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April 26, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

Valley Courier

To the many skills it takes to run a successful restaurant, Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille general manager Rob Galbraith can add another: duck race organization. Rob’s ready to oversee the Pattaconk’s fifth annual Music Festival and Duck Race coming this weekend. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Rob Galbraith: Rubber Ducky You’re the One

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

One of the things that adulthood usually demands is forsaking a childhood treasure: the rubber ducky floating in the bathtub.

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Valley Courier

As president of the Essex Board of Trade, Amy Cameron believes a rising tide lifts all ships, or in this case, next month’s Connecticut Spring Boat Show at Brewer Essex Island Marina will boost business throughout Essex Village. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Amy Cameron: Not Bored by Trade

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Amy Cameron is looking forward to the upcoming Connecticut Spring Boat Show from Friday to Sunday, May 4 to 6 at Brewer Essex Island Marina, but not because she is a boater.

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Valley Courier

Painter Kathy Axilrod works a solid three hours a day at the easel, and as her 91st birthday approaches, she has no interest in slowing down. Her latest exhibition is at the Essex Meadows Gallery until Sunday, April 29. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kathy Axilrod: When Art is Life

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Kathy Axilrod looks at ripening fruit in the market, it may not be to eat. It’s more likely she needs it to paint.

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Valley Courier

Drew Archer will employ his leatherworking talent to craft his contribution to the upcoming Chester Historical Society Pegs: Creative Challenge. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Drew Archer: In the Bag

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

So what is Drew Archer’s bag? Actually, he’s interested in your bag. That’s because his bag is handbags. Drew designs, makes, and sells bags at his store, Blackkat Leather, in Chester.

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Valley Courier

What’s a book-lover to do when new to town? For Vicki Harris, finding some kindred spirits seemed like a good place to start. Vicki will lead the Deep River Library’s newest book discussion club, which first meets on Monday, April 23. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Vicki Harris: Read Any Good Books Lately?

Published March 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Here’s a riddle: What can be more comforting than a best friend, more informative than a public broadcasting documentary, and more satisfying than a gourmet dinner? The answer: a good book.

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Valley Courier

People across New England know TV journalist Sarah Cody for her decades of reporting. In Essex, where she’s become a valued advocate for the Essex Elementary School, she’s better known as Sarah Cody Rector, mom to Sam and Ben.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sarah Cody: Elementary, My Dear Watson

Published March 21, 2018 08:30 a.m.

She’s Sarah Cody, a correspondent for WTNH NEWS 8 at work, but in Essex, she wants to be Sarah Cody Rector, mother, active board member of the Essex Elementary School Foundation (EESF), and committed supporter of the school’s PTO.

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Valley Courier

Lisa Wahle prefers a boots-on-the-ground approach to her wildlife studies, which comes in handy as her day job is focused on the elusive New England cottontail. She also serves on the Chester Conservation Commission, which, along with the Chester Garden Club, hosts the presentation Native Landscaping to Conserve Pollinators and Wildlife on Sunday, March 25 at the Chester Meeting House.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Lisa Wahle: A Plan for Plants

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

Though March often provides challenges, the reality is spring is coming and with the change of seasons, can plans for the garden be far behind?

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Valley Courier

Art teacher (and summertime farmer) Adrienne Kiel is bringing her talents to bear on a fun event close to home: the Essex Community Foundation (ECF) inaugural Beer Fest on Saturday, March 10 at the Essex Steam Train. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Adrienne Kiel: Review the Brew

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

Water is the most popular drink in the world; tea comes next, but what then? Coffee? Carbonated soda? Milk?

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Valley Courier

Despite growing up in wisconsin, Alan Miller made a career on the sea with the U.S. Coast Guard. Now calling Essex his home port, he’s being honored as grand marshal of the Saturday, March 10 Essex Go Bragh St. Patrick’s Day Parade for his service as a Park & Recreation Department director. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Alan Miller: This Captain is a Marshal

Published Feb. 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Marching is nothing new for Alan Miller. He marched as a cadet in ceremonies at the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London.

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Valley Courier

Deep River native Rhonda Forristall’s career was in nursing, but she’s found a successful second act as curator of the Deep River Historical Society.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Rhonda Forristall: Making History Come Alive

Published Feb. 21, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Once Billy Winters was one of the best-known residents of Deep River.

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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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