Newtown resident Rob Cox was in Burlington, Vt., Friday, October 10, to receive the 2014 Alumni Achievement Award from the University of Vermont, honoring the mission of Sandy Hook Promise. The editor-in-chief of Breakingviews, Mr Cox is also a co-founder and the vice chairman of the local organization formed in the wake of 12/14. He said he was honored that his alma mater wanted to acknowledge the work of Sandy Hook Promise, even though he would “trade pretty much anything not to be here accepting this award,” knowing it was rooted in the events of 12/14.
A Connecticut Department of Transportation traffic update is warning motorists to expect delays on Interstate 84 between the hours of 8 pm and 5 am beginning tomorrow, Wednesday, October 15 through at least Friday, October 17. The DOT has implemented a nighttime maintenance project on the bridges over Hanover Road and Boulevard in Newtown. Modifications or extensions to this schedule may become necessary due to weather delays or other unforeseen conditions, according to the release. Impact attenuators, traffic control personnel and signing patterns will be working to guide travelers through the work zone, but motorists are asked to maintain a safe speed while driving in this vicinity.
The Police Commission plans to have an engineering firm review traffic flow on Key Rock Road to determine the best measures to control speeding on the northern section of that mile-long north-south connector road. Police Commission members discussed the “traffic calming” topic at an October 7 session, in response to a Key Rock Road resident’s request that a speed table be installed near her home at 8 Key Rock Road to hold down traffic speeds. The street has a posted 20-mph speed limit. Several years ago, the town installed two speed tables on the northern section of Key Rock Road in response to a North Branch Road man’s drive for better speed control on Key Rock Road. Those speed tables are located on Key Rock about 1,100 feet south of Sugar Street, and on Key Rock Road just north of its intersection with North Branch Road. The Police Commission has been discussing speeding issues on Key Rock Road for approximately five years.
Newtown Parks & Recreation Department has announced that work scheduled to take place on Tuesday, October 14, at FunSpace II lead to a temporary closing of the playground. The playground, within Dickinson Park on Elm Drive, will close at 10 am Tuesday. It will remain closed for the remainder of the day.
Local electrician Ken Burns has fond memories of his youth living with his family at a compact ranch-style house at 82 Berkshire Road in Sandy Hook. He recalls days of playing in the spacious backyard amid fields and trees which lead to the rustic, winding Sugarloaf Road. In the past, the area was generally agricultural, he noted. A large working farm stood across Sugarloaf Road in the area now proposed for the 42-lot Sherman Woods cluster-style residential subdivision. Today, Mr Burns, the proprietor of Ken Burns Electrical Contractors Inc, of Hawleyville, is overseeing the swift construction of a new house at the Berkshire Road site.
Three Connecticut lawmakers are among the 60 members of Congress who have signed a letter, dated September 30, to Gina McCarthy, administrator at the US Environmental Protection Agency. Elizabeth Esty (D-Fifth Congressional District), Rosa DeLauro (D-Third Congressional District), and James Hines (D-Fourth Congressional District) have joined in requesting the EPA to consider recent findings from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Task Force on Systemic Insecticides that have linked the environmental accumulation of systemic pesticides, such as the neonicotinoids, to negative impacts on land and water wildlife. Water-soluble neonicotinoids break down slowly in the environment, allowing them to be taken up by plants, and providing protection from insects. Neonicotinoids include acetamiprid, clothianidin, imidacloprid, nitenpyram, nithiazine, thiacloprid and thiamethoxam, with imidacloprid being the most widely used.
Over the past decade, an increasing public awareness about treating and preventing concussions, especially among younger rec league, school, and college athletes, has brought the issue out of emergency rooms and into living rooms. It now concerns not just coaches, but whole communities. According to the governor’s office, 13.5 percent of high school students self-reported getting a concussion during sports. Fortunately for local student athletes the local school district, and particularly Newtown High School, is already ahead of the game when it comes to responding to and addressing students who may be exposed to, or who have already suffered, concussions. Little did Athletic Director Gregg Simon know that his planned info session would occur the evening after Mr Cochran made his potentially career-ending decision.
Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) members are reviewing revised and expanded technical information provided by the developers of The Preserve at Newtown, a proposed 23-lot residential subdivision on 167 acres in Dodgingtown. On October 8, the IWC held a public hearing on the proposed cluster-style development, which seeks to concentrate new single-family houses in two areas on the site in order to leave approximately one-half of the overall tract as undeveloped open space land. Such land would be open to the public for passive forms of recreation, such as hiking and nature study. About 25 residents attended the October 8 IWC session.
Beekeeper and resident Jeff Shwartz has been hearing a lot about wasps. He said, “I got more calls this year about wasps than any other year,” which may be because he has been doing bee and wasp removal for a long time and more people know about him, he said. Or, this year has been "good" for the wasps, he said. He and others agree that the number of ground nests and wasp activity is up this year.