Letter: Easton taxpayers should have more say in planning

To the Editor: Currently Easton taxpayers have no authority or control in the planning or enforcement of our zoning and land use. Our three elected selectmen appoint five members and three alternates to our Planning & Zoning Commission, all volunteers. Taxpayers have no say in who serves on this all-powerful P&Z Commission, which now includes large landowners, a real estate developer and a real estate agent. This defective system lets P&Z devise and execute a commercial development plan that it determines is best for Easton. Neither selectmen nor the taxpayers who finance this town have any right of approval or … Read more

OPINION: Celebrating love and compassion

The Congregational Church of Easton lights up the intersection of Westport and Center roads. — Nancy Doniger photo

Sometimes we forget what the holidays are really about. Today, there is so much stress at the holidays. There are more cars on the roads, cards to write, decorations to put up, gifts to buy, and visits from family you haven’t seen in a year. With this comes long lines of waiting, bills and aggravation. Somehow the true meaning of the holidays seems to get lost for so many people. There doesn’t have to be added pressures with this holiday. This was not the original intention. Christmas was first celebrated as a Christian holiday in the fourth century A.D. Christmas … Read more

Reflections on Newtown, five years later

  I love Newtown. I love the people. I love the landscape. I love the annual Labor Day parade. I love it more now, having watched the town wrestle over the unanswerable question of what to be in the wake of unimaginable tragedy. Newtown is different than it was before the events of Dec. 14, 2012. Of course it is. No place could ever recover from that cataclysm — 20 first graders and six educators disappearing from the earth in the matter of five life-shattering minutes. But there is true beauty in how this small town in western Connecticut has … Read more

Hanukah and the Maccabees

Mishkan Israel Day Camp will hold menorah lightings throughout Fairfield County.

Hanukah (spelled various ways, Chanukah is also popular) is a holiday of history, legend, miracles and inspiration. After the death of King Solomon, the kingdom of Israel split in two, later Babylon conquered half, destroyed the First Temple and the Babylonian exile pushed the kingdom of Judah (hence the word Judaism) out in 586 B.C.E. Slowly Jews returned and in 338 B.C.E. the Greeks arrived conquering lands including Egypt and Israel. King Alexander the Greek was a benevolent ruler and blended Greek religion and Eastern philosophy. This culture of Hellenism was embraced by many in the Jewish community. Some Jews … Read more

The homelessness and domestic violence connection

Debra Greenwood

As the days grow colder and the holidays approach, we are often called on to come to the aid of millions of Americans who don’t have a safe, reliable place of their own to call home. Today we would like to call attention the truly hidden faces of homelessness: the estimated 1.3 million American women who are homeless because they are victims of domestic violence. These women, their children and a growing number of men represent what the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has identified as the third leading cause of homelessness in America. Research shows that as … Read more

Barlow teachers go to Yale to study emotional intelligence

Dr. Gina Pin

The​ ​Easton​ ​Learning​ ​Foundation​ ​(ELF)​ ​sent​ ​Joel​ ​Barlow High​ ​School​ ​teachers​ ​to​ ​school.​ ​​​Through​ ​their generous​ ​grant,​ ​a​ ​team​ ​of​ ​four —​ ​​Chris​ ​Poulos,​ ​Spanish​ ​teacher;​ ​Jack Powers,​ ​special​ ​education​ ​teacher;​ ​Brian​ ​Luzietti,​ ​science​ ​teacher​; ​and I gathered​ ​at​ ​Yale University’s​ ​Center​ ​for​ ​Emotional​ ​Intelligence​ ​for​ ​a​ ​two-day​ ​seminar.​ ​​ ​ The​ ​NoVo​ ​Foundation made​ ​it​ ​possible​ ​for​ ​a​ ​second​ ​team​ ​to​ ​join​ ​in​ ​this​ ​experience.​ ​​Julie​ ​McTague,​ ​assistant​ ​principal; Carolyn​ ​Huminski,​ ​English​ ​teacher;​ ​Henry​ ​DelAngelo,​ ​counselor;​ ​and​ ​Joe​ ​Sopko,​ ​math teacher;​ ​also​ ​attended. Prior​ ​to​ ​the​ ​conference,​ ​the​ ​Barlow​ ​team​ ​participated​ ​in​ ​an​ ​online​ ​course​ ​that​ ​helped​ ​them​ ​to … Read more

Easton residents thank Simone for caring leadership

Marje Tracy and Gary Simone discuss building a dog park at the Morehouse Road property. The dog park was ultimately sited at the Helen Keller Middle School campus. — Nancy Doniger archive photo

Keri English-Giddes, Easton Arts Center founder, collected testimonials from residents who wanted to air their appreciation for Gary Simone, Easton Park and Recreation Department director, who recently retired after 21 years on the job. Here is what they had to say: “Gary has been an incredible support system for myself, my staff and volunteers at the Easton Senior Center for many years. He has always been there when we needed him. He always has a smile and a positive attitude that uplifts you when you are down. I will miss having the ability to say, ‘Hold on, I will just … Read more


As more and more women speak out, joining the “me too” movement, there’s little doubt that a large number of rich and famous “men” (and not so rich and famous) are going to find themselves on a long list of sexual misconducters. Since the time men first began perceiving their dominance, women, if they chose to work, have been forced into playing a man’s game, in a subservient role. The mistreatment of women on the job has been etched into the businessman’s gospel for a very long time. Nearly anyone can testify that, if they haven’t personally experienced some sort … Read more

Commentary: Easton fares well in state budget resolution

State Rep. Adam Dunsby represents the 135th General Assembly district communities of Easton, Redding, and Weston.

On Oct. 26 the Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget, which the governor signed. Easton fared much better than we anticipated back in the spring. Back then the only state budget the Board of Finance had for guidance was Gov. Dannel Malloy’s. This budget would have transferred $1.3 million of the cost of teachers’ pensions (a state program) onto Easton. It also would have eliminated our Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant and reduced some other grants. It depends a bit on how you count certain things, but the net effect would have been a negative financial swing of about $1.6 … Read more

COMMENTARY: Promises to be an engaged Region 9 board member

Maureen P. Williams

Engagement: the ability to listen to others, to cultivate their trust and support, to respond timely and appropriately, and work to the best of one’s ability until a task is complete. I place a high value on engagement; President Obama had a plaque on his desk that said, “Hard things are HARD” for a reason: there are no detours around those things or shortcuts over them. There is just the day-to-day belief that persistent engagement yields measurable, positive, and eventual results. I am confident in what I know and able to recognize what I don’t. I don’t expect others to … Read more

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