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State Rep. Lonnie Reed Wins Perfect Environmental Score

by marcia chambers | Oct 5, 2015 9:59 am

With Permission The state’s leading environmental watchdog group has given State Rep. Lonnie Reed, (D-Branford), a perfect 100 percent score for supporting key pieces of environmental legislation this legislative session.

The watchdog group, the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters (CTLCV), said Rep.Reed also earned a lifetime score of 96 percent. Reed is House chair of the Energy and Technology Committee.

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Branford Land Trust Moves to Safeguard the Public’s Land

by Diana Stricker | Sep 14, 2015 12:25 pm | Comments (3)

Lou Klepner The Branford Land Trust plans to hire wetlands experts to help ensure that the 44-acre Costco commercial complex does not endanger Land Trust open space properties and waterways.

With Permission The Land Trust owns 22 properties, including the 104-acre Van Wie Woods and Van Wie Pond, that are downstream from the proposed development site at Exit 56. In a position statement regarding “Exit 56 Retail Development” that it issued Monday and posted on its website, the Land Trust board said it’s deeply concerned about possible stormwater runoff from the development causing pollution and damage to the Van Wie Pond, Jarvis Creek, the Branford River, and Long Island Sound.

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IWC Outlines Long Process for Costco

by Diana Stricker | Sep 11, 2015 12:35 pm

With Permission Protecting the wetlands is a serious endeavor that takes time. 

So while the site plans for a new Costco and seven commercial buildings at Exit 56 arrived at the Inland Wetlands Department Wednesday, there are many steps to be taken before a public hearing is scheduled. That became evident at Thursday night’s Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) meeting as the commissioners discussed what needs to happen first.

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Revising Inland Wetlands Regulations Mid-Stream

by Diana Stricker | Aug 24, 2015 9:54 am

Diana Stricker Photo Revising Branford’s Inland Wetlands regulations may be a more daunting task than originally anticipated.

The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) spent more than two hours discussing the proposed regulations Aug. 13, after a committee spent months compiling a 38-page draft. Most of the revisions are based on changes suggested or mandated by the state.

Three IWC members who met Aug. 13 to discuss the new regulations have been removed from the commission. First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove recommended three new members last week and the Board of Selectman approved his recommendation by a 2-1 vote. (Click here to read that story.)


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Cosgrove Confronted Over Inland Wetlands Appointments

by marcia chambers | Aug 20, 2015 12:44 pm | Comments (4)

Marcia Chambers Photo The chairman of the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) and the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) minority leader last night chastised First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove for removing two long-term commissioners, including Dr. Richard Orson, one of the leading inland wetlands scholars in the state.

“This is a sad moment for the town of Branford,” Daniel Shapiro, IW chair (pictured above), told the three-member Board of Selectmen.

Shapiro, clearly upset, asked why Cosgrove removed Orson. He said Orson has a wealth of knowledge about local and state wetlands and water regulations. He said Orson, who holds a master’s degree in botany and a Ph.D. in wetland ecology, was considered the scholar and the scientific leader of the commission.

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Inland Wetlands Commission Seeks Legal Opinion on Appointments

by Diana Stricker | Aug 14, 2015 10:50 am

Diana Stricker Photo Can you vote when you’re in limbo?

That’s the question the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) wants answered by the town attorney. Three of their members whose terms expired May 31 have not yet been reappointed by the Board of Selectmen (BOS) and no one else has been appointed. 

“This limbo should be addressed,” said Dr. Robert Orson, one of the state’s leading experts on wetland issues and one of the three whose terms are still undecided. Orson, who has served on the IWC for 18 years, wants to know if the three commissioners can still vote, or if those votes could be grounds for appeal.

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Two Branford Beaches Face Contamination

by marcia chambers | Aug 3, 2015 8:14 am | Comments (5)

Mary Johnson Photo The beach at Branford Point, one of Branford’s most famous public beaches, has one of the highest rates of unsafe bacterial contamination of any beach in Connecticut and Johnson’s Beach in Short Beach is not far behind.

With Permission Curt Johnson, executive director of Connecticut Fund for the Environment’s bi-state Save the Sound program, told a recent meeting of the Branford Rotary Club that he was “shocked that the water sampling data collected by our East Shore Health District shows that Branford Point Beach receives a grade of D in the Sound Health Explorer. That makes Branford Point Beach among the five dirtiest swimming beaches in Connecticut,” he said. Johnson’s Beach on Clark Avenue in Short Beach received a “C” rating. 

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BOS Approves Solar Panels For Landfill Area

by marcia chambers | Jul 23, 2015 2:17 pm | Comments (1)

File Photo The Board of Selectmen (BOS) last night approved a solar panel energy contract for two separate systems, one at Ecology Park, the other on land adjacent to the landfill, specifically the town’s Tabor property. Both may well save the town $12 million over the next 20 years. The program is expected to be fully on line a year from now.

First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove told the Eagle after the meeting that ultimately the taxpayer will benefit because “by the town saving a half million dollars a year, that is a half million dollars we won’t be having to tax for.”

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Costco Makes It By Slim Margin

by Diana Stricker & Marcia Chambers | Jul 10, 2015 11:39 am

Marcia Chambers Photo Costco has succeeded in its first step to building a warehouse store at Exit 56 in Branford. The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission voted 3-2 Thursday to approve Costco’s Master Plan and 44-acre Planned Development District (PDD).

After months of drama and debate, the actual vote elicited little reaction from the commission or the crowd. The opposition later told the Eagle they plan to talk with their attorney about a possible appeal.

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Cool Events Here & Elsewhere On July 4th Weekend

by marcia chambers | Jul 3, 2015 11:30 am

With parades, fireworks, concerts and backyard music of all kinds, shoreline towns, especially Madison, will celebrate Independence Day this weekend with a variety of public events.

In honor of the Declaration of Independence, the town of Madison holds three major events on Independence Day weekend, including a fireworks display, a parade and a concert. 

Friday, July 3


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