Connecticut’s congressional delegation wants to find a way to obtain federal dollars to replace Sandy Hook Elementary School with a new facility, but that will be a tough task.The biggest obstacle to finding federal money for the construction of a new school, estimated to cost $40 million to $60 million, is Congress’ ban on earmarks, or special projects. Earmarks once allowed lawmakers to steer millions of dollars to pet projects, but no more.
State public utility regulators have scheduled a public hearing for this week on the Aquarion Water Company’s proposal to increase its water rates across the next three years, which if approved, would result in an overall 22.7 percent water rate hike.
Aquarion owns the public water supply which serves central Newtown, Sandy Hook Center, and the Mt Pleasant Road, Main Street, and South Main Street areas. The water supply system formerly was owned by United Water.
The State Board of Labor Relations has dismissed a complaint filed by Newtown’s owner-operators against the Board of Education. Carey Shierloh, a representative for the complainants and a former town owner-operator, said she and several other former drivers she spoke with were very disappointed by the decision.
The complaint made to the State Board of Labor Relations by the owner-operators, individually contracted bus drivers responsible primarily for regular education routes in town and maintaining privately owned buses, alleges the Board of Education failed to bargain with the contractors prior to deciding whether to open the 2012–17 transportation contract for bids.
Representatives from nearly a dozen different local religious communities on the evening of Friday, June 14, told a standing-room audience of about 400 people at the Newtown Congregational Church that spiritual healing is occurring, albeit sometimes slowly, among community members in the aftermath of the tragic events of December 14. The clergy members spoke to those gathered in the church sanctuary on the six-month anniversary of 12/14, commemorating the deaths of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook School at the hands of a rampaging gunman. The service initially had been scheduled for an outdoor site at Fairfield Hills, but was relocated to the church at 14 West Street in view of possible inclement weather.
A few special events have been organized in Newtown for today, the six-month anniversary of 12/14. Following is a brief encapsulation of what is occurring in town. There will be a moment of silence followed by a press conference at Edmond Town Hall this morning, the ringing of church bells at 9:30, and a community-wide gathering this evening at Fairfield Hills. Other events have been planned at houses of worship, many of which will have their sanctuaries open for quiet prayer and reflection.
Governor Dannel P Malloy has announced that an allocation of $750,000 towards the design of a new building for Sandy Hook Elementary School is slated for approval at next week’s meeting of the State Bond Commission. Governor Malloy explained that this funding is being made available now to help the project, which is still in its early stages, begin moving forward as quickly as possible. Earlier this month, the Connecticut General Assembly approved legislation authorizing a separate allocation of up to $50 million in bonding for the school's construction. That funding will be taken up for final consideration by members of the State Bond Commission in the coming months, as the project progresses and its needs are assessed. All funding will be issued on an expedited basis.
On the morning of Friday, June 14, which was the six-month anniversary of 12/14, Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG) staged a well-attended rally on the plaza in front of Edmond Town Hall to stress the group’s drive for increased gun control to reduce the violence in society. Several hundred people attended the event, many of whom were from the press doing coverage of Newtown in the aftermath of 12/14. Just before the MAIG rally started, at 9:30 am church bells could be heard tolling in the distance in remembrance of those killed on 12/14.
The six month anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School will be marked on Friday with private and public events. The Newtown Interfaith Clergy Association has an event planned for Friday night at Fairfield Hills, where residents and visitors of all ages are invited to gather at the soccer fields at 7:30. Some houses of worship will also have their sanctuaries open for quiet prayer and reflection on Friday, and a few will be ringing their bells at 9:30 am, “in memory of those who have been lost and in the hope that a way of peace and compassion is within our reach," according to the Reverend Matthew Crebbin of Newtown Congregational Church.
Family members of those killed 12/14, along with elected officials, faith leaders, and other community members, will join together in a day of remembrance and a call to action on Friday, June 14. They will gather at Edmond Town Hall to read the names of victims of gun violence and urge their representatives in Congress to support legislation that would require comprehensive background checks. The event will also serve as the kick-off for a 100-day bus tour by Mayors Against Illegal Guns.