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December 14, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

Guilford Courier

Colleen Wall’s nurses office at Melissa Jones School is filled with heartfelt notes from students, all signs of gratitude for a much-appreciated school nurse. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Colleen Wall: Caring for Kids at MJS

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

It’s not even halfway through the school year, but Colleen Wall’s office at Melissa Jones School (MJS) is already displaying plenty of heartfelt notes from students and classroom posters decorated with adjectives like “loving, caring, kind, compassionate”—all signs of gratitude for a much-appreciated school nurse.

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North Haven Courier

Nick Giordano’s gingerbread house was featured in the Magical Elf House on Dec. 8 and 9. His gingerbread making started as a holiday tradition and grew into an intricate puzzle. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Nick Giordano: Cracking the Gingerbread Code

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

What do gingerbread, baseball, and murder mysteries have in common? Nick Giordano might say it’s the puzzle involved.

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Valley Courier

“Nature never stops,” according to Suzanne Burns, which is likely why this new director of education at the Connecticut River Museum has a busy winter season ahead of her. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Suzanne Burns: Telling the River’s Story

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

What links Pittsburg, New Hampshire, a town with a population of 813 at the Canadian border, and the valley shore area of Connecticut? Even if the New Hampshire town is not a familiar name, there is a powerful connection: the Connecticut River. Pittsburg is where the river rises and some 406 miles later it runs into Long Island Sound not far from the Connecticut River Museum in Essex where Suzanne Burns is the new director of education.

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East Haven Courier

Jan Lougal—and her dog, Pepper—are prepared for the holiday season at the East Haven senior center. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Jan Lougal: Staying Vital Amid Changes

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

Jan Lougal carries the title of director of East Haven’s senior center, but she and her dog Pepper are both longtime professional caregivers.

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The Source

While studying painting in Perugia, Italy, Mark Segal came across an unexpected style, courtesy of his fellow students: Chinese brush paintings. He’ll exhibit some of his works in the show Distinct Realms at Madison Art Cinemas through Feb. 6, 2019. 

Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Mark Segal: Traveling West to Discover the East

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

Distinct Realms, a solo art exhibit with works by Connecticut artist Mark Segal, opens on Thursday, Dec. 13 and runs through Wednesday, Feb. 6 at Madison Art Cinemas. The exhibit features Chinese brush paintings in a collection that’s as global as the artist himself.

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The Sound

Katie Trainer, music teacher at the North Branford High School, is the winds instructor for the East Haven/North Branford Co-Op Marching Band. The marching band recently took home a second win in the state-wide and New England championships.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Sound

Taking Playing Together to the Next Level

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

As an educator and a musician, Katie Trainer always strives to find new ways to bring people and music together. She started with music at a young age and soon decided to make a career of it.

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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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The Sound

Standing beside one of the Main Street planters she recently filled with holiday greens as a member of Branford Garden Club (BGC), Pat Sanders has high praise for the many civic contributions of the all-volunteer group, which she will lead for the next two years as BGC president, beginning Friday, Dec. 7. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Breaking New Ground: Sanders is Incoming BGC President

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

She’s broken glass ceilings here and abroad; now, Patricia “Pat” Sanders is about to break new ground as incoming president of Branford Garden Club (BGC). Pat will be inducted to the BGC post for a two-year term on Friday, Dec. 7.

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Guilford Courier

As treasurer of Wesleyan Potters and a potter himself, Scott Caraway encourages his Guilford and shoreline neighbors to make a holiday shopping (or personal shopping) visit to the non-profit’s annual sale through Sunday, Dec. 9. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Caraway is a Hands-On Volunteer for Wesleyan Potters

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

As part of Wesleyan Potters, an organization built on volunteers, Scott Caraway can get pretty hands-on—and not just when he’s throwing pottery.

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North Haven Courier

Andrea Brow helps to find new adopters for horses, like Mystery, who have been retired to Cranbury Horse Auction, in danger of being sent to slaughter through networking.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Andrea Brow: For Each Retired Horse, a Home

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

North Haven resident Andrea Brow has been riding horses since she was two years old. Now, she helps to rescue those horses who have finished their working lives.

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Art Davies, with his grandchildren Erin, Noah, Emma, and Paige, is preparing for the big Lions Club tree sale to be held at Deep River Hardware. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Art Davies: What’s Christmas Without a Tree?

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

Art Davies says there are some 43,000 different kinds of items in a hardware store. But in Deep River Hardware, which Art owns, for the first three weeks of December there will be 43,001. The extra category is a seasonal favorite: Christmas trees.

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East Haven Courier

Katie Trainer, music teacher at the North Branford High School, is the winds instructor for the East Haven/North Branford Co-Op Marching Band. The marching band recently took home a second win in the state-wide and New England championships.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Taking Playing Together to the Next Level

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

Katie Trainer is Bringing Music Students Together

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The Source

Field House Farm owner Stephanie Lesnik grows organic foods, raises livestock, and offers educational programs. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Stephanie Lesnik: Getting Back to The Land

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

Stephanie Lesnik and her family have returned the circa 1720 Field House Farm property on Green Hill Road to farming. Stephanie approaches living off the land with a community mission: to refamiliarize members of the community with their food.

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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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The Source

Madison Board of Education Chair Katie Stein recently returned from a week-long deployment to Florida to put her expertise to work assisting children displaced by Hurricane Michael. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Katie Stein: Caring for Kids After Disaster

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

Katie Stein, known locally for her work on the Madison Board of Education and as a child life specialist at Yale, recently returned from volunteering to help displaced children in the wake of destruction caused by Hurricane Michael, which struck Florida in early October.

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East Haven Courier

Susan Longmire and her sister, Cheryl, will again bring gingerbread decorating to the library. It’s part of her own family’s tradition.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Combining Food and Learning at the Library

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

On Saturday, Dec. 8, when the Hagaman Memorial Library holds its second annual Gingerbread House Workshop, a group of East Haven kids will get the chance to decorate their own candy creations with their parents. The event was born out of Susan Longmire’s family traditions.

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North Haven Courier

Barbara Kenniston will retire from 30 years as paraprofessional at Green Acres Elementary School at the end of December. She says it was a learning experience for her as well as the kids. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Three Decades of Teaching and Learning

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

Barbara Kenniston has seen 30 years at just one school. During her years as a paraprofessional, she learned many things, but most of all: “Green Acres is the place to be!”

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Valley Courier

Cathy Shanley is one of the many volunteers helping to string together one of the region’s most cherished holiday traditions, the Ivoryton Illuminations, which starts on Saturday, Dec. 1. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Cathy Shanley: Lighting the Night

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

If you wanted to find Cathy Shanley any Saturday since early October, there was only one place to look: the barn where the lights for Ivoryton Illuminations are stored.

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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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The Sound

As director of retail operations for Zane’s Cycles, Tom Girard loves collaborating with Guilford’s Roots4Relief on the charity’s annual Wishing Wheels Holiday Bike Drive. Donations are being accepted now to help provide brand-new Zane’s Cycles kids’ bikes (foreground). Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Helping Zane’s Cycles Support Roots4Relief’s ‘Wishing Wheels’

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

As director of retail operations for Zane’s Cycles, Tom Girard has helped tie the Branford-based company into plenty of feel-good events.

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Guilford Courier

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 Courier

Gathering Volunteers, Donations for Community Dining Room

Published Nov. 28, 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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East Haven Courier

Rich Anania has held several key roles in the East Haven community, ranging from an elected ember of the Town Council to president of both the Rotary Club and Foxon Recreational Baseball League. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

From Schools to Town Hall to Behind the Plate

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

Even with his yearlong term as president of the Rotary Club recently ended, Rich Anania has stayed active with the club, giving back to East Haven through many different avenues, including his service as a Town Council member. With the holidays quickly approaching, Rotary is preparing for an array of events to celebrate the season.

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The Source

Rather than stick with the status quo, Assistant Town Engineer and Deputy Director of Public Works Robert Russo is looking for ways to engage Madison students in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) aspects of his duties.

Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Robert Russo: Engineer and Educator

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

The “T” in STEM might stand for technology, but for Robert Russo, assistant town engineer and deputy director of public works, it also stands for teamwork. Robert is using his STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) knowledge to not only improve Madison, but also to enhance the educational opportunities accessible to Madison’s youth.

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Guilford Courier

As director of retail operations for Zane’s Cycles, Tom Girard loves collaborating with Guilford’s Roots4Relief on the charity’s annual Wishing Wheels Holiday Bike Drive. Donations are being accepted now to help provide brand-new Zane’s Cycles kids’ bikes (foreground) at cost. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Helping Zane’s Cycles Support Roots4Relief’s ‘Wishing Wheels’

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

As director of retail operations for Zane’s Cycles, Tom Girard has helped tie the Branford-based company into plenty of feel-good events. But he’s quickly learned there’s nothing quite like collaborating with Guilford’s Roots4Relief on the charity’s annual Wishing Wheels Holiday Bike Drive.

Read More

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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Valley Courier

A self-described introvert, Karen Burzin has stretched out of her comfort zone since getting her start in acting with the Ivoryton Players, which will stage its final show, 4 Beekman, on Friday, Nov. 30 and Saturday, Dec. 1. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Karen Burzin: Getting into the Act

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

Karen Burzin was not in her elementary school class play; she was not in her middle school play, nor her high school play.

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North Haven Courier

Sasha Turner of North Haven is associate professor of history at Quinnipiac University. Her ability to show new perspective on previously accepted themes is one reason she was recognized as the 2018 faculty scholar in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Photo courtesy of Sasha Turner

Finding the Forgotten Voices in History

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

Sasha Turner initially saw studying history as an entryway into the law profession. But after a particular facet of Caribbean history caught her attention, her career path was drastically altered. Now an associate professor history at Quinnipiac University (QU) College of Arts & Sciences, she teaches with a perspective she hopes will inspire who students.

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The Sound

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. 21, 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.

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East Haven Courier

Christine Sandford is a longtime volunteer at the East Haven Food Pantry, serving 300 families as the busy holidays approach.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Christine Sandford: Finding her Niche

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

If you ask her, Christine Sandford will tell you the East Haven Food Pantry is where she is supposed to be. She’s been volunteering for there for 25 years now.

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The Source

Many Madison residents are familiar with Chris Jennings Penders as a longtime staffer at the E.C. Scranton Public Library, or accompanied by a camera as he photographs local events and sights. Now they can add his name on their bookshelves with the upcoming publication of two books, which he’ll launch at a release party, open to all, on Tuesday, Nov. 20. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Chris Jennings Penders: Called to Creativity

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

Most residents probably know Chris Jennings Penders from his work as a photographer, or from Scranton Memorial Library, where he’s worked since 1996. Chris, however, is also a writer, and on Tuesday, Nov. 20, he’ll celebrate the release of not one, but two books.

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