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Envelope, Please

by marcia chambers | Mar 20, 2015 1:45 pm | Comments (1)

WTNH-POOL Dr. Lishan Wang, who is accused of gunning down a former colleague, Dr. Vanjinder Toor, outside his Branford condo nearly five years ago, learned yesterday that his most recent mental competency report had been filed with the court. 

Superior Court Judge Patrick J. Clifford held a short status hearing for Dr. Wang yesterday because the trial judge in the case is on vacation this month. It was at this hearing that Dr. Wang learned his competency report had been finished and filed with the judge. The report will be a determining factor in whether or not Dr. Wang continues to represent himself at his upcoming murder trial. 

The trial judge, Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe, Jr.,had ordered a new mental competency report last month after Thomas J. Ullmann, the head of New Haven’s public defender’s office, asked Judge O’Keefe to revoke Dr. Wang’s status to represent himself at trial—and to substitute Ullmann instead.

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Cool Events Here & Elsewhere This Weekend

by marcia chambers | Mar 20, 2015 10:43 am

Mary Johnson Photo Now you never know about the weather and snow is due today, the first day of spring. But as they say, the show must go on. This weekend combines gardens, food and pets. What could be better? 

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

March 20, March 21 and March 22

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Mount Sinai Genomics Lab Gets $9.5M State Loan

by marcia chambers | Mar 19, 2015 1:10 pm

Mount Sinai’s genomics lab, which this week received a $9.5 million low-interest loan from the state, “is way ahead of schedule,” State Rep. Lonnie Reed said yesterday in an interview, “and making a huge contribution to Connecticut and Branford.”

“The newly arrived Genomics Laboratory is - according to their leadership team—hiring and taking on projects at a pace that puts them well ahead of the 145 new employees and expanded facilities they committed to achieving within five years,” she said.

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Celebrating 30 Years of BHS Musicals

by Bill O'Brien | Mar 18, 2015 9:25 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Who would have guessed that when Cathyann Roding and Toni Cartisano produced their first musical in 1986 at Branford High School they would still be doing it 30 years later?

Bill O'Brien Photo That musical – “Pippin” – was the first for this dynamic duo, who have followed with well-known hits as “The Music Man,” “42nd Street,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “West Side Story,” and even “Phantom of the Opera,” just to mention a few.

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Say Farewell To Branford Hills School

by Diana Stricker | Mar 17, 2015 12:12 am

Marcia Chambers Photo It looks like the former Branford Hills Elementary School, which was built in 1955, is slated for demolition rather than renovation. 

The school’s impending fate was disclosed in an agenda that was posted late last week for a special meeting of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) on March 25. It lists a series of resolutions regarding bonds for various town projects. The Board of Finance, which is now conducting budget hearings for 2015-16, will vote on the bonding issues on March 23. 

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State Police Investigate Branford Taser Death

by marcia chambers | Mar 16, 2015 3:09 pm

A 41-year-old man, described as in “extreme distress” by a person with him in his apartment on Burban Drive, died Sunday night after police used a Taser to try to subdue him when he left apartment and began to act erratically.

A Branford police officer attempted to subdue the man, identified as David Werblow, after he began walking erratically in the middle of the road, attempting to enter moving cars.  Branford police were able to direct motorists to keep driving, the state police said in a press release issued today.

Then Branford police ordered Werblow to get to the ground. They asked many times, they said. They said, Werblow, whom they described as a large man, refused. 

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Moderator Rejects Plea to Explore Town-Costco Costs

by marcia chambers | Mar 16, 2015 12:10 pm | Comments (3)

Marcia Chambers Rep. Douglas Hanlon (D-3rd), the former chair of the Representative Town Meeting’s (RTM) Public Works Committee, has long been concerned about potential town costs for police and fire budgets if a major development comes to town.

So he asked RTM Moderator Dennis Flanagan at last week’s RTM meeting if his concerns might be explored in committee as they have been informally over the years, ever since Costco knocked on Branford’s doors years ago. At issue, Hanlon said, are the town’s potential costs if commissions approve a major development that would bring Costco and seven other stores to 44 acres of land at Exit 56.

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Cool Events Here & Elsewhere This Weekend

by marcia chambers | Mar 14, 2015 10:24 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Spring is on the horizon but not before winter gets in its last licks. On this last weekend of the winter season freezing, rainy weather is predicted, but the St. Patrick’s Day Parade of Greater New Haven will go on. This is also a weekend to pursue antiques in Guilford and to hear two master musicians right here in Branford.

Saturday, March 14

The 46th Annual Guilford Antiques Show

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Rev. Keane Appointed First Police Chaplain

by marcia chambers | Mar 13, 2015 11:05 am | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers Photo The Reverend Bill Keane, the senior minister of the First Baptist Church of Branford, was formally sworn in as the police department’s first chaplain this week.

Rev. Keane, who spent nine months at ground zero at the World Trade Center following 9/11, and was a chaplain in New Orleans after Katrina, said he was honored to be appointed to the post. At a meeting of the police commission, Jill Marcus, the commission’s chair, showed Rev. Keane his new police badge and welcomed him to the department.

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What Does Costco Not Sell?

by marcia chambers | Mar 12, 2015 12:39 pm | Comments (4)

Back in the 1980s, I walked into a vast new warehouse in San Diego, a huge place filled with stacks of goods so high you could barely see the top row. Our kids introduced us to this place, then called Price Club. It was so California, an adventure every time you visited, made more so because it operated out of an old airplane hangar. Price Club was just that: It was a club, one you had to join as a member in order to enter its doors.

Merchandise was piled high on wooden pallets and steel shelves. Forklifts were sometimes needed to help you get merchandise down and around and about.  It was definitely a no-frills place, where you also could find clothing for kids and adults and scores of other family items. This was a place for high-quality goods purchased cheaply. Back then, buying in bulk was the name of the game and to some degree it still is.

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