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December 14, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

Valley Courier

Dan Batt displays the chair he designed for the reception area at Centerbrook Architects, where he is an associate. The chair’s build reflects his designing philosophy: combining an efficient use of resources with comfort and a striking aesthetic. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Daniel Batt: Effectively Efficient

Published Nov. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

On a recent morning, a visitor to Centerbrook Architects stood with 3-D glasses, not simply viewing, but virtually walking through a meditation garden Dan Batt is in charge of designing for the Basilica of St. John the Evangelist in Stamford. The 3-D experience, gravity-defying but also vertigo-inducing, was an introduction to the different ways 21st-century technology enables architects to work.

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The Sound

With ever-expanding programs and holiday needs right around the corner, Community Dining Room Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Rosenberg welcomes volunteer help, donations, and other assistance from individuals, schools, businesses, and organizations. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Gathering Volunteers, Donations for Community Dining Room

Published Nov. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Somehow, Community Dining Room (CDR) Volunteer Coordinator Courtney Rosenberg never fails to rise to the challenge of rounding up enough volunteers to staff and/or help donate to ever-expanding programs; fill CDR’s kitchen crew with prep, cook, service, and clean up volunteers dishing up 50 to 90 meals per day (365 days a year); and line up drivers for 70 to 75 home deliveries sent out several days a week.

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North Haven Courier

Elf Mother Jill DeChello of Winc Promotions of North Haven rounds up some final touches to bring to the shoreline’s Magical Elf House in Guilford. Photo courtesy of Jill DeChello

Ready for the Big Reveal: Jill DeChello Opens Magical Elf House to the Public

Published Nov. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Once upon a time, there were three very creative Christmas Fairies—let’s call them Judi, Jennifer, and Ramona—and one very busy Elf Mother—let’s call her Jill. For two years, they’ve been planning a very special event, The Magical Elf House, and now, it’s nearly time for the big reveal.

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Harbor News

Anne Hay is relatively new to Westbrook, but she’s digging in to take an active role in civic life. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Snarky, Spirited, and Up for the Challenge

Published Nov. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Anne Hay had worked in the wine business for more than 15 years for both suppliers and in restaurants. About five years ago, however, she decided it was time to go out on her own.

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Guilford Courier

Successful pets’ rights lobbyist, non-profit founder/president, author, and singer/songwriter Lori Nicholson is reaching out to ask shoreline residents to help her new YouTube music video, “Thank God for Dogs,” go viral to bring attention to her efforts to help establish the nation’s first pet health metrics database program. Photo courtesy of Lori Nicholson

Nicholson Hopes ‘Thank God for Dogs’ Video Goes Viral to Save Pets’ Lives

Published Nov. 14, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Every time a pet goes to the vet, valuable information could be gathered and shared to help save other pets’ lives. It’s happening now in the United Kingdom (UK), yet no nationwide surveillance exists in the United States. That’s where Lori Nicholson is determined to make a difference, and she needs her shoreline neighbors to help her.

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Valley Courier

A pilot since his college days, Al Reeser flew trans-Atlantic transport planes for the Air Transport Command during World War II. Now 99 and living at Essex Meadows, he’s still finds opportunities to take flight. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Al Reeser: Up, Up and Away

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

World War II is a chapter in a history text for most people today, but for Al Reeser of Essex, it is real life memories. During the Second World War, Al, who is now 99, was a co-pilot flying for the Air Transport Command (ATC), which flew supplies from the United States to war zones and flew wounded back to the United States.

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Guilford Courier

Elf Mother Jill DeChello of Winc Promotions of North Haven rounds up some final touches to bring to the shoreline’s Magical Elf House in Guilford. Photo courtesy of Jill DeChello

Ready for the Big Reveal: Magical Elf House Coming to the Shoreline

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Once upon a time, there were three very creative Christmas Fairies—let’s call them Judi, Jennifer, and Ramona—and one very busy Elf Mother—let’s call her Jill. For two years, they’ve been planning a very special event, and now, it’s nearly time for the big reveal.

Read More

The Source

Tim Gannon is one of the volunteers making things happen at Killingworth’s Parmelee Farm. The crew’s latest accomplishment is building this sugarhouse, which will be ready for business in 2019. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Tim Gannon: Enjoying Volunteering’s Sweet Successes

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Tim Gannon, chairman of the Parmelee Farm Steering Committee in Killingworth, is looking forward to the farm’s first season making maple syrup in its new sugarhouse. The result of collaboration between the farm’s volunteers, local contractors, and the steering committee, the sugarhouse is almost complete.

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The Sound

U.S. Navy veteran Donald Langlois, Sr., has been selected by the Branford Veterans Day Parade Committee to be Branford’s 2018 Veterans Day Parade marshal. In addition to leading the parade that will march down Main Street at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11, Don will take part in the Veterans Parade Ceremonies at 1 p.m. on the Branford Town Green. In case of inclement weather, ceremonies will be moved to Branford High School, 185 East Main Street. Photo by Bill O’Brien

An Honor to Serve: Donald Langlois Sr. is Branford Veterans Day Parade Marshal

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

In October 1962, just months after graduating high school, Radioman First Class Don Langlois found himself in the middle of the Atlantic blockade of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Don’s main job was fielding top-secret clearance communications aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Lake Champlain.

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East Haven Courier

Stacy Gravino has served as town clerk for eight years, using her analytical science background to help the town’s citizens, human and animal alike. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

The Art and Science of Town Government

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When she started out, Stacy Gravino was interested in science. Now, she’s the East Haven town clerk, and she’s found her earlier career has been helpful.

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North Haven Courier

Envisioning a career as an opera star, Mark Bailey was advised to improve his stage presence through ballet; today, as artistic director and a conductor of the American Baroque Orchestra, he puts those skills to good use. Photo courtesy of Mark Bailey

Mark Bailey: A Series of Happy Accidents

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Like most people who end up with a profession in music, Mark Bailey started when he was young. Between his school’s music program and begging his parents for lessons, Mark quickly picked up a lot of musical skills.

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Harbor News

Clinton Police Officer Jason Frey, shown here with his K-9 partner Sonny, was awarded the Clinton Chamber of Commerce’s Public Service Award of Distinction in October.

Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Jason Frey: The Man Behind the Leash

Published Nov. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Clinton, say hello to your potential newest resident: Indian River Landing. The Board of Selectmen (BOS) unanimously voted to approve the sale of the old Morgan School property to the developer Greylock Property Group for $2.2 million. Property will be tuned into Indian River Landing, a mixed-use development consisting of retail, restaurants, a large-scale grocery or retail store, and townhomes. The project is estimated to take about five years to complete. The developer will also pay costs associated with the demolition of the building and any road improvements related to the property. The proposed development will have to undergo several approval stages. A public hearing on the proposal will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The hearing will be followed by a vote at a town meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The project must also be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Finance. According to a press release from First Selectman Christine Goupil, the portion of the development fronting Route 81 will host retail stores and restaurants, while the back of the property will host larger retail or grocery stores and residential townhomes. A public park on the Indian River and a recreational walking path will also be included in the project. The currently proposed development consists of 24 townhomes and 127,000 square footage of retail. In the press release, Goupil said in part, “The Retail environed at Indian River Landing will complement the outlets by providing restaurant and retail bands not currently in Clinton, along with other village type services.” The sale of the property was announced at the November 11th BOS meeting. Selectman Carol Walter complimented Goupil and the board as a whole for the months of work that was put into finding a developer for the space. “This BOS did its’ due diligence. We spent months looking at every viable group,” said Walter. Goupil said that the BOS met with four other potential developers. Selectman Phil Sengle said “We worked very well together because we focused on what Clinton wanted. We felt this was the best fit. “ Goupil told the Harbor News that in particular, the board considered developers with proposals that met the zoning regulations for the property, and ones they felt had solid financial backing. The board also looked into the waste water plans of each proposal, something Goupil said stymied the previous developers plans for the property. John Allen, the chairman of the EDC, called the proposal “a transformative moment for the town.” Allen said he believes that the planned development will complement the Clinton Crossings outlets, and energize the town. Allen also complimented the architect of the project, Matt Williams of Williams Architects, and noted that Williams has experience with other projects in the shoreline area. “I think it’s great, I think everyone in town should be happy.” When reached for comment Williams named several other developments, he has been a part of in Clinton, such as Liberty Square, and the Hammocks. “This is the kind of project we’re well suited for with our local knowledge,” Williams said. Williams said a key part of his concept was to incorporate existing local architecture into designs. “We’re excited to see this move forward and I think it’ll be a huge benefit to the town of Clinton,” Williams said. The announcement of a development on the Old Morgan School property is a long time coming in Clinton. In February 2015, voter approved the $2.8 million sale of the property to Mill Pond, LLC with the expectation the developer would replace the old school with apartments, offices, and retail, service, and restaurant uses. It was initially expected that the Mill Pond proposal would break ground in late 2016, however it never happened. Developer Henry Resnikoff terminated the agreement with the town in August of 2017 citing issues with financing and getting approval for a waste water permit application from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection. Since the collapse of the Mill Pond project, the town has retained control of the property, which has led to unexpected costs for maintenance and security against vandalism.

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Valley Courier

Though officially retired as an instructor at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Holly Ridgway is still a dedicated volunteer who’s helping organize the upcoming High Hopes Holiday Market on Sunday, Nov. 11. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Holly Ridgway: Horse Power

Published Oct. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When she was seven years old, Holly Ridgway had her future all figured out. She wanted to emulate everything her older brother did.

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The Source

With her decades of work in prevention of substance abuse and empowerment of teen leaders, Catherine Barden is steering MADE into a multi-faceted, and necessary, community entity. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Catherine Barden: A Focus on Prevention

Published Oct. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Since November 2011, Catherine Barden and the Madison Alcohol & Drug Education (MADE) Coalition have been working to give teens a voice, give teens a choice, and give parents the tools they need to help children stay healthy. Catherine’s dedication to her community began long ago, however.

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North Haven Courier

Sister Jacinta Akudo Ibe sees her vocation as represented by a candle that gives its wax to make light. Today, she shares her light by teaching at the Sacred Heart of Jesus school. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Making a Home in a Land Not Her Own

Published Oct. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Sister Jacinta Akudo Ibe has dedicated her life to her faith, a vocation that translates to teaching children here in North Haven through a service that crosses the globe.

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East Haven Courier

Marie Sunderland has spent her life as an educator, a social worker, and a volunteer for St. Clare’s Church, a church she has known since its founding. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Marie Sunderland: Nearly a Century of Ongoing Service

Published Oct. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

With the help of her education and her faith, Marie Sunderland, 98, has spent her adult life helping other people.

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The Sound

Resident potter for Guilford Art Center (GAC) Dana Lofink is shown here throwing one of many bowls she’s crafted to help a great cause, Soup for Good. Proceeds from the hearty soup supper, which takes place Sunday, Nov. 11, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at GAC, will support non-profit, Branford-based Community Dining Room as well as non-profit GAC. Photo courtesy of the Guilford Art Center

Lofink Goes Hands-On to Help ‘Soup for Good’

Published Oct. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

As the new resident potter for Guilford Art Center (GAC), Dana Lofink is going hands-on to help a great cause, GAC’s sixth annual Soup for Good. She’s had a hand in making many of the unique pottery bowls that will be given away as part of the event.

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Harbor News

In his third hurricane response for the American Red Cross, Old Saybrook’s Rich Hanratty headed by plane, rented car, and finally helicopter to reach Cerro Gordo, North Carolina, after Hurricane Florence decimated the region in September. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Rich Hanratty Recounts his Red Cross Disaster Recovery Efforts

Published Oct. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Most people, understandably, hear about the approach of a hurricane and get as far away as possible. But there are a few brave people who head toward the storm instead.

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The Sound

Shown here at a recent Don’s Hat Rack ride with his daughter, Deanne, Northford’s John Heine has been selected to receive a Connecticut Convention & Sports Bureau (CTCSB) Bring It Home Award sponsored by Eversource. Photo courtesy of John Heine

One for the Books: Heine Recognized with CTCSB ‘Bring It Home’ Award

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

John Heine has built an impressive career at Yale University’s collegiate printing facility, but not even he could have predicted the award that came his way this week. Let’s just say it was one for the books.

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Valley Courier

Jane Deuse Cable and the American Legion Post 97 in Chester have been plans for honoring veterans in the coming weeks. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Jane Deuse Cable: Let’s Hear it for Veterans

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Jane Deuse Cable left active service in the United States Navy in 1971, but she is still on active duty—but this time for veterans. She is the adjutant of American Legion Post 97 in Chester.

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Guilford Courier

A national spotlight is shining on Katrina Cain, a Guilford native, thanks to her appearances on NBC’s The Voice: Season 15. Cain got her singing start growing up in Guilford and is grateful for her hometown’s support. Photo courtesy of NBC’s The Voice

Guilford Native Katrina Cain Capturing Hearts on ‘The Voice’

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Katrina Cain may call Texas home, but she’s carrying Guilford in her soul as she captures the hearts of fans nationwide on NBC’s The Voice: Season 15.

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East Haven Courier

José Rios offered free haircuts to East Haven students as part of an event to cut down on bullying, a subject he worries about for his own family.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

When a Haircut is More than a Haircut

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

José Rios has a long history of using his barbering skills to better the community.

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Harbor News

Ann Nyberg is more than just one of the shoreline’s most recognizable residents, she’s also one of the most engaged in the community. In 2018, author, philanthropist, shop owner, and 30-plus year journalist at WTNH was given the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award by the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Ann Nyberg

Ann Nyberg: ‘Woman of the Year’

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Each year the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook bestows the Spirit of Katharine Hepburn Award to an individual who embodies the spirit, independence, and character of the legendary four-time Academy Award winning actress.

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The Source

The Reverend Sarah Vetter is the new minister of community life at the First Congregational Church (FCC) in Madison. Working alongside her husband, Reverend Todd Vetter, Sarah hopes to help bring the community together to “recognize that we belong to each other.” Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Putting Community and Conversations to the Fore

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Reverend Sarah Vetter began her work as the minister of community life at the First Congregational Church (FCC) in Madison, her hope was to connect with the community.

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North Haven Courier

For North Haven’s Matt Stevens, art isn’t just a subject he teaches, it’s also a second career—and a way for his students to see and interpret the image-driven world around them. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Matt Stevens: Teaching Tools to Interact with a Visual World

Published Oct. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

As one of three art teachers at East Haven High School, North Haven’s Matt Stevens is tasked with teaching his students to create art and navigate our increasingly digital world.

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Guilford Courier

Through statewide organizations like The Cove and Camp Erin and local groups like the Madison and Guilford ABC programs, Renée McIntyre has been a vital resource for kids dealing with grief and transition. Photo by Chris Dobbins/The Source

Renée McIntyre: Going with the Hope

Published Oct. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Asked about her work or various volunteer activities, at some point Renée McIntyre will say, “It’s a privilege” about each thing she does.

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Valley Courier

The past 25 years have breezed by for CDE Preschool teacher Donna May. In a world that has seen substantial changes in that time period, she notes that much of what pre-schoolers want and need has stayed the same. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Donna May: Preschool Never Gets Old

Published Oct. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

No matter what the newest fads and the most up-to the minute toys, Donna May says there are some time-tested favorites in pre-school that resist the pressure of current fashion.

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The Sound

Successful pets’ rights lobbyist, non-profit founder/president, author, and talented singer/songwriter Lori Nicholson is reaching out to ask shoreline residents to help her new YouTube music video, “Thank God for Dogs,” go viral to bring attention to her efforts to help establish the nation’s first pet Health Metrics data base program.

Photo courtesy of Lori Nicholson

Nicholson Hopes ‘Thank God for Dogs’ Video Goes Viral to Save Pets’ Lives

Published Oct. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Every time a pet goes to the vet, valuable information could be gathered and shared to help save other pets’ lives. It’s happening now in the United Kingdom (UK), yet no nationwide surveillance exists in the United States.

Read More

The Source

Becky Coffey: Bringing a New Set of Stories to Life

Published Oct. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Becky Coffey is known for many talents. At her church, she’s appreciated as a talented cantor and choir member.

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North Haven Courier

A recent cancer survivor, Kathleen Bonvicini has approached life with a new perspective and new purpose. Part of that began last year with a volunteer trip to Tanzania, and wrapped up last month with a trek to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Bonvicini Returns from Mount Kilimanjaro Fundraiser Climb

Published Oct. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

She went to Tanzania for the first time last year on a volunteer vacation, working in a village near the mountain.

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