State Grants Awarded to Preserve Branford, Madison Woodlands

by Staff | Nov 17, 2016 8:10 am

File Photo State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. (D-Branford) announced yesterday that Branford and Madison would receive major state grants aimed at preserving nearly 100 acres of significant forest land within their towns.

Kennedy was joined by Representatives Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), Sean Scanlon (D-Guilford), and Noreen Kokoruda (R-Madison) as he announced that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition program had approved $91,000 for Branford’s Red Hill Road property. The Red Hill property, located off Exit 56 at I-95, was recently acquired by the Branford Land Trust (BLT). This 29.1-acre undeveloped wood lot is within the Hoadley Creek watershed and contributes to an existing greenway of forest land.

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Reed, Kelly Clash On Budget, Regionalism, Special Ed

by marcia chambers | Nov 1, 2016 6:48 am

Marcia Chambers Photo At a lively debate last week, Democratic State Rep. Lonnie Reed of Branford and her Republican opponent Chris Kelly made it clear that each has fundamentally different positions on the idea of towns sharing services, on how special education is funded and in playing the blame game. 

Reed, who is seeking her fifth term in office as state representative of the 102nd District, and Kelly, who is new to politics, squared off in an hour-long debate sponsored by the League of Women Voters.

Kelly, who arrived in Branford with his wife and daughter 16 months ago, is a first-time candidate for public office. The debate, the only one scheduled between the candidates, was held at Fire Headquarters and drew about 45 people.

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A Blue Ribbon Opening for Branford Train Station

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 29, 2016 8:09 am

Mary Johnson Photo Citing its asset to the town and beyond, state and local officials snipped the bright blue ribbon and declared the newly expanded Branford Train Station officially open.

However, not surprisingly, the station will not be fully operational until Saturday, Nov. 5. Delays in this railroad project have been a recurring theme since it got underway in 2013. 

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Kennedy, Wilson Differ On Tolls, Undecided On Right-To-Die

by marcia chambers | Oct 23, 2016 9:02 am | Comments (2)

Robert Rattner Photo Democratic State Sen. Ted Kennedy, Jr. and Republican businessman Bruce Wilson, Jr. engaged in a brisk and lively debate last week, agreeing with each other that the state’s education financing structure is broken and disagreeing on the use of tolls at the state’s borders. Each candidate agreed that any proposed right to-die legislation needs to be examined carefully.

A number of the questions raised dealt with seniors in part because their first debate was sponsored by the AARP and the League of Women Voters. (LWV).

About 200 people came out to hear the debate between the two candidates, who were back on stage for the first time since they debated in 2014 when they first ran against one another for what was then an open State Senate seat.  The debate was televised by BCTV.

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Walsh Plans Headed to State for Grant Approval

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 18, 2016 6:59 am

Sally E. Bahner The Branford Board of Education has approved a third revision of education specifications for the $88.2 million Walsh Intermediate School renovation, which included a net reduction of 6,000 square feet. Now the latest revisions head to Hartford.

The reduction in square footage will bring the design closer to the 150,000 square feet mandated by the state for its 35 percent reimbursement, but the town will still be in need of a space waiver. That reimbursement is based on the highest projected enrollment of 944 students, officials told the BOE at a meeting at the Walsh school Thursday.

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Wilson Makes Second Try for Kennedy Senate Seat

by Emily Patton | Oct 14, 2016 5:59 am

Emily Patton Photo Lured out of retirement by a mixture of boredom and curiosity, Bruce R. Wilson, Jr. arrived at New Haven’s H. Krevit and Co. in June 2015 on a rescue mission: the local manufacturing company was floundering in debt, and Wilson was tasked with keeping it afloat.

Having succeeded at the latter assignment—the company resurfaced from bankruptcy in the course of four months, adding 30 employees to its original roster of 40—Wilson set his sights on another project: the Connecticut State Senate.

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Parkside Village Application Abruptly Withdrawn

by Diana Stricker | Oct 10, 2016 6:00 am

Diana Stricker Photo Doug Denes, chairman of Branford’s Housing Authority, said he was “absolutely dumbfounded that we are not receiving accolades” for a project to replace the dilapidated Parkside Village low-income housing.

Then, in an unexpected move, Denes withdrew the application at Thursday’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) hearing just as the developers from Beacon Communities LLC were ready to present revised plans. The original plans met with questions from neighbors and town staff last month. The developers were hoping for approval of both a Planned Development District (PDD) and site plans by early November to meet an annual deadline for federal funding applications.

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Blackstone and Guilford Libraries Receive High Speed Internet Grants

by Staff | Oct 9, 2016 6:31 am

The State Library Board has approved grants to bring high-speed fiber Internet to the James Blackstone Memorial Library (pictured) in Branford and the Guilford Free Library in Guilford. They are among 90 libraries around the state that will receive these grants, which are the product of state legislation passed in 2015.

Blackstone Library will receive $28,700; the funds will be used to install high-speed fiber connections to the Connecticut Education Network. Guilford’s share is $17,440.

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Soft Opening Today for Two-Way Branford Train Station

by Sally E. Bahner | Sep 30, 2016 7:00 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo Dare we say it’s happening?

After delays due to site problems, winter weather, elevator parts, and, most recently, the Train Approach Messaging System (TAMS), the actual train moment arrives today. 

As of 6 a.m. today the orange cones and caution tape at the head of the Kiss & Go drive on Kirkham Street were removed and passengers will have access to the north side of the Branford Train Station.

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Second Time Around, Kennedy Campaigns on Record

by Emily Patton | Sep 28, 2016 7:05 am | Comments (1)

Emily Patton Photo In the 2014 election, which marked state Sen. Ted Kennedy Jr.’s first run for elected office, Kennedy’s campaign focused on introducing him to voters and familiarizing them with his ideas.  Now, he says, “It’s not just talk; it’s actually what I’ve done.”

As the November election draws near, Kennedy, who represents the 12th senate district, which includes Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison and North Branford, says he is running on his record. He is also running on bi-partisanship, he says, specifically his commitment to working with Republicans across the aisle to get bills passed into law.

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