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Person of the Week

Publications

Harbor News

Frank Boccia and his wife Debra restored a historic wooden boat from England in their Westbrook garage, and can now be seen making the most of the summer aboard Tinker Bell. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Frank Boccia Has a Belief in Boats

Published March 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

The Connecticut shoreline offers locals some exceptional scenery. For shore-goers in Westbrook, a trip to the water may mean catching a glimpse of Frank Boccia and his wife Debra cruising past aboard Tinker Bell, their 20-foot antique wooden boat.

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Valley Courier

A longtime veteran of sports broadcasting, Al Jaffe now brings his skills to a different arena: local theater. He’s a member of the Ivoryton Playhouse Board of Trustees and is helping the theater host four one-act plays staged at the upcoming Women Playwrights Initiative on Friday and Saturday, March 1 and 2. Photo by Rita Christopher/Harbor News

Al Jaffe: A Seat on the Aisle

Published Feb. 27, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Al Jaffe loves theater and now he has a theater to love. Al has recently become the president of Board of Trustees of the Ivoryton Playhouse.

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Harbor News

As an assistant librarian at the Westbrook Public Library, Brittany Person has had the opportunity to work with a range of ages and interests. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Brittany Pearson: Opening New Doors at the Library

Published Feb. 20, 2019 12:01 a.m.

Brittany Pearson wishes teens would read more. Not just for school, not because they have to, but for pure pleasure.

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Harbor News

Joan McPherson loves to paint en plein air, but she also paints from home, in her bright, airy guest bedroom. Photo by Margaret McNellis/Harbor News

Joan McPherson: An Artist’s Eye

Published Feb. 13, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Clinton Art Society member Joan McPherson recently won the Golden Art Materials Award in the New England Watercolor Society’s 2019 Signature Member Show in Boston for her watercolor painting View from the Farnsworth Museum’s Gift Shop.

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Harbor News

The Morgan School history teacher Emily Russell has taken on integral roles with the school’s Model United Nations and debate teams, which she sees as great opportunities for students to gain real-world experience. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Emily Russell: Helping Students State Their Case

Published Feb. 06, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In January, the 11 students who make up the Model United Nations (UN) team at The Morgan School took part in the annual Model UN conference held at Yale.

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Harbor News

Paul Egan of Clinton is better known as The Bike Guy in some circles. 

Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Paul Egan Uses Love for Tinkering, Biking to Help Community

Published Jan. 30, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Two years ago, Paul Egan and his wife Liz were watching Jeopardy. During the portion of the show when the contestants introduce themselves, one of them described herself as a community volunteer, which caught Paul’s attention.

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Harbor News

Since coming on as emergency management director for Westbrook shortly before Tropical Storm Irene and then Superstorm Sandy bashed the shoreline, Don Izzo has worked on adding layers of redundancy and engaged new volunteers to ensure the town weather the next disaster as smoothly as possible. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Don Izzo: Ensuring the Best in the Worst Conditions

Published Jan. 23, 2019 12:01 a.m.

Westbrook Emergency Management Director Don Izzo refers to the main room of the Emergency Management Center as a fortress.

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Harbor News

His efforts on the Water Pollution Control Commission aren’t the most glamorous int town, but Matt Kennedy and his fellow commissioners’ work is helping clean Clinton waterways and improving water quality in areas like Rocky Ledge. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

A Geologist Sets Deep Roots in Clinton

Published Jan. 16, 2019 08:30 a.m.

“I’m a husband, dad, geologist, licensed environmental professional, and one of those goofy Yankees, Celtics, and Steelers fans.”

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Harbor News

Outside the Saybrook Stage Company’s Westbrook Ambulance Association rehearsal space, Jim Hile takes a break from preparing for the upcoming production of Other Desert Cities, a play coming to The Kate Thursday to Sunday, Jan. 17 to 20. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Jim Hile: For Love of Theater

Published Jan. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Jim Hile was 21, his sister was participating in a musical called The Boyfriend. At the time, Jim was “more interested in the technical aspects of shows, such as the lighting,” than performing. You can imagine Jim’s surprise, then, when he received a call asking him to audition for the play.

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Harbor News

Connecticut Cancer Foundation (CCF) CEO and President Jane Ellis has spent more than three decades helping those with cancer cope with everyday expenses, honoring and growing the commitment made by her husband John Ellis. The foundation, first established as the Connecting Sports Foundation, operates out of its newly outfitted Old Saybrook headquarters, complete with a Hall of Fame. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Uniting Heroes, Large and Small, to Aid Cancer Patients

Published Jan. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

More than 30 years ago, John Ellis, an entrepreneur and former Major League Baseball player, made a promise: If he beat cancer, he would devote his life to helping others facing cancer diagnoses. He may not have realized that his wife, Jane Ellis, would devote herself to fulfilling that promise, too. But she has.

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Harbor News

The last of her line: Where other shoreline first selectmen begin the new year considering campaign for re-election, that’s one worry Clinton First Selectman Christine Goupil doesn’t have. With town government transitioning to a town manager/town council format at the end of her term, she’s staying focused on a few priorities as the town’s last first selectman. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Christine Goupil: The Last First Selectman

Published Dec. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

A few days ago while in her office in Town Hall, an acquaintance pointed out to First Selectman Christine Goupil the pictures of the former First Selectmen that hang in Town Hall, and the fact that Christine could very well be the last person to hold that title in Clinton.

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Harbor News

One of Abby Roccapriore’s favorite facets of serving on Clinton’s Human Services Board is seeing how quickly members of the community reach out to their neighbors in need.

Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Making Connections in a Caring Community

Published Dec. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Abby Roccapriore has lived—and been an active participant—in Clinton for more than a decade, though she’s not likely to ever escape her regional roots. Abby is part of the Waterhouse family, which helped found the Town of Chester.

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Harbor News

Old Saybrook’s Mary Kennedy played a large local role in John F. Kennedy’s campaign for president, her political activism started earlier and remains a focus today. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Mary Kennedy Remains a Tireless Public Servant, Volunteer

Published Dec. 05, 2018 08:30 a.m.

It’s no wonder Mary Kennedy has been dubbed the “Energizer Bunny” of the Old Saybrook Democratic Town Committee. At 90 years old, she is long since retired from her career as a nurse, but remains a tireless public servant and volunteer for local candidates.

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Harbor News

A 10-year veteran of the Board of Selectmen, Carol Walter is a familiar face in Town Hall and out in the community. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

The Solution to Boredom

Published Nov. 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Several years after moving to Clinton and starting a family, Carol Walter faced a decision. Her two sons were getting older, and Carol was going to need something to do with her time.

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Harbor News

Soon after she was elected to the Old Saybrook Board of Education, Tara Barros (shown here with Jojo) was given the chance to lead the board as its chair. She embraced the opportunity. Photo by Aviva Luria/Harbor News

Small Town, Big Opportunites

Published Nov. 21, 2018 08:30 a.m.

She may be a Valley Regional High School graduate, but Tara Barros has roots in Old Saybrook. The new Board of Education (BOE) chairman’s parents grew up in the town, and she and her family live in the house where her grandparents raised her father and aunt. It’s where she and her husband are raising their two boys.

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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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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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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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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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Harbor News

Dave Melillo is settling in nicely in his office in the Clinton Town Hall Annex. He’s the town’s new director of youth services, and he brings 33 years of experience filling the same role in Madison. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

An Advocate for the Community’s Youth, and for the Community

Published Oct. 10, 2018 08:30 a.m.

David Melillo has only been the director of human services in Clinton since June, but he’s no stranger when it comes to the role.

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Harbor News

Stepping Up for Art: Pavlos Named Lyme Art Association Executive Director

Published Oct. 03, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Pavlos Named Lyme Art Association Executive Director

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Harbor News

Attorney Terry Lomme doesn’t wear his affection for cars on his sleeve—instead he displays it throughout his Essex office. Terry recently retired as the probate judge for the Old Saybrook District. Photo by Rita Christopher/Harbor News

Terry Lomme: He’s Got Will Power

Published Sep. 26, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Where there’s a will, there’s a…relative. Just ask Terry Lomme, the recently retired judge of probate in the Old Saybrook District, which includes nine towns: Old Saybrook, Essex, Deep River, Chester, Westbrook, Clinton, Killingworth, Lyme, and Haddam.

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Harbor News

Chuck Hill, an EMT by day and captain of the Clinton Volunteer Fire Department, doesn’t have a lot of spare time, but what little he has of it, he spends hiking with his dog Molly. Thanks to the generosity of his friends Dan and Wendy Lewis, who met Chuck at a rest stop along the trail with Molly, Chuck got to finish the Trailblaze Challenge alongside his usual hiking partner. Photo courtesy of Chuck Hill

Blazing a Trail for Make-a-Wish

Published Sep. 19, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Chuck Hill loves to hike.

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Harbor News

Old Saybrook Rotary Club President Sam Fulginiti and his wife Lori in 2005 bought the Robinson Wright & Weymer Funeral Home in Centerbrook, one of the last locally owned funeral homes in the area. Photo by Becky Coffey/Harbor News

Sam Fulginiti: A Rotarian Committed to Service

Published Sep. 12, 2018 08:30 a.m.

After 11 years as a member of the Old Saybrook Rotary Club, P. Samuel Fulginiti last year took the helm as club president.

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Harbor News

Coralie Williams loves her job as head of children’s services at the Henry Carter Hull Library. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

As a Children’s Librarian, No Good-byes

Published Sep. 05, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Coralie Williams says she knew something was different the first time she walked into the Henry Carter Hull Library.

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Harbor News

In 2012, Pasquale Called to Ministry in her Home Town

Published Aug. 29, 2018 08:30 a.m.

In her 20s, Cori Pasquale had a crisis of faith. It was surprising since she and her family were strongly connected to the faith community of First Church of Christ of Old Saybrook (Congregational) when she was young, but suddenly in her late 20s, she found herself adrift with a new baby and in the midst of a divorce. She needed help and support.

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Harbor News

Starting with supporting his kids’ Little League teams, Jack Scherban has been finding ways to serve the Clinton community. Now in his retirement, he makes time between his roles as a selectman and with the Clinton Historical Society to follow his grandchildren’s sports teams. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Jack Scherban: Finding Many Ways to Contribute

Published Aug. 22, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Jack Scherban transferred to the area from Massachusetts for a job in the banking industry, an associate mentioned Clinton as a place to look for a home. In 1974, Jack moved in and has stayed ever since.

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Harbor News

Charlotte Kundrath is a realtor by day and arts volunteer by night, though she also tries to get in some time at the helm of her Sunfish sailboat at her home in Clinton. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Charlotte Kundrath: Connecting Arts and Audiences

Published Aug. 15, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Charlotte Kundrath grew up in a home that embraced the arts, which may explain why she has found a way to translate that love of culture into a regular part of her life as a volunteer at the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center (The Kate).

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Harbor News

In September, Norm Wood will mark 20 years working as the town’s assessor.

Photo by Becky Coffey/Harbor News

Assessor Norm Wood Marks 20 Years in Old Saybrook

Published Aug. 08, 2018 08:30 a.m.

If you’re like most town residents, your interaction with the town assessor is limited to the property revaluation notice the assessor sends you every five years or contact to remove a motor vehicle you’ve sold from the tax rolls.

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Harbor News

When hundreds of people come together for the Westbrook Elks Club’s 10th annual Beach Jam for Breast Cancer Patient Care Services on Saturday, Aug. 11, Carolyn Vallee will see her efforts to help bring the event together come to fruition. Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Carolyn Vallee Helps Bring Westbrook Elks’ 10th Annual Beach Jam to Life

Published Aug. 01, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Carolyn Vallee, one of the organizers of the Westbrook Elks Club’s annual Beach Jam for Breast Cancer Patient Care Services, has a quick comparison for the event now hitting its 10th year: “Lollapalooza.”

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