Newtown Forest Association will begin work shortly to enhance Nettleton Preserve, one of Newtown’s most well-known properties, located on Castle Hill Road and overlooking historic Main Street. The bulk of the 26-acre preserve was acquired from the estate of Arthur T. Nettleton, former NFA president, in 1973. Historical references show that the property was meadow as late as 1970. On or around that time, an orchard, comprising over 22 flowering fruit trees, was planted along Castle Hill Road. Over the ensuing 35 years the largest part of the meadow has reverted back to forest.
Profiles of each of the state legislative candidates candidates who will appear on local ballots on Election Day, November 4, are being offered this week by The Newtown Bee. Coverage includes the 106th, 112th, and Second Legislative District races, and the 28th District Senate contest, as well as the regional race for probate judge. Profile information on these candidates is drawn primarily from their responses to questions asked in the October 21 Newtown Bee Candidates Forum at Edmond Town Hall. Those candidates who were unable to attend were provided the opportunity to respond to those questions in writing. In addition, profiles of the regional judge of probate candidates have also been developed from position papers each candidate provided to The Bee. A replay of that televised forum is airing on Charter’s CommunityVision Channel 192, on November 2 at 2 and 8 pm.
This November’s ballot includes two candidates running for the Northern Fairfield County District Judge of Probate office. Incumbent Republican Joe Egan, Jr, a former Ridgefield probate judge, became the first Northern Fairfield County judge after local offices were regionalized in 2010. He is running for his second term, but told The Bee that he will “age out,” and if reelected, will be retiring when he turns 70 about half-way into the four-year term. Democratic probate candidate Steven Boa DeMoura may be familiar to some Newtown voters because he ran unsuccessfully for the Second Assembly District against Dan Carter in 2012.
Democratic Registrar of Voters LeReine Frampton reminds residents that the local registrars office has permanently deactivated Edmond Town Hall as a polling location. As a result, District 3-2 voters will now report to the cafetorium at Reed Intermediate School, where they will cast ballots alongside voters from the Second District. Separate stations will be set up for each district within the cafetorium. In addition, the Town Clerk's office will be open on
Democratic State Representative Kim Fawcett and Republican State Representative Tony Hwang are competing to take the seat incumbent Senator John McKinney will vacate after his term ends, and following his unsuccessful attempt to end Tom Foley’s primary bid for governor last August. Rep Hwang agreed to be a last-minute substitute for two other candidates who dropped out of The Newtown Bee’s October 21 Candidate’s Forum at Edmond Town Hall. Rep Fawcett had another commitment that evening and could not attend following her late afternoon invitation that day, so she was provided the identical questions asked at the forum.
Local voters casting absentee ballots, or appearing at the local polling sites to vote on Election Day, will be asked to vote on a proposed constitutional amendment that would have future implications for electors, according to Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. In accordance with Article 12 of the state Constitution, the following proposed amendment was approved by a majority of the total membership of each house, and is to be voted upon by the electors of each town in the state at the State Election on Tuesday, November 4: “Shall the Constitution of the State be amended to remove restrictions concerning absentee ballots and to permit a person to vote without appearing at a polling place on the day of an election?”
Each of the three Assembly Districts that overlay Newtown have major party candidates vying for seats. The 106th District has Democratic challenger Matt Cole facing incumbent Republican first-term Representative Mitch Bolinsky; the Second District has Democratic challenger Candace Fay taking on incumbent Republican Dan Carter; and the 112th District has Republican J.P. Sredzinski facing Democrat Jen Aguilar for a seat being vacated by five-term incumbent DebraLee Hovey. Both Ms Fay and Ms Aguilar dropped out of The Newtown Bee’s October 21 Candidates Forum at Edmond Town Hall because of sudden family health concerns, so they responded to identical questions asked of Mr Cole, and Reps Bolinsky and Carter at the forum.
The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) has approved a gas station/convenience store’s proposal to install an automated car wash at its property to increase the range of services that it offers customers. Following a public hearing held earlier this month, the P&Z approved modifying a special permit held by Sundaram LLC for 64 Church Hill Road, thus allowing the firm to install the car wash at Newtown Mobil. The car wash proposal also requires approval from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. It has already received approved from the Police Commission and Water & Sewer Authority.
A parcel of land near Halfway River is among 2,250 acres statewide now adding to Connecticut’s open space. A 36.9-acre Chestnut Hill Open Space preserve has received a $110,000 grant award of roughly $7.8 million in state funds. Deputy Director of Planning and Land Use Rob Sibley is “thrilled,” he said Tuesday, the same day the grant was announced by Governor Dannel M. Malloy. The grant is a matching grant to reimburse Newtown, which in past years has made investments in its open space. “This is exactly why we work so hard at all town levels to have funding in place to purchase open space,” Mr Sibley said. “We can think toward preservation and the state rewards municipalities that plan well.” On Tuesday, Gov Malloy announced that nearly $7.8 million in state grants will assist 25 communities in purchasing 2,237 acres to be preserved as open space. In addition, $96,250 was awarded to establish community gardens in New Haven and Norwalk.
Sharing a short story with the Fairfield Hills Authority Monday, Parks and Recreation Director Amy Mangold offered a glimpse of what “makes me feel good” about her job: A woman stopped her recently while on the Fairfield Hills grounds, saying she had to leave her child’s bike behind as they walked through a meadow, which the bike couldn’t cross. The woman had said to Ms Mangold, “Wouldn’t it be great if we had a trail going all the way around the campus?” She then told the authority: “It was one of those times that I had the right answer.” An additional stretch of trail “is coming,” she said, which will connect an area of meadow with the existing trails.