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February 15, 2019  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

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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Guilford Courier

David Mills spearheads Guilford’s talented teens-and-teachers improvisational DoSo Dance Band. Together with Guilford teen DoSo Dancers led by instructor Karen Pfrommer and assistance from Guilford Parks & Recreation and the Guilford Foundation, David invites local teens to come out to enjoy social dancing to live music at the next DoSo Dance Band event on Saturday, March 2 at 7 p.m. at Nathanael Greene Community Center. Tickets are $5. Photo courtesy of David Mills

Do You DoSo? Mills Invites Teens to DoSo Dance Band Events

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

This is not your grandfather’s dance band. In fact, there’s really nothing like Guilford’s DoSo Dance Band—except for other DoSo projects led by musician, music teacher, and DoSo Music founder David Mills.

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East Haven Courier

At 101, Annie Diglio is the East Haven Senior Center’s oldest member, and she’s still active, attending the center twice a week. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Annie Diglio: A Second Century

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

The oldest member at the East Haven Senior Center is currently working on her second century.

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North Haven Courier

When Laurie-Jean Hannon started with Special Olympics Connecticut in the ‘90s, North Haven hosted Special Olympics athletes for the 1995 World Games. Now, she’s going full circle as a sports manager to the 2019 Abu Dhabi World Games this March.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

A Woman for All Seasons: Laurie-Jean Hannon Guides Special Olympians in Winter, Summer, and World Competitions

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

Town Treasurer Laurie-Jean Hannon may have packed away her skis some time ago, but with her help Connecticut’s 2019 Special Olympic Winter Games will be a success.

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The Source

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

Joan McPherson: An Artist’s Eye

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

Joan McPherson of Madison 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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Valley Courier

Valley Regional High School grad Carolyn Blicharz DMD is happy to be back in familiar territory practicing alongside her dad, Dr. Ernest Reamer. As for the dimples on her cheeks that people have remarked on ever since she was a child, patients sitting in her dental chair rarely comment. “Usually I’m wearing a mask,” she explains. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Carolyn Blicharz: It’s Time

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

Carolyn Blicharz has found a way to be a part of a public speaking contest without having to open her mouth.

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The Sound

Connecticut Veterans of Foreign Wars’ 2019 Patriot’s Pen essay contest winner Nathaniel Kerr has claimed the state title and is now in the running to win the national VFW essay contest in March. Kerr, age 12, entered the essay as part of his studies at East Shoreline Catholic Academy in Branford, where Kerr attends 7th grade.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Kerr Wins 2019 CT VFW Patriot’s Pen State Prize

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

Seventh-grader Nathaniel “Nathan” Kerr has already done much to make East Shoreline Catholic Academy (ESCA) proud of this remarkable student in recent months.

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The Sound

In her science classroom at North Branford Intermediate School, Kathy Granfield doesn’t teach about veterans, but her actions as founder of non-profit Veteran Angler Charters speaks volumes. In January, Granfield was named Connecticut’s VFW 2019 Teacher of the Year. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Walk the Walk: Kathy Granfield is CT VFW 2019 Teacher of the Year

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

Since the first day Kathy Granfield began captaining a 34-foot vessel and offering free charter fishing trips to veterans, she only wanted one thing: to give active duty, retired, wounded and recovering veterans the solace and healing she knows comes with being out on the water.

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Guilford Courier

On May 5, with his four-year-old son Agus trailering along for the ride, Enzo Figueres will join the Race to End Duchenne team at the 2019 TD Five Boro Bike Tour in New York. He’s riding to support Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (PPMD) and raising funds that will go directly toward researching a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD). Agus was diagnosed with DMD in November 2018. Photo courtesy of Enzo Figueres

Riding for His Son’s Life: Figueres Joins ‘Race to End Duchenne’

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

Birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day—four-year-old Agustin “Agus” Figueres loves looking forward to celebrations. But his dad, Enzo Figueres, wishes he could slow down time.

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The Source

Madison potter Anita Griffith's work is characterized by facial representation, color, and whimsy. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Anita Griffith: The Creative Journey

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

Anita Griffith is a professional potter and teacher, infusing the shoreline and beyond with the whimsy of her creations. She shares studio space with her husband and fellow ceramics artist, Bob Parrott, in Madison, where the couple also houses its wares.

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North Haven Courier

Lynn Sadosky has seen bigger and bigger projects in her 10 years as North Haven’s director of Public Works. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Lynn Sadosky: Building on the Big Picture

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

After 10 years on the job, Director of Public Works Lynn Sadosky has seen all manner of projects come through her department. She says watching the town develop is one of the best parts of her job.

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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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East Haven Courier

Sarah Koster is new to East Haven, but after just eight months, she’s already providing new East Haven families with an easier way to enroll their children in school. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

A Welcoming Place to Start

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

Just eight months into her job as secretary for the Board of Education (BOE), Sarah Koster is helping out new residents get a foothold in town.

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Valley Courier

Noted Chester civil rights activist Marta Daniels will present a program on Constance Baker Motley, the first black woman to become a federal judge and a major (if overlooked) figure in U.S. history, at a Chester land Trust chili dinner on Thursday, Feb. 21.

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sharing Constance Baker Motley’s Early History

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

Goodness knows it is hard to keep a secret in a small town, but Marta Daniels has one—though she won’t have it for long. She is going to tell all on Thursday, Feb. 21 at a Chester Land Trust program at the Chester meeting house. The event, including a pre-program chili dinner, is a fundraiser for the Chester Land Trust.

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The Sound

As activities coordinator for Branford’s Canoe Brook Senior Center, Nancy Cohen plans a huge range of interesting, inspiring, and educational events, programs, and activities geared to serve residents from ages 60 to 100. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Nancy Cohen Helps Seniors Take Flight at Canoe Brook

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

In her job, it’s not unusual for Nancy Cohen to join senior citizens suited up to fly like skydivers or zipline through the open air.

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Guilford Courier

Cellist Patti Smith-Romanski will be joined by three of her music professional friends to perform Joyful Noise! A Concert of Cellos at her hometown church Sunday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. The concert takes place at Guilford First Congregational Church. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

For the Love of Cello: Smith-Romanski Offers Feb. 10 Concert at First Church

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

What’s not to love about the cello? As one of the most versatile of the strings, it can soar to the highest notes and rumble through spine-tingling low tones. It’s certainly one of the reasons why Patricia “Patti” Smith-Romanski is excited to bring Joyful Noise! A Concert of Cellos to her community on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 4 p.m. at Guilford First Congregational Church.

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Valley Courier

Valley Regional High School alum Kevin Alvord will bring his acting talents back to the stage as part of the upcoming production of the musical Newsies from Friday, March 8 to Sunday, March 10. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kevin Alvord: Backstage

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

Kevin Alvord is going to shave his red beard, let his trimmed mustache grow to a full-handlebar extravaganza, put on a frock coat and for three days in March, become President Theodore Roosevelt.

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The Source

Hilary Kumnick of Killingworth, now retired, devotes his time to his community and to Lions Clubs International. Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Hilary Kumnick: Lion of Killingworth

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

Hilary Kumnick of Killingworth has always believed in the power of volunteering to serve his community, and now he’s teaching others the leadership skills they need to do the same.

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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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North Haven Courier

Sally Brockett is the president of the Daytime Gardeners of North Haven, a group which strives to teach about the importance of gardening and conservation.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

From Birds to Gardens, Sally Brockett is Educating North Haven

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

In her time as a birdwatcher, Sally Brockett has seen 493 different bird species - and that’s only North American birds. In February, she’ll bring her knowledge to the upcoming presentation the “Amazing Abilities of Birds.”

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East Haven Courier

Tina Masciangelo started her nursing career in the kitchen of a care facility in New Haven. She now takes on a new role as Whispering Pines’ director of admissions and marketing.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Tina Masciangelo: Nursing A Desire to Help

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

In one way or another, Tina Masciangelo has been working in the care industry since she was 17.

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The Sound

Lonnie Reed, shown here advocating for the growth and support of the state’s bio-science sector, is excited to begin the next chapter of her work. Reed, who announced her decision to retire as Branford’s State Representative (D-102) in 2018, served in the General Assembly for five elective terms.  A founder and co-Chair of the legislature's Bioscience Caucus, Reed said she cares deeply about ensuring that this sector, which she describes as, 'dedicated to alleviating human suffering,' continues to thrive in Connecticut, growing jobs and fortifying the economy. Reed plans to continue supporting their work. 

Photo courtesy of Lonnie Reed

For Lonnie Reed, The Work Continues

Published Jan. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In her 10-year career as Branford’s 102nd District State Representative, Lonnie Reed built a remarkable track record of working to protect and enhance her community—but the work didn’t start on her first day in office, and it won’t end now that she’s officially retired from the post.

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Guilford Courier

Guilford VFW Post 7666’s local, district, and now state 2019 Patriot’s Pen Essay Contest winner Nathaniel Kerr is in the running to win the national VFW essay contest in March. Kerr, age 12, entered the essay contest after Guilford VFW extended an invitation to his school, East Shoreline Catholic Academy, where Kerr attends seventh grade. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Kerr Wins 2019 CT VFW Patriot’s Pen State Prize

Published Jan. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Nathaniel “Nathan” Kerr has already done much to make members of Guilford Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 7666 proud in recent months. But on Jan. 13, the post’s admiration for Nathan rose another notch when his local and district-winning essay was selected by the CT Department of VFW as Connecticut’s 2019 State Winner of the Patriot’s Pen Contest.

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The Source

Bill Bendig, now 91 years old, created The Madison Mile over 25 years ago; Bill will be honored as The King of Mardi Gras at the Shoreline Arts Alliance Gala on Saturday, Feb. 2.

Photo by Margaret McNellis/The Source

Bill Bendig: A Legacy of Art

Published Jan. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

At 91 years old, Bill Bendig is facing down cancer with courage, and celebrating the legacy he leaves behind: a passion for the arts.

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Valley Courier

A lifelong singer, Bob Johnson took a half-century hiatus from playing the trombone, but he’s back at it now as a member of the New Horizons Band.  Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Bob Johnson: Overcoming the Odds

Published Jan. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Victorian novelist Charles Dickens, who created such memorable fictional orphans as Oliver Twist and David Copperfield, could have written the story about the early years of Bob Johnson’s life.

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North Haven Courier

Frank P. Muzio, Jr., was born into farm life, and he’s continuing the tradition on the Hartford Turnpike family farm. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Frank Muzio: Returning to His Roots

Published Jan. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Though farming has always been a part of his life, 10 years ago, Frank P. Muzio, Jr., converted his farm on Hartford Turnpike to an organic operation and has since been finding natural solutions for all of a farmers problems.

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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 08:30 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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East Haven Courier

Principal and former school psychologist Phyllis Savo is an advocate for special education at Deer Run Elementary School. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Phyllis Savo: Helping Kids and Building Relationships

Published Jan. 23, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Of all the lessons she’s learned in her career as a school administrator, Deer Run Elementary School Principal Phyllis Savo has held on to one she learned as a school psychologist.

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North Haven Courier

North Haven native Joseph Murgo is now a police lieutenant serving as public information officer for the East Haven Police Department. The creator of the “You’re probably from North Haven, CT if…” Facebook page, he has also used that social media savvy to keep the public informed about his department’s successes and challenges.

Photo courtesy of Joseph Murgo

Joe Murgo: Protect, Serve, and Inform

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

With lessons learned in North Haven, Lieutenant Joseph Murgo helps to tell the East Haven Police Department’s news in a changing world as its public information officer.

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The Sound

After a career in medical research, Dan Rabin found the Branford Forum an invaluable tool for staying updated on important issues—so much so he;s now the group’s president. Photo courtesy of Dan Rabin

Dan Rabin: Bringing Education and Intellect through Branford Forum

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

For the past decade, the Branford Forum, which was founded by Marc Schwartz, has hosted a free public education series for residents. The presentations and subsequent discussions are held monthly on Sundays at the Willoughby Wallace Memorial Library. Five years ago, Dan Rabin discovered the series and began attending on a regular basis.

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