The Board of Education discussed an upcoming contract negotiation with district nurses and its proposed non-lapsing fund account during its meeting on Tuesday, May 6.The school board also heard from a number of people during the meetings public participation segment, all regarding the December 2012 shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School.Board Chair Debbie Leidlein informed her board negotiations for the nurses’ contract with the district are soon to be underway.Ms Leidlein said the union representatives for the nurses’ will contact the school board’s attorney, Floyd Dugas, when ready to begin negotiations. BOE member Michelle Ku and Ms Leidlein are set to represent the school board during the negotiations, and Ms Leidlein said she will update the school board with news about the negotiations once they begin. After BOE Secretary Kathy Hamilton asked if the school board could meet to discuss what its goals are for the negotiations before they begin, Ms Leidlein said, that would be appropriate.
The Newtown Public Schools Recovery Project has slated its next parent forums, to be held at Newtown High School, Middle Gate Elementary School, and Head O’ Meadow Elementary School. Each forum will be presented twice, once during the school day and again in the evening, to allow for maximum participation. Each program will run for one hour. The programs for May 13-14 will offer parents new ideas for communicating the teenagers, tips for giving children a positive and happy outlook, and ways to help children manage transitions.
With a gentle command and a little bit of peanut butter, Newtown’s off-leash dog park was officially opened on May 3. Cleo, Assistant Director of Recreation Rose Ann Reggiano’s dog, had the honor of “cutting” the ribbon to Park and Bark, Parks & Recreation’s newest park, after an opening ceremony was held late Saturday morning. Ms Reggiano admitted some peanut butter had been placed on the ribbon to help Cleo know where to chew. Once the ribbon fell, Ms Reggiano announced, “The park is open!” Guest speakers at the ceremony Saturday morning also included Parks & Recreation Director Amy Mangold, Selectman James Gaston Sr. Residents and their dogs can now visit the two-acre park located on Old Farm Road, adjacent to The Brian J. Silverlieb Animal Care and Control Center. The park is open daily, dawn to dusk.
An informational session to explain the construction aspects and cost implications of the planned expansion of the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system is scheduled for Thursday, May 8. The meeting, which is sponsored by the Water & Sewer Authority (WSA), is slated for 7 pm in the lower level conference room at Town Hall South, 3 Main Street. A regular meeting of the WSA will immediately follow. After lengthy discussion at a February town meeting, voters by an 81-to-11 margin approved borrowing $2.8 million to expand the Hawleyville sanitary sewer system as a means to spur local economic development. Expanding the Hawleyville sewer system is intended to make several large undeveloped properties there more attractive to the developers of commercial/industrial projects. Those properties are in the general vicinity of the intersection of Mt Pleasant Road and Hawleyville Road.
Since launching The Innovation Initiative in San Francisco on March 14, 2013, “a lot has been accomplished,” according to Sandy Hook Promise Co-Founder and Executive Director Tim Makris. The Innovation Initiative brought together local grassroots organizations and members of the Silicon Valley technology community to move forward on solutions to gun violence. A press release issued at that time explained the initiative is intended to be “an unprecedented effort to combat the causes of gun violence through breakthroughs in research, new technologies and new applications of existing technologies.” The Silicon Valley technology community seemed the best place to begin seeking solutions.
May is upon us and the Newtown VFW, Men’s and Ladies Auxiliaries have quite a few activities and events planned. At the most recent Post meeting, James Rebman, who was reelected to a third year as Newtown Post 308 commander, said, “Spring is when everything is renewed along with our commitment to fellow veterans and our country.”
Longtime Newtown resident Anna Wiedemann believes the measure of a person cannot be defined by their political persuasion. So it is fitting that the Democratic Town Committee’s Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey Dinner honoring her for service to the community and its citizens will be open to everyone — regardless of party affiliation. Case in point: Republican First Selectman Pat Llodra said she is eager to attend; she sent in her reservation the minute she heard about the event.