Should the RTM Decide the Site of Parkside Village?

by marcia chambers | Apr 25, 2017 7:28 am

Marcia Chambers Photo A group of Democratic Representative Town Meeting (RTM) members rose as one at this month’s RTM meeting to denounce the make-up, legality and the reach of a special RTM sub-committee set up to decide if the Parkside Village affordable housing project will be built at the former site of the Branford Hills Elementary School (pictured above).

The uproar about the RTM sub-committee and its purpose came after RTM Moderator Dennis Flanagan (R-5th) appointed Ray Ingraham (R-5th), RTM Republican majority leader, as chair of the sub-committee. Both Ingraham and Flanagan represent the Fifth District where Parkside Village has been located since the 1970s. The 30-member RTM consists of 19 Republicans and 11 Democrats, representing seven districts.

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Kennedy Seeks End to Spraying Toxic Herbicides along State Highways

by Staff | Mar 28, 2017 8:00 am

With Permission The state Senate environmental committee has approved a bi-partisan bill that would ban the Connecticut. Department of Transportation (DOT) from spraying toxic herbicides on state highways and roads. The bill, approved by a vote of 24-6, will soon head to the Senate floor.

As the committee’s business drew to an end, Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), co-chair of the committee, led the passage of the bill, which is designed to stop the practice.

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Name Young Adult Arrestees?

by marcia chambers | Mar 15, 2017 12:31 pm | Comments (1)

Lucy Gellman Photo Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s new proposed criminal justice package provides a no-money bail stipulation for those accused of misdemeanors except in cases of violent crimes or when a judge decides otherwise. It also creates a new “young adults” category in which cases would remain confidential.

Malloy’s proposal to extend “juvenile” status for arrestees up to age 21 did not go over well in the legislature last year, so he pared it back this year. This year’s version defines young adult offenders as those ages 18 through 20 who are accused of committing all but the most serious crimes. They would fall under a hybrid setting, sitting in both the juvenile justice system and the adult system: Their criminal records would remain sealed but their court cases would be open—if you can find them. 

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Cosgrove Testifies as Town, Legislators Grapple With Proposed Education Cuts

by Sally E. Bahner | Mar 3, 2017 9:00 am

First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove (pictured) testified before the state legislature’s Education Committee in Hartford Wednesday, making the case for a $30 million state grant for the renovation and expansion of the Walsh Intermediate School.

He was among a number of town officials from across the state who came before the Education Committee seeking funding for renovating or building new schools. 

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Election Reflection: White House Calls Out Malloy: Branford Responds

by Sally E. Bahner & Diana Stricker | Feb 27, 2017 9:33 am

Diana Stricker Photo Immigration took stage center in Branford and New Haven this past week after White House press secretary Sean Spicer criticized Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, saying Connecticut’s governor “chooses not to follow the duly-passed laws of this nation.”

The governor had issued a statement last week encouraging school and police officials throughout the state to have a plan in place in case the feds want their cooperation with deportation of illegal immigrants.  It turns out each chief had one in place before Malloy’s directive arrived.

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Reed Seeks Changes in Affordable Housing Laws

by Diana Stricker | Feb 23, 2017 8:50 am

File Photo State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) has introduced four bills to update the state’s Affordable Housing statute. The bills would prevent the statute from being exploited; and would also give Branford and similar communities credit for housing that is affordable even if it’s not on the state list.

“The support for these bills is bipartisan and building in strength,” Reed told the Eagle this week. A similar bill passed the House last year, but the legislative session ended before it could be taken up by the Senate.

However, she said there is some opposition to amending the state stature.

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Legislators Confront Budget Crisis with Few Answers

by marcia chambers | Feb 7, 2017 9:27 am | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers Photo At a lively legislative breakfast Saturday lawmakers from both sides of the aisle agreed that a legacy of debt, along with diminished legislative control over the state’s budget, has created a major fiscal crisis that may well result in rising property taxes for Connecticut’s homeowners. 

More than 50 people attended the annual League of Women Voters (LWV) breakfast at the Evergreen Woods retirement community in North Branford. There they listened and questioned the men and women who represent them in Hartford. Carol Reimers, president of the LWV of the East Shore, welcomed the group.

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Walsh School Renovation Makes It to Priority List

by Sally E. Bahner & Marcia Chambers | Jan 26, 2017 9:30 am

File Photo Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez reported at last week’s Board of Education meeting that he and First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove had met with state Reps. Lonnie Reed and Sean Scanlon and state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr. regarding the progress of the Walsh Intermediate School renovation project. The project has now been listed on a priority list.

The underlying issue, all understood, was the uncertainty about the state budget and possible cuts to 49 projected school project grants across the state totaling $450,469,953. The estimated project costs for all 49 projects totaled $778,306,838. 

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Solar Pause Button?

by marcia chambers | Jan 19, 2017 10:43 am

Harry Droz PhotoAre Connecticut’s farms and forests being paved over by avenues of solar panels?

State Rep. Lonnie Reed, (D-102nd) and State Sen.Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-12th) are looking into that question. They have co-introduced a proposed Green Plan Law that is designed to figure out “best practices and rational approaches” to building grid-scale renewables and other energy infrastructure throughout the state.

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“We Are All Immigration Lawyers Now”

by marcia chambers | Jan 13, 2017 9:59 am | Comments (2)

Lucy Gellman Photo As the Trump administration prepares to take office, David Rosen, a longtime New Haven civil rights attorney, and fellow lawyers are preparing to tackle new areas of law in order to protect people who may need them. 

“We are all immigration lawyers, now,” Rosen said quoting a colleague responding to comments by president-elect Trump that he plans to round up and deport undocumented immigrants and penalize “sanctuary cities” like New Haven. Trump will have broad presidential powers to crack down on those cities, USA Today wrote this week.

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