Walsh’s Wonderings — When trust goes bust

Nothing screams “first world problem” more than the whining about Apple’s recent announcement that they designed iPhones to throttle their own batteries as they aged. While the flagship tech company put out a tone-deaf press release to quell the storm (it didn’t), it did little to remove the impression that they’d just been caught making their phones artificially antiquated in order to get their customers to buy new ones. Things like this matter. Not because it’s Apple, and not because battery life is so important. Rather, it’s the idea that another institution in which we placed our trust has let … Read more

COMMENTARY: Upcoming in Easton in 2018

Here are some things I think we will see in Easton in 2018. The mill rate will be reduced. Last year’s budget process was chaotic because of Gov. Dannel Malloy’s proposal to shift a portion of teachers’ pensions from the state to the towns. The proposed charge to Easton was $1.3 million (our budget is a bit over $40 million). The state budget process dragged on through October, and, not knowing what would become law, Easton’s Board of Finance decided to set the mill rate, assuming the governor’s proposal would mostly be implemented. Ultimately, the legislature did not implement the … 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

EDITORIAL: Bright lights in Easton

Santa was on hand for the festivities. — Bryan Haeffele archive photo

The magic has begun. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, shoppers started making the annual trek to Easton, the unofficial Christmas tree capital of Connecticut. The abundant tree farms and festive activities draw buyers from the tri-state area. The weekend of Saturday, Dec. 2, and Sunday, Dec. 3, are full of a dizzying display of family-friendly activities, with more in the weeks to come. Helen Keller Middle School will serve up its 44th annual pancake breakfast on the morning of Saturday, Dec. 2, from 8 to 10:30 a.m. in the school cafeteria, a tradition for generations of Eastonites. After the pancake breakfast, … Read more

World Vegan Month: What does it mean for the environment?

Becoming a vegan requires cutting out all meat, eggs, dairy, and other animal by-products and eating a purely plant-based diet.

Going vegan is not the lifestyle choice for everyone, but it certainly is worth considering. By consuming only plants and vegetables, vegans make a statement against animal cruelty and exploitation. They also help sustain the environment in four important ways, which are described below. As I wrote this article, I discussed veganism and its effects with current Joel Barlow High School senior Audrey Liao. She was originally vegetarian, then made the switch to vegan a year and a half ago after watching documentaries such as “Cowspiracy” and “Forks over Knives.” She was more than happy to share some of her … 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

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