Thursday, October 22, 2020

Person of the Week

Valley Courier

Anonymously helping neighbors in need is on way Colin Bennett likes to give back to the Deep River community. Photo courtesy of Colin Bennett

Colin Bennett: It’s All About Community

Published Oct. 21, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When he needed a used refrigerator, Colin Bennett did what any media savvy Gen-Xer would do: He put the word out of Facebook.

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Valley Courier

Behind the desk at the Essex Library, Child and Teen Librarian Christina Carpino is working to assist patrons despite the challenges of the COVID pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Christina Carpino

Christine Carpino: Never Too Young for a Good Book?

Published Oct. 14, 2020 08:30 a.m.

A good book lingers in the memory. Christina Carpino, the new children and teen librarian at the Essex Library, knows that

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Valley Courier

As part of Camp Hazen YMCA’s efforts to keep kids safe and engaged when COVID protocols kept them out of the classroom, Nicole Fauteux was there to help students from nine different school districts stay on task. Photo courtesy of Nicole Fauteux

Nicole Fauteux: No More Back to School

Published Oct. 07, 2020 08:30 a.m.

It’s coming to an end, but Nicole Fauteux has spent the fall doing something she never anticipated, going back to school. At 27 and a graduate of the University of New Haven, Nicky thought she was all done, but not only did Nicky go back to school, she went back as far as elementary school.

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Valley Courier

Essex pediatrician Marybeth Ellison specializes in special-needs patients, a community that is facing even greater challenges in this time of pandemic. 

Photo courtesy of Marybeth Ellison

Marybeth Ellison: Advocating for Children

Published Sep. 30, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Marybeth Ellison is worried. Yes, yes, everybody is worried these days, but her worry has a particular focus: children with special needs. Marybeth is a pediatrician in Essex specializing in children with developmental challenges.

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Valley Courier

Connecticut River Museum’s new executive director, Jennifer Carlson, comes to Essex from the Wyck Historic House and Garden in Philadelphia. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Jennifer Carlson: Days at the Museum

Published Sep. 23, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Jennifer Carlson is about to do something for the second time this year that most people shudder to think about doing once. She and her husband Ben are packing up again for another move in less than 12 months.

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Valley Courier

When outdoor tennis season winds down, Kevin Joyce switches gear (and strategy) by shifting to paddle tennis. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kevin Joyce: Paddle Tennis Anyone?

Published Sep. 16, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Do what your physician recommends: exercise. But how to do it in the era of COVID-19, especially with warm weather dissolving into fall and winter? Kevin Joyce has a suggestion. Play paddle tennis.

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Valley Courier

Though Charlene Voyce is relatively new to Deep River, she’s committed to the town. She actually joined the community as a volunteer at The Nest before becoming a resident. 

Photo courtesy of Charlene Voyce

Charlene Voyce: Lighting the Night

Published Sep. 09, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Once it was so simple nobody thought about it. Now it is one of the questions COVID-19 makes us grapple with every day: how to connect with people?

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Valley Courier

While the COVID-19 pandemic may have put the brakes on the traditional Boston Marathon, Loriann Mancuso will complete the race locally, her fourth marathon with the Michael Carter Lisnow Respite Center in Hopkinton, Massachusetts, as the beneficiary. Photo courtesy of Loriann Mancuso

Loriann Mancuso: On the Run

Published Sep. 02, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Loriann Mancuso is running the Boston Marathon—in Essex and Old Saybrook.

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Valley Courier

Chester’s Chris Groat is the Chris in Chris’ Dogs, which has been busy all through pandemic and power outages at its spot by the Deep River-Essex border. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Chris Groat: Going to the Dogs

Published Aug. 26, 2020 08:30 a.m.

President Franklin Roosevelt served them to the King and Queen of England on their only visit to the United States in 1939.

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Valley Courier

After growing disenchanted with the corporate grind, Matt Resnisky went all-in on a former hobby: coffee roasting. His Deep River Roasters has been a full-time endeavor for two years. Photo courtesy of Matt Resnisky

Matt Resnisky: The Brew that is True

Published Aug. 19, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What would you use a stove-top popcorn popper for? Think beyond the obvious here.

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Valley Courier

Amy Zupan and Tuck are regulars on the Essex waterfront, where Amy manages the Essex Island Marina. Photo courtesy of Amy Zupan

Amy Zupan: A Watery Tale

Published Aug. 12, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Amy Zupan was surprised. She thought, given the particular challenges of this summer, that activity at the Safe Harbor Marina at Essex Island would be slower than usual. Amy is the manager at Essex Island.

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Valley Courier

Though the COVID pandemic has wrought havoc on summer plans, summer day camp is still going strong at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester, which means Food Services Director Alex Welch and his kitchen crew are busy feeding healthy meals to their young charges. Photo courtesy of Camp Hazen YMCA

Alex Welch: Food, Glorious Food

Published Aug. 05, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Now, here is some real news: Kids are not only eating Brussels sprouts, they are even asking for seconds—at least at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester.

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Valley Courier

As president of the Goodspeed Musicals Board of Trustees, Hila Rosen is helping to shape the regional treasure during a time of uncertainty. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Hila Rosen: Expecting the Unexpected

Published July 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

To say that this year has not turned out the way Hila Rosen expected it to is an understatement. Still, it is the place to begin.

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Valley Courier

Coping with stress is a challenge in the best of times. Licensed counselor Samantha Steinmacher knows these are not the best of times, but she has some excellent ideas to share. Photo courtesy of Samantha Steinmacher

Samantha Steinmacher: Did You Say Stress?

Published July 22, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Samantha Steinmacher knows stress. In fact, stress is her business and with all the complications of COVID-19, stress has not been in short supply.

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Valley Courier

Through her role as vice president of the Chester Library Board of Trustees, Karin Badger has helped foster the metamorphosis of the 100-plus-year-old facility while it has been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of Karin Badger

Karin Badger: Re-Decoration Day

Published July 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

It’s a familiar decorating story: Paint the ceiling and the walls look so drab, you decide to paint them, too.

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Valley Courier

After 50 years serving as a volunteer firefighter, John Divis remains an active member of the Chester Hose Company. Photo courtesy of John Divis

John Divis: Where’s the Fire?

Published July 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

John Divis didn’t want to, but he has had to change his Monday night schedule.

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Valley Courier

Given the opportunity to help expand the community’s—and his own—understanding of climate change, Mike Long jumped aboard with the Sustainable Essex group.

Photo courtesy of Mike Long

Mike Long: The Long and Short of It

Published July 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Mike Long learned about Sustainable Essex, he had no hesitation. He knew he wanted to be involved.

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Valley Courier

Through his role as vice-chair of the Chester Park & Recreation Commission, John Williams is working to improve the amenities for all ages at North Quarter Park. Photo courtesy of John Williams

John Williams: Par for the Course

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What does a park look like in your mind’s eye: a playscape for youngsters to climb all over, maybe a basketball court for teens, or, if you live in Chester, a nine-hole disc golf course?

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Valley Courier

Breaking from a career of telling others’ stories, retired journalist Peggy Schenk recently wrapped up her own tale, a work of historical fiction titled It Happened. 

Photo courtesy of Peggy Schenk

Peggy Schenk: It Took a Bit of Time

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Peggy Schenk told her son Rich she had finished her novel, he told her it was about time. He pointed out she had been working on it for 40 years.

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Valley Courier

Those in Essex or the environs have likely seen the handiwork of graphic designer Bob Vankeirsbilck, who has worked with many local organizations. Photo courtesy of Bob Vankeirsbilck

Bob Vankeirsbilck: Designing Man

Published June 10, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Bob Vankeirsbilck was in elementary school, he admits pronouncing his last name correctly was a challenge—”Sometimes even for me,” he says.

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Valley Courier

Following a career with the U.S. Coast Guard Band as a performer and conductor, Rick Wyman is bringing his musical and management chops to the Community Music School as the organization’s new executive director. Photo courtesy of Rick Wyman

Rick Wyman: Music Man

Published June 03, 2020 08:30 a.m.

It wasn’t a new mouthpiece or new reeds that helped Rick Wyman solve one of the problems of playing the baritone saxophone.

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Valley Courier

A self-described introvert, Georgia Male has made many friends, human and otherwise, in her role as farm manager and camp counselor at the Bushy Hill Nature Center. Photo courtesy of Georgia Male

Georgia Male: Where Animal House is a Compliment

Published May 27, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Everybody knows Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Vixen, to say nothing of Comet, Cupid, Donder, and Blitzen. But do you know? No, not Rudolph but Thelma, Jack, Ace, Abe, Boris, Lucy, Helen, and Greyson?

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Valley Courier

Staying healthy and fit at home can be as complicated as an online spin class or as simple as soup cans, according to Stacy Meisner of Essex. Photo courtesy of Stacy Meisner

Stacy Meisner: Keeping Fit in a Crisis

Published May 20, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Couch potato used to mean an out-of-shape viewer sitting on a sofa with a beer and a bag of chips watching sports on television.

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Valley Courier

Working out of a converted attic workshop that also doubles as a dance studio, Ron Mangano has been busily sewing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Ron Mangano

Ron Mangano: So Good to Sew

Published May 13, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With limited entertainment options in these days of shelter-in-place, many people are spending evenings watching reruns of everything from old baseball games to long-departed cable series.

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Valley Courier

Caring for pets hasn’t been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, so Essex resident Dr. Buck Drummond has been working six days a week at the Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. To help cat owners live more peacefully through the stay at home era, he is offering a video presentation, Cats! through the Essex Library on Thursday, May 14.

Photo courtesy of Buck Drummond

Buck Drummond: Being Catty

Published May 06, 2020 08:30 a.m.

They gaze at you adoringly; they snuggle up readily; they never refuse to clean their rooms.

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Valley Courier

Seeing an opportunity to spread cheer in her beloved Ivoryton, Julie Hines started what became a community expression of support on the green. Photo by Jonathan Steele Photography

Julie Hines: Lights On

Published April 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Sometimes things take on a life of their own, like the lights now shining on the Ivoryton Town Green.

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Valley Courier

The work-from-home revolution (and just generally function-from-home revolution) is familiar territory for Jon Claude Haines, a Chester tech specialist who’s sharing his expertise to help local organizations stay connected. Photo courtesy of Jon Claude Haines

Jon Claude Haines: Zooming In

Published April 22, 2020 08:30 a.m.

A rocket zooms into the sky; a Nascar driver zooms around the Daytona 500 track; and now everybody else can Zoom to meet with colleagues.

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Valley Courier

Nautical Needles owner Sue Lennox is putting her skills to work sewing protective cloth masks that she’s donating to healthcare workers. Photo courtesy of Sue Lennox

Sue Lennox: When Masks Are Not for Halloween

Published April 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

It’s unusual to start a newspaper piece with the classic fairy tale opening, Once Upon a Time. But now Once Upon A Time is not a Hans Christian Andersen phrase; it is last month.

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Valley Courier

Though COVID-19 has curtailed many of the person-to-person connections that are a part of Rachel Thomas’s day-to-day work as a region missionary with the Episcopal Church, she’s living in the moment and encouraging her flock to do the same.

Photo courtesy of Rachel Thomas

Rachel Thomas: A Minister Reflects

Published April 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Rachel Thomas is working at home, attending computer meetings on group sites, connecting with people by telephone.

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Valley Courier

Historical fiction author Loretta Goldberg found many of the same social concerns in Elizabethan England as she sees in modern life when researching for her novel The Reversible Mask. Photo courtesy of Loretta Goldberg

Loretta Goldberg: Playing the Espionage Game

Published April 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Loretta Goldberg sees connections between what appear to be very dissimilar careers. She started out as a serious...

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