As a small choir of children sang to piano accompaniment, more than 150 visitors gathered in the warm and brightly lit Newtown Meeting House Sunday evening for an hour-long interfaith service recognizing the second anniversary of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The event marked the only public ceremony occurring across the community on December 14, although most local houses of worship held activities recognizing the anniversary earlier in the day.
Representatives of The Newtown Alumni Fund visited the Newtown Parks & Recreation office on Friday, December 5, where they delivered a $1,000 donation for the department’s Campership Fund. The donation will help pay camp fees for children next summer.
(AP) A law firm representing the families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher injured at Sandy Hook Elementary School on December 14, 2012, says it has filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting. The negligence and wrongful death lawsuit asserts that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle should not have been made publicly available because it is a military weapon unsuited for civilian use. In addition, the families have named Camfour, a firearm distributor, and Riverview Gun Sales, the store where the Bushmaster rifle was purchased in 2010.
The Catholic Committee on Scouting of The Diocese of Brooklyn and the Catholic Chaplain of JFK International Airport announce the 2014 arrival of the Peace Light from Bethlehem, Church of the Nativity, Jerusalem to the United States. The public is invited to visit Troop A barracks, 90 Lakeside Road in Southbury, on Tuesday, December 16. The Peace Light will be available between noon and 4 pm for those who wish to light their own candle or oil lamp.
After six months on the front lines, Newtown’s six-member Recovery and Resiliency Team (RRT) is taking stock of its progress while turning a wary eye toward the future. RRT Community Outreach Liaison Melissa Glaser, LPC, told The Newtown Bee heading into the second anniversary of the 12/14 tragedy that she and her colleagues are developing new resources for the community, while striving to develop a sustainable range of community and individual support networks that can respond to residents’ ongoing recovery and posttraumatic issues for years, if not decades, into the future. “I hear a lot of people say, ‘Hey, it’s been two years, things should be getting better,’” Ms Glaser said. “But experts tell us from a recovery standpoint, [Newtown is] in its infancy.”
A group of Walnut Tree Hill Road residents is monitoring the Planning and Zoning Commission’s efforts to create a new zoning designation for high-density, multifamily housing, which would include an “affordable housing” component. The group is paying close attention since one of the two local sites now being eyed by developers for such growth is land lying between Walnut Tree Hill Road and Interstate 84. At a December 4 public hearing, P&Z members reviewed a six-page proposal for a Mixed-Use, Mixed-Income Overlay Zone (MUMI-10). The proposal under review is similar to a four-page proposal that the P&Z had considered on November 20, except that the revised version includes more detail and lists a range of design standards for such development. About 20 people attended the December 4 P&Z session that included discussion of the proposal, and few had anything positive to say about it.
An industrial firm has told Planning and Zoning Commission members that it plans to reduce the scope of its controversial proposal to create zoning regulations to allow the recycling of scrap tires. Moses Velez, president of MAAK Environmental Corporation, told the P&Z at a December 4 pubic hearing that the firm was withdrawing its pending application on proposed scrap tire recycling regulations and would submit a revised application which is narrower in scope.
Following a 90-minute public hearing attended by about 50 people, Borough Zoning Commission members on Wednesday, December 10, unanimously approved issuing a special zoning permit to Newtown Hook & Ladder Company, No. 1, for the construction of a firehouse at a 3.16-acre site at 12 Church Hill Road. Hook & Ladder members at the session enthusiastically responded to the zoning approval, an action that follows the fire company’s multiple past attempts to build a new firehouse in the borough, which had failed to materialize for one reason or another.
Newtown Parks & Recreation hosted its annual Breakfast with Santa event at Newtown Middle School on Saturday, December 6.
Craft tables were available, two therapy dogs attended, Mad Science of Stratford’s “Messy Mel” Salguero and “Mathematical Mike” Elwell performed during the event, and a line of children was constantly waiting to visit with Santa.
Many parents took photos of their children posing with Santa during the event.
(AP) Anxiety, depression, guilt, sleeplessness, marital strife, drug and alcohol abuse... Two years after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the scope of the psychological damage to children, parents and others is becoming clear, and the need for treatment is likely to persist.