Hornets Softball Gets Big Win Over Hillhouse

by Bill O'Brien | Apr 25, 2018 8:03 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe Branford girls’ softball team opened the season with a 19-12 win over Wilbur Cross then lost six in row, including three to the SCC’s perennial softball contenders, Hand, East Haven and Guilford. On Friday, the Hornets earned a big win over Hillhouse with a 15-2 victory over the Academics at home.

Bill O'Brien Photo“We needed this win today,” said coach Chuck Reale. “Our team played well in all aspects of the game and we came away with the ‘W.’ I was happy with our performance.”

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BOE Admits School District Failed to Conduct Regular Fire Drills

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 24, 2018 8:16 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoBoard of Education (BOE) Chair Michael Krause admitted last week that the BOE failed to monitor the absence of fire and safety drills in the Branford public school system for years. This will now change.

At a meeting of the BOE’s Communications Committee earlier this month, Krause updated parents and teachers on school safety issues that have arisen in the aftermath of the shootings at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in February.

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Girls’ Lax Coach Jackie Ceccolini Reaches 100 Wins

by Bill O'Brien | Apr 24, 2018 8:09 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoLast year was a dream year for the Branford Hornets girls’ lacrosse team as they won the Class M State Championship. They were the no. 4 ranked team in the CIAC tournament and defeated the no. 2 Pomperaug Panthers 15-8 for the title. The Hornets had finishing with a 16-4 record.

Bill O'Brien PhotoThis year has started out pretty much where last year left off for coach Jackie Ceccolini and her veteran club. They finished the 2017 season winning the last six games on route to the title and this year they have won their first seven in a row.  Sabrina Torcellini (pictured) had five goals for the Hornets.

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Perrotti Appointed to BOE Vacancy

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 19, 2018 9:11 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoAfter deliberating in executive session, the Board of Education (BOE) voted to appoint Dawn Perrotti to fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime member Judith Hotz in January.

In going into the executive session earlier this month, Krause said, “The board is committed to selecting a candidate that has a strong record of supporting all children and to working collaboratively with others to serve the community in the important endeavor of educating Branford’s children. We recognize each candidate brings their experience, expertise and willingness to the interview process.”

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Girls Tennis Runs Into a Guilford Buzzsaw

by Bill O'Brien | Apr 18, 2018 9:48 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe Branford girls’ tennis team started off the season winning three of their first four matches. They lost the first match to Sheehan by only one game (3-4) and then went on defeat Shelton (5-2), Law (6-1), and avenged their loss to Sheehan, 4-3, in their rematch.

Bill O'Brien PhotoLast Thursday, on a cool and blustery afternoon, the young Hornets knew they were going up against a conference power. The Guilford Indians came to town riding a five-game winning streak and winning all their matches by lopsided scores ranging from 7-0 to 5-2. They actually won 38 of the 42 matches played.

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‘Lunch Ladies’ Determined to Keep School Jobs

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 16, 2018 8:57 am | Comments (8)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoThe Board of Education is terminating its contract with Chartwell Food Service at the end of the school year and the 22 “lunch ladies” employed by Chartwell may be out of jobs. They will have to reapply for new jobs at various public schools under a different contractor.

They made their concerns known at last week’s meeting of the Board of Education’s Personnel and Finance Committee meeting, standing with signs as Renee DeAngeles, a 26-year Chartwell employee and Branford resident, addressed the committee.

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State Bond Commission Approves $1M Grant for Blackstone Library

by marcia chambers | Apr 14, 2018 8:56 am

With PermissionFor Blackstone Library leaders, Friday was one of those great days. In the morning, Library Director Karen Jensen and Blackstone Board Chair Andy McKirdy were on hand in Hartford with State Rep. Lonnie Reed (pictured) when the State Bond Commission formally approved a $1 million library construction grant.

Bill O'Brien PhotoIn the afternoon, they were back at the Blackstone to announce that individual donations to the library’s capital campaign reached the amount needed to qualify for the Branford Community Foundation’s (BCF) match of $100,000. The $100,000 grant, to be distributed over four years, is the largest single contribution to an organization in the history of the BCF.

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Branford’s $112M Town-School Budget Arrives at RTM

by Marcia Chambers & Sally E. Bahner | Apr 11, 2018 8:52 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoA $112M town-school budget approved by the Board of Finance (pictured) formally heads to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight with a tiny mill rate increase, following the pattern of a number of shoreline communities this year.

The RTM will examine the RTM budget as it seeks to find additional ways to decrease it. The formal process begins at the RTM meeting tonight at Fire Headquarters at 8 p.m. But the RTM “cannot increase it,” Joseph Mooney, chair of the BOF, said late last month when the BOF unanimously adopted it. Under state law, the BOF consists of three Democrats and three Republicans. At this point, the mill rate would increase a smidgen from 28.47 mills to 28.67 mills over the previous rate. But it might go lower.

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Building Commission Signs Off on Walsh Costs

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 4, 2018 9:31 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoUPDATE—The Public Building Commission (pictured) last week unanimously approved $68,471,807 as the Guaranteed Maximum Price (GMP) for the Walsh Intermediate School renovation and expansion project. The next and final step takes place before the Board of Selectmen.

The difference between the GMP and the $88.2 million total cost of the renovation – approximately $20 million – is for “soft costs” such as furnishings, architects’ fees, legal fees, and owner’s representative (Colliers) fees. The state is providing $30 million toward the project, which is expected to get underway in June.

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Blumenthal: Biggest Threat is Loss of Civil Liberties

by marcia chambers | Apr 3, 2018 8:04 am | Comments (2)

Bill O'Brien PhotoU.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told the junior class at Branford High yesterday that while some might say North Korea is the biggest threat to our country, he believes the biggest threat “we have is to the rule of law, to our civil rights. I think we are in greater danger than at any point in my lifetime of losing critical rights and liberties.”

Bill O'Brien PhotoBlumenthal was responding to a question from one of 200-plus students who turned out for a Town Hall meeting in the BHS auditorium. The Town Hall meeting, which Blumenthal helped to arrange, took about an hour. Afterwards he answered numerous questions from students individually. Some were concerned about safety at their school, which they said had improved. The event was live-streamed so that teachers and students in classes elsewhere in the building could watch it.

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