Community House-Senior Center Approved in Spirit

by Diana Stricker | May 26, 2016 7:08 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker Photo The plan to renovate the Community House and include a Senior Center could be approved by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission next week.

The commissioners seemed in favor of the project when they discussed it following a 90-minute public hearing last Thursday.

“I think the use is a great concept,” said Charles Andres, who chairs the commission.

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Train Station Grand Opening: Getting Closer

by Sally E. Bahner | May 25, 2016 7:13 am | Comments (3)

Sally E. Bahner Photo Department of Transportation officials are counting down the weeks to the completion of the Branford Train Station redo, a project that has been in the works since May 2013 and when finished will provide two-way train travel.

As of December 2015, much of the work hinged on installation of the elevators, which enable access to the north side of the tracks. According to DOT Chief Inspector Mark Fullerton, they have now been installed, but have not yet passed inspection. “State elevator inspectors will perform that,” Fullerton said. “Hopefully within a week or so.”

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State Rep. Lonnie Reed Kicks Off Campaign

by marcia chambers | May 24, 2016 6:59 am | Comments (2)

State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) kicked off her 2016 election campaign last week, saying it was time to “re-imagine Connecticut,” to bring back the economy, and to build on the town’s bio-tech, medical and manufacturing sectors to help lead the way. 

She described the difficult last days of the legislative session and the serious cuts to the state budget “because the money is just not coming in. ...It is never going to rain money the way it was when we were living in the bubble like everybody else.”

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Inside Branford’s New U.S. Army Reserve Training Center

by Diana Stricker | May 23, 2016 7:00 am | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker Photo The U.S. Army Reserve Training Center in Branford is scheduled for completion by the end of next month, and will soon provide state-­of­-the­ art training for about 300 reservists.

Diana Stricker Photo The center at 777 East Main St. is set back from the roadway and is accessed by an entry road from Route 1. It’s located on 15 acres of the former 86-acre Bittersweet Farm property, not far from Exit 56 and from where a new Costco warehouse and seven other commercial buildings have been proposed.

A private advanced tour revealed an impressive complex featuring a 39,000 square-­foot main building, pictured at top, where offices and classrooms are located. About 175 reservists will be on site any given weekend.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | May 20, 2016 2:59 pm

The name of the game this week is Enrichment. There are so many opportunities to learn new things without leaving the borders of Branford: the arts, nature, healthy lifestyles, plus an opportunity to meet talented local authors, take part in local tradition – and in the next week – dine on fine local seafood for a good cause.

Restaurant of the Week: GW Carson’s

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Parents Confront BOE on Walsh Bullying Problem

by Sally E. Bahner | May 20, 2016 7:10 am | Comments (2)

Sally E. Bahner Photo The Board of Education (BOE) Wednesday night faced a barrage of emotional comments and criticism from Walsh Intermediate School parents whose children have been the victims of bullying, allegedly by a seventh grade “Project Choice” student. Project Choice is a longtime program that enables the two-way movement of urban and suburban students in the areas neighboring Connecticut’s three largest cities.

The parents spoke during the public comments segment of the meeting, preceded by the warning from BOE chair Michael Krause that individual students could not be discussed and that the incidents will be investigated and actions taken as deemed appropriate. He said the board was not going to offer specific responses to the parents’ comments.

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Will Ahern Get IWC Review Results Before Commissioners Get Canned?

by Diana Stricker | May 19, 2016 7:21 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker Photo Third Selectman Jack Ahern told First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove he wants to know the outcome of the town’s review of Inland Wetlands personnel before any votes are taken to replace commissioners.

Ahern addressed the issues at Wednesday’s meeting of the Board of Selectmen (BOS) held at Fire headquarters. The Inland Wetlands commissioners, whose terms expire May 31, were not on the agenda, but several appointments and reappointments to other boards and commissions were made. Ahern said he didn’t receive the agenda with the listing of names until the day before the meeting.

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Girls Lacrosse Beats West Haven 16-5

by Bill O'Brien | May 18, 2016 7:23 am

Bill O'Brien Photo The Branford girls’ lacrosse team is having a special year. After losing their opening game to Old Lyme 10-8 on April 5 the Hornets have rattled off 11 straight victories.

Bill O'Brien Photo Last week the Lady Hornets played West Haven at Home and defeated the Blue Devils by a score of 16-5. Five sophomores, led by Autumn McHenry (see top photo above)with four goals, scored 14 of the 16 goals for Branford. She also had four assists.

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Dems and Republicans Spar Over RTM Budget

by marcia chambers | May 17, 2016 11:00 am

Marcia Chambers Photo A $105,891,000 town-school budget for 2016-17 was approved last week after reductions of $292,306 were voted on at a divided and testy Representative Town Meeting (RTM) at the legislative body’s annual budget meeting at Fire Headquarters. 

Last March, after the Board of Finance (BOF) approved a combined school-town budget of $106M, the Republicans and Democrats held hearings, committee by committee where they listened to the budget needs of department heads. By town law the RTM may decrease the BOF budget but may not increase it.

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