May 25, 2022

Archives for December 2010

Teen Safe Driving Awareness Week: Let’s Save Our Teen Drivers

As Connecticut marks Teen Safe Driving Awareness week, Essex Books will welcome retired commercial driver, Alphonza Mazyck, as he talks about his book, “Let’s Save Our Teen Drivers” on Saturday, Dec. 11, from 3 – 4 p.m. Call 860-767-1707 for details.

Mazyck achieved over 2.5 million miles of accident-free driving in 37 years of driving a commercial vehicle. He offers important safety messages as he faced the tragedy of losing his own nephew in a driving accident. A good source of information right before the holidays and New Year’s Eve!

Meanwhile the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles today announced encouraging new statistics showing a drop in fatal crashes involving 16 and 17 year old drivers

Teen drivers 16 and 17 years-old in Connecticut had the fewest number of fatal crashes last year in more than a decade, also, less teens are needing a Duluth Injury Attorney after getting in an accident. A recent analysis of federal reporting figures show as Connecticut marks Teen Safe Driving Awareness week Dec. 5-11.

The state in 2009 saw a 62-percent reduction in fatal crashes involving this age group of drivers when examining a 12-year average since 1997. In the 2009 calendar year the number dropped to 6 for all of that year. Crashes happen all over the world though unfortunately. That’s why it’s so important to get good driving lessons and be made aware of all the risks that come with driving. There are so many ways you can get driving lessons though. For example, if you live in the UK you can easily check out something like these Driving Lessons in Droitwich to give you a better idea of what you should expect to do in a driving lesson.

These crash statistics and other indicators show a positive effect from state’s toughened and comprehensive teen driving laws proposed by Governor M. Jodi Rell’s Task Force two years ago and later adopted by the state Legislature.

“We set out with one clear goal in mind – to save lives. Young drivers are full of enthusiasm, but lack the experience behind the wheel. Our new and stronger laws give them more training time, while brining their parents and the community into the process,” Governor Rell said. “A driver’s license has been a rite of passage for generations and it is critical that teen drivers on Connecticut roads are as well prepared as possible.” Most teens want a drivers license as soon as they can, doesn’t matter where they live in the States they can easily get one. So if you lived in Ohio or something you can easily get yourself an Ohio drivers license. But just because it’s easy to get doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any responsibilities.

Commissioner Robert M. Ward of the state Department of Motor Vehicles said there are growing indicators that safety messages and tougher laws, sanctions for violations and training are spreading awareness and beginning to change behavior of teen drivers.

“These statistics are a strong testament to efforts by everyone involved – teens, parents, public officials and safety partners — and the work of reminding young drivers about diligence toward safety,” he added.

In addition, Connecticut is also exceeding a recent national trend in the direction of fewer fatal accidents for drivers in this age group. The Centers for Disease Control

and Prevention reported in October that nationally the number of 16- and 17-year-old drivers involved in fatal crashes decreased by 36 percent from 2004 to 2008.

Connecticut had a 54 percent reduction in these fatal crashes from 2005 to 2009. In addition, the state saw a 16.5 percent reduction for all accidents in which a 16 or 17-year-old Connecticut driver was at fault for 2008 when the new laws were first adopted and currently the most recent set of complete numbers. (5,640 accidents in 2007 and 4,704 in 2008)

The CDC also reported that graduated driver licensing programs can be partially credited with this recent decline in fatal crashes involving these young drivers. It pointed out that the more comprehensive teen driving programs, known as graduated driver licensing, are associated with the higher reductions in crashes.

Connecticut’s comprehensive program, which includes restrictions, fines, license-suspension penalties, increased driver training and parent-teen training, has brought about other important changes:

  • An overwhelming number of parents find mandatory parent-teen education beneficial (85 percent).
  • Licensing statistics show that the number of 16 year-olds hit an historic 12-year low in 2009. (31 percent of 16 year-olds and 48 percent of 17 year olds in the second year of the tougher laws.)
  • Delayed licensure is better because it gives teens more time to mature.

However, it’s more than just the laws that are improving the safety of Connecticut’s teen drivers.

“It also due to the hard work of so many people – safety advocates, community groups, the business community, driving schools, high schools, law enforcement and medical professionals, but most of all parents and their teen drivers,” Commissioner Ward said.

Sherry Chapman, president of the teen safe-driving advocacy group Mourning Parents Act, said, “Connecticut has one of the most robust teen driving safety programs in the country. I am heartened to see preliminary data shows the more stringent graduated licensing laws adopted in 2008, along with policy changes and awareness campaigns seem to be making a difference. Losing a child due to a car crash is so unnecessary. It is such a sudden, horrific and tragic loss.”

Governor’s Highway Safety Representative Robbin Cabelus said, “As the Governor’s Highway Safety Representative I am pleased to see that recent statistics show a reduction in roadway deaths of 16 and 17 year old drivers. The actions taken by the Governor’s Task force as well as other state and local safety partners look to be having the positive impact we’d hoped they would. While these numbers are encouraging, teen drivers, parents and the highway safety community must remain vigilant about instilling safe driving behavior in our 16-and 17-year-old drivers. We must do this especially in the area of distracted driving, where our younger drivers are over-represented in these crashes.”

Dr. Brendan T. Campbell, Director of Pediatric Trauma and trauma surgeon at Connecticut Children’s, added, “Teen driving safety week is a time to remind parents about the importance of making their teenage drivers as safe as possible. Close parental supervision of novice teen drivers can make all the difference. The most important thing parents can do is provide their teenagers with as much supervised driving experience as possible.”

Region 4 Approves New Teacher and Administrator Contracts

REGION 4– New contracts for district teachers and administrators have been approved by both union bargaining units, and four of the district’s five school boards.

The Region 4 Board of Education and the local school boards for Deep River and Essex approved the contracts on unanimous votes at a Dec. 1 meeting. The Chester Board of Education lacked a quorum on Dec. 1, but is expected to act on the contracts at a special meeting tonight. Members of the four boards, meeting together as the supervision district board, also approved the contracts on Dec. 1 for positions that are shared by all five district schools and funded through the supervision district.

The contract for the district’s 213 teachers, which is actually a two-year reopener, runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2013. The agreement provides a one-half percent increase to all teachers in 2011-2012, with a two percent increase for the most experienced teachers at the top of the district’s teacher salary scale, but not additional step increases for other teachers. For 2012-2013, the agreement provides a one-half percent general increase for teachers at the top step with no additional steps, with regular step movement for other teachers.

Co-payments for health insurance will rise from the current 17.25 percent of total premium expense to 18 percent of total premium expense in July 2012 for teachers in the preferred provider plan. Co- payments for teachers in the health savings account plan will rise from the current 13.75 percent of total premium expense, to 18 percent. Stipends for teachers involved with student extra-curricular activities, such as athletics coaching or leading student clubs, will increase by one percent in 2011 and one percent in 2012.

The agreement for the dozen members of the administrators bargaining unit is a three-year contract that runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2014. The agreement no general pay increase for 2011-2012, but with regular step movement for administrators at lower steps on the salary scale. There will also be a one-time $2,000 increase in a tax shelter annuity provided for eligible administrators.

The agreement provides administrators with a one percent general pay increase with regular step movement for 2012-2013, and a 1.5 percent general increase with regular step movement for 2012-2014.

The actual salary account cost increases resulting from the contracts will vary each year for the three elementary schools, the Region 4 high school and middle school, and shared positions funded through the supervision district.
The agreements were reached last month with help from a state Department of Education mediator. The agreements were reached at a point where the negotiations were on the edge of entering binding arbitration under the state law governing teacher contract negotiations, where a binding arbitration panel picks a last and best offer from one side or the other. The district and unions would be required to share the cost of the arbitration process.

Lon Seidman, the Essex Board of Education chairman who is current chair for the supervision district, said board members were pleased with the outcome of the negotiations. “Our negotiating team worked really hard on this and we’re glad we did not have to go in to binding arbitration because that would have been a costly process,” he said.

Charles Stannard is a lifelong resident of Essex, and has covered various Middlesex County towns for two daily newspapers over the past 30 years.  He worked for the Middletown Press from 1979 to 1995 and the Hartford Courant from 1997 through last summer, and covered Chester, Deep River, Essex and Killingworth for the past decade.  Charlie lives in the Ivoryton section of Essex.

Valley RHS Football Team Finish Great Season with Disappoinment

After going 11-0 through an outstanding season and making it to the CIAC Class S seminfinals on Saturday in Waterbury, the Valley Regional High School/Old Lyme football team eventually met their match against St. Joseph.

The Warriors went into an early lead when star quaterback Jimmy Fairfield-Sonn threw a 19 yard touchdown pass to Mitchell King.  However, St. Joseph pulled back and ended the half with a 14-7 lead.

In the second half St. Joseph continued to dominate and the game ended 44-7 to St. Joseph.  Fairfield-Sonn finished with 94 yards rushing and 9 of 25 passes for 111 yards.

St. Joseph will now face Ansonia in the Class S championship game next weekend.

Local Artist Marian Dock Art Exhibition and Sale at Deep River Library

Example of artwork to be sold at Dec. 5 art sale

Marian Dock, longtime Essex resident, passed away Aug. 30 at the age of 99.  Marian and her late husband, Albert, were founding members of the Connecticut River Museum and owners of Fore Fathers Antiques.  Education was a recurring theme in Marian Dock’s life; so it was when she planned her estate she designated a portion be devoted to help further education. The Deep River Public Library was chosen as the venue for the final showing—and sale—of her oeuvre.  The opening of the memorial showing—more than 30 works—of the Marian Dock Collection will be on Sunday Dec. 5 from 3 till 6 pm, in the Community Room of the Library.

Marian grew up in New York City, where she received her primary and secondary education in the public school system.  She graduated from Pratt Institute, continued her education at New York University, which awarded her a Bachelor’s Degree, then received her Masters in art from Columbia University.  In the 1950’s Marian wrote a children’s show, “Time for Art with Marian Dock,” then staged (as well as produced and directed) the play, with herself in the starring role, at her former public school.

During her years in Essex Marian indulged her artistic endeavors and painted prolifically.  Her work was shown at the Essex Art Association and was included in the annual “Choices” show mounted by the Shoreline Alliance of the Arts.  Her works include local landscapes (which are identified), florals and abstracts, executed in acrylic, oil and watercolor. 

 The collection will remain on display and for sale throughout December.  Proceeds will fund educational programs at the library.   Contact Peggy Maraschiello at RiverWind Antiques, (860) 526-3047 for more information.

Essex Selectmen Set January 11 Public Hearing on Regional Health District

ESSEX–  The board of selectmen has scheduled a Jan. 11 public hearing on the option of joining the three-town Connecticut River Area Regional Health District. The hearing is set for 7 p.m. in the auditorium at town hall.

The board has dedicated portions of several recent meetings to review and compare the cost of several options and staffing configurations for providing health services in Essex. Wednesday the board agreed to present three options to residents at the hearing, including the town’s current configuration of a part-time health director, contracted sanitarian and food inspector, and a fulltime environmental analyst at annual cost of $113,198, or $16.99 per resident.

A second option to be presented at the hearing would include a full-time health director with a part-time sanitarian and environmental analyst at an annual cost of $190,648, or $28.10 per resident. The option of joining the regional health district was clearly the least costly to taxpayers, with the district providing all health-related services from soil testing for septic systems to restaurant inspections at an annual cost of $88,192, or $13 per resident.

The district was formed in July 2006 by the towns of Clinton, Deep River, and Old Saybrook. The district office is in Old Saybrook. Essex held public hearings on the option of joining the district in 2006 and last February, but never joined after the option drew opposition or a mixed response from residents at the hearings.

The new look at health services options, including joining the regional health district, began in October after First Selectman Phil Miller appointed Mary Jane Engle, director of the district, as acting health director on a month-to-month basis. The position became vacant with the resignation of Dr. William McCann, a local physician who had held the part-time job since 2008.

Selectman Norman Needleman asked Engle at Wednesday’s meeting whether the district would contract with Essex for health related services for a full year without a formal vote to join the district. Engle said a decision on a full year contract with a non-member town rests with the district’s board of directors, which holds its next meeting later this month.

Charles Stannard is a lifelong resident of Essex, and has covered various Middlesex County towns for two daily newspapers over the past 30 years.  He worked for the Middletown Press from 1979 to 1995 and the Hartford Courant from 1997 through last summer, and covered Chester, Deep River, Essex and Killingworth for the past decade.  Charlie lives in the Ivoryton section of Essex.

Unplugged Holiday Lights Glowing at the Library!

There were strange happenings at Ivoryton Library today when a set of LED holiday lights appeared to be working despite not being connected to any electricity source.

The  library had hired Drew Finkeldey to hang LED colored lights on the library windows.  As he hung a strand on one of the large, original windows in the front of the building, he noticed that, although no electricity was reaching the bulbs, the lights were clearly glowing.

Baffled staff could not find any explanation for the phenomenon.  “This was not caused by the sun or any other light shining through the bulbs,” one staff member said, ” These lights were actually on“!

At this point, no one knows how long the unplugged lights will continue to glow … or whether there is a simple, scientific explanation.

Local Author Book Event at the Essex Library

Join local author, John S. Pfarr at the Essex Library Association, 33 West Avenue, on Saturday, Dec. 4, from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. for a discussion of The Inventor’s Fortune Up for Grabs: The Legacy of the Expansion Bracelet by Suzanne G. Beyer and John S. Pfarr.

In 1913, Great Uncle Art Hadley invented the expansion bracelet, a forerunner of the modern wristwatch band that made it easier for WWI soldiers to carry their timepieces during combat. As a result, he amassed considerable wealth. He passed it on to his children, but when they died, Art’s fortune was up for grabs.

The Inventor’s Fortune Up For Grabs is a true story told through a unique structure – from the perspective of John Pfarr, the attorney who initially felt the group had not a snowball’s chance in hell of winning their case, and that of Suzanne Beyer, an heir to her great uncle’s fortune.

The author will discuss the unique two-voice structure of the book, the historical aspects of Art Hadley and his invention, legal struggles in the case – and how a group of cousins, some of whom had never met, could unite in a life-changing six-year odyssey to claim their inheritance from Uncle Art.

John will also talk about his experience of becoming a first time author. The program will include a question and answer period, followed by a book signing.

For more information about the book, visit

The Gift of Art is the Heart of Lyme Art Association’s Annual Holiday Show

One of the Lyme Art Association’s most festive art exhibitions and sales is their annual “Deck The Walls” holiday show, on view December 10, 2010 through January 9, 2011.  More than 200 original works of art by Lyme Art Association member artists will be on display and priced to sell as holiday gifts. The opening reception on Friday, December 10 from 5-7pm is free to the public and will feature live piano music as well as a performance by local high school carolers.

LAA Member Artists of all levels (Individual, Associate and Elected) are invited to enter this juried exhibition, which will hang in the Cooper/Ferry, South, and Cole Galleries. Receiving Day for artwork is Sunday, December 5 from 2 – 5pm.  Anyone interested in submitting artwork may join the Lyme Art Association as a Member on Receiving Day in order to be eligible.  Artwork by Newly Elected Artists will be featured in their own exhibition in the Goodman Gallery.

LAA will once again support The Shoreline Soup Kitchen & Pantries by donating 10% of proceeds from opening night sales.  This annual exhibition is a wonderful opportunity for Member Artists to exhibit their work and support an important, local hunger relief charity during the holidays. Artists and friends are asked to bring a canned good donation on opening night for collection bythe Soup Kitchen. 

“The Lyme Art Association is excited to once again assist the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries by donating 10% of galley sales from the opening night of our annual holiday exhibition and sale of artwork.  We hope that the community will help us support the Soup Kitchen during their busy holiday season by bringing a canned good donation to our opening reception.” states Susan Ballek, Director of the Lyme Art Association. 

About the Lyme Art Association:

The Lyme Art Association was founded in 1914 by the Lyme Impressionists and continues the tradition of exhibiting and selling representational artwork by its members and invited artists, as well as offering art instruction and lectures to the community. The Lyme Art Association is located at 90 Lyme Street, Old Lyme, CT, in a building designed by Charles Adams Platt and located within an historic district. Admission is free with contributions appreciated. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10am to 5pm, Sunday 1 to 5pm. For more information on exhibitions, purchase of art, art classes, or becoming a member, call 860-434-7802 or visit

Career Column: Keeping Us Safe in a Hostile World

I just saw the movie “Fair Game” with Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.  It tells the story of Valerie Plame, the CIA operative who was outed in the course of the political craziness of the times.  Her story made me wonder about what it takes to become a covert agent for the CIA.   This career column will attempt to answer that question, for the CIA and for other government agencies that have a strong national security focus.  Given the state of the world, there will undoubtedly be good jobs in these agencies for years to come, and we need good people to fill them. 


According to her Wikipedia entry, Valerie Plame’s father was in the Air Force and worked for a period for the National Security Agency (NSA), so perhaps she was born into it.  She attended Penn State and obtained a degree in advertising before applying to the CIA, and the CIA sent her to graduate school. It seems that a specific educational background is less important than talent, personal qualities, and the ability to pass a thorough background check.   

For those who find the alphabet soup of agencies confusing, the CIA is the agency that collects intelligence information and conducts covert actions against adversaries of the United States; it hires and trains spies.   It turns out that the CIA website is extremely user-friendly for job applicants and those just wanting to learn more about its mission and history.   It is so effective that it could serve as a model for government and corporate websites of all types.  It has good explanations of positions it hires for, videos about them, and a fun “personality quiz” that dispels myths about CIA service.  Regarding working for the CIA it notes, among other things:

“there are some fundamental qualities common to most successful officers, including a strong record of academic and professional achievement, good writing skills, problem-solving abilities and highly developed interpersonal skills. Overseas experience and languages are important factors as well.” 

Anyone can apply and the on line application is easy enough.  However, the applicant must:

“be prepared to undergo a thorough background investigation examining your life’s history, your character, trustworthiness, reliability and soundness of judgment. We also examine your freedom from conflicting allegiances, potential to be coerced, and willingness and ability to abide by regulations governing the use, handling and the protection of sensitive information.” 

How they conduct this investigation and determine one’s “freedom from conflicting allegiances,” etc. is left unsaid. 
If a career in the CIA sounds appealing, and the thought of going through an extensive background investigation does not dissuade you, check out the job possibilities on the CIA website,


The FBI is concerned with law enforcement at the national level.  Among other things, the FBI gathers intelligence from domestic sources, so the CIA apparently goes through the FBI if they need information from within the United States.  The FBI website indicates that it is currently recruiting Special Agents with certain critical skills such as accounting, finance, engineering, and the hard sciences. Applicants need to be between 23-37 years old to be considered for these positions, and they also have to meet physical requirements and pass a background check.  The FBI is also recruiting to fill professional positions, some of which have to be filled by current FBI employees and many of which require the applicant to pass top level security clearances.  The FBI careers website is much less appealing and more difficult to navigate than the CIA website, but many positions are posted for FBI offices in different parts of the country.  For example, there are postings for administrative officers, biologists, and paralegals.  Note that most positions have very specific requirements for experience.  FBI jobs are listed here:


On its website, the NSA, or National Security Agency, indicates that its “core missions are to protect U.S. national security systems and to produce foreign signals intelligence information.”  That is, the NSA protects national intelligence information and gathers intelligence information (signal intelligence, or SIGNIT) to share with those who need it.  The NSA…” collects SIGINT from various sources, including foreign communications, radar, and other electronic systems. This information is frequently in foreign languages and dialects, is protected by codes and other security measures, and involves complex technical characteristics. NSA…needs to collect and understand the information, interpret it, and get it to our customers in time for them to take action.” 
The NSA hires very smart computer scientists and engineers but also those with a background in international relations or anthropology.  For example, with a Bachelor’s degree in one of these fields you can apply for entrance into an intelligence analyst development program.   The NSA also offers a number of internships and scholarships at all levels. You can find out more about careers with the NSA here:  The NSA website is easy to navigate and interesting to explore, but the information it provides is complex as perhaps is appropriate for its mission.  

Career Resource

The Federal Government’s official job site,, is big, well organized, and informative.  It is a good place to learn about the hiring process for federal jobs and browse for federal jobs, and it is the only place to apply for most federal jobs.  If you take the time to explore the site, you will also find valuable information on how federal jobs are filled and you might be surprised at what kinds of jobs are available. For example, I did a quick search for jobs for psychologists in Connecticut and I was surprised to discover that the department of agriculture hires counseling psychologists for the Job Corps program.

Karen Goldfinger, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice in Essex, Connecticut.   She specializes in psychological assessment for clinical, educational, and forensic purposes and has a special interest in career assessment.  She and two partners recently established KSB Career Consultants, LLC to provide on line career consultation for clients in Connecticut and New York.   Contact her with questions,  comments, or suggestions for the column at

Deep River Artist at Marshview Gallery Reception

Patricia Conwell will be the featured artist at a reception at the Marshview Gallery, Old Saybrook, on Friday, Dec. 10, from 5-7 p.m.

Patricia Conwell grew up in Deep River, Graduating from Valley Regional High School and Quinnipiac University as a Registered Nurse and is currently working on her Masters in Organizational Leadership at Quinnipiac University. Patricia resides in Deep River with her husband and two sons.

Patricia currently works as Chief Operating Officer for Medical Oncology and Hematology, the largest practice in Connecticut. In her free time Patricia loves to travel and photograph her journeys. She also spends time photographing local sites and sporting events.

Please join us at 220 Main Street, Old Saybrook to meet Patricia Conwell at the Marshview Gallery Artist reception. All ages are welcome to join us for this event. Refreshments provided.

Essex Books co-hosts author Dr. Virginia Hale

On Dec. 16, 2010 Essex Books will co-host author Dr. Virginia Hale, “A Woman in Business: The Life of Beatrice Fox Auerbach” from  noon-1p.m. at Gather in Ivoryton.

A Woman in Business is the story of Beatrice Fox Auerbach, a self-effacing, diminutive woman who became the chief executive of the largest privately owned department store in the country. Her accomplishments were all the greater because she was a woman in a man’s world.  The book draws substantially on interviews with family, friends and employees, diaries, travel records, and correspondence.

The Fox and Auerbach families were immigrants who rose from itinerant peddlers to owner operators of major department stores in Hartford, Connecticut and Salt Lake City, Utah. In 1907, at age 19, with her family on the S.S. Olympia sailing to Norway, Beatrice met George Auerbach whom she would marry in 1911.  Their daily correspondence between July of 1910 and April of 1911, presents an accurate and interesting picture of what life was like in Utah, and affords us insight into what their early married life would be like in Salt Lake City where they settled after their wedding and where their first daughter was born.

In 1917 the G. Fox store in Hartford burned to the ground as a result, many believed, of arson.  Moses Fox, then owner and president, watched the conflagration from across the street with his daughter, Beatrice.  For a time Mr. Fox debated about rebuilding, but he was persuaded by associates and family members to reestablish the store.

Beatrice and her husband, George, agreed to move to Connecticut and assist in the reopening of the store. Theirs would be the third generation of the Fox family to operate the business which had been founded in 1847 by Gershon Fox.

After George Auerbach’s sudden death in 1928, Beatrice turned to working part-time with her father in the store. When Moses Fox passed away in 1938, Beatrice assumed the role of chief executive at G. Fox & Co..  Under her direction, the Hartford store was looked to as an inspirational model for retail establishments nationwide. The store provided an impressive variety of quality merchandise and made service to the customer the hallmark of the operation. Recognizing the importance of serving women, the majority of her customers, she established a number of special services for them.

Beatrice Auerbach inspired loyalty in her employees by offering job security and such innovative benefits as an on-site infirmary, and an air-conditioned restaurant serving meals at cost. More unusual was the interest free loan fund set up for employees with personal emergencies and “bed Funds” at local hospitals whereby G. Fox employees had access to free hospitalization when needed.  Hers was the first store in the nation to take the bold step of employing black people in visible sales and management positions. A scholarship program was available for the children of employees, and under her direction a non-contributory retirement plan was initiated which included the underwriting of medical check-ups for veteran employees after retirement. The Moses Fox Club was created for employees with 25 or more years in the company.  Named for her father, the club confirmed the idea that G. Fox appreciated the importance of every employee and the loyalty bespoken by their long service.

In 1944, Hartford was the scene of the Barnum and Bailey circus fire, the second most tragic fire in U.S. history.   Beatrice responded by supplying local hospitals with linens and pajamas.  She made the G. Fox delivery vans available for the transportation of the dead and wounded, and she sent the four nurses from the G. Fox infirmary to assist at the site.

World War II created personal and professional challenges for Beatrice. A two year correspondence with her daughter in Texas elaborates on the way in which she met them. Beatrice was in the vanguard of adjusting to the impact of the war on her business, developing a plan to aid returning veterans by re-employing former employees and training the rest to assist in their readjustment to the latest retail practices. Beatrice made certain that ample opportunities were provided for women to advance. During the war years she instituted a five day work week. She endowed an internship for women majoring in retailing at Connecticut College for Women. Her most significant move to put women into the forefront of civic life was the establishment of The Service Bureau for Women’s Organizations, the purpose of which was to educate women in voluntary organizations to take leadership positions in their communities. 

While Beatrice considered her employees as her family at work, she also had two daughters and twelve grandchildren who were very important to her.  Every Sunday her grandchildren came to her home to spend time and have lunch with their grandmother. Their memories tell us much about her character and her private life.

Like most of us, Beatrice had many acquaintances, but only a few very close friends. Four important people in her life were: Estelle Hartman, her life-long friend and confidant; Judge Solomon Elsner, her legal advisor, long-time friend and frequent companion in her life as a widow; Chase Going Woodhouse, former Congresswoman, who became her traveling companion on trips to all parts of the world; and Eleanor Roosevelt with whom she shared her ideas and, at times, her home.

Beatrice kept detailed travel diaries and sent several letters to her family while she traveled and these form a significant part of the story of her friendship with Mrs. Woodhouse.  With Mrs. Roosevelt, ninety letters exchanged between the two women from their initial acquaintance in 1946 until Mrs. Roosevelt’s death in 1962, tell us about the special friendship they shared.

The importance of charitable activities was impressed upon Beatrice by her parents, and she never failed to demonstrate the effectiveness of those early lessons..  She was an active fund raiser for Jewish causes such as Mt. Sinai Hospital and the Hebrew Home for the Aged.  To foster the arts she endowed the director’s chair for the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, funded the acquisition of 10,000 volumes for the library of the Wadsworth Atheneum, and was a benefactor of some of Hartford’s major theater groups. .She funded scholarships at St. Joseph College, the Hartford Conservatory of Music, the University of Hartford and the University of Connecticut.  She endowed a professorship in economics at Trinity College.  Often referred to as “the leading citizen of Hartford”, she left her mark on such diverse civic projects as the building of Constitution Plaza and the modernization of the Hartford Public Library.

In 1963, Beatrice transferred ownership of G. Fox and Company to The May Company. On November 29, l968, Beatrice Fox Auerbach died.  Her funeral was the largest ever held in Hartford for a private citizen.  In the words of E. Clayton Gengras, Chair of the Hartford Development Commission, “If you would see her monument, just look around you.” 

Author Notes

Virginia Hale was a Professor of English for 33 years, teaching writing and literature. Now an Emerita at the University of Hartford, she is the author of a number of scholarly articles and co-author of a textbook entitled Literature and Film of Other Cultures. Since 1986 Dr. Hale has served as creator and discussion leader for a series of NEH sponsored programs in libraries across the state of Connecticut, including the series “Biographies of Women” and “Popular Culture: Biographies of Stars and Artists.”  She offered these comments on the genesis of this book:

“I was inspired to write this biography when I learned that no one had written in depth about the extraordinary woman who is its subject.  From my early childhood, her name was a household word in Connecticut.  But the book was prompted, too, by nostalgia for a time when the bond between employer and employee was strong and loyalty was the order of the day.  Many people began working for a firm in their youth and spent the balance of their work life with the same firm, retiring after years of devoted service

I was nostalgic for a time when ethical behavior was the rule rather than the exception, when the object of the retailer was to provide the highest quality of service to the customer, and when a truly symbiotic relationship existed between a business and its community.

No one exemplified these values better than Beatrice Fox Auerbach.”

 Please call Sue McCann of Essex Books at 860-767-1707 to reserve your space or write to  Gather is located at 104 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Region 4 School Board Accepts Report Denying High School Gag Order

REGION 4— The Region 4 Board of Education Tuesday accepted and released an investigative report that denies reports a gag order was imposed on students at Valley Regional High School before and after the Oct. 12 resignation of Principal Eric Rice.

The four-page report prepared by Madison lawyer Stacey Lafferty declares there is “no evidence or support for the claim that a gag order was issued or sanctioned by Central Office,” or that the First Amendment rights of students or faculty were suppressed or violated. But the report suggests that some students may have believed there was a gag order after Rice cautioned them not to attend a Sept. 23 rally outside the district’s Central Office that was organized by supporters of Rice.

The board met in closed session for about 45 minutes with its attorney, Kevin Roy with the Hartford firm of Shipman & Goodwin, before voting without discussion to accept and release the report. Board member Richard Strauss of Chester, who is Rice’s father-in-law, exited the room midway through the closed session and returned for the brief public session.

The board hired Lafferty to investigate reports of the gag order, an allegation that was included in complaints filed last month by Essex resident Susan Magaziner with various state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights. District lawyers had recommended the board sponsor an independent investigation of the allegations.

Lafferty states in the report that she interviewed Magaziner on Nov. 21, and on Nov. 22 visited the high school and interviewed three administrators, eight faculty members, three students, and one athletic coach. Lafferty said she “contacted Rice by telephone and left a message with his wife” on Nov. 23, but received no call back from Rice.

The report states that on Sept. 23 Rice asked one faculty member to urge students not to attend the rally supporting him that had been announced for that day. Three faculty members indicated there was no gag order imposed by the top administrators at Central Office, Superintendent of Schools Ruth Levy and Assistant Superintendent Ian Neviaser. The report states that another teacher told students not to discuss the circumstances of Rice’s departure in class because they did not have complete information on the situation.

The report confirms that one student was suspended from school for “printing and distributing materials about the rally” and “opening up classroom doors and throwing the printed materials in to the classroom,” an activity that “caused a disruption to the learning environment.”

The report states that a student on an athletic team was urged not to attend the rally by the faculty member that had spoken to Rice, but was aware the information originated “as a directive from Rice.”  It states the student was “confused why Rice would instruct students not to go to a rally when it was for Rice’s support.”

Rice, a Chester resident who was hired for the principal job over the summer, resigned on Oct. 12, receiving $62,150 in severance pay and extended health insurance coverage. The board of education named Kristina Martineau, the assistant principal at the high school, as acting principal for the remainder of the school year. At the time of the Sept. 23 rally, there were rumors that Rice had been given a resign-or-be-fired ultimatum by Levy, who has declined to comment on the circumstances of Rice’s departure.

Levy said Tuesday night she believes Lafferty’s investigation was “well conducted”, and suggested it is time for the Chester-Deep River-Essex school district to move beyond the controversy over the principal and focus on education.. Board Chairwoman Linda Hall of Deep River said Wednesday she believes the investigative report is “complete and accurate.”

Magaziner said Wednesday she does not believe Lafferty’s report provides a complete and accurate recounting of events at the high school. Magaziner said she is providing information to an attorney with the Boston office of the U.S. Department of Education, Carol Kennedy Merrill. She said Merrill is talking to parents and students about the suspension of the student, who is Asian.

Charles Stannard is a lifelong resident of Essex, and has covered various Middlesex County towns for two daily newspapers over the past 30 years.  He worked for the Middletown Press from 1979 to 1995 and the Hartford Courant from 1997 through last summer, and covered Chester, Deep River, Essex and Killingworth for the past decade.  Charlie lives in the Ivoryton section of Essex.

Chester Cub Scout Pack 13 – Scouting For Food Program

Chester Cub Scout Pack 13 Collect Items for Food Pantry

Earlier this month Chester Cub Scouts gathered together to help stock the Chester Food Pantry. 

On Nov. 10, 2010 the Chester Cub Scouts held their monthly Pack Meeting and collected 35 very full grocery bags of non-perishable food to be donated to the Chester Food Pantry.  The food was delivered to Rosie Bininger at the Chester Town Hall on Friday November 12, 2010. 

Chester Cub Scouts Pack 13 have been sponsored by the United Church of Chester since 1940.  The Cub Scout Promise includes the promise to help other people.  Through the Scouting for Food Service Project the Cub Scouts in Chester are encouraged to help with the selection of non-perishable food items that are collected and donated.

Boy Scouts of America has designated the month of November as Scouting for Food month as a National Service Project.  This program has run in Connecticut since 1988 reinforcing the idea that participating in service projects teaches Scouts valuable lessons in citizenship.

For additional information, contact Michael Rutty, Cub Master Pack 13, 860-526-8011

Major 9 Town Transit Bus Schedule Changes Begin Dec. 13

Beginning Dec. 13, residents of the Estuary region will have improved access to two of 9 Town Transit’s (9TT) major bus routes, thanks to major changes to the bus schedules.

9TT’s Shoreline Shuttle will drop its current erratic schedule for new hourly intervals.  The Shoreline Shuttle will now meet the S-Route to New Haven every hour on the hour at the Scranton Gazebo in Madison.  Although the route will remain the same, the new schedule provides additional recovery time to help prevent the buses from running late.  The new schedule also includes a new later trip to accommodate commuters, which departs the Old Saybrook Train Station at 5:30 p.m. and connects with the 7:00 p.m. S-Route bus in Madison.

The Shoreline Shuttle provides service along Route 1 between Old Saybrook and Madison, with stops at the Tanger Outlets and Clinton Crossing Premium Outlets. 

The Riverside Shuttle, which operates between Chester and Old Saybrook along Route 154, will also begin an expanded schedule.  The route will now begin at 6:25 a.m., departing Chester center to the Old Saybrook Train Station.  The last departure from the Train Station toward Chester Center will be 6:40 p.m.  Service will be every two hours throughout most of the day, with hourly service during the peak morning times.  The new schedule provides an additional 7 hours of service daily.

“We continue to hear from commuters in our region who want to use public transit but cannot currently do so because of the schedules” says Joseph Comerford, Executive Director of the Estuary Transit District, which operate 9 Town Transit. “This new schedule provides service during commuting hours, regular intervals between buses, and better coordinated connections between our bus routes, making public transit a real option for everyone in our region.”

Comerford also pointed to the parking situation at the Old Saybrook Train Station as an impetus for the expanded hours, saying the new schedule will allow Shoreline East and Amtrak users to ride the bus to the train station and avoid searching for a parking spot.  Shoreline East monthly pass holders may ride all 9 Town Transit shuttle routes at no charge. 

Both the Shoreline Shuttle and Riverside Shuttle may be flagged down anywhere along the regular route.  They will also deviate off the route up to ¾ mile by advance reservation.  All services are open to the general public.

The Estuary Transit District provides public transit service via the fleet of 13 buses to Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Killingworth, Lyme, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook and Westbrook through its 9 Town Transit service.  Connections are provided to New Haven, Middletown, Hartford and New London/Norwich bus services as well as Shoreline East Commuter Rail. 

Additional information, route maps and schedules are available online at or by calling 9 Town Transit at 860-510-0429.  New printed schedule will be distributed beginning the week of Dec. 6.

Essex Boy Scouts Sell Holiday Ornaments


Boy Scouts Dan Ryan, Jacob Azzinario and Connor Ewart sell holiday ornaments

Essex boy scouts were selling holiday ornaments outside  Essex Books in Main St.,  Essex at The Tree in the Rigging community carol sing and boat parade in Essex on Sunday night.

This years  pewter ornament depicts the Ivoryton Playhouse.  

The Boy Scouts will be selling ornaments this weekend at Colonial Market Essex Saturday morning and at The Ivoryton Christmas Block Party Saturday Evening. 

For more information call John McGirr 860-767-9740

Valley RHS Football Team Defeat Waterbury in State Quarterfinal

#51 Ben Roche

Valley RHS football defeated Sacred Heart of Waterbury 37-24 last night at Valley Regional High School in the quarterfinal of the state Class S tournament in the first playoff win in program history.

Junior quarterback Fairfield-Sonn scored three touchdowns and rushed for 116 yards, and was one of three Valley players to rush for over 100 yards.

The Warriors will now face last years Class SS Champions, fourth-seeded St. Joseph of Trumbull in the semifinal Saturday to be played at a time and location yet to be announced.