Old Saybrook Public Schools a Model for Statewide Farm to School Initiatives

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A school lunch menu in Old Saybrook offers farm eggs from Branford, fresh-picked local greens and broccoli rabe, and yogurt from Sankow’s Beaver Brook Farm in Old Lyme. “Our menu is studded with a lot of locally-grown and locally-made products including vegetables, but also meat such as Hummel Hot dogs from New Haven,” said Maureen Nuzzo, the food service director for Old Saybrook Public Schools. “About 10 to 15% of our food comes from local sources, and on any given day we have something on the menu.” Nuzzo said that ten years ago when she became food service director, her

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Preservationist Margaret Buckridge “Bucky” Bock Turns 100, Honored For Work in Westbrook and Old Saybrook

With my wedding only a few weeks away, I’ve been thinking about my grandmother a lot. If only she had lived past my sixth birthday, and was still alive, she’d turn 100 on October 19, the day I’ll be married wearing my mother’s dress, and her flower crown. I wish I had known her better. I didn’t go into the office in the morning, instead I went to the Old Saybrook Historical Society, just off the Main Street in town. It’s a building that took years of fundraising for and when finally purchased in 1998, gave the historical society a

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70 Years at Odds with Local Zoning in Southeast Connecticut

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Lorna Mitchell moved to Lynde Street in Old Saybrook 39 years ago. On the street was a hairdresser and on the far corner where Lynde meets Route 1 was TJ’s restaurant and bar. In every other sense it was a residential neighborhood. The same little houses, many of the same families. It was quiet. “There was and is nothing to make noise,” Mitchell said at a zoning commission meeting in August when the character of the street seemed on a tipping point toward change. “We are suddenly going to have all these people moving in being able to look out

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A Master Knitter and Her Shop “the Knit” in Old Saybrook

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OLD SAYBROOK — It’s Tuesday night at the Knit where a group of women are seated around the shop’s round glass table knitting, talking, counting stitches, listening, laughing.  “I have six folding chairs and a number of others around the shop, but I have often run out of chairs,” said Betty Narducci, who opened Knit in January 2016. She started the Tuesday night sessions with the shop’s inception and said they’ve become a kind of “free space” for women.  “There’s sort of a base group of women who are always here and then about 10 women who are here and

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ATV Use Damages New 1000-Acre Preserve in Southeast Connecticut

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OLD SAYBROOK — Just four years after its acquisition as a conservation area, the protected vernal pools, scrub-shrub swamp and Atlantic white cedar swamps of The Preserve are being damaged by frequent use of all-terrain vehicles. “Lately there has been more complaints about ATV use than ever,” said Ray Allen, the director of Parks and Recreation in Old Saybrook. “We are not sure if it is related to what Eversource did to widen their powerline sections or if maybe a few kids just got new ATVs.” At the time of its purchase, the nearly 1,000 acres located in Old Saybrook,

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Leadership Changes for Hope Partnership, Tony Lyons Steps Away

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In an email today to board members, advisers and supporters, Hope Partnership, a regional nonprofit developer of affordable housing based in Old Saybrook, announced that the organization’s president, Tony Lyons, as well as Cal Price and Jim Crawford, would be stepping down from their leadership roles at Hope Partnership. Hope Partnership announced that Dave Carswell would become President, Pam Days-Luketich, Vice President, and Bill Attridge, Treasurer. Larry Freundlich will continue to serve as Secretary. Carswell is Branch Manager & Mortgage Loan Originator at Guilford Savings Bank. The email also confirms intentions to abandon efforts to build a 37-unit housing development adjacent

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The Kate Celebrates 10 Years in Old Saybrook

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OLD SAYBROOK — On September 11, 2019 The Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center — The Kate — will welcome back Pure Prairie League, the first band ever to perform on their stage, to celebrate ten years of bringing music, opera, dance and theater to downtown Old Saybrook. “Try to imagine Main Street without it now,” said Carl Fortuna, the first selectman of Old Saybrook. “It’s hard.” “Hard,” because The Kate attracted over forty three thousand visitors to Old Saybrook’s Main Street in the last fiscal year alone, more than 78 percent of those from out of town; visitors who eat

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Public and Private Pre-K Options Expanding in Old Saybrook and Old Lyme

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OLD SAYBROOK — Just two years after opening its doors, Bright & Early – a daycare and private preschool – in Old Saybrook is expanding. On November 1, five additional classrooms for a total of 44 new full-time students from infants through preschoolers will be added to Bright & Early’s current enrollment of 138. More than half of those not-yet-available spots are already filled. “My director Kara said to me we are completely filled and we have a waiting list of 13 families and another 12 families that are pregnant,” said April Lukasik, the president of Bright & Early. “Our

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Zoning Approval for Hanford Commons in Old Saybrook Delayed

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OLD SAYBROOK — A decision on whether to approve or deny the proposed Hanford Commons mixed-used development was again postponed by the Old Saybrook Zoning Commission. The public hearing is scheduled to be continued on Wednesday, September 4. The commission is waiting for a final report from the town engineer, as well as information on the height of the cupola on the 8-unit apartment building at 99 Lynde Street and the percent of the property that will be landscaped. “The applicant has granted the town an extension of 65 days to the review period that is typical,” said Christina Costa,

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Zoning Hearings Are Final Hurdle for Mixed-Use Affordable Housing in Old Saybrook

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OLD SAYBROOK — A proposed mixed-use affordable housing development in Old Saybrook, Hanford Commons, with 14 apartments, space for a restaurant, office and retail has passed the town’s architectural review board, a review by the regional health district and the planning commission with favorable recommendations. Now, the project sits on the desk of the zoning commission, the final hurdle before the project receives the green light from the town.  “The only way we could say no, was if it was a matter of public health and safety,” said Bob Friedmann, chair of the zoning commission, at a public hearing on

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Pilot Program Tests On-Demand Transit for Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex and Centerbrook

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Estuary Transit District’s Xtramile service pilot will continue to provide an on-demand, alternative transportation option for an additional three months to residents and visitors in Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex and Centerbrook with financial assistance from the Department of Transportation.    “We are geared around the first mile, last mile dilemma surrounding train stations,” said Joe Comerford, the executive director of Estuary Transit District. “Trains do a great job of getting people to the station, but what do they do after that, especially in unwalkable areas.” Estuary Transit provides an 8-passenger bus with wheelchair accessibility unavailable from ride-sharing services like Uber or

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“Pipeline Initiative” Provides Intensive Training For Manufacturing in Eastern Connecticut

OLD SAYBROOK — Removing her large welding mask and heavy-duty gloves, Kathryn Mica took a break from welding metal rings onto panels Friday morning in one corner of Sound Manufacturing’s 50,000-square-foot factory floor in Old Saybrook.  “I always worked with kids. I’m a former educator who always had an interest in the arts and a passion for metal working, but I never had the opportunity to pursue it,” said Mica, 25, of East Haddam, adjusting her leather cape sleeve, a protective garment covering her arms and shoulders. “So when I did my research and found this, I really jumped on

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Refreshment and Respite at Caffé Marche in Old Saybrook

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OLD SAYBROOK — A little farther down Main Street, away from the town’s shopping hubbub, is an Italian cafe where one can find refreshment and respite, including homemade gelato and sorbet, pastries baked in-house, coffee, marble-topped tables, an outdoor seating area and wifi. Housed in the historic James Pharmacy at 323 Main St., Caffé Marche (pronounced “Márk-eh”) is named for the region of Italy located east of Tuscany along the Adriatic Sea, where co-owner Paul Angelini is from. “The whole philosophy here is to bring in someone as if they were going to go to the market region of Italy,”

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Old Saybrook Faces Tough Choices on Septic System Pollution

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More than 60 percent of the nitrogen load flowing from the Oyster River into Indian Harbor off of Old Saybrook is from septic systems, according to a study by Marine Scientist Jamie Vaudrey from the University of Connecticut. Part of the problem is that the soil in Old Saybrook is poorly suited for filtering nitrogen. There also simply isn’t enough of it to provide sufficient buffering.

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