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East Haddam in 1913
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SimonPure Portal


Ken Simon and Walter Cronkite
A tribute to Walter Cronkite

Ken Simon (Executive Producer) helped to invent the modern alternative newsweekly when he founded The Syracuse New Times. It is now one of the oldest alternative newspapers in the country. Click here for the story of the paper's founding. Simon led the weekly for 11 years as it gained regional prominence for its coverage of arts and entertainment, media, business and politics. The Syracuse paper and another weekly founded by Simon, The Ithaca New Times, have received hundreds of awards for journalistic excellence.

After selling the newspapers, Simon worked as an editorial and publishing consultant for a wide range of companies and organizations, including the National Consumer Cooperative Bank, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Connecticut Film Commission, and United Technologies Corporation. During that time he wrote a weekly newspaper series on the legacy of urban renewal in his hometown that won the Amos Tuck/Champion Award for Economic Understanding. He also authored The New England Handcraft Catalog (Globe Pequot Press), a widely acclaimed book on leading New England artisans and their work.

Since starting SimonPure Productions, Ken Simon has produced, written and directed numerous television programs, including documentaries, entertainment  programs, and corporate video. Programs include Colt: Legend & Legacy, a biography of gun manufacturer Samuel Colt; Left to Die, the story of the Navy’s scandalous loss during World War II of the USS Juneau and its crew; Schemitzun!, portraying the country’s biggest celebration of Native American music and dance; USS Nautilus, on the first nuclear sub and its role in both the Cold War and civilian nuclear power. and The Mark of Uncas, an HDTV documentary on the history of the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut. He produced the PBS pledge concerts Carole King: A New Colour In The Tapestry, A Tribute To Harry Chapin and The Eagles: Hell Freezes Over. He also produced the PBS pledge specials Finding Your Own True Love and Emotional Freedom Now!

Simon has also created many programs broadcast statewide on Connecticut commercial and public television stations, including nine documentaries in The Connecticut Experience series, a collaboration of Connecticut Public Television and Connecticut Humanities Council that has been recognized by the Federation of State Humanities Councils as the best state humanities project in the nation. The latest program in that series is Working the Land: The Story of Connecticut Agriculture.

Simon's programs have won many regional and national awards, including three Emmy awards, 18 Emmy nominations and the American Bar Association Silver Gavel for Legal Reporting.

He is also the developer of PhoneZone, a software management system for regional theaters. The groundbreaking program evolved from Simon's longtime marketing consultancy for non-profit organizations. Clients included Regional Theatre Tony Award winners Denver Center Theatre Company, Goodspeed Opera House, Hartford Stage Company, Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre and Yale Repertory Theatre.

In the 1980s, Simon cofounded the Down on the Farm contemporary craft gallery on his family's old farm in Connecticut. He is the Chairman of the East Haddam Green Committee, charged with developing local initiatives that support healthy and sustainable living. He is also a member of the Buy CT Grown Advisory Team, which connects Connecticut consumers with Connecticut-grown products.

Simon is a graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Television/Radio.

Geoff O'Connell in the field.

Geoff O'Connell (Senior Producer)  was  pioneering editor of alternative newsweeklies in Phoenix, New Orleans, San Antonio and New England. Journalists trained by O’Connell have won every major journalism award, including the Pulitzer Prize and the George Polk Award and the Amos Tuck/Champion Award for Economic Understanding. Each of O’Connell’s alternative newsweeklies also featured distinguished cultural and lifestyle content, both originating and reflecting the demographic that came to be known as the Baby Boomers.

He has written media criticism and commentary for a wide range of periodicals including American Journalism Review and Investigative Reporters and Editors Journal and contributed to National Public Radio, Time magazine, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News and the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Wire.

O’Connell’s broadcast experience started in Phoenix where he was an on-air commentator for KDKB-FM. He later contributed to a number of National Public Radio affiliates, ultimately filing reports for NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Since adding television to his activities, O’Connell has been a consultant to CBS News, including 60 Minutes and served as program consultant/producer on two Christmas music concerts for public television, I Want to Hear the Bells, and Christmas Is Coming (with Vanessa Williams and Ossie Davis).

O’Connell recently wrote, produced and directed a 17-episode series, Gray’s Sporting Journal for OLN (Outdoor Life Network). The travel-adventure film series won the coveted “Teddy Award” presented each year to the top conservation-oriented outdoor show on television.

Linda Matys O'Connell

Linda Matys O’Connell (Producer) likes to be first. She began her media career in 1971 as writer and co-host of Connecticut Public Television’s Womankind, one of the first news-talk programs aimed at women. She helped fan a revolution in print in 1973 when she founded the Valley Advocate, the first alternative newsweekly in Western Massachusetts and one of the first such publications in the country to mount a sustainable challenge to daily newspapers. What became a four-newspaper chain with more than 380,000 circulation in New England won numerous awards, including the prestigious Amos Tuck Award for Economic Understanding under Linda’s leadership. The Advocate chain was purchased by the Tribune Co.

Linda owned additional alternative newspapers in Louisiana and Texas and, with writer/editor Geoff O’Connell and noted photographer Donn Young, organized the New Orleans Bureau, a freelance consortium serving print and broadcast outlets including Time Magazine and National Public Radio.

Drawn by the challenges of providing significant arts & entertainment and lifestyle coverage, Linda served as editor of New Orleans and San Antonio city magazines. Upon returning to the East Coast, she served as arts & entertainment editor for the Times Mirror Co., now Tribune Co., in Southern Connecticut. She was the recipient of a Times Mirror Innovation Prize and was named Journalist of the Year in 1999.

She moved on to become assistant managing editor for features at Tribune property The Morning Call, the third largest paper in Pennsylvania. She and her team re-imagined and redesigned  the newspaper’s features sections, raising readership 19 percent over a four-year period. She also initiated a robust features presence online.

Linda dallied briefly with the Gannett Co., managing custom publishing products in southern New Jersey in print and online. She joined SimonPure Productions as producer in February 2008.

Linda has degrees from Mount Holyoke College and Brown University with an emphasis on English literature. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Alumnae Association of Mount Holyoke and is Regional Director of the American Association of Sunday and Features Editors.

Hokusai Says
by Roger Keyes

Hokusai says...

Look carefully. He says pay attention, notice. He says keep looking, stay curious. He says there is no end to seeing.

He says look forward to getting old. He says keep changing. You just get more who you really are.

He says get stuck, accept it, repeat yourself as long as it’s interesting.

He says keep doing what you love.

He says keep praying.

He says every one of us is a child, every one of us is ancient, every one of us has a body.

He says every one of us is frightened. He says every one of us has to find a way to live with fear.

He says everything is alive -- shells, buildings, people, fish, mountains, trees. Wood is alive. Water is alive.

Everything has its own life. Everything lives inside us. He says live with the world inside you.

It matters that you care. It matters that you feel. It matters that you notice. It matters that life lives through you.

Contentment is life living through you.

Joy is life living through you.

Satisfaction and strength Is life living through you.

Peace is life living through you.

He says don’t be afraid. Don’t be afraid.

Look, feel, let life take you by the hand.

Let life live through you. 

Katsushika Hokusai


Mother Earth News Contributing Editor Steve Heckeroth explains why solar energy is the solution to our fossil-fueled crisis.


Another Mother article artfully argues for windmills and wind farms as a "higher order of beauty" that can provide a significant percentage of our electricity.



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