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Mattress Recycle Bill Passes

by marcia chambers | May 7, 2013 6:18 am

File Photo A mattress recycling bill that is expected to become the model for laws across the nation was overwhelmingly approved by the state House of Representatives late Thursday, nearly a year after it was shelved because it wound up on the other side of midnight on the last day of a legislative session.

As fate would have it, Rep. Pat Widlitz (pictured), D-Guilford and Branford, the major sponsor of the bill, said waiting a year may well have been a blessing because the additional year gave legislators and industry officials time to formulate a plan that others states are likely to adopt. 

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Open-Space Acquisition OK’d

by Diana Stricker | May 2, 2013 12:00 pm

With Permission Branford is a step closer to preserving 22 acres of meadows, marshlands and trees after the Board of Selectmen (BOS) unanimously approved the open space acquisition Wednesday.

“It’s a dramatic property… very beautiful,” said Ainsley Highman, chair of the Parks and Open Space Authority.

Highman said keeping the land in its natural state will enable the salt marsh to serve as a buffer against flooding. “Salt marsh areas are kind of disappearing ... they’re precious. A lot of them have been destroyed or developed.”

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“Emotional, Painful And Expensive”

by Diana Stricker | Apr 24, 2013 9:46 am | Comments (1)

Diana Stricker Photo There are no easy answers when it comes to rising seas and shoreline communities.

• Homes can be elevated, but neighbors’ scenic views may be blocked.

• Sea walls may protect one property, but divert damage to another.

• Towns can elevate local flood-prone roads, but what will the state do about the connecting roads?

• Federal flood plain maps are expanding, but can homeowners afford the escalating cost of flood insurance?

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As Seas Rise, So Do Homes

by Diana Stricker | Apr 18, 2013 8:36 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo Things are looking up—literally—for the DeRosa family, whose waterfront home in Short Beach was damaged by both Tropical Storm Irene and Super Storm Sandy.

The 100-year-old home at 294 Shore Dr. has been elevated above flood levels, and work on the new foundation is nearing completion.

“Now it’s the best thing we ever did,” said Mary Ellen DeRosa. “We left the dishes in the cupboards, and nothing broke. That’s how perfect it was raised,” she said. “It was the easiest thing, once we made the decision.”

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Reed Crashes Press Conference

by Christine Stuart | Mar 29, 2013 9:25 am

Christine Stuart Photo The two co-chairs of the Energy and Technology Committee extended an olive branch to environmentalists and advocates Thursday when they crashed a press conference in opposition to a bill they helped draft.

“We’re really all on the same side,” Rep. Lonnie Reed, D-Branford, told advocates Thursday before leaving so they could pan portions of the bill.

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“1 House Stays. 1 Goes”

by Diana Stricker | Feb 27, 2013 9:40 am

With Permission “With sea level rise, there’s really no happy ending.”

David Blatt of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) made this cautionary remark during a Coastal Management Workshop last week in Branford.

Blatt offered insight into newly enacted legislation that begins to address the issue of rising seas. Blatt and John Gaucher, both of DEEP’s Office of Long Island Sound Programs, discussed revisions to the Connecticut Coastal Management Act (CCMA) that went into effect Oct. 1. The revisions will likely have an impact on Branford’s more than 20 miles of shoreline.

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Historic Marsh Refuge Preserved

by Diana Stricker | Jan 10, 2013 12:03 pm

With Permission Branford is in the process of preserving a 22-acre refuge comprised of trees, grasslands and marshes on the western side of town, near one of the heaviest areas of condominium development.

“It’s a gorgeous piece of property,” said Marleen Cenotti, a neighbor who is also president of the Friends of the Farm River Estuary.

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Raising Shoreline Houses Just Got Easier

by Diana Stricker | Jan 4, 2013 1:36 pm | Comments (2)

Mary Johnson Photo Branford adopted new zoning regulations last night that will make it easier for shoreline residents to meet federal guidelines to elevate their homes above flood levels. The action followed the damage to shoreline homes in the aftermath of Storms Irene and Sandy.

The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously approved numerous changes to the zoning and subdivision regulations following a public hearing last night. There was no opposition to the revisions, but one resident asked why there were no provisions about the type of stores allowed in the Town Center, in light of public concern about a gun shop slated to open on Main Street about a block away from the town Green.  The town planner explained that the proposed revisions were written before the issue emerged, and said it is something that may be discussed in the future.

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What Sandy Wrought

by Mary Johnson & Marcia Chambers | Dec 31, 2012 8:58 am | Comments (3)

Mary Johnson Photo Superstorm Sandy swept through Branford on Oct 30, bringing with it howling winds, high sea surges and a loss of power that lasted nearly a week for some residents. As 2012 comes to a close, we recognize Superstorm Sandy as the major environmental story of the year. Here are the photos our photographer Mary Johnson took to document Sandy’s impact on Branford. 

Sandy arrived on Oct 29, and by the next day her final winds and surges came ashore.  Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) reported that 14,908 homes were without power in town.  This means that in addition to electricity, cable stations and internet service in those homes were not working either.

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State Siting Council Sends Cell Tower to Short Beach

by Diana Stricker | Dec 14, 2012 11:34 am

Mary Johnson File Photo The Connecticut Siting Council (CSC) approved construction of a cell tower in Branford, (site pictured above) rather than in East Haven, to serve the Short Beach area and adjacent neighborhoods in East Haven.This is the third cell tower approved for Branford in less than three years.

The approval was granted Thursday despite testimony and research from Branford’s consulting engineer stating that the East Haven site would be less intrusive and would serve a greater population. In terms of scenic views, the cell tower will be visible from nearby Parker Memorial Park and several other shoreline areas.

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