Monday, April 19, 2021

Harbor News Person of the Week

Guilford Courier

Guilford’s Yanli Muhs is showing strong support for other young women with a swift start in the social justice world. The teenager is co-founder of a non-profit, Poetreef Summer Term, aimed to break down barriers facing young Jamaican women and allow for meaningful international exchange experiences for American teen counselors. The Guilford High School junior also co-leads two female-forward local groups in her hometown. 

Photo courtesy of Yanli Muhs

Muhs Shares Strong Support for Young Women

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

At just 16, Yanli Muhs is showing strong support for other young women with a swift start in the social justice world. Yanli has co-founded a non-profit, Poetreef Summer Term, aimed to break down barriers facing young Jamaican women and allow for meaningful international exchange experiences for American teen counselors. She also co-leads two female-forward local groups in her hometown of Guilford.

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The Source

Eileen Unger-Pleines has combined her concern for her community and her patience to help hundreds of people, from locals to those she’s never met, successfully get a vaccination. Photo courtesy of Eileen Unger-Pleines

Eileen Unger-Pleines Is Happy to Get You a Vaccine (If You Want)

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Killingworth resident Eileen Unger-Pleines calls it selfishness, which to many might seem odd. After all, she’s independently volunteered hundreds of hours of her own time over the last three months repeatedly going through the arduous process of signing up for the coronavirus vaccine to help people all over the area get their shot—hardly the behavior of someone who is only thinking about herself.

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Harbor News

For almost 20 years, Bob Eburg has been a stalwart volunteer for Shoreline Soup Kitchens & Pantries. Photo courtesy of Bon Eburg

Bob Eburg: Keeping the Pantries Stocked

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Bob Eburg said he recently learned how to search his emails so he went back trying to find one old message in particular.

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North Haven Courier

As a lifelong artist, Stef Munzi-Logus is using her talents to write and illustrate a book inspired by her son and educate the public about his hearing loss. Photo courtesy of Stef Munzi-Logus

Stef Munzi-Logus Uses Art to Bring Awareness to Hearing Loss

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Stef Munzi-Logus has loved drawing and art for as long as she could remember. She has not only been able to channel her passion into her career—she’s a high school art teacher in Hartford—but is now using her talent to raise awareness for microtia and atresia, a hearing loss condition that affects her 13-month-old son Joseph.

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East Haven Courier

Chris Brown loves giving back to the community as a member of the library board and principal of Tuttle School where he’s always striving to be a superhero. 

Photo courtesy of Chris Brown

Chris Brown Counts on Community to Help in Hero’s Quest

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Chris Brown dons a superhero T-shirt under his dress shirt every day as principal of Tuttle School. As someone who has always loved superheroes and considers the teaching profession as “fairly heroic,” he is constantly looking for ways to be of service to his students.

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The Sound

Northford resident Luke Izzo, 16, is the youngest moderator of the 24,000-strong NY/CT/MA Vaccine Hunters and Angels Facebook group, for which he’s also established a hotline for non-English speaking folks in need of assistance with lining up their vaccinations. Photo courtesy of Luke Izzo

A Vaccine Hunter and Angel: Izzo Assists His Community and Beyond

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When 16-year-old Luke Izzo first joined the New York/Connecticut Vaccine Hunters and Angels Facebook group to see if he could help others, his efforts got noticed.

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Valley Courier

Noting the disruption that the Class of 2021 has endured, Sarah Waterhouse is proud to chair the Safe Graduation Party Committee that will ensure Valley Regional High School’s graduates have a fun (and safe) way to celebrae. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Sarah Waterhouse: Planning the Party

Published April 14, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Sarah Waterhouse is working very hard planning a party for more than 100 people, but she won’t even be a guest. Sarah is chair of the committee planning the Safe Graduation Party that follows the graduation ceremony at Valley Regional High School.

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Guilford Courier

Terri Cain is now in her 12th year managing all-volunteer, non-profit Guilford Community Garden HUB, which she helped co-found in 2009, and has been chairing the Sustainable Guilford Task Force since it was established by the Board of Selectmen in 2018. File photo by Richard Esposito/The Courier

In Many Ways, Cain Contributes to Sustainable Living in Guilford

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When Terri Cain volunteered to co-found and manage Guilford Community Garden HUB (GCGHUB), one of her hopes was to help inspire others in the community to embrace some sustainable practices.

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The Source

As parent support counselor at Madison Youth & Family Services, Frankie Esposito is in a unique spot to help parents and kids during a unique time. 

Photo courtesy of Frankie Esposito

Frankie Esposito Brings Full-Service Care to Families

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Anyone with kids knows that the energy and time required, along with the skillset and expertise needed to raise children easily rivals many high-skilled professions.

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East Haven Courier

As the administrative assistant at the East Haven’s Mayor’s Office, Regina Araujo has helped to spearhead the vaccine clinic efforts in past months.

Photo courtesy of Regina Araujo

Regina Araujo: Connecting to the Community

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

With the youngest of her four children now a senior in high school and a change of ownership at her last job, Regina Araujo was looking for a new career opportunity.

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North Haven Courier

Kirsten Lombardi has not only founded a business based on her love of crafting, but made connections in the crafting community through her volunteer work with the North Haven Fair, which is launching a monthly Outdoor Craft Barn Series in May.

Photo courtesy of Kirsten Lombardi

Kirsten Lombardi Brings Crafting Community Together with North Haven Fair’s Outdoor Craft Barn Series

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Ever since she was young, Kirsten Lombardi has had a creative side. She has always turned to crafting to unwind, but when she was pregnant with her first child, she left her full-time position to focus on her family and decided to turn her crafting into a side gig.

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Valley Courier

After four years in the Deep River Town Clerk’s Office, Joyce Berardis has moved upstairs to serve as executive assistant to the first selectman. Photo by Rita Christopher/The Courier

Joyce Berardis: A New Job at Town Hall

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

There’s something unexpected at the Selectman’s Office in Deep River Town Hall.

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Harbor News

When she realized how confusing vaccine registration could be for some, Barbara Oefinger reached out to her neighbors to offer assistance that grew from registration help to rides to clinics. Photo courtesy of Barbara Oefinger

Barbara Oefinger Helps Neighbors Navigate COVID Vaccination Process

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

After facing challenges registering herself for the COVID-19 vaccine, Barbara Oefinger went to work helping her senior neighbors get registered and vaccinated.

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The Sound

Photographer Peter Otis shares six photographs from among hundreds he’s captured while visiting a plethora of sites. His exhibit, A Treasure of Beauty, is featured now in a gallery that’s lighting up the walls of JavaHut in Guilford through Tuesday, May 11. 

Photo by Bobbe Otis

Otis Shares ‘A Treasure of Beauty’ with Your Java

Published April 07, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When you’ve visited dozens of national parks and many more state and local gems—and photographed them all—figuring out how to represent the lot in six pictures might sound like an impossible task. Somehow, photographer Peter Otis, who also regularly puts his talent on loan to assist his church, Branford’s Trinity Episcopal, has managed to do just that.

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The Sound

Tania Abbatello credits growing up in Northford—and early readings of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax—with her lifelong interest in environmentalism. She combines her biology background and her business experience when serving on the Clinton Sustainability Committee and as an alternate for the Inland Wetlands Commission. Photo courtesy of Tania Abbatello

Tania Abbatello: Merging Biology and a Business Background

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Tania Abbatello credits growing up in Northford—and early readings of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax—with her lifelong interest in environmentalism. Since then, Tania’s involvement with various organizations has increased as she seeks to improve her new hometown of Clinton as well as the state.

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East Haven Courier

Over the past 10 years, Cheryl Criscuolo has become more and more involved in the East Haven Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, serving as president for the past four years. Photo courtesy of Cheryl Criscuolo

Cheryl Criscuolo Serves Community as President of EHFD Ladies Auxiliary

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

For the past decade, Cheryl Criscuolo has volunteered with the East Haven Fire Department (EHFD) Co. 1 Ladies Auxiliary. She joined at the urging of her husband’s cousin, who was then serving as the president.

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Valley Courier

Gale Dilger (left), pictured with her late daughter Alexandra, has with her husband Patrick formed the Alexandra Dilger Award to assist young adults with neuro-disabilities in overcoming challenges. Photo by Patrick Dilger

Gale Dilger: A Very Special Award

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Gale Dilger has had one of life’s most demanding challenges: turning the memory of her daughter Alexandra, who died in 2018 at the age of 21, into an ongoing force for creative accomplishment.

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Harbor News

After feeling called to nursing as a child, Diane Aldi DePaola spent a lengthy career in psychiatric nursing and continues to help looking after her community in retirement.

Photo courtesy of Diane Aldi DePaola

Diane Aldi DePaola is All About Volunteering

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

From a very young age, Diane Aldi DePaola—chair of the Old Saybrook Public Health Nursing Board (PHNB) for 18 years, member of the Historic District Commission, artist, retired nurse, and proud grandmother—was taught by her mother to contribute to her community.

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The Source

As an alum of The Country School, Devan Cowles-Garcia felt the school could do better teaching about race and equity issues. The school agreed. 

Photo courtesy of Devan Cowles-Garcia

Cowles-Garcia Retreads Activist Path at The Country School

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

It starts with the children.

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Guilford Courier

At JavaHut on Church Street, Guilford photographer Peter Otis shares six incredible photographs from among hundreds of gorgeous images he’s captured while visiting a plethora of sites. The images are displayed in a unique gallery that’s lighting up the walls through May 11. Here, he enjoys some java in front of his photo Garden Pool. Photo by Bobbe Otis

Otis Captures Images to Share at JavaHut’s Unique Wall Gallery

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When you’ve visited dozens of national parks and many more state and local gems—and photographed them all—figuring out how to represent the lot in six pictures might sound like an impossible task.

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North Haven Courier

When North Haven’s elder residents sought help finding vaccine appointments, Valerie Goodkin was a key part of the team connection those in need with the right resources. Photo courtesy of Valerie Goodkin

Valerie Goodkin Rises to New Challenges During COVID Pandemic

Published March 31, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Having worked as executive assistant to First Selectman Mike Freda since he took office in 2009, Valerie Goodkin has seen the town of North Haven and its residents face many challenges.

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The Sound

Branford resident and UConn Master Gardener Malaine Trecoske’s talk, Plant It and They Will Come: Gardening from a Native Bee’s Perspective, will be given as a free online presentation on Wednesday, April 7 at 7 p.m. presented by the Branford chapter of Living Wisely and Well on Planet Earth. Photo by Catherine Kiernan/Kiernan Photography

‘Plant it and They Will Come:’ Trecoske Will Share Ways to Support Native Bees

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Have you heard the buzz? The earliest of the area’s native bees, that fuzzy bumble bee, will be headed to your backyard soon—and it’s one of 340 native bee species in Connecticut that needs your help to survive.

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The Source

As an attorney and an instrument-rated small airplane pilot, Guilford resident Jenifer Sills Yoxall has been charting new territory as one of the few local attorneys familiar with drone laws, and hopes to help others navigate some of the more important aspects of drone operation. She’s shown here with her plane on Block Island, Rhode Island during a family trip. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Sills Yoxall

Attorney Jennifer Sills Yoxall Hopes to Help Operators Navigate Drone Law

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As an attorney and an instrument-rated small airplane pilot, Guilford resident Jenifer Sills Yoxall has been charting new territory as one of the few local attorneys familiar with drone laws, and hopes this story will help recreational and commercial drone flyers navigate current and evolving regulations and other important aspects tied to drone operation.

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East Haven Courier

With a new lodge in the works in North Haven, the Elks Lodge #25 is growing its efforts to grow the community, thanks in part to its exalted ruler, Paul Salisbury of East Haven.

Photo courtesy of Paul Salisbury

Paul Salisbury Excited to Continue Weaving Elks Into the Fabric of Community

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

While Paul Salisbury has been involved with the Elks for more than three decades, he still carries the same passion for the group as he did when he first started.

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North Haven Courier

Dr. Phil M. Boiselle has been appointed dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, effective July 1. Photo courtesy of Jean Kirby

Dr. Phil M. Boiselle Ready to Return to New England as Dean of QU’s Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

This summer, Dr. Phil M. Boiselle will return to the area where his academic and professional career began as he was recently appointed dean of the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, a position he begins on July 1.

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Valley Courier

Drawing on a career as a triage nurse rapidly offering advice on a wide range of health concerns, Carol Flaim is intent on being fully prepared as Deep River’s new Municipal Ethics Commission starts its charge under her leadership. Photo courtesy of Carol Flaim

Carol Flaim: Something New in Deep River

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Carol Flaim is doing something in Deep River that nobody has ever done before.

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Harbor News

Tania Abbatello combines her biology background and her business experience when serving on the Clinton Sustainability Committee and as an alternate for the Inland Wetlands Commission. Photo courtesy of Tania Abbatello

Tania Abbatello: Merging Biology and a Business Background

Published March 24, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Tania Abbatello credits growing up in Northford—and early readings of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax—with her lifelong interest in environmentalism.

Read More

The Source

Killingworth physical therapist and rehab supervisor Noreen Saunders says successful contact tracing relies less on medical knowledge and more on empathy. 

Photo by Rebecca Kieran

Noreen Saunders: Making Contact in the COVID Era

Published March 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

When it comes to contact tracing for COVID-19, Noreen Saunders is pretty much a one-woman show.

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Guilford Courier

Adrian Price, president of non-profit Guilford Community Fund (GCF), stands at the familiar saltbox house at the corner of Whitfield and Boston streets, reminding all Guilford neighbors it’s time to support GCF’s annual appeal. Photo courtesy of the Guilford Community Fund

Price Sparks Support for Guilford Community Fund

Published March 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

For several months each year, non-profit Guilford Community Fund’s (GCF) familiar saltbox house resumes its Town Green address on the corner of Whitfield and Boston streets, reminding all Guilford neighbors it’s time to support GCF’s annual appeal. For more than 60 years, the appeal and all GCF efforts have been powered by volunteers like GCF President Adrian Price.

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East Haven Courier

Mariola Piecuch is using her hobby to give back locally, creating paw print keychains to benefit the East Haven Animal Shelter. Photo courtesy of Mariola Piecuch

Mariola Piecuch Combines Love of Animals and Art to Give Back to Animal Shelter

Published March 17, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Like many people one year ago, Mariola Piecuch temporarily lost her job and found herself with more time on her hands and looking for a way to fill it during the initial COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. She has always enjoyed exploring different crafts and hobbies and came across resin epoxy art.

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