Sunday, November 27, 2022

East Haven Courier Person of the Week

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

East Haven Courier

The sycamore may be Erika Crawford Mennone’s favorite tree because it reminds her of her years as a toddler living in the Morris Cove section of New Haven, but the program she’s launched to help restore the leafy canopy in downtown East Haven can involve any native tree species. Photo courtesy of Erika Crawford Mennone

Erika Crawford Mennone: The Tree Whisperer

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

Some 10,000 years ago the land we now call East Haven had no trees. Not even one. The glacial ice sheet that covered the Connecticut shoreline at the time—a mile deep—destroyed everything that had grown prior to the ice age.

Read More

East Haven Courier

From the time Renee Forte Dominguez was six, she knew her path in life was to become a police officer. After 22 years in police work, she retired this May as the interim chief of police at the New Haven Police Department. She will also be inducted into the East Haven High School Hall of Fame this November. Photo courtesy of Renee Forte Dominguez

Renee Forte Dominguez: From Childhood Wish to Chief of Police

Published June 01, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Many people who chose police work as their career will tell you that someone or something inspired them to pursue the law enforcement field. East Haven native Renee Forte Dominguez had no such influencer. Instead, her love of police work was innate and started in childhood.

Read More

East Haven Courier

After 29 years serving the Town of East Haven in the Recreation Department, Frank Bulter, Sr., has begun his second career working close to his life-long love of hockey, as the manager of Ingalls Rink at Yale University. 

Photo courtesy of Frank Butler, Sr.

Frank Butler, Sr.: The Art of Ice Maintenance

Published May 25, 2022 08:30 a.m.

East Haven was a perfect place for Frank Butler, Sr., to grow up. He fell in love with and played youth hockey from ages 4 to 13, he ended up working for the town in the Recreation Department, and he raised his three children in East Haven.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Beth Purcell uses her extensive experience in business administration and finance to enhance the operations of both Yale University and the East Haven Board of Finance. 

Photo courtesy of Beth Purcell

Beth Purcell: Volunteering Close to Home

Published May 18, 2022 08:30 a.m.

There’s an old saying that life’s greatest riches are often right in our own backyards and that one does not have to venture far to have a full and productive life. East Haven native Beth Purcell is a living example of this philosophy.

Read More

East Haven Courier

“Teaching is like being a mom, you’re a nurturer, you’re a server,” says Marissa Mollica-Velazquez, who uses her advanced education and experience to lead the efforts of the East Haven Family Resource Center to serve preschoolers and their families. 

Photo courtesy of Marissa Mollica-Velazquez

Marissa Mollica-Velazquez: Preparing Preschoolers for Success in K-12

Published May 11, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Marissa Mollica-Velazquez may have a long title—East Haven Family Resource Center (FRC) and School Readiness Early Childhood Facilitator—but her mission is simple and clear: to help local preschool youngsters and their parents prepare for entry into grade school.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Lynn LaFogg rides her motorcycle with Bikers Against Animal Cruelty, Inc., to raise funds and awareness to fight against animal cruelty and neglect. She also volunteers to help cook for and serve both the homeless and senior citizens through St. Bernadette Church in New Haven.

Photo courtesy of Lynn LaFogg

Lynn LaFogg: A Two-Wheeler Supports Four-Leggers

Published May 04, 2022 08:30 a.m.

East Haven native Lynn LaFogg grew up loving animals. Today, when not caring for and enjoying her own dogs—Diva, a blue heeler-Chow mix, and Gunner, a Labrador retriever mixed with three other breeds—she volunteers to help both abandoned pets and feral animals through the organizations she supports.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Rob Deko, Jr., credits his mother and father for a wonderful childhood filled with life lessons about helping others and the importance of giving back to one’s community. 

Photo courtesy of Rob Deko, Jr.

Rob Deko, Jr: Heroes Helping Heroes

Published April 27, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Rob Deko, Jr., comes from a family of helpers, in the form of public service providers via firefighting through his father and nursing via his mother.

Read More

East Haven Courier

George Ambel never leaves home without donning one of the 16 military hats he owns. He served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years before his honorable discharge. Today, George helps fellow veterans in all branches of the service obtain the maximum disability compensation allowed by law. Photo courtesy of George Ambel

George Ambel: Helping Disabled Veterans

Published April 20, 2022 08:30 a.m.

George Ambel, 83 years young, may live in North Haven but his desire to help U.S. military veterans reaches across the shoreline, including East Haven.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Kalie Peccerillo is an adjunct professor of U.S. healthcare and cultural competence in health care at the University of New Haven. She also finds time in her busy schedule each day to help refugees in Ukraine. Photo courtesy of Kalie Peccerillo

Kalie Peccerillo: Gathering Donations for Ukraine

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

When tragedies occur and people step in to help the victims a snowball effect can form. The outpouring of aid in times of emergency is encouraging and heartwarming.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Claudia Giulietti believes in the power of volunteerism. If something needs doing in town, Claudia is likely to be lending a generous hand. Photo courtesy of Claudia Giulietti

Claudia Giulietti: The Joy of Life-Long Volunteering

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

Claudia Guilietti may prefer to avoid the spotlight and remain behind the scenes with all the volunteerism she does, but it is precisely her devotion to helping others that makes the world a better place.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Aaron Marcel believes in the holistic philosophy of medicine, which treats the whole person and not the disease. His additional efforts to help children ages 5 to 12 through sports is a natural extension of his empathy for others. Photo courtesy of Aaron Marcel.

Aaron Marcel: Hockey Haven Founder Helps Underserved Youth

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

Aaron Marcel, a native of the South Shore region of Massachusetts, arrived in North Haven last fall to begin his medical studies at the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University on his way to becoming an orthopedic surgeon.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee says of the Irish American Community Center and its annual Connecticut Irish Festival, “It’s a great place if you’re interested in Irish culture. Our doors are open to anyone who wants to learn about Irish culture.” Photo courtesy of Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee: Celebrating Irish-American Traditions

Published March 23, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Eileen O’Keefe-Roxbee’s family history drives her love of the Irish American Community Center (IACC), which makes its home on Venice Street in East Haven but serves the entire Greater New Haven area.

Read More

East Haven Courier

With an engineer’s mind and a world traveler’s handle on languages, Wahid Nabiz has found rewarding work in libraries, including the technical department at the Hagaman Memorial Library. Photo by Jason J. Marchi/The Courier

Wahid Nabiz: For the Love of Libraries

Published March 16, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Like so many before them, Wahid Nabiz and his wife immigrated to the United States in search of a new and better life.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Christine Ucich, who owns One World Roasters with her husband, enjoys connecting with community through coffee, meditation, and more. Photo courtesy of Christine Ucich

Christine Ucich Creates Community Space through Coffee, Volunteer Work, and Wellness

Published March 09, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Through the end of this month, residents can help fund the restoration of the steeple at Old Stone Church while also supporting a local business and getting their caffeine fix.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Cherie Bicknell is leading the charge in collecting formalwear, accessories, and gift cards for services so that East Haven residents in need can shop for the prom at no cost. Donations will be accepted on Saturdays, March 5 and 12. Photo courtesy of Cherie Bicknell

Cherie Bicknell: Helping Make Prom Accessible for All

Published March 02, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Ever since Cherie Bicknell’s four-year-old daughter Kaylee was just seven months old, she has participated in pageants. Through their involvement, Cherie recently heard a request for donations of prom dresses to be donated to students in need.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Dawn Emerman, a music teacher at Tuttle and Ferrara elementary schools, is also the music director for East Haven High School’s upcoming production of The Little Mermaid, which will be performed live Thursday to Saturday, April 14, 15, and 16. Photo courtesy of Dawn Emerman

Emerman Loves Helping Make Performance Possible for EHHS Students

Published Feb. 23, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Even though Dawn Emerman has been involved with the East Haven High School (EHHS) Drama Club’s musicals since 2016, she had decided to take a break this year as her position within the district recently changed.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Cindy-Lee Vaporis, known as CoCo Ring in the animal welfare world, is an active volunteer in animal rescue and involved in many animal welfare cases. Photo courtesy of Cindy-Lee Vaporis

Cindy-Lee Vaporis Willing to Help Animals in Any Way She Can

Published Feb. 16, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Cindy-Lee Vaporis never would have guessed that the sale of her husband’s motorcycle in 2016 would change her life. One of Cindy-Lee’s friends saw the post selling the bike and passed the listing on to a friend, who was president of Bikers Against Animal Cruelty (BAAC).

Read More

East Haven Courier

Robert Messore and his Toddler Tunes program have become regularly featured programming with the Hagaman Memorial Library.

Photo by Marilyn Catasus

Robert Messore Makes Community Connections through Music

Published Feb. 09, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Growing up in Clinton, Robert Messore enjoyed music since an early age. He started playing the guitar when he was young and though he went on to study cognitive science at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, he has found that music has continued to make up most of his career.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Reba Dietrich has been a volunteering with the East Haven Fire Department since 2016.

Photo courtesy of Reba Dietrich

Broken Leg Leads to New Outlook for Reba Dietrich

Published Feb. 02, 2022 08:30 a.m.

After graduating from East Haven High School in 2012, Reba Dietrich went to college, but when it didn’t work out, she found her true path. Reba became a volunteer firefighter with the East Haven Fire Department Co. 3 in Foxon in 2013 at the urging of her friend Matt Muolo, who is now a career firefighter in New Haven.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Joseph Zembrowsi is excited to share his passion for the arts, music, and oddities at the upcoming Sad Singles Art Mingle at The Beeracks on Feb. 13. Photo courtesy of Joseph Zembrowski

Joseph Zembrowski Happily Preps for Sad Singles Art Mingle at The Beeracks on Feb. 13

Published Jan. 26, 2022 08:30 a.m.

For the second time in the past several months, Joseph Zembrowski is organizing an event focusing on music, arts, oddities, and craft beer at The Beeracks. He first hosted the first-ever New England Antiques and Oddities Exhibition in October 2021.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Sally Mucka is the director of adult faith formation with St. Pio of Pietrelcina and volunteers in a number of capacities with the church.

Photo courtesy of Sally Mucka

Sally Mucka’s Found Faith Leads to New Career as She Helps Others

Published Jan. 19, 2022 08:30 a.m.

Nearly three decades ago, Sally Mucka admits she was in a “very dark place” as she had unsuccessfully been trying to start a family. After receiving rosary beads from “an ancient woman,” Sally began to pray the rosary.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Dave Witter and several of his longtime friends formed the Staven Wassailers to bring joy during the height of the pandemic in 2020 and brought the group back this past season. 

Photo courtesy of Dave Witter

Dave Witter Enjoys Nostalgia of Staven Wassailers

Published Jan. 12, 2022 08:30 a.m.

When Dave Witter and Derek Jones were little, walking to Tuttle School as 2nd graders or riding their bikes around the center of East Haven, they never imagined that one day they would follow those same routes as adults. What started off as caroling for socially distant fun in 2020 has morphed into the Staven Wassailers.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Living in the neighborhood near the south end of Tweed’s runway, Patrick Rowland has become involved in 10,000 Hawks, a group working to halt the expansion of the airport. Photo courtesy of Patrick Rowland

Patrick Rowland Finds Passion in Fighting Tweed Expansion with 10,000 Hawks

Published Jan. 05, 2022 08:30 a.m.

There have been no shortage of challenges since Patrick Rowland and his wife, Lisa, decided to realize their dream of owning a home on the water.

Read More

East Haven Courier

East Haven’s Rudolph “Rudy” Tamburrino is a natural storyteller who serves as neighborhood grandpa. Photo courtesy of Rudy Tamburinno

Rudolph Tamburrino: The Neighborhood Grandpa

Published Dec. 22, 2021 08:30 a.m.

What’s more wonderful than a person who has lived for over nine decades and has endless stories to tell? Someone who shares those stories readily, of course.

Read More

East Haven Courier

Keegan Smith recently defended his thesis about climate change, which involved interviews with East Haven residents, for the Southern Connecticut State University’s Honors College.

Photo courtesy of Keegan Smith

Keegan Smith Focuses on East Haven for SCSU Honors Senior Thesis

Published Dec. 15, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Keegan Smith never had planned on attending Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU), originally having his sights set on going to school in the Boston area, but after being accepted to the Honors College at SCSU, he changed his mind. He is now a psychology major with a minors in theater.

Read More