Developer, Housing Authority Optimistic About Appeal

by Diana Stricker | Feb 21, 2018 9:02 am

File PhotoThe developers of the Parkside Village housing proposal are optimistic that their legal appeal filed Tuesday will eventually lead to construction of the long-awaited affordable housing project.

Branford’s Housing Authority and its developers, Beacon Communities LLC of Boston, are challenging the legality of a recent decision by the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission which denied the project.

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Housing Authority, Developer Cite Bias in P&Z Parkside Decision

by Marcia Chambers & Diana Stricker | Feb 20, 2018 1:17 pm

The town’s Housing Authority and Beacon Communities, LLC. , the developer hired to rebuild the dilapidated Parkside housing project on S. Montowese Street,  today asked a Superior Court judge to reverse a January decision by the Planning & Zoning (P&Z) Commission denying the Parkside Village 1 application.

Lead attorney Tim Hollister, an expert in the state’s affordable housing law, had a 14- page appeal served on the Town Clerk this afternoon. Hollister is a partner in the law firm of Shipman & Goodwin in Hartford. The appeal will come before the New Haven Superior Court on March 20. Hollister represents the developer. Anika Lemar, who oversees the Yale Law School’s Community and Economic Development Clinic (“CED”) represents the Housing Authority. One of their first actions will be to ask the judge to transfer the case to the land use court in Hartford.

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Exit 56 Developers Want More Time to Submit Plans

by Diana Stricker | Feb 19, 2018 8:16 am

Diana Stricker PhotoThe owners of property at Exit 56 are trying to change zoning regulations that would affect the proposed 44-acre retail complex at Exit 56, which once included Costco and may again center on a big box store. The changes would allow developers more time to gain site-plan approval for any Planned Development District (PDD).

Chuck Andres (see top photo), who chairs the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission, said regulations were amended in 2011 to provide a deadline because previous PDDs were not being developed. “So we wanted some timeframe to get it done so it’s not left lingering,” Andres said at Thursday’s meeting.  “If you get the benefit of a PDD, which is not your standard zoning, which is something special …. we want you to move forward.”

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A School Budget Without Dollars

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 17, 2018 8:29 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner Photo .Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez gave his FY19 Budget Presentation Wednesday night with the theme “Responsiveness.” Hernandez typically provides themes to his presentations, which, in the past, have included “Sustainability,” “Synergy,” and “Coherence.”

The PowerPoint presentation included various priorities, projected average class sizes and grade level counts, anticipated accomplishments, major “drivers” (salaries, benefits, etc.) as a percentage of the proposed budget, a list of previously requested increases (in percentages), enrollment numbers, numbers and percentages concerning students eligible for free and reduced meals and the English Language Learning population, and graphs concerning “critical data.”

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 16, 2018 8:49 am

Free is always good, so head into New Haven tonight for Yale Concert Band’s Winter Concert at Woolsey Hall. Snow is expected Saturday night into Sunday, but the weather will be clear during the day on Saturday if you’ve been planning to view the eagles along the Connecticut River. While the week itself is quiet, next weekend is chock full of good things, including the opportunity to support a lot of worthy non-profits. Then March comes roaring in with even more cool events! Do you have a cool event? Email

Friday, Feb. 16

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Bluepoint Wellness: Marijuana as Blueprint for Pain Control

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 16, 2018 7:28 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner PhotoMedical marijuana is becoming an increasingly important part of the toolbox for treating chronic pain and cancer.  And Branford has been in the forefront of meeting that need.

The town’s Bluepoint Wellness dispensary has been operational since 2014 and expanded in 2016 into larger quarters in a former bank building on East Main Street. It’s not just a trendy novelty – the facility serves more than 3,000 patients, prescribed by 1,000 doctors.

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New Boys’ Swim Coach Looking To Build Team Roster

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 15, 2018 8:52 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoWhen former coach Ray Beaulac left as the boys’ swim coach at Branford last year to pursue his professional career in medical prosthetics the co-athletic directors, Sav Synodi and Jake Palluzzi, posted the position and went to work to find a replacement.

Bill O'Brien PhotoEnter Jennifer Amasino. “We were very lucky to find Jenn,” said Palluzzi. “She had a wealth of experience as a swimmer, aquatic director, assistant coach, and head coach and she was a great fit for our program.”

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Lawmakers urge reversing clean-energy cuts, but lack budget fix

by Keith M. Phaneuf | Feb 14, 2018 8:33 am | Comments (2)

CT. Mirror PhotoA coalition of legislators and energy efficiency advocates pledged Tuesday to work to restore at least some of the roughly $175 million stripped from green programs in the new two-year state budget.

But none of the nearly dozen legislators who attended the bipartisan press conference identified alternative spending cuts or revenue increases to offset any restoration of funds for clean energy.

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Hornet Girls Get Revenge Over Sacred Heart Sharks

by Bill O'Brien | Feb 13, 2018 8:48 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoLess than a month ago, the Branford girls’ basketball team played Sacred Heart Academy (SHA) in Hamden and fell to the “Sharks” by nine points, 42-33. This past Friday night you wouldn’t think it was the same Hornets’ team as they crushed SHA by 35 points, 49-14. Here Sophomore Mikayla Brown looks to pass as she’s guarded by SHA’s Elena Farquharson.

Bill O'Brien Photo“It feels good to win tonight. It’s good to win any night,” said a smiling Coach Justin Henry. “I’m happy for the seniors.” Friday was Senior Night honoring the four senior girls on the team, (L-R):The four seniors are Mia Tomasello, Marisa Minore, Victoria Raffone and Emma Pierson.

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Parent and Son Sue Branford School Officials

by marcia chambers | Feb 12, 2018 12:15 pm | Comments (2)

File PhotoTwo Branford teachers along with top school officials have been sued for negligence after a fifth grade teacher encouraged students in his class to end their friendships with a mentally challenged 11-year-old boy, saying the boy was a “troubled individual to be avoided.”

A 15-page civil complaint filed in September in New Haven Superior Court states the classroom exchange took place last May, and was between Peter Montecalvo, a fifth grade language arts and social studies teacher at Walsh Intermediate School, and the students in his class. The disabled boy was not in the classroom at the time because he was receiving other instruction, the complaint said. While not addressing the boy directly, the teacher provided information to his classmates that led them to reject and shun him, the complaint says. 

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