Newtown residents and visitors to Sandy Hook have undoubtedly noticed recent improvements in the village center. Phase II of the new streetscape, with sidewalks, pedestrian-oriented lighting and amenities, was recently completed, enhancing the visual impression and creating a more enjoyable and walkable environment. Events and activities, such as Passport to Sandy Hook, The Great Pootatuck Duck Race, and the Sandy Hook Tree Lighting have been successful in bringing people to the village to celebrate and enjoy each other’s company. A new branding and marketing program has been developed for Sandy Hook Village, and the community is gearing up to launch new promotional material that will benefit small businesses with the impending hire of a brand steward. Now, the village is working on the nuts and bolts of creating a strategic action plan, and the public is invited to participate. A Sandy Hook Action Planning Workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 12, at Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company's main station. Hosted by Sandy Hook Organization for Prosperity, the community is invited to attend and help craft the plan.
Responding to a call from The Newtown Bee, the operators of Newtown’s independently owned RadioShack store said on March 4 they will remain open even as its corporate owners are announcing the closure of about 1,100 other company-owned stores across the country. RadioShack Corporation announced on Tuesday that it plans to close about a fifth of its US locations. The news came as the retailer reported a wider quarterly loss after a disappointing holiday season. Long known as a destination for batteries and obscure electronic parts, RadioShack has sought to remake itself as a specialist in wireless devices and accessories. But growth in the wireless business is slowing, as more people have smartphones and see fewer reasons to upgrade. In addition to slashing costs and shuffling management, RadioShack has been renovating its stores with a more modern look. The company said that the stores targeted for closings are being selected based on location, area demographics, lease duration, and financial performance.
The Newtown Chamber of Commerce will continue its free monthly networking events — which are free and open to all local business professionals — on Wednesday, March 12, at 8 am. The event will be held at Sal e Pepe Contemporary Italian Bistro, and will feature Neil Holme of Impact Business Technology. Mr Holme is slated to be speaking about “Technology Trends,” including an overview of how to keep a business up to date with emerging equipment, as well as the benefits of embracing evolving technological advances. Light refreshments will be served. Reservations are not needed.
The Northern Fairfield Professionals, a networking group focusing on people in transition, will meet Tuesday, March 11, from 5:30 to 8 pm, at the Knights of Columbus building. Entrepreneurs and business professionals are invited to join the group for networking, followed by a presentation at 6 by Mark Troncone on “Everything that you wanted to know about networking, but were afraid to try.” Admission is free.
The Working Women’s Forum, an association of local professionals and entrepreneurs, will feature “Refining Your Public Speaking: Deliver Your Message Effectively” with Newtown resident and IT professional Alenda Calderbank on Wednesday, March 12, at The Villa Restaurant. Networking and light dinner begin at 6 pm, followed by the guest speaker. Many people find public speaking to be daunting, and have been discouraged from pursuing opportunities in order to avoid it, according to Ms Calderbank, a member of Toastmasters since 2005. In her talk, she will describe ways to get comfortable speaking before a group.
As president and chief operating officer for Stamford-based Frontier Communications, Sandy Hook resident Dan McCarthy has a unique vantage point as his company moves through the process of taking over Connecticut’s residential phone and communications services and infrastructure from AT&T. On December 17, 2013, Frontier Communications announced an agreement to acquire AT&T’s wireline properties in Connecticut. Mr McCarthy expects the transition to close in the second half of 2014 while AT&T continues to provide service to its local customers.
On the strength of data compiled in a survey produced mainly by two Newtown residents, Governor Dannel Malloy announced that the state Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and its Office of Tourism’s “Still Revolutionary” campaign is paying off in a revolutionary way. New tracking results demonstrate the $22 million Statewide Tourism Marketing Fund investment over the course of 18 months has generated measurable gains in overall tourism spending to the state and has helped increase positive awareness of Connecticut as a place to visit. Since its inception, “Still Revolutionary,” the state’s award-winning marketing campaign, has reached target consumers in key markets with its message nearly 646 million times. According to a study conducted by strategic research firm Harrison Group, the effort is estimated to have generated dramatic shifts in perception about the state...
Ed “Coconut Ed” Hartz of Sandy Hook founded Noelani Coconut Water in 2012, and recently announced the opening of its first retail store, in collaboration with The Molecule Store, at 259 East 10th Street, Manhattan. Mr Hartz began delivering Noelani Coconut Water to customers in the Hamptons last summer, and currently provides delivery to Scarsdale in Westchester County, Boston, various districts of Manhattan, and several towns in Fairfield County. What is good news for Newtown residents, Mr Hartz said, is that he will begin delivery service to Sandy Hook and Newtown homes and businesses in February.
Ronna Brier, certified consulting hypnotist, opened her office inside the Sound Center, at 31 Hawleyville Road (Route 25), in October. Certified by the National Guild of Hypnotists in 2012, Ms Brier also teaches psychology at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury. Ms Brier provides hypnosis for adults, primarily for smoking cessation and weight loss. Hypnosis can also be used to treat other issues, such as migraine headaches, stress, anxieties, and phobias, she said.
Nick Pirraglia and his son Daniel took ownership of King’s Restaurant on Route 25 in April 2012, but it is only recently that he has finished the first phase of sprucing up the iconic breakfast and lunch place, said Mr Pirraglia. Mr Pirraglia brings many years of food experience to King’s. “I grew up in the Bronx making pizzas,” he said, and for the past 30 years has owned Nick’s Corner Market in Armonk, N.Y., now under the management of his son, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. King’s now offers breakfast or lunch items on an all-day basis, from 8 am to 3 pm, seven days of the week. The only exceptions are items from the fryer, which are not available first thing in the morning.