As a preview to The Newtown Bee’s annual Candidates Forum Tuesday, October 21, the Newtown Action Alliance held a scaled down session that featured four individuals running for state offices in districts that include or overlap the community. The 90-minute forum served as a promotional event for the Alliance, formed in the weeks following the tragedy at Sandy Hook School, as well as a showcase for participating political veterans and newcomers to articulate their feelings on issues from gun safety and common core standards for educators, to taxation and same-sex marriage. At several points during the event moderator and Newtown High School history teacher Jason Edwards broke from the questions and answers to read material about several aspects of the Alliance, including its foundation and Junior Alliance, many of whose members attended.
Newtown Parks & Recreation programs that were scheduled at Newtown High School today and tomorrow may be affected due to a pair of NHS programs. Anyone planning to present or participate in a Parks & Rec event should note that a big football game tonight and the annual Grasso Festival tomorrow night means Parks & Rec events that had been planned at the high school have been cancelled.
With the hiring of two new police patrol officers, the police department is now up to its full complement of 45 sworn members. Town Clerk Debbie Aurelia Halstead gave the oath of office to both officers in ceremonies held on October 2 at Newtown Municipal Center.
The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a three-lot residential subdivision for the west side of Taunton Lane, about 650 feet south of Mt Pleasant Road. Following a recent public hearing, P&Z members approved the project for 10 Taunton Lane for a firm known as Ten Taunton Lane, LLC, which owns the 11.8-acre site. The site currently holds one house.
Police Commission Chairman Paul Mangiafico has told Police Commission members that the superintendent of schools has commended Newtown Police Department command staff members for their work following the October 1 bomb threat received at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Monroe. At an October 7 Police Commission session, Mr Mangiafico told the four other commission members that he had met with School Superintendent Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, for a discussion. The superintendent had documented in a letter his appreciation for the police department command staff’s help following the bomb scare, Mr Mangiafico said.
A Danbury firm hired by the town has demolished a Great Hill Road house that was heavily damaged by a June 2011 fire of undetermined origin. The demolition eliminates the previously hazardous conditions at the property, which had drawn concerns from some of the residents in the neighborhood. During the week of October 6, All Star Welding & Demolition of Danbury used its heavy equipment to tear down the fire-scarred single-family house, attached garage, and swimming pool shelter, among other objects, at 31 Great Hill Road, near its intersection with Castle Hill Road. Town Director of Planning George Benson that that the town playing for the demolition of privately owned property is unusual. Public safety hazards led the town to choose the option of paying for the demolition and removing the hazards, he said.
Newtown resident Rob Cox was in Burlington, Vt., Friday, October 10, to receive the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Vermont, honoring the mission of Sandy Hook Promise. The editor-in-chief of Breakingviews, Mr Cox is also a co-founder and the vice chairman of the local organization formed in the wake of 12/14. He said he was honored that his alma mater wanted to acknowledge the work of Sandy Hook Promise, even though he would “trade pretty much anything not to be here accepting this award,” knowing it was rooted in the events of 12/14.
The Police Commission plans to have an engineering firm review traffic flow on Key Rock Road to determine the best measures to control speeding on the northern section of that mile-long north-south connector road. Police Commission members discussed the “traffic calming” topic at an October 7 session, in response to a Key Rock Road resident’s request that a speed table be installed near her home at 8 Key Rock Road to hold down traffic speeds. The street has a posted 20-mph speed limit. Several years ago, the town installed two speed tables on the northern section of Key Rock Road in response to a North Branch Road man’s drive for better speed control on Key Rock Road. Those speed tables are located on Key Rock about 1,100 feet south of Sugar Street, and on Key Rock Road just north of its intersection with North Branch Road. The Police Commission has been discussing speeding issues on Key Rock Road for approximately five years.