2022 Branford Year in Review

A Look at Stories Making News in 2022

Regal Cinemas 12 closes permanently on Jan. 2, after 25 years in the multi-screen building at 325 East Main St. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

On March 8, Community members stand with Ukraine on the Blackstone Library steps, in the glow of blue and yellow lights trained on the building. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

On March 31, Laila and Mosa Sadat arrive to make a new life in Branford, after a long journey which started with fleeing Afghanistan. For nearly a year, all-volunteer Branford Refugee Resettlement/Helping Families Settle members raised funds, sought donations, and received hours of training from Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services to ready a home and network of support to build on the Sadats’ future success here. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

A celebration of the completion of the new Francis Walsh Intermediate School (WIS) took place April 28 including a community open house. Shown here, WIS principal Raeanne Reynolds speaks with Matthew Paolella, 7. Listening in are Matthew’s father and WIS Math Instructional Coach Michael Paolella, brother Michael, 10, and grandmother Lucia. Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound

In April, Giordano Construction Project Manager Ray Pendagast (left) celebrates with Osprey project volunteer Carolyn Sires as nesting activity is confirmed at the new platform and nesting box set installed behind the Aldi grocery story and Chase Bank construction site at 1151 West Main St. Sticks placed in the nesting box confirm the returning Osprey couple has adopted the volunteers’ new, safely placed nesting box several hundred yards away from their former nest at utility pole alongside busy Route 1/West Main Street. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

One hundred eight-seven members of the BHS Class of 2022 gather to celebrate commencement on the Branford green June 22. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Branford resident John Nichols portrays James Blackstone and meets with Blackstone descendant Dody Blackstone Criscuolo among an estimated 250 community members who came out to help celebrate the 125th anniversary of Branford’s Blackstone Memorial Library during a community Birthday Bash on the library grounds June 25. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

For the first time in three years, the annual Branford Fireworks shoot off once again from the Town Dock at Branford Point. The June 25 display includes a cascade of color and light during a spectacular finale, shown here. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

After two years off due to the pandemic, The Branford Summer Jazz on the Green concert series returns with big crowds in attendance, during eight Thursday nights of free music on the green. Photo by Wesley Bunnell/The Sound

Branford firefighters bow their heads during the Town’s 21st annual Sept. 11 Remembrance ceremonies at Branford Fire Headquarters. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

Phase 1 Parkside Village 1 redevelopment gets underway at 115 South Montowese St. in September. The project will replace 50 units of housing for Branford seniors and disabled adults with a 67-unit building with 60 units designated affordable for families, under CT state statute (§) 8-30. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

A “Coming Soon” message is shared on Metro Star’s sign promoting availability of some newly constructed apartments and commercial spaces at the complex at 367,373-375, 377 and 383 East Main Street, where the first phase of the development will be open for leasing mid-October. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

At St. Agnes Cemetery, Wreaths Across America-Branford volunteers gather ahead of helping organizer Mark Hally distribute 1,665 wreaths at military graves among the town’s seven cemeteries Dec. 17. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound

On Dec. 21, Bill O’Brien (center) is recognized and thanked for 38 years of service to Branford’s Economic Development Commission (EDC); shown here are (left to right): EDC chair Cathy Lezon, former Branford First Selectman Anthony “Unk” DaRos, former Branford First Selectwoman Judy Gott, O’Brien, Branford First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove, State Senator Christine Cohen, and State Representative Robin Comey. Photo by Pam Johnson/The Sound


Regal Cinemas 12 closes permanently on Jan. 2, after 25 years in the multi-screen building at 325 East Main St. Hoyts Cinema first opened the 12-screen complex in 1998.

On Jan. 4, residents queue for Branford’s allotment of 1,600 rapid COVID test kits, which are given away in about 30 minutes at the Foote Park drive-up site.

As of Jan. 6, Branford Public Schools (BPS) will change Covid contact tracing and quarantine practices to align with updated Department of Public Health (DPH) and Connecticut State Dept. of Education (CDSE) guidance.

With more than 50 volunteers, Helping Families Settle (HFS), a Branford refugee resettlement project, is collaborating with Intergrated Refugee and Immigrations Services (IRIS) to help secure what is needed so a family from Afghanistan can begin a new life in Branford. Non-profit Branford Microfund partners with HFS to establish temporary fiduciary support of donated funds.

Delayed by weather in December, the third annual all-volunteer Harbor Lights on Jan. 8 raises $5,000 for Community Dining Room (CDR).

State Senator Christine Cohen (D, District 12) officially announces her campaign for re-election Jan. 10.

Branford’s Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) holds Zoom-based public hearings on an application for a multi-family residential development at 61 Burban Drive; and a public hearing on site plan/special exception applications for an approved mixed-use development (marina and residential) at 61, 65-71, 67 & 73 Goodsell Point Road.

On Jan. 20, Branford police detectives arrest a 19-year-old New Haven man connected to November, 2020 home burglary and car thefts in Pine Orchard.

For its 125th anniversary year, Blackstone Library invites the community to commemorate 125 years of enriching Branford life, by contributing to an anniversary time capsule to be sealed at the library’s summer “birthday bash” celebration.


A Feb. 16 Board of Education (BOE) public hearing draws about 100 attendees to Walsh Intermediate School (WIS). The majority of parents and students coming to the podium ask the BOE to immediately end the facial mask mandate after Feb. 28, which is when the state mandate ends.

Due to COVID, Branford’s Education Hall of Fame announces the 2022 induction dinner honoring 10 recipients has been postponed for a second year in a row.

Branford’s Representative Town Meeting (RTM) approves Branford Housing Authority’s (BHA) grant of a public access easement to the Town. The grant will continue public use of a portion of Sliney Road during construction to demolish and renovate Parkside Village 1. The project will replace 50 units of housing for Branford seniors and disabled adults with a 67-unit building with 60 units designated affordable for families, under CT state statute (§) 8-30. Construction is planned to start later this year.

On Feb. 17, the PZC opens a public hearing on a proposed Amazon “last mile” facility on Commercial Parkway.

The end of Branford’s COVID school mask mandate is confirmed by vote of the BOE on Feb. 23. The district will not require facial masks in school buildings after the state’s mask mandate ends Feb. 28.


The BOE unanimously recommends a 2022-’23 schools operating budget request of $61,342,641. It represents a 2.4 percent annual increase, or $1,437,300 over the current budget. The BOE budget heads to the Board of Finance (BOF) for review.

On March 8, over 100 community members join a group of Branford female organizers in standing with Ukraine on the Blackstone Library steps, in the glow of blue and yellow lights trained on the building.

On March 14, Branford G-Zen founders/owners Chef Mark Shadle and Ami Beach announce their restaurant at 2 East Main St. will close April 30 as the brand evolves and moves to West Hartford. G-Zen opened in Branford in 2010.

An armed male, sustaining several gunshot wounds, dies at Branford Motel on March 17, following an early morning shooting at the motel at 470 East Main St. A man located by police at the scene says he shot the victim while being robbed at gunpoint by the victim in a motel room. On March 21, police release the identity of the deceased, a 28-year-old New Haven resident. Detectives are continuing the investigation.

During spring musical performances March 16 to March 20, Branford High School (BHS) Performing Arts students raise $4,646 to benefit UNICEF-Ukraine.

Based on results of presentations by the BOE and town departments, the BOF votes to send a 2022-’23 Town Budget recommendation of $124,524,065 to the RTM for RTM committee reviews. The BOF-recommended budget includes a zero mill rate increase.

On March 22, one-way barriers and temporary traffic lights are taken away for the final time; as the multi-year CT Department of Transportation’s (DOT) seawall/sidewalk project nears completion on Route 146/Limewood Avenue.

Branford’s Clean Energy Committee (CEC) has been chosen to receive a $25,000 grant from the Energize CT Community Partnership Initiative sponsored by Eversource/Southern CT Gas. The partnership offers money and energy savings through the Small Business Energy Advantage and municipal buildings program. The grant will support CEC’s outreach to Branford businesses.

On March 31, Afghanistan refugees Laila and Mosa Sadat move away from months of uncertainty to making a life in their new hometown of Branford. The Sadats have been supported in their transition by IRIS and arrived in Branford through the efforts of all-volunteer BRR/HFS, led by resident Laura Noe. Volunteers received hours IRIS training and worked for nearly a year to ready a home and network of support to build on the Sadats’ future success here.

Republican Paul Crisci announces his bid as a candidate for State Senate District 12 in the Nov. 8 election.


A winter’s worth of wondering ends in early April with the sighting of two osprey at the Aldi construction site on West Main Street. Volunteers confirm the osprey couple has adopted a new nesting box set up last year through a volunteer collaborative effort. The new pole and nesting box are several hundred yards away from the birds’ former nesting site on an energized utility pole alongside Route 1.

For many years, the centerpiece of Branford’s annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting has been a living tree on Branford green. Now, the tradition will continue with a newly-planted, native White Spruce installed April 11. It replaces a Colorado Blue Spruce recently found to be badly weakened and distressed.

Branford Police Department (BPD) is honored by Special Olympics CT as its 2021 top law enforcement fundraising department. In 2021, BPD raised $31,504 at its Tip-a-Cop event at Lenny’s Indian Head Inn. BPD also earns the CT Police Chiefs Association Award.

By RTM majority voice vote, the first appropriation, totaling $380,000; is approved for spending from Branford’s $8.2 million federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) relief fund. It includes $160,000 for an Information Technology (IT) Storage Area Network (SAN) storage device, and $220,000 for mobile event stage “Showmobile.”

On April 21, the PZC unanimously gives final approval to a three-part application for the construction of an Amazon “last mile” delivery center on Commercial Parkway.

On April 24, a second Stand with Ukraine rally is held on the steps of the Blackstone Library. The crowd hears from speakers in the community with ties to Ukraine.

On April 28, Branford police and fire personnel locate three deceased victims at the scene of a one-vehicle, early morning crash on Hosley Avenue. They are later identified as Megan Nicole Povilaitis, 17, of East Haven and siblings Robert Dudchik, 22, of East Haven and Anthony Dudchik,19, of East Haddam.

A WIS grand opening ceremony April 28 offers community members a chance to view the renovated/expanded school at 185 Damascus Road, where Phase 2 work was completed earlier this year. The project first broke ground in 2018, fully funded by the Town with bonding of $88.2 million. Following receipt of state reimbursement, the bonding cost to Branford will be reduced to approximately $58.5 million.

Blackstone Library’s Board of Trustees announce Library Director Karen Jensen will retire in late June, after 10 years of leadership through a period of extraordinary growth for the building and its services. A search for a new director is underway.


A community-wide basics assessments survey is launched by the Town with Branford Counseling and Community Services (BCCS) and East Shore District Health Dept. (ESDH). It will assess needs concerning employment, food, utilities, transportation, shelter, and housing, resulting from two years of pandemic.

Branford Deputy Fire Marshal Amanda Mark is placed on administrative leave, following her May 3 arrest by North Branford police in connection to a fatal October, 2021 hit-and-run accident in that town.

After 32 years as a probate judge, Frank J. Forgione announces he will retire when his current term as Branford-North Branford District 35 probate judge ends in January, 2023. Prior to state redistricting splicing Branford and North Branford in one probate court district as of January 2011, Forgione served as North Branford probate judge from 1990 to 2010.

A bipartisan RTM vote May 10 adopts a 2022-23 Town budget of $124.54 million. The vote supports the BOF’s budget recommendation with no mill rate increase.

For non-profit Branford Food Pantry (BFP), it’s been 2 years too long awaiting the return of Branford Letter Carriers’ annual “Stamp Out Hunger” mailbox food collection drive. The May 14 drive delivers thousands of pounds of donations.

With PZC final review and modifications following a May 19 public hearing, Branford’s 2022-2027 Affordable Housing Plan is adopted. Required by CT General Statutes, several months went into the plan’s preparation, as a collaborative effort of the Affordable Housing Steering Committee, Town Staff, and a consultant. Branford residents were invited to participate in the plan via an on-line survey and/or the community discussion about affordable housing facilitated by South Central Regional Council of Governments.

On May 24, sets of Shore Line East trains stop chuffing diesel and begin a new, electric era. During a ceremony in New Haven, Shore Line East, which stops at Branford’s rail station, rolls out new, M8 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains with no carbon emissions.

On May 27, Branford police engage in a foot pursuit to successfully catch a man who broke into a North Main Street Dunkin’ shop at approximately 1:30 a.m., attempting to rob its ATM. The 55 year-old Rhode Island suspect fled the shop into a nearby wooded area before he was apprehended on Cedar Street.

Democrats endorse Christine Cohen to run for a third term representing State Senate District 12 in the Nov. 8 election.

Republicans endorse Paul Crisci as their candidate for State Senate District 12 in the Nov. 8 election.

Democrats endorse attorney Charles “Chuck” Tiernan III to run for the 35th District Probate Judge seat, covering Branford and North Branford, in the Nov. 8 election.

Republicans endorse attorney Al Ippolito to run for the 35th District Probate Judge seat, covering Branford and North Branford, in the Nov. 8 election.

Democrats endorse candidate Moira Rader to run for 98th District State Representative in the Nov. 8 election, covering sections of Stony Creek and Pine Orchard. The seat is open due to Rep. Sean Scanlon’s (D) bid for State Comptroller in the November election.

Republicans endorse candidate Richard DiNardo to run for the 98th District State Representative to run in the Nov. 8 election, covering sections of Stony Creek and Pine Orchard. The seat is open due to Rep. Sean Scanlon’s (D) bid for State Comptroller in the November election.

Democrats endorse Robin Comey to run for a third term as Branford 102nd District State Representative in the Nov. 8 election.

Republicans endorse Ray Ingraham to run for Branford 102nd District State Representative in the Nov. 8 election.

Branford’s Memorial Day ceremonies and parade are held May 30. The parade’s Grand Marshal and ceremony keynote speaker is Branford veteran Dennis Flanigan, a U.S. Navy Vietnam veteran.


Branford officially recognizes national Gun Violence Awareness Day on June 2, following the act of a lone gunman killing 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary school in Uvalde, Texas on May 24.

The Blackstone Library’s next director, Katy McNicol, is appointed. McNicol, Blackstone’s current associate librarian for development and outreach, joined the staff in 2010 as reference librarian.

Branford Land Trust (BLT) announces the purchase of Jarvis Creek Farm. Thanks to community support, grants and donations, BLT raised more $1,700,000 to preserve and protect this 20-acre section of the Medlyn Farm south of Route 146 along the Jarvis Creek salt marsh.

A modern take on the traditional speakeasy arrives with the opening of the 1928 Cocktail Club at 1016-1018 Main St.

On June 16, at the request of applicant Bluepoint Apothecary LCC, the PZC unanimously approves amending zoning regulations and lifting a 12-month moratorium to allow a hybrid retailer cannabis establishment in town. Next, in July, the PZC will review a special exception application required to allow Bluepoint to sell recreational cannabis at its business, Bluepoint Wellness, at 471 East Main St.

After two years without a festival due to the pandemic, crowds return to the Branford green to enjoy the 38th Branford Festival June 17 through June 19.

Aldi supermarket company announces its newly constructed Branford location will open for business June 23 at 1151 West Main St. A second stand-alone building in the new shopping plaza, occupied by Chase Bank, opened earlier in the month.

ESDHD announces the newly-released Covid vaccine for children ages 6 months to 11 years old is now available through free local clinics in Branford run by Griffin Hospital.

BPD joins the new South Central Regional Traffic Enforcement Unit to create an increased presence for motor vehicle enforcement on the shoreline this summer. Other departments involved are North Haven, East Haven, North Branford, Guilford, and Madison.

On June 22, 187 members of the BHS Class of 2022 celebrate commencement at the Town Hall stage on the Branford green.

The Archdiocese of Hartford selects Cheryl Panzo, principal at Branford-based East Shoreline Catholic Academy, as 2021-’22 Archdiocesan Distinguished Catholic School Administrator.

Thousands take in Branford’s annual fireworks display June 25. The 27-minute pyrotechnics show and thrilling finale are now officially on the books as the “best ever” to be enjoyed by the community, based on resounding community response received by the all-volunteer Branford Fireworks committee and Branford Parks and Recreation, says Parks and Recreation Director Alex Palluzzi Jr.

A business gathering at Stony Creek Brewery hosted by the Town and CEC shares how small businesses can cut energy costs while helping the environment, and offers free energy efficiency audits through the Energize CT Small Business Energy Advantage program.

Following a two-year pause due to the pandemic, Branford’s Summer Jazz on the Green series returns for eight free Thursday evening shows. The series opens June 30 and will continue its line-up of high caliber performers through August.


A new, four-year contract has been approved by the Town for Branford’s professional firefighters of Local #2533.

Starting July 5 and continuing every Tuesday this summer, free Community Dinners on the Branford Green return to a big crowd. The series is sponsored by CDR with Guilford Foundation’s Youth Advisory Group-Guilford High School Rotary Interact. Dinners are donated by local restaurants.

The Shoreline Chamber of Commerce (SCC) is launching a series of new post-pandemic business programs designed to mentor area entrepreneurs and provide small loans to put solutions into action.

With the Pine Orchard Union Chapel’s two-year historic restoration complete, a July 4 re-dedication celebration and parade is held, on the 125th anniversary of its July 4, 1897 dedication. Work by the chapel committee led to the completion of the $700,000 project, supported by $500,000 in donations from local residents and three grants from the CT Historic Restoration Fund and CT Historic Tax Credits. The chapel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

On July 9, Branford Troop 6424 awards Victoria Freeman with district’s first female Eagle Scout Merit Badge; and Venturing Crew 424 awards the first Eagle Scout Merit Badge in unit history to Daniel Rowe, during an historic Eagle Scout Court of Honor.

Branford police detective work leads to the warrant and arrest of a 34-year-old East Haven man, in connection with an October 2021 bank robbery at Liberty Bank, 445 West Main Street.

The PZC approves an application for a food truck park at 257 East Main St. The property will feature up to three food trucks, says entrepreneur Jordan Flowers, including his current flagship food truck, Tacos Flores.

By unanimous vote, the PZC approves a special exception application to allow Bluepoint Apothecary, LLC to begin selling recreational cannabis at its current site on East Main Street. With some details in the state regulatory process still being developed, recreational cannabis sales are expected to begin at the business sometime in December, 2022.

Branford police are reminding residents that golf cart road operation in town is restricted to a specific vicinity surrounding Pine Orchard golf course and carts may be operated only after compliance with inspection and other regulations.


On Aug. 1, BPS Superintendent Hamlet M. Hernandez announces his retirement at the conclusion of the 2022-’23 school year. Hernandez took the helm of the Branford school system in July of 2010 after a decorated career as a Marine Officer and more than a decade of leadership in the Hamden Public Schools.

The BOE constitutes the entire Board as the Search Committee to identify and select Branford’s next Superintendent of Schools.

A plea to help raise $6,000 in a bid to save Summer, a dog found tied in the woods suffering complications from overbreeding, is shared by Dan Cosgrove Animal Shelter Director Laura Burban.

Registered Democrats and Republicans vote in the Aug. 9 primaries in alignment with overall statewide results to determine candidates for their parties in the Nov. 8 election.

On Aug. 13, the owners of Branford’s award-winning Le Petit Café announce the business will close after 25 years. Owner/chef Roy Ip and his wife, owner Winnie Lui, cite major kitchen renovations required at the café, located at 225 Montowese St., as well the “prevailing business environment and challenging labor shortage,” among reasons forcing their decision.

O,R&L Commercial announces the sale of the Shoreline Plaza at 91-103 North Main St. The plaza includes Coastal Wine & Spirits, Shoreline Prime Meats & Deli, County Ob/Gyn and Amity Physical Therapy in one building; and InShape Fitness and Staples in a second building. O,R&L represented the seller, A & A Properties LLC and also procured the buyer, Executive Two Hundred LLC. The property transferred for $18,950,000.

BPS central offices move from a Town building at 1111 Main Street to the new ground floor office suite designed for district/BOE central offices in the new WIS academic wing.

Following concerns first raised in 2021 about pedestrian safety and increased traffic due to seasonal customers visiting Indian Neck area restaurants and businesses, CT Department of Transportation (DOT) shares a newly-released road safety audit of that portion of Route 146; and proposals for several safety-related road improvements. Recommendations are shared with the Town for review and possible action.

During an Aug. 16 ceremony, Branford Fire Department and Board of Fire Commissioners swear in five newly hired firefighters.

The BOE votes Aug. 17 to hire four unarmed school security officers for the town’s elementary school buildings, similar to those already in place at WIS and BHS.

A 21-year-old female Branford resident is found fatally shot in Wethersfield on Aug. 27. Wethersfield police also locate a deceased 59-year-old Branford man at the scene. Police determine the man shot the victim and then committed suicide. The decedents are identified as Caroline Anne Ashworth, 21, of Branford, and Michael Mollow, 59, a Branford resident with a dental practice in North Branford.

Following staff complaints shared with the press and on social media concerning non-payment from Donovan’s Reef Restaurant & Catering, 1212 Main St., an investigation is launched by the CT Department of Labor Division of Wage and Workplace Standards.


Branford students go back to school Sept. 1 with no facial masks required on the first day, for the first time in two years.

During a special gathering Sept. 7, Branford Land Conservation Trust (BLCT) member Bill Horne is recognized as the recipient of the prestigious 2022 CT Land Conservation Council’s Katchen Coley Award for Excellence in Conservation.

On Sept. 8, Branford Assistant Fire Chief Gary Bloomquist finishes a span of over 40 years of service to the firefighting profession between two towns. He is honored with a retirement ceremony at Branford Fire Headquarters (BFH).

Branford will receive $500,000 in state funding for repairs and enhancements to the town green, to be matched with $170,000 from the Town. Planned improvements include installation of an irrigation system, brick paver repair, drainage grading, improved lighting, curb replacement, and upgraded crosswalks.

Due to additional funding made available for Branford’s planned Main Street reconstruction project, the Town will increase the scope of the work to address most of the street scape features along Main Street. Due to the work scope increase, the construction schedule has not yet been finalized.

With a unanimous vote on Sept. 15, the RTM approves an ordinance that will reset Town Hall’s Tax Collector position from a two-year elected term to a four-year BOS appointment. The Town’s current Tax Collector will continue until his elected term expires in November, 2023.

ESDHD receives the 2022 States Organization for Boating Access President’s Award for successful use of the Solar Shark, the world’s first fully electric, zero emissions, solar-powered pump out vessel. Operating out of the Branford River since spring 2020, the Solar Shark promotes cleaner Long Island Sound waters by providing septic pump-outs to boaters in a regional area.

With a public remembrance ceremony on Sept. 11 at BFH, Branford continues its annual tradition of honoring the loss, sacrifices and bravery experienced on Sept. 11, 2001.

BPD holds a special retirement event Sept. 22 marking Detective Pat Moynihan’s final day as a law enforcement officer after 34 years, including the last 14 years serving with BPD.

Branford Compassion Club, a feline rescue and feral feline care organization founded by volunteers, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a gala on Sept. 23 at the Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club.

On Sept. 28, police arrest 35-year-old Shawn Plaza of New Haven on a warrant and charge him with manslaughter for his involvement in the August, 2021 drug overdose death of a Branford resident.

Construction gets underway during the last week of September to bring in the new Parkside Village 1 affordable housing development, tearing down vacant Building A of the old Parkside complex as part of Phase 1 work. Signs go up notifying the public that access remains open to Sliney Field via adjoining Sliney Road. Use of the fields as well as field public parking will continue to be available during construction at Parkside’s 115 South Montowese St. location. Construction is expected to be complete in December 2023, with additional site work completed in the spring of 2024.

Complete with gardens, floral displays and other horticultural attractions, Branford Garden Club’s standard flower show, “Gardens Around the World: The Greater Perfection,” creates an extravagant, educational and entertaining event as it transforms the lower half of the Community House Sept. 24 and Sept. 25.

On behalf of the Town and Branford’s Community Forest Commission (CFC), First Selectman Jamie Cosgrove presents Metro Star of Milford with an Eco-Friendly Landscaping Award, for its installation of ecologically centered, sustainable landscaping at the luxury apartments/commercial buildings complex under construction. Located at 367,373-375, 377 and 383 East Main Street, the development includes the the site of the former Days Inn. Cosgrove notes the property redevelopment is a great improvement and creates a new, welcoming ”gateway“ to Branford at I-95 Exit 55.

Tyler’s Green, a stretch of Main Street public space to the west of the Blackstone Library, is in the midst of a phase one capital improvement beautification project funded by the Town. The project is part of Branford’s ongoing budgeted capital improvement plan and does not entail the use of Branford’s federally-restricted $8.2 million federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) relief funding.


Branford residents and businesses are urged to register with the Town of Branford’s new mass emergency notification system, CodeRed, to receive vital information by phone during hazardous conditions and other emergency incidents.

Metro Star Executive Managing Director and Founder Robert Smith says the first phase of the Milford company’s East Main Street development will be open for leasing mid-October. The finished development will hold a total of 6 new multi-story buildings, as well as a stand-alone club house building for residents. As part of Metro Star’s agreement with the Town, the complex will include a mix of 188 residential dwelling units, with 11 designated to qualify as affordable housing.

Based on an opinion from the Town attorney provided to the RTM Rules and Ordinances committee, stating the RTM does not have jurisdiction over the adoption of an ordinance for golf carts in the town of Branford, the full RTM votes to take no further action on the matter.

Darbar India celebrates the opening of its new location at 168 Montowese Street. The long-time Branford restaurant moved to the renovated, stand-alone site in the town center from its former Main Street location across from the Branford green.

Ôtoulouse, a new French restaurant, opens at 2 East Main Street in Branford.

With the holidays just around the corner, at time when “inflation is hitting the community hard,” BFP vice president Jaye Andrews says BFP is fielding more requests than ever for holiday meal baskets for Branford residents in need. Donations are needed to support expected requests for Thanksgiving and Christmas meals adding up to a minimum of 500 frozen turkeys and holiday meal supplies.

Indian Neck’s Sybil Creek Bridge deck will closes Oct. 17 for a 14-day deck replacement as part of the state DOT’s bridge replacement project. The new bridge deck reopens to traffic October 29, while construction at the project site continues.

The RTM votes 26-0-1 to designate $70,000 from Branford’s $8.2 million federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to non-profit Branford Arts and Cultural Alliance (BACA). The funds will be put toward strategic planning to develop and grow BACA gallery space at 1004 Main Street as a business entity and economic driver attracting customer traffic to downtown Branford.

On Oct. 20, the PZC approves a request from MetroStar seeking to reduce, by one unit, the total number of affordable units in the new complex on East Main Street, from 11 to 10. The change still fulfills the agreement with the Town to dedicate 5 percent of overall units as affordable.

On Oct. 21, Branford police representatives travel to Hartford to join thousands of officers attending a ceremony honoring two Bristol police officers shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to an emergency call in Bristol.

On Oct. 21, Branford Fire Department responds to 16 incidents in 1 day, including a vehicle fire on I-95. Of the 16 incidents, 12 are medical emergencies with 10 requiring transport to area hospitals.

On Oct. 25, Branford police officers apprehend and arrest a masked man who fled after attempting a gas station robbery with a Sawzall blade. A Branford officer on patrol observed the suspect in the process of robbing the store clerk at Sapphire Fuel, 30 Main St., at approximately 6 p.m. The clerk was not injured. The suspect was later found to be on parole for armed robbery in Illinois.


The PZC approves a site plan for an undeveloped parcel of land fronting Route 1 at 819-841 East Main St. The plan will bring in a global medical technology firm’s corporate offices/research and development building.

On Nov. 4, the owners of Pearl Wine Bar, together with Branford Economic Development Commission (EDC), officially cut the ribbon at the new venue at 1140 Main St., which opened earlier this year.

On Sunday, Nov. 6, Branford Veterans Parade Committee holds Branford’s annual Veterans Day Parade and ceremonies. Grand Marshal and keynote speaker is Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Jack Dougherty, corporal, USMC Retired.

A ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park Nov. 5 dedicates Branford’s new World War II memorial monument. Officials with the Town of Branford, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 12106, and American Legion Post 83 help to recognize the importance of the granite stone memorial. The monument is dedicated to all who served during WWII and to also honor 36 Branford residents who did not survive the war.

Among the town’s seven voting districts, Branford supports Democratic candidates by majority vote across the entire state election ballot on Nov. 8. Of Branford’s 21,458 registered voters, a total of 15,527 voters cast their ballots, or 63.38 percent. Democrat Robin Comey wins re-election to a third term as State Representative of the 102nd District. Democratic State Senator Christine Cohen wins re-election to a third term representing District 12. Democrat Moira Rader wins election as State Representative of the 98th District. Democrat Charles “Chuck” Tiernan III is elected as next Judge of Probate for Branford-North Branford District 35.

On Nov. 9, Branford Police Commission, together with Branford Police Chief Jonathan Mulher and the Town of Branford host a very special ceremony honoring the men and women of BPD for their continued service, dedication and bravery, including commendations for heroic actions.

BHS hosts an onsite Veterans Day Celebration honoring visiting veterans from all armed services on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.

The BOE retains a consultant to assist with the ongoing search for a new school Superintendent. An online survey is announced help the BOE understand community priorities as part of the process. The BOE is interviewing various stakeholders for their input as well. The BOE expects to close the current job posting the week after the new year, then move into the evaluation phase, with expectation to announce the successor by March 15, 2023.

A 30-year-old Branford man is charged by Guilford police for a Nov. 12 hit-and-run accident on Leetes Island Road. The accident seriously injured a Branford resident while he was cycling.

On Nov. 17, a recently formed Branford citizens’ group, Save Our Shoreline (SOS), holds a Community Conversation about the proposed Tweed New Haven Airport expansion plans, and the impacts on the well-being of the shoreline and the health of its residents.

On Nov. 18, a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle while crossing East Main Street near the intersection of Windmill Hill Road. Branford police and fire departments respond and begin life-saving measures before she is transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital for treatment of serious physical injuries. Police announce the 55-year-old Branford resident later succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased at the hospital. The South Central Connecticut Traffic Unit, which responded to the scene, is continuing its accident investigation.

With an official groundbreaking ceremony Nov. 21, developer Beacon Communities (MA) celebrates construction underway to redevelop Branford-based Parkside Village 1. Owned by Branford Housing Authority (BHA), Parkside Village 1 is being transformed from 1970’s-era, 50-unit housing for seniors and disabled adults to 67 new apartments at 115 South Montowese St. Of those, 60 will be designated affordable, under CT state statute (§) 8-30, for families earning at or below 60 percent of area median income.

Branford’s town center lights up with holiday activity Nov. 26 as a record crowd comes out to enjoy the annual Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting.

To aid in the search for Branford’s next Superintendent of Schools, the BOE and its consultant launch a public online survey which is open for several weeks. All educational partners including parents, community leaders, employees and students are asked to share their thoughts.

On Nov. 29, the U.S. Attorney, District of CT, announces Christopher Jardine 55, of Guilford, is sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment, followed by one-year of supervised release, for failing to pay business and personal taxes. According to court documents and statements, Jardine is a part owner of D&A Construction Management, Inc. a Branford-based company.


Branford’s newest playground opens at Foote Memorial Park on Dec. 1 for ages 2 through 5 and ages 5 through 9. The Foote Park Trust provided two separate grants totaling $135,000 to complete the project.

Volunteer organizers of the fourth annual Harbor Lights set up thousands of luminaries stretching into area neighborhoods and beyond from Branford Point Dec. 17, with proceeds to benefit CDR. For the first time, Harbor Lights adds a new location, lighting luminaries on the Branford green.

Branford’s new Assistant Fire Chief, Brian Koczak, is sworn in on Dec. 14 during a special ceremony at BFH.

An excessively loud concert at SCB, held in October, generates a petition presented to the BOS in December. The petition carries more than 125 signatures of residents impacted including many beyond the confines of the brewery’s 5 Indian Neck Avenue address. On Dec. 14, a special BOS meeting airs residents’ complaints, and yields plans for further actions which may help turn down the sound at the brewery, and other venues, so that excessive live entertainment won’t impact area residents’ quality of life.

The BCCS Secret Santa program receives a $10,000 donation from the Ben Callahan Memorial Foundation.

A petition generated by SOS and signed by over 1,600 residents from across the greater New Haven region and beyond urges the Federal Aviation Administration to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed expansion of Tweed New Haven Airport. The petition cites serious concerns over the expansion’s impacts to health and the environment, which organizers say are already noticeable and alarming.

Organizer Mark Hally has plenty of volunteers to help distribute 1,665 wreaths at military graves in Branford’s 7 cemeteries on Dec. 17, during Hally’s fourth annual Wreaths Across America- Branford effort. This year, Lockheed Martin donated $10,250 to Hally’s program.

Since the South Central Regional Traffic Enforcement Team’s creation in June, 23 deployments have taken place across the towns of East Haven, Branford, Guilford, North Haven, North Branford, and Madison. A total of 1,315 motor vehicle stops have been made and 426 infractions were issued. Officers also issued 48 misdemeanor summonses for more serious violations, whose penalties include mandatory court appearances.

Supporters break out into applause Dec. 14 after a unanimous RTM voice vote approves a $400,000 appropriation from Branford’s ARPA funds to get the ball rolling on Branford playing field consulting services. The services will be linked to WIS athletic field improvements to bring in a multipurpose field/sports facility, and developing a strategic plan for future needs and uses of town-wide athletic facilities.

Among his many contributions to boards, commissions, committees and programs benefiting Branford, Bill O’Brien has given a remarkable 38 years of service to Branford’s EDC. On Dec. 21, the EDC hosts a very special presentation recognizing O’Brien’s years service spanning 1983 to 2022.


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