Kennedy Summit Draws Top Environmentalists

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

Marcia Chambers Photo The 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 Permission Shoreline 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 Photo Coastal 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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IWC Chair Cautions Costco

by Diana Stricker | Nov 13, 2015 11:45 am

With Permission Costco’s new application arrived at the Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) Thursday night, triggering a new public hearing date as well as notice to the Costco attorneys that the IWC does not want to have “a continuously changing project.”

IWC chair Daniel Shapiro cautioned Costco’s attorneys that he did not want to keep restarting the process that involves huge applications and three sets of hearings. A new public hearing date was set for Jan. 14.

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Commercial Clamming Stirs Short Beach Waters

by marcia chambers | Nov 1, 2015 7:49 am | Comments (1)

As concerned neighbors organize to prevent commercial clam digging in sleepy Short Beach cove, a new $1.6 million clamming boat, the Cultivator, continues to stir up both clams and controversy in the waters off Johnson’s Beach.

The Cultivator, a 50-by-20 foot state-of-the-art vessel, is owned by G&B Shellfish Farm in Stratford, which recently acquired the shellfish bed grant of a former operator whose daily operation was far less intense than G&B’s. The 1800s grant of oyster bed rights, which runs in perpetuity, is not a lease but a recorded town grant and is known as Lot 10. 

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Foote Trust Wants Town To Own And Run Foote Memorial Park

by marcia chambers | Oct 19, 2015 11:28 am

A bank Trustee for the Wallace H. Foote Family Charitable Trust wants the town of Branford to own and run the 44.6 acre Foote Memorial Park, saying in court papers that “the cost and complexity of maintaining the Park is becoming prohibitive and a burden on the Trust.”

A hearing on the Trust’s effort to divest itself of the property will take place Thursday, Oct. 22, at 10:30 a.m. at Branford’s probate court, which is located on the lower level of Branford Town Hall. Probate Judge Frank Forgione will preside over the hearing.

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IW Costco Hearings Slated For November

by Diana Stricker | Oct 16, 2015 5:20 am

Diana Stricker Photo The Inland Wetland Commission (IWC) scheduled three public hearings on Nov. 12 for the Costco retail complex after the commissioners made a three-hour site walk of the 44 acres, heard an informal presentation, and discussed the need to hire consultants to review the three applications.

Since large crowds are anticipated, the 7:30 p.m. hearings on Nov. 12 will be held at Branford Fire Headquarters, instead of the Canoe Brook Senior Center.

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State Rep. Lonnie Reed Wins Perfect Environmental Score

by marcia chambers | Oct 5, 2015 8:59 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 11:25 am | 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 11:35 am

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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