2.2 million plan,” Nickerson said, “and then we need a plan to add the sally port and holdings cells and all the things that go with it structurally and for ADA

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East Lyme Tests New Law Curbing “Vexatious” Freedom of Information Requests

The Town of East Lyme is petitioning the state Freedom of Information Commission for unprecedented permission to ignore future requests for public documents from one resident the town alleges has abused transparency laws, harassed town employees, and made frivolous requests for years. The petition is the first of its kind — a test case for a 2018 amendment to Connecticut’s freedom of information laws intended to allow public agencies to petition for relief from “vexatious” requesters. Testimony for the case concluded on Monday at the FOIC’s offices in Hartford. Now attorneys for both sides will be expected to submit briefs

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East Lyme Voters Approve Emergency Spending, Will Be Revenue Neutral

EAST LYME — Local voters approved emergency spending $43,225 in emergency repairs to the Town Hall building’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and about $36,000 of other special appropriations at a Wednesday night town meeting. Grants or sales of old town equipment funded each of the appropriations rather than new taxes.  “If you’re noticing that it’s pretty cool in here tonight — actually, it’s freezing — and it’s not because we like cold,” First Selectman Mark Nickerson told town meeting voters gathered in Town Hall. “It’s because the only way to get the humidity out of the building is to

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Code and ADA Compliance Weigh on Police Station Budget in East Lyme

EAST LYME — Town officials will weigh which features can be included in plans for a new police station given the significant cost of required code compliance and accommodations for accessibility, as they review architectural plans to convert the former Honeywell office building into a new public safety facility. Those plans were part of a presentation Thursday night by architects hired by East Lyme. At a referendum in February, East Lyme voters approved spending $5 million for a plan to purchase the Honeywell office building at 277 West Main Street and to renovate it as a consolidated center for the

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East Lyme Adds School Bus Route After Parents Face Delays

EAST LYME — The school district plans to add an extra bus route for East Lyme Middle School following complaints by parents that some buses had been consistently late picking children for school. “For the most part things have smoothed out, but there still are two buses, in particular [bus] three is the most problematic in the morning,” Superintendent Jeffrey Newton told the board of education on Monday. “What’s been our focus the whole time is getting kids to school on time.” Earlier this month, the school district pushed all bus stop pickup times back by 10 minutes in the

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Old Lyme Board of Selectmen Set Guidelines for New Committee on Affordable Housing

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OLD LYME — The Board of Selectmen on Monday, September 16, approved guidelines for a new exploratory committee charged with making recommendations to the town on building affordable housing. The charge for the Affordable Housing Exploratory Committee is to provide the selectmen with information, including a current inventory of housing designated as affordable in Old Lyme, a list of available land sites, an identified threshold required of the town to meet the state’s mandate on affordable housing, and additional research to inform the town on efforts toward developing affordable housing. The committee will work on a timeline of six months

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East Lyme Town Meeting Scheduled for Oct. 2 to Approve Additional $79,278

EAST LYME — The Board of Selectmen are calling for an October 2 town meeting for voters to approve appropriations of $43,225 to replace a malfunctioning part of Town Hall’s heating system, $20,311 for emergency preparation laptops, and $15,742 for public works equipment. State grant moneys and proceeds from the sale of town vehicles will fund the appropriations in lieu of additional taxes. At Wednesday’s board of selectmen meeting, First Selectman Mark Nickerson said that the building automation system controlling Town Hall’s heating, cooling and ventilation is malfunctioning, putting staff and records at risk as the colder months approach. “We’re

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Senior Center Water Safe To Drink Again Says Old Lyme First Selectman Reemsnyder

OLD LYME — Tests of the well water at the Lymes’ Senior Center last weekend have shown it to be potable again after staff installed a UV light filter earlier this month, but more work will be needed to address other local well woes at Hains Park and Town Woods Park, First Selectman Bonnie Reemsnyder told the Board of Selectmen at their Monday night meeting. This means the senior center can get back to business as usual after relying on paper plates, hand sanitizer, and bottled water for almost the entire past summer. In regularly scheduled water tests in June,

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