Thimbles Lady Looks To Dump 8 Islands

by marcia chambers | Aug 8, 2017 9:54 am | Comments (1)

Christine Svenningsen and her husband Edmund H. Stoecklein, whom she married in 2015, are seeking to sell an extraordinary collection of Thimble Islands, eight in all, plus a Victorian mansion on Prospect Hill road with a private dock providing easy access to the islands. The islands are part of an archipelago in Long Island Sound, located not far from the Stony Creek harbor.

The eight islands are now priced at $50 million, $28 million less than when they first went on the market a year ago. The islands may also be purchased separately, their realtor says, an indication the Island Lady is serious about selling.

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Branford Residents Asked to Weigh In On TOD

by Staff | Aug 4, 2017 7:46 am

With Permission Town Planner Harry A. Smith announced this week that the town is studying opportunities for transit-oriented development (TOD) in the area around the Branford Shoreline East Train Station. This study is an integral part of a town and regional initiative to promote neighborhood scale growth and redevelopment that recognizes the potential benefits of a transit asset.

A public survey has been developed to gather opinions from the diverse range of people who live, work or own property in Branford, on the key issues facing the train station and waterfront area and how they envision its future. The survey can be accessed at: survey


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Shoreline Railroad Expansion Message: Stay Involved

by Diana Stricker | Jul 24, 2017 7:23 am | Comments (18)

Diana Stricker Photo Greg Stroud (pictured), who led shoreline opposition against railroad expansion plans for 18 months, told Branford residents it’s time to celebrate a victory, but more importantly, it’s time to stay involved as a new capacity study begins.

Stroud, who is director of special projects for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation, recently told a small gathering at the Branford Fire Headquarters that the threat of railroad expansion in sensitive areas of Coastal Connecticut will not truly disappear “until we find better solutions.”

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Shoreline Activists Help Derail RR Track Bypass

by marcia chambers | Jul 13, 2017 7:30 am

File Photo The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) has decided to eliminate the widely criticized “quad track bypass” railroad expansion that it had planned for a dense historical district connecting Branford and Guilford.

For Greg Stroud, director of special projects for the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation and one of the primary opposition leaders of the “quad track” plan, yesterday was a good day.

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One With Ben

by Marcia Chambers & Sally E. Bahner | Jul 10, 2017 8:00 am

Bill O'Brien Photo UPDATED—The Branford green was packed with friends and strangers tonight paying tribute to 10-year-old Ben Callahan, who died after falling into the Branford River Friday and being sucked into a culvert. Speakers from all aspects of his life described his “peaceful warrior” nature, love of sports and music, and his devotion to his family and church. It was an experience that truly united the town and it drew to a close as the sun set. 

Mary Johnson Photo Amid a crowd of close to two thousand people, coaches and teachers and friends and family took to the stage to describe an extraordinary boy who touched the lives of many and was primed to be a leader.

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Ben Callahan, 10, Lived a Strong, Engaged Life

by marcia chambers | Jul 9, 2017 8:00 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Ben Callahan, just 10 years old when he died, was an outstanding athlete, a kid who loved to play football, basketball, and lacrosse. His coaches said he “pushed himself to the max in each sport and would often wear his heart on his sleeve.”

They called him a talented player who played like “a true warrior.” And they were devastated this weekend to report to their community that Ben, their warrior, had died Friday afternoon in a tragic accident on the Branford River.

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Body of Missing Boy Found in Branford River

by Staff | Jul 8, 2017 7:59 am

Mary Johnson Photo Police Capt. Geoff Morgan and Fire Chief Tom Mahoney announced yesterday that the body of a 10-year-old boy, reported missing along the Branford River, has been found. The initial call was tweeted by the Branford Fire Department around 1 p.m.; the boy’s body was found about 50 yards away from shore by divers around 4 p.m.

Bill O'Brien Photo The boy, whose identity has not been disclosed, was playing along the Branford River along Tabor Drive/South Montowese Street with his two brothers and, according to officials, lost his footing and was “sucked into a culvert.” His brothers, one older, one younger, tried to help him. He was found by the Guilford dive team in the initial search area, although the search extended along the Branford River toward Indian Neck. 

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Four-Track RR Expansion on Shoreline Meets Resistance

by marcia chambers | Jun 28, 2017 7:41 am | Comments (3)

Sally E. Bahner Photo State Rep. Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford and Branford) says a projected federal plan to build four railroad tracks in a dense historical district connecting Branford and Guilford is decades away, if at all. That’s the good news,  he says.

The bad news is the attitude taken by top officials at the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) in refusing to hear the concerns of the area’s elected officials as well as its residents. They have gathered at meetings in the last month to learn from others about the project.

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A Boutique Hotel for the Branford River

by Diana Stricker | Jun 15, 2017 8:00 am | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker Photo Ed Crowley, owner of the popular Stony Creek Brewery, unveiled plans Wednesday to build a 34-room boutique hotel along the Branford River.

Diana Stricker Photo The waterfront hotel would be built on the site of the former Paul’s Wire Rope & Sling company at 4-6 Indian Neck Avenue, which is across from the brewery. The Crowley family, who live in Branford, purchased the property for $600,000 in September 2016.

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House Passes Bill To Curtail Affordable Housing Act Abuses

by marcia chambers | May 31, 2017 12:13 pm

File Photo Shortly before midnight, the state’s House of Representatives passed an affordable housing bill aimed at curtailing exploitation by developers under the Affordable Housing Act. By a vote of 116-13, the House voted overwhelmingly to update the statute.

The bill now goes to the Senate, and if called, is expected to pass. However, the 2017 legislative session heads to mandatory adjournment next week on June 7 and often bills get stuck, dying on the other side of the midnight deadline. 

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