Wednesday, August 04, 2021

Valley Courier Person of the Week

With a lifetime’s experience with fife and drum corps, Michele Auger is working to re-start the Comstock Fife and Drum Corps. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Michele Auger: Music to Ivoryton’s Ears

Published Aug. 04, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Michele Auger became accustomed to the unmistakable sounds of military field music—the short, quick taps of a stick on a snare drum, the sharp notes of a fife, and the steady beat of a bass drum—as a young child.

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Valley Courier

Saturday, Aug. 7 will be a hectic but rewarding day for Denise Dudak, who is co-chairing the Essex Lions annual Lobster Bake. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Denise Dudak: Do Lions Eat Lobster?

Published July 28, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Do lions eat lobster? Maybe not on the plains of Africa but in here in Connecticut they will, at least, be cooking lobsters on Saturday, Aug. 7 at the Essex Lions annual Lobster Bake.

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Valley Courier

Paul “Taco” Santowski is working to return a farmers’ market to Deep River.

Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Taco Cultivates Community Spirit In Deep River

Published July 21, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Paul “Taco” Santowski is known for many things.

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Valley Courier

At the end of this month, Diane Arnold will take the helm of the Essex Savings Bank, taking over for retiring bank president Greg Shook. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Diane Arnold: New President at Essex Savings Bank

Published July 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As part of the process of choosing the Dali Lama, a team of worthies visited a young Tibetan boy who had a series of objects placed in front of him and they determined on the basis of what the child reached for, that he would be the next Dali Lama.

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Valley Courier

Sally Carlson Crowell is the president of Deep River’s 60 Club, which organizes activities for its members. Photo courtesy of Sally Carlson Crowell

Sally Carlson Crowell: Shall We Dance?

Published July 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Here’s what Sally Carlson Crowell told a representative of Congressman Joe Courtney.

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Valley Courier

After more than a year presiding over a darkened theater, Ivoryton Playhouse Executive/Artistic Director Jacqui Hubbard is delighted to welcome audiences back in person starting on Thursday, July 8. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Jacqui Hubbard: Staging It

Published June 30, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Jacqui Hubbard, executive/artistic director of the Ivoryton Playhouse, has a message: It’s b…a…c…k! After more than a year of COVID shutdown, the playhouse will open for the season on Thursday, July 8 with a musical whodunit: Murder for Two.

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Valley Courier

As a proud founding member of the Ivoryton Gardeners, Judy McCauley will be one of the grand marshals of the 2021 Ivoryton Fourth of July Parade.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Judy McCauley: Honoring the Gardeners

Published June 23, 2021 08:30 a.m.

You can’t say it often enough: Everybody loves a parade, and especially when COVID-19 forced the cancellation of last year’s Fourth of July Parade in Ivoryton and the Essex Memorial Day parade earlier this year.

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Valley Courier

Deep River artist Rachel Carlson brought her own take to Chester’s iconic squirrel mascot, designing this year’s Chester Rotary Club Four on the Fourth Road Race T-shirt. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Rachel Carlson: It’s a Squirrely Thing

Published June 16, 2021 08:30 a.m.

A lot of ifs: If squirrels could talk and if one decided to do stand-up comedy, it is possible the performing rodent, given the general attitude towards squirrels, would use the late comic Rodney Dangerfield’s famous one liner, “I get no respect.”

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Valley Courier

Fresh from 15 years serving parishes in Seattle, Kate Wesch is settling with her family in Essex as the new rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kate Wesch: The New Rector at St. John’s

Published June 09, 2021 08:30 a.m.

The voice answering the telephone said everything that needed to be said, and in a just three words: “This. Is Kate.” And Kate is Kate Wesch, the new rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Essex. She assumed her new position in February of this year.

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Valley Courier

Though she is not herself musical, Heather Surber is dedicated to helping the Community Music School thrive via the online auction Note-worthy. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Heather Surber: It’s Note-worthy

Published June 03, 2021 12:01 a.m.

Heather Surber knows the upcoming online auction to benefit the Community Music School (CMS) will be noteworthy. After all, Note-worthy Auction is its name, fitting for a place that is all about notes.

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Valley Courier

As chair of the Deep River Veterans Green Monument Committee, Richard Nagot has helped ensure all Deep River veterans receive recognition. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Richard Nagot: For Those Who Serve

Published May 26, 2021 08:30 a.m.

This Memorial Day there will be something special for Richard Nagot and the Deep River Veterans Green Monument Committee: the dedication of an addition to the Veterans Memorial Green.

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Valley Courier

Deep River native Sophie Giza recently celebrated her 100th birthday with great fanfare at Aaron Manor in Chester. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sophie Giza: One Hundred Years Make a Century

Published May 19, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Sophie Giza cautioned a birthday well wisher not to get too excited, even though it was less than a week before her 100th birthday.

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Valley Courier

Essex Library Board of Trustees President Kathy Bonomi wants to know what residents really think about their library. Photo courtesy of Kathy Bonomi

Kathy Bonomi: RSVP Please!

Published May 05, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Kathy Bonomi is looking for some answers. Kathy, president of the Essex Library Board of Trustees, is eager for Essex residents to respond to the brief community survey that is part of the Essex Library’s strategic planning process.

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Valley Courier

Deep River artist Lesa Marino learned long ago never to say “No” to an opportunity, which goes a long way to explaining how Deep River Elementary School now has a mascot. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Lesa Marino: Meet the Mascot

Published April 28, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Lesa Marino couldn’t have anticipated what would come from ringing Lauren Feltz’s doorbell last fall. All she planned was a welcoming gesture to a new resident of the neighborhood.

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Valley Courier

Essex Rotary member Elizabeth Rieder is a senior research scientist at the Plum Island Animal Disease Center. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Elizabeth Rieder Fights Disease by Day, Supports Community at Night

Published April 21, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Everybody knows about foot-in mouth-disease. Who hasn’t said something they immediately wish they could take back?

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Valley Courier

Noting the disruption that the Class of 2021 has endured, Sarah Waterhouse is proud to chair the Safe Graduation Party Committee that will ensure Valley Regional High School’s graduates have a fun (and safe) way to celebrae. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sarah Waterhouse: Planning the Party

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Sarah Waterhouse is working very hard planning a party for more than 100 people, but she won’t even be a guest. Sarah is chair of the committee planning the Safe Graduation Party that follows the graduation ceremony at Valley Regional High School.

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Valley Courier

After four years in the Deep River Town Clerk’s Office, Joyce Berardis has moved upstairs to serve as executive assistant to the first selectman. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Joyce Berardis: A New Job at Town Hall

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

There’s something unexpected at the Selectman’s Office in Deep River Town Hall.

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Valley Courier

Gale Dilger (left), pictured with her late daughter Alexandra, has with her husband Patrick formed the Alexandra Dilger Award to assist young adults with neuro-disabilities in overcoming challenges. Photo by Patrick Dilger

Gale Dilger: A Very Special Award

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Gale Dilger has had one of life’s most demanding challenges: turning the memory of her daughter Alexandra, who died in 2018 at the age of 21, into an ongoing force for creative accomplishment.

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Valley Courier

Drawing on a career as a triage nurse rapidly offering advice on a wide range of health concerns, Carol Flaim is intent on being fully prepared as Deep River’s new Municipal Ethics Commission starts its charge under her leadership. Photo courtesy of Carol Flaim

Carol Flaim: Something New in Deep River

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Carol Flaim is doing something in Deep River that nobody has ever done before.

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Valley Courier

Charlene Fearon and her husband Lol are leading the effort to bring an open-air meeting space to Chester Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Charlene Fearon

Charlene Fearon: Saying Thank You

Published March 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When Charlene Fearon and her husband Lol told Tyson Stoddard, the principal of Chester Elementary School, they wanted to do something for the school as a thank you gift after the graduation of their grandson Mason, Stoddard suggested that perhaps some outdoor equipment or basketball hoops would be nice.

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Valley Courier

The community recently celebrated Carroll “Gil” Gilson’s 105th birthday with a car parade past his home at Kirtland Commons. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Carroll Gilson: Age is Just a Number

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Carroll Gilson was born before America entered World War II in 1941; he was born before the stock market crash of 1929; he was born before speakeasies, bathtub gin, and flappers doing the Charleston.

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Valley Courier

The Town of Essex has a new head for a new Planning & Zoning Department, Carey Duques. Photo courtesy of Carey Duques

Carey Duques: Planning Ahead

Published March 03, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When you are new to a job, you want to start to recognize familiar faces. Carey Duques, however, has learned to recognize half faces.

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Valley Courier

Deep River’s Don Paulson has had a storied career in plastics that allowed him to travel the world and recently landed him in the Plastics Hall of Fame. Photo by Michelle Parr Paulson

Don Paulson: He Knows This Joke

Published Feb. 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

It is the iconic moment in an iconic movie: the moment in The Graduate when a neighbor, paddling around in a swimming pool, stops long enough to give Dustin Hoffman, playing 20-something Ben Braddock, one-word of career advice: plastics.

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Valley Courier

Phase 1b of the COVID vaccine rollout has posed challenges for many recipients, but in Chester, Kim Megrath and her team of volunteers are working to ensure everyone eligible is aware of their options. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kim Megrath: A Shot’s That’s on Target

Published Feb. 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Kim Megrath knows what the present moment’s biggest questions are, because she is helping find the answers. So here goes: Do you have an appointment for a shot yet? How did you manage to get one?

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Valley Courier

Alex Johnson is stepping up from secretary to president of the Sister Cities Essex Haiti board. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Alexandra Johnson: A Haitian Connection

Published Feb. 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Some 1,600 miles separate Essex, Connecticut from the rural community of Deschapelles, Haiti, but they are linked by Sister Cities Essex Haiti (SCEH), an Essex-based group that supports a number of programs in Deschapelles, including something the rural community would likely never have been able to afford on its own: a library.

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Valley Courier

After starting on a path of community service as a boy scout growing up in Essex, Matt Herman continues to serve the community, now as emergency management director in Deep River. Photo courtesy of Matt Herman

Matt Herman: Planning for Emergencies

Published Feb. 03, 2021 08:30 a.m.

By the time he was 15, Matt Herman knew community service would be a big part of his life.

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Valley Courier

James Baker is a Chester graphic designer and business owner who’s also known to many as husband of State Representative Christine Palm (D-26). Photo courtesy of James Baker

James Baker: The Art of the Political Spouse

Published Jan. 27, 2021 08:30 a.m.

By now, you have probably heard about Doug Emhoff. That is Doug Emhoff the second gentleman, the husband of Vice President Kamala Harris.

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Valley Courier

Artist and animal welfare advocate Cari Jansen has, with her partner Garret Sands, turned Spruce Ledge Tree Farm into a working farm and a place for creativity to flourish. 

Photo courtesy of Cari Jansen

Cari Jansen: I Think That I Shall Never See...

Published Jan. 20, 2021 08:30 a.m.

It happens every year after the holidays are over: What to do with the tree?

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Valley Courier

As vice president for programs and operations at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, Thayer Talbott has seen the community step up to help neighbors in need during the pandemic. Photo courtesy of Thayer Talbott

Thayer Talbott: It’s All About Community

Published Jan. 13, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Thayer Talbott gets to do something special at work: Give away money.

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Valley Courier

Chester cheerleader Mandy Carroll is helping the merchants’ group spread the word about the “magical, creative” town through T-shirts, Instagram, and the Internet. 

Photo courtesy of Mandy Carroll

Mandy Carroll: The Merchant of Chester

Published Jan. 06, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Mandy Carroll says she should have seen it all coming at the beginning on 2020 when she was asked to design the T-shirt for Chester Rotary’s Four on the Fourth race.

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