Rock Formation an Issue at North Main Commercial Site

by Diana Stricker | Apr 17, 2018 7:58 am | Comments (2)

A public hearing will continue Thursday regarding a proposal to build two retail stores on a vacant 14-acre lot next to Clancy’s Funeral Home on North Main Street. Town Planner Harry Smith (pictured) said one issue concerns cutting into steep rock formations. 

The hearing before the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission began April 5, and was continued so additional information can be provided, including reports about the proposed rock slopes.

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‘Lunch Ladies’ Determined to Keep School Jobs

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 16, 2018 8:57 am | Comments (8)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoThe Board of Education is terminating its contract with Chartwell Food Service at the end of the school year and the 22 “lunch ladies” employed by Chartwell may be out of jobs. They will have to reapply for new jobs at various public schools under a different contractor.

They made their concerns known at last week’s meeting of the Board of Education’s Personnel and Finance Committee meeting, standing with signs as Renee DeAngeles, a 26-year Chartwell employee and Branford resident, addressed the committee.

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State Bond Commission Approves $1M Grant for Blackstone Library

by marcia chambers | Apr 14, 2018 8:56 am

With PermissionFor Blackstone Library leaders, Friday was one of those great days. In the morning, Library Director Karen Jensen and Blackstone Board Chair Andy McKirdy were on hand in Hartford with State Rep. Lonnie Reed (pictured) when the State Bond Commission formally approved a $1 million library construction grant.

Bill O'Brien PhotoIn the afternoon, they were back at the Blackstone to announce that individual donations to the library’s capital campaign reached the amount needed to qualify for the Branford Community Foundation’s (BCF) match of $100,000. The $100,000 grant, to be distributed over four years, is the largest single contribution to an organization in the history of the BCF.

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Ethan Song’s Parents File Wrongful Death Lawsuit against Private Investigator

by marcia chambers | Apr 13, 2018 10:05 am | Comments (1)

A wrongful death lawsuit against one of the state’s top private investigators and his firm charges they failed to inform the investigator’s minor son, his friend Ethan M. Song and Ethan’s parents that an “unsecured and/or improperly secured gun” with a bullet hidden inside was kept inside his rented Guilford home.

According to a 16-page civil complaint made public in New Haven Superior Court yesterday, Ethan Song,15, and the investigator’s son, “gained access to the loaded gun on the premises,” an act that led to Ethan’s fatal shooting inside the home on Jan. 31. The complaint is silent on who was holding the gun at the time of the shooting. 

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 12, 2018 8:17 am

We’re still waiting for spring. The teaser at the end of this week will morph back into the chilliness that we’ve come to expect. But there are signs: Earth Day is coming up and there are events that call attention to the need to protect our resources. Speaking of protecting, LWV and Connecticut Shoreline Indivisible will hold a forum Saturday on protecting our right to vote. (Are you registered?) Read on – there’s more! Got a cool event? Email by Wednesday noon.

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Branford’s $112M Town-School Budget Arrives at RTM

by Marcia Chambers & Sally E. Bahner | Apr 11, 2018 8:52 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoA $112M town-school budget approved by the Board of Finance (pictured) formally heads to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight with a tiny mill rate increase, following the pattern of a number of shoreline communities this year.

The RTM will examine the RTM budget as it seeks to find additional ways to decrease it. The formal process begins at the RTM meeting tonight at Fire Headquarters at 8 p.m. But the RTM “cannot increase it,” Joseph Mooney, chair of the BOF, said late last month when the BOF unanimously adopted it. Under state law, the BOF consists of three Democrats and three Republicans. At this point, the mill rate would increase a smidgen from 28.47 mills to 28.67 mills over the previous rate. But it might go lower.

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Judge Dismisses Effort to Build on Fragile Coastal Lot

by Diana Stricker | Apr 10, 2018 9:13 am

File PhotoA Superior Court judge dismissed one appeal, and a settlement is pending in another appeal for a property owner who filed simultaneous requests to build either a single-family home or affordable housing on a half-acre coastal lot that was deemed “unbuildable.”

Arsalan Altaf through his Pawson Point LLC, filed the appeals last year after Branford’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission denied his building requests.

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Jazz Spirits Live on

by Paul Bass | Apr 9, 2018 2:05 pm

The soul of the late great jazz bassist and composer Charles Mingus hovered in Yale Law School’s auditorium Sunday. So did that of the late Stan Wheeler, watching over from an enlarged photo projected on a screen, as two generations of musicians kept their spirits alive.

The occasion was the 11th annual Stan Wheeler Memorial Jazz Concert. The concert has taken place every year since Wheeler, a Yale law professor who sidelined as a trumpeter and nurturer of musical dreams, died in 2007.

The concert not only kept Wheeler’s memory and commitment to the music alive. It also served as a convincing brief for the continued vitality and future

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Guilford Senatorial Candidate Seeks Holistic Approach to State’s Woes

by marcia chambers | Apr 6, 2018 10:00 am

With PermissionChristine Hunter Cohen, a Madison business owner and an education advocate from Guilford, wants to be the next 12th District Democratic senator, replacing Ted Kennedy Jr., who announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election.

Cohen, the owner of Cohen’s Bagel Company in Madison, lives in Guilford with her husband and three young children and serves on the Guilford Board of Education. In an interview, she said her experience as a small business owner and her commitment to public education are the driving forces in her decision to run for the senate seat.

“The state budget cuts have had immense impact,” she said in an interview. “And Connecticut needs to grow small businesses. We need to a take holistic approach to Connecticut, by looking at the whole set of issues rather than focusing on single issues. We need to look at transportation and we need to protect our environment. Let’s look at the whole picture and not departmentalize it. Let’s take a holistic approach.” 

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 5, 2018 8:30 am

Spring is in the air – musically. Walsh kids have been preparing for their spring musical, “The Little Mermaid.” And on Sunday, jazz aficionados and friends of Stan Wheeler will flock to the Levinson Auditorium at Yale Law School for an afternoon of great jazz. Looking ahead, there are various art- and film-related events, along with opportunities to help you navigate these complicated times. Got a cool event? Email

Friday, April 6, and Saturday, April 7

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