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Michael Chaskes and Sarah (Lewis) Chaskes continue to enjoy a more or less empty-nest life in Los Angeles. Michael edits unscripted TV shows, including the Netflix hit Hack My Home, and volunteers on behalf of Democratic candidates and causes. He and film/theatergoing buddy, Paige Harding ’90 enjoyed seeing Professor Jeanine Basinger at an Los Angeles event, along with other alums like Halle Stanford and Jon Hoeber ’93. Sarah is in her 30th year of teaching sixth-grade English and social studies, her 12th at Pilgrim School, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education with a focus on social justice.

Mark Kiefer’s short film, Or, The Whale, won the Best Comedy award at the Lake Placid Film Festival in October.

Did you catch the Nietzsch Factor story in the Summer 2023 edition of the Wesleyan Magazine? Thinking, “I want more history of ultimate?” Look up Adam Zagoria’s Ultimate: The First Four Decades. Adam is a professional sportswriter and coauthor of the book. 

After almost 20 years in Rockland, Jeff Post moved to northern Westchester, New York, and while voting in November, ran into Johannah Dunham Townsend, who was serving as an election volunteer in their tiny district in Somers, New York. Jeff’s son, Bradley, graduated from the University of Central Florida and works in Orlando. Another son, Andrew, is a graduate of the University of Alabama and as of this writing, awaits law school admissions notifications. 

Cheryl Gansecki teaches geology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo and field courses for the Black Hills Field Station. In 2023 she celebrated publication of her book, Roadside Geology of Hawaiʻi. Husband, Ken Hon, is scientist-in-charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, where they have dealt with six eruptions in two years, making for a lot of sleepless nights. Daughter, Mara, is a junior at Columbia, and elder child Orion is in a PhD program in planetary science at University of Arizona. Cheryl would love to see Wesleyan friends that come to the Big Island!

Writing in from Portland, Maine, Jeff Levine continues work on state-level zoning reform initiatives designed to increase housing production. “In 2021 I served on the Maine legislature’s Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions. The Commission’s work resulted in LD2003, which reformed Maine’s state zoning laws by allowing more multifamily housing and providing incentives for affordable housing in downtowns. Maine is one of a small but growing set of states that are asking communities to plan for more housing, in light of a national shortage.” Jeff also works with a couple of communities in Massachusetts as they plan for the MBTA Communities Act, the Bay State’s version of state-level housing and zoning reform. “It’s an important planning effort, but it can sometimes be challenging to convince local leaders that planning for more housing allows you to choose your future far better than fighting new housing.”

In December, Spencer Boyer completed nearly three years of service in the Biden administration as the deputy assistant secretary of defense for European and NATO policy in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. Spencer noted, “I learned more than I could have imagined during this historic time for transatlantic relations, European security, and NATO” and “it’s been an honor to serve with such extraordinary colleagues and to be a part of Secretary Austin’s team.” His next chapter will include a mix of private sector, think tank, and academic work, including a term this winter as the Magro Family Distinguished Fellow in International Affairs at the Dickey Center for International Understanding at Dartmouth College. 

Tasos Theodorou provides us with a really important PSA: “chest pains and shortness of breath is not just your kids driving you crazy, but is in fact a heart attack, so get to the ER pronto!” Fortunately, he adds that his quadruple bypass heart surgery in November was a success, and he is healing well.

With that important information, I wish everyone a healthy and happy 2024!