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Brian Boyd, Editor, Shore Publishing/Zip06.com

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May 26, 2020
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Person of the Week

Publications

The Sound

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 Branford, North Branford, East Haven, Guilford 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 20, 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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Valley Courier

Staying healthy and fit at home can be as complicated as an online spin class or as simple as soup cans, according to Stacy Meisner of Essex. Photo courtesy of Stacy Meisner

Stacy Meisner: Keeping Fit in a Crisis

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

Couch potato used to mean an out-of-shape viewer sitting on a sofa with a beer and a bag of chips watching sports on television.

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Erin Hansted, an accounting manager at the VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice in Guilford and an avid photographer who joined the Killingworth Front Porch Project, has her own family front porch portrait—taken by a friend—that shows her with husband, Kevin, and their children, Emmalena, Vayda, and Carter. Photo courtesy of Erin Hansted

Erin Hansted Captures Family Front Porch Portraits

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

The photographs Erin Hansted takes of families smiling on their front porches are a window into the lives of Connecticut residents as they observe the stay-at-home order and social distancing policy meant to contain the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak

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North Haven Courier

Debbie Volain is retiring after having been actively involved in North Haven’s theater scenes for more than two decades. Photo courtesy of Debbie Volain

Curtain Closes on Debbie Volain’s Time with North Haven Theater

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

Debbie Volain has created her last set for productions at North Haven High School and North Haven Middle School as, after more than two decades of service, she is giving up her volunteer work to spend more time with her grandson Ethan and soon-to-be born granddaughter.

Read More

Harbor News

Soon after moving to Clinton, Megan Stine joined the Clinton Historical Society and has been helping preserve the town’s—and her family’s—history ever since.

Photo courtesy of Megan Stine

Megan Stine: Preserving and Protecting Clinton’s History

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

Even though her original hometown in Ohio was a long ways away from Clinton, you can still say Clinton history has always been in Megan Stine’s blood.

Read More

The Source

Betsy Himmelman is proprietor of Promethea Pottery and an art teacher at the Haddam-Killingworth High School. She now teaches art remotely and sews masks for those in need of protection from the coronavirus outbreak. Photo courtesy of Betsy Himmelman

From Clay to Cloth: Betsy Himmelman Creates Art

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

The ceramic pots Betsy Himmelman creates are nature-inspired and eye-catching.

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Valley Courier

Working out of a converted attic workshop that also doubles as a dance studio, Ron Mangano has been busily sewing protective masks during the coronavirus pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Ron Mangano

Ron Mangano: So Good to Sew

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

With limited entertainment options in these days of shelter-in-place, many people are spending evenings watching reruns of everything from old baseball games to long-departed cable series.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Thursday, May 14 marks the 30th anniversary of Mike Milici taking the job as the assessor for the Town of East Haven. The Branford resident, who met his wife, Trista, an employee of Branford Town Hall, also supports his hometown as an alternate member on the Board of Assessment Appeals. Photo courtesy of Trista Milici

Mike Milici: A Tale of Two Town Halls

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

Little did Mike Milici know when he was growing up in West Haven or getting a degree in marketing from Quinnipiac University that he would become a town assessor, much less work at the same post for three decades.

Read More

Harbor News

Caring for pets hasn’t been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, so Dr. Buck Drummond has been working six days a week at the Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. To help cat owners live more peacefully through the stay at home era, he is offering a video presentation, Cats! through the Essex Library on Thursday, May 14.

Photo courtesy of Buck Drummond

Buck Drummond: Being Catty

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

They gaze at you adoringly; they snuggle up readily; they never refuse to clean their rooms. Okay, they are not teenagers, but who are they?

Read More

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.

Read More

North Haven Courier

Joe LaDore created the Virtual Concert Series supporting Local Businesses Facebook page to not only entertain people during social distancing but support restaurants and other small shops during this time. Photo by Kelley Fryer/The Courier

Joe LaDore Uses Music and Facebook to Give Back to Local Businesses

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

As a part-time musician for more than 20 years, Joe LaDore has spent his fair share of time performing gigs in restaurants and bars. Through his music, he has made many friends in the industry from restaurant owners to bartenders and waitresses to customers and fans.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Michael Roy has not only been traveling town with his East Haven Proud USA Truck and patriotic music, but he has also been donating to a number of initiatives in town. Photo courtesy of Michael Roy

Roy Lifting Spirits and Giving Back with East Haven Proud USA Truck

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

As someone who suffers from post traumatic stress syndrome and the repercussions of a traumatic brain injury from a roadside bomb while serving in the Marines in Ramadi, Iraq, Michael Roy knows the importance of staying connected and keeping spirits high.

Read More

North Haven Courier

Sandy Mascia is a co-founder and the director of sales and community engagement for Spotlight Stage Company. Photo courtesy of Sandy Mascia

Sandy Mascia’s Passion for Theater Leads to Founding of Spotlight Stage Company

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

For more than a decade, Sandy Mascia has volunteered her time in different capacities in town, from theater to Girl Scouts to dance as her daughter, Juliana, explored her interests.

Read More

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.

Read More

The Sound

Branford Parks & Recreation Toddlers Instructor Erica McNamara has created Miss Erica’s Toddler Videos on YouTube to share stories, activities, and much more with toddlers during the pandemic. The shows features McNamara in her home’s mini-classroom with the three McNamara children (that’s Benson, 6, at work in the background). The YouTube channel now has more than a dozen Miss Erica shows, and counting—and an appreciative and growing audience tuning in for more. Image capture from YouTube

Stay Tuned for More of ‘Miss Erica’s Toddler Videos’

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

When the pandemic closed the doors of the Branford Community House in March, Erica McNamara opened a digital window to her toddler classroom by creating Miss Erica’s Toddler Videos on YouTube.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Thursday, May 14 marks the 30th anniversary of Mike Milici taking the job as the assessor for the Town of East Haven. Photo courtesy of Trista Milici

Mike Milici Celebrates Three Decades as East Haven Assessor

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

Little did Mike Milici know when he was growing up in West Haven or getting a degree in marketing from Quinnipiac University that he would become a town assessor.

Read More

Valley Courier

Caring for pets hasn’t been put on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, so Essex resident Dr. Buck Drummond has been working six days a week at the Animal Hospital of Old Saybrook. To help cat owners live more peacefully through the stay at home era, he is offering a video presentation, Cats! through the Essex Library on Thursday, May 14.

Photo courtesy of Buck Drummond

Buck Drummond: Being Catty

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

They gaze at you adoringly; they snuggle up readily; they never refuse to clean their rooms.

Read More

Harbor News

History buff and Navy veteran Joe Diedrich stays engaged in the community through the American Legion Post 66, VFW, and the Sailing Masters of 1812, out of Essex, for which he’s dressed here. Photo courtesy of Joe Diedrich

Joe Diedrich: Ensuring Recognition for Fellow Veterans

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

Joe Diedrich had recently left the Navy after a lengthy career, and was missing the companionship of his fellow sailors. So he decided to attend a local Memorial Day parade, and then an idea struck him.

Read More

As the adult reference and programming librarian at the E.C. Scranton Memorial Library, Rachel Taylor developed new online programs to keep adult patrons connected despite the social distancing policies resulting from the coronavirus outbreak.  

Photo courtesy of Rachel Taylor

From Onsite to Online: Rachel Taylor Updates Scranton Library Adult Programs

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

As the coronavirus pandemic makes its way through Connecticut and businesses and town buildings temporarily close their doors, libraries have adjusted much like schools, seeking ways to enrich minds and meet educational needs via virtual methods from the comfort of patrons’ homes.

Read More

Valley Courier

Seeing an opportunity to spread cheer in her beloved Ivoryton, Julie Hines started what became a community expression of support on the green. Photo by Jonathan Steele Photography

Julie Hines: Lights On

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

Sometimes things take on a life of their own, like the lights now shining on the Ivoryton Town Green.

Read More

North Haven Courier

Nicole Mele of Nicole Mele Photography has been photographing families in town as part of the Front Porch Project to raise funds for the town’s Community Services. 

Photo courtesy of Nicole Mele

Say ‘Cheese’: Nicole Mele Gives Back to Community Services through Front Porch Project

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

Just a couple weeks into quarantine, one of Nicole Mele’s friends suggested she look into the Front Porch Project that she had seen a friend doing in Massachusetts.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Mandy Nacca, a surgical tech at Yale and lifelong East Haven resident, recently became an administrator on The Good Things About East Haven Facebook page.

Photo courtesy of Mandy Nacca

Nacca Helps Community Stay Positive via The Good Things About East Haven

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

Like many people, Mandy Nacca has spent more time on social media since social distancing started.

Read More

Harbor News

Seventeen years into a career serving nonprofits, Heather Milardo says working at the Estuary Council of Seniors is the most rewarding job she’s taken.

Photo courtesy of Heather Milardo

In the Perfect Place in an Imperfect Time

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

Heather Milardo has served as development coordinator for the Estuary Council of Seniors (ECS) in Old Saybrook for 2 ½ years and it’s safe to say her level of job satisfaction is high.

Read More

The Sound

As emergency preparedness coordinator/health educator for East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD), and Connecticut Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Region 2 lead (as well as heading MRC’s Shoreline Unit), Daisy Hernandez oversees some key COVID-19 crisis-focused efforts supporting public health and medical needs in this area. Photo courtesy of Daisy Hernandez

Hernandez Helps Keep Shoreline Prepared in a Pandemic

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

Ever since she started working in emergency preparedness, Daisy Hernandez’s main focus has been mostly training to prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and blizzards.

Read More

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.

Read More

The Source

As owner of Angie-Lu Tailor in Madison, Lina Demasi is known for her skillful alterations and redesigns of elegant bridal gowns, modern men’s apparel, and more. In recent weeks, she has been sewing face masks to help health care professionals and anyone in need of hard-to-find protective gear. Photo courtesy of Lina Demasi

Lina Demasi Spreads Fashion, Creativity, and Charity

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

As a master tailor specializing in bridal couture and formal apparel, Lina Demasi redesigns and customizes elegant dresses and gowns that make her clients satisfied with her service.

Read More

The Sound

COVID-19 has temporarily stamped out the May 9 Letter Carriers’ drive that usually brings Branford Food Pantry (BFP) up to 8,000 pounds of donations in just one day. BFP Vice President Jaye Andrews is hoping the community can help drive donations in to assist the rising number of families relying on receiving free weekly groceries from BFP.

Photo courtesy of the Branford Food Pantry

Andrews Assisting Branford Food Pantry in Extraordinary Time of Need

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

COVID-19 has temporarily stamped out an annual food drive that usually brings Branford Food Pantry (BFP) up to 8,000 pounds of donations in just one day.

Read More

East Haven Courier

As emergency preparedness coordinator/health educator for East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD), and Connecticut Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Region 2 lead (as well as heading MRC’s Shoreline Unit), Daisy Hernandez oversees some key COVID-19 crisis-focused efforts supporting public health and medical needs in this area.

Photo courtesy of Daisy Hernandez

Hernandez Helps Keep Shoreline Prepared in a Pandemic

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

Ever since she started working in emergency preparedness, Daisy Hernandez’s main focus has been mostly training to prepare for natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and blizzards.

Read More

Harbor News

Nautical Needles owner Sue Lennox is putting her skills to work sewing protective cloth masks that she’s donating to healthcare workers. Photo courtesy of Sue Lennox

Sue Lennox: When Masks Are Not for Halloween

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

It’s unusual to start a newspaper piece with the classic fairy tale opening, Once Upon a Time. But now Once Upon A Time is not a Hans Christian Andersen phrase; it is last month.

Read More