Cosgrove & Ahern Disagree over Building Commission Role

by Diana Stricker | Feb 13, 2017 8:14 am

Diana Stricker Photo The Board of Selectmen (BOS) approved the next phases of the Senior Center/Community House project but not without dissent from the third selectman over the absence of the building commission during the first 40 percent of the design process.

The BOS also appointed a special building committee to oversee construction of the new Indian Neck Fire House.

First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove said it’s time to take the next steps now that the Board of Finance (BOF) and the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) have approved the $12.1 million renovation and expansion of the Senior Center/Community House.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 11, 2017 9:27 am

Thursday’s storm packed a pretty good wallop and what might be a lot more snow is expected over the next few days, beginning Sunday, so keep an eye to the sky. Hearty souls and eagle lovers can still take advantage of tours, talks, and exhibits – this is the best time of year do this. There are also other opportunities to learn about the wild side of the area, including Long Island. For those who prefer tamer activities, there’s music tonight and looking ahead, the best of craft beer! 

Saturday, Feb. 11

Transatlantic mix at Branford Folk

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Winter Wakes Up

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 10, 2017 7:12 am | Comments (1)

Bill O'Brien Photo After a relatively mild season that included temperatures in the 50s, winter woke up like a bear from hibernation.

A New England classic, Storm Niko dumped around a foot of blowing snow at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour during its height, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. yesterday. Unlike January’s storm, which had the courtesy to strike on a weekend, Niko made its appearance just in time for the work day.

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K-9 Joker, Police Handler Abruptly Leave P.D.

by marcia chambers | Feb 8, 2017 8:40 am | Comments (3)

Mary Johnson Photo UPDATE—Police Officer Luigi Amasino and his canine partner, Joker, abruptly left the police department last month, according to several sources. Their departures came after Branford police conducted internal investigations into two events, one in which Joker bit a teenage boy and another in which he bit a firefighter with whom he was playing ball. 

The incident involving the teen, who attends Branford High School, occurred last August; the incident involving the fireman took place in October when the firefighter and the dog were playing with a tennis ball at fire headquarters. Apparently Joker and the fireman went for the ball at the same time and Joker, thinking it was his ball, bit the fireman’s hand. The officer was taken to the hospital where his hand was stitched up, according to those familiar with the event. The bite was not deemed premeditated. Another inquiry may have been initiated. 

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Legislators Confront Budget Crisis with Few Answers

by marcia chambers | Feb 7, 2017 8:27 am | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers Photo At a lively legislative breakfast Saturday lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed that a legacy of debt, along with diminished legislative control over the state’s budget, has created a major fiscal crisis that may well result in rising property taxes for Connecticut’s homeowners. 

More than 50 people attended the annual League of Women Voters (LWV) breakfast at the Evergreen Woods retirement community in North Branford. There they listened and questioned the men and women who represent them in Hartford. Carol Reimers, president of the LWV of the East Shore, welcomed the group.

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Hornets Stand at 6-6

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 6, 2017 8:20 am

Bill O'Brien Photo When you are a hockey team midway through the season playing at or below .500, every game is important to win in order to reach your goal to qualify for the state tournament. The Hornets are trying to attain their goal.

Last Wednesday, the Hornets defeated Hand 4-2. “That was a big win for us,” said Branford Coach Jim Dinapoli. “Hopefully it will give us momentum for our next game on Saturday [Feb. 4] with Cheshire.” Not quite. It was close but the Hornets lost 4-3 to Cheshire at the Wesleyan Rink.

The Hornets are now 6-6 including the Hand and Cheshire games. Their next game is at New Fairfield/Immaculate (Danbury) is on Wednesday Feb. 8 at 5:30 p.m. and their next home game is against Watertown-Pomperaug on Friday Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m.

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School Budget Comes In at $55.3M

by marcia chambers | Feb 3, 2017 8:36 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez (pictured) has proposed a $55.3 million school budget for FY2018, a 1.96 percent increase over last year’s budget, even though enrollment across the school district is declining. Funding the town’s schools is the largest portion of the overall town budget.

“This is the tightest budget I have ever submitted in my seven years here,” Hernandez told the board when he ended his 30-minute presentation Wednesday night.. He spoke before educators, elected officials and parents, about 30 in all at Branford High School. Jim Finch, the town’s finance director, attended the meeting along with Don Neel, the Chief Operating Officer for the Branford public schools. BCTV, Branford’s public television station, filmed it.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 2, 2017 9:12 am

Just because it’s the dead of winter, that doesn’t mean you can’t commune with nature. Eagles included. The weekend kicks off the annual watches and cruises. There are so many opportunities to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. And if you’re headed to the Essex area for Eagle education, be sure to stop in at the Griswold Inn. The food is great and the atmosphere, quintessential New England.

Saturday, Feb. 4

 

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“The Constitution Will Definitely Hold”

by marcia chambers | Jan 31, 2017 8:07 pm

Lucy Gellman Photo Ed Marcus, a man who has watched and waged political fights for a half century, has a prediction about all the controversies surrounding early actions by President Donald Trump: In the long run, the U.S. Constitution “will definitely hold, and in the short run, it will hold as well.”

Marcus, a former Connecticut state senator and Democratic Party chairman, made that prediction Tuesday during an appearance on WNHH radio’s “Legal Eagle” program.

Marcus, the founder of the Marcus Law Firm, arrived for the radio show about 12 hours after President Trump fired his acting attorney general, Sally Yates, after she refused to enforce his executive order that closed America’s borders for 90 days to those primarily from Muslim countries. Marcus agreed with critics who call some of his initial executive orders unconstitutional.

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Branford Takes Hand, Winning 54-44

by Bill O'Brien | Jan 31, 2017 8:00 am

Bill O'Brien Photo The Branford boys’ basketball team moved a set closer to qualifying for the state tournament with a hard-fought 54-44 win over the Hand Tigers on Monday at the James L. MacVeigh Alumni Athletic Complex. The Hornets succeeded with stamina and grit by delivering a strong 4th quarter. 

Bill O'Brien Photo Cheerleader Elena Gruendel sang the National Anthem before the game got underway.

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