Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Valley Courier Person of the Week

Valley Courier

Moving from Essex to Chester, Overabove CEO John Visiglio says he’s long been a fan of the Chester vibe. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

John Visiglio: Advertising in the Digital Age

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

John Visiglio is back where he started out after college: Chester. John had a freelance job with Chester resident Peter Good. Good and his wife Jan Cummings are nationally known graphic designers.

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Valley Courier

Region 4 Superintendent of Schools Brian White joined the district shortly before what would become a particularly challenging time for schools, due to COVID-19. He says the skill and dedication of the faculrty and staff made the transition as smooth as possible. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Brian White: When School is Never Over

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

Most adults in the United States have one cell phone; Brian White has two, one for school business and one for personal calls. And there is a lot of school business because Brian is the superintendent of schools of Regional District 4, comprising Essex, Deep River, and Chester.

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Valley Courier

Good friends—and an ease in asking them for money—helps Joshua Janson in his fundraising success. His current project is Memento Vivere: A Cocktail Fundraiser to benefit the Lyme Academy of Fine Arts. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Joshua Janson: The Art of the Benefit

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

It was serendipity. Joshua Janson saw the story in the back of a magazine, a real estate feature called Steal of the Week; it was a house in Middletown.

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Valley Courier

Now a senior partner with Centerbrook Architects, Cassie Archer is the designer behind Chester Elementary School’s new open-air meeting space. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Cassie Archer: The Great Outdoors

Published Sep. 29, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When Chester Elementary School students sit in the new open-air meeting space adjacent to Chester Elementary School, they aren’t thinking about Cassie Archer.

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Valley Courier

Essex resident the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas, Bishop Diocesan of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, will retire next year. His next steps remain uncharted, but full of promise. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Ian Douglas: The Right Decision at the Right Time

Published Sep. 22, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Here’s one shortcut to talking about retirement: Just say Michael Jordan or David Ortiz. And what’s the message? Go out at the top of your game.

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Valley Courier

Donna Dione will be one of the organizers on site at Plattwood Park for the third annual Water Lantern Celebration to benefit A Little Compassion; the event will be livestreamed on Saturday, Sept. 25. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Donna Dione: Lighting the Night

Published Sep. 15, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Model sailboats often skim across the pond at Plattwood Park in Deep River but on Saturday, Sept. 25: Glowing lanterns, each illuminated by an LED candle, will float across the water.

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Valley Courier

Friends of Essex Library President Lisa Burkarth is lining everything up for a fun community contest, Bingo with Friends, to benefit the library and local merchants. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Lisa Burkarth: It’s a Go for Bingo

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

Haven’t played bingo in a while? The Friends of the Essex Library can do something about that.

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Valley Courier

Stephanie Proulx says she’s made great friends and lifelong connections through volunteering with the Chester Rotary Club. This year, she is co-chairing the club’s annual Lobsters on the Lawn fundraiser coming Saturday, Sept. 11 to the Chester Fairgrounds.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Proulx

Stephanie Proulx: Love that Lobster

Published Sep. 02, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Stephanie Proulx liked the Chester Rotary’s annual Lobster Fest so much that she joined the organization. Now, along with Ted Taigen, the Chester Rotary’s president, Steph is co-chair of the event, this year called Lobsters on the Lawn.

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Valley Courier

Dental surgeon by day and firefighter at night (and sometimes day), Andy Kressley was recently elected the chief of the Essex Fire Department. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Andrew Kressley: Where’s the Fire?

Published Aug. 25, 2021 08:30 a.m.

One of the persistent dreams of childhood is of someday being a firefighter. Far fewer children dream of someday being a dentist. Andrew Kressley is both.

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Valley Courier

Essex resident Gerry Garibaldi has written and published his fourth novel, The Sixth Door of Happiness, a thriller set in China. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

A Tale of Ghost Cities and Intrigue from Gerry Garibaldi

Published Aug. 11, 2021 10:26 a.m.

A dead body; a mysterious North Korean woman; a ghost city in the interior of China known informally as the Maze; international intrigue and unexpected romance as detective Chien Marc tries to unravel the mystery without getting caught in the web of treachery.

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Valley Courier

Through her willingness to take on new roles and genuine interest in people, Sharon Slaton has become an essential part of the Estuary Council of Seniors. Photo courtesy of Sharon Slaton

Sharon Slaton: Keeping Things—and People—Together at ECSI

Published July 29, 2021 10:00 a.m.

This is how it started: Sharon Slaton’s mother-in-law was on the board of the Estuary Council of Seniors, Inc. (ECSI) and mentioned that the council could use some part-time help if Sharon was free.

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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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