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October 19, 2019  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

The Sound

For the past five years, North Branford Town Planner Carey Duques has covered a lot of ground among North Branford’s 26 square miles. But on Sunday, Nov. 3, she’ll cover 26.2 miles, running the famed New York City Marathon. Inspired by a friend’s seven-year-old son who lives with a rare disease, Carey is running with a team to raise funds for the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

North Branford Town Planner Carey Duques Covers Many Miles

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

As North Branford’s Town Planner, Carey Duques covers a lot of ground among North Branford’s 26 square miles.

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The Sound

Karen McMinn TenBroeck stands at Branford Early Learning Center’s (BELC) Wall of Fame, where photos include hundreds of children she’s taught in her 40 years as a BELC educator. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

McMinn TenBroeck Celebrates 40 Years, and Counting, at BELC

Published Oct. 09, 2019 08:30 a.m.

More than four decades of annual class photos fill the Wall of Fame at Branford Early Learning Center (BELC), and teacher Karen McMinn TenBroeck is in just about every one of them.

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The Sound

Samantha Smith has brought her Branford hometown Gather, a space located along the Branford Green where unique events, programs, and projects are popping up. She hopes Gather will also help build community connections and inspire others to stay curious and live what she terms a “passionate, intentional life.” Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

At Gather, Smith Offers a Place for Community and the Curiosity Factor

Published Oct. 02, 2019 08:30 a.m.

At Gather, you never know what will pop up. That’s the tag-line that summarizes this unique, community-driven, changeable event and gathering space conceived by Branford native Samantha Smith.

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The Sound

Melanie DeCaprio is helping North Branford’s Caruso/Bode family organize a fun, fundraising event—Loving Life: A Night of Kindness and Friendship, set for Friday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. at Owenego Beach and Tennis Club in Branford. The celebration (will raise funds for the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance (FARA). Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Loving Life: DeCaprio Invites All to a Celebration Supporting FARA

Published Sep. 25, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Melanie DeCaprio was still studying nursing when she first offered to help out brother and sister Sam and Alex Bode and their mom, Mary Caruso.

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The Sound

Chris Lemieux, shown here on the set of Peter and the Starcatcher, has brought a sense of play—and a unique interpretation—to the production he’s directing for Shoreline Theatre Company (STC). Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

A Sense of Play: Lemieux Directs STC’s ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Published Sep. 18, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As someone who embraces the spirit of Peter Pan, Chris Lemieux has brought a sense of play to directing Shoreline Theatre Company’s (STC) first play, Peter and the Starcatcher.

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The Sound

Branford Fire Police is a volunteer affiliate of the Branford Fire Department (BFD). As captain of Branford Fire Police, Buzz Johnson is putting out a call to the public: This small but very important group needs more volunteers. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Putting Out the Call for Branford Fire Police Volunteers

Published Sep. 11, 2019 08:30 a.m.

You’ve likely come across a member of Branford’s volunteer Fire Police on the scene of an emergency response—but you just didn’t know it.

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The Sound

At Read to Grow’s headquarters in Branford, Executive Director Kyn Tolson and a small staff, together with many volunteers, spread the non-profit’s mission of promoting early childhood literacy statewide. On Thursday, Oct. 3, Kyn invites the public to support Read to Grow by attending its 20th anniversary celebration honoring the vision and leadership of founder Roxanne J. Coady. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

20 Years, 2 Million Books: Tolson Invites All to Celebrate with Read to Grow

Published Sep. 04, 2019 08:30 a.m.

It all started in Branford in 1999. Now, 20 years and more than two million books later, Read to Grow has grown into a statewide non-profit supporting the importance of developing early childhood literacy.

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The Sound

As treasurer of Feed Branford Kids (FBK), Renee Pantani hopes to help grow local support provided by the non-profit founded by her late mother-in-law, Johanne Pantani. She invites supporters to help by purchasing tickets to Onofrio Total Construction’s annual FBK benefit, a Murder Mystery Fundraiser, set for Friday, Sept. 20 at Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club. Photo courtesy Renee Pantani

Continuing a Family Legacy by Serving Feed Branford Kids

Published Aug. 28, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Back to school is a busy time for Feed Branford Kids (FBK), but this year, the Branford non-profit hopes to serve more kids than ever before, says Renee Pantani.

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The Sound

As a retired R.N. and praticing holistic nurse, Corrine Panagos instantly connected with non-profit Smile Anyway’s mission to assist young adults, and their families, battling addiction. As a volunteer board member of the Branford-based non-profit, she invites the community to come to out to the second annual Love is Louder music festival on Saturday, Aug. 31 on the Branford Green from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Love is Louder: Corrine Panagos Shares a Passion for Supporting Smile Anyway’s Mission

Published Aug. 21, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Corrine Panagos hadn’t set foot in Toad’s Place for more than 40 years, but if getting on the floor in a crowd of youthful reggae/folk/blues/rock fusion devotees would help the cause of Smile Anyway, this retired R.N.-turned-holistic nurse was all in.

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The Sound

Coming up on his first anniversary as Branford Public School’s director of dining/executive chef, John Turenne of Chartwells says the program’s success is due his talented and dedicated dining team staff and the support of community stakeholders. 

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

John Turenne: Proud to be Part of the BPS Dining Service Team

Published Aug. 14, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Chartwells’ John Turenne was hired last September as Branford Public Schools’ director of dining services/executive chef, he had to hit the ground running—and he’ll never forget the support he received from his team, the district, and the community to help him.

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The Sound

Entering college, Kari Collins was certain she would study acting. A course on directing quickly changed that, and she’s now helping North Branford and East Haven teens find their ideal spot on the stage. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Sound

Kari Collins: Encouraging Teen Performers to Go Big

Published Aug. 07, 2019 08:00 a.m.

For six years, Kari Collins has been directing young North Branford and East Haven performers for the East Haven Arts Commission (EHAC).

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The Sound

In his daily work and through special projects and programs, Town of Branford Department of Inland Wetlands and Natural Resources staffer David McCarthy is working to provide more connections to the community to support an environmentally conscious Branford. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

McCarthy Hopes to Foster Community Stance on Environmental Stewardship

Published July 31, 2019 08:30 a.m.

David McCarthy has only been working at Town Hall for six months, but he’s already making strides toward connecting with the community to create a more environmentally conscious Branford.

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The Sound

Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter commissioner Stephanie Malkin hopes to see plenty of pet owners and others who care about showing compassion and kindness come out to enjoy the sixth annual Woofstock on the Branford Town Green on Saturday, Aug. 10 from noon to 6 p.m. The day of peace, music, and much more kicks off following the annual Woofwalk at 11 a.m. Both events benefit animals served by the no-kill Branford/North Branford municipal shelter. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Assisting Animals in Need: Shelter Commissioner & Woofstock Co-Chair Stephanie Malkin

Published July 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As a commissioner for the Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter, Stephanie Malkin is grateful for the chance to make a difference by putting her passion for assisting animals into practice.

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The Sound

From learning to call it “POCO” like a local, to bringing her years of experience planning events for companies including Disney and ESPN, North Branford’s new Potato and Corn Festival (POCO) coordinator Gayle McMillan and her valued team of volunteers are ready to wow the crowds with new excitement and favorite staples at the 18th annual POCO Festival coming to Augur’s Field from Friday to Sunday, Aug. 2 to 4.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Planning for a Fun POCO Festival

Published July 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

With upgrades including a new amusement company bringing in more midway thrills for ‘tweens, the first-ever addition of circus acts, a new pyrotechnics group sparking the Saturday night fireworks, and more community tent programming in the mix, Gayle McMillan is planning for a fun Potato and Corn (POCO) Festival from Friday, Aug. 2 to Sunday, Aug. 4 at Augur’s Field in North Branford.

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The Sound

Bill Ludwig is helping share his appreciation for the meditative practice of labyyrinth walking through a newly completed 72-foot diameter path along the Shoreline Greenway Trail in Branford. Photo courtesy of Bill Ludwig

Bill Ludwig: Taking the Path Less Traveled

Published July 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

A publisher by trade, Branford resident Bill Ludwig was searching for an image for the cover of a book about spiritual meditation, and that’s when it happened.

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The Sound

Branford Community Foundation (BCF) board member and Community Investment Committee chair Rita Berkson invites the Branford community to come out to the beautiful grounds of the Owenego Beach and Tennis Club on Friday, July 19 at 6 p.m. to enjoy “Hometown Harmonies & Branford’s Official 375th Birthday Party,” hosted by BCF. To help BCF plan for a crowd, advance reservations (pay-what-you-can) are requested.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

BCF’s Berkson Helps Hometown Harmonies Celebrate Branford’s 375th

Published July 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Did you hear? With Hometown Harmonies, Branford Community Foundation (BCF) is throwing Branford’s official 375th birthday bash, and everyone is invited.

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The Sound

Grammy-nominated jazz drummer and composer Dan Pugach brings the Dan Pugach Nonet featuring Nicole Zuraitis to open the free Branford Summer Jazz Series on Thursday, June 27 at 6:30 p.m. on the Branford town green.

Photo courtesy of www.danpugach.com

Back in Branford: Dan Pugach Nonet Opens Branford Jazz Series June 27

Published June 26, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Dan Pugach Nonet featuring Nicole Zuraitis opens the free Branford Summer Jazz Series on Thursday, June 27, fans will be arriving from across Connecticut to hear the sound put together by the band of Dan Pugach, the Grammy-nominated jazz drummer/composer who’s career has blown up since the last time he played the Branford green, back in 2012.

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The Sound

North Branford High School (NBHS) Class of 2019 president Allie Augur capped an incredible career at NBHS by being named 2019 valedictorian and bringing national attention to town as a twice-named All American soccer goalie. Next fall, she’ll attend Boston College (BC), where she’ll play soccer. She committed to BC in the summer of her freshman year at NBHS. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Hometown Support Behind Augur’s Successful Years at NBHS

Published June 19, 2019 08:30 a.m.

She may be following in her sibling’s footsteps—both her brother and sister were also class presidents—but it’s a pretty safe bet that North Branford High School (NBHS) may not see another spectacular student like Allie Augur for some years to come. She says her success is due to the support of her hometown.

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The Sound

The Animal Haven manager Michelle DeRosa says both Tank and Mario are looking for new homes, just like more than a hundred other animals currently staying in the shelter. Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Sound

Michelle DeRosa: Advocating for Animals

Published June 12, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As manager of The Animal Haven shelter, Michelle DeRosa is working hard to make it the best shelter it can be.

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The Sound

2019 Branford Festival chair Melissa Nicholson is excited and honored to lead a dedicated group of volunteers who will bring the 35th annual Branford Festival to the Branford Town Green Friday to Sunday, June 14 to 16. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

The Best of Branford: Nicholson Chairs 2019 Branford Festival

Published June 05, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Between Friday and Sunday, June 14 and 16, the 2019 Branford Festival will celebrate its 35th anniversary while also recognizing Branford’s 375th birthday and the 40th run of the Branford Road Race.

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The Sound

Branford’s own Alyssa Sachs, 21, is the current Miss Shoreline and could win the title of Miss Connecticut on Friday, June 7. She says her time as Miss Shoreline has already given her a great opportunity to share her ‘Kids are Kids’ platform with others. 

Photo courtesy of Alyssa Sachs

For Kids: Branford’s Alyssa Sachs Competes for Miss CT Crown June 7

Published May 29, 2019 08:30 a.m.

As Miss Shoreline 2019, Branford’s own Alyssa Sachs could win the title of Miss Connecticut on Friday, June 7—and her ticket to be in the running to become Miss America.

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The Sound

Don Gentile keeps honey bees, like this healthy bunch, in his Branford backyard apiary. Recently, one of his colonies experienced the deaths of thousands of bees, likely due to exposure to toxins in a mosquito control solution applied to a nearby property. Now, in his friendly way, he’s working to get the word out about pollinator-friendly options to help keep bees, and other pollinators, safe. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Keeping Bees Safe: Gentile Shares Pollinator-Friendly Tips

Published May 22, 2019 08:30 a.m.

A few weeks back, Don Gentile found thousands of his honey bees piled up, dead, at his Averill Place apiary in Branford.

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The Sound

Branford’s David Mayer, co-founder of Two Owls Sustainability Partners, is bringing his waste-diversion know-how to his home town, starting with a recent pro bono audit and analysis that will assist the Community Dining Room. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

From Zero-Waste Super Bowl to CDR: Mayer Makes Sustainability a Priority

Published May 15, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In 2018, David Mayer’s company, Two Owls Sustainability Partners, LLC, helped to deliver America’s first zero-waste Super Bowl. Imagine what it will do for Branford’s Community Dining Room (CDR).

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The Sound

Branford native Ryan Bloomquist (left) has co-authored a new book with his friend, Sam Gold (right) based on their popular podcast. The book is Riverdish: The Unauthorized Case Files of Riverdale (Dey Street Books). Photo courtesy of Ryan Bloomquist

From Podcast to Print: Bloomquist Co-Authors Riverdish

Published May 01, 2019 08:30 a.m.

On May 7, Branford native Ryan Bloomquist will officially welcome the publication debut on Tuesday, May 7 of Riverdish: The Unauthorized Case Files of Riverdale, a new book he co-authored with his friend, Sam Gold.

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The Sound

Friends of the Blackstone Library’s new fall book sale chairman Joe Genua invites novel ideas from volunteers to help support the library. On Saturday, May 18, the friends will host a mini book sale on the Branford Green from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Genua Gathers ‘Novel’ Ideas to Help Friends of the Blackstone Library

Published April 24, 2019 08:30 a.m.

To help Friends of the Blackstone Library (FOBL), its new fall book sale chairman, Joe Genua, will soon institute the first of what he hopes will be many novel ideas: hosting a mini book sale on the Branford Green.

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The Sound

Carla Cerino, who teaches academic writing and reading to adult English as a second language learners through ERACE, inspires her students with goals including having their stories published in a national magazine, The Change Agent. In March, five of Cerino’s students had their stories published. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Write On: ESL Writers Inspire ERACE Educator Carla Cerino

Published April 17, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Every semester, adult students from across the globe take Carla Cerino’s class to learn English academic reading and writing skills, but by the time they leave, they always manage to teach Carla new lessons about the human spirit.

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The Sound

Meghan Scanlon joined Women & Family Life Center as its first full-time director about nine months ago and has been on a mission to bring important service and support goals into focus, raise awareness and funds, and find ways to partner to expand free services for shoreline women and families in crisis or transition. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Invigorated Focus, Amazing Energy: Meghan Scanlon Leads WFLC

Published April 10, 2019 08:30 a.m.

When Meghan Scanlon first joined Women & Family Life Center (WFLC) as its executive director about nine months ago, she went out into the community on a fact-finding mission.

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The Sound

Branford’s Matt Schell has opened Spark Cycleworks, offering electric bikes that are unique to his company. Bikes are assembled at the Spark Cycleworks “lab” at 67 North Branford Road. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

With Spark Cycleworks, Matt Schell is Going Places

Published April 03, 2019 08:30 a.m.

The doors to Spark Cycleworks officially opened on March 30, and the buzz is already building about Matt Schell’s unique Branford business.

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The Sound

North Branford resident Jerry Begley is a multi-talented individual who gives back as a volunteer chef and a musician. Shown here cooking at Community Dining Room (CDR), Begley is helping to organize the ninth annual Arti Dixson’s Help Our People Event (HOPE) coming Sunday, April 28 to Anthony’s Ocean View in New Haven, where food donations will be collected to benefit CDR and several other food support programs in Connecticut. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Begley Brings HOPE to Help Fight Hunger

Published March 27, 2019 08:30 a.m.

Whether he’s making music or making meatballs, Jerry Begley loves to use his talents to give back to others in need.

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The Sound

In 2013, North Branford resident Rebekah DeVivo was in the running to be a contestant on TV’s American Idol when a rare spinal tumor detoured that dream. Her long period of recovery led to discovering a passion for another form of artistic expression, felting. DeVivo’s unique take on the ancient textile art is on display at Northford’s Edward Smith Library during the month of March. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

From American Idol to Ancient Art Form: DeVivo’s Artistic Journey

Published March 20, 2019 08:30 a.m.

In 2013, Rebekah DeVivo’s voice launched her to Hollywood to compete in television’s American Idol. But when her journey was detoured by a battle with a rare spinal tumor that took years to overcome, she kept her faith, and found a new creative outlet in one of the world’s oldest art forms—felting.

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