“Riffle-dwelling benthic macroinvertebrate sampling project” is a mouthful. Put more simply, a private coldwater fisheries conservation group recently sponsored a field project during which volunteers armed with collection gear retrieved various examples of animals from local streams and rivers in seeking to gauge those waterbodies’ cleanliness, and thus suitability as trout habitat. The type and number macroinvertebrates present serves as a general indicator of the waterbodies’ ecological health.
After reviewing new information, the Board of Education, during its meeting on October 21, voted to change its previously approved plans for a proposed Newtown High School auditorium renovation.
During its meeting on October 7, the school board voted to request a special appropriation for the project, and authorized the Public Building & Site Commission to have oversight of the renovation.
However, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, advised the board this week, after sharing that there is a new projected timetable for the renovation, to rescind its vote to give authority on the project to the Public Building & Site and to add the project to the district’s Capital Improvement Plan instead of requesting the special appropriation.
Newtown High School Principal Lorrie Rodrigue and Athletic Director Gregg Simon promoted the benefits of athletics and shared a vision for the future of sports at NHS with the Board of Education during its meeting on October 21.
“If you have been to a sports event as an educator or a parent or, of course, as a community member, you really realize how truly lucky we are of the tremendous support that is shown on behalf of our students throughout the year,” said Dr Rodrigue.
As part of the continuing construction project to replace the dual two-lane Interstate 84 bridges that cross above Center Street in the Riverside section of Sandy Hook, the state plans to make some physical changes at the construction site on westbound I-84 overnight from Wednesday to Thursday.That construction zone is located along I-84 in the area between the Rochambeau Bridge over Lake Zoar and the I-84 overpass above Alpine Road. Work to create the travel-lane shift on westbound I-84 is scheduled to start at 7 pm on Wednesday, October 29, and be completed by 6 am on Thursday, October 30, according to the state Department of Transportation (DOT). The rain date for the work is overnight Thursday, October 30, to Friday, October 31. Work for the traffic-lane shift will include the relocation of temporary pre-cast concrete barriers, the removal of existing pavement markings, the painting of new pavement markings, and traffic signage changes.
Sediment, possibly from Fairfield Hills, may have washed into a Deep Brook tributary, Land Use officials learned Monday, October 20. Residents walking through the Deep Brook Preserve — land near where Deep Brook runs below Trades Lane behind Reed ntermediate School — first noticed something in the storm water system, confirmed recently resigned Conservation Commission member Joe Hovious. Land Use Director George Benson also received notice about “siltation” where a system of runoff pipes carry water away from Fairfield Hills.
Consigli Construction Co., Inc has broken ground for Newtown’s new 87,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Sandy Hook Elementary School. With offices in Hartford, Consigli was selected as construction manager to build the new $50 million school, which will accommodate 500-plus students from prekindergarten through fourth grade. “There has been a tremendous outreach to allow everyone impacted to have a voice,” said First Selectman Pat Llodra, “and the beginning of construction will be a turning point in the community.”
The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) this week concluded its public hearing on The Preserve at Newtown, a proposed 23-lot residential subdivision on 167 acres in Dodgingtown. IWC members closed the hearing on Wednesday, October 22, following 25 minutes of discussion among IWC members and the developer about technical aspects of the project.
The second annual Charlotte’s Litter Therapy/Comfort Dog Walk-A-Thon had more than 200 registered walkers and about 40 therapy dogs with handlers participate on Saturday, October 18, at Sea Bluff Beach. The event was hosted by Newtown Kindness to celebrate the first year of the Charlotte’s Litter program, which was founded in honor of Charlotte Helen Bacon, an avid dog lover who lost her life on 12/14.
Making a request of the lakeside community, Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) members have asked residents to “rake away from the lake this fall.” Residents and officials both offer their views on possible problems with leaves dumped in the water. Lake Zoar Authority members support the CLA, said member Gary Fillion. “Word needs to get out to shoreline residents that leaves blown into the water is a problem,” he said. “When I see the lake covered in leaves, I know it’s not Mother Nature, I know it’s people blowing leaves in,” he said. The lake, he added, is “not a dumpster.” Mr Fillion has heard people say that leaves are natural, let Mother Nature handle it, “But we need to be better stewards with concerns for the ecology” of too many leaves in the water.
From “ambulance driver” Stuart Smith, who was an active responder in Newtown for more than a half-century, and local community leaders to Danbury Hospital emergency physicians and state officials, dozens and dozens of well-wishers, supporters, and curious community members poured into the shiny new Newtown Volunteer Ambulance Corps headquarters on Wasserman way for grand opening activities the weekend of October 18 and 19. Saturday was focused on thanking many of those local officials and supporters with a soiree that included a variety of food and refreshments, tours, and a 45-minute speaking program. Sunday opened with time for the town's first responders to visit the new building, and then the facility was opened to members of the public.