Friday, November 27, 2020

Valley Courier Person of the Week

Guilford Courier

Whitney Lorenze is curating Future VOICES, Shoreline Arts Alliance’s (SAA) newest opportunity for artists across the spectrum and of all skills to have work with topical themes, particularly those concerning social activism and COVID-19, published on the SAA website during a three-month public exhibit, which opens Thursday, Dec. 10.

Photo courtesy of Whitney Lorenze

The Time is Right for SAA’s Future VOICES

Published Nov. 25, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With the copious gallery space of the Internet, Shoreline Arts Alliance [SAA] is working to draw artists from across the spectrum, and all levels of ability, to enter pieces inspired by today’s topical themes—from COVID to social activism—into Future VOICES.

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The Source

A nurse at Connecticut Hospice and longtime Madison resident, Karen Miller volunteers much of her time to the ministries of the North Madison Congregational Church. 

Photo courtesy of Karen Miller

Karen Miller: Knowing Her Values and Living Them

Published Nov. 18, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Growing up, Karen Miller lived in a multifamily house with her cousins.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford Art Center (GAC) volunteer, teacher, and artist Amy Peters is helping to piece together artful fabric bags that will be packed with take-out containers of soup and more for participants of Soup for Good TO GO on Sunday, Dec. 6. Peters is hard at work with her friend and co-GAC volunteer Ellen Cordes to build enough bags as a way to give a gift of art to supporters during year when COVID-19 restrictions have made some changes to the annual fundraising event. Proceeds benefit non-profit GAC and non-profit Community Dining Room of Branford. Photo courtesy of Amy Peters

It’s in the Bag: Creative Support for GAC’s Soup for Good TO GO

Published Nov. 11, 2020 08:30 a.m.

“It’s a beloved event that’s reinvented for this year, and we hope that its equally beloved this way,” says Amy Peters of Guilford Art Center’s (GAC) Soup for Good TO GO, set for Sunday, Dec. 6, from 2 to 4 p.m. at GAC.

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The Sound

As growth director of member-supported, non-profit SAIL LAST, Harland Christofferson spent the summer on Branford waters helping junior and collegiate sailors gain instruction in the sustainable, environmentally responsible sport of keelboat racing while also building STEM skills. Photo courtesy of Harland Christofferson

A Year of Firsts for SAIL LAST

Published Nov. 04, 2020 08:30 a.m.

You could say 2020 has been a year of firsts for member-supported, non-profit SAIL LAST. With its first boat, a donated Henderson 30, SAIL LAST capped a summer’s worth of keelboat racing with Branford’s Around the Buoys with the wind in their sails and high expectations for the future.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford Interfaith Volunteers (GIV) Executive Director Marta Slattery will miss serving her hometown after she moves to Oregon in December. She’s provided years of community service through her volunteer and professional work with GIV, as well as her service as a board member of Guilford Foundation and vice president of the board of Guilford Free Library. Her last week with GIV will arrive at the end of November. Photo by Jim Slattery

Slattery Has Enjoyed Sharing Strong Support for Guilford

Published Oct. 28, 2020 08:30 a.m.

“I was talking with Tammy DeFrancesco, and she said they needed someone strong to pick up the food at the Connecticut Food Bank. I said, ‘I have a strong back, so I’ll be happy to do it,’” says Marta Slattery. “And that’s how I first got involved with Guilford Interfaith.”

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The Sound

Guilford home cook and well-known Branford retired educator Virginia ‘Ginny’ Baltay has just unlocked the lid on her new cookbook, 'A Steamy Affair with a Pressure Cooker: Recipes, Stories & Saucy Suggestions.' She also plans to share her passion for pressure cooking during three Zoom-connected Shoreline Adult Education evening classes. Photo courtesy of Virginia Baltay

Baltay Uncovers 'A Steamy Affair with a Pressure Cooker: Recipes, Stories & Saucy Suggestions'

Published Oct. 14, 2020 08:30 a.m.

'When you mention the word ‘pressure cooker,’ people really turn off. But if you talk about in a saucy way, they get a kick out of it,' says Virginia 'Ginny'Baltay.

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Guilford Courier

Supported by Guilford Performing Arts Festival (GPAF), Guilford author/actress Julie Fitzpatrick’s spoken word piece All the World’s a Stage: A Guilford Love Story is taking shape right now and will premiere at the next festival, scheduled for September 2021. She is one of six Connecticut performing artists just named a recipient of GPAF’s 2020 Artists’ Awards. Photo by Alana Range

Inspiration in a Pandemic: Fitzpatrick Pens ‘All the World’s a Stage: A Guilford Love Story’

Published Oct. 07, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Inspired in a pandemic and supported by Guilford Performing Arts Festival (GPAF), Guilford author/actress Julie Fitzpatrick’s spoken word piece All the World’s a Stage: A Guilford Love Story is taking shape right now and will premiere at the next festival, scheduled for September 2021.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford author Milton Brasher-Cunningham’s new book, ‘The Color of Together: Mixed Metaphors of Connectedness,’ will be celebrated Wednesday, Oct. 14 at 5 p.m., when Breakwater Books presents a special, outdoor book signing event (pre-registration required) at the barn at 19 Church Street, Guilford.

Photo Courtesy Milton Brasher-Cunningham

Brasher-Cunningham Shares Hope with ‘The Color of Together’

Published Sep. 30, 2020 08:30 a.m.

“I was two years late on my deadline for my book submission. Sometimes you miss a moment, and sometimes, you land in one you didn’t know you were preparing for.”

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Guilford Courier

Guilford resident Alexandra Demitrack is shown here at a prolific vegetable garden, which she also helps to maintain, at her place of employment, Branford Fire Department (BFD). The Branford firefighter/paramedic is putting her organic gardening experience to work to help BFD establish organic pollinator pathway gardens on the grounds of the firehouse. Photo courtesy of Alexandra Demitrack

A Growing Effort to Support Pollinator Pathways

Published Sep. 23, 2020 08:30 a.m.

This Guilford resident spent part of the summer nurturing and growing a native, sustainable, and all-organic pollinator pathway garden on the grounds where she works.

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Guilford Courier

Marie Mordarski has taken on the role of volunteer/program coordinator for non-profit Community Dining Room (CDR), which serves the shoreline including Guilford. CDR has just announced it will resume in-person volunteer training with a special session on Wednesday, Sept. 30, at 5 p.m. at CDR, 30 Harrison Avenue in Branford. 

Photo courtesy of the Community Dining Room

During a ‘New Normal,’ Mordarski Helps CDR Volunteers Make a Difference

Published Sep. 16, 2020 08:30 a.m.

At a time when programming and in-person volunteering looks quite different at many non-profits, Marie Mordarski has taken on the role of volunteer/program coordinator for non-profit Community Dining Room (CDR).

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Guilford Courier

Guilford Public Health Director Dennis Johnson retires after 20 years of shepherding the community through changing public health needs including its response to COVID-19. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

From the Heart: Johnson Grateful for 20 Years Overseeing Guilford’s Public Health

Published Sep. 09, 2020 08:30 a.m.

He’s shepherded Guilford’s public health through the rise of rabies, Lyme disease, West Nile virus, Triple E, H1N1, and even bioterrorism emergency preparedness and training.

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Guilford Courier

Lisa Hughes hopes to hit a technical homerun for Guilford Agricultural Society and the community with the Virtual Guilford Fair, coming to Facebook (@guilfordagsociety) Friday, Sept. 18 to Sunday, Sept. 20. She says the key will be driving in plenty of exhibitors who will post their photographed entries in departments of their choice beginning Saturday, Sept. 12 through Thursday, Sept. 17 at 5 p.m. Photo courtesy of Lisa Hughes

Hughes Helps Tech Meet Tradition with Virtual Guilford Fair

Published Sep. 02, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Lisa Hughes hopes to hit a technical homerun for Guilford Agricultural Society and the community with the Virtual Guilford Fair, coming to Facebook (@guilfordagsociety) Friday, Sept. 18 to Sunday, Sept. 20.

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Guilford Courier

When the pandemic closed the sanctuary doors at Guilford’s First Congregational Church, there was a built-in millennial minister to help open quite a few digital windows—the Reverend Jake Miles Joseph. Photo courtesy of First Congregational Church

A Millennial Minister: Rev. Jake Miles Joseph

Published Aug. 26, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Luckily for Guilford First Congregational Church, when the pandemic closed the sanctuary doors, there was a built-in millennial minister to help open quite a few digital windows—Reverend Jake Miles Joseph.

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Guilford Courier

In different capacities and for various scientific research projects, Amy Cornell worked at Stanford University, Yale University, and the NASA Ames Research Center. She now teaches science at The Country School in Madison but took a leave of absence to work for Homodeus in Guilford on a new and better COVID-19 test expected to be available to the public after FDA approval. Photo courtesy of Amy Cornell

Amy Cornell: Discovering More Through Science

Published Aug. 19, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The long lines for COVID-19 testing may soon be a thing of the past. So will the anxious wait times for results.

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Guilford Courier

Architect Leonard Wyeth is the design mind at work on the restoration of Stony Creek’s historic Legacy Theatre, the founder and creative force behind Guilford’s renowned Acoustic Music and acousticmusic.org, and now promoter of a newly-launched weekly YouTube series featuring local musicians. He’s also president of Connecticut Passive House. Photo courtesy of Leonard Wyeth

On Another Note: Wyeth Crafts Creative Solutions

Published Aug. 12, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Perhaps you’ve heard that Chester-based architect Leonard Wyeth is the design mind at work on the restoration of Stony Creek’s historic Legacy Theatre. But did you know he’s also the founder and creative force behind Guilford’s renowned Acoustic Music fine guitar shop, the father of AcousticMusic.Org, and now promoter of a newly launched weekly YouTube series featuring local musicians?

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Guilford Courier

Born and raised in East Haven, Tammy still is very involved in East Haven through work and volunteering, but now living in Guilford, she also gives back to her new hometown. 

Photo courtesy of Tammy Mazzucco Afragola

Tammy Mazzucco Afragola Spreads Her Roots to Two Communities

Published Aug. 05, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Tammy Mazzucco Afragola has deep ties to both East Haven and Guilford.

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Guilford Courier

The young organizers of grassroots Guilford Racial Equality Project (GREP), including Co-president Yanenash Ayele Munoz, are ready to bring GREP’s first awareness-raising event to town, Drive-In for Justice on Monday, Aug. 10, at 8:15 p.m. behind St. George’s Catholic Church. Photo courtesy of Yanenash Ayele Munoz

Helping Guilford Racial Equality Project Raise Awareness in the Community

Published July 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The young organizers of grassroots Guilford Racial Equality Project (GREP) are ready to bring the group’s first awareness-raising event to town, Drive-In for Justice.

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Guilford Courier

The New York Times (NYT) has bestowed an honorable mention on Camilo Carmona’s convincing editorial, “COVID-19 Unmasks Our Broken Healthcare System,” in seventh annual NYT Student Editorial Contest, which had more than 7,300 student entries. Carmona is a rising senior at Guilford High School. Photo courtesy of Camilo Carmona

New York Times Takes Note of Student Editorialist Camilo Carmona

Published July 22, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Recently, The New York Times (NYT) sat up and took notice of Camilo Carmona’s convincing editorial, “COVID-19 Unmasks Our Broken Healthcare System,” selecting it from more than 7,300 nationwide entries and kicking it upstairs to be considered as a finalist in the seventh annual NYT Student Editorial Contest.

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Guilford Courier

When the pandemic closed in and shut down businesses in March, Pat Lore, a Guilford resident, seasoned TV reporter, and video production expert, found a new niche and a new way to help others by sharing her pro tips on marketing themselves or their business or organization via video and live camera. Photo courtesy of Pat Lore

‘Lights, Camera, Connection’: Lore Produces Live Video Support for Locals

Published July 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

“I always tell people the worst compliment you can give me is to call me perfect,” says video storyteller Pat Lore.

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The Sound

Venice Garner Moore made the leap to begin her own practice, Embrace Your Difference, and is sharing the importance of the concept, self career, and more in a column throughout July in honor of Minority Mental Health Awareness Month. Photo courtesy of Venice Garner Moore

Venice Garner Moore Shines Light on Minority Mental Health Awareness

Published July 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

At a peaceful protest in Madison, Venice Garner Moore—a therapist, life coach, author, and motivational speaker—met an editor from the Courier, and Venice suggested a story highlighting Minority Mental Health Awareness.

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Guilford Courier

Camp Menunkatuck Director Megan Wallace is overseeing this summer’s carefully planned program, which follows all COVID-19 safety protocols while still delivering the fun factor for kids. This year, Guilford Parks & Rec’s eight weeks of summer camp is based at Guilford High School. Photo by Matt Landry-McWilliams

Keeping Kids Safe & Happy at Camp Menunkatuck 2020

Published July 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

While Megan Wallace has led Guilford Parks & Recreation’s Camp Menunkatuck for many years, this summer, Megan, together with her assistant director Matt Landry-McWilliams and a team of six counselors, are working especially hard to keep campers safe and happy.

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Guilford Courier

Shown here pictured at last year’s SARAH Gala, a major fundraiser that has been canceled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, SARAH Foundation’s Kim Vigliotti is hoping the shoreline will rise to support the virtual Summer Breeze Challenge fundraising event benefiting SARAH. The program’s traditional one-day cycling event has been re-imagined for participants who can enter online, log miles with a recreational activity of their choice, and raise pledges toward completing their goals anytime between July 1 to 31.

Photo courtesy of Kim Vigliotti

Vigliotti Hopes Many will Rise to the Summer Breeze Challenge for SARAH

Published June 24, 2020 08:30 a.m.

With some major fundraisers set aside due to COVID-19 this year, SARAH Foundation’s Kim Vigliotti is hoping the shoreline will rise to the challenge—the virtual Summer Breeze Challenge, that is.

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Guilford Courier

On March 16, 2020, A’s Unique Boutique was poised for owner Kara Engstrom’s peak prom gown sales weekend, when COVID-19 restrictions shut down her store. From that point until this moment, staying in business has been a matter of connectivity, creativity, and community support. Photo courtesy of Kara Engstrom

Engstrom Grateful for Creativity, Connectivity, Community Support

Published June 17, 2020 08:30 a.m.

On March 16, A’s Unique Boutique was poised for a peak prom gown sales weekend when COVID-19 restrictions shut down the store. From that point until this moment, staying in business has been a matter of connectivity, creativity and community support for owner Kara Engstrom.

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Guilford Courier

Heather Mackenzie, treasurer of all-volunteer Project Graduation, says parents, local businesses, and the community are making special efforts to help ensure the Guilford High School Class of 2020 will feel celebrated and supported by their town on graduation night. Photo courtesy of Heather Mackenzie

Helping Project Graduation Celebrate the GHS Class of 2020

Published June 10, 2020 08:30 a.m.

For the first time in the history of Guilford’s all-volunteer Project Graduation program, there will be no all-night, substance-free party for the graduating class.

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Guilford Courier

After 13 years of leadership as principal of Guilford High School, Rick Misenti retires with the end of the school year. He’s grateful to have been a part of an extraordinary school system and community. Photo courtesy of Guilford Public Schools

Rick Misenti: Grateful for 13 Extraordinary Years in Guilford

Published June 03, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When this extraordinary school year comes to a close, it will also mark the end of an extraordinary 13 years at Guilford High School (GHS) led by Principal Richard “Rick” Misenti, who will retire.

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Guilford Courier

Matt LaPrino no doubt had a bit of a different vision of what his first day serving as the executive director of Soundview Family YMCA would be like. But that didn’t stop him from charting a new course to bring community connections and services to members and residents in the towns of Guilford, Branford, North Branford, East Haven, and Madison during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo courtesy of Matt LaPrino

LaPrino’s Leadership Charts Course for Soundview Y COVID-19 Community Assistance

Published May 27, 2020 08:30 a.m.

“Monday, March 23, was my first official day. That was the day that the governor shut down non-essential businesses like the YMCA, because it’s considered a gym. But the Y is so much more than that.”

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Guilford Courier

As he graduates among the top of the Quinnipiac University (QU) Class of 2020, with a full scholarship to attend The School of Law at QU in the fall, Lucas Sundwall credits his road to academic gains to significant support given to him by Guilford Public Schools, from 1st grade through graduation. Photo courtesy of Lucas Sundwall

Sundwall’s Academic Success Story Started with Guilford Public Schools

Published May 20, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Many in the Guilford community first got to know Lucas Sundwall during a difficult time in his boyhood.

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Guilford Courier

At at time when she should have been studying abroad at Sophia University in Tokyo, Japan, 19-year-old Keely Greiner of Guilford is instead serving on the frontlines as a COVID-19 medical volunteer. Photo courtesy of Keely Greiner

Time Well Spent: Greiner Volunteers as COVID-19 Medical Frontliner

Published May 13, 2020 08:30 a.m.

After COVID-19 canceled her plans for a college semester of study in Japan, Keely Greiner could have coasted along for a few months until her classes started up again.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford native Kimber Kristy has debuted her original song, “Hard Times” released as a music video on YouTube. The video stars dozens of photos of healthcare workers, first responders, essential job workers, and other local heroes, mixed in with hometown signs of support. It includes workers in New Haven county and “Thank You” signs posted around Guilford. Photo courtesy of Kimber Kristy

Kristy Debuts ‘Hard Times’ COVID-19 Heroes Tribute

Published May 06, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What do you do if you’re a singer/songwriter in the time of COVID-19? Guilford native and Los Angeles-based musician Kimber Kristy’s response is sharing her original song, “Hard Times,” as a tribute to COVID-19 heroes.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford Lakes School Nurse Maggi Paulsen has always been willing to be on the front line of service to those in need. Here, she holds up message to students for her part in a recent video slideshow put together by a Guilford Lakes School teacher, sharing photos and messages from all staff members to send to students. Photo courtesy of Maggi Paulsen

A Heart for Nursing at Guilford Lakes

Published April 29, 2020 08:30 a.m.

School facilities may be closed indefinitely, but Guilford Lakes School (GLS) Nurse Maggi Paulsen’s love and concern for the kids in her care hasn’t left the building.

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