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February 25, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week


The Sound

BHcare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) Director Esperina Stubblefield shares word of support programs and services available to victims in 19 towns, including Branford and North Branford. Community members can show their support by joining in the 30th annual Bowl-2-Benefit BHcare’s UCDVS at Bowlero in Milford on Saturday, March 10. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Close to Home: BHCare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services

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

Even as domestic violence is making national news, “domestic violence is not new; it’s always happening,” says Esperina Stubblefield, director of BHcare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS).

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The Sound

Mike Martone, Jr., Branford High School (BHS) Class of 2001, is back at BHS to lead the next generation of students as music teacher, choral director, and co-director of the BHS spring musicals, while also helping to bring some new ideas to town.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Molded by BHS Music Programs, Martone Leads the Next Generation

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

When Mike Martone, Jr., was a student at Branford High School (BHS, Class of 2001), “I was one of those few people who thought, ‘I would love to teach music in a high school, but not just in a high school—my high school.’”

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The Sound

Jennifer Sylvia, shown here in the cramped space of Branford Counseling Center (BCC)’s in-house diaper provision closet, has helped BCC join with Community Dining Room (CDR) and Branford Early Learning Center to create the new Branford Diaper Bank. The bank, located at CDR, launches its first distribution night on Tuesday, Feb. 13 to supplement disposable diaper supplies for Branford families in need. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Sylvia Helps Launch Branford Diaper Bank

Published Feb. 07, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Even though she helped provide supplemental diapers to families through Branford Counseling Center (BCC), it wasn’t until Jennifer Sylvia became a new mom that she truly recognized the importance—and the sheer number—of disposable diapers affecting a child’s health and happiness, and the family budget bottom line.

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The Sound

In addition to overseeing Murphy & Company LLC of Branford, Guilford’s Camille Murphy has given decades of volunteer service, sharing her accounting and finance expertise and talent with state and local organizations. In January, Murphy was named 2018 chairman of the board of Shoreline Chamber of Commerce and also became a new member of the board of Guilford Savings Bank. Photo by Amy Etra

Camille Murphy: Volunteering a Wealth of Valuable Community Commitments

Published Jan. 31, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Running a CPA organization during tax season might seem like enough of a challenge; but with her seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm, Camille Murphy has ramped up her volunteer workload to offer a wealth of valuable commitments to her community.

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The Sound

Through North Branford Public Schools’ School to Work program, Megan Johns is gaining vocational and life skills while happily helping out at several local businesses and organizations, such as Community Dining Room in Branford (shown here).

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Gaining Skills Through Service with a Smile

Published Jan. 24, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Watch Megan Johns at work and you’ll see a young woman who has elevated the phrase “service with a smile” to new heights.

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The Sound

Branford resident Peggy Smith was inspired to teach when she was a 5th-grade Catholic school student, and will complete four decades in her chosen career when she retires from St. Mary’s Catholic School in June, where she has taught the school’s 3rd graders for 17 years. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

St Mary’s Peggy Smith: Dedicated to Teaching

Published Jan. 17, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Margaret “Peggy” Smith was a 5th-grader when she figured out what she wanted to do as an adult: teach.

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The Sound

Bringing 13 years of experience, most recently as vice president of Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, Sheri Cote is the new president of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce. Photo courtesy of the Shoreline Chamber of Commerce

Cote Excited to Lead Shoreline Chamber of Commerce

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

Sheri Cote may have arrived for her first day on the job just last week, but true to her proactive style, she had already hit the ground running.

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The Sound

Dorothy Goldberg is a volunteer with the Disaster Action Team for the Red Cross.

Photo courtesy of Dorothy Goldberg

Dorothy Goldberg Delivers Comfort and Relief, Near and Far

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

Dorothy Goldberg witnessed a car accident in the Short Beach area last year and, while no one in that accident was severely hurt, she realized she didn’t know what to do if someone had been hurt in that scenario. So she enrolled in a first aid/CPR course with the Red Cross.

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The Sound

A beloved part of the tradition of Branford Messiah is the solo tenor performance of Dr. Edward Hull, who not only helped establish the Branford holiday musical rite, but has been its tenor soloist for every performance. The 30th Branford Messiah takes place Friday, Dec. 22, at 7:30 p.m. at Branford’s First Congregational Church. Photo courtesy of Dr. Edward Hull

Ed Hull’s Amazing Gift to the Community

Published Dec. 20, 2017 08:30 a.m.

When Branford Messiah celebrates its 30th performance on Friday, Dec. 22 at Branford First Congregational Church, organizers of the shoreline’s musical holiday rite will honor the artistry and dedication of Dr. Edward “Ed” Hull, who not only helped bring this amazing gift to the community, but has been the tenor soloist for every performance.

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The Sound

On Jan. 31, 2018, Carol Cornachini will end 31 years in business as the proprietor of Branford’s Shoetique to fully take on her new venture as owner of IM=X Pilates Studio in North Branford. The Branford resident will also continue her part-time role as school nurse with St. Mary’s School in town. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Stepping Into a New Role: Cornachini Closing Shoetique After 31 Years

Published Dec. 13, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Jan. 31, 2018 will be Carol Cornachini’s final day of business for Shoetique, the shoe shop she established in Branford 31 years ago. It will also mark about the third month Carol will have been in business with her latest venture, IM=X, a North Branford Pilates studio.

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The Sound

Colin Sheehan has a long history of giving back to Branford by sharing his performing arts talents and connections. In many new ways, he’s now putting his enthusiasm, expertise, and experience to work to support worthwhile community causes.

Photo by Kiernan Photography

Colin Sheehan Puts His Talent to Work for Branford

Published Dec. 06, 2017 08:30 a.m.

In 2016, Colin Sheehan brought the community together by organizing #Branford4Orlando.

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The Sound

Frank Carrano helped found Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance, which has several upcoming events showcasing some of the town’s hidden gems. Photo courtesy of Frank Carrano

Frank Carrano: Uncovering Branford’s Hidden Treasures through BACA

Published Nov. 29, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Upcoming Events on Dec. 9 include Holiday Market & Open House and Christmas with Tiffanies

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The Sound

Shown here with cast members on the production’s feature poster, Branford’s Laurent Mullen (far right) brings his talent to Starship Dance Theatre’s The Magic Toyshop holiday dance production, coming to East Haven High School on Dec. 2 and Dec. 3.

Photo by Super 9 Studios

Mullen’s Leading-Man Looks, Loads of Talent Add to ‘The Magic Toyshop’

Published Nov. 22, 2017 08:30 a.m.

With leading-man looks and loads of talent, Laurent Mullen cuts a dashing figure on stage, screen, and the dance floor. On Saturday, Dec. 2 and Sunday, Dec. 3, the Branford resident reprises his role as the American Father (and also as Master of Ceremonies) in Starship Dance Theatre’s production of The Magic Toyshop at East Haven High School (EHHS).

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The Sound

Lauren Davis has been on the job as North Branford’s new library director since Oct. 30, but she’s very familiar with the town’s two-building library system and is excited to help North Branford’s public libraries grow and evolve. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

New Director, Familiar Face at North Branford Libraries

Published Nov. 15, 2017 08:30 a.m.

She’s North Branford’s first new library director in over 40 years, but Lauren Davis may be a familiar face to many. Just a few weeks into the role, the North Branford native is looking forward to pulling in the community to learn, create, and participate in offerings at the town’s two-building library system, Atwater Library (North Branford) and Smith Library (Northford).

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The Sound

Alison Tylisczak is organizing the shoreline’s biggest baby shower and all new and expecting parents are on the invitation list. Photo courtesy of Alison Tyliszczak

Alison Tyliszczak Hosts the Shoreline’s Biggest Baby Shower

Published Nov. 08, 2017 08:30 a.m.

While many people organize a baby shower for their sister or their best friend, Alison Tyliszczak is planning the shoreline’s biggest baby event.

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The Sound

A volunteer since the age of 15 who is now in his 16th year of volunteering, Tim Dinneen (right) says the Camp Totokett experience brings volunteers back year after year to work with campers during a magical week at the site, located at First Congregational Church’s Killam’s Point property. Photo courtesy of Tim Dinneen

A Life-Changing Experience at Camp Totokett

Published Nov. 01, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Tim Dinneen was 15 years old when he first volunteered as a mentor for Camp Totokett in Branford at Killam’s Point. To date, he’s given 16 years, one week each year, including 13 seasons (and counting) as co-camp director, leading other local teens on their mentoring journey with campers.

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The Sound

At the Stony Creek Museum, Jennifer Walker shares a peek at the giant game board that will be the center piece of Stony Creek Museum Game Night, a fun fundraiser coming to the museum on Friday, Nov. 3. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Walker Unveils Big Plans for Stony Creek Museum Game Night

Published Oct. 25, 2017 08:30 a.m.

As Jennifer Walker unveils the oversized, newly-minted Stony Creek game version of the classic board game Monopoly, a familiar face—let’s call him Captain Creeker—holds court on cards and spaces.

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The Sound

Growing up, brothers Steven (left) and Rob Fernicola did everything together; now, with Steven battling brain cancer, Rob is again at his side, helping however he can. 

Photo courtesy of Rob Fernicola

Rob Fernicola Helps his Brother Battle Cancer

Published Oct. 18, 2017 08:30 a.m.

When Steven Fernicola was diagnosed with cancer, his brother Robert (Rob) helped take action by not only helping organize a motorcycle ride fundraiser, but also doing anything he can for his brother while he fights against the disease.

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The Sound

Now in her fourth year as a member and second year serving on Branford Rotary’s Board of Directors, Kerry Haynes highly recommends joining this dynamic group of volunteers who support important charitable causes in Branford and beyond. Interested in joining? Potential new members are welcome to meet up with Rotarians to learn more during an evening of camaraderie at Thimble Islands Brewery on Wednesday, Oct. 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Photo courtesy of the Branford Rotary Club

A Great Recommendation for Rotary Membership

Published Oct. 11, 2017 08:30 a.m.

In 2013, Kerry Haynes joined Branford Rotary and a great group of people fulfilling Rotary’s motto of “Service Above Self.”

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The Sound

Branford author and artist Jennifer Payne’s newest book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, inspired a book launch celebration, free and open to the public, on Saturday, Oct. 14 and Sunday, Oct. 15 at the Martha Link Walsh Gallery in Branford.

Photo by Christine Chiocchio

A Way with Words: Payne Pens Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind

Published Oct. 04, 2017 08:30 a.m.

No doubt about it, Jen Payne has a way with words. From her volunteer “pet project” as web designer for the Branford Land Trust (BLT) website for nearly 20 years to her newest book, Evidence of Flossing: What We Leave Behind, the Branford author and artist brings together words and images to champion the natural world and remind us of what she terms “our divine and innate connection with nature.”

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The Sound

Branford Garden Club (BGC) president Paula Inglese will bring her musical group, and her talent for creative staging, together help BGC put on a fundraising fall festival like no other: Gourds, Grapes & Gardens coming Sunday, Oct. 8. Photo by Glenn Seseke

Inglese Shares Talents to Give Back to Branford

Published Sep. 27, 2017 08:30 a.m.

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Paula Inglese will help set the stage -- and play the violin— for Gourds, Grapes & Gardens, the Branford Garden Club (BGC) festive fall fundraiser at the Blackstone Library.

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The Sound

As treasurer of Friends of the Blackstone, Callista Stoddard (center, front) is gearing up with the Friends’ Executive Board and a small army of Friends volunteers for Books and Beyond during the Friends Annual Book Sale on the Branford Green from Thursday, Sept. 28 to Sunday, Oct. 1. Stoddard and the Executive Board are (from left) Secretary Don Mitchell, President Hatsie Mahoney, Vice-President Alpha Coiro, Stoddard, and Paula Harrington. Photo courtesy of the Friends of the James Blackstone Memorial Library

Stoddard is a ‘Friend’ to the Book Sale, Blackstone Library and Branford

Published Sep. 20, 2017 08:30 a.m.

For Branford native Callista Stoddard, helping the community runs in the family—and helping the James Blackstone Memorial Library is a passion.

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The Sound

Luisa Breen is now in her 26th year assisting North Branford citizens of all ages and stages through the town’s Social Services office. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

For Social Services, North Branford Turns to Luisa Breen

Published Sep. 13, 2017 08:30 a.m.

From health care to housing, energy assistance to food stamps, job training to employment assistance, and much more, for 26 years, North Branford residents seeking social services benefits available from government, non-profit and private sources have gone to Luisa Breen for answers.

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The Sound

Student instrumentalists from Branford and beyond are experiencing the thrill of performing, and growing as musicians, with the Shoreline Youth Symphony Orchestras (SYSO), under the leadership of conductor Susannah Bryan. Photo from Super 9 Studios

Conducting Excitement for Shoreline Youth Symphony Orchestras

Published Sep. 06, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Under the baton of Guilford resident Susannah Bryan, student instrumentalists from Branford, Guilford, Madison, Clinton, and beyond are experiencing the thrill of performing with Shoreline Youth Symphony Orchestras (SYSO).

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The Sound

Joining vinter Jon Rose (second from left) on the grounds of North Branford’s new Rose Vineyards and Winery are members of the next generation at Rose family farm, in operation since 1644. From left are Ellen Rose, Jon Rose, Stephanie Rose, Tyler Rose, and Rachael Cassella (not available for photo: Abbie Rose Walston and Nate Rose). Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Rose Vineyard and Winery: Family Farm’s Next-Generation Idea Bears Fruit

Published Aug. 30, 2017 08:30 a.m.

On North Branford land that has been part of the Rose family farm since 1644, the next generation is growing a new venture that will soon bear fruit as Rose Vineyards and Winery, with 12th generation member Jon Rose as its vintner.

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The Sound

Branford native and retired children’s librarian Phyllis DaCorte was a little library fan as a kid; she still shares her love of children’s books as a volunteer with Willoughby Wallace Library and Shoreline Trolley Musuem. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

DaCorte Shares Her Love of Children’s Books

Published Aug. 23, 2017 08:30 a.m.

She grew up reading at the Blackstone Library, got her first job there, and within those marbled walls was inspired to pursue her master’s degree and become a children’s librarian.

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The Sound

Raising funds, working to assist with referrals and education, and reviving some special services are just a few of the ways Northford resident Tabitha “Tabby” Brown has raised the bar on what it means to intern with Community Dining Room. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Tabby Brown: Doing Great Things for CDR

Published Aug. 16, 2017 08:30 a.m.

This summer, Community Dining Room (CDR) Executive Director Judy Barron squeezed a small table into her office to make space for an intern she knew would produce great things: Tabitha “Tabby” Brown.

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The Sound

On Saturday, Aug. 12, Melodie Lane O’Connor would love to see Town Hall Drive filled with walkers—and their dogs—participating in Woofwalk for Hope, which she is co-chairing to benefit Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter. The walk takes off at 11 a.m., followed by Woofstock, a live music festival on the Branford Green, from noon to 6 p.m. Proceeds from both events benefit the shelter, for which Melodie serves as a commissioner. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Helping Lead ‘Woofwalk for Hope’

Published Aug. 09, 2017 08:30 a.m.

In a year when the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter rocketed to international recognition with the riveting story of a rescued pup named Hope, Melodie Lane O’Connor hopes to see big numbers of two-legged and four-legged walkers fill Woofwalk for Hope.

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The Sound

In a town known for dedicated volunteers, Charlotte Mattei has been a consistent standout. From the Branford Festival and Summer Jazz Series to the Holiday Parade, Charlotte has helped shape the town for the more than 20 years she’s called it home. That will end next month when she moves, leaving a gap that will be hard to fill. Photo by Richard Esposito/The Sound

Charlotte Mattei: Leaving Branford a Legacy of Community Contributions

Published Aug. 02, 2017 08:30 a.m.

Thanks to her many notable community contributions—including her work on the Branford Festival, the Branford Holiday Parade, and the Branford Jazz Summer Series—Charlotte Mattei has made a big impact on her hometown.

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The Sound

East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD) Shoreline Regional Pump Out Boat Program lead Brianna Weller is helping put on a push to bring in the final funds needed for ESDHD’s first all-electric, solar-powered pump-out boat to work the waters of Branford, Guilford, East Haven, West Haven, and New Haven. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Weller Heads Up Final Push to Fund Solar-Powered Pumpout Boat

Published July 26, 2017 08:30 a.m.

With her nursing background, Brianna Weller is perfectly suited to her health education role with East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD)—but she never imagined she’d find herself at the helm of ESDHD’s effort to bring about one of the first all-electric, solar-powered pumpout boats of its type in the nation

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