As the only state representative whose district lies completely within the borders of Newtown, Mitch Bolinsky appropriately readied for his second term in the statehouse by going back to those very constituents for suggestions for bills to propose in the current legislative session. Those constituents responded in earnest, providing input for most of the 27 proposals Rep Bolinsky is either authoring, co-authoring, or sponsoring this year.
After several reminders from Chairman Kyle Lyddy that Newtown’s Permanent Memorial Commission is not discouraged by low turnouts at their public information forums, Lions Club President Robert Schmidt suggested that there may be a good reason why so many seats in the high school lecture hall remained empty January 20. “The diversity of your group inspires trust,” Mr Schmidt said. “Maybe that explains why not a lot of people are here tonight — they trust you.” Neither that observation, nor the elementary questions about how many memorials might be planned, where those tributes to the 26 who lost their lives on 12/14 might be located, or when the committee planned to complete its work seemed to faze Mr Lyddy or the commissioners in attendance.
Volunteer firefighting is not a simple task. During all types of weather and at any time of day or night, an emergency call may sound, summoning firefighters from wherever they may be, and whatever they may be doing to respond to the scene of an emergency. For the past half century in Newtown, Bill Halstead has been among those who showed up to help. On January 18, 1965, the day he turned 16, Mr Halstead volunteered as a Sandy Hook firefighter. He has been fighting fires and responding to emergencies ever since in Sandy Hook, in adjacent fire districts within Newtown, and on mutual aid calls out of town. He has worked his way through the ranks and has, since 1978, been serving as Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue's chief since 1978.
Side by side, but definitely not arm in arm, supporters of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and Newtown Action Alliance (NAA) lined Mile Hill Road in front of NSSF headquarters Tuesday afternoon, January 20. Approximately 100 people gathered there, nearly evenly divided between factions, responding to a call put out last week by NAA to rally on the first day of the SHOT (Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas, sponsored by NSSF. While the winter sun cast its setting rays through the chilly air, both sides raised signs supporting their views on gun control issues. Few voices were raised, however, during the civil, one-hour protest.
(AP) Gunmaker Remington has moved a lawsuit filed against it by families of those shot in the Sandy Hook school massacre from state to federal court, where at least one expert says it has less chance of succeeding. Nine families sued Remington and others in Bridgeport Superior Court in December arguing the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle used in the shooting should not have been sold for civilian use because of its overwhelming firepower. A tenth family joined the lawsuit adding a wrongful death claim.
The 2015-16 school calendar unanimously passed the Board of Education during its meeting on Tuesday, January 20.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, said the 2015-16 school calendar presented to the school board this week represents community input and responses to concerns voiced by school board members.
“Most important, you never lost sight of what the calendar should represent, and that is [what’s] best for students,” said the superintendent.
Dr Erardi also highlighted a few things in the calendar, including a before-school professional development pilot in October and a changed plan for November conference dates, which were moved to earlier in the month away from the Thanksgiving break.
Newtown Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 308 Ladies Auxiliary members are celebrating. Several members received their 20-year pins Saturday, January 10, “a little something to make the day a little more special and let them know they are appreciated,” said Auxiliary member Susan Dlouhy. “If not for them we would not be as far along as we are.” Those receiving their 20-year pins are also the auxiliary’s founding members: Cheryl Barszcz, Rose Holland, Del Livingston, Jill Metcalf, Jan Moran, Mary Orten, Joyce Staudinger, Eleanor Sturges, Debbie Sturges, and Evelyn Urban. Others have been presented with five- and ten-year pins. A few members recently looked back over the past two decades, and shared why they joined the auxiliary, which exists to support the VFW Post members.
A land development firm has sued the Water & Sewer Authority, seeking to have a judge order the WSA to expand the municipal sanitary sewer service district so that all of a 35-acre parcel at 79 Church Hill Road is placed within the sewer district, not just a three-acre section of the parcel, as is now the case. Developer Sirjohn Papageorge of Trumbull, doing business as 79 Church Hill Road, LLC, is seeking to construct a large multifamily housing complex at that site, which would have vehicle access from the adjacent Walnut Tree Hill Road. Newtown's Public Works Director said the WSA turned down “without prejudice” the developer’s application for sewer service for the 35-acre site because the application was incomplete and did not contain information such as number of dwellings and wastewater treatment capacity. The lawsuit, said Fred Hurley, was unnecessary.