Tag Archives: Branford

Curious about the Canoes in the Commons?


The Construction of Canoes

By Meglin Bodner

           The Advanced Woodworking classes have worked hard to complete handmade canoes with the help of their teacher, Mr. Niemiec, and various others. Mr. Niemiec was thinking of new projects that the students could try out. He wasn’t sure exactly what to do, so he asked another shop teacher. They came up with making canoes. Mr. Niemiec said that when he was in high school, he built two dinghy type boats. So, he had already had some experience with making boats. This gave him and his students an advantage.

He said, “I got the idea for the canoes from this fellow shop teacher and my wife then got me the book with the plans for these canoes, the rest is now BHS history.”

            Before the construction of the canoes could begin, materials were needed. They used West System Marine Epoxy, ¼” A/C Ext. Plywood, Pine & Maple, Mahogany, and Purple Heart hardwoods for seats and paddles. These were obtained by Mr. Niemiec at the Branford Building Supplies store near the town green and also Birbarie Marine, which is near Branford.

            Now, here was where the building came into play. It took about 2 months to build the canoes. Next came the planning. The plan was that the canoes were going to be tried out behind BHS at the boat ramp. The students weren’t sure if they would actually float or not, but soon they found the canoes to be successful! Mr. Niemiec remarked, “Yes, happily they not only float and are completely water tight, they are also extremely fun and easy to manage. They are designed for calm water and no more than 250 lbs. of weight, and are best suited for one person.” The only element that still needs to be put on is the paint, but altogether they did a really nice job with them.

            After the paint is on and the canoes are finished, Mr. Niemiec plans to raffle them at $5.00 per chance with the drawing at the Spring launch and barbecue during a field trip with the Occupational Foods Classes in 2010. At first, he was thinking on selling them, but no one stepped forward. More plans were coming about. Mr. Niemiec was saying, “Yes, we plan to make more each semester, and possibly some kayaks, in the hope of creating a new full year course specifically for boat building and framing.”


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Upcoming Blood Drive

 By Hannah Kahl

blood drive On October 30, 2009 BHS is having a blood drive from 8:00 a.m. till 1:00 p.m. in the old gym.

Donating blood is one of the easiest ways to save someone’s life. People often forget that some people rely on donated blood to be able to live their lives. Blood is needed for emergencies and for people who have cancer, blood disorders, anemia and other illnesses. People that have cancer or a blood disorder may need regular blood transfusions to live. One donation of blood can save up to three lives and after donating you will feel good about yourself knowing that you might have just saved a child, a brother, or a sister. Giving blood is an easy process and I believe that everyone should give blood at least once in their life. Many people will say “oh well I’m scared of needles!” My reply to those people would be the pain and suffering of those in need of blood is far greater than the prick of a needle. The caregivers at the blood donation centers are well trained, and will tend to your every need. People react in many different ways but no one will ever be allowed to leave until they are ready. Some people may feel light-headed, some people may feel anxious, others may feel nothing at all but all donors are equally evaluated to make sure they are feeling fine when they leave.

 People rely on every type of blood but O negative blood is very rare and always in short supply. No matter what your type of blood please consider donating. All blood is needed all the time.

To be eligible to donate blood you must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in generally good health.

 Be there and make a difference!

Photo from here.

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The Golden Mic Comedy Club

By Ryan Viglione


            This past weekend, I attended the kick off show of the newly opened Golden Mic Comedy Club started by Branford High School’s very own Greg Nobile. Most of you have seen Greg’s talented acting in the school plays and singing in the school’s choir; he is a very motivated person.  For those of you who don’t know, the club is located in the Branford Center across from Benny J’s Pizzeria. Small, yet ambitious, the club drew a large crowd along with performers David Foster of MTV and BHS alum Mike Golod. Both were hilarious and had audience members rolling on the floor and raving about the comedians. Not only was Nobile able to provide entertainment in the Golden Mic, there were also refreshments consisting of ice cold soda pop, delicious pizza, tea, and hot chocolate.   Gio Esposito, a BHS senior, said that “Greg Nobile’s club is an amazing way to spend my Friday night.” The doorman/bouncer, Emmett Cassiday, said the club was “fantabulous” and I agree with him.  After the show, Greg told me he had the idea for the club three weeks ago in New York and that he is planning on hosting more shows and hopefully have an open mic night with musical artists. All in all, the club was fantastic and is definitely here to stay.

golden-mic-040golden-mic-053golden-mic-069 Photos: (left) Greg Nobile, (middle) Mike Golod, (right) David Foster

Photos taken by Rachel Rimm

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The Red Tide

local artists you ought to knowInspired by Vh1’s You Oughta Know.

The Red Tide

(An interview with the new local band The Red Tide with Matt Schell and Sam Blackstone)newspaper2

The Buzz: You’re called the Red Tide. Why did you choose that?

The Red Tide: You may have noticed the video we projected at Mr. BHS. Well, as Matt looked at different videos to include, he found a bunch on the red tide, an algae bloom that occurs in New England and Florida.  The tide makes great impact on the ecosystem and literally changes the water color to red. Similar to the tide, we’re trying to change music and bring in some different colors of our own.

B: Have you played out much?

RT: We’ve played every show we’ve ever been offered. Most of the shows have been at the high school and a few have been at the Guilford Congressional Church. We’re very new, which makes it difficult to get a gig. But, after we get a few recordings done and create some advertisement, we’ll be playing at places like The Space.

B: What style of music do you play?

RT: Well, I’m not really sure. It’s kind of like The White Stripes got into a crash with Beck and Radiohead and out popped something great. We’re trying to make something new and exciting.

B: Do you do covers? Or is it all original music?

RT: No, we don’t do any covers. All of the songs are completely original, even some of the tones on the piano have been custom made to give that extra uniqueness. Matt does all of the song writing, but he works with Sam to find the perfect beat to match the music style.
B: Are there any famous bands/musicians who greatly influence you?

RT: Our band has a very wide of influences. As mentioned earlier we have a sound that gives hints of The White Stripes and Beck. But, we’re always searching more new and interesting sounds to give us inspiration. Recently, we found the band Mute Math, a new band with an amazing drummer and electronic sound that sounds like nothing else. We are also influenced by some of the older blues masters and even get into jams that are derived from some of the funk masters newspaper1from the 70’s.

B: Tell me about any new stuff.

RT: We have a ton of new stuff coming out. First off, we hope to have eight recorded songs done by the end of June that we’ll be able to make into an album titled, Within the Tide. We have also designed a few t-shirts and stickers that we’ll be giving away. If you would like to hear what we sound like, we have a new myspace (www.myspace.com/theredtidect) that will be constantly updated.  Also, we are considering expanding, adding a bass player to the group. We’re still searching, so if you like our style, and play bass, let one of know!

Thanks to the members of The Red Tide. Good luck!

By Rachel Rimm

Photo credit: Miranda Platt

For more interviews with local artists check out our interviews with:

Dr. Rocktopus and the Nunks

Great Caesar and the GoGetters

The Smyrk

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Plays for the Cure

By Lauren Buckman

   images   Thursday night, April 30, the Branford community came together to support a cause close to our hearts, which has unfortunately affected many of us. Whether it be directly, or through a family member or friend, the suffering that a cancer patient endures is tremendous. This is why we must help in all the ways possible and try to find a silver lining in each and every experience.

      “Branford Plays for the Cure”, a basketball game fundraiser, was set up by Mr. Maloney, a retired BHS teacher. Ironically, he is doing twice the amount of work as before, but all for good causes. A true hero in the Branford community, Mr. Maloney feels that his only motivation to put this fundraiser together was in his heart. He also says he was “ecstatic with the outcome.” Over 1500 people took time out of their busy schedules, to join the fun at this game.

      The games included: 1) WIS Teachers vs. WIS Students, 2) Murphy, Sliney & Tisko Teachers vs. News Channel 8, 3) BHS Teachers vs. BHS Students, and 4) Branford Police vs. Branford Fire Department. All four of the games were a great success. During halftime the crowd enjoyed shows from the WIS Dance Team, BHS Dance Team, BHS cheerleading, and COLOURS. A COLOURS is group of young kids from Maryland, who travel around dancing, singing, and uplifting people spirits. They were a huge hit Thursday evening, as well as on Friday when they performed at different Branford schools. They even mentioned that Branford was one of their favorite places to perform. In addition to these performances, we were fortunate enough to hear from UCONN Coach Geno Auriemma, Branford resident and cancer survivor Erin Kelley, WIS fifth grader Maggie, and of course Mr. Maloney himself.

      One hundred percent of proceeds benefit the Debbie Maloney Memorial Foundation, the Leukemia and Lymphoma society and Geno’s Cancer team. Thank you to everyone who came out to support. We also would like to thank the Cultural Diversity Club for bringing us COLOURS as well as hosting them during their visit.

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BEF Fundraiser

By Madeline Alden

On a rainy Wednesday, the atmosphere inside Lenny’s Restaurant was anything but dreary. The mellow sound of “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson could be heard in the background sung by a local artist, Don Fillian, who provided the entertainment for the crowd of 50 or so people. The evening’s festivities were part of a fundraiser for the Branford Education Foundation, which is trying to help support public education in the town.

The BEF was founded in 2004 and has since raised more than $87,000 for educational programs that couldn’t be funded by the Board of Education, according to BEF organizers. The BEF’s latest fundraiser was the silent auction at Lenny’s on April 22 which raised approximately $8,000. Programs such as the Solar Energy Program and Earth Week/Arbor Day Initiative Projects have been awarded $2,500 and $1,800 to Branford High School in 2009. All program proposals have been reviewed by a board of teachers and about 95% of the cases proposed go through and are funded by BEF. BEF also awarded $3,700 to Branford High School principal Lee Panagoulias and social studies teacher Joel Hinrichs for a trip to China as part of Shandong Principal and Teacher Shadow Program.

BEF was founded by Bob Babcock. He also founded the Cheshire Education Foundation in Cheshire, Connecticut. BEF is an organization that “raises private funding for public programs that funding wasn’t granted to by the board of education,” Bob Babcock explains, “I feel that the better a public system is in a community the better the community is as a whole and having a fund allows us to support public education.”  There are about 70 EF’s in CT.

For the silent auction, many local restaurants and companies donated items to bid. These items included a bike from Zane’s, an Owenego club membership, spa and restaurant gift cards and much more. All proceeds profit BEF, which in turn profits Branford’s education. The sponsors of the event were happy to contribute to BEF; one of them was Guilford Savings Bank. “We always contribute scholarships to Branford and the surrounding area to give back to the community,” said Salvatore Mancuso, the Branford Branch Manager of Guilford Savings Bank.

“I think that it is fabulous that we have BEF in the town; it is the people of the town who want to support us and they do,” says John Prins, a board member of BEF

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by Merissa Blitz


The Branford Community knows John Steady for his work with the yearbook pictures and taking pictures at sport’s events but not everyone may know about his most recent project. Steady created a webpage that has all kinds of information on all of the Branford Sports and, of course, includes many photos. The site will cover topics such as high school sports, youth sports, former athletes who are in college, the history of Branford Sports and much more. Steady writes a lot of the articles himself with the help of others. Mr. Miller, the head of the English department at school, will be writing a sports column every two weeks that covers awards, banquets, jv sports, freshman sports, and much more.


Before the site was up, Steady had been putting up promotional videos which were watched by over 1000 people within the first two days. “I have received many great emails from people who are excited for it to actually start,” says Steady prior to the beginning of the site.


What was Steady’s inspiration for the site? He says, “Over the past two years, sports coverage has gotten very bad. I started writing for newspapers back while I was a student at Branford High School in 1988; back then almost every game and every sport was covered on a weekly basis. That has changed for the worse over the past few years so I started to think of a way to fix it and this is what I came up with.”

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