Saturday, October 01, 2022

Person of the Week

North Haven Courier

Randall Mena has turned his love and talent for photography into outstanding portraiture to celebrate the life and work of first responders—like police officers and firefighters—in sincere appreciation for the risks they take serving the community. Photo courtesy of Randall Mena

Randall Mena: Portraits of First Responders

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

In Randall Mena’s desire to support the local community around New Haven he volunteers his professional photographic talents to create portraits of police officers and firefighters who risk their lives each day to save the lives of others.

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Guilford Courier

Christina Acampora is Clinton’s new senior program coordinator.

Photo courtesy of Christina Acampora

Christina Acampora: A Point Person for Seniors

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

“My first friend I made in town was actually a senior citizen,” Christina Acampora says with a laugh.

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East Haven Courier

Randall Mena has turned his love and talent for photography into outstanding portraiture to celebrate the life and work of first responders—like police officers and firefighters—in sincere appreciation for the risks they take serving the community. Photo courtesy of Randall Mena

Randall Mena: Portraits of First Responders

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

In Randall Mena’s desire to support the local community around New Haven he volunteers his professional photographic talents to create portraits of police officers and firefighters who risk their lives each day to save the lives of others.

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The Sound

At the age of 90, North Haven resident Peter Balisciano earned his GED. Peter also recently received a certificate from the State of Connecticut in recognition of his military service during the Korean Conflict and the Cold War. Photo courtesy of Peter Balisciano

Peter Balisciano: It’s Never Too Late

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Some people embrace the idea of always seeking knowledge and growing as a person, no matter their age. One such person, Peter Balisciano, lives in North Haven and earlier this year he earned his GED at the age of 90. His love of life, people, and learning are infectious.

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The Source

Tess LeMay is the new Head Lifeguard at the Surf Club.

Photo courtesy of Tessa LeMay

Tessa LeMay: Keeping the Beach Safe

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Recent closures and hour restrictions at local beaches due to a lack of lifeguards is a reminder of how tough a job on the beach can be. It takes a very special mindset and skill set. Head Lifeguard at the Madison Surf Club Tessa LeMay is one of those special people who can watch your kids, bandage their cuts, and save their lives all in an afternoon’s work.

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Valley Courier



Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Paula Webster: The Trick Worked

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Paula Webster explains that she was tricked into quilting. A friend from her knitting group who also quilted made her an offer straight out of The Godfather: an offer she could not refuse.

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Harbor News

Elise Maragliano grew up taking trips to museums with her parents. Now she’s the museum coordinator for the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center. Photo courtesy of Elise Maragliano

Elise Maragliano Brings Her Love Of Museums To The Kate

Published July 13, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Elise Maragliano credits her love of museums to her upbringing in Germany.

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Harbor News

For the last two years, Marco has been working with Clinton’s Economic Development Commission to partner with local manufacturers to provide options for kids who may want to pursue a career in the field of manufacturing. Photo courtesy Marco Famiglietti

Marco Famiglietti: Manufacturing New Opportunities for Students

Published July 06, 2022 07:00 a.m.

Over the last two years Clinton schools have been working with advanced manufacturers in town in an effort to provide students who may not necessarily be college bound with real world job experience. One of the people helping to spearhead those efforts has been Assistant Superintendent Marco Famiglietti.

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Guilford Courier

After 18 years of helping to build a community of clients at Ella, Where She Shops, Carol Griffin completed her last day as its manager and buyer on Saturday, July 2, knowing she’s leaving the shop in the capable hands of owner Erica Azarigian and Ella’s stellar staff. Griffin will be heading south to reside near family in Florida with her Havanese, Rigley, a store regular.

Pam Johnson/Guilford Courier

Carrying On: Carol Griffin Grateful for Community of Clients

Published July 06, 2022 07:00 a.m.

“When I first started here, I said, ‘It’s going to be like a country club, where everybody’s a member,’” Carol Griffin recounts. “Then sometimes I say, ‘No, it’s more like Steel Magnolias.”

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North Haven Courier

Chris Roush is the dean of the School of Communication at Quinnipiac University, just published a new book, and makes North Haven his home. Photo courtesy of Chris Roush

Chris Roush: Business and Journalism 101

Published July 06, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When Chris Roush accepted the position of dean at Quinnipiac University’s School of Communications in 2019, he chose North Haven as his home so he could be close to the university’s Hamden campus.

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The Sound

From serving in Vietnam to spanning more than three decades of service in the U.S. Army National Guard, to his most recent status as a CT Honor Flights ‘legend,’ Brian Miniter is grateful for his military service and continues to support veterans programs. Among many efforts, he assists by placing flags on Branford military graves and attending commemorative military programs in full dress, as shown here on Memorial Day 2022. Photo by Bill O’Brien

Brian Miniter: Positively Patriotic

Published July 06, 2022 07:52 a.m.

Eighteen-year-old Brian Miniter was two days away from his wedding when his Vietnam draft card came in the mail.

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The Source

Madison native and actor Cooper Rivers didn’t immediately tell friends and family he was cast in a featured role in the latest Matrix installment, Matrix: Resurrections. 

Photo courtesy Cooper Rivers

Lights, Camera, Action!

Published July 06, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Most folks would surmise that if you finally achieved a dream after years of hard work and dedication that you would broadcast it to the world, especially when that dream is of being cast in a major Hollywood movie. But Madison native and actor Cooper Rivers didn’t tell anyone but his family when he was cast in a featured role in the latest Matrix installment, Matrix: Resurrections.

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East Haven Courier

Timothy “Tim” Shaw is an East Haven native who graduated from East Haven High School in 1984, rose through the ranks of police work, and is now in charge of 280 officers as the chief of police in Stamford. Tim will soon be inducted into the East Haven High School Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of Timothy Shaw

Timothy Shaw: A Life of Police & Community Service

Published July 06, 2022 08:30 a.m.

East Haven native Timothy “Tim” Shaw graduated from East Haven High School in 1984 to begin his undergraduate study at UCONN. He left college in his senior year, however, to eagerly take a position as a police officer at the Stamford Police Department in Stamford, Connecticut.

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Valley Courier

Mike Adams has already collected a first - he was the first person to sign up for the 44th annual Four on the Fourth road race. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Michael Adams: Road Runner

Published June 29, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Mike Adams already has a first and Chester Rotary’s Four on the Fourth road race has not even been run yet. Mike was the first Chester resident to sign up for the 44th annual race this year. Though many road races now measure distances in kilometers, Chester calculates distance, as it always has, in miles.

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Harbor News

After a 22-year career at Shore Publishing/Harbor News, former editor Brian Boyd will join the staff at the Vineyard Gazette, a storied 176-year-old weekly on Martha’s Vineyard, as the editor. Photo courtesy of Brian Boyd

Brian Boyd: Hail and Farewell

Published June 29, 2022 08:30 a.m.

I am going to break some time-honored rules about how to write a news story. In fact, I did it with the first word, I. In a news story, as opposed to a column, you never use I. If you have to refer to yourself, you do it in the third person: a reporter asked, not I asked.

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The Source

As a longtime advocate for local youth, Marcy Beatty has coordinated the free, virtual The Transition to College Workshop on Tuesday, June 28. Photo courtesy of College Matters

Helping Local Youth (and Parents) Through Trying Times

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

The transition from high school to college, or even just from high school to work, trade school, or job is an exciting time for many grads, but it can also be a time of great anxiety and uncertainty as well. Marcy Beatty has had several careers, but after serving with Madison Youth & Family Services for a decade and then getting her college counseling certification from UCLA, Marcy has dedicated herself to helping students make the leap into adulthood and the challenges that come with that change.

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Guilford Courier

As an advocate of organic gardens and pollinator pathways, Judy Stone was happy to assist with the formation of a new pollinator meadow garden behind St. John’s Episcopal Church in North Guilford. The project is a collaborative effort of St. John’s and neighboring North Guilford Congregational Church. The public is invited to attend a special Earth Blessing Ceremony at the pollinator garden at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 25, hosted St. John’s as part of its 275th anniversary year. Photo courtesy of Judy Stone

Stone Invites All to St. John’s Pollinator Meadow Earth Blessing Ceremony June 25

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

On behalf of St. John’s Episcopal Church in North Guilford, pollinator garden proponent Judy Stone invites the public to a special event at the church’s new pollinator meadow on Saturday, June 25 at 5 p.m.

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North Haven Courier

At the age of 90, North Haven resident Peter Balisciano earned his GED. Peter also recently received a certificate from the State of Connecticut in recognition of his military service during the Korean Conflict and the Cold War. Photo courtesy of Peter Balisciano

Peter Balisciano: It’s Never Too Late

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Some people embrace the idea of always seeking knowledge and growing as a person, no matter their age. One such person, Peter Balisciano, lives in North Haven and earlier this year he earned his GED at the age of 90. His love of life, people, and learning are infectious.

Read More

The Sound

As a member of the Community Dining Room (CDR) all-volunteer Program/Outreach Committee and new grandmom to Elle (shown here), Laura Gunneson is working hard to help grow programs centered around the Branford Diaper Bank, a collaborative of Branford-based CDR and Branford Early Learning Center. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Gunneson Helps Branford Diaper Bank Programs Grow

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Laura Gunneson is working hard to help grow programs centered around the Branford Diaper Bank, a collaborative of Branford-based Community Dining Room (CDR) and Branford Early Learning Center (BELC).

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Valley Courier

Closing in on 50 years of service to the Essex Volunteer Fire Department, Paul Fazzino, Sr., and his wife (and fellow volunteer) Jeannine will be grand marshals of the Ivoryton Fourth of July Parade. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Paul Fazzino, Sr.: Fire Fighter and Now Grand Marshal

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

You know what they say: location, location, location. And that, Paul Fazzino, Sr., says, explains his early enthusiasm for firefighting. He grew up “almost next door” to the fire house in Ivoryton.

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Harbor News

Christina Acampora is Clinton’s new senior program coordinator.

Photo courtesy of Christina Acampora

Christina Acampora: A Point Person for Seniors

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

“My first friend I made in town was actually a senior citizen,” Christina Acampora says with a laugh.

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East Haven Courier

Derek Coady was named valedictorian of the East Haven High School graduating class of 2022. As he prepares to enter Sacred Heart University in Fairfield to study computer science, he reflects on the fact that neither his mother nor his father went to college, and yet they encouraged him to study hard in school and pursue a college degree. Photo courtesy of Derek Coady

Derek Coady: Meet the EHHS Class of 2022 Valedictorian

Published June 22, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Each year the graduating senior with the highest academic record is named the school’s valedictorian. For the East Haven High School Class of 2022, the person to achieve this honor is Derek Coady.

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Guilford Courier

As a volunteer with Swords to Plowshares Northeast, retired Rev. Mary Anne Osborn is humbled to help Christ Episcopal Church bring this powerful, hands-on program—where metal pieces of bought-back gun parts are literally heated, hammered and forged into beautiful garden tools and jewelry—to the Guilford public. The free, family-friendly, and interactive demonstration is set for Sunday, June 26 at 11:30 a.m. in the driveway beside the church, 11 Park Street.

Photo courtesy of Mary Anne Osborn

Osborn Helps Bring ‘Swords to Plowshares Northeast’ to Guilford

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

As a volunteer with Swords to Plowshares Northeast, retired Rev. Mary Anne Osborn is humbled to help Christ Episcopal Church bring this powerful, hands-on program to the Guilford public on Sunday, June 26. During live demonstrations, the metal of bought-back guns, broken into pieces, is literally heated, hammered, and forged into beautiful garden tools and jewelry.

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The Source

Wallingford Symphony Orchestra Conductor Philip Ventre brings his band to his hometown for the annual Fourth of July Concert on Saturday, July 2. Photo courtesy of Philip Ventre

The Maestro Returns to Madison

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Madison’s Fourth of July Concert returns after a three-year hiatus caused by weather and the pandemic, and the parade and fireworks display will also be making their return as well. Conducting the Wallingford Symphony Orchestra (WSO) for the concert will be Madison resident Maestro Philip Ventre, who comes from an incredibly diverse and talented musical background.

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North Haven Courier

It’s little wonder that Pat Brown looks at the world through the lens of science and scientific research since she loves to learn new things. She equally loves to volunteer to support the North Haven community. And she loves boxers, like her current four-legged companion, Cooper. Photo courtesy of Karen Smith

Pat Brown: The Importance of Science and Volunteerism

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Behind Pat Brown’s pleasant personality and cheerful smile is the razor-sharp mind of a scientist and researcher. The Napa, Calif. native first came to Connecticut in 1988 with her then-husband, Thomas, when he was recruited to join the faculty at Yale University.

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East Haven Courier

Eileen Parlato will retire as a battalion chief from the East Haven Fire Department on Friday, June 17. She was the first female hired onto the career department, thanks to the foresight of Chief Wayne Sandford. And she thanks Chief Doug Jackson for promoting her to battalion chief in 2005, which was also a female-first for the town. Photo courtesy of Eileen Parlato

Eileen Parlato: A Life of Fire Fighting and Paramedic Service

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

East Haven native Eileen Parlato has spent the past 28 years serving the town of East Haven through the East Haven Fire Department. On June 17 she will retire from her position as a paid battalion chief but plans to stick close to home and still be of service to the town and its residents.

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The Sound

North Branford High School (NBHS) Class of 2022 Valedictorian Regan Leete will major in engineering next year at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Photo courtesy of Regan Leete

Hard Work Pays Off: Leete Named 2022 NBHS Valedictorian

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When you learn Regan Leete had her choice of entering Lehigh University or UConn next year, the fact she chose Lehigh’s intimate and rigorous academic setting in Bethlehem, Pa., is telling.

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Valley Courier

As president of the River View Cemetery Association, Dick Mather is helping lead the years-long effort to restore some of the cemetery’s oldest grave markers. 

Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Dick Mather: A Grave Situation

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

A grave situation demands a grave solution. No surprise, this is a story about graves, specifically the oldest graves in the River View Cemetery in Essex.

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Harbor News

As adult programmer at the Acton Public Library, Cindy Baklik is able to bring a range of voices and ideas to the community. Photo courtesy of Cindy Baklik

Cindy Baklik: A Full Schedule

Published June 15, 2022 08:30 a.m.

In 1991, Cindy Baklik went to work at the library in Monroe because it had convenient hours. Thirty years later, she’s still a familiar face at libraries as the adult programmer at the Acton Public Library and as the media coordinator at Haddam-Killingworth School District.

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Guilford Courier

With help from many of her talented friends, together with her dedicated students and their supportive families, Guilford cellist Ann West invites the public to attend a benefit concert, Cellists for Ukraine, at Guilford’s First Church of Christ Scientist, 49 Park Street, on Sunday, June 12 at 3 p.m. Photo by Harold Shapiro

West Unites Talented Group to Offer ‘Cellists for Ukraine’

Published June 08, 2022 08:30 a.m.

“I believe important lessons are being learned in these difficult times. That we’re all connected on one fragile planet is a truth that can no longer be ignored. Kindness is highly valued. Freedom is no longer taken for granted.

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