Wednesday, May 05, 2021

The Source Person of the Week

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.

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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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North Haven Courier

With a new lodge in the works at 80 Old Broadway West, the Elks Lodge #25 is growing its efforts to grow the community, thanks in part to its exalted ruler, Paul Salisbury. 

Photo courtesy of Paul Salisbury

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

Published March 17, 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. Paul is now serving his fourth term as exalted ruler of Elks Lodge 25.

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The Sound

At his studio in North Branford, artist Marc Potocsky displays the original canvas of the image he’s created for the Clara Barton Red Heart Medal honoring medical frontline heroes during COVID-19. Now, he’s planning to launch a crowdfunding page to raise funds to not only help produce a decal of the image that will initially be offered to some 15,000 Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) health care heroes, but also to raise money to assist with important support programs at YNHH for nurses, doctors, and other health care workers impacted by the trauma of working to save lives during COVID-19. Look for the launch of fundraiser to be announced soon at www.facebook.com/marc.potocsky. Photo courtesy of Marc Potocsky

Potocsky Puts His Art and Heart into Creating the ‘Clara Barton Red Heart Medal’

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

In the heart of the pandemic last spring, artist Marc Potocsky was praying for inspiration to find a way to honor the brave men and women healthcare workers putting their lives on the line to help others. His prayers were answered with an image he quickly captured on canvas.

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Harbor News

Since arriving in Clinton in 2001, Mary Jo Phelps has gotten involved in town government in several ways. Photo courtesy of Mary Jo Phelps

Mary Jo Phelps: A Deep Commitment on Many Fronts

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

Whether it’s helping shepherd in a new form of government, working to balance economic growth and environmental protection, or helping educate students, you can say Mary Jo Phelps has her hand in every facet of life in Clinton.

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Valley Courier

Charlene Fearon and her husband Lol are leading the effort to bring an open-air meeting space to Chester Elementary School. Photo courtesy of Charlene Fearon

Charlene Fearon: Saying Thank You

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

When Charlene Fearon and her husband Lol told Tyson Stoddard, the principal of Chester Elementary School, they wanted to do something for the school as a thank you gift after the graduation of their grandson Mason, Stoddard suggested that perhaps some outdoor equipment or basketball hoops would be nice.

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The Sound

With decades of service to veterans, the Branford community, and in the military, Dennis Flanigan was selected to receive the Branford Elks’ Lodge #1939 Veteran of the Year Award. Dennis was presented with the award on Feb. 20. Photo by Lisa Arpin

Branford Elks Recognize Flanigan as Veteran of the Year and For His Service to Town

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

With decades of service to veterans, his community in Branford, and in the military, Dennis Flanigan was selected to receive the Branford Elks’ Lodge #1939 Veteran of the Year Award.

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The Source

After several years serving on the Madison Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Madison beach Hotel General Manager John Mathers is preparing to step into the role of chamber president at the end of current President Rose McLaughlin’s term on July 1. 

Photo courtesy of John Mathers

Meet Madison Chamber President-Elect John Mathers

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As the promise of spring draws near and people move to outdoor activities, John Mathers, president-elect of the Madison Chamber of Commerce says, “I haven’t seen a lot of people in a while, with the whole COVID thing.”

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North Haven Courier

Karen Ann Wolujewicz took over as director of health for Quinniack Valley Health District in August, taking on the task in the midst of a pandemic.

Photo courtesy of Karen Ann Wolujewicz

Karen Ann Wolujewicz Fulfilling Mission of Protecting Public Health as QVHD Director

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Growing up in North Haven, Karen Ann Wolujewicz always dreamt of becoming a doctor. After studying biology at Villanova with a plan of taking that path, she was inspired by her aunt Ofelia Calubiran, an infectious disease physician, to take a different path.

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Through his work as a member of the marketing team at Defibtech, LLC, in Guilford, Birch Bidwell facilitated the donations of two AED machines to organizations in his hometown of North Haven. 

Photo courtesy of Birch Bidwell

Bidwell Shepherds New AED Machine Donations from Guilford

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

As a member of the marketing team at Defibtech, LLC, in Guilford, Birch Bidwell learned that his company offered a program to its employees that allows them to make a donation of an automated external defibrillator (AED) to a non-profit or organization of the employee’s choice.

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Harbor News

Noreen Saunders, a physical therapist and rehab supervisor for Westbrook Visiting Nurses and Public Health, 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 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

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

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East Haven Courier

Luke Labagnara, a lifelong East Haven resident, works at the Hagaman Library and TJ Maxx/ Home Goods and has a presence on social media.

Photo courtesy of Luke Labagnara

Luke Labagnara Enjoys Spreading Positivity Through Work and Social Media

Published March 10, 2021 08:30 a.m.

Luke Labagnara is a lifelong East Haven resident and there is only one way that Luke would consider living somewhere else: if he were chosen to be a houseguest on Big Brother, a Dutch reality TV show based on George Orwell’s novel of the same name where housemates, isolated from the outside world, are constantly monitored. One by one, the housemates are evicted from the house by popular vote.

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