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June 21, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

Valley Courier

This year, Cotty Barlow is eager to celebrate the Ivoryton Fourth of July Parade from an unusual perspective: as a spectator. Photo by Leslie Barlow

Cotty Barlow: The Passing Parade

Published June 20, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Think Fourth of July in Ivoryton and Cotty Barlow immediately comes to mind.

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Valley Courier

Chester’s Jeff Ridgway, a boatbuilder turned homebuilder, will draw on his family’s storied history to present, alongside Deep River’s John Cunningham, a program on PT Boats and Local History on Tuesday, June 19. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Jeff Ridgway: All in the Family

Published June 13, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Jeff Ridgway of Chester has a story to tell, and quite a story it is.

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Valley Courier

Jane Bolles got involved with the High Hopes Therapeutic Riding center more than 30 years ago when one of her daughters started as a client. Today, the co-owner of the Saybrook Country Barn is on the riding center’s board and is helping organize the upcoming How Sweet It Is High Hopes gala. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Jane Bolles: There’s Always Hope

Published June 06, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Here’s what you will need: 4,300 bales of hay, 91,250 gallons of water, and 18,750 pounds of grain. Here’s what you will get: 25 well fed horses—more precisely, the 25 horses used by High Hopes Therapeutic Riding.

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Valley Courier

Just about every corner of Chester carries significance for Marie Anne Heft. A lifelong resident, she remembers the days when piloting a tricycle through the village center was neither unusual nor unsafe. Her appreciation for preservation inspires her work with groups like the Chester land Trust, for which she’s helping organize the Huckleberry Adventure Recycled Raft Race. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Marie Anne Heft: A Lifetime of Memories

Published May 30, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Marie Anne Heft thinks about the upcoming Huckleberry Adventure Recycled Raft Race sponsored by the Chester Land Trust, she likes to think of herself as the original Huckleberry Finn

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Valley Courier

Ready to see seven of Essex’s most interesting gardens? The Saturday, June 9 Friends of the Essex Library Garden Tour will also include flower arranging demonstrations by Dee Dee Charnok, who also designed the pebble garden in front of the library.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Dee Dee Charnok: Thinking Big

Published May 23, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Here’s some good advice for visitors to Dee Dee Charnok’s house. That pile of rocks, moss, lichen, and old seed pods tucked in a corner is not forgotten junk.

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Valley Courier

Lisa LeMonte is committed to strengthening local non-profit organizations. She serves on five non-profit boards. Here she holds one of her beloved Ebony Oriental cats, Geechee. Photo by Becky Coffey/The Courier

Lisa LeMonte Brings her Skills to Non-Profit Boards

Published May 16, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Every non-profit organization has a story to tell—it’s what inspires volunteers, donors, and supporters to become part of that story and help advance the group’s mission. But how do non-profit groups make sure the story they tell remains relevant?

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Valley Courier

In readiness for the Saturday, May 12 Essex Garden Club May Market, Sandy French has prepared the hat that tells shoppers she’s a club member and able to assist. The annual market runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Essex Town Park. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sandy French: How Does Her Garden Grow?

Published May 09, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Gardening is in Sandy French’s genes. Her grandfather started a wholesale floral business in the mid-19th century in Fond-du-Lac, Wisconsin, that’s still run by her family.

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Valley Courier

After getting a taste of L.A. life, Dani Scott returned to the region, but she’s intent on making opportunities for herself and other actors through stage and film. She’s formed a short film initiative and will star in the upcoming production Wit a la Carte: Scenes of Mirth and Merriment at the Centerbrook Meeting House. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Dani Scott: Acting Up

Published May 02, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Dani Scott has to play a scene that requires her to hug a tall male lead, she needs to call on something besides raw acting talent: She needs a wooden crate.

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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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