Shovels, Hardhats at the Ready: Walsh Groundbreaking

by Sally E. Bahner & Bill O'Brien | Jun 14, 2018 8:00 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoWalsh Intermediate School was built in 1972 at the height of the open classroom concept, a trend that was never completely successful. Opened as Branford Intermediate School for fifth through eighth graders, the school was subsequently renamed in honor of Francis Walsh, who served as principal for more than 20 years, from 1972 until his retirement in 1994.

Bill O'Brien PhotoWalsh, who went on to serve on the Board of Selectmen, was among the town officials, local legislators, and construction representatives attending the groundbreaking last week for the school’s $88.2 million renovation, the largest bonding appropriation undertaken by the town.

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Walsh Athletic Fields Removed for Renovation

by Sally E. Bahner | Jun 4, 2018 8:30 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoThe dual renovation projects – at the Walsh Intermediate School and the Community Center – are resulting in the need to juggle sports schedules. Now it turns out that virtually all the fields at Walsh have been removed and at this juncture there are no funds to revive them.

This latest turn of events came to light at a recent Public Building Commission (PBC) meeting as PBC members, wading through the details of both projects, learned about the overall condition of both the Walsh and the town’s fields.  The PBC has discussed sports schedules over the past year.

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Cool Events This Weekend, Here & Beyond

by Sally E. Bahner | Jun 1, 2018 8:48 am | Comments (1)

Is it summer yet? We had a taste last weekend. Summer activities are lining up, so all we need is the accompanying weather. In the lineup, however, are trifecta of town favorites… the Branford Festival, Fireworks, and Branford Jazz on the Green. If you’ve wondered what goes on at the state-of-the-art Fire Headquarters, now’s your chance. The open house on Saturday includes a full tour of the facility. Got a cool event? Email

Friday, June 1

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Big Crowd Salutes World War II Vets on Memorial Day

by Bill O'Brien | May 31, 2018 9:00 am

Bill O'Brien Photo}For those who woke up early on Memorial Day and looked out the window they might have said, “Not again,” seeing the light mist that was falling. The past two years the Memorial Day Parade had been cancelled because of rain. Here the Stony Creek Fife & Drum Corp march down Main Street.

Bill O'Brien PhotoBut those overcast skies didn’t stop the members of the Branford Veterans Committee who met, as they do every year rain or shine, at the parking lot at Montowese and South Main Streets at 6:30 a.m. to begin their annual walk to the seven cemeteries in town where they conduct services for the 1,749 veterans buried there.  Hundreds marched in the Stony Creek Parade from the flag pole to the cemetery

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Branford’s World War II Vets To Serve as Parade Marshals

by Bill O'Brien | May 24, 2018 9:14 am

Bill O'Brien PhotoFor the first time in the history of the Branford Memorial Day parade there will be more than one parade marshal leading the marchers on Monday, May 28.

Bill O'Brien PhotoSix Branford veterans who served in World War II have agreed to lead the parade this year and will be introduced at the ceremonies on the Green at 10 a.m. prior to the parade stepping off at 10:30 a.m. They will then be driven in convertibles along the parade route to be recognized for their service.

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Board of Finance Adopts $112M Town-School Budget

by Diana Stricker & Marcia Chambers | May 23, 2018 8:58 am

Diana Stricker PhotoThe Board of Finance (BOF) Monday night unanimously adopted a $112 million Town-School budget that includes a property tax increase of less than 1 percent.

The BOF set the town’s mill rate for the 2018-19 fiscal year at 28.64 mills, which is a 0.6 percent increase over the current mill rate of 28.47.  Last year, there was a 3.85 percent increase in the mill rate. Click here to read the story.

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Dog Frisbee Contest Draws Record Number of Entrees

by Bill O'Brien | May 9, 2018 8:47 am | Comments (2)

Bill O'Brien PhotoOn the first Saturday of May for the past 15 years, Young’s Pond Park has been the site of the annual “Skyhoundz Dog Frisbee Contest,” organized by Victor Amatori, program supervisor of the Branford Recreation Department.

Bill O'Brien PhotoThis past Saturday, 23 canines were registered by their owners for this year’s competition. “That’s the most we ever had. It’s getting bigger and more competitive each year,” Amatori said. Here Jack, an 11-year-old Aussie, makes a great catch of his Frisbee.

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Permitting Process, Weather May Delay Community Center

by Sally E. Bahner | Apr 30, 2018 10:01 pm

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe Public Building Commission heard updates on the completion of the Walsh Intermediate School and Community Center projects at its April meeting at Fire Headquarters. Timelines and possible delays regarding resumption of sports activities, specifically football and swimming, were discussed.

Sally E. Bahner PhotoTom Arcari (speaking) of QA&M Architects (formerly Quisenberry-Arcari) said there is “some slippage” in the schedule for the Community Center completion. A 40-day adjustment may be necessary due to inclement weather and in receiving the final building permits from the town.

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Removal of Bradford Pears Underway in Town Center

by Sally E. Bahner & Bill O'Brien | Apr 26, 2018 7:42 am | Comments (1)

Bill O'Brien PhotoNineteen flowering Bradford pear trees along Main Street will fall to the axe starting today.  For the short time they’re in bloom each spring, they lent a picture postcard quality to the town, but time and recent storms have taken their toll on them. The process began this morning. Here is the scene at Main and Ivy.

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe trees are considered invasive and have only a 20- to 30-year life expectancy. They are quick growing and the limbs become more susceptible to breaking as they age. They were planted in the early 1990s as part of First Selectwoman Judy Gott’s Town Center Revitalization project.

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Branford’s $112M Town-School Budget Arrives at RTM

by Marcia Chambers & Sally E. Bahner | Apr 11, 2018 8:52 am

Sally E. Bahner PhotoA $112M town-school budget approved by the Board of Finance (pictured) formally heads to the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) tonight with a tiny mill rate increase, following the pattern of a number of shoreline communities this year.

The RTM will examine the RTM budget as it seeks to find additional ways to decrease it. The formal process begins at the RTM meeting tonight at Fire Headquarters at 8 p.m. But the RTM “cannot increase it,” Joseph Mooney, chair of the BOF, said late last month when the BOF unanimously adopted it. Under state law, the BOF consists of three Democrats and three Republicans. At this point, the mill rate would increase a smidgen from 28.47 mills to 28.67 mills over the previous rate. But it might go lower.

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