BOE Votes 2.5 Percent Salary Increase for Schools Superintendent

by Sally Bahner | Aug 21, 2018 8:00 am

Photo by Sally BahnerAfter a two-plus hour executive session, the Board of Education resumed its regular session Wednesday, Aug. 15, at Branford High School, and voted unanimously to extend the contract of Schools superintendent Hamlet Hernandez until 2021 and approve a 2.5 percent salary increase. The board also heard a report on school security from consultant Joe Erardi in executive session.

The board typically does not report on details of its executive sessions.  School security, however, has been discussed at length in recent months.

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Will Medicinal Pot Grow in Branford?

by Diana Stricker | May 21, 2018 2:11 pm

Diana Stricker PhotoProspective producers of medical marijuana are looking at Branford as a place to take root, and the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission says those facilities are covered under existing zoning regulations.

In other business Thursday, the commission continued a public hearing on two proposed retail stores on North Main Street, and asked the developer to reduce the amount of excavation.

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Bluepoint Wellness: Marijuana as Blueprint for Pain Control

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 16, 2018 8:28 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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Walsh Intermediate School Extends Student Health Care Hours

by marcia chambers | Oct 10, 2017 8:33 am | Comments (2)

Thanks to a recent grant, the Walsh Intermediate School Based Health Center will be working with Yale-New Haven Hospital (YNHH) to open 45 minutes before school starts in order to extend current service time to meet the needs of families who may have urgent care needs, are enrolled in the school based health center and are need of services. The new extended hours program begins Nov. 1.

Walsh was selected by the Connecticut Health Foundation, the state’s largest independent health philanthropy, to receive a $25,000 grant that is designed to avoid or reduce school absences and to keep kids out of emergency rooms. Walsh enrolls 916 students in grades five to eight. This is a school based health clinic that is partially funded by the Department of Public Health and YNHH. 

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Parkside Village Plans Moving Forward

by Diana Stricker | Sep 11, 2017 7:27 am

With PermissionThe Housing Authority and the developer of the proposed Parkside Village affordable housing complex are hopeful this year’s revised plans will succeed.  The project would replace the dilapidated buildings that house low-income seniors and people with disabilities.

“We’re very optimistic,” said Housing Authority chair Doug Denes at Wednesday night’s meeting, which was held at the Parkside 1 complex at 115 S. Montowese St.

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Senate Unanimously Adopts Bill to Combat Opioid Epidemic

by Staff | Jun 7, 2017 12:05 pm

File PhotoState Sen.Ted Kennedy, Jr., (D-Branford), last night led a unanimous bi-partisan state senate to adopt a series of major policy changes in how the state fights an ongoing opioid crisis. Kennedy, a health care attorney, said the bill will transform the way Connecticut fights the opioid epidemic on a variety of fronts. 

The new bill law establishes a “standing order” model, which will make it easier for friends and family members of opioid addicts to obtain Narcan, the life-saving opioid overdose reversal medication. It also requires doctors to reduce the maximum opioid prescription for minors from seven days to five unless the doctor can document the need for an extended prescription. 

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Town’s Top Public Works Leaders Quit

by marcia chambers | Jan 9, 2017 12:10 pm | Comments (2)

Marcia Chambers PhotoBranford’s first major snowstorm of the year hit the town with a fury this past weekend and Department of Public Works crews, the town’s first responders in a snowstorm, were out plowing the town’s streets and byways. But this storm was different.

It was different because the Department of Public Works’ two top officials, the men who have led the department, were not there to oversee the operation. They resigned their leadership posts within the last month.

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Alps Farmers Market Folds but Future is Wide Open

by Sally E. Bahner | Dec 29, 2016 9:37 am | Comments (1)

File PhotoAlthough the Branford Alps Farmers Market is pulling up its stakes after two seasons, market manager Martha Maguire says she is not leaving the local fresh food movement.

Maguire hopes that someone else acceptable to the town will take over the market. She’s open to hearing new ideas or helping with other markets. “For the powers-that-be to realize that people enjoyed it might make it easier to find a better location,” she said.

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Doc: Mentally Ill Overcrowding Prisons

by marcia chambers | Dec 6, 2016 9:04 am | Comments (1)

Lucy Gellman PhotoDr. Howard Zonana, a forensic psychiatrist who works at the intersection of law and medicine, says the single most pressing issue facing the nation and the state today is the overcrowding of mentally ill patients in prisons, hospitals and emergency rooms. 

Dr. Zonana, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine and a clinical professor of law at the Yale Law School, has been instrumental for the past 40 years in getting both worlds to work together in the field of forensic psychiatry, a field that confronts the most difficult cases, those involving mentally ill defendants.

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Love146 Tackles the Challenges of Child Trafficking and Exploitation

by Sally E. Bahner | Oct 31, 2016 7:49 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoWhen Rob Morris saw a 5-year-old year girl in a red dress in a Southeast Asian brothel with other girls in red dresses, he knew he had to act. A number – 146 – was pinned to her shirt and, he said, he saw defiance in her eyes.

Morris, who co-founded Love146 in 2002 and serves as its president, described that encounter at a recent gathering at the Stony Creek Brewery, titled “Hope is Brewing.” He said he was brought along as an observer by a team investigating the brothel and saw the girls in the red dresses. They had no names, just numbers. “They were shut down with blank stares,” he said. Except for no. 146. 

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