Struggles with depression not always obvious
I’ve been struggling with depression and anxiety for the past four years, including suicidal thoughts. I know I can never fully understand what Rob and Alyssa are going through but I would like to add my personal experience and maybe provide some insight on why people commit suicide, even when their lives seem to be going great.

My life, sophomore year to senior year, looked pretty great. Awesome parents, great friends, great teachers, great grades. I could always be found with a book in my hand or running around the school with something to do. As is to be expected, the stress of school increased with time and how close I was to filling out college applications. It was the summer of senior year before I finally admitted to myself that these thoughts and feelings weren’t going to go away on their own. Even when I was seeing my therapist, it took me a long time to tell her or my parents what was really happening in my head. I’ve only just recently started talking more closely to my friends about it.

Part of the reason it took me so long to get help was I didn’t have any apparent symptoms to anyone else. I never missed school for my mental health, I kept doing theater, my homework, talking with friends, and appearing as a “normal” teen. Another reason was my depression appeared illogical, irrational, and a teenage mood swing, one that just happened to last four years. It didn’t help when I was told by many people that everyone goes through something like this, that it’s an adolescent thing, that there’s so much to live for.

Truly, there is so much to live for. One of the key things that kept me alive was the knowledge of what my death would do to my parents, brother, friends, and dogs. Another key thing, one that probably saved my life many times, was my lack of access to guns or medications that could lead to an overdose.

What I’m trying to say in all of this is that just because someone doesn’t have any apparent symptoms of depression doesn’t mean they aren’t having an internal argument about why they should live another day. Check in on your friends and family, I guarantee they won’t tell you all the time when they truly need help. Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide doesn’t increase the risk that they are going to do it and you might have given them a window into the help they really need.

Wren House


Supporting Irene Wrenner
A few weeks ago, on one of those bitter afternoons, I heard someone at my door.

Who would brave this weather? Irene Wrenner was at my door. I gladly welcomed

her inside. It is not her first time coming to see us. As a member of our Town Select Board for 12

years, Irene works hard to educate and inform the people of Essex. She knows the history and she has the experience and perspective that we need. I have attended many meetings of both Boards, and some joint meetings. I trust Irene to be knowledgeable about the issues. She is always prepared. If I e-mail her with a question, she gets right back to me.

Irene has integrity and dedication. We are very fortunate to have her working for us.

She has my vote and I highly recommend her.

Mary Lou Hurley


Voting for Wrenner
Right now, we are undergoing a transition toward merging the Town and Village.

Those discussions include the five-member Village Trustees, who represent only the Village, and the five-member Selectboard, who represent the entire Town including the Village.

The Selectboard currently has three members from the Town outside the Village. It seems to me we need to at least keep it that way to better ensure a balanced merger discussion.

Toward that end, we all need to retain Irene Wrenner as a Selectboard member. Please cast one of your votes for her on March 5.

Rich Maggiani


Protect and serve?
On the evening of Feb. 6 it took me 2 hours to travel the 8 miles from work to home, due to freezing rain. I spent 40 minutes in a very slow line on Rt. 2A between the South traffic light for the “circ” and the North one, so I could park in the Park-and-ride there near the “dump”. I could have parked on the street somewhere, but the park-and-ride seemed like the right place. And I told the policeman directing the traffic at that light that that’s what I am doing. I then walked a mile and half on the icy dirt roads to get home.

In the morning I returned to the park-and-ride to retrieve the car. It was unlocked, and one window was rolled down. And there was a warning notice from the police on the windshield, about a “park hours” violation.

First, who gave them permission to unlock my car? And why did they leave it unlocked? And roll down a window (in freezing rain conditions)?! And, what violation? There are no hours posted there. It only says “no camping”. And even if there were hours posted, isn’t this the kind of situation that this public resource should be used for safety reasons?  Is this “Protect and Serve”?

Moshe Braner


Support for Wrenner, Murray
If it’s true that “80% of success is showing up”, then two of the three Selectboard candidates are well on their way to success in the coming election.  Kudos to them for making time in their busy schedules to attend Channel 17’s candidate forum on February 7.

I enjoyed watching the forum in which Irene Wrenner and Patrick Murray provided their thoughts on the Town of Essex budget and issues like the development of the new Town Center and the ongoing consolidation of Town and Village departments.

Serving on the Selectboard is no walk in the park. Showing up is essential.

Each Selectboard member must climb a steep learning curve. There are many hours of homework before meetings and attendance at scores of meetings per year.Wrenner’s years on the board and devotion to good government were evident in her answers. Murray’s passion for Essex and commitment to taking on this additional challenge were evident in his.

As a voter, I find it very helpful to watch forums like this to get a sense of candidates’ views on current issues, relevant experience, and priorities.

Here’s the link:

Please consider voting for these two very capable candidates – Wrenner and Murray – on March 5th.

Iris Banks


Civics lessons for Wrenner
In the mid-1700’s the colonists of the to-be America were taxed by the British government without having representation in the Parliament. The phrase “No taxation without representation” became a battle cry that carried us into the American Revolution. I’m sure you agree that it is unfair for a government to tax its people without giving them a fair voice in the operation of said government.

I contend that the reverse is unfair as well, that the people cannot expect representation without taxation. The United Auto Workers union for example will not negotiate for you if you don’t pay your membership dues. I think this is especially significant if one untaxed group is pitted against another taxed group.

In the Feb 7th edition of the Essex Reporter, Robert Bates described Irene Wrenner’s idea that the Town outside the Village deserves some sort of special representation, someone or some power that represents only the interests of the TOV residents. I could not disagree more. I am a resident of the Village and the Town. I pay taxes to the Village and thus the Trustees represent my interests. I also pay taxes to the Town and thus the Select Board (ostensibly) represents my interests. The TOV residents do not pay taxes to some entity that would represent only their interests, and thus are not entitled to any special representation.

There are 2 very simple ways the TOV residents can get the representation Ms Wrenner speaks of: let us separate or fully merge, either way the dichotomy she complains about will be no more.

Daryl Stultz

Wrenner strong advocate for community
This letter is in support for Irene Wrenner who is running for the Essex Town Selectboard March 5th. As an Essex resident, I appreciate Irene’s strong advocacy for our entire community. An independent thinker and an objective listener, Irene works to fully understand the complexity of bringing the Essex community together. Hardly someone to rubber stamp decisions just for the sake of moving on, Irene’s attention to detail is critical, as is her insistence that the board examines the issues from many sides. We are very fortunate to have such a hard-working person who is willing to not only work on the board but also to travel door-to-door to update us about the issues and understand our concerns. Please consider re-electing this well-informed and experienced member, as the Selectboard continues to tackle important issues concerning the future of Essex. I sincerely hope that you will vote for Irene Wrenner on March 5th.

Carole Renca


Encouraging support for Wrenner
We appreciate Irene Wrenner’s willingness to continue serving on the Essex Selectboard and encourage citizens to support her candidacy in the March 4 election.  Irene has promoted transparency and inclusion of divergent viewpoints, gotten accurate information to citizens, and stood for due, civil and open process.  Irene’s thoughtfulness, experience and commitment will serve us well in coming years.

Karin Hammer-Williamson and Larry Dean