Several dozen firefighters from eight volunteer fire companies mobilized midday on Wednesday, November 5, in response to an extensive brush fire of suspicious origin in Sandy Hook, which spread across about five acres of rugged terrain, blackening the forest floor near Sugarloaf Road and Sherman Street. Sandy Hook Volunteer Fire & Rescue Company Chief Bill Halstead, who was incident commander, said the fire, which was reported at about 11:30 am, apparently had been burning “for a couple of hours” before people nearby realized that a brush fire was underway, rather than someone burning leaves to dispose of them.
The CH Booth Library Board is requesting the current Charter Revision Commission consider several changes that will give trustees greater flexibility to adjust their by-laws. Board President Robert Geckle outlined the specifics during an October 29 charter commission meeting. One of the other changes being requested, is to increase the number of trustees appointed by the Board of Selectmen from as many as six to eight of its current 18 members.
Proposals for a psychiatric hospital, ice arena, and children’s museum have all come before the Fairfield Hills Authority in the past, but just one appears to be moving forward with plans to make a home at the former state hospital campus. Commencing negotiations for a lease is a medical facility. Land Use Director George Benson said recently that representatives from HealthVest are “coming back with cost estimates,” and recently were in town meeting with grants coordinator Christal Preszler. HealthVest is a behavioral health care firm that invests in psychiatric centers. President and CEO Richard A. Kresch, MD, has visited the Fairfield Hills campus several times and is interested in building a roughly 100-bed facility in the area of Norwalk Hall.
For more than 50 years, The Newtown Fund has helped Newtown’s residents in need around the holidays in December. Most referrals come through the town’s Social Service Department or local clergy. It is a registered 501(c)(3) charity, which makes all donations tax deductible. The Holiday Basket Program holds its collection and distribution on what is referred to as Depot Day — a Saturday, approximately ten days prior to Christmas. Before deliveries are on their way to the families, there is a lot of organizing, wrapping, and lists to check and double check.
John Voket, Kendra Bobowick & Andrew Gorosko
• News •
Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Like many races across the state and nation, Republicans vying to represent Newtown in Hartford claimed victories in the mid-term elections November 4. With 4,660 votes, incumbent 106th District lawmaker Mitch Bolinsky overcame an enthusiastic challenge by by Democrat Matt Cole, who received the backing of 3,753 Newtown voters. Shortly after 10 pm on election night, 112th District GOP candidate J.P. Sredzinski posted a one-word note on his Facebook page: “Elected.” In Newtown the Monroe Republican received 658 votes to Democratic candidate Jen Aguilar’s 483. Ms Aguilar, who virtually disappeared from the public eye locally in the weeks leading up to the election, still managed a good showing locally in a wide open race following Rep DebraLee Hovey’s decision to withdraw from politics.
With just over five weeks left before the second anniversary of 12/14, First Selectman Pat Llodra and School Superintendent Dr Joseph V. Erardi, Jr have co-written a letter that is directed as much to immediate members of the Newtown and Sandy Hook communities as it is to the state and nation. There will be no formal or official ceremonies hosted by the town of school district on Sunday, December 14, the two leaders announce. “As we approach the second anniversary of the tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook School on December 14, 2012, we again want to thank all of those in neighboring towns, and across the state, nation and even the world, for the great kindness and support we receive,” the note reads in part.
The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) is scheduled to hold a public hearing on an industrial firm’s request for a zoning rule change that would create a regulatory mechanism to allow scrap tire storage and recycling in M-1 (Industrial) zones under the terms of the P&Z’s special permit process. The P&Z hearing on the proposed zoning rule change is slated for 7:30 pm on Thursday, November 6, at Newtown Municipal Center. Maak Environmental Corporation, which lists its address as 40 High Bridge Road, Sandy Hook, is seeking the rule change.
With a design of the planned grant-funded school-based health center for Newtown Middle School on display, a presentation was held on Thursday, October 30, in the auditorium of the Queen Street school. After hearing several presentations and visiting site locations, the Board of Education unanimously approved the school-based health center for NMS in September. Last week’s presentation was scheduled to discuss and inform those in attendance about what types of services will be provided, how staff will work in partnership with NMS nurses, and what parents must do so their child can access services from the center. While Thursday’s event was open to the public, only three members of the public attended. Also in attendance were the representatives of a group that formed to look into the possibility of the school-based health center, and two representatives from School Based Health Centers of Danbury.
Connecticut Secretary of the State Denise Merrill has announced that absentee voters who cast ballots that included gubernatorial candidate Joe Visconti can withdraw those ballots by 10 am tomorrow, and re-cast new ballots in person at their appropriate voting location.