Legal Writes

Back to School Preparations: Beyond the Backpack

by Sally E. Bahner | Aug 26, 2016 7:08 am

File Photo For parents and kids, school preparations are underway for the opening of Branford’s public schools on Monday. New backpacks, sneakers, and notebooks are on the list. All are material items.

But what about the emotional preparation you will need if your kid gets bullied?

The Eagle has recently published two exclusive articles here and here about a serious bullying case at Walsh Intermediate School, a case that, while traumatic for the family, didn’t even find its way onto the school’s official bullying log. And the transfer student who led the bullying attacks against a Jewish student is returning to Walsh this year. 

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No Morning Dew on Car Leads to Arrest

by marcia chambers | Aug 24, 2016 7:00 am

Branford P.D. Before sunrise yesterday, an astute Branford police officer noticed that a parked car at a Shell Gas Station on Leetes Island Road in Stony Creek had no morning dew on its windows.

The car seemed oddly out-of-place compared to the other cars parked nearby. The time was 4:30 a.m.

So the officer, Chris Cope, inspected more closely, driving his police car nearer to the parked car. As he did, a man, later identified as Esteban Melendez, 18, of New Bedford, Mass., popped up in the driver’s seat, his hands raised in the air.

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ZBA Rejects Controversial Shoreline Home

by Diana Stricker | Aug 17, 2016 1:30 pm | Comments (2)

Diana Stricker Photo A Middletown man showed Branford’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) photos of the half-acre lot where he hoped to build a shoreline home, but the board denied his requests for variances, saying he knew when he bought the land last year it was not a buildable lot.

Diana Stricker Photo The ZBA voted unanimously to deny the variances after a two-hour public hearing Tuesday night that attracted about 50 people. The previous owner‘s request for variances was denied in January 2015.

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Walsh Bullying Episode Draws Outside Agencies

by Sally E. Bahner | Aug 15, 2016 8:00 am | Comments (3)

Mary Johnson Photo Adrienne Serra, an advocate for Orit Avizov, whose son was attacked last winter by Walsh Intermediate School students allegedly yelling “Kill the Jew,” has been corresponding with state and federal agencies for months to seek a resolution to the bullying episode.

She has consulted with the state Department of Education (SDE), the U.S. Attorney’s Office (The Department of Justice) and state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr.’s office, she told the Eagle in an interview.

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Walsh Bullying Log Omits Reported Student Hate Crime

by Sally E. Bahner | Aug 10, 2016 3:07 pm | Comments (2)

File Photo “Kill the Jew!”

So one member of a crowd allegedly yelled while attacking a Jewish student earlier this year at Walsh Intermediate School.

That incident ended up in an official medical report that the school is required to keep by law. But somehow it didn’t show up in a different public report, a log entitled “Verified Acts of Bullying in Branford Public Schools.”

Now Adrienne Serra is trying to find out why.

Serra is an advocate for Orit Avizov, whose son was the victim of the hate crime. In July Serra received that system-wide bullying report, and couldn’t find the anti-Semitic incident anywhere in it.

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SEEC Sends Ingraham Election Case to Enforcement Unit; Denies Grant

by marcia chambers | Aug 4, 2016 8:18 am | Comments (2)

File Photo The State Election Enforcement Commission’s (SEEC) will conduct an inquiry into Ray Ingraham’s public financing campaign application in connection with his race for state representative on the Republican ticket. The SEEC also voted yesterday to deny Ingraham’s grant application for state public campaign funding based on the application itself.

Ingraham, the chair of Branford’s Republican Town Committee and the majority leader of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), announced he was quitting the state rep race a week ago. The   SEEC had been questioning the authenticity of his campaign application, delaying his funding under the Citizens Election Program (CEP).  He also cited personal reasons for his withdrawal from the race. 

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Ingraham, Facing SEEC Inquiry, Withdraws from State Rep Race

by marcia chambers | Jul 29, 2016 7:57 am | Comments (5)

File Photo Saying he made a “serious error in judgment” when he falsely signed donor forms when applying for state public campaign financing, Ray Ingraham, chair of Branford’s Republican Town Committee and a leader of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), withdrew from the race for state representative yesterday.

“This is my fault, and was avoidable,” he said in admitting that he failed to follow the rules. According to State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC) minutes, his request for state campaign financing was still pending when he announced his withdrawal from the race yesterday.

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A Witness to the Dangers of Police Work

by Diana Stricker | Jul 16, 2016 11:00 am

Diana Stricker Photo A Branford police officer, who was injured when his cruiser was hit by a DUI driver, was able to steer his damaged cruiser onto the berm to avoid chain-reaction collisions at the busy North Main Street intersection.

I know that because I was there. The force of the impact caused the westbound cruiser to head toward my car, which was stopped in the far left turn-lane of North Main Street, waiting to turn onto Cedar Street. There were cars in the two lanes to my right, and vehicles behind us. But thankfully, no other cars were hit.

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Former Chair Seeks State Takeover Of IWC

by marcia chambers | Jul 15, 2016 1:10 pm | Comments (2)

The former chair of the Branford Inland Wetlands Commission has asked the state’s energy and environmental protection commissioner to take over the function of the agency.

He proposed that the commissioner also place a moratorium on commercial development until an investigation is undertaken into the replacement of former members of the wetlands commission.

In a three-page letter to Rob Klee, commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Danny Shapiro, who served as Inland Wetlands Commission chair for 22 years, asked Klee to intervene on behalf of an IWC “that has been battered. Specifically I am hoping that you will see fit to have the State take on the Commission’s function and place a moratorium on commercial development until this matter in our Town can be investigated.” 

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Medical Examiner ID’s Body as Jason Czech

by marcia chambers | Jul 10, 2016 7:22 am

Branford P.D. A body found in a car in a residential neighborhood in Meriden on Friday has been identified as Jason Czech, 39, who lived in Branford and worked for Bristol-Myers Squibb in Wallingford. He was reported missing to Branford police on July 4.

The chief medical examiner’s office told the Czech family yesterday that the cause of death was pending further study and would not be available for six to eight weeks, the Meriden Record-Journal reports.

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