Bronco, a 4-year-old pitbull, was joined by owners Trina and Chris Cain in one of the comfortable dog beds at Your Healthy Pet on July 21. That morning, the Cains were met by Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead, standing at right, who formally presented Bronco and his “parents” with the Newtown #1 dog tag, an honor presented to one lucky dog each year after the June 30 deadline to obtain or renew dog licenses by town residents.
“I feel like we’re chasing our tails,” said Community Center Commission member John Boccuzzi, Jr, after almost three hours in a meeting Tuesday evening. He wondered about the goals and direction of the group. Most of the meeting was spent discussing details for costs of mailing informative postcards, filling out a timeline for coming months’ activities, and breaking briefly into subcommittees. The panel concluded the session with more questions about their charge and few answers.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy and Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Commissioner Andres Ayala, Jr. on July 22 announced that major customer service improvements, including the addition of new online services, will require DMV to close its offices — except for licensing services — from Tuesday, August 11, through Saturday, August 15. The department’s offices will reopen for all transactions on Tuesday, August 18. These improvements come as the DMV undertakes a major upgrade of its complex and outdated computer systems, which will modernize how residents interact and receive services from the agency. With the coming upgrades, Connecticut residents will be able to complete many functions that previously required an in-person visit over the internet.
People are still talking about an incident at a June 29 Senior Babe Ruth baseball game between Newtown and Norwalk that ended abruptly when the Norwalk coach pulled his team from the field. Speculation continues on social media over what exactly transpired and whether or not the issue would be handled appropriately. Newtown Babe Ruth Baseball President Andy Via and Norwalk Coach Jim Coonan, along with Newtown Coach Greg Horne Jr, agree Newtown’s team displayed poor sportsmanship; it has since been dealt with by Via, and the end result was that a Newtown player was ultimately kicked off the team. Via and Coonan also agree that there are some inaccuracies circulating as parents and others in the community speculate about the causes of the incident.
As both Congress and the federal government struggle to develop a strategy for the “Internet of Things,” and responding to the increasing use of connected devices, including automobiles, US Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) and Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, have introduced legislation that would direct the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to establish federal standards to secure vehicles and protect the privacy of drivers. The proposed Security and Privacy in Your Car (SPY Car) Act also establishes a rating system — or “cyber dashboard” — that informs consumers about how well the vehicle protects drivers’ security and privacy beyond those minimum standards.
Since 1997, The Newtown Junior Women’s Club has annually donated back-to-school backpacks filled with school supplies through their Backpack Program to fulfill the needs of children in Newtown. Newtown Social Services works in coordination with NJWC to inform the club about quantities and supplies needed. This year the club expects to fill approximately 92 backpacks with required supplies.
Around 10:30 Monday, a crew of five Hook & Ladder firefighters was at the historic Main Street flagpole to lower the summer-size flag. Hook & Ladder Chief Ray Corbo directed traffic around the landmark while Milt Adams operated the truck’s ladder, Taren Horvath and Dan Tomascak traversed the truck’s ladder to lower the 20- by 30-foot flag, and Joe Miller kept an eye on the scene from behind Truck 114.
Tractor Supply Company is seeking a preliminary land use approval from the town toward its goal of locating a new store on a 8.19-acre site at 116 South Main Street. The property is on the west side of South Main Street, south of South Main Street’s intersection with Simm Lane. The Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled a public hearing for August 6 on a request for a change of zone for the site from R-1 (Residential) to SMVDD (South Main Village Design District).
Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico has announced he will not seek reelection to the five-member commission, which he has headed since late 2011. Mr Mangiafico, a Republican, is in the last year of a four-year term on the agency, which has three Republican and two Democratic members. Four of the five seats on the panel are up for election in the November 3 municipal elections. Mr Mangiafico has served as the panel’s chairman since becoming a commission member. He has been considering whether or not to seek reelection for a number of months, he told The Newtown Bee.
Its glistening dark eyes stared back at resident Robert Eckenrode as he took a photo of his backyard guest. A barred owl — named “Hootie” or “Daniel,” depending on who in the family is talking — that he first noticed in mid-June sat with its wings at rest. Local landowners are invited to join Mr Eckenrode and Newtown Forest Association member for a program about land stewardship and beneficial practices on Saturday, July 26, between 1 and 3 pm, at Holcombe Hill Preserve in Newtown. A guest forester, native plant specialist, and an organic lawn care professional will be available to answer any questions. Reservations are requested.