Links: 1966, 1967, 1968,
1969, 1970, 1971,
1972, 1973, 1974,
1975, 1976, 1977,
1978, 1979, 1980,
1981, 1982, 1983,
1984, 1985, 1986,
1987, 1988, 1989,
1990, 1991, 1992
following is a chronological listing of events in Redding
since The Redding Pilot was started in 1966. The list includes
some important news, some not so important items, but all
things which say a little about Redding life over the past
25 years (1966-1992). Information from the 1992
Redding Pilot "A Quarter Century" Supplement.
Redding Board of Education in October, following a burglary
at John Read Middle School and several vandalism incidents,
considered posting guard dogs at Redding schools.
town's population had grown 43% and its child population grown
64% since the 1960 census, according to the state Register
and Manual, which was published in November. And in the manual,
Redding's population was 4,800 as of July 1, 1966; 1,848 were
children. In 1960, there were 3,360 residents, 1,129 children.
town started its open space drive in November with a unanimous
vote to buy a swamp. "Without a murmur of opposition
on Friday, Redding for the first time officially voted to
reclaim, for preservation as open space, land which once was
part of the happy hunting ground of Indians," The Pilot's
page one story read, "A special town meeting approved
the appropriation of $14,000 to acquire and develop nearly
seven and one half acres of swampland... on Lonetown Road,
Route 107, across from the Redding School. (At today's rate
of exchange, $14,000 would be a lot of wampum.)
"The swamp has been acquired as part of Redding's developing
program to retain the rural atmosphere of the town so that
it does not become a solely bedroom for the people of nearby
communities nor, indeed, a densely-populated suburb of a metropolitan
area inhabited primarily by commuters."
A conservation agent earlier told the town the swamp contained
a wide variety of wildlife and was part bog, but denied the
existence of quicksand on the property.
Redding Land Trust received several inquires about setting
up land trusts as a result of a November Newsweek magazine
article entitled Keeping Suburbia Green. One of the letters
came from College, Alaska: "Even we here in Alaska might
have to take recourse to such land trust for the same purposes
at least within and around the larger settlement and the sooner
it can be done the better."
The Pilot in December announced it would become a subscription
paper in 1967: "Beginning next week, Wednesday, Jan.4,
1967, the paper will cost $5 a year by mail subscriptions,
or 10 cents per copy on newsstands."
a John Read Middle School student newspaper, made its first
appearance with speculations on "superskunk" the
mysterious creature seen by many around town (and which some
suspected was actually a badger.)
discovered in February it was spending more per pupil for
education than all but two other Connecticut towns.
men in March used the Redding Center Town Green, with the
Congregational Church as a backdrop, to film a scene for the
film Valley of the Dolls.
death in action March 25 of Marine Corporal Warren Vought,
Jr. brought to three the number of Georgetown men killed in
fighting in Vietnam in the last five months-more than were
killed from that community than during all of World War II,
in a big way, scouts from Georgetown's Troop 108 cleared several
truckloads of debris from Gilbert and Bennett Pond in April.
Among the clutter were a television set, a baby carriage,
and over 60 tires. The Lions did their part, making the pond's
beach ready for summer swimmers, and the Putnam Park staff
prepared for the onslaught of thousands of visitors.
A. Landin in May decided to resign as superintendent of schools
because of overwork. The school boards eventually chose Carl
Robinson as its new superintendent.
found nothing to steal in May during their third break-in
in two years at Joel Barlow High School.
bicentennial dominated the news all August. And when it was
over, Redding was quite ready to wait another 50 years. The
Pilot reported the celebration was a "flopless masterpiece,"
beginning with an art show, a garden tour, and Know Your Town
Night. A field day featured fire companies warring with rope
across a stream of water. A huge afternoon barbecue drew 1,000
people and was followed by the parade, featuring different
modes of transportation used in Redding during its two-century
existence. The second weekend ended the ceremonies with the
"Living Newspaper." A final burst of enthusiasm,
the fireworks display, was rained out and had to wait another
audacious but abortive burglary at the Spinning Wheel Inn
followed by a wild cops-and-robbers chase through the underbrush
and clear to New York highlighted the Labor Day weekend. The
suspect was caught and hospitalized with three bullet wounds
inflicted by his intended victim.
police in January launched a campaign to discourage loitering
by Redding teenagers. The effort resulted in the arrest of
one Redding teen and again highlighted what the Redding Pilot
reported was an old problem: no place for teenagers to gather
Redding Land Trust in January was given 32 acres of land.
The town continued to vote for purchases of open space in
meetings throughout 1967-1968.
police force expanded: by the end of '68 it included two resident
troopers and two patrolmen.
new Redding-Easton Intertown Council in March set up a recruitment
meeting to explain its plans; one high priority was to eliminate
tolls for phone calls between Redding and Easton.
town officials, and some businesses were closed and an ecumenical
memorial service was conducted at the First Church of Christ
Congregational following the April 4 assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King.
May, Redding voters approved the $1,813,117 town budget and
25 Easton and Redding voters ok'ed the regional district school
budget of $903,815.00
Goodfield, Redding school principal retired in June, as did
Marie T. Golder, Redding's first public kindergarten teacher.
Robert Bernstein became the new elementary school principal
lack of litter baskets combined with lack of visitors to make
an unattractive mess at Falls Hole in July. Members of the
Conservation Commission were also concerned with swimming
and fishing at Falls Hole because of its proximity to the
Bridgeport Hydraulic Company's reservoir system.
October holdup at the Georgetown branch of the Fairfield Trust
Company netted about $40,000 for robbers who had not yet been
apprehended as of late December. When the stolen getaway car
was discovered on Wayside Lane, the body of the car owner's
son was found in the truck. An autopsy revealed the murder
had occurred before the holdup.
State Park and Forest Commission announced in October that
the Redding Fire Tower, which had been manned (or womaned,
as The Pilot reported), would be replaced by airplane surveillance
and would be used only in emergencies.
Region 9 Board of Education in January approved students'
request for permission to wear blue jeans in school.
February snowstorm didn't qualify as a blizzard because temperatures
were too high, but the 18 to 22 inches of snow closed Redding
schools for a week. One Georgetown resident died in the storm
when he suffered a heart attack trying to get his car through
issue of sex education was on residents' minds in June as
125 turned out to see some films on the subject at a meeting
sponsored by the West Redding Chapter of the Movement to Restore
'Just Fantastic... Wonderful' Redding Reacts to Moon Walk"
was the Pilot's headline the week of astronaut Neil Armstrong's
first walk on the moon in July.
Hyatt Huntington's equestrian statue of General Israel Putnam
was dedicated at Putnam Park on a sunny September Sunday.
A large crowd attended the dedication ceremony, as did the
93-year old Mrs. Huntington.
of the Pilot in 1969 was taken up with the issue of PA 490
which allowed lower assessments to open space lands. The interpretation
of the act led to a lawsuit, but even that didn't leave the
October, voters, by a nearly 4-1 margin, approved a $3.2 million
Joel Barlow High School addition, which was expected to be
completed by September, 1971.
Eugene McCarthy came to Redding in October and spoke of "public
unhappiness." He predicted a new political party before
the next presidential election.
Redding Grange in October took a blue ribbon for its exhibit
at the Danbury State Fair and winning recognition for being
the only grange with a 10-year exhibition record.
the November election, Jesse P. Sanford won the first selectman's
race, Selectman Leslie Favreau won re-election and Mary Anne
Guitar became Redding's first woman selectman. Jesse Sanford
succeeded his cousin, J. Barlett Sanford, Jr., who had announced
in June that he would retire at the end of his term.
Barlow, The Pilot reported in December, "lost mini skirts
(some of them, anyway) when the regional board approved slacks
for girls during the winter months."
Light and Power surveyors, who first refused to say who they
were working for, began scouring the town in March, checking
out a path for electric power lines. CL&P revealed in
December that the 345,000 volt lines would be suspended on
poles 65 to 115 feet high and would run through open space
across the south of Redding. CL&P withdrew its proposal
Easter snowstorm in March dropped 10 inches of snow on Redding.
added another armed robbery to its list in April, but this
time it was not a bank. Two well-dressed men carrying attaché
cases took jewelry and money totaling $51,000 from a Georgetown
homeowner, who the robbers left handcuffed to his guests.
events included a Teach in on Asia, local students response
to the Kent State University (Ohio) killing of four college
students who had been protesting the war in Southeast Asia.
moths denuded Redding trees, as well as trees across Fairfield
County, leading to an area conference that divided the towns
into pro-sprayers and anti-sprayers. At quiet times, The Pilot
reported, "you could hear the caterpillars crushing away
on the leaves."
such things becoming common, there was still some excitement
when two armed robbers in August hit the Georgetown bank for
the second time in less than two years. The two robbers were
soon in police custody.
a green flag bearing the U.S. flag's stars and bars design
a desecration? Residents never really found out during August,
but in September, the owner of one such flag in Georgetown
was arrested and charged with desecrating the flag. Opinions
were still mixed by the end of the year.
Planning Commission survey in October indicated the typical
reason a homeowner moved to Redding was its "country
atmosphere." Most residents indicated they wanted to
preserve that "atmosphere" in any way possible.
bus accident involving Joel Barlow students, the second during
1970, took place in Easton during November. Two buses collided
on Black Rock Turnpike, injuring 10 students. An investigation
blamed faulty brakes.
Open Lands, Inc.suggested a plan for purchases of the 412-acre
Steichen property. The town would buy 270 acres, ROLI would
buy the rest and develop enough of it to cover its costs.
After two votes in 1970 (first to buy the land, then to rescind
the purchase), town voters approved spending $682,000 for
the land on Jan. 30 by a 1,052 to 902 vote.
Zoning Commission in February were pondering the implications
of Governor Thomas Meskill's proposed 7% sales tax. It was
a long time before the question was settled, and for a time
later in the year, an income tax was the chosen means for
we must," said First Selectman Jesse P. Sanford. So the
town in May sprayed the insecticide Sevin along town roads-only
on properties whose homeowners had not requested exemption-
to prevent another gypsy moth infestation.
day, April 17, was celebrated in Redding with a round of environmental
oriented activities in one of the biggest town gatherings
regional school board in May came to a 3-3 tie in its first
vote on establishing a smoking policy for the high school.
It came up again later in the year, when the board approved
a policy allowing Barlow students an outdoor smoking area
but no indoor smoking privileges.
Barlow in September added new courses, with titles like Youth
and Rebellion, Advertising Propaganda and Mass Media, The
Black Experience, and The Dawn of Modern Times.
and Easton voters strongly indicated their preference for
separate school systems by voting down- by an eight to one
margin- a plan for regionalization in October. The plan would
have a combined system beginning with kindergarten instead
of only at the high school level.
school boards appointed Lawrence Miller superintendent of
schools in November.
Citizens Action Council protested blacktopping in December.
It requested the town consider residents' wishes and the character
of the neighborhood when planning to surface any of the town's
owners in January rejected the Historic District Study Committee's
idea of a 183-acre Redding Center Historic District.
Zoning Commission in January considered creating an architectural
review board to help prevent the possibility that "McDonalds's-type
golden arches" might be built in Redding.
wire service story about Redding brought newspaper clippings
from Reddingites far and wide. The story was about Anna Hyatt
Huntington's donation of money for a new ambulance to the
Bethel fire department, which had transported her to the hospital
Redding landmark, the house in which Albert Bigelow Paine,
Mark Twain's biographer, had lived, burned in an early morning
fire in February. No one was hurt in the fire. The two-century
old home had been the subject of a book, Dwellers in Arcady,
Georgetown A&P opened in March, as did the Nearly New
Joel Barlow students presented a report on area recycling
efforts to the selectman in March. The report prompted the
selectman to start Redding's first glass collection, which
took place in August.
in April rejected an appropriation for spraying against Gypsy
Moths. Opponents said the moths' eggs has been mostly destroyed
by a parasite. Very few of the leaf eaters appeared this year.
rains at the beginning of summer caused the overflow of the
Ridgefield sewage treatment plant. The Gilbert and Bennett
Pond in Georgetown was closed to swimming due to high coliform
police were busy with their first ever "mobile radar"
unit, a gift from Anna Hyatt Huntington in October.
number of residents in December proposed banning to limiting
hunting in town. Proponents of the ban argued that careless
hunters were endangering property and people. Hunters said
the problem would be solved by enforcement of hunting laws,
not a ban.
beaver population continued to be the subject of debate in
December, as various methods of accommodating a beaver family
January town meeting voted to buy the Congregational Church
hall in Redding Center for use as a police station.
dogs attacked two sheep on a Limkiln Road property in February,
calling dramatic attention to the public of dogs running loose
in town. The sheep survived.
town meeting on March 9 approved the town wetlands ordinance
authorizing the Conservation Commission to establish wetlands
Redding Historical Society voted to acquire the former Burritt
house and turn it into a museum in March. It was renamed the
Lonetown Farm Museum.
Steichen, "the man who transformed photography into an
art form," died at his Redding home on March 25, two
days before his 94th birthday.
in Redding and Georgetown reported in April that shoppers
were participating in the national meat boycott, organized
to protest the skyrocketing cost of meat.
May, Walt Haring's gas station on Route 58 was one of the
first gas station's in the area to have to close temporarily
for lack of fuel. "Out of gas" signs at service
stations became common by mid-1971.
first town-owned beach at Topstone Park opened June 30.
mammoth last minute cleanup got the new Redding Elementary
School addition ready for the opening of the school year on
September Pilot reported that "Police shot a snake of
mysterious type, which snake when thought to have expired,
started to eat a broom. The police then shot its head off
for real. It turned out to have been a python, an escaped
Hyatt Huntington, renowned sculptress and philanthropist,
died in October at her home at the age of 97. Most of her
estate became a state park.
Marshall Lawrence Ford in November warned residents against
improper gasoline storage in attempting to avert a shortage
during the fuel crisis.
Reddingites and one former resident turned up on a list of
White House "enemies," made public in December's
Watergate hearings by White House counsel John Dean.
owner of the Stormfield property, once the home of Mark Twain,
offered to sell the property to the town in January for $750,000.
Although agreement couldn't be reached on that proposed option,
the town in August approved an arrangement to buy some of
the estate land through a complicated 10-year plan.
in January opponents of a Sport Hill Road subdivision bought
the land instead.
Redding girls asked to play on boys Little League teams in
April. The Boys' Club declined to approve such an arrangement
but allowed the girls to form their own team and use the club's
Region 9 Board of Education in May and district voters in
September approved an agreement with the owner of a 76-acre
property next to the school site. The board hoped to use it
for athletic facilities.
of The Stepford Wives began on Redding Ridge-prompting debate
about jurisdiction over allowing such filming in a residential
zone. As filming continued in July, the Zoning Commission
ruled that filming did not constitute a commercial use.
crew of young archaeologists, led by University of Connecticut
graduate students, was hard at work at a dig in Putnam Park
in July, looking to find indications of Revolutionary War
logistics in the leavings of soldiers who camped at the park
during the winter of 1778-79.
in July voiced their opposition to a proposed 610-acre hunting
preserve in Redding, Easton and Newtown which the state would
lease from Bridgeport Hydraulic Company.
in August stayed glued to their television sets for the historic
Judiciary Committee impeachment hearings. President Nixon
resigned Aug. 9.
2,000 people attended Redding's Ives Centennial Committee
Aug. 18 musical town meeting in a natural amphitheater on
property once owned by composer Charles Ives and heard Paul
Winter and fellow musicians prove that Ives music is certainly
spirit of the American Revolution came alive as historic brigade
units from throughout the state participated Aug. 18 and 19th
in a Putnam Park event.
armed robbers made off with $4,340 from the West Redding branch
of the Ridgefield Savings Bank.
about rising taxes and a depressed economy resulted in an
unprecedented battle over the annual town budget in the spring.
Before the budget was adopted at a town meeting June 23, voters
had defeated it twice in referendums. Property owners received
their tax bills a little later than usual.
1975 labor violence occurred in Redding for the first time
in recent memory when striking workers at the Gilbert and
Bennett Manufacturing Company in Georgetown tried to block
shipments from the wire mill. Police were called, and, in
a hand-to hand confrontation with strikers, seven people were
Georgetown Community Association in February prompted the
introduction of a bill in the General Assembly aimed at establishing
Georgetown as a separate town. Some Georgetowners, feeling
shortchanged by Redding, Ridgefield, Wilton, and Weston, wanted
to go it alone or at least have some municipal powers. But
the effort was dropped.
Hydraulic Company in February announced plans to sell its
surplus land, although it indicated it had no intention of
selling any of its 2,800 acres in Redding. But concern aroused
by the announcement prompted legislation restricting such
land sales-in turn leading to a lawsuit by the company, naming
Redding and other towns as defendants, charging that it is
being deprived of its property rights.
Sorenson spoke in Redding in April. President Jimmy Carter
would nominate him head of the Central Intelligence Agency
in 1977. President Carter's nomination of Sorenson, a New
York attorney and former aide to President Kennedy, to head
the CIA never made it to a Senate vote. Among the objections:
Sorenson's lack of credentials on intelligence operations,
his conscientious objector status during World War II, his
use of classified information from the Kennedy White House
to write a book, his law firm's representation of foreign
governments. Carter withdrew the nomination.
voters approved a $2.3 million Region 9 budget in April. By
a 14-vote margin, townspeople approved a $4.7 million town
budget at a May 20 referendum.
black bear which had been reported wandering around Fairfield
County was seen in Redding in June.
Barlow Prinicipal Roy Briggs left in December and Frank Surpless
became the school's new principal.
first week in July was festive in Redding. The town celebrated
the nation's 200th birthday by ringing all the church bells
and sponsoring a fireworks display at Joel Barlow.
waste was a big issue in 1976. Residents, saying the Saugatuck
River would be polluted, opposed a proposed transfer station
in the Starrs Plain area.
big issue in January was what kind of bridge would be built
to replace the 1909 wooden and steel structure over the railroad
tracks on Simpaug Turnpike. After the original bridge design
caused residents to cry "overkill" at the size of
the proposed span, proponents of a smaller bridge won a May
referendum 784 to 387.
was becoming a very popular place to live. Local builders
experienced a "terrific take off" in 1976 based
on a jump in building permits, Building Inspector Theodore
Dachenhausen said in February.
buffs won the day in April as a proposal to build four new
tennis courts on land near the Redding Elementary School was
approved in a referendum by an 883-497 vote.
Anne Guitar ended 44 years of Republican rule in November
when she was elected the first women first selectman of Redding.
First Selectman Jesse P. Sanford had announced in January
he would not run again.
week before Christmas about 120 Joel Barlow High School students
staged a sit-down strike in the school because one of the
smoking areas had been closed. Superintendent of Schools Lawrence
Miller responded by suspending the students and closing school
for a half day.
Zoning Commission in July approved regulations which allowed
apartment units up to 600 square feet in existing dwellings.
The commission had heard a report some months before that
revealed there were more than 300 apartments in Redding, many
of them operating illegally.
Friday, Oct. 13, voters by a 475-395 count rejected the proposed
town purchase of the Alexander property in West Redding as
a site for town built housing for the elderly. Neighbors said
that septic failure on the proposed development site could
pollute the huge underground aquifer beneath the property
and threaten the area water supply.
police and dozens of volunteers combed the countryside in
the northern section of town in December, looking for what
was supposed to have been a plane that had crashed. The search
party didn't find anything, however, and it was later learned
that a meteor shower had taken place during that time.
Redding Taxpayers Association sought "Proposition 13"
type controls on town spending. The association in January
proposed town ordinances tying budget increases to growth
in the grand list. Voters in March rejected the ordinance
by a 684-573 vote.
Region 9 Board of Education in June hired Nelson W. Quinby
as Joel Barlow High School's new principal.
consensus of gas station owners and employees in Redding and
Georgetown was that the odd-even gasoline rationing system
has reduced the number of cars waiting for gas. A rationing
system went into effect June 20 when Gov. Ella Grasso declared
an "energy emergency" in the state.
rash of vandalism hit all four corners of town and caused
more than $1,000 worth of damage, police reported in August.
Vandals broke windows at the Redding Boys' Club as well as
on cars in West Redding Railroad Station parking lot and in
homes in Georgetown and on Redding Ridge.
Barlow High School in October engaged Redding Ridge douser
Viola Dudek to help find water on the property where it planned
to build athletic fields. It did not help. Eventually the
project was redesigned so fewer wells would suffice.
years of controversy, the renovated and restored Simpaug Turnpike
bridge over the railroad tracks was reopened in December.
Corporation, a sporting goods company, announced plans in
February to move its headquarters to Georgetown.
first selectmen of Wilton, Ridgefield, and Redding and the
mayors of Danbury and Norwalk in April all urged the state
to make immediate improvements to the existing Route 7. State
officials later in the year said Super 7 was decades away
because the state did not have the money to build it.
home of a Redding family served as the "deprogramming"
location for a resident who, his mother said, had been brainwashed
by the Unification Church of the Rev. Sun Yung Moon.
utility regulators in July voted to award the contract for
Redding's cable television franchise to Cablevision of Connecticut.
looks rural but it's not," a planning consultant told
the Planning Commission in July, when it began revising the
Town Plan of Development.
group of Georgetown businessmen in September said they were
fed up with the way Redding was treating Georgetown and wanted
the community to secede and form its own municipality. The
business group didn't get too far, though the issue became
a hot political topic in Redding's November municipal elections,
won by First Selectman Mary Anne Guitar by only 25 votes over
former Town Clerk Emerson Burritt.
Houghtaling in December became the first Joel Barlow graduate
(he was a member of the school's first graduating class) to
serve on the Region 9 Board of Education, which oversees Barlow.
January fire at the Canine College on Marchant Road killed
37 dogs, including several belonging to the college's owner.
Glendenning corporation sold the Gilbert Hill property to
Perkin-Elmer for $4.95 million in March.
30 residents formed Redding Citizens for a Nuclear Freeze,
which held meetings, staged other activities and prompted
much debate about nuclear weapons throughout the year.
Route 53 man over a Saugatuck River waterfall and drowned
in June. His body was recovered in the Saugatuck Reservoir
several days later.
began work on a corporate headquarters on the Gilbert Hill
property after it agreed to meet the Conservation Commission's
41 conditions of approval.
to rezone the property where the Bachelor's II bar was located
and build a "Mark Twain Center" shopping area failed
in January and August.
New Haven consulting firm in July recommended the town build
a small sewer treatment plant, which it estimated would
cost $300,000 to $400,000, for the Georgetown area.
logging company in February was denied permission by the Conservation
Commission to remove downed timber from a lot because the
lumber would have to be hauled across a stream.
men in ski masks, one armed with a shotgun, burst into the
West Redding branch of the Ridgefield Savings Bank one April
day and made off with $8,000.00
New York pilot walked away from the crash of his plane after
it ran out of gas and he made an emergency landing, nose-first
into a thicket, on a Lonetown Road field in July. The plane
was "wrecked beyond reasonable repair," the pilot
League of Women Voters in March proposed the creation of a
Georgetowners in May signed a petition protesting the realignment
of mail service in the area. The Postal Service had announced
that it would close the Georgetown Post Office and Georgetowners
would receive mail service from post offices in the municipalities
in which they lived. Eventually, the Postal Service went for
another idea:build a new Georgetown Post Office and offer
post office box service.
Road's mane sparked a lively debate in the fall. Developer
Costa Stegue had named the road several years earlier, but
not with the Planning Commission's approval. Mr. Stergue said
the regulation requiring the commission's approval hadn't
gone into effect. The commission decided the name could stay.
receiving a call about an injured dog, Redding's canine control
officer found the animal, dead from an accident, was a coyote
arrested nine persons on various drug charges in a raid of
a Georgetown home Dec. 7.
town in January began debating whether to have an emergency
911 center in town (considering a step towards creating
an independent town police force) or join a regional 911 center
based in Southbury. Voters in November favored the Redding
location by a 443-222 vote.
town made worldwide headlines when Major Arthur Nicholson,
Jr. formerly of Redding, was shot and killed by a Soviet sentry
in East Germany. The Soviet Union claimed he was spying on
a Soviet military installation and was shot trying to flee
after a warning shot had been fired despite the fact that,
as The New York Times wrote, "both sides have long accepted
what amounts to sanctioned espionage in the two Germanys."
a rousing evening of remembrance, Ben Deming in April kicked
off a series of celebrations of the Year of Twain to commemorate
the 150th anniversary of the birth of Mark Twain. Mr. Deming
recalled the opening of the Mark Twain Library in 1910 and
when he sat on the lap of Redding's most famous resident who
moved to Redding in 1908 and died here in 1910.
Gloria in September felled trees and knocked out power, leaving
some residents without electricity for three days. After the
storm some residents raised questions about the town's preparedness
for such emergencies.
Chase, an author, nationally prominent economist, and Redding
leader, died at the age of 97 in November.
Country Emporium, a West Redding restaurant and general
store and Redding landmark for many years, was severely damaged
by fire in March.
and Easton voters approved the $5.6 million Region 9 Board
of Education budget in May, when Redding voters defeated the
town budget 288-205. Voters in June approved an altered $11
million town budget.
in October, in one of the largest referendum turnouts in memory,
overwhelmingly defeated a proposal to build an indoor swimming
pool, for an estimated $1.4 million, at the Redding Elementary
in august packed a hot, humid, elementary school and overwhelmingly
defeated a proposal to form a separate Mark Twain historic
district study committee. The town had approved creation of
a committee to study all Redding's possible districts earlier
in the year.
Connecticut Historic Commission announced in May that the
Georgetown Historic District was placed on the National Register
of Historic Places, the federal government's official list
of historic properties worthy of preservation.
votes. That was the margin of victory in November (out of
more than 2,600 cast) for First Selectman Mary Anne Guitar,
who won re-election to her sixth term over Kate Rook. Mrs.
Rook won election to the Board of Selectman.
town hall green got a new gazebo, dedicated to the town's
veterans in November. The gazebo effort, spearheaded by Katie
Rook and the Republican Women's Club, had generated some controversy
in 1986 before it got approval.
and Bennett Manufacturing Company in January announced plans
to convert its 51-acre wire mill property into a village of
homes, shops and offices.
a disheartening blow to senior housing advocates, the Fairfield
County Council of the Boys Scouts of America in February voted
not to sell its land to the town. Redding officials had pinned
their hopes on the property, where they hoped to build municipal
housing for the elderly.
10 years, Redding's assessments have been revaluated. And
every 10 years there has been controversy. But the town had
seen nothing like what started in April, 1987. The uproar
led to a vote to rescind the revaluation, though town officials
said the result was "non-binding." The controversy
in June focused on Board of Tax Review meetings which were
held in violation of Freedom of Information laws, and led
to the resignation of all three members of the Board of Assessors
in December. The board was soon afterwards abolished.
Burton's stream of legal actions against the town (which included
in 1987 at least two complaints which the Freedom of Information
Commission decided were justified) led to skyrocketing legal
costs in 1988. Town officials laid the blame for the $66,000
bill on Ms. Burton, who said the fault was with town officials
for acting "outside the law" and not getting good
I can get the Disney channel." That's what a wire service
quoted a West Redding man as saying after police arrested
him for sneaking onto a neighbor's property and using a chain
saw to cut down a 50-foot oak tree in an effort to improve
his television reception. He told the Pilot he never said
such a thing.
Redding Land Trust and Great Ledge Committee in January celebrated
the acquisition of The Great Ledge, a natural landmark near
of a Redding native gathered at the First Church of Christ
Congregation in February to remember one of the town's first
victims of AIDS.
7 was Ebba Anderson Day. Redding honored the Umpawaug Road
historian for her successful efforts to get the Umpawaug Schoolhouse
on the National Register of Historic Places.
and Bennett Manufacturing Company on Aug. 1 ended nearly two
centuries of wire making in Georgetown. The company moved
its manufacturing operations to other G&B factories in
Georgia and other states.
Redding Board of Education Chairman Hank Bielawa won election
as first selectman in November, bringing to an end a seesaw
battle with Selectman Katie Rook. Mrs. Rook had lost a July
Republican caucus to Mr. Bielawa by one vote, then won a September
GOP primary. But Mr. Bielawa petitioned to run for first selectman
as an independent (as did Elizabeth Varcoe, for the fifth
time). He succeeded Mary Anne Guitar, who, after 12 years
in office, decided not to run for re-election again.
town's 911 emergency phone system began operating in November.
tanks at the Town Garage leaked gasoline into a nearby stream,
leading to an expensive, long-running clean-up.
U.S. Department of Education in December recognized Joel Barlow
High School by naming it one of 218 schools in the country
to receive an excellence in education award.
Health Services, Inc. announced in February it planned to
build a 300-unit luxury "life care center" on the
135-acre Perkin-Elmer property, which it had agreed to buy.
Levine was arrested and charged with the February murders
of his parents at their Wayside Lane home.
town became starstruck as Gilbert and Bennett's wire mill
was used in November as a site for filming of some scenes
for the Hollywood movie Other People's Money, starring
Danny DeVito and Gregory Peck.
in December started mandatory recycling, a month before state
law required residents to recycle.
of soldiers fighting in the Persian Gulf War expressed support
for American involvement while local churches held virgils
to pray for peace as the Jan. 15 deadline approached for Iraq
to pull its forces out of Kuwait. A February cease fire brought
relief to soldiers' parents. Five Redding veterans were home
in time to be honored at the town's Memorial Day parade in
resident and rock and roll musician Meat Loaf offered to give
the proceeds from a concert to Joel Barlow High School to
preserve the music department, which had been threatened by
proposed budget cuts.
reached Redding as police officers shot and killed several
raccoons with the disease in spring and summer.
Miller, superintendent of schools for 20 years, announced
he planned to resign.
Conservation Commission in May and the Zoning Commission in
July approved the Gilbert Hill life care center, a luxury
retirement community with 299-units and a nursing home. Construction
won't start until late 1992 at the earliest, developers said.
big, it's ugly and it's here to stay. The new West Redding
train station was also the target of a steady stream of criticism
beginning in October. Town officials by December were coming
up with plans to make the "monstrosity" less big
and less ugly.
Pilot marked its 25th anniversary in October and announced
plans to publish a silver anniversary supplement later during
its 25th year.
300-pound black bear was struck and killed by a Chevy Blazer
traveling on Route 53 on Dec. 7. The driver and a passenger,
both of Redding, were not injured in the accident, said to
be the first between a bear and a motor vehicle reported in
population grew 9% in the 80's, one of the smallest increases
the town has seen in the last century, according to the 1990
U.S. Census, which said the town had 7,927 residents.
year after the Persian Gulf war, parents of Redding veterans
said they and their children felt the war was left unfinished.
Couillard became superintendent of schools Feb.1.
April issue of Redbook magazine named Joel Barlow High School
one of the top public schools in the nation and the best high
school in Connecticut.
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