The Daily Five: Anti-blight Ordinances, Nonprofit Woes, And Longer School Days on the Horizon

Five things to know for Old Lyme, Lyme, and East Lyme, Tuesday, December 4, 2012


1. Today will be cloudy but warm, with a high temperature of 57 degrees, according to Weather.com. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low of 50 degrees. There's a 10 percent chance of rain during the day and a 20 percent chance of rain this evening. 

2. Old Lyme is working on revamping its antiblight ordinance. The town has a number of laws on the books covering blight, which may include but is not limited to properties in disrepair, unkempt properties, and properties that are littered with broken down vehicles.

One of the biggest eyesores in town, committee members said, is the vacant former dance hall on Hartford Avenue near Sound View Beach. And as it stands now, the town has no ordinance on the books that deals with commercial properties. 

The antiblight committee has been studying the issue and has informally recommended that the Board of Selectman consider adopting an ordinance similar to the one that exists in Clinton, with a few minor revisions. Clinton's ordinance, for instance, sets limits on how long a person's lawn can be. The committee felt that was overly restrictive.  

3. Do you think students would benefit by being in school for more hours in the day? Students in New London will be among the first to find out. The New London School District is one of 11 districts in five states that is participating in a pilot program that would extend the school year by 300 hours. Governor Dannel Malloy will visit Winthrop Elementary Magnet School at 74 Grove Street in New London at 11 .m. today to discuss expansion of learning time. The pilot program is scheduled to launch in the 2012-2013 school year. If it yields positive results, school districts across the state could follow suit. 

4. Nonprofits are worried that donations may fall if Congress acts on a proposal to cap tax deductions for charitable contributions. Connecticut Farmland Trust (CFT), which held its annual farm-to-table fundraiser at Ashlawn Farm this past summer, is one of many nonprofit organizations that are mobilizing to try to stop this. 

"The effect on the charitable giving could be devastating," CFT wrote in an email urging supporters to take a stand against the proposal. "A farmer looking to donate a conservation easement on her farm to CFT will no longer have a tax incentive to do so and we could see more good land go under development as a consequence of this law."

5. How would you like to be the star of your own TV show? You could be on Public Access Television. On December 6, Old Lyme Community Access Television will hold an open house at 5:30 p.m. at the studios at 78 Halls Road in Old Lyme. You'll have the chance to meet cable access producers and volunteers, tour the studio, find out how you can become a behind-the-scenes volunteer or cover events on location, and register for future training workshops. 

Old Lyme Community Access Television is open to any resident or nonprofit organization in Old Lyme, Lyme, Haddam Neck, East Haddam, and Salem. For more information or to volunteer, residents and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to contact the Old Lyme Public Access Television Studio at (860) 434-0643




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