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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Council wants more info on liability for school’s wall

As published in the Record Journal Wednesday June 27, 2012

By Laurie Rich Salerno
Record-Journal staff

(203) 317-2235

WALLINGFORD - Town staff will prepare an in-depth report on ownership of a retaining wall on Holy Trinity school property that supports a town-leased parking lot and get a legal opinion before deciding what to do concerning repairs.

The Town Council tabled the issue at its meeting Tuesday night and will await the results of the report.

“It’s so important that now we do some research and we find out once and for all what is the town liable for on the retaining wall for your school,” said Town Councilor John Sullivan,a Democrat. The issue revolves around who is responsible for a retaining wall that divides the school’s playground from a parking lot behind building son Simpson Court and North Main Street that is used for public parking through a lease with the town. Church and school officials say the structure is deteriorating, with cracks and chunks of it falling onto the playground, and it needs to be reconstructed.

Church officials say the wall was built by the town on their property in the early 1960s, either with or without the agreement of the church, and believe the town should be part of its maintenance. But no documentation has yet been found regarding its construction.

Parish priest the Rev. Thomas Walsh and school Principal Kathleen Kelly presented the issue to the council at the meeting.

Walsh read a prepared statement saying that the parish did not know that the wall was considered Holy Trinity’s property until a survey prepared a few years ago declared it to be.

“It was news to us that this wall, by a matter of inches, was on school property,” Walsh said. “Try to understand that this issue is more complex than who owns the wall … who does the wall benefit and who should be involved in its maintenance.”

He said he believed the wall was likely built by the town, as it was constructed during a time when the town had a parking authority that was involved in creating lots. He also said that agreements found for other projects during the time did not include maps, leading him to believe that the wall was built on their property in error.

Walsh also said that he believed work done on storm drains by the town that routed water to the wall was aiding in its destruction.

Sullivan asked to address the “elephant in the room.”

“You’re here hoping to get some money from the town or service from the town,” he said, and referenced a referendum last November in which Wallingford voters rejected a proposed $500,000 in improvements to the parking lot in question. The improvements would have included construction on the wall.

“A lot of people had issues with the town putting money into privately-owned property,” Sullivan said. “So we’re in a different place, but we’re in the same argument that was made when the referendum was defeated.”

Town Councilor Jason Zandri, a Democrat who was elected for the first time last November, said he voted against the project as a resident, because only the town was spending the money, but would reconsider if there was funding from the church as well as the businesses that abut the lot.

“If we had equal skin in the game from everybody that would benefit,” Zandri said.

Several of those involved with the school spoke in favor of repairs during the public comment period.

“Another winter is coming upon us in a few months — another winter of storm drains,water runoff. The risks that are posed to that playground, while not imminently dangerous, pose some concern,” said Christine Mansfield, a member of the Board of Education who has three children in the school. “No numbers will matter if one deplorable accident happens.”

Marybeth Applegate, addressing a statement by Councilor Nick Economopoulos — a Democrat — that whomever owns the wall should be ashamed by its condition, said the church had attempted to patch the wall for years. Applegate is a staff member at the school.

“As soon as you get rains and things, those patches come popping right out of that wall,” she said.

Councilors closed the meeting on Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr.‘s assurance that the issue of ownership would be looked into.

“I’d like to see something happen sooner or later based on some of these factors,” Zandri said.

As for the school, Kelly said it would await the results.

“Our first dialogue with the town occurred in 2006, so we are patient people,” Kelly said.

In other business, the council:

- approved a new position for the school district, a technology/ administrative application technologist;

- accepted several education grants regarding electronics and agricultural education;

- routed to the school district $113,626 in additional state funds for tuitions for out-of district students who attend the district’s vocational-agriculture program.

A wall in disrepair between the Simpson Court parking lot and Holy Trinity School in Wallingford as seen on Friday.

File photo – Courtesy of the Record-Journal

Monday, June 25, 2012

Holy Trinity School officials seek plan to repair retaining wall

As published in the Record Journal Saturday June 23, 2012

By Russell Blair
Record-Journal staff
(203) 317-2225

WALLINGFORD - Holy Trinity School officials will go before the Town Council Tuesday, asking to work with the town to repair a wall that borders the school’s playground.

The wall was constructed in the early 1960s, when a parking lot was built behind the businesses on Simpson Court. The town leased the lot for 40 years on the condition that the town would maintain the property and that it would be kept open for municipal parking.

The council voted last summer to spend up to $500,000 to improve the parking lot, including the reconstruction of the wall, but the deal was rejected by voters at a town-wide referendum in November.

One property owner backed out of the original lease agreements after the vote, but the town still leases the remainder of the lot. Some school officials believe that the town has been negligent in its maintenance of the wall during the time of the leases.

Sister Kathleen Kelly, principal of Holy Trinity School, said the meeting was called so town officials could “see the importance of taking responsibility of the maintenance” of the wall.

“The integrity of the wall was not maintained during the time it was leased,” she said.

Kelly said that there were no safety issues “at this time,” but she wanted to safeguard against any potential issues.

Town Engineer John Thompson said that he could find no reference to maintaining the wall in the original 1961lease agreements between the town and the property owners on Simpson Court, and that repairs included in the project proposed last summer were a safeguard because of the work being done to the parking lot above.

“We were investing several hundred thousand dollars,” he said. “My recommendation was that with that kind of money, we should make certain that the investment was properly supported.”

Thompson said that engineers assessed the wall and found “visible deterioration” in a number of locations, but that the wall, as a whole, “was not structurally deficient.”

“There are no imminent safety issues,” he said.

In a letter to Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr., the Rev. Thomas J. Walsh, pastor at Holy Trinity Church, said the wall was inspected six years ago and determined to be “in need of some repair.”

“We note that the wall is aging,”he wrote. “There are cracks showing, and periodically, portions of the wall break off and fall in the school playground. The fence that is embedded in the top of the wall is contributing to its deterioration. Water is getting into the wall and causing damage.”

Corporation Counsel Janis Small said the wall is on church property, but since it borders the town-leased parking lot “the issue appears to be complicated.”

“We’ll start a new dialogue and see where it goes,” she said. “If it’s somebody else’s wall, I believe the owner has some responsibility. We have to sort it all out and hopefully we can be on the same page.”

Walsh wrote that the wall is not necessary for Holy Trinity, and that it only serves to support the parking lot.

“We believe that the town, the adjacent property owners and Most Holy Trinity should come to an agreement setting forth the rights and responsibilities of each in regard to the wall before there is a need for emergency repairs or before there is further damage.”

Town Council Chairman Robert Parisi, a Republican,said he placed the Holy Trinity item on the agenda after he received the same letter addressed to Dickinson.

“We don’t turn very many people away,” he said.

Dickinson said that he hadn’t yet formed an opinion as to what the town’s responsibility was in maintaining the wall.

“I’ll hear what they have to say, and if they have questions or concerns, we’ll look to obtain answers,” he said. “I don’t want to form too many opinions before I hear their concerns.”

Photos by Dave Zajac / Courtesy of the Record-Journal

Views from a distance and up close Friday of the wall in disrepair between the Simpson Court parking lot and Holy Trinity School in Wallingford.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Campus at Greenhill Wallingford Fireworks Fund 2012 Independence Day Celebration

Saturday, July 7, 2012 
5:00pm until 10:45pm
Sheehan High School 

Wallingford, Connecticut
On the grounds of Sheehan High School beginning after 5PM 

(show itself starts at dusk - around 9:15 or so).

2nd ambulance to start runs in July

As published in the Record Journal Friday June 22, 2012

By Laurie Rich Salerno
Record-Journal staff

(203) 317-2235

The Fire Department is getting ready to bring its second ambulance into service next month.

Fire Chief Peter Struble said this week that the department has made four conditional job offers for new emergency medical staff and is hoping to launch the new unit in mid- to late July.

“I think there will be a noticeable improvement in our service once we get them on,” Struble said. “It’s really exciting.”

The second ambulance will run seven days a week during the peak hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., in addition to the current ambulance, which operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Officials
believe that having another unit will lessen the town’s dependence on commercial emergency transport services for backup. The current vehicle is tied up for about 40 minutes of each hour during peak time, according to the Fire Department.

The second unit is part of an administrative shift approved by the Town Council this May to put the town’s ambulance service into an enterprise fund. The fund is an attempt to make the service self-sustaining, with the town contributing no more than 10 percent of the cost of the service.

“It’s going to, in the long run, really show Wallingford again has a very efficient government,” said Republican councilor John LeTourneau.

The entire council supported the project since the
department presented it earlier this year. Many opposed cuts to ambulance services two years ago, when the town more than halved the amount of paramedics on duty – from four paramedics on days and three on nights to two on days and one on nights – and consider this a restoration of services. LeTourneau said that on the campaign trail last fall, many residents were worried about the lack of paramedics.

“I think that was the hot topic, ambulance coverage for the town. A lot of people were concerned about it,” LeTourneau said.

The four new hires still must pass background checks and physical exams, but Struble said he believes they will be brought on in early July. All are certified emergency medical technicians, two are paramedics,
and one will be graduating soon as a paramedic, Struble said. They will receive a few weeks of department specific training before the unit gets up and running. The department already owns the vehicle.

The department is also reviewing bids for new billing services in response to its request for proposals. The current billing agency’s contract expires this month, and the department had requested this year to expand the scope of its outside billing services by contracting with a collection agency as well to help recoup delinquent fees. In previous years, the service has lost 42 to 43 percent of revenues to these
late or unpaid fees.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer road project bigger than usual

As published in the Record Journal Thursday June 21, 2012

By Laurie Rich Salerno
Record-Journal staff

(203) 317-2235

WALLINGFORD — The sights and sounds of summer 2012 will soon include the smell of hot blacktop. In mid to late July, the town will begin a repaving project that includes the largest number of streets in years, thanks to state, federal and local funds, Public Works Director Henry McCully said.

The town is preparing to repave or reconstruct at least nine streets in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The work will be split over the summer and fall of 2012 and the spring of 2013.

McCully said he has not yet finalized the schedule. Tentative plans for this summer are to start milling and repaving all of East Center Street and Carpenter Lane; Ward Street from South Elm to Woodland; and much of Simpson Avenue. North Plains Industrial Road will also be repaved this summer, using $686,000 in federal stimulus funds. The town’s Engineering Department is overseeing the North Plains project, Town Engineer John Thompson said.

More likely to occur in spring 2013, McCully said, is work on Christian Street, Parker Farms Road, South Turnpike Road and North Main Extension from Route 68 to Yale Avenue, which was funded by a $214,200 Small Town Economic Assistance Program grant from the state. Work on at least seven of the streets will be paid for by the $1.7 million approved by the Town Council for the 2012-13 fiscal year.

The schedule could change, with work on some the later planned streets being done earlier if work on the initial roads goes smoothly. The work could also speed up once the town’s new transfer station is completed, expected to be between the end of July and mid-August.

“We have forces tied up with the residents’ drop-off center (right now),” McCully said.

The yearly decision of which streets to repave is made by Public Works, the town’s Utilities Division and Yankee Gas.

“The number one thing is we want to know if there’s going to be any excavations by any other utility — anyone who would have underground utilities and would have plans to excavate that road. We don’t want to spend a lot of money on paving and have them dig a trench,” McCully said.

He said the group looks 10 years down the road at possible excavation, though emergency excavations can sometimes foil the plans. Though the milling and paving work is done by external contractors, Public Works performs all the drainage studies and work on the streets first, McCully said.

Thompson said the work on busy thoroughfare North Plains Industrial will mostly occur at night, as per the choice of contractor Waters Construction, of Bridgeport. It will not be closed, but certain lanes may be closed.

“It’s the first time Wallingford has done a nighttime operation on a roadway reconstruction project — it’s a new experience for us,” Thompson said. “There’s a lot of businesses on North Plains; the contractor looked in and said this is how we should do it.” He said daytime prep work will begin the week of July 4, with nighttime operations likely to begin the following week.

“The whole thing should last less than 30 days,” Thompson said.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

With same workers reading electric, water meters, billing cycles change

As published in the Record Journal, Wednesday June 20, 2012

By Laurie Rich Salerno
Record-Journal staff

(203) 317-2235

Residents used to paying their water and sewer bills in June, September and February may find themselves writing those checks one to two months earlier than usual.

Two-thirds of the town’s water billing dates will shift this summer as the Electric Division takes over meter reading for the Water and Sewer Division. Public Utilities Director George Adair said the consolidation is a cost-saving measure that will avoid having the town perform redundant work.

“On the water side for billing we had several meter men who were going out reading water meters in the same place (the electric meter readers) were reading electric meters,” Adair said. “This was a move we made from an efficiency standpoint.”

The change allowed the Water Division to eliminate its one meter reader position this year — a vacant position at the time.

“We worked this out with the respective collective bargaining units,” Adair said.

The town’s five Electric Division readers now read household water meters monthly, at the same time they read electric meters. The new reading system started in May, and some residents will see bills from the new cycles as early as July, according to Roger M. Dann, the Water and Sewer Division General Manager.

One-third of the town, the East side, will retain the traditional schedule, with clients receiving their next water bill in September, said Dann; customers in the center of town,
roughly Wilbur Cross Parkway to North or South Elm Street, will see an August bill; and the West side will see one in July. Before their first bill, residents will receive a notice informing them of the change.

Although electricity is billed monthly, the Water and Sewer Department will retain its 90-day billing cycle for the time being. Adair said the department may discuss moving the bills monthly, but any changes would be in the far future, and subject to public input. The change would require more funding in the way of staff time and supplies for putting together bills.

Utilities officials say the change will benefit users. In the past, water meters were sometimes read a full three months before a bill went out. For customers with unknown leaks and other issues affecting water use, that means it would sometimes take them several months to discover a problem. New monthly readings mean rates are measured just a month before a bill is issued — so residents can track their own usage. The Water Department also has a better handle on usage irregularities more quickly.

“A lot of the concerns we get relate to high consumption. Often it’s going to be the toilet leaking ... if you can catch that and stop it sooner, it’s good for the customer,” Dann said.

Adair said the department championed the change primarily for the sake of customers, but with monthly revenue now coming in, it was also good from a business standpoint for the town. “It also evens up our cash flow,” Adair said.

That big mess? It’s a future fire station

As published in the Record Journal, Wednesday June 20, 2012

By Laurie Rich Salerno
Record-Journal staff
(203) 317-2235

Photo courtesy of the Record Journal

Drivers on North Farms Road near Route 68 could be excused for thinking a small tornado had swept through several acres on the road’s east side. Wood, metal and other building debris litters the expanse. But the mess is intentional, and is one of the first steps in a long process to build a new station for the North Farms Volunteer Fire Department, Fire Chief Peter Struble said Tuesday. 

Connecticut Dismantling, of Bridgeport, has spent the last three weeks leveling structures on the 11.2-acre former horse farm at 866 North Farms Road, including a large horse barn with a show ring set back on the property and two smaller barns near the street. Thetwo street-facing barns were the last to be razed, on June 14. Struble said the near carpet of debris on the site is set to be cleared by the end of the month, leaving a vacant lot.

“I’m glad we’re to a point where we can start cleaning up the property. The barns needed to come down. They were not in good shape, we needed to make the property look presentable again,” Struble said. The October 2011 snowstorm had caused part of the roof of the riding stable to collapse, one of the two barns near the street appeared to be leaning dangerously and a garage on the site had already fallen on its own, said Struble.

The razing will make way for the department to construct a new  North Farms volunteer station, which has been in the works for several years. The current station at 720 Barnes Road does not have the room to house an ambulance, nor land for expansion, fire officials have said. The North Farms location is one of four volunteer stations in the town, including Yalesville, on Hope Hill Road, East Wallingford, on Kondracki Lane, and Cook Hill, on Hall Avenue.

“This is an area that we knew we had to improve response time. The other site was not a good investment for the town in the long term,” Struble said.

The Town Council voted to purchase the North Farms Road land from Gregory and Mary Cichowski for $850,000 in December of 2010 and thenvoted on another $154,000 to clean the site. The Chichowskis ran a horse barn there, called Stepping Stone Farm. That funding is paying for the razing and possibly will cover some architectural work, Struble said. The cleaning fund has also included exterminator fees, often an issue with former farm sites. “There’s no signs of any rodents,” Struble said.

Once the site is clear, the department will approach the council for more funding, according to the chief. Previous estimates have put a new station at $6.6 million. Funding for the new station was set aside from money received by the town from the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority. Some residents still oppose the new location. John PaulBenham, who lives across the street from the farm, said his family, along with neighbors, had attended Town Council meetings in fear of the noise a fire station will bring to their primarily residential area.
Struble said he’s not sure when the new station would be built or would be operational.
“All things equal, if there’s funding, I’d like to see something happen in the next 2 years,” he said.

Once the new station is built, the current station will revert back to the ownership of the estate of Howard and Mable Wilkinson, who offered the land to the town only for use as a fire station, he said.
The current North Farms Volunteer Fire Department station on Barnes Road does not have room for an ambulance, nor land for expansion, fire officials havesaid.

Monday, June 18, 2012

A new location for the Wallingford Train Station

As published in the Record Journal, Monday June 11, 2012

By Laurie Rich Salerno

Record-Journal staff

WALLINGFORD — On Tuesday night, town councilors are expected to vote on where Wallingford’s next train depot should go — a decision that could affect downtown traffic and development for decades of years to come.

There are two sites being suggested by the state Department of Transportation: one at the intersection of the railroad tracks and Ward Street, called Judd Square, or Plan 1; and another near the intersection of North Cherry and Parker streets, referred to as Parker/Cerrito, or Plan 2. Town staff are primarily backing the Parker Street site, citing safety issues due to traffic interruption and a parking garage at the Judd Square location.

“Of all the sites discussed … it’s the optimal one at this point,” Mayor William W. Dickinson Jr. said of the Parker Street site, citing the concerns of emergency personnel.

The council’s decision is not binding, but according to John Bernick, the rail project’s supervising engineer, it will be heavily considered when the DOT gives recommendations to the Federal Rail Administration, which is funding the project. The DOT is soliciting public comments until June 22 on its environmental impact survey, available on its website.

Town Engineer John Thompson sought to have the council vote Tuesday night so the town could have a voice on the location.

“We didn’t want somebody outside of Wallingford deciding where the station should be,” said Thompson, who has been working with both the DOT and the town on the project.

The new passenger platform would serve the state’s proposed New Haven-to-Springfield high-speed rail service, which officials say could eventually bring 25 round-trip commuter trains — 50 trips — through town each day. It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 and begin with about 17 round-trip trains a day.

Neither depot would include an actual train station; rather, they would consist of parking lots or parking structures, platforms on each side of the track and a vaulted pedestrian walkway to connect the two. Riders would buy tickets on the train, as do now, or use automated systems on the platforms, engineers say.

The historic train station at Hall, Quinnipiac and Center streets will remain, but not as a train station. It won’t be used for the high-speed rail, according to engineers, because trains stopping there cut off access to not only those streets, but can clog Route 5 and close nearby Ward and Parker streets.

“It would literally tie up downtown,” Thompson said.

Judd Square

The Judd Square site was proposed as an alternative to both an initial Parker Street plan and a separate plan that would have placed a station across the tracks from Holy Trinity Church.

The depot there would feature one 200-space parking garage on the north side of Ward Street and the west side of the railroad tracks, along with 500-foot platforms on each side of the tracks and 200-foot shelters directly across from one another and joined by a raised pedestrian overpass, according to DOT schematics. Entrances to the lots would be both on Ward and South Cherry streets, and the parking structure would abut a parking lot belonging to the Judd Square condominium complex.

Having a more-than-300unit condominium right next door seemed like it would be a natural feeder for the service, Thompson said.

“When the Judd Square site was floated — that jumped out as being an absolute home run in terms of ridership potential,” he said.

But a town working group formed to analyze the sites after a public hearing last August found the site to be less than ideal in terms of traffic and public safety, according to Thompson.

Ward Street is a busy artery for east-west traffic, extending from North Elm Street on the east and joining with Quinnipiac Street on the west side, which feeds into Route 15. Trains stopping at Judd Square 50 times a day would close Ward, Hall and Quinnipiac — which engineers say are the town’s busiest streets — all at once. Trains stopping at Judd Square would make Parker, a short street that runs between North Colony and Washington, the nearest open road downtown. And that, Thompson said, could hamper the ability of emergency vehicles to quickly get to different sides of town.

Thompson said that one Sunday he saw this in action while sitting in his car at a crossing behind an ambulance as a train went by. “I’m watching an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing,” he said. “We just can’t let this happen 50 times a day.”

The working group also opposed the construction of a parking garage, citing public safety and aesthetic concerns.

“Most people find them difficult to navigate when getting off the train. The darkness of those places and the manner in which they’re designed is usually pretty intimidating,” said Police Chief Douglas Dortenzio, who attended some of the working group meetings. The chief said he’s not a fan of high-rise parking garages from a public safety standpoint — particularly those that do not have attendants — but he said he thinks there are subtle advantages and disadvantages to each site, and he isn’t a strong believer in either one.

Republican Town Councilor Craig Fishbein said he is leaning toward the Parker Street site because of Judd Square’s proposed parking garage.

“I don’t want to see the Wallingford landscape include a multilevel parking lot. I think it would turn the town of Wallingford into the city of Wallingford,” Fishbein said, though he is opposed to the high-speed rail project on the whole.

For the site to work as it has been designed, the state would need to acquire the Knights of Columbus building, a vacant industrial site and a private home.

Parker Street

The Parker Street depot would be a split site with two parking lots, one on each side of the tracks, totaling 210 spaces. One of the lots would be at the intersection of Parker and North Cherry streets on the south side of Parker and the west side of the tracks,with entrances on North Cherry. The land that would become the North Cherry lot is owned by the state. The second lot would be placed on North Colony Street, at the site of Cerrito’s used car lot.

The state would have to acquire property from only one owner to complete the Parker Street site, and though Cerrito’s owners did not return calls Friday, DOT officials said the town had discussed the proposed plans with them. Bernick said the state would pay for the property and relocation costs. “It’s a pretty fair shake,” he said of the process.

The two 500-foot platforms and 200-foot shelters would not be directly across from each other, but the ends would overlap in the middle, where there would be an overhead pedestrian walkway.

The distance between platforms is one of the reasons Republican Town Councilor John LeTourneau is a proponent of the Judd Square location, saying it could be difficult for handicapped, aged and other travelers if they need to get from one parking lot to the other side of the tracks.

“Judd Square … I like because it can be a nice, neat, clean up-and-over to get from one platform to the other,” Le-Tourneau said. He said the public safety argument for Parker Street is thin — the increased frequency of trains could cause public safety issues no matter where the new station is. He believes auxiliary police and fire stations may eventually be necessary.

The town’s working group favors the Parker Street site, as there would be no parking garage and trains stopping there would close Parker, Hall and Quinnipiac, but leave the busier Ward Street open.

Having parking lots on both sides of the tracks would also minimize bottlenecks to one lot or side of the tracks, according to Thompson.

“It gives (riders) the ability to park on the side closer to them,” Thompson said, which “lessens traffic impact on the local roadway network.”

Democratic Town Councilor John Sullivan said he would wait until Tuesday’s meeting, which will include a presentation from town engineers, to decide which site to support.


There were few residents out near either location late Friday morning, but some weighed in on the possibility of having a train depot nearby. Leon Bernstein, who has lived in the Judd Square condominiums for about 15 years, said he did not want a train stop next door.

“I don’t really like the idea. I wish they would put it someplace else,” Bernstein said.

At the other location, residents of Parker Place condominiums, which would be directly across the street from one of the parking lots, were more enthusiastic about having a station so near.

“The convenience of having the station here — that would be great,” Carole Evon said. “I have a car, but I might use it.”

As for increased noise, Diann Burrill, who has lived in a unit facing the tracks for three years, said it likely wouldn’t make that much difference to her and her husband.

“We have gotten used to it,“ Burrill said of the train whistle and other noises. The location would be convenient for others in her building, she said, including her son, who lives in a separate apartment in the same complex.

“He and his girl might use it once in a while … go see the Red Sox and Yankees. I think people would use it,” Burrill said.

Above: A vacant parcel next at Parker and North Cherry streets is a proposed site for a new Wallingford train station.Below: A lot across the tracks behind Dairy Queen on Ward Street is a possible location for a parking structure to be part of a train station.

Photos by Christopher Zajac / Courtesy of the Record-Journal

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Steve Fontana qualifies for public financing

As published in the Record Journal Thursday June 7, 2012

WALLINGFORD — Steve Fontana’s spokesman announced this week that the former North Haven state representative qualified for public financing for his campaign to unseat incumbent Republican Len Fasano in the 34th Senate District.

Fontana surpassed the necessary $15,000 in contributions. He received support from 300 people living in the district, which includes Wallingford, East Haven, North Haven and Durham, raising more than $18,000, according to staff.

“As a believer in reducing the influence of special-interest money in politics, I’m really pleased that we met the qualifications for this grant, applied for it promptly, and received approval so quickly,” Fontana said in a statement.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Wallingford GOP chairman guest on ‘Citizen Mike’

WALLINGFORD — Republican Town Committee Chairman Bob Prentice is a guest on the latest edition of the “Citizen Mike” public access TV show.

Former City Councilor Mike Brodinsky interviews Prentice about the Republican nominating convention for the U.S. Senate.

The show also features Brodinsky’s commentary on Town Council Chairman Bob Parisi’s handling of a possible council vote on approving the use of a portable stage during the Memorial Day Parade.

The show airs on cable Channel 18 today, Friday June 1, at 6:30 p.m.
and on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 9 p.m.