The Newtown Sustainable Energy Commission has launched a new initiative, beginning in October, to bring solar panel systems to residents and businesses. The first community meeting will be Thursday, October 8, from 6:30 to 8 pm, at C.H. Booth Library, 25 Main Street. For the 2015 Newtown Energy Challenge program, the Sustainable Energy Commission is working with Direct Energy Solar and Ross Solar to offer a limited-time program with a streamlined process and significant financial savings for residents who want to install solar on their property. The program began on Monday, and will continue through December 5, 2015.
The Newtown Education Foundation held an open public forum on Monday, October 5, at Reed Intermediate School. Kristen Bonacci and Casey Ragan, two of NEF’s three co-founders, spoke about how the foundation came about and answered questions about what the foundation will do during the forum. Ms Bonacci said the idea to start NEF came from the experience the three founders, which also include Aaron Carlson, had with also starting the recent Support Our Schools (SOS) campaign. A number of surrounding towns, according to Ms Bonacci, have Education Foundations. During the recent summer months, Ms Bonacci said, work was done to look into starting a foundation in Newtown.
Utility customers in Connecticut are receiving scam calls claiming to be from Eversource and saying their service is scheduled to be shut off. Callers then try to pressure customers to make an immediate payment by purchasing a prepaid debit card, commonly referred to as the green dot scam, at a certain location. “These scams work by scaring customers and catching them off guard, hoping they’ll ignore their better judgment and make a payment or provide personal information,” said Penni Conner, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Eversource.
Planning and Zoning Commission members on October 1 held a fourth set of dual public hearings on a mixed-use development proposed for Hawleyville, which includes a 180-unit rental apartment complex in six multistory buildings, a diner, and a church on 42 acres west of Hawleyville Road and south of the Exit 9 interchange of Interstate 84. The P&Z hearings last week touched on a range of subjects, with the traffic which would be generated by the project and vehicular access to the site among the prime topics discussed. The Police Commission is scheduled to meet on Tuesday, October 6, to discuss the traffic aspects of the mixed-use development proposal.
The Cultural Alliance of Western Connecticut has announced that $35,000 from the state’s new Regional Initiative Grant program has been awarded to eight recipients throughout CAWC’s ten-town region, which includes Newtown. The 2016 REGI grant awardees in the CAWC region include Thomas Carruthers of Bethel; Joanne Hudson of Ridgefield; John S. Boccuzzi of Newtown; WCSU Foundation/Bethel Arts, Bethel; Stacey Olszewski/CityCenter Danbury; Connecticut Choral Society, based in Danbury; Mactalla Mor, also based in Danbury; and Meagan Cann of Danbury.
Newtown Congregational Church will host a special breakfast gathering for the community on Wednesday, December 2. Sponsored by The Ana Grace Project in honor of Ana Grace Marquez-Greene, the morning will feature a keynote by Bruce Perry, MD, PhD, international speaker, author and senior fellow, ChildTrauma Academy. Dr Perry is expected to speak on the morning’s theme, “Love Wins: Love Is The Antidote — How Deepening Connections and Relationships Transform Families and Communities.”
In response to the shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., on October 1, which took the lives of ten people including the shooter, President Barack Obama on October 2 ordered United States flags to be lowered to half-staff. Flags are to remain lowered until sunset October 6. Connecticut Governor Dannel P. Malloy followed suit, saying that state flags in will also be lowered until sunset Tuesday.
In expressing his grief and frustration over yet another mass gun shooting, President Barack Obama, in a speech Thursday evening, challenged news media to compare the number of US citizens killed by terrorism versus those killed by gun violence, each year. The President’s remarks were in response to shootings at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore., earlier that day, which left multiple people dead and wounded. President Obama pointed out the disparity of funds spent to protect Americans — and rightly so, he added — from relatively few terrorist attacks, as compared to what is spent on preventing gun violence.
Following a 40-minute public hearing September 30 dominated by two local officials suggesting several late adjustments to Newtown’s constitutional document, the Charter Revision Commission initiated some of those changes and voted to send a final draft to the Legislative Council for its own hearing and review process. The panel received kudos for their efforts, which included a charge to overhaul the entire document with a goal of making it more relevant and user-friendly for both Newtown’s citizens and the many local government agencies and policies serving them. Following the hearing, commissioners convened a planned meeting to complete any final adjustments to the draft. Mr Capeci said that the panel was able to act on the advice or requests of some of the hearing participants.
While a public survey gauging community opinions on developing a new community center will be available until midnight on October 10, a series of public question and answer sessions providing members of an appointed panel on the planned project a chance to hear residents’ opinions and thoughts are continuing. A growing number of residents are taking an online survey that will remain available until midnight October 10.