Connecticut has 140 state parks and forests, including 2,000 acres in the Upper and Lower Paugussett Forests in Newtown. Statewide, the 255,000 acres of park land overseen by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is poised to join the trend of cobbling together state park funding from an array of sources, including nongovernmental ones. When Governor Dannel P. Malloy’s budget arrived last month with a $2 million cut in the annual state parks budget, reactions were swift.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy has announced that in accordance to a proclamation from President Barack Obama, US and state flags should fly at half-staff from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday, April 15, in recognition of the national Day of Remembrance for President Abraham Lincoln. Hook & Ladder firefighters are scheduled to lower the Main Street flag at 9 am Wednesday.
Cindy Dessel and Janis Nezvesky-Schertzer love helping people and believe customer satisfaction should be the number one goal of any business. With the opening of Concierge Associates, LLC, in October 2014, the Sandy Hook residents are combining their more than 30 years of experience in corporate relocation, customer service, and people skills to turn the overwhelmed feelings brought on by life events into manageable and pleasant experiences. Concierge Associates specializes in global and domestic relocation and property management. “We give people the tools they need to move to a new location,” Ms Nezvesky-Schertzer said. Having met through business connections, Ms Dessel and Ms Nezvesky-Schertzer had lunch one day, sharing their visions for filling a niche they realized was unmet by the usual corporate relocation services.
Police and fire officials are investigating an intentionally set fire which was discovered on the night of Monday, April 13, at an unoccupied one-family house under renovation at 52 Taunton Lake Road, overlooking Taunton Lake. There were no injuries to firefighters in the incident which caused “moderate” damage to the white Cape-style house, which has a finished second-story. The house is owned by Anna Lisek Boland of Hawleyville, according to Fire Marshal Bill Halstead. Hook & Ladder First Assistant Fire Chief Jason Rivera, who was incident commander, said that after forcibly entering the house through the front door, firefighters found several separate fires burning inside the building, one of which had burned through the floor of the first-story, opening a two-square-foot hole in the basement ceiling. The fires within the house had been burning for some period of time, he said. Mr Halstead said that he called in town police and the state fire marshal’s office for aid in investigating the suspicious fire.
Town police plan an enforcement crackdown on distracted driving, focusing on motorists who use handheld cellphones to talk and also those who text while driving. Police Sergeant Aaron Bahamonde, who heads the police department’s traffic enforcement unit, said last week that the project will run from April 13-27. Police plan to use traditional measures and innovative tactics to enforce the distracted driving laws while participating in the national enforcement project known as U Drive, U Text, U Pay, he said.
Sheila Torres, vice chairman of the Commission on Aging, and Marilyn Place, director of senior services in Newtown, announced Wednesday, April 8, that thanks to a Western Connecticut Area Agency on Aging grant received in December, Newtown Senior Center will be able to host three new programs for residents ages 60 and older. Beginning the first Monday in May, senior citizens can participate in “Stretch and Meditation” on Mondays, and “Sunrise Exercise” and/or qi gong (for strength and balance) on Tuesdays. “These new programs are intended to attract people who may never have taken part in organized exercise classes,” said Ms Torres. The classes can serve as a means of introducing seniors to a healthier lifestyle and encourage socialization. “As a commission,” Ms Torres said, “we are trying to expand outreach to the senior community in Newtown.”
Tim McGraw has announced that on Friday, July 17, at XFINITY Theatre in Hartford, he will hold a concert to benefit Sandy Hook Promise. One-hundred percent of the net proceeds of this event will support Sandy Hook Promise, founded in the wake of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 12/14, with a mission of protecting children from gun violence. Featured performers will include current tourmates Billy Currington and Chase Bryant, along with special guests to be announced later. Public sales for “Tim McGraw: A Concert for Sandy Hook Promise” begin Friday, April 17, at 10 am.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) on April 13 introduced The Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act to provide teachers powerful tools and training to support students’ social and emotional learning. The bill is named in honor of Jesse Lewis, who at six years old was among the children killed on 12/14. US Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is a co-sponsor. Specifically, the bill would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act so that existing professional development funding could be used to train teachers in concepts related to social and emotional learning.
Land acquisitions and lot line revisions shared the Board of Selectmen agenda with a request aimed at improving water quality on Lake Zoar, as the officials convened for a regular meeting April 6. Public Works Director Fred Hurley appeared before selectmen with a memo from the Lake Zoar Authority requesting priority scheduling of street sweeping and storm basin cleaning in five waterfront communities. Mr Hurley said after consulting with Health Director Donna Culbert, he decided to bring the authority’s request to selectmen. Later in the meeting, Deputy Land Use Director Rob Sibley came before selectmen requesting the town acquire two small parcels of land being gifted to the community by residents, as well as recommending lot line revisions to four other small parcels.