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February 21, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

Valley Courier

Arlene Pressman was born in Brooklyn, came to Deep River to help her husband Alan found the Community Pharmacy, her first response was, “Where are you bringing me?” Approaching six decades later, she’s past of the fabric of the community.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Arlene Pressman: Speak Up!

Published Feb. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Arlene Pressman froze in front of the audience when she had to give a speech in high school.

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Valley Courier

Old Saybrook native Marla Bogaert is involved in several community organizations, including the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries, which holds its annual meeting on Monday, Feb. 12. Photo by Rita Christopher/Harbor News

Marla Bogaert: Soup’s On

Published Feb. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Marla Bogaert’s first association with the Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries (SSKP) came through her then young son.

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Valley Courier

Former state trooper and current Deep River volunteer fireman Peter Terenzi has been selected as Old Saybrook’s new fire marshal, and he couldn’t be happier. 

Photo by Becky Coffey/The Courier

Terenzi Named the New Saybrook Fire Marshal

Published Jan. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Deep River’s Peter Terenzi, recently appointed Old Saybrook’s new permanent fire marshal, is a man who truly loves his job.

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Valley Courier

As the Connecticut-born wife of a third-generation Italian winemaker, Renée Angelini has had the chance to pick up a lot of Italian culture. When it comes to the Italian art of cheese rolling, however, she says she has gained more of an appreciation than a mastery. That contention will be put to the test on Saturday, Feb. 10 when Angelini Wines hosts the Italian Cheese Rolling and Taste of Italy to benefit the Community Music School.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Renee Angelini: A Cheese Whiz?

Published Jan. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

There will be all varieties of Angelini for drinking at the upcoming Italian Cheese Rolling and Taste of Italy on Saturday, Feb. 10 at Angelini headquarters in Centerbrook.

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Valley Courier

Dave Finnerty has long been a history buff, so when a career change created a chance to spend time helping the community, he jumped at the chance to serve on the Essex Historical Society board. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Dave Finnerty: The Drive to Succeed

Published Jan. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Talk about a long commute! Dave Finnerty drove 250 miles from his home in Chester to his job in Weehawken, New Jersey, and back five days a week for 4 ½ years.

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Valley Courier

A lifetime of love for trains and decades of research and collections have gone into Max Miller’s book, Along the Valley Line: A History of the Connecticut Valley Railroad. He’ll discuss local rail history at the Chester Meeting House on Sunday, Jan. 21.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Max Miller: All Aboard

Published Jan. 10, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Max Miller says people congratulate him on writing a book at the age of 81.

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Valley Courier

United Church of Chester’s new leader, Reverend Alan Froggatt, is addressing an era of decreased Sunday church attendance by ensuring the church is relevant and accessible to congregants all week long. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Alan Froggatt: New Face at Chester’s United Church

Published Jan. 03, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Don’t look for Reverend Alan Froggatt at the United Church of Chester on Friday mornings. He will not be in either of his two church offices then.

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Valley Courier

Recently licensed architect Aaron Trahan has had a good year—he was also recognized with the 2017 Emerging Architects award. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Aaron Trahan: Grand Designs

Published Dec. 20, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Aaron Trahan knew by the time he was in high school that he wanted to be an architect.

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Valley Courier

A small-town girl with an appreciation for the cosmopolitan life, Laura Grimmer found it a simple decision to help out with the Essex Winter Series when she moved to Chester.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Laura Grimmer: What’s Winter without the Winter Series?

Published Dec. 13, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Well, you know how things happen in small towns. The real estate agent who sold Laura Grimmer and her husband Michael Beil their home introduced her to Mihae Lee, the artistic director of the Essex Winter Series.

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Valley Courier

From an auspicious start earning her first commission at age 12 and all through an adulthood that included travels to the South Pacific and a career in accounting, Karen Ferrand-Carroll has kept her art talents fresh and is now devoting more time to painting and writing. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Karen Ferrand-Carroll: Art at Last!

Published Dec. 06, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Karen Ferrand-Carroll’s profession and her avocation start with the letter A, but this is just about all they have in common. Karen was an accountant nearly 30 years, but on her own time she thought of herself as an artist.

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Valley Courier

For Rick Cortellessa, there are few things as satisfying as taking the stage, as he will this weekend as part of the Ivoryton Players’ production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Rick Cortellessa: A Stage of Life

Published Nov. 29, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Rick Cortellessa has been the father of a bride, but never like the father he plays in the upcoming Ivoryton Players production of Neil Simon’s Plaza Suite.

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Valley Courier

Playwright, theatre director, and drama teacher are just three of the creative hats worns by Lenore Grunko of Deep River, as she prepares for the premiere of her latest production, A Dystrumpian Christmas Carol. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Lenore Grunko: All Life’s A Stage

Published Nov. 22, 2017 08:30 a.m.

If you see Lenore Grunko on a ladder scraping paint off the exterior of her house, you will know she is unwinding. “I do that to relax,” she says pointing to one side of her house in Deep River where there are clear signs of paint removal.

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Valley Courier

Donna Lee Gennaro, the secret elf keeper, is busy getting ready for the Ivoryton Illuminations opening night on Saturday, Dec. 2. Photo by Rita Christopher/Valley Courier

Donna Lee Gennaro: Where’s the Elf?

Published Nov. 15, 2017 08:30 a.m.

If Christmas is coming, so are the elves: Santa’s elves, the Elf on the Shelf, and the tiny crew at the Ivoryton Illuminations elf hunt. Illuminations opens on Saturday, Dec. 2 and runs nightly through Friday, Jan. 5 from 5 to 8 p.m.

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Valley Courier

Essex author James Benn’s Billy Boyle detective series is set during World War II, and Benn says his books are in part a way of preserving the stories of that generation.

Photo courtesy of James Benn

James R. Benn: Making History into Mystery

Published Nov. 08, 2017 08:30 a.m.

World War II is history, but James Benn has also made it into mystery. In time for Veterans Day on Saturday, Nov. 11, Jim has just published the 12th book, The Devouring, in his detective series featuring Billy Boyle, a captain in the United States Army in Europe during World War II.

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Valley Courier

Keeping bees as a hobby may seem like tempting fate, but Chris Morano, who has prosecuted some of the state’s most notorious criminals, has faced far bigger challenges. He’ll give a talk on beekeeping at the Thursday, Nov. 9 Chester land trust Annual Meeting. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Christopher Morano: What’s Buzzing?

Published Nov. 01, 2017 08:30 a.m.

To bee or not to bee is indeed the question Chris Morano and his friend Toby Doyle asked themselves in 2015: whether they should take the beekeeping course at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in Hamden.

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Valley Courier

Valley Regional High School alum Josh Caras played a major role in the acclaimed film The Glass Castle. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Josh Caras: Local Actor in Hit Movie

Published Oct. 25, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Sometimes things work out the way you plan—and then sometimes they don’t. First to the positive: Josh Caras, who grew up in Essex, has the biggest role in his acting career in the current hit movie The Glass Castle.

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Valley Courier

The legend of Deep River has spread far and wide—at least if you look at it in the right light. Frank Santoro set out to do just that, and has recorded his findings in Deep River Stories. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Frank Santoro: Telling Tales

Published Oct. 18, 2017 08:30 a.m.

How do Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Bill Clinton, and John Kennedy, plus Lawrence of Arabia, General Douglas MacArthur and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia figure in the history of a small Connecticut town?

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Valley Courier

Father Michael Sequiera, flanked by his editor Maryanne Watson and publisher Michael Vogel, has found unexpected success as a first-time author. His book, Stories of An Outstanding Cat, is based on Roman Catholic, a stray cat adopted by the now-retired priest. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Father Michael Sequiera: The Cat’s Out of the Bag

Published Oct. 11, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Father Michael Sequiera never thought he would write a book. Nor did he think he would do appearances to publicize it, autograph copies or talk to reporters about being an author.

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Valley Courier

After a career as an engineer, Dick Campbell is still finding ways to make things work better. Locally, that means serving as Valley-Shore coordinator for Warm the Children.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Dick Campbell: You’re Getting Warmer!

Published Oct. 04, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Can it be time to think about winter? Already? Autumn has just arrived. No need to rush the seasons.

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Valley Courier

Some historians spend all their time poring over texts; others take a more hands-on approach. Rich Kalapos, Deep River’s town historian, does a bit of both in his research on local history (he’s displaying a model wigwam he crafted almost completely after original methods). Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Richard Kalapos: Making the Past into the Present

Published Sep. 27, 2017 08:30 a.m.

What do the skills of modern pharmacist and the pre-Colonial history of Connecticut have in common? Rich Kalapos, that’s what.

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Valley Courier

In an effort to ensure Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude for all and not hunger for some, Fran Curto is leading the Chester Rotary Club’s Thanksgiving Dinner Drive.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Francine Curto: Talking Turkey

Published Sep. 20, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Could it be? People are still wearing Bermuda shorts and flip flops and this story features Thanksgiving.

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Valley Courier

Though he describes himself as more a motorcycle guy than a car guy, Clyde Hartson is one of the prime motivators behind the upcoming Cruise, Blues & Brews festival to benefit the At Risk Boys Fund. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Clyde Hartson: Motoring Along

Published Sep. 13, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Some people will be looking at the lines of the classic cars at the third annual Cruise, Blues & Brews fundraiser on Saturday, Sept. 30. Clyde Hartson will be looking at lines, too, but of a very different kind: chalk lines of the ground marking the space that each classic car should occupy.

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Valley Courier

Chester born, bred, and beyond, Rob Bibbiani will represent his hometown in the Sunday, Sept. 17 Tri-town Vintage Baseball Game held at Deep River’s Devitt Field.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Rob Bibbiani: Time to Play Ball

Published Sep. 06, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Rob Bibbiani has a new nickname for the upcoming vintage baseball classic pitting teams from Essex, Chester, and Deep River against one another in a round robin tournament.

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Valley Courier

The unique character of Essex—from the Burning of the Ships parade to the inimitable Essex Ed—is a large part of what drew Pam Peters to town. She’s now paying that forward, helping the Friends of the Essex Library by hosting a dinner party for friends new and old. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Pam Peters: Be Her Guest

Published Aug. 30, 2017 08:30 a.m.

When you move to a new town, you want to be friendly to the neighbors. So what if your neighbor is the Essex Library?

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Valley Courier

An attorney with a long history of fighting for others’ civil rights, Andy Schatz was recently awarded Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek’s Philip Scheffler Pursuer of Justice Award. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Andy Schatz: Working for Social Justice

Published Aug. 23, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Andy Schatz wants people to listen to each other—and no, he’s not a doctor specializing in auditory problems, a hearing aid specialist, or a telephone repairman.

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Valley Courier

Lyn Grohs has used Deep River as home port for travels across the country and the globe with her husband Don and their family. One family member (of sorts) that won’t join in this summer’s travels is the iconic yellow Cox pop-up camper that served the Grohs for 50 years. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Evelyn Grohs: Anywhere She Wanders

Published Aug. 16, 2017 08:30 a.m.

It was well traveled; it was well loved; and now, it is…well, gone. It is the yellow Cox camper that Evelyn and Don Grohs and their family adventured in for 50 years.

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Valley Courier

With a career in music that both preceded and succeeded his career as a stockbroker, Bob Hughes keeps the music of the Big Band era alive and available to new audiences. Bob and his 16-piece band will perform at the Sunday, Aug. 20 Island Swing fundraiser at Essex Island Marina to benefit the Essex Knights of Columbus.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Bob Hughes: Don’t Stop the Music

Published Aug. 09, 2017 08:30 a.m.

This story starts with the classic words of a fairy tale: Once upon a time... And that was a time when young people listened to live big band music, danced to live big band music, and sang to live big band music.

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Valley Courier

After 11 months in Japan, Tina Mitchel is readjusting to life in the States and preparing for her freshman year at Cornell University. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Tina Mitchel: Saying Sayonara Isn’t Easy

Published Aug. 02, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Tina Mitchel spent her senior year at Valley Regional High School teaching herself Hungarian.

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Valley Courier

It’s all coming together for Chester’s Mike Abramson. After years of endless goat jokes, his Hartford Yard Goats (the minor league team for which he’s assistant general manager) is playing home games before mostly sold-out crowds. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Mike Abramson: It’s Good to be a Goat

Published July 26, 2017 08:30 a.m.

This year is different, pleasantly different, for Mike Abramson, the assistant general manager of the minor league Hartford Yard Goats.

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Valley Courier

Keeping the Beat: Jeff Chapman, a bass drum player for the Deep River Drum Corps, also leads the Deep River Ancient Muster Committee that coordinates that annual event, the largest of its kind in the world. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Jeff Chapman: Master of the Muster

Published July 19, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Big cities always are champions of big, right? Not always.

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