Legal Writes

P&Z Votes on Parkside Village Thursday

by Diana Stricker | Jan 22, 2018 9:07 am

Diana Stricker PhotoThe Parkside Village I affordable housing proposal is headed for a vote Thursday, but whatever the outcome, it may end up in court. One member of the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission said he wants to deny the project and challenge it in court because in his view the law is too restrictive. 

The 5-member commission will vote on the Parkside proposal at a special meeting Thursday at 7 p.m. at Fire Headquarters. A resolution to approve the project, with multiple conditions, is expected to be complete by that time.

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Kennedy Speaks About Silence

by marcia chambers | Jan 18, 2018 7:11 am | Comments (1)

Marcia Chambers Photo“Our lives begin to end, the day we become silent about things that matter,” state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. said as he spoke the words of Martin Luther King, Jr., to roughly 230 people gathered at St. Therese’s Catholic Church in Stony Creek on Monday. Then he said the words again. And he said them slowly, so their meaning would be felt.

Dr. King’s words formed the theme for the annual King breakfast held each year. Jan. 15 would have been Dr. King’s 89th birthday, a birthday now celebrated as a national holiday. King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968, nearly 50 years ago this year. He was 49 years old.

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RTM Approves 3-year Teachers’ Contract

by marcia chambers | Jan 17, 2018 7:38 am

BCTVA three-year contract between Branford public school teachers and the Board of Education (BOE) gives teachers lower yearly salary increases than in past years, requires teachers to pay an increasing amount toward their health costs, and overall, makes significant changes in how the teacher salary system works.

The $22.4 million-a-year contract between the BOE and the Branford Education Association (BEA), the union for the teachers, runs from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2021. The BEA represents 283 full-time teachers down from 310 teachers in 2014. This means in the first year the $22.4 million contract will increase by $526.000. In the second year the contract increases by an additional $629,000 and in the third year by an additional $656,000.

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Representative Town Meeting Begins New Term

by marcia chambers | Nov 22, 2017 9:20 am

Marcia Chambers PhotoTwelve hours after he was sworn in as the town’s first selectman, Jamie Cosgrove presided over the town’s newly elected Representative Town Meeting (RTM). As required, he took their attendance, witnessed their swearing-in, oversaw the appointment of the RTM’s top officers and welcomed the town’s legislative body to its new term. 

The voters who gave Cosgrove a resounding victory over Democrat Lynda Mollow did so as well for the RTM. While the Democrats picked up one RTM seat, the Republicans won an 18-12 majority. Since 2013, the R’s have held a majority on the RTM.

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On Putting a Town Shelter in a Flood Plain

by marcia chambers | Nov 2, 2017 6:46 am | Comments (2)

News Analysis. Part 2
File PhotoWas it wise to place a town shelter in a flood plain?

The decision to make the renovated Community House-Senior Center a town shelter for the community in the event of a major hurricane was made without oversight from the Public Building Commission or the public even though the community house is located in a flood plain, off Meadow Street, a road that experiences serious flooding. (See top photo)

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Is the Town’s Public Building Commission Serving Its Municipal Role?

by marcia chambers | Nov 1, 2017 6:09 am

News Analysis. Part 1
With PermissionIs the town’s Public Building Commission ordinance serving its municipal role? An analysis of the first three projects to come before the commission shows each one taking a different route, in part because the overall ordinance is vague, ambiguous and, it turns out, advisory.

The Representative Town Meeting (RTM) adopted the Public Building Commission ordinance in June 2014. The idea was that all building projects would be decided by one town building commission, a commission established and in place, not one created for a specific project as in the past. This was First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove’s idea when he was first elected.

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BHS Evacuated Due to Bomb Threat

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 26, 2017 1:00 pm

Sally E. Bahner PhotoA message left on an answering machine at Branford High School just before 9 a.m. that an explosive “may be placed” in the school led this morning to the evacuation of the school.

Branford Police called in the Connecticut State Police Bomb Squad to search the school.By early afternoon Police Chief Kevin Halloran said the school “is safe to reopen.”

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Challenges to the First Amendment in 2017

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 13, 2017 8:41 am

Sally E, Bahner PhotoThe First Amendment is short, but powerful: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

The Shoreline League of Democratic Women (SLDW), whose membership extends from Branford to Old Lyme and north to Killingworth, hosted a forum at the Guilford Free Library this month that focused on three different aspects of the amendment.

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Attorney Turns Screenwriter for “Marshall”

by marcia chambers | Oct 11, 2017 9:48 am | Comments (6)

Nine years ago, Attorney Michael Koskoff, a senior partner at Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder in Bridgeport and New Haven, and a lawyer who spends most of his time litigating personal injury cases that result in million dollar plus verdicts, turned to writing a screen play. Not all the time, of course. 

Eventually he called upon his son, Jacob, who lives in Los Angeles and writes screenplays, to join the project and together they wrote and finished “Marshall.”  Now, the national premiere of the film is set for this Friday, Oct. 13, in theaters across Connecticut and the nation. Here is the trailer.

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Elderly Man Arrested for Trying to Kill Wife

by marcia chambers | Oct 5, 2017 9:00 am

Branford Police DepartmentAn 81-year-old man was arrested early today, charged with attempting to stab his wife, 74, with a kitchen knife outside their condo on Turtle Bay Drive.

The man, Anthony DeLucia, was arrested after 5 a.m. after police received 911 calls from neighbors complaining of a domestic dispute.

When police officers Erik Suraci and Sean Rubano arrived at the Delucia home at 26 Turtle Bay Drive, they found Mr. Delucia outside the couple’s condo, struggling on the ground with his wife, Anne Marie. Police said he was attempting to stab his wife. Officer Suraci subdued the husband and took him into custody.

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