IWC Approves “Bog Walk” for Red Hill Woods

by Diana Stricker | Mar 17, 2017 8:11 am

With Permission It will soon be a little easier to enjoy the unique wetlands on the Branford Land Trust’s Red Hill Woods property after a wooden “bog walk” is created to span a portion of the site.

The Inland Wetlands Commission (IWC) unanimously approved a permit to build a 1,200-foot boardwalk that will loop through a floodplain area and cross a 5-foot stream. Construction is expected to begin in April, and will rely on work by Land Trust members and other community volunteers.

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Iconic Blackstone Library To Expand

by Diana Stricker | Mar 8, 2017 8:15 am

With Permission The James Blackstone Memorial Library is kicking off a capital campaign to raise funds for a renovation project that will bring the iconic 1896 library into the 21st century.

“It’s an iconic building in our town. It’s beloved,” Library director Karen Jensen said during a press conference Tuesday morning. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t meet the needs of a 21st century library.”

Plans call for a 2,000 square-foot addition on the ground floor, and reconfiguration of many interior spaces throughout the library. The distinctive front entrance and steps will remain the same. 

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BOS Appoints Two of Four Temporary Building Commission Members

by Diana Stricker | Mar 6, 2017 9:06 am

With Permission Two department heads have been appointed to serve as temporary members of the Public Building Commission to oversee the Community House/Senior Center project; and two seats are still open.

The Board of Selectman (BOS) unanimously appointed Dagmar Ridgway, director of the Canoe Brook Senior Center; and Alex Palluzzi, Jr., director of the Parks and Recreation Department, to serve on the commission.

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Election Reflection: Women Don’t Forget

by Sally E. Bahner | Jan 22, 2017 1:06 pm

Maura Lane Photo They were sitting in their cars in the commuter lot at Cherry Hill Road in Branford in what for many would be the middle of the night. It was chilly and a light rain was falling.

They hoped they would make an impact in taking a bus to the nation’s capitol to attend the Women’s March. Little did they know they would be making history. As Gloria Steinem, honorary chairwoman of the march later told the demonstrators, “Sometimes we must put our bodies where our beliefs are.”  Thousands of demonstrators from Connecticut attended the Washington, D.C. rally.  Here is the CT Mirror’s report.

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A Litany for a Divided Country

by marcia chambers | Jan 17, 2017 9:00 am

Marcia Chambers  PhotoAs a young teen with a passion for the hurdles, James Barber (pictured) intuitively understood how to reach high even on the segregated track fields of Washington, D.C., where he grew up.

He came to Connecticut in 1960 from the nation’s capitol to attend college and he found racism here, too, only it was more subtle and indirect. He slowly figured out how they do it in the North. At one point he tried to enlist in the U.S. Coast Guard. “I am fourth in line of the young men who were waiting, ages 18 to 25. Even though I am fourth in line and 13 other young men came in behind me,” he did not move up. 

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Meet Unk, The Sculptor

by Diana Stricker | Dec 23, 2016 8:05 am

Diana Stricker Photo The hands that carved this nativity scene belong to Unk DaRos, who patiently turned a log into a work of art. Even more remarkable is the workshop he built as a replica of the 1850 Stony Creek freight depot on the old New Haven-New London Railroad line.

DaRos returned to his creative roots after retiring from more than a dozen years as Branford’s first selectman.  These days he can be found working on projects in the depot that he finished building last December. It took about nine months to complete the structure, with a little help from family and friends. But the dream of rebuilding the depot began decades ago.

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Tree Lighting Parade Draws Huge Crowd to the Green

by Bill O'Brien | Nov 30, 2016 9:04 am

Bill O'Brien Photo Saturday couldn’t have been a better night to come to the center of town for the 16th annual Branford Tree Lighting Parade. The weather was cool but pleasant and a large crowd, about 2,500 people, including hundreds of kids and their families came to welcome Santa, view the parade and witness the lighting of the Christmas tree.

Bill O'Brien Photo It was quite an event.

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Election Reflection: Branford Ponders the Future

by Sally E. Bahner | Nov 23, 2016 9:00 am

Sally E. Bahner Photo It’s no secret that Branford is a diverse community, economically and socially.

How the new Trump administration’s policies will play out among the town’s immigrants – some here legally, some not – remains to be seen. Most are going about their lives, working, shepherding their kids through school, and taking care of their homes.

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Branford Celebrates Veterans Day in Town, at High School

by Bill O'Brien | Nov 14, 2016 8:24 am

Lexie Klarman Photo It might have been a little windy and chilly or perhaps it was the two major televised football games that kept attendance low, but it didn’t take anything away from the 2016 Veterans Day parade and the over 500 marchers who came out to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans. It was a celebration that carried through the week, concluding on Friday with the 19th annual Branford High School Student Council and Horizons Program.

Marcia Chambers Photo Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday observed annually and honors military veterans. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, which were celebrated in other countries to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Spectators came in many varieties, were dressed accordingly and paid attention.

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Branford’s Tributes to World War I Veterans

by Vivian Englund | Nov 11, 2016 9:00 am | Comments (1)

Vivian Englund Photo World War I ended 98 years ago today, on Nov. 11, 1918, but it is commemorated in the center of Branford and in Stony Creek where one of the nation’s most famous veterans lived.

J. Andre Smith, a World War I veteran, a noted military artist and an architect, designed the town’s largest World War I monument, the cenotaph, at 1019 Main St. Carved in Stony Creek granite is “Pro Patria 1917-1918,” just below a Distinguished Service Cross.

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