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February 21, 2020
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Person of the Week

Publications

East Haven Courier

A 12-year veteran in the department, Pat Tracy was appointed to deputy chief of the East Haven Police Department in September 2019. Photo courtesy of Pat Tracy

Pat Tracy Focuses on the Community as Newly Appointed Deputy Chief

Published Feb. 19, 2020 08:30 a.m.

For as long as he could remember, Pat Tracy has wanted to be a police officer. Growing up, he watched his family...

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East Haven Courier

Alex Blank and his partners—his wife Bridget Blank and company founder Brian Ewing—are giving new brewers a chance to reach wider markets through the Twelve Percent Beer Project. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Alex Blank: Making Complex Beers Look Simple

Published Feb. 12, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Alex Blank is one of the masterminds behind a unique business model—Twelve Percent Beer Project—with a brewery and tap room that opened in North Haven on July 1 of last year.

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East Haven Courier

Stories from his World War II-veteran grandfather started Dan Garitta’s interest in preserving military history. Now he’s a co-founder of an ongoing military discussion group at the Hagaman Memorial Library and co-author of the book A Hometown Doughboy.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Garitta

Dan Garitta: Unearthing the Common Soldier’s Story

Published Feb. 05, 2020 08:30 a.m.

As a co-founder of the military discussion group at the Hagaman Memorial Library in East Haven, Daniel “Dan” Garitta has met numerous veterans and individuals interested in and passionate about military history.

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East Haven Courier

East Haven High School alum Jordyn DiNatale achieved a career goal, starring in a film directed by Martin Scorcese. Even better, that film, The Irishman, has been nominated for an Oscar. Photo courtesy of Jordyn DiNatale

Jordyn DiNatale Moves to the Big Screen

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

After getting her start on stage in New Haven and at East Haven Academy, actress Jordyn DiNatale has already achieved one of her career goals: to work with director Martin Scorsese.

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East Haven Courier

East Shore District Health Department (ESDHD) Director Michael “Mike” Pascucilla is helping residents of East Haven, Branford, and North Branford—and beyond—through efforts like the Solar Shark pump-out boat and the district’s Nurturing Families Network child health program. Photo courtesy of Michael Pascucilla

Michael Pascucilla: Safeguarding Public Health

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

As an undergraduate student at Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), East Shore District Health Department...

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East Haven Courier

East Haven’s Art Andrea shares his lifetime of experience sailing the Sound with students through the America’s Boating Course. Photo courtesy of Art Andrea

Art Andrea: Charting His Course

Published Jan. 15, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Arthur “Art” Andrea will be back in the classroom this January teaching an ABC class.

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East Haven Courier

Robert Iovanna, who lives and teaches classical singing in East Haven, is also a police officer who joined the Branford Police Department about three years ago with 17 years of experience as an officer in Hartford, where he was also known as “The Singing Hartford Cop.” Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

A Man of Many Talents: Classical Tenor (and Cop) Robert Iovanna

Published Jan. 08, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Robert Iovanna joined the Branford Police Department about three years ago, he brought 17 years of big-city law enforcement experience and his reputation as “The Singing Hartford Cop.”

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East Haven Courier

Once a student inspired by her elementary school teachers in East Haven, Geralyn Nelson has come full circle, so inspiring her students and colleagues she was named East Haven Teacher of the Year for 2019. Photo courtesy of Geralyn Nelson

East Haven Teacher of the Year Geralyn Nelson Puts Students First Every Day

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

In her 3rd-grade classroom, Geralyn Nelson fosters a community of learning in which each student is valued for his or her abilities and contributions.

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East Haven Courier

Gail Nettleton, the celebrated chef at the East Haven United Community Kitchen, says that her main ingredient in all of her cooking is the love she received from her parents, Mary and Ralph Gambardella. She hopes to pass this love on through her cooking at the United Community Kitchen. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Gail Nettleton–Serving Gourmet Food on a Budget at the United Community Kitchen

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

When Gail Nettleton first started volunteering at the East Haven United Community Kitchen, “they never knew I could cook,” she says.

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East Haven Courier

Though she knew she wanted to be a teacher, an unexpected diversion into a East Haven High School special education classroom led Ursula Pendziwater to discover the focus that would define her career. Photo courtesy of Ursula Pendziwater

Seeing the Successes in Special Education

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

Ursula Pendziwater possesses key characteristics enabling success in many areas of her life, but her most significant contribution to the East Haven community is as someone who positively influences the lives of hundreds of students through a career in special education.

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East Haven Courier

East Haven High School English teacher Emilia Caturano is leading the school’s newspaper The Comet into a new digital-only realm. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Emilia Caturano’s Tech Savvy Brings EHHS Newspaper into the Digital Age

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

Graduating with a master’s degree in educational technology from Boise State University, Emilia Caturano has the skills and the drive to help East Haven High School journalism students deliver more news to their community.

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East Haven Courier

A musician and mosaic artist, among other talents, Jen Haddon looks for opportunities to reinforce personal connections in her art. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Gardener, Artist, and Musician—Jen Haddon Makes a Difference

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

In the book Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney, when the Alice would sit upon her grandfather’s knee, she would listen to his advice on how to find joy in life.

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East Haven Courier

On Thanksgiving Day about 230 people in East Haven will receive a full-course turkey dinner. Rotarian Beth Capotorto is one of the volunteers helping ensure a holiday meal is available for all in need. Photo courtesy of Beth Capotorto

Thanksgiving Made Easy with the Help of Beth Capotorto

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

On Thanksgiving Day, about 230 people in need of assistance will have a full-course turkey dinner provided to them, available for pick-up at the East Haven Senior Center or delivered to their home.

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East Haven Courier

Elizabeth “Betty” Hauser has a century of memories to share about the East Haven community. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Born in 1917, Betty Hotchkiss Offers Tips on Longevity

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

The United States had just entered World War I in 1917, the year that Elizabeth “Betty” Hauser was born.

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East Haven Courier

After being sidelined by Lyme disease, Porsha Amodio found she needed to re-launch her career, leading to a new mission of helping like-minded women in business hone their professional skills. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

Porsha Amodio: Authenticity in Business and Perseverance in Life

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

Long-time East Haven resident Porsha Amodio exudes a warmth and authenticity that enables her success in business and in life.

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East Haven Courier

Noted pharmacologist King Lee made North Haven his pick when moving to the state two decades ago. Photo courtesy of King Lee

Lee’s Spark for Innovation in Pharmacology Contributes to North Haven Community

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

When King Lee was an undergraduate student in premedical sciences at Eastern Kentucky University, he couldn’t wait to leave that state’s rural farmland to return to the hustle and bustle of his native city, Hong Kong.

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East Haven Courier

For more than three decades, Carol Richards has been involved in Girl Scouts, spending most of that time as a troop leader. Here, she’s standing with a statue of Juliette Gordon Lowe in Savannah, Georgia, on a tour of the birthplace of Girl Scouts. 

Photo courtesy of Carol Richards

Carol Richards Continues to Serve East Haven Girl Scouts

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

Growing up, Carol Richards had a brief experience with Girl Scouts of the USA, participating as a brownie in a local troop.

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East Haven Courier

The Old Stone Church’s distinctive 1894 Johnson pipe organ will be in full song for a Sunday, Nov. 17 recital led by organist and choir director Jonathan Budd. Photo by Elizabeth Reinhart/The Courier

New Minister of Music Jonathan Budd Revives Programming at Old Stone Church

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

“A well-trained organist plays with both their hands and their feet,” says Jonathan Budd, organist and choir director at East Haven’s Old Stone Church.

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East Haven Courier

Chris Sanchez is the captain of Riverside Fire Company 6, an all-volunteer department serving East Haven. Photo courtesy of Chris Sanchez

Chris Sanchez Brings Decades of Firefighting Experience to Company 6

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

For nearly four decades, Chris Sanchez has been involved in firefighting and emergency services.

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East Haven Courier

Jim Comiskey is a longtime East Haven resident who volunteers with many organizations in town. Photo courtesy of Jim Comiskey

Comiskey Volunteers for Love of East Haven Community

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

Jim Comiskey has always served his community. He grew up in New Haven before his family moved to Hamden where he graduated from Hamden High School.

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East Haven Courier

Sergeant Joe Mulhern, East Haven Police Department’s daytime road supervisor, is a proponent of community policing. Photo courtesy of Joe Mulhern

Joe Mulhern Encourages Positive Policing in the Community

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

While having careers in law enforcement ran in Joe Mulhern’s family, it wasn’t until his mid-30s that Joe joined what he now thinks of as a “brotherhood.”

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East Haven Courier

Emily Kalotai is looking forward to getting to know local teens through programming at the Hagaman Library where she was hired as the teen services and young adult librarian. Photo by Fawn Gillespie

Kalotai Joins Hagaman Library as New Teen Services and YA Librarian

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

Emily Kalotai studied anthropology at the University of Connecticut, but upon graduating, she realized that was not where she wanted to build her career.

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East Haven Courier

Tim Anderson is the grand knight of the Knights of Columbus Our Lady of the Rosary Council 3300. Photo courtesy of Maria Anderson

Grand Knight Tim Anderson Gives Back to Community and Church

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

A bit more than 12 years ago, Tim Anderson and his family were looking to buy a home.

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East Haven Courier

Read to Grow Executive Director Kyn Tolson and a small staff, together with many volunteers, spread the non-profit’s mission of promoting early childhood literacy statewide, such as the group’s book place in East Haven at the Overbrook Early Learning Center. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

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

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

It all started on the shoreline in 1999.

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East Haven Courier

In July, at age 20, Anne-Marie Frattini earned her commercial pilot’s license. As one of only a fraction of female commercial pilots in the country, the former Robinson Aviation student plans to go on to become an airline pilot. Photo courtesy of Anne-Marie Frattini

The Sky’s the Limit for Frattini

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

In July, 20 year-old Anne-Marie Frattini got behind the controls, kicked on the engine of a single-prop Cessna in Daytona Beach, Florida, and took off into the sky.

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East Haven Courier

When she was 15, Gabriela Garcia-Perez founded Community Integration Mentoring Program (CIMP). Now entering its third school year, CIMP links shoreline kids with New Haven English language learner (ELL) elementary students to help close language, culture, and diversity gaps. To date, she has connected 25 mentors with 37 ELL kids. Photo courtesy of Gabriela Garcia-Perez

Garcia-Perez: Breaking Barriers, Making a Difference with CIMP

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

Gabriela Garcia-Perez grew up in East Haven speaking Spanish and English. That’s why she knew she could help when, in 2017, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, sending many Spanish-speaking families seeking refuge to New Haven.

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East Haven Courier

Gina Marenna, a longtime East Haven resident, just released the first book in a series she has written under the name Gina Marie Martini. Photo courtesy of Gina Marenna

Gina Marenna Brings Stories to Life in New Book Series

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

Ever since she was young, Gina Marenna has been creating stories. She remembers recording her first stories at around 10 years old. She grew up in Meriden but after getting a job at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield when she was 19, she moved to East Haven.

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East Haven Courier

East Haven native Bill Barker is the founder of Madison Hoop Dreams, an organization that has supported a variety of community organizations and scholarships over its 26 years. Photo courtesy of Tammy Boris

Bill Barker: Giving Back Through Madison Hoop Dreams and More

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

For more than 50 years, Bill Barker has been a fixture in on the shoreline—first as a teacher and coach in Madison schools, then as the founder of the Slamma Jamma basketball camps, which he has run for 26 years, as well as a member of a number of other charitable groups and organizations.

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East Haven Courier

Hands-on learning takes new meaning for students in Mike Iavarone’s East Haven High School technology classes.

Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier

Real World Skills for Mike Iavarone’s Students

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

This school year, Mike Iavarone starts his fifth year teaching automotive and wood technology classes at East Haven High School (EHHS) where he’s been leading students into the future by teaching both old-school mechanical skills along with the latest in computer-programmed machining.

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East Haven Courier

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

Kari Collins: Going Big with the East Haven Arts Commission

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

For six years, Kari Collins has been directing shows for the East Haven Arts Commission (EHAC). It’s all about getting bigger and bigger performances.

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