Town's Top Officials Gather To Pitch For 2015-16 Budget Support

Five of Newtown’s top elected officials invited The Newtown Bee to the home of Board of Finance Chairman John Kortze April 15 to film a series of videos addressing key questions ahead of the 2015-16 budget referendum on April 28. Mr Kortze was joined by Legislative Council Chair Mary Ann Jacob, Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, First Selectman Pat Llodra, and Board of Education Chairman Keith Alexander. The questions officials responded to were: *Why should voters support this budget? *Explain a little bit more about the overall process and level of cooperation. *What particular items in the budget would you like voters to understand are being funded? *What reductions were made from the originally proposed budgets? *How are taxes going down if we are increasing our spending?

Commissioner Pleased SHAC Recommendations Are Getting Federal Attention

Newtown Middle School educator Ron Chivinski told The Newtown Bee this week that he was happy to see how quickly some recommendations tendered in his role serving on Governor Dannel Malloy’s Sandy Hook Advisory Commission (SHAC) got traction at the federal level.On April 13, US Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced The Jesse Lewis Empowering Educators Act to provide teachers powerful tools and training to support students’ social and emotional learning. The bill is named in honor of Jesse Lewis, who at 6 years old was among the victims of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Mr Chivinski observed that one of, if not the most important, aspect of his work involves identifying and supporting children with emotional difficulties, while teaching them how to respond to those stresses in an ultimately healthy way.

WSA Reviews Sewer Request For Sandy Hook Center Housing Plan

Water & Sewer Authority (WSA) members are reviewing technical information and have requested more data from a local developer/builder who is seeking sewer service for a 74-unit housing complex proposed for the west side of Washington Avenue in Sandy Hook Center. On April 9, WSA members opened a public hearing on applicant Michael Burton’s request for 9,250 gallons of daily sewage treatment capacity for The River Walk at Sandy Hook Village, which is proposed for an 11.8-acre site at 10 through 22 Washington Avenue. At the start of the session, WSA member Alan Shepard recused himself, opting against serving as a WSA member during the agency’s consideration of the sewering application.

School Board Celebrates NMS Reflections Participants

The Board of Education celebrated three Newtown Middle School students during its meeting on Tuesday, April 7, for earning awards in the state level of the PTA-sponsored Reflections Program. “It’s extraordinary to have a local winner. It is extra extraordinary to have three,” said Superintendent of Schools Joseph V. Erardi, Jr, before he introduced the three students, eighth graders Stephanie Cobb and Ashley Solomon and seventh grader Julie Hess. This year the Reflections Program, an art competition, asked entrants to interpret the theme, “The World Would Be A Better Place If” in one of six categories: literature, visual art, video production, photography, dance choreography, and musical composition.

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