Starbucks says guns are no longer welcome in its cafes, though it is stopping short of an outright ban on firearms. The fine line that the retailer is walking to address the concerns of both gun rights and gun control advocates reflects how heated the issue has become, particularly in light of recent mass shootings. Starbucks CEO Howard Schulz said on Tuesday, September 17, that the company has decided to ask customers to no longer bring firearms into stores or outdoor seating areas unless they are authorized law enforcement personnel. The decision followed a number of "Starbucks Appreciation Days," which the CEO said have mischaracterized the company's stance on the gun debate and have made customers uncomfortable.
The Newtown Bee received a copy Tuesday, September 17, of an e-mail letter of resignation from C.H. Booth Library Director Shawn Fields, sent to members of the Board of Trustees of the C.H. Booth Library. The e-mail was sent at 11:46 am on Monday, September 16, and stated that following conversations with his wife this past weekend, they had “decided together that it would be best if I did not work here, effective immediately.”Mr Fields has been the brunt of public criticism since this summer, beginning with the elimination of longtime reference librarian Andrea Zimmermann’s position. Ms Zimmermann declined another position at that time.At a series of three focus group sessions hosted by Mr Fields in August, during which he had hoped to receive input on what the public did or did not want to see as the library moved into the future, he instead received a stream of criticism concerning his perceived poor relationship to the staff, and rumored changes to the physical layout of the library.Many members of the public expressed concerns that the new library director was considering implementing changes far too early on in his employ, and taken on staff training duties for which he was not qualified...
The New York State Department of Transportation is replacing two bridges carrying Interstate 84 over Dingle Ridge Road in Southeast, N.Y. The work is being accelerated to minimize traffic impacts, but will require the interstate to be closed in that area during two upcoming weekends: September 21-22 and either September 29-30 or October 5-6.
After a three-year process, the Board of Selectmen received the latest update to the Fairfield Hills Master Plan during its September 16 meeting. The relatively brief presentation by Land Use Director George Benson and Master Plan Review Committee member Deborra Zukowski elicited a couple of tense interactions with Selectmen Will Rodgers and James Gaston over the reintroduction of housing as a possible development consideration. But First Selectman Pat Llodra said that to block discussion because some are afraid of where the idea could go does not represent the kind of community Newtown is.
(AP) A nonprofit group in Newtown that has worked with families who lost relatives in the school shooting last year on tougher gun laws says the recall of two lawmakers in Colorado does not diminish public support for such measures. Two Democratic state lawmakers who backed tighter gun laws in the aftermath of mass shootings have been kicked out of office. Sandy Hook Promise says the recall does not change Colorado's newly strengthened gun laws or diminish broad public support for gun safety and responsibility.
For those who have something to say about how mental health parity laws are being followed, here’s your chance: The Connecticut Insurance Department is soliciting written comments on how it can ensure that insurance companies comply with state and federal laws requiring that they treat mental health the same way they treat medical issues. The move is required by the law passed earlier this year in response to the events of 12/14. The legislation drew most attention for its provisions relating to firearms, but it also included several provisions related to mental health. The department has launched a website to accept electronic comments. People can also send comments by mail, hand deliver them or send them by courier. Comments will be accepted until October 15.
(AP) A state agency has told a Bridgeport business owner who coordinated the relocation of equipment from the Sandy Hook school where 26 people were fatally shot that it misused its logo and asked him to stop. The Hearst Connecticut Media Group reports that Al Barbarotta of Conveo Energy was approached by the Malloy administration in December to coordinate relocating school equipment from Sandy Hook Elementary School free of charge. A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection told The Associated Press on September 13 that a lawyer for the state told Mr Barbarotta the agency’s logo may not be used for sales or marketing.
Lawmakers studying dozens of changes proposed to Massachusetts’ gun laws in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., said they hoped to craft a single comprehensive bill that balanced the desire to reduce gun violence with the rights of legitimate gun owners. The Legislature’s Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held the fifth and final in a series of statewide public hearings Friday, September 13, drawing hundreds of people to the Statehouse. Among those who testified before the committee on Friday were Nicole Hockley and Mark Barden of Sandy Hook.
In conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations Child Passenger Safety Week, September 15–21, the Newtown Police Department will be conducting Child Safety Seat Enforcement. During the enforcement period, Newtown officers will be maintaining a high profile while enforcing child safety seat protection laws during all traffic stops. Officers will focus on proper use of child safety seats for children.
Absentee ballots are now available for the Saturday, October 5, referendum, which will be held from 6 am to 8 pm at the Newtown Middle School Gymnasium. The purpose of the vote is to register public consensus on the town accepting state financial assistance to remediate and demolish the Sandy Hook School building, and to design and build a new school in Sandy Hook.