It appears while a Connecticut State Police pilot program attempting to regionalize related dispatching operations is being scrapped, a legislative effort to force communities like Newtown to regionalize emergency communications systems is still very much alive. First Selectman Pat Llodra has recently reported to the Board of Finance and Legislative Council, that HB 6970, a proposed bill she referred to as the “Speaker’s Bill,” because it is being promoted for passage by Democratic Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey, is likely to become law this session.
The Borough Zoning Commission (BZC) is continuing its review of Aquarion Water Company’s proposal to build an above-ground water pumping station at 12 Church Hill Road, the address where the Newtown Hook & Ladder Volunteer Fire Company plans to construct a new firehouse. BZC members held a second public hearing on the pumphouse application on May 13. The volunteer fire company plans to construct an approximately 16,000-square-foot firehouse at the 3.16-acre site on the south side of Church Hill Road. Aquarion wants to construct an 1,100-square-foot pumphouse adjacent to the planned firehouse.
The state police plan to revert to their former call-taking/dispatching scheme, returning all call-taking functions and emergency dispatching operations to their individual barracks in the western and eastern sections of the state. In this region, that means that call-taking and emergency dispatching functions will return to the state police’s Troop A barracks at 90 Lakeside Road in Southbury, near Exit 14 of Interstate 84.
After social networks posts exploded with concerns, unhappy fans and those comparing Newtown to the fictional community in the movie "Footloose," where dancing is illegal, a Newtown Police Supervisor told The Bee this week that “Dancing Traffic Agent” Kathy Ballwig Holick will “bop and weave” again. Ms Holick, who is a popular local fixture as Newtown’s Smiling Traffic Agent — with a popular Facebook page of the same name — has been the subject of several complaints during her tenure, primarily for distracting movements or confusing hand signals. Ms Holick has during the past year become recognized for her generous smiles, waves and dance moves, the latter of which have been combined with her hand signals while doing traffic duty at three locations.
Governor Dannel P. Malloy on May 18 announced that the State of Connecticut has been awarded a $7 million federal grant to improve access to care for people seeking drug and alcohol treatment in the state. Monday’s announcement came as Gov Malloy continues to advance his “Second Chance Society” crime reduction initiatives, which among other things redefines simple possession of drugs for personal use as a misdemeanor to better ensure that resources and tools are available to reintegrate into society and lead productive lives. The proposals focus on treatment rather than prison for those with addiction.
In anticipation of Flag Day, State Reps. Mitch Bolinsky (R-106), Dan Carter (R-2), J.P. Sredzinski (R-112) and state Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) are helping Newtown residents dispose of their worn American flags in a dignified and respectful way. The US Flag Code specifies that old American flags no longer in service must be properly disposed, and the lawmakers are offering this service free of charge, in conjunction with VFW Post 308. The Newtown state legislative delegation will have two separate drop off locations. The drive will take place May 22 through June 4, just a little shy of Flag Day on June 14.
Unassembled new balcony theater seating sat waiting in an upper lobby at the Edmond Town Hall Wednesday, May 13. There for its delivery that morning was Board of Managers Chairman Jim Juliano, who noted the many parts that would require assembly. Moving those parts that will soon add up to 158 new seats for the balcony was building staff member Joe Collins, who will put them together. The Edmond Town Hall Board of Managers recently had an opportunity to replace its original circa 1930s theater balcony seats, said Mr Juliano. Through member Mary Fellows, “who had contact with a company” that sought to buy the balcony seats, he said “she made arrangements with them” to buy the seats for $7,000.
With what VFW Post 308 Chaplain Donna Randle Monteleone called “the best community turnout ever,” dozens of volunteers set out from the VFW Club on Freedom Way, Thursday afternoon, May 14, to place nearly 1,200 small American flags at the graves of veterans buried in Newtown cemeteries. Volunteers placed flags at St Rose Cemetery, Sandy Hook Cemetery, Zoar Cemetery, Village Cemetery, Resurrection Cemetery, Lands End Cemetery, and the other smaller cemeteries in Newtown. A flag retirement ceremony is planned at the VFW property Friday, June 5, at 5:30 pm.
A nature walk and educational tour of the future site of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary was held on Saturday, May 9.
The event was open to the public and the tour was led by Andrew Mangold, a forest gardener and permaculture expert.
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary is the effort of The Catherine Violet Hubbard Foundation, dedicated to the memory of Catherine Hubbard, who was killed on 12/14. Construction on the animal sanctuary is set to begin in 2016.
From May 18 to May 31, town police will heighten their enforcement of seatbelt use by motorists as part of a state and national enforcement project known as “Click It or Ticket — Day & Night.” Newtown, Redding, Bethel, and Brookfield police will join forces during the project, conducting heavy enforcement in each of the four towns.