Our six MyEyeOnTowns communities are full of talent. Watch our list of esteemed columnists, talented photographers and enthusiastic contributors grow as we publish each new magazine. Some may be your friends and neighbors. Others, the professionals you look up to. All volunteers, they strive to enhance your quality of life with their knowledge, entertainment and art. Perhaps. you'll consider joining them, and us, soon. Doing so makes your community stronger.
Carol Banner, Editor, professional writer and photographer, fell in love with the community of Monroe some six years ago during a stint as editor for a weekly newspaper. Two years after being laid off she launched EyeOnMonroe, believing that the people and businesses of the small hometown community deserved more and better coverage. Today she is at the helm of MyEyeOnTowns LLC and six developing magazines online. She hopes to increase her readership from some 27,000 faithful readers to over 100,000. Her current goal is to build a core of creative volunteers to publish each magazine, so that each community will always have a reliable and positive news source, safely shielded from outside economies that have decimated print newspapers and magazines across the nation.
Dana Balletta, Graphics Art Designer, is a senior at Masuk on her way to a successful career. She loves everything about design, especially typography. She has designed for the Monroe Historical Society, the Fairfield Gazette, and Masuk High School. Dana designs many of the ads run by local business on our MyEOT sites, as well as integrates the Business Directory enhancements. She also designed our awesome MyEyeOnTowns logo. In the fall she will be heading for Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and working towards a double major - Design and Business Management.
KC Coffey has loved taking pictures since she was a kid. She doesn’t have any formal training, but she has the artist’s instinct for when to click the photo. She grew up in Monroe and graduated from Masuk in 1985 (Karen Muiszulis). After 20 years of southern living she moved back to Monroe with her two sons. She later remarried another Masuk grad, Dave Coffey. They bought and renovated a circa 1800's home in the historic district of Monroe where they now reside. Karen works full-time for Millward Brown of Norwalk. This summer she will be doing what she loves best in her spare time - taking photos of Monroe events and people for Monroe’s online magazine.
Andrea Paddock, a former educator, has taught English and Language Arts from grade six to college level, from Trumbull’s Middlebrook Junior High and Monroe’s St. Jude School, to the University of Bridgeport and Waterbury’s Post University. While at UB, she and an associate obtained a Connecticut Humanities Council grant to conduct a 14-
Anne Mastroianni, EWML staffer, Margaret Borchers, Library Director, and Lorna Rhyins, Adult & Teen Services Librarian, have joined us as Monroe Events administrators. Borchers is at the helm of a 32,000 square foot, state of the art library facility that meets the needs of Monroe’s nearly 20,000 residents. Hundreds of events are planned each year for all age groups making it the hub of Monroe “Community”,
Dawn Higginson, (right) Oxford’s Library Director and data input wizard Robyn Rivero have joined us as Oxford Events administrators. They’ll keep readers updated on Oxford’s library offerings, programs and events so readers won’t miss a single opportunity. Higginson does a miraculous job serving some 6,000 library clients out of a single basement room while a new library is being built. She and her staff of volunteers continually manage and rotate some 35,000 books, CDs, videos, DVDs, magazines and audiobooks to serve Oxford residents.
Nancy Breault is Monroe’s new Director of Public Health. In her first column on our Live Healthy, Be Happy page she gives a summary of the workings of her department and the services she and her staff have put in place for the residents of Monroe. The variety and scope of the services developed for Monroe residents is mindboggling. Determined to keep the community healthy and safe she will be addressing all the current health dangers and giving tips on preparedness in her future columns.
Amanda Wall took her first pictures with her dad’s camera at the age of ten after spending years watching him photograph family vacations. She has been learning everything she could about photography ever since. She has taken photography classes at Masuk High School starting with her freshman year and recently completed her senior Capstone project with photography project. The only thing she might love more than photography is movies. She plans on studying cinematography and screenwriting in college.
Paula F. McDonagh, a longtime Monroe resident, avid gardener and nature photographer came on board after her first photography show at Edith Wheeler Memorial Library positioned her as a local talent. Her close-up perspective of the world around us focuses on the beauty and design in nature that is all over Monroe – beauty we too often don’t see or take for granted. Her contributed shots every month enhance EyeOnMonroe. She recently had a showing at Woodbury Library and received a mention in the New York Times. She is the artist behind this issue’s cover photo of Canadian Geese Taking Off. You’ll find her work on our Scenic Monroe page.
Dorothy A. DeBisschop was raised in Oxford and serves as Oxford Municipal Historian. She is the author of three books currently available for sale at the Historical Society Museum: Oxford History Remembered, Images of Oxford, and Historic Personalities of the Lower Naugatuck Valley. She served as preservation chairman of the Oxford Historical Society's drive to preserve, move and restore the Twitchell-Rowland Homestand, now the Society's Museum. And, she was founder and first president of the Seymour-Oxford Nursery and Child Care Association (SONCCA) which provides latchkey care for children in Seymour and Oxford. In addition she was one of the founders of the Oxford Community Car Pool. She and her husband Bob raise Toggenberg goats, chickens and a Merino sheep as a hobby. Their home has been in his family since its construction in 1796.
Dr. Edward Lenard, M.D. of Monroe is a "Senior Attending" on the medical staff of Bridgeport Hospital/Yale Pediatrics. He has been practicing and teaching pediatrics for over 20 years and has been a resident of Monroe for over 15. In 2011, he established Patience Pediatrics, caring for infants, children, adolescents and young adults from birth to 21 years of age, in Monroe. He is on the School Advisory Board at St. Catherine’s Academy for special needs students in Fairfield, previously served as the School Medical Advisor for the Town of Monroe, and has been named a "Top Doctor" by Connecticut Magazine. He has special interests in emergency medicine, international adoption, special needs and ADHD. His experience and advice to parents and young adults is invaluable. You can find him at Patience Pediatrics 501Main Street, Monroe (Next to Roberto’s Restaurant).
Dr. Michael King, M.D. is board certified in Allergy, Immunology and Internal Medicine. He is frequently recognized by his peers in CT Magazine as one of Connecticut's "Top Docs". He earned his B.A. degree with High Honors from Rutgers University in New Jersey. He earned his medical degree from Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School where he was elected to the national medical honor society, Alpha Omega Alpha. He completed his internship in surgery at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston, and his medical residency at Greenwich Hospital in Connecticut. He completed both clinical and research fellowships in Allergy and Immunology at Tufts-New England Medical Center. He has held academic appointments at Harvard, Yale and Tufts University Medical Schools, was recently Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and currently is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine at Quinnipiac - Frank Netter school of Medicine. You can find him at Allergy & Asthma Associates of CT, 115 Technology Drive (just off Rt. 111) in Trumbull.
Prancer was abandoned near the Monroe-Newtown border and picked up by Animal Care & Control around Christmas several years ago. His was adopted by the founder of EyeOnMonroe and soon became a working member of the staff – posing in photos and commenting on the dangerous behavior of humans toward animals both domestic and wild. He currently writes an edgy column on the Animal Watch page often reporting the whereabouts of dogs not licensed by their owners and translating the thoughts of his fellow canines.
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