During its final meeting of the 2013-14 school year, Newtown Prevention Council reviewed work completed since last September. Since its first meeting the school year, the council has held or participated in events monthly, according to Co-Chair Judy Blanchard. The council also had a number of campaigns, like its annual safe prom campaign and a spring billboard was created to discourage smoking marijuana. A campaign to support students “graduating without alcohol” will also be sent home to community members prior to the high school’s graduation.
Every time she hears about a shooting in this country, Katie Morosky said she is traumatized. “It comes back every time,” the Newtown resident said Friday afternoon. “Every time you hear about another shooting, everything that happened here comes right back." Ms Morosky was one of about 18 people who gathered outside the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) headquarters late Friday afternoon. Since 12/14, the corner of Mile Hill Road near Queen Street has been a popular location for those who are on either side of the gun control debate. While groups, or sometimes just one or two people, make regular appearances at the location, Friday’s display was in response to shootings one week earlier in southwestern California. “We’re here to remember the students who were killed last week in California,” said Ms Morosky. The six people killed a week ago were all students of UCSB. The killings have reignited the debate over mental health issues and gun control.
As commuter traffic rolled by at about 7:30 am on Thursday, May 29, all that was left of a longstanding local eyesore was a pile of demolition debris sitting next to a hulking bright yellow excavator on the western corner lot at Church Hill Road and Edmond Road. On Thursday, May 22, a work crew had arrived at 67 Church Hill Road where a vacant former Shell gas station/convenience store had stood empty for the past several years, becoming progressively decrepit, the victim of wind and weathering. Town officials had long sought to have the decaying building demolished, citing its prominent location on Church Hill Road, near Exit 10 of Interstate 84, as being one of the “visual gateways” of Newtown, which interstate travelers encounter when entering the local road network. The building had been scheduled for demolition by mid-May, but delays resulted in the excavator not swinging its massive arm at the structure to topple it until Friday, May 23.
In 1906, the internationally recognized Morse code distress signal SOS was established and has grown to represent a call for help. On June 5, community members are being called to learn how to recognize if someone they know or care about may be reaching out for help because they are contemplating suicide. Newtown’s first Caring For Our Youth Signs Of Suicide (SOS) Community Forum is being sponsored by the Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project Thursday, June 5, at Newtown Middle School Auditorium from 6 to 7:30 pm. The SOS Program is a research-based early intervention program listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidenced-Based Programs and Practices.
Every Board of Selectmen’s meeting provides two opportunities for members of the public to comment on agenda items and other issues of public importance. First Selectman Pat Llodra is reaching out to residents to come with questions or ideas about the future of town-owned buildings and facilities. The June 2 selectmen’s meeting, at 7:30 pm in the Newtown Municipal Center will include the kickoff of what is hoped will be a comprehensive assessment of municipal facilities and will result in a similarly detailed strategic plan for the future of those facilities. Senior Project Manager Geralyn Hoerauf from Diversified Project Management, who has been instrumental in the planning process for the new Sandy Hook School, will be supporting this new townwide project. She has been charged with helping develop a request for proposals from providers for the assessment and analysis portion of the initiative.
After hearing a presentation by the Newtown Federation of Teachers at the Board of Education’s May 20 meeting, Superintendent of Schools Joseph Erardi, Jr, said this week he plans to form a culture and climate committee in the school district. At the school board’s May 20 meeting, federation members voiced concerns regarding a range of topics, and Dr Erardi suggested at the meeting that a committee be formed.The concept for the panel has grown in the last week, according to the superintendent.“The intent of the committee will be to work in partnership in a positive manner with the teachers’ association and the Board of Education,” Dr Erardi said. Membership of the committee was to be determined by the end of this week, according to Dr Erardi, who said he asked the teachers’ union to recommend four teachers to be on the committee, the administrators’ union to recommend two administrators, and the Board of Education to offer two representatives. The superintendent and assistant superintendent will also serve on the committee.
The tenth Newtown Relay For Life is just hours away and community spirit around the landmark event continues to build around town. The public event, which helps raise funds and awareness for the American Cancer Society, has taken its place alongside the Labor Day Parade, holiday tree lightings, and Halloween on Main Street as one of the biggest community-building events of the year. Returning to Newtown High School’s Blue & Gold Stadium after several years at Fairfield Hills, the free, 12-hour nonsporting relay is expected to draw thousands of residents during the overnight of May 31 to June 1, many of whom have faced cancer themselves, or who have supported loved ones, friends, and family members through the fight.
House Republican Mitch Bolinsky, representing most of Newtown from his 106th District seat, said during a forum Tuesday that the state has to be more taxpayer friendly and more business friendly. Mr Bolinsky and his fellow house GOP member and Second District representative Dan Carter listened to concerns of residents during a 90-minute program that looked back over the just-completed legislative session.
The Newtown Kennel Club has donated $1,800 to the K-9 unit of the Newtown Police Department to be used for food, equipment, and supplies for the department’s German shepherd Saint, police said. Pam Pearl, representing the kennel club, presented a che...