Saturday, October 31, 2020

North Haven Courier Person of the Week

The Source

As director of land management at The Nature Conservancy and president of the Killingworth Land Conservation Trust, David Gumbart is in his element when he is working outdoors. Photo courtesy of David Gumbart

David Gumbart Talks Conservation and Community Commitment

Published Oct. 21, 2020 08:30 a.m.

If you see David Gumbart in his element, you might find him observing an object with fascination, maybe even using a camera or some visual tool to gather evidence.

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The Source

As head teacher of Circle Nursery School in Madison, Shannon Baker enjoys teaching the young children, but adds that she learns valuable lessons from them, as well. Photo courtesy of Shannon Baker

Shannon Baker Teaches and Learns the Lessons of Life

Published Oct. 14, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Play is the highest form of research—at least that’s what Albert Einstein is thought to have said. Well, if that saying is true, then Shannon Baker is immersing her young students in the best form of research.

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The Source

A high school junior and Madison resident, Nick Koobatian developed and maintains tech-savvy-seniors.org, a website that seeks to teach seniors how to use technology, including email, video chats, social media, and online shopping. Photo courtesy of Nick Koobatian

Nick Koobatian: A Teen Dedicated to Helping Seniors

Published Oct. 07, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Technology is moving with lightning speed.

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The Source

Working for the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, Emily Shafer learned about the Connecticut Interstate Fire Crew (CIFC), a team of special firefighters who help battle wildfires across the nation. Today, the Madison resident is part of the CIFC and has been to California and Colorado to help fight the wildfires there. 

Photo courtesy of Emily Shafer

Emily Shafer Blazes Her Own Trail

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

When 24-year old Emily Shafer traveled from Madison to California earlier this year, some may have assumed she was going to soak up the sun and enjoy the white-sand beaches.

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The Source

An avid naturalist, martial arts black belt, and prolific author and illustrator, John Himmelman has written and illustrated 87 books, of which 83 are for children. His books contain any combination of animal characters, good-natured wit, engaging illustrations, and even martial arts humor. Photo courtesy of John Himmelman

John Himmelman: All in Good Nature

Published Sep. 23, 2020 08:30 a.m.

He’s been a cook and a carpenter. He’s a naturalist, nature photographer, and lecturer.

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The Source

A wife, mother to two young children, and real estate professional, Cindy Breckheimer worked to find a solution to a childcare problem for many families by starting a fund and linking her efforts with Neighbor to Neighbor. Photo courtesy of Cindy Breckheimer

Cindy Breckheimer Talks About Homes, Families, and Childcare

Published Sep. 16, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Ask any working young parent about childcare arrangements and you’ll likely get the same answer—finding and affording reliable childcare is a constant headache.

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The Source

An assistant principal at Daniel Hand High School in Madison, Brian Bodner says his career as a teacher and administrator has been “extremely rewarding.” 

Photo courtesy of Brian Bodner

Brian Bodner: By Way of Education

Published Sep. 09, 2020 08:30 a.m.

After completing his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania and his master’s degree from Quinnipiac University, Brian Bodner went back to high school—well, that is, to teach students.

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The Source

Adrian Bassett is a 100-year old Madison resident who served as chief of the Madison Fire Department. Adie, as everyone calls him, still does his own grocery shopping, mows his own yard, and recalls world events with vivid detail. Photo courtesy of Clay Bassett

Adrian Bassett Shares Stories from the Last 100 Years

Published Sep. 02, 2020 08:33 a.m.

When Adrian Bassett was born, the League of Nations was just in its infancy. Its successor, the United Nations, was still a few years away from being created.

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The Source

Peter Gulick is a longtime member of the Madison Hose Company No. 1, a volunteer job he finds personally rewarding. He is also a professional restorer of historical and contemporary houses. Photo courtesy of Peter Gulick

Peter Gulick: Preserving the Past for the Future

Published Aug. 26, 2020 08:30 a.m.

If only the walls of historical houses could talk, what treasure trove of stories and lessons would we hear?

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The Source

A mentoring program coordinator and consultant for the Haddam-Killingworth Youth & Family Services, Patty Coletti worked to have a mentoring program in place despite the delay that resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic. She also worked as a school teacher at the Killingworth Elementary School for much of her professional life.

Photo courtesy of Patty Coletti

Patty Coletti: The Value of Teachers, Mentors, and Pen Pals

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

Who would have thought that in the year 2020, old-school pen pal writing would make a comeback?

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The Source

After a successful law career, Marilyn Shaw moved with her husband, Steven, to live full time in Madison. She now serves the town as co-president of the Garden Club of Madison and as a member of the Coastal Resiliency Commission. Photo courtesy of Marilyn Shaw

Breaking Ground: Marilyn Shaw Carves Her Path

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

Marilyn Shaw used to dig into her books and legal cases when she was a lawyer in Philadelphia, then later, in Houston and Washington, D.C.

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The Source

In different capacities and for various scientific research projects, Amy Cornell worked at Stanford University, Yale University, and the NASA Ames Research Center. She now teaches science at The Country School in Madison but took a leave of absence to work for Homodeus on a new and better COVID-19 test expected to be available to the public after FDA approval. Photo courtesy of Amy Cornell

Amy Cornell: Discovering More Through Science

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

The long lines for COVID-19 testing will soon be a thing of the past. So will the anxious wait times for results.

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The Source

Catherine King is a professional photographer who uses her skills to help organizations such as the Madison Newcomers, Kisses for Katie, and New Reach. Kat, as she is known to her friends, learned to convey a story and capture emotions, especially through images of newborns and families. Photo courtesy of Catherine King

Kat King: On Newborns, Newcomers, and New Reach

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

In her photography, Catherine King focuses on newcomers, whether they are infants or adults who have arrived in the community.

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The Source

Charlie Corso became the new commander of American Legion Griswold Post 79 last June. As commander, he is embarking on a fundraising effort for the renovation of the Legion post building at 43 Bradley Road, Madison. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Charlie Corso: A New Commander Serves Madison

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

As the new commander of the American Legion Griswold Post 79, Charles Corso keeps his eye on a new sign installed outside the post at 43 Bradley Road, Madison.

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The Source

Jack Davis is one of only two recipients of this year’s Don Rankin Community Service Award, an honor bestowed on individuals who have devoted extraordinary efforts for the betterment of Madison. He and his wife Helen have made a positive impact in town in the areas of education, housing, religion, recreation, and the arts.

Photo courtesy of Stephen Davis

Jack Davis: A Lifetime of Achievement

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

On July 18, Jack Davis celebrates his birthday. Nothing unusual about that, except two days later, he’ll legitimately celebrate it again.

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The Source

With his wife Amy, some key helpers, and an army of volunteers, Bob Stefanowski successfully led Masks for Heroes and Masks for CT, twin programs that procured and distributed 1.2 million masks for health care professionals, essential workers, and anyone in Connecticut who needed them. Photo courtesy of Bob Stefanowski

Bob Stefanowski: A Mask Crusader for CT

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

Robert Stefanowski—or Bob, as he’s known to everyone—is not the kind of person who waits for someone else to act when there’s a need. When he sees a problem, he takes it upon himself to find a solution.

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The Source

A staffer at the Madison Senior Center, Cynthia Barker has made an impact by spearheading programs and groups such as Masks for Madison, a community effort that sewed and gave out some 1,500 face masks; Nimble Thimble, a group of needlepoint crafters; and The Girls, a small circle of women near or well into their 90s who now share a friendship.

Photo by Maria Caulfield

Cynthia Barker: Sewing Up Friendships

Published July 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

When Cynthia Barker, a part-time staffer at the Madison Senior Center, began sewing protective face masks at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she quickly realized that the effort can multiply exponentially if many more hands were involved in the work.

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The Source

An avid runner and a physician assistant at the Smilow Cancer Hospital Care Center in North Haven, Tara Anderson devised a way to continue running with friends even in the days of COVID-19. She started a touchless 15K relay, a virtual race that doesn’t use batons or hand slaps but goes on relay routes in Madison and requires runners to take an image of their watches to keep time. Photo courtesy of Tara Anderson

Tara Anderson: Hurdling Challenges Despite a Pandemic

Published June 03, 2020 08:30 a.m.

One might say that Tara Anderson likes to run the extra mile.

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The Source

Adam Coppola is a professional photographer who launched the COVID Superhero project, a social media campaign that puts the focus on health care professionals who work to their human capacity to treat and save COVID-19 patients, and essential workers who risk their safety to provide vital services to the community. Photo courtesy of Adam Coppola

Adam Coppola: Focused on Photography

Published May 27, 2020 08:30 a.m.

What young child hasn’t dreamt of saving the world as Superman or Batman or Wonder Woman?

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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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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.

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The Source

With the help of his chefs, family members, and friends, Francesco Lulaj, owner of La Foresta Restaurant & Wine Bar, cooked and delivered meals to feed 600 members of a 55-plus community in Killingworth. Photo from Francesco Lulaj

Francesco Lulaj Delivers Food Seasoned with Kindness

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

Francesco Lulaj’s food shopping list was not for a typical household: 200 pounds of pasta, 150 pounds of meatballs, and 25 gallons of pomodoro sauce.

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The Source

Nancy McCormick (accompanied here by T.C. the chicken) has helped reinvigorate the Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore organization, which serves the towns of Chester, Clinton, Deep River, Essex, Guilford, Killingworth, Lyme, Madison, Old Lyme, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook. Photo by Mark McCormick

Nancy McCormick: Learning from Experience

Published April 01, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Nancy McCormick has a chicken named Experience.When she and her husband, Mark, moved into their 18th-century...

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The Source

Sister Patty Cook is a retired sister with the Religious Sisters of Mercy who worked in her ministries to spread the message of God’s loving mercy. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Sister Patty Cook: A Sister of God’s Mercy

Published March 25, 2020 08:30 a.m.

In the midst of a world overwhelmed with anxiety about the COVID-19 outbreak, Sister Patricia Cook RSM, PhD, does not let the barrage of bad news faze her.

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East Haven Courier

Linda Niccolai is a professor of the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. She also holds two other positions: director of the Connecticut Emerging Infections Program at the Yale School of Public Health and director of the HPV Vaccine Working Group, also at Yale. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Dr. Linda Niccolai Gives Perspective on COVID-19

Published March 18, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The COVID-19 outbreak will likely get worse before it gets better.

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The Source

Nathan Bayreuther is the director of music ministry at the First Congregational Church in Madison. He says that music “can be a very spiritual avenue to learning more about God,” and the ability of music to move an audience can be both emotional and visceral. 

Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Nathan Bayreuther: A Life of Music

Published March 11, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The office of Nathan Bayreuther has a few distinct items not common in most work areas.

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The Source

A gastroenterologist at Connecticut Gastroenterology Consultants, Dr. Wayne Panullo campaigns against colorectal cancer and encourages the public to get screened for the disease. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Dr. Wayne Panullo: A Fight Against Cancer

Published March 04, 2020 08:30 a.m.

Dr. Wayne Thomas Panullo has a challenge on his hands.

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The Source

Joan Walker serves Madison in dual roles: She chairs the Democratic Town Committee and heads the team of 200 volunteers who work to ensure the success of Nite in Hand, a traditional celebration held every year on graduation night to honor Daniel Hand High School seniors. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Joan Walker Gives Graduating Seniors a Nite to Remember

Published Feb. 26, 2020 08:30 a.m.

The Iron Throne fashioned from a thousand swords sits in a dusky room lit only by the scant light from a few candles and the backdrop of a window with an iconic star.

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The Source

Kate Blais's dedication to the elderly and those with mental-health challenges is unmistakable: as a registered nurse and director of the Strong House, she treats them with compassion and honors them with a Person of the Month feature in the facility's newsletter. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Kate Blais: Dignity and Grace at the Strong House

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

Kate Blais welcomes visitors to her office on the second floor, a large room that looks more like a bedroom with high ceilings, spotless carpeting, large windows, and a brick fireplace.

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The Source

Andrea Aron taught art for 44 years and garnered awards for her enameling and jewelry making. Today, she advocates for the arts through the Future Choices program at the Shoreline Arts Alliance. Photo by Maria Caulfield/The Source

Andrea Aron Makes Art Her Life's Work

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

As a young girl in the Bronx, Andrea Aron had her first foray in art when she would open up her easel and paint with her father.

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