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April 26, 2018  |  

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Person of the Week

Publications

Harbor News

In March, Susan Kocaba was named Teacher of the Year Award by the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education for her dedicated service as the English as a Second Language coordinator at East Shore Region Adult & Continuing Education. Photo by Susan Talpey/Harbor News

Susan Kocaba: Welcoming the World to the Shoreline

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

At 28, Susan Kocaba was standing at a food market in a small Polish town using her limited knowledge of the native language to ask for walnuts, a key ingredient in her mother’s banana bread recipe.

Read More

Valley Courier

To the many skills it takes to run a successful restaurant, Pattaconk 1850 Bar and Grille general manager Rob Galbraith can add another: duck race organization. Rob’s ready to oversee the Pattaconk’s fifth annual Music Festival and Duck Race coming this weekend. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Rob Galbraith: Rubber Ducky You’re the One

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

One of the things that adulthood usually demands is forsaking a childhood treasure: the rubber ducky floating in the bathtub.

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The Sound

Shown here after surviving 24 hours in a life raft, water safety and survival expert Ben Rayner authored a water safety book and founded non-profit Water Emergency Training (WET), Inc. with the sole mission of preventing drownings. On Friday, May 10 at 7 p.m. at Willoughby Wallace Library in Stony Creek, Ben will share important hands-on information and simple skills to help save lives. 

Photo courtesy of WET, Inc.

To Prevent Drowning: Water Safety/Survival Expert Rayner at Willoughby Wallace Library May 10

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Before the next warm day tempts you to head out on a boat, take a swim, or otherwise experience the water, water safety and survival expert Ben Rayner wants to arm you with information that can prevent drowning.

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North Haven Courier

Animal Haven President Linda Marino addressed an eager crowd at the April 19 ribbon cutting for the renovated Animal Haven shelter. Photo by Emily McColl/The Courier

Linda Marino: An Advocate for Animals

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Linda Marino has always loved animals. As a child, that mostly centered on caring for the cats and dogs people kept as pets, but as she saw more of the world, that appreciation and concern grew.

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Guilford Courier

Just in time for Memorial Day Weekend, the Guilford Information Plaza kiosk will open for the season on Thurs. May 24. Right now, kiosk co-chair Marcia Safirstein is seeking volunteers for some open three-hour shifts so that guests will find a friendly face behind the window during greeting hours, Thursday to Monday, through Labor Day, Sept. 3. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Organizing Great Guilford Greetings

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Looking for a great way to share your hometown with others?

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The Source

Madison Newcomers Club Board Member Courtney Kelly is busy organizing the club’s 10th annual Touch a Truck, a popular family event at the Madison Surf Club at Sunday, May 6. Photo by Susan Talpey/The Source

Courtney Kelly: Planning a Family Favorite

Published April 25, 2018 08:30 a.m.

In the age of technology, it’s easy to think that children just want to play video games or watch Netflix on an iPad, but there’s one special experience that has stood the test of time: getting up close with the flashing lights and the loud sirens of those big, shiny trucks.

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The Source

Killingworth Women’s Organization President Andrea Freibauer is leading preparations for the second annual Earth Day Celebration at Chatfield Hollow Inn and Farm on Saturday, April 28. Participants will learn all about enjoying a local and sustainable lifestyle, with all proceeds to benefit The Killingworth Library. Photo by Susan Talpey/The Source

Andrea Freibauer: Celebrating the Earth

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

As president of the Killingworth Women’s Organization (KWO), Andrea Freibauer is busy heading preparations for its Earth Day Celebration on Saturday, April 28—but she’s never too busy to bring the cookies.

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Guilford Courier

Shown here after surviving 24 hours in a life raft, water safety and survival expert Ben Rayner, a Guilford native, authored a water safety book and founded non-profit Water Emergency Training (WET), Inc. with the sole mission of preventing drownings. On Thursday, May 3 at 7 p.m. at Guilford Free Library, Ben will share important hands-on information and simple skills to help save lives. Photo courtesy of WET, Inc.

To Prevent Drowning: Water Safety/Survival Expert Rayner at GFL May 3

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Before the next warm day tempts you to head out on a boat, take a swim, or otherwise experience the water, water safety and survival expert Ben Rayner wants to arm you with information that can prevent drowning.

Read More

North Haven Courier

Charles Collier of North Haven has touched the lives of more than 5,000 students; his goal is to increase the number of minority students entering the field of medicine.

Photo courtesy of Charles Collier

Charles Collier: The Kingmaker

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

For Charles Collier of North Haven, his life’s goal hasn’t been personal success, but enabling others to attain their dreams.

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Valley Courier

As president of the Essex Board of Trade, Amy Cameron believes a rising tide lifts all ships, or in this case, next month’s Connecticut Spring Boat Show at Brewer Essex Island Marina will boost business throughout Essex Village. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Amy Cameron: Not Bored by Trade

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Amy Cameron is looking forward to the upcoming Connecticut Spring Boat Show from Friday to Sunday, May 4 to 6 at Brewer Essex Island Marina, but not because she is a boater.

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The Sound

In March, Susan Kocaba was named Teacher of the Year Award by the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education for her dedicated service as the English as a Second Language coordinator at East Shore Region Adult & Continuing Education. 

Photo by Susan Talpey/The Sound

Susan Kocaba: Welcoming the World to the Shoreline

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

At 28, Susan Kocaba was standing at a food market in a small Polish town using her limited knowledge of the native language to ask for walnuts, a key ingredient in her mother’s banana bread recipe.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Ronald Whitney, a member of the Board of Trustees at the Hagaman Memorial Library, is preparing for the library’s participation in The Great Give, which will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, May 1 and 2. Photo courtesy of Ronald Whitney

Ronald Whitney: All In for the Great Give

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

As a lifelong East Haven resident, Ronald Whitney has always enjoyed spending time at the Hagaman Memorial Library. Throughout his childhood and time in East Haven schools, he spent much of his time at the library.

Read More

Harbor News

As a long-time volunteer at The Kate, Vivian Partridge has had the chance to see many talented performers take the stage. On Thursday, May 10, she’s taking her time in the spotlight with “One Moment in Time.” Photo by Eric O’Connell/Harbor News

Vivian Partridge: Making the Most of a Moment

Published April 18, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Vivian Partridge loves the performing arts and says she has always wanted to do a real show with on a real stage with professional lights and talented performers.

Read More

The Sound

On March 22 during a recognition event at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, North Branford’s Steve Kenning (left) was honored by the Connecticut Federation of Planning and Zoning Agencies (CFPZA) for his 23 years of continuous service on North Branford’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). To date, Steve has served as ZBA chair for the past 17 years of his 23 years of appointed service. Shown congratulating Steve is CFPZA’s Steve Byrne (right). Photo courtesy of Tom Hogarty

Hearing Hardships, Helping Neighbors: ZBA’s Kenning Recognized for 23 Years of NB Service

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When it comes to hearing about hardships, perhaps no North Branford town-appointed official has heard more of them than Steve Kenning.

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Guilford Courier

Proceeds from all sales of the first printings of a new poster, Guilford’s Green, designed by artist Kate Mercer, will support the Women & Family Life Center (WFLC). On Friday, April 27, Breakwater Books hosts an artist’s reception/poster sale benefit for WFLC from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the bookstore, 81 Whitfield Street. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Using Creativity to Benefit the Community

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Imagine if every person took their talent and shared it as a way to better the community. That’s the spirit that moved Kate Mercer to create her artwork depicting Guilford’s Green, with proceeds from the first printing benefiting non-profit Women & Family Life Center (WFLC).

Read More

The Source

In March, Susan Kocaba of Madison was named Teacher of the Year Award by the Connecticut Association for Adult and Continuing Education for her dedicated service as the English as a Second Language coordinator at East Shore Region Adult & Continuing Education. Photo by Susan Talpey/The Source

Susan Kocaba: Welcoming the World to the Shoreline

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

At 28, Susan Kocaba was standing at a food market in a small Polish town using her limited knowledge of the native language to ask for walnuts, a key ingredient in her mother’s banana bread recipe.

Read More

East Haven Courier

BHcare’s Umbrella Center for Domestic Violence Services (UCDVS) Director Esperina Stubblefield shares word of support programs and services available to victims in North Haven and 18 neighboring towns. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

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

Published April 11, 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).

Read More

Valley Courier

Painter Kathy Axilrod works a solid three hours a day at the easel, and as her 91st birthday approaches, she has no interest in slowing down. Her latest exhibition is at the Essex Meadows Gallery until Sunday, April 29. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Kathy Axilrod: When Art is Life

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Kathy Axilrod looks at ripening fruit in the market, it may not be to eat. It’s more likely she needs it to paint.

Read More

East Haven Courier

As volunteer program manager for the Agency on Aging, Cherie Strucaly is a familiar face in East Haven, linking volunteers looking for an opportunity to help with seniors in need.

Photo courtesy of Cherie Strucaly

Cherie Strucaly, Linking Senior to Senior

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Cherie Strucaly was introduced to volunteering by her mother and grandmother as a child and now, the community service piece of her life is the one she is most passionate about.

Read More

Harbor News

Tom Makowicki is Old Saybrook’s new building official. Here he stands in front of shelves in the Building Department where old blueprints and drawings from building permit applications are stored. Photo by Becky Coffey/Harbor News

Tom Makowicki: Building a Future in Old Saybrook

Published April 11, 2018 08:30 a.m.

When Tom Makowicki started as Old Saybrook’s new town building official on Sept. 5, 2017, about 5,000 building permits in town files were open. By last week, 3,000 of those open permits had been closed.

Read More

Harbor News

Since joining the First Congregational Church of Westbrook in 2015, Reverend Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier has helped to keep the church engaged with the larger community, organizing a soup kitchen in the church and working on a new, town-wide fall festival. 

Photo courtesy of Jan Gregory-Charpentier

Reverend Jan Gregory-Charpentier: Serving a Greater Community

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

“From the earliest age I’ve been volunteering,” says Reverend Dr. Jan Gregory-Charpentier, the pastor of the First Congregational Church of Westbrook.

Read More

Guilford Courier

If you spot a post on the Guilford Police Department (GPD) Facebook page that brings a smile to your face, chances are it was put there by Sergeant Martina Jakober. The 15-year GPD veteran has been heading the department’s Crime Prevention and Community Policing programs since 2014. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

Lighten Up: Jakober Adds Humorous Spin to GPD’s Facebook

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

About 10 weeks ago, Guilford Police Sergeant Martina Jakober wondered if adding a little humor to Guilford Police Department (GPD) Facebook posts would increase community reach. She took a shot and started sprinkling in what she calls “a little Martina spin.”

Read More

The Source

Mike DiGiorgio presents his illustrations and paintings of birds from around the world in his exhibit, From Field to Frame: The Avian Art of Michael DiGiorgio, at the Connecticut River Museum through Thursday, May 3. At the museum, Mike stands in front of a mural he painted depicting nature in three seasons on the Connecticut River. Photo by Susan Talpey/The Source

Michael DiGiorgio: Illustrating the World of Birds

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Growing up, Michael (Mike) DiGiorgio spent his weekends lost in the woods near his hometown of Schenectady, New York, with just a sketchbook and pencil for company.

Read More

North Haven Courier

As volunteer program manager for the Agency on Aging, Cherie Strucaly is a familiar face at the North Haven Senior Center, linking volunteers looking for an opportunity to help with seniors in need. Photo courtesy of Cherie Strucaly

Cherie Strucaly, Linking Senior to Senior

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Cherie Strucaly was introduced to volunteering by her mother and grandmother as a child and now, the community service piece of her life is the one she is most passionate about.

Read More

The Sound

Blackstone Board of Trustees president Andy McKirdy helped prepare, plan, and reach the successful goal of receiving the town’s $5.2 million commitment for the library’s new renovation and expansion project. The community can continue to show its support by contributing to the trustees’ capital Campaign for the Blackstone, which is closing in on its $800,000 goal to help defray town project costs.

Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Andy McKirdy: Helping Lead Blackstone Library Into the Future

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

In terms of helping lead Branford’s Blackstone Library into the future, it’s been an eventful eight years for Andy McKirdy and the Blackstone Library Board of Trustees.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Sergeant Justin Brochu is the president of the newly formed East Haven Police Athletic League. Photo courtesy of Justin Brochu

Justin Brochu: An EHPD PAL for East Haven Youth Leading New Athletic Program

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

Justin Brochu was always drawn to public service. He grew up in the Hartford area and upon graduating from high school, he joined the United State Marine Corps, serving from 1999 to 2003 with much of his service spent overseas in Iraq and throughout Europe.

Read More

Valley Courier

Drew Archer will employ his leatherworking talent to craft his contribution to the upcoming Chester Historical Society Pegs: Creative Challenge. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Drew Archer: In the Bag

Published April 04, 2018 08:30 a.m.

So what is Drew Archer’s bag? Actually, he’s interested in your bag. That’s because his bag is handbags. Drew designs, makes, and sells bags at his store, Blackkat Leather, in Chester.

Read More

The Source

Jon Leiberman of Madison is a seasoned broadcast journalist who is excited to give back to his new home community as the board president of Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore CT, Inc. Photo by Susan Talpey/The Source

Jon Leiberman: Straight to the Heart of the Story

Published March 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

A true crime reporter, a television producer, a radio host–Jon Leiberman of Madison has earned many professional titles, but at the heart, he is a storyteller.

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Guilford Courier

Project Graduation co-chair Laura Mitzelfelt and all parent volunteers are hoping many will find ways to contribute to help give Guilford High School seniors a memorable, substance-free celebration on graduation night. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Courier

An Important Year to Support Project Graduation

Published March 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

If there has ever been a year when a graduating class has been there for one another, this is that year.

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The Sound

 When it comes to volunteering and sharing with others, Joanne Fresco has given more than 40 years—and still has much more to give—to her church, school and community. Photo courtesy of St. Mary’s School

Helping Her Church, School, and Community: Joanne Fresco

Published March 28, 2018 08:30 a.m.

This is a busy time of year for Joanne Fresco, but that is true all year round for this Branford resident, who is a supporter of both St. Mary Church and St. Mary School.

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