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Costco Team Charts Wetlands Impact

by Diana Stricker | Jan 17, 2016 10:50 am

With PermissionThe question is: Can Costco’s 44-acre commercial development be built without adversely impacting the on-site wetlands and the downstream properties?

The first session of public hearings conducted by the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) adjourned Thursday after about three hours. The Costco development team took most of that time to present their plans for the project, which include Costco and seven other commercial buildings at Exit 56. The team discussed wetlands and outlined a comprehensive stormwater management plan.

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Branford Land Trust Seeks Costco Intervention

by Diana Stricker | Jan 9, 2016 8:30 am

File PhotoThe Branford Land Trust has officially requested intervener status as the Costco commercial complex heads for a public hearing next Thursday before the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC).

In addition, Costco’s development team responded Thursday to initial questions and comments by the peer review consultants who were commissioned by the IWC to review Costco’s proposals. 

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As Year Ends Branford Tackles A Dozen Development Projects

by Diana Stricker | Dec 30, 2015 8:55 am

File PhotoDevelopment is booming in Branford. Over the past year, commissions and boards have been active with a dozen major commercial, residential and industrial projects evolving from one end of town to the other. Public reaction to the potentially transformative projects has varied—several proposals have elicited support while others have sparked controversy.

Some residents say development will stimulate the economy and bring new tax dollars; but others fear a possible impact on Branford’s infrastructure, traffic and the environment. Two town projects, one centered on an intermediate school and the other a combined senior center-Community House expansion, could potentially cost the taxpayers millions of dollars.

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Etta Launches Holiday Recycling Brigade

by marcia chambers | Dec 23, 2015 8:54 am

The holiday season’s brown bag brigade went to work with speed and determination last week. And in less than two hours 4,000 holiday recycling bags, all with newly attached green stickers, were prepared for town residents for Christmas Day holiday wrapping paper.

This is the third year the town is collecting brown paper bags, hopefully filled with holiday wrapping paper, gift boxes, tissue paper, and holiday cards. No non-paper products are allowed. This also means no plastic, foil or Mylar wrapping papers, bows, ribbons, Styrofoam, plastic or corrugated cardboard.

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TK2 Examines Internet Shopping and Cost to Taxpayers

by marcia chambers | Dec 22, 2015 8:06 am | Comments (1)

Standing outside Branford’s transfer station, State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., said yesterday he will introduce legislation next session to address a dramatic increase in consumer packaging, including big boxes for small gifts, the result of a surge in online shopping that is costing the state millions of dollars in waste removal.

Those big brown boxes coming to your door this holiday season are often filled with a small gift and lots of secondary and tertiary packaging material, 90 percent of which wind up at the transfer station, costing towns and cities vast amounts of money, he said. They represent “the largest single component of our municipal solid waste stream,” Kennedy said at a mid-day press conference. He said, “About one third of our municipal solid waste is consumer packaging.”

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RTM Dems Win Answer On Foote Park’s Future

by marcia chambers | Dec 14, 2015 6:11 am | Comments (7)

Marcia Chambers PhotoThe Representative Town Meeting (RTM) last week unanimously approved the transfer of the Foote Memorial and Riverside Parks to the town of Branford. However, it was not before the Democrats applied enough pressure on the Republicans to summon Town Attorney Bill Aniskovich to a meeting in progress in order to answer a key legal question on the future of one of the town’s most cherished parks.

At issue, the Democrats argued,  was whether the Foote deed restrictions, currently overseeing the 44.6-acre park and other properties, will remain in the deed as the properties are transferred to the town.  After Aniskovich arrived at 9 p.m., an hour after the meeting began, he joined the Republicans as they held an impromptu caucus in the front of the community room at fire headquarters (pictured above). Minutes before the RTM moderator had called for a recess.

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Environmental Group Takes On Costco

by Diana Stricker | Dec 11, 2015 12:12 pm

The Branford Citizens for Responsible Development (BCRD) group was accepted as an official intervener by the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC pictured above) Thursday in regard to the Costco complex proposal, whose public hearing begins next month.

Attorney Keith Ainsworth, who represents the BCRD, outlined the group’s concerns in an eight-page petition. He told the commission “the proofs of those allegations will be submitted at the public hearing.”

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Kennedy Summit Draws Top Environmentalists

by marcia chambers | Dec 5, 2015 8:23 am

Marcia Chambers PhotoThe death of bees, battery and tire recycling (especially on athletic fields), animal abuse, consumer packaging, plastic bags and funding for state parks are likely to be State Sen. Kennedy, Jr.,’s top priorities in the upcoming 2016 legislative session. These issues emerged at the top of the list as Kennedy hosted a first-ever strategic planning summit in Branford Thursday night to discuss environmental issues facing the state.

Kennedy, co-chair of the state legislature’s Environment Committee, said the event was designed to explore ways to tackle issues facing the shoreline district and the state. Kennedy represents the 12th District, which consists of Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford. Kennedy said, “I’m open to ideas here,” he said. “That’s what the purpose of this summit is for.”

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The Sand Has Disappeared

by Diana Stricker | Nov 24, 2015 8:10 am | Comments (2)

With PermissionShoreline residents know the effects of rising seas and climate change—the sand is disappearing and storms are becoming fiercer.

“I see water at the sea walls where there used to be beach,” said Branford Town Engineer Janice Plaziak, who is spearheading an effort to develop a Coastal Resilience Plan.

Branford is developing the resiliency plan to identify areas at risk for storm surge, erosion and flooding. The federally funded study will identify options and plans to help make the town more resilient to long-term coastal risks.

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Are You A Hurricane Diehard?

by Diana Stricker | Nov 18, 2015 8:03 am

Mary Johnson PhotoCoastal Connecticut residents don’t have realistic attitudes when it comes to potential hurricane risks, according to two recent studies by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication.

“We’re self-reliant and independent and we tend to underestimate the risk,” said Dr. Jennifer Marlon, who co-authored the two studies.

Marlon said people’s perceptions of hurricane risks affect their preparedness and their willingness to evacuate.

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