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.
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.
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.
Newtown Action Alliance will hold a rally outside the headquarters of the National Shooting Sports Foundation on Tuesday, January 20, "to expose the gun industry’s shameful record of selling military-style assault rifles that are routinely used in mass shootings, while at the same time it opposes gun safety laws and policies,” according to the announcement of the event released earlier this week. Organizers are encouraging members of the community to attend. The rally is timed to coincide with NSSF's annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show, the largest trade show of its kind, being held in Las Vegas January 20-23.
After three budget workshop meetings, the Board of Education finished hearing reports from representatives of the different areas of the superintendent’s proposed 2015-16 budget at its workshop meeting on Tuesday, January 13. The next step for the budget will be a public hearing on February 3. Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, presented his proposed 2015-16 operating budget to the school board on Tuesday, January 6, as $72,399,186, a 1.48 percent increase over the current budget of $71,345,304. Principals from the town's schools have been speaking to the board in recent works concerning the proposed budget and what it will mean for their schools.
An advisory panel charged with looking at public safety in the wake of the deadly Newtown school shooting agreed last week to include in its final report a recommendation to ban the sale and possession of any gun that can fire more than ten rounds without reloading. The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission, created by Governor Dannel P. Malloy in the wake of 12/14, confirmed on January 16 plans to complete its work next month. The report will include dozens of recommendations in three categories: law enforcement and emergency response; safe school design and operation; and mental health and wellness.
As you kick off the new year, remember that the next eight weeks will likely bring bitter cold to the Northeast. And there are many who need help braving the elements. Readers are being asked to help keep someone warm this winter by donating gently used coats, hats, and gloves to The Dorothy Day House in Danbury. The soup kitchen and overnight shelter is especially in need of men’s coats, hats with flaps over the ears or that are long enough to cover the ears, and thick gloves. Carolyn Mandarano, a member of the Missions Committee at Christ the King Lutheran Church, volunteers as part of Dorothy Day’s Shelter from the Cold program, where guests can come in from the cold to be served a hot meal. She is hoping local residents will help her help others during a collection that continues until January 24.