Senate Unanimously Adopts Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

by Staff | Jun 7, 2017 12:05 pm

File Photo State Sen.Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), last night led a unanimous bi-partisan state senate to adopt a series of major policy changes in how the state fights an ongoing opioid crisis. Kennedy, a health care attorney, said the bill will transform the way Connecticut fights the opioid epidemic on a variety of fronts. 

The new bill law establishes a “standing order” model, which will make it easier for friends and family members of opioid addicts to obtain Narcan, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. It also requires doctors to reduce the maximum opioid prescription for minors from seven days to five unless the doctor can document the need for an extended prescription. 

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Town’s Top Public Works Leaders Quit

by marcia chambers | Jan 9, 2017 12:10 pm | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers Photo Branford’s first major snowstorm of the year hit the town with a fury this past weekend and Department of Public Works crews, the town’s first responders in a snowstorm, were out plowing the town’s streets and byways. But this storm was different.

It was different because the Department of Public Works’ two top officials, the men who have led the department, were not there to oversee the operation. They resigned their leadership posts within the last month.

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Alps Farmers Market Folds but Future is Wide Open

by Sally E. Bahner | Dec 29, 2016 9:37 am | Comments (1)

File Photo Although the Branford Alps Farmers Market is pulling up its stakes after two seasons, market manager Martha Maguire says she is not leaving the local fresh food movement.

Maguire hopes that someone else acceptable to the town will take over the market. She’s open to hearing new ideas or helping with other markets. “For the powers-that-be to realize that people enjoyed it might make it easier to find a better location,” she said.

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Doc: Mentally Ill Overcrowding Prisons

by marcia chambers | Dec 6, 2016 9:04 am | Comments (1)

Lucy Gellman Photo Dr. Howard Zonana, a forensic psychiatrist who works at the intersection of law and medicine, says the single most pressing issue facing the nation and the state today is the overcrowding of mentally ill patients in prisons, hospitals and emergency rooms. 

Dr. Zonana, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and a clinical professor of law at the Yale Law School, has been instrumental for the past 40 years in getting both worlds to work together in the field of forensic psychiatry, a field that confronts the most difficult cases, those involving mentally ill defendants.

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Love146 Tackles the Challenges of Child Trafficking and Exploitation

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 31, 2016 7:49 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo When Rob Morris saw a 5-year-old year girl in a red dress in a Southeast Asian brothel with other girls in red dresses, he knew he had to act. A number – 146 – was pinned to her shirt and, he said, he saw defiance in her eyes.

Morris, who co-founded Love146 in 2002 and serves as its president, described that encounter at a recent gathering at the Stony Creek Brewery, titled “Hope is Brewing.” He said he was brought along as an observer by a team investigating the brothel and saw the girls in the red dresses. They had no names, just numbers. “They were shut down with blank stares,” he said. Except for no. 146. 

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All Smoking, Including E-Cigs, Banned at Town Parks and Beaches

by marcia chambers | Oct 19, 2016 12:16 pm

With Permission The town’s parks and recreation commission has adopted a no- smoking policy for two town beaches, a pond, and all parks, a policy that includes electronic smoking. The new policy comes with “No Smoking” signs but no official ordinance – at least not yet.

Richard Hill, a Branford resident, told the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) at its monthly meeting last week that in recent months he went to the Parks and Rec commission seeking a no-smoking ban at the town’s beaches and all parks “but no signs went up” even though the commission adopted the ban last August.

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Medical Marijuana Dispensary Seeks Larger Digs

by marcia chambers | Sep 19, 2016 7:09 am

Marcia Chambers Photo Pharmacist Nick Tamborrino, the founder and manager of Bluepoint Wellness, asked the Planning & Zoning Commission (P&Z)Thursday to approve his application for a larger medical marijuana dispensary, one that can accommodate a new population, minors with certain verified medical conditions. After a short public hearing, the P&Z approved the application with conditions. 

Tamborrino told the commission he had been operating successfully since the town’s first marijuana dispensary opened two years ago this month next door to his proposed new facility, the first floor of a vacant bank. He plans to convert the first floor into separate spaces for adults and minors, including children.

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Counseling Center Gets Grant to Fight Opioid Abuse

by Sally E. Bahner | Aug 3, 2016 8:00 am

With Permission On the heels of last spring’s forum and subsequent enactment of state legislation restricting opioid prescriptions, the Branford Counseling Center has received a $10,000 grant to help fight opioid and prescription drug abuse.

State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) called AT&T after the meeting and applied for the grant on behalf of the counseling center; the grant will help identify and address early signs of addiction.

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Kids’ Night Out Soars

by Emily Patton | Jul 27, 2016 7:52 am | Comments (2)

Heather Sutherland Photo “Everyone here who knows Dr. Joe knows he’s a saint,” began Branford Assistant Fire Chief and Fire Marshall Shaun Heffernan as he addressed his audience at Camp Rising Sun’s annual “Kids’ Night Out.”

Heffernan, who is also the director of Camp Rising Sun, was not the person first to speak of the venerated doctor at the camp’s annual fundraiser, which took place on Wednesday, July 13 at the Owenego Inn. Parents, politicians, counselors, and campers alike all earnestly praised the doctor’s name as they extolled the virtues of the weeklong camp, a free program for kids between the ages of 5 and 17 who have had cancer at some point in their lives.

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Opioid Use Front and Center in Branford

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 14, 2016 7:01 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoBranford resident Michelle Sember described the struggles of her oldest son, 22-year-old RJ, who went from a high school football player with good grades to a full-blown heroin addict after experimenting with pot, alcohol, and pills.  Her advice: “Be a parent and not a friend.”

The epidemic of opioid use in Connecticut has burst into the public’s consciousness over the past few months. It started with reports of overdoses in the New London area and now extends throughout the state and the country.

Branford is not immune, as Sember explained at a recent panel on the topic held in Branford. The panel, organized by State Rep. Sean Scanlon, took place at fire headquarters. 

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