Westbrook Schools Field Ideas for Federal Funding, Electives, ‘Wellness Rooms’

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WESTBROOK — How should local schools spend $700,000 of federal grant money? Local residents have plenty of ideas, starting with air conditioning. According to school Superintendent Kristina Martineau, many of the 100 people responding to her request for feedback on spending the federal aid asked whether the money could be spent on air conditioning installation and HVAC improvements in the three school buildings. Martineau spoke to the Board of Education on Tuesday. While that was the most common request, Martineau said it certainly wasn’t the only one. Outdoor classrooms were also a popular suggestion. Others wanted to fund specific activities,

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Westbrook Selectmen Form Committee to Study Building a New Community Center

WESTBROOK — On Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen discussed a survey commissioned by the town demonstrating support for building a new community center, still unresolved are questions regarding the cost of the project and the source of funding. In February, the Board of Selectman commissioned the consulting firm GreatBlue to survey residents for their views on a new community center. Out of a pool of 712 residents, 57 percent of surveyed expressed interest in the center, compared with 38 percent who said they weren’t interested. Residents over the age of 65 expressed the greatest support.  Courtney Burks, the director of

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Westbrook Debates Mural Design by Tony Falcone

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Westbrook is trying to liven up its downtown business district with an outdoor mural, a project that has drawn both support and criticism from residents.  The project is a three-and-a-half-year-old effort between the Town Center Revitalization Committee and the Economic Development Committee. They recently created an online survey, available on the town website, that allows residents to vote on their favorite of two potential paintings. The winner will be featured on the wall of the Turtle Cafe on Westbrook Place in Westbrook’s downtown.  Both murals include a rendering of David Bushnell’s submarine, the Turtle, known for being the first submarine

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Essex and Westbrook Stand Pat as Southeast Connecticut Chooses Regionalized Health

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The Connecticut Department of Public Health has actively encouraged towns across the state to join regionalized health districts in an effort to simplify the enforcement state laws and regulations, to professionalize staff, improve the availability of services, and further a unified approach public health problems. The towns of Essex and Westbrook have bucked that trend, opting instead to maintain local independent services. “The health department is responsible for health outcomes, and the health outcomes in our state are in the top five in the country, but we do have pockets of very poor health outcomes in our cities,” Needleman said.

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Westbrook I-95 Welcome Center Reopens For Labor Day Weekend

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IN THE REGION — The Westbrook Welcome Center is open and staffed for Labor Day weekend for the first time in more than three years. “We are excited to have all six welcome centers open again and thankful for Governor Lamont’s emphasis on this project,” said Randy Fiveash, the director of the Office of Tourism in the Department of Economic and Community Development. The other five welcome centers – Darien, Greenwich, North Stonington, West Willington and Danbury – were all re-opened on a 24/7 basis on July 1, the start of the new fiscal year, with a budget allocation of

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Pilot Program Tests On-Demand Transit for Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex and Centerbrook

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Estuary Transit District’s Xtramile service pilot will continue to provide an on-demand, alternative transportation option for an additional three months to residents and visitors in Old Saybrook, Westbrook, Essex and Centerbrook with financial assistance from the Department of Transportation.    “We are geared around the first mile, last mile dilemma surrounding train stations,” said Joe Comerford, the executive director of Estuary Transit District. “Trains do a great job of getting people to the station, but what do they do after that, especially in unwalkable areas.” Estuary Transit provides an 8-passenger bus with wheelchair accessibility unavailable from ride-sharing services like Uber or

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