State Roads Closed as Blizzard Barrels into Branford

by marcia chambers | Mar 14, 2017 8:00 pm

Mary Johnson Photo UPDATE—A blizzard barreled into Branford early Tuesday morning as a serious Nor’easter pounded the state with heavy snow and strong winds. The temperature got warmer as the day unfolded and the snow turned to sleet and rain. Temperatures were expected to plunge tonight, creating potential black ice problems for the morning. Plows were out clearing Branford’s roadways.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has ordered a statewide travel ban, beginning at 5 a.m. Tuesday. The ban included all state roads in Branford and surrounding communities. It remained in effect until 5 p.m. today.

At 5:30 p.m, at his final press conference for the day, the governor announced that state offices will be open for business tomorrow and told workers to come to work.

It’s not often that the state closes down its main roads, the governor said at a news conference in Hartford. “We don’t do this frequently. Because we don’t do it frequently people listen. This is New England. We have snow. I’m most appreciative that people listened.” Earlier in the day he urged residents to stay home. “Make brownies,” he said, or “read a book.” His wife took him up on it and a tray of brownies was later delivered and shared with the press corps covering the blizzard. 

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Winter Wakes Up

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 10, 2017 8:12 am | Comments (1)

Bill O'Brien Photo After a relatively mild season that included temperatures in the 50s, winter woke up like a bear from hibernation.

A New England classic, Storm Niko dumped around a foot of blowing snow at a rate of 2 to 4 inches per hour during its height, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. yesterday. Unlike January’s storm, which had the courtesy to strike on a weekend, Niko made its appearance just in time for the work day.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 2, 2017 10:12 am

Just because it’s the dead of winter, that doesn’t mean you can’t commune with nature. Eagles included. The weekend kicks off the annual watches and cruises. There are so many opportunities to get up close and personal with these magnificent creatures. And if you’re headed to the Essex area for Eagle education, be sure to stop in at the Griswold Inn. The food is great and the atmosphere, quintessential New England.

Saturday, Feb. 4


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Independent Study Backs Land Trust in Medlyn Farm Dispute

by marcia chambers | Jan 3, 2017 8:40 am | Comments (1)

The Branford Land Trust (BLT) today set the record straight when it comes to salt water flooding at the historic Medlyn Farm in Stony Creek.

Pete Raymond, president of the BLT, says it is time for members and friends of the Branford Land Trust to understand that the land trust’s removal of a cracked earthen berm near Jarvis Creek in 2012, did not prompt salt water flooding at the Medlyn farm. The land trust removed the berm after the state’s environmental agency and the federal Army Corps of Engineers approved the action.

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State Grants Awarded to Preserve Branford, Madison Woodlands

by Staff | Nov 17, 2016 9:10 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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P&Z Consensus: Deny Pawson Park Project

by marcia chambers | Sep 16, 2016 1:00 pm

Marcia Chambers Photo The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) won’t vote on a small affordable housing project on what is termed an “unbuildable lot” in Pawson Park until its next meeting, but the commissioners expressed concern and disapproval about the project last night.

The half-acre property at 239 Pawson Road is located in a flood plain, and contains tidal wetlands and an easement to an adjacent 20 acres of state-owned open-space property.

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Rising Seas, Tidal Wetlands and Affordable Housing?

by Diana Stricker | Sep 8, 2016 6:59 am

Diana Stricker Photo The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission has two months to discuss a request to build affordable housing on what has been termed an “unbuildable” lot on Branford’s shoreline. The half-acre property is located in a flood plain, and contains tidal wetlands and an easement to an adjacent 20 acres of state-owned open-space property.

“We have time,” said Chairman Charles Andres following the close of the public hearing last week.  Andres said the commission needs to discuss and review all the documents and testimony before making a decision.  “This is something that I think we should take very carefully … and discuss it thoroughly,” he said.

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Pawson Neighbors Protest Housing Plan at P&Z Hearing

by Diana Stricker | Jul 25, 2016 7:00 am

Diana Stricker Photo Pawson Road neighbors say it’s wrong to build multi-family homes, under the guise of affordable housing, on a half-acre property that is prone to coastal flooding. They also object to the owner’s alternate request to build a single- family home on the site, which has been deemed an unbuildable lot.

About 90 people crowded into the meeting room Thursday at the Canoe Brook Senior Center for a public hearing before the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission. They applauded State Rep. Lonnie Reed, (D-Branford) when she said similar situations are happening elsewhere in the state and efforts are underway to enact legislation to clarify the state’s affordable housing act.

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Town’s Boat Launch Closes July 18

by Diana Stricker | Jul 6, 2016 7:00 am

File Photo The good news is the town’s boat launch on the Branford River was open during the first part of the summer. The bad news is that it will be closed for re-construction from July 18 through Nov. 14, 2016.

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is replacing the aging launch at 38 Goodsell Point Road with a new state-of-the-art structure. The DEEP said in February that the closure would begin in late spring, but it recently announced the exact dates.

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Community Working To End Beach Bacteria

by marcia chambers | May 12, 2016 7:57 am

File Photo Two of Branford’s public beaches,  Branford Point, one of town’s most famous beaches and Johnson’s Beach in Short Beach, have long had high rates of unsafe bacterial contamination.

Some years the level is higher, some years lower. What Curt Johnson, the executive director of Save the Sound, told a group of residents at a community meeting last night at Fire Headquarters is that scientists have found a correlation between bacteria levels and whether the weather is dry or wet. Higher levels of bacteria are typically found in wet weather, lower levels in dry weather, Johnson said.

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