The governor’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission has heard testimony from an array of experts on school security, mental health, and gun violence prevention in the past year and a half, but none spoke more authoritatively on the impact of sudden chaos on the orderly life of a community than Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra. She addressed the panel last Friday.
First Selectman Pat Llodra and School Superintendent Joseph Erardi, Jr appeared before Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Friday, September 12, at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford.
In addition to receiving presentations from the panel’s Mental Health Working Group, Safe School Design and Operations Working Group, and Law Enforcement Working Group, Mrs Llodra and Dr Erardi, each provided testimony, touching on a wide range of subjects related to Newtown’s recovery efforts post 12/14.
Hartford’s response to 12/14 took two distinct paths. Ironically, the path fraught with contention and strife — a package of stricter gun laws — was chosen quickly, by a determined governor working with the advantage of legislative majorities in the state House and Senate and political tailwinds emerging from the storm of shock and sorrow following the Sandy Hook tragedy.
(The following letter to Tom Foley, the Republican candidate for governor, has been received for publication.)
Dear Mr. Foley,
First, let me introduce myself. My name is Karen Wilk, and I work at Sandy Hook School in Sandy Hook (Newtown), CT. You may have heard of us. I have worked at the school for over 17 years now and was very much present on December 14, 2012, when a troubled young man came into my beloved school and gunned down 26 people who meant the world to so many.
It has been about nine months since the Board of Selectmen appointed 12 volunteers to the Sandy Hook Permanent Memorial Commission. We learned from the panel last week that in that time, the commission has begun an “outreach process” to various groups in the community that will last for several months. When they were first appointed, First Selectman Pat Llodra warned them that the process of forming some kind of consensus on a community memorial for those lost at the Sandy Hook School on 12/14 would take time.
Dave Stowe, vice chairman of Newtown Action Alliance, joined more than 50 Newtown, Sandy Hook, and area residents in Greenwich on Monday, July 21, where at least an additional 150 people gathered to protest the appearance of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Gov Christie was fundraising in the Bell Haven area of Greenwich for Connecticut Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Foley.
This month's program was not the first recognition ceremony to honor Sandy Hook responders and it was never intended to be the last ceremony to acknowledge the many exceptional individuals and organizations who heeded the call. The department deeply regrets any confusion that may have occurred and sincerely apologizes for disappointment that personnel in allied fields may have experienced when they were not acknowledged.
Newtown’s post 12/14 recovery and resiliency efforts are about to accelerate with the hiring of a team of mental health experts and case managers, and the distribution of funds to underwrite outreach and support programs being coordinated through several separate town agencies.
NEW HAVEN — A federal judge in Connecticut ordered a psychiatric assessment Wednesday of a Venezuelan man charged with making threatening phone calls to Newtown residents in the days following the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
EAST HARTFORD (AP) — Matthew Bell thought he would never again experience an event as momentous as the September 11 terrorist attacks, when he helped people evacuate lower Manhattan as a member of the Coast Guard.
Then came the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
The Connecticut state trooper remembered the chaos and heartbreak of the Newtown massacre as he and dozens of other people received state police awards Tuesday for their outstanding and meritorious service in response to the December 14, 2012, shooting.