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The Devonshire Times captures community life in a colorful format

Kelly A. Shue
June 25, 2019

Dedicated to keeping Devonshire community members up to date on the latest information, a team of writers and editors work diligently to produce The Devonshire Times, a resident-organized and -written newsletter highlighting life at this vibrant community. 

Every other month, the team produces the 12-page, full-color paper brimming with stories of community life, staff member introductions, and popular personal interest columns. Every two weeks, they meet to discuss and plan for the upcoming issues.

"The Devonshire Times provides a robust sense of community and awareness of specific talents and the myriad events happening," says Manager of Resident Services Marty Bores. "There is something for everyone whether they are new to Devonshire or have been here for years."

Staying informed

With the exception of a regular column from Executive Director Jim Wingardner and an occasional staff contribution, every article in The Devonshire Times is written by a community member.

"Any report we receive about a Devonshire activity past or future is welcome," says Fay Shapiro, who has written for the paper for the last ten years. "The Devonshire Times is for our community members. We love to hear from them and will always consider anything that is submitted to us."

A prolific writer, Fay composes book reviews, stories on activities, and personal reflections.

"As an English and creative writing major in college, writing is something I've always enjoyed," she says. "My favorite articles are those where I share a personal story, but I love writing them all."

In the May/June edition of The Devonshire Times, Fay shared her thoughts on the book Becoming by Michelle Obama as well as a personal story about her family's recent visit to Devonshire.

"My three children, their spouses, one grandson, my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew all came to visit," she says. "It was wonderful to recount for my neighbors the highlights of their stay and what they love best about our community."

Talented reporters

Writer Jean Cohen, who moved to Devonshire from Singer Island ten years ago, also writes numerous articles for the paper. She most recently penned "Banking Made Easy" about her move to the on-site PNC bank and "The Travelers Return" about the late January return of the purple marlins from the Amazon region of Brazil to their home at the Devonshire birdhouse on the south end of Kensington Lake.

"I enjoy the whole process from beginning to end," says Jean. "From our discussions on what we want to share in the paper and collecting stories from writers to writing stories myself and proofreading—I love it all." 

Like Jean, neighbor Adele Breslow writes about a variety of topics she believes will capture her neighbors' interest. Recently, she wrote about the community's state-of-the-art fitness center and Fitness Specialist Remy Harwood. In the same issue, she shared a personal story about her brother Eddie and his heroic efforts when his ship, the S.S. Cherokee, was sunk by German U-boats during World War II.

"I think [writing for the paper] keeps me sharp," she says. "And it's creative in that I can pick my topics."

Worth a thousand words

Ensuring that the numerous activities at Devonshire are captured with photos as well as words, community member Jim Hix dedicates his time as the paper's chief photographer.

"I appreciate the opportunity to bring life to a story," says Jim, who also leads the photography club. "As a photographer, I enjoy evoking people's senses when they look at the picture."

In addition to taking photographs to accompany the many resident-written stories, Jim prepares the paper's center photospread. In the most recent edition, the spread included photos from the community's recent musical performances.

Preparing for press

Once all the articles are written by the team of talented reporters, the newspaper team gets down to the nitty gritty of preparing the paper for printing. Leading the efforts is editor and technical advisor Carol Merriman. 

"Editing the paper is a collaborative effort," says Jim. "Even my wife Edie helps us. Everyone on the paper's staff goes through the articles at least three times."

Once The Devonshire Times is complete, each community member receives a copy. Community Resources Manager Irene Malanga keeps electronic copies of the paper both as an archive and to share on request.

"We are happy to be a news source for our community," says Fay. "As always, we will strive to keep the focus on information of general interest to the residents. The Devonshire Times is our community voice, and we will continue to provide articles about developments, Resident Council work, and club activities."