In the weeks leading up to this Saturday’s nine-hour Relay for Life, community members and teams that will take the field at Newtown High School’s Blue & Gold Stadium have been busy raising funds and attention about this significant, community-wide celebration of cancer survivors, caregivers, and the many friends, neighbors and family members who have lost the fight. There were raffles, car washes, beer and wine tastings, flocks of pink flamingos, last weekend’s “Power of Purple” arts festival, and dozens of other lead-up activities all aimed at making this year’s Relay for Life a huge success. Now 11 years strong, the local American Cancer Society fund and awareness-raising, non-sporting / non-competitive event has already raised more than $2.5 million. The June 13 relay opens at 3 pm and ends at midnight.
Newtown resident and Friendly Town Chairperson Marie Athans says The Fresh Air Fund is seeking more families to welcome inner city children to a summer vacation through the Fresh Air Fund this summer. With buses from New York City bringing the first group of children to Newtown and area towns as soon as the end of this month, she is still working to pair more children with local families for July and August.
After presenting information, which he said took more than 40 hours to compile with interested Hawley School parents and PTA members, Democratic Selectman and Borough of Newtown Warden James Gaston, Sr said he plans to share a school closing cost/benefit analysis with Borough Burgesses June 9. The local official, who lives on Main Street not far from the school, said he has myriad concerns, and can counter district assertions that potentially closing the elementary school will save taxpayers money, both immediately and in the long run. Mr Gaston, who was former vice-chair of the Board of Finance, said that by his calculations, closing Hawley School will cost each Newtown taxpayer around $40 annually because of a decline in property values. But that is far from the selectman’s only worries.
Motorists traveling in both directions on Interstate 84 in Newtown on the morning of Monday, June 8, encountered extensive travel delays following serious motor vehicle accidents that occurred on both sides of the highway. That traffic congestion spilled over onto local roads during the morning commute, as motorists either sought alternate routes or were directed by state police to detours off the highway.
Owners of electric powered vehicles, including those that may be part of the town’s future municipal fleet, could soon cruise into Fairfield Hills or Edmond Town Hall parking lot and plug-in for a free “top-off.” The Board of Selectmen on June 1 charged several local officials, including Public Works Director Fred Hurley and members of the local Sustainable Energy Commission, to gather data in preparation for filing a grant application to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). That agency announced the first of several rounds of grants that would go to state municipalities to help establish a more robust network of electric vehicle charging stations, particularly focusing on areas lacking those facilities now.
Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, noted at the Board of Education’s meeting on Tuesday, June 2, that the educators who will be retiring at the end of this school year have spent a total of 354 years working in the district.
Recognizing and celebrating the “careers of master teachers,” Dr Erardi said, is one of his favorite things to do as a superintendent.
“And this evening… I think we will all be in agreement that 354 years of service that will be standing in front of you at some point, is simply amazing,” said Dr Erardi.
A lightning strike that occurred sometime during the weekend of May 29–31, damaged electrical lines in the town-owned Fairfield Hills water supply system, resulting in a series of events that caused the failure of two major water pumps in the system. After a low-water alarm at the Fairfield Hills water storage tanks sounded on May 30, town officials took steps to keep the water supply system functioning by having large water tanker trucks repeatedly replenish the water levels in the two tanks. Those tanks have a combined million-gallon capacity. Town Public Works Director Fred Hurley said June 4 that repairs to one of the two damaged pumps, which are known as booster pumps, allowed the system late on the afternoon of June 3 to resume the pumping of water from the Wasserman Way pumphouse up to the two storage tanks, which are located several thousand feet away atop a rise at Fairfield Hills.
The Second Company Governor’s Horse Guard unit in Newtown will be spared from state budget cuts, State Representative Mitch Bolinsky (R-106) told to The Bee Wednesday afternoon in an email confirming the “great news.”
Newtown’s registrars of voters both said they liked stipulations in a new bill proposed by Secretary of the State Denise Merrill that provide for training and continued professional development to assure state communities and voters experience the best equipped elections officials and poll workers each time the exercise their opportunities to vote. Secretary of the State Denise Merrill joined the Registrars of Voters Association of Connecticut (ROVAC) June 1 praising the Connecticut State Senate for unanimously passing Senate Bill No. 1051 “An Act Strengthening Connecticut Elections.” With a vote of 36-0, State Senators of both political parties approved the bill to enhance accountability and professionalism among Connecticut’s registrars of voters, who are charged with administering elections in Connecticut.
Residents are invited to take advantage of a cost-effective opportunity to have pet cats and dogs vaccinated against rabies. The annual rabies clinic will take place Saturday, June 20, from 10 am to noon, in the gymnasium of Edmond Town Hall.