Sen. Hwang Welcomes Newtown Troop 51170 Girl Scout Ambassador Riley Smith to Capitol

NewHwang 2017-03-20 Girl Scout Day at the Capitol (5 of 20)crop

Girl Scouts of Connecticut on Mar. 20 hosted its annual “Lunch With Your Legislator” event at the State Capitol where Girl Scouts from across the state were able to meet with their local state legislators to talk about local issues and the importance of civic engagement.

Newtown Troop 51170 Girl Scout Ambassador Riley Smith (center) was among the Girl Scouts who traveled to Hartford. Riley was joined by her mother Heather (left) and was welcomed to the historic State Senate Chamber by Sen. Tony Hwang (right). Sen. Hwang represents Fairfield, Newtown, Westport, Weston and Easton.

NewTony Hwang
Riley was seated in The Charter Oak Chair in the Senate Chamber. The chair, also called “The Wishing Chair,” was carved in 1857 from the fallen Charter Oak tree, which in 1687 hid the self-governing charter given to the Connecticut colony by King Charles II in 1662. The Charter was hidden to prevent British officials from returning it to King James II. Those who take tours of the State Capitol are allowed to briefly sit in “The Wishing Chair” and make a wish.
In a ceremony, Sen. Hwang was pinned as a member of the Honorary Troop at the Capitol and recited the Girl Scout Promise with other honorary troop members. Sen. Hwang thanked Newtown Troop 51170 and all who participate in Girl Scouts of Connecticut for their commitment to community.
On the web: www.gsofct.org and www.SenatorHwang.com .

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Opening Day at ‘new’ Penfield Pavilion

There was a long-awaited celebration for Fairfield residents last Tuesday as a ribbon cutting was held at the official opening of the popular Penfield Pavilion on Penfield Beach. The newly renovated structure has been closed since Oct. 29, 2012, when Hurricane Sandy devastated Fairfield’s coastline.

The hurricane, known as “Super Storm Sandy,” devastated the Pavilion, which was only months past a completed renovation in 2011.

Although compromised, the Pavilion was deemed “salvageable” after an engineering firm presented an assessment during a town meeting. The Board of Selectmen formed a sizeable building committee in 2013 to analyze facts, damage, options, recommendations and a course of action. The newly constructed state of the art Penfield Pavilion sits atop its former footprint and rests on timber pilings that have been driven down to their “submission level” of approximately 25-30 feet, providing maximum staying power. It boasts a 1500 square foot deck, a 2600 s/f gathering room (44’x60’) a warming kitchen, corridor, restrooms, lobby area, outdoor showers, lifeguard station and the always popular concession stand, totaling approximately 20,000 square feet of space.

First Selectman Mike Tetreau thanked the packed house for attending, He thanked “Jim Bradley and the entire building committee who were just superb and what a great example to how volunteers can come together and take not only something that was very controversial but take something that involved a lot of different opinions. There was a song back in the 70’s that I remember from my youth, they talked about a long and winding road – that certainly would be an appropriate theme song for how we got here.”

A complete renovation was finished on Jan. 26 this year, ahead of schedule, at a cost of approximately $7.3 million ($200,000 under budget). The town is seeking promised reimbursement grants of approximately $3M (total) from FEMA and the State of Connecticut which were sought with the aid of a FEMA application specialist and the State Legislature and Congressional delegations. The Town of Fairfield worked to comply with FEMA guidelines in an effort to receive up to the maximum of a 75 percent cost-sharing level from the agency. At this time revenue sources total $1,750,000 via insurance and $2.5M via a municipal bond. The Town had a $500,000 deductible on its insurance policy.

“Moving forward this is a wonderful opportunity for the town to take stock of a beautiful property that is a gateway to represent everywhere else in this region of what Fairfield and summertime is all about,” said State Senator Tony Hwang. “I am so grateful for the beach community for being very patient neighbors for a property that has lain dormant and is inconsistent with the care and pride and beauty of the beach neighborhoods, so it really is an exciting day as we look to the future of summer in Fairfield. We now again have a location that residents and people within Fairfield County can look at as a source of pride.”

Jim Bradley, Building Committee chairman, said, “I’m here representing the Penfield Building Committee who has got to be one of the most dedicated and patient building committees ever in this town and I can’t miss this chance to thank them. Our staying together and overcoming one problem after another is what made it a success. We had 70 meetings over three years. Thanks to an outstanding group of citizen volunteers, something that makes Fairfield the great town that it is.”

“As a building committee we wanted to prove that this complicated and politically high profile project could be done right and could be delivered on time and on budget. Most importantly we were determined to manage an open and transparent process encouraging and incorporating public input. Mike – as our First Selectman, leader, coach, guide – thank you for getting us through more than one obstacle.”

Bradley thanked Department of Public Works’ Joe Michelangelo, Bob Mayer of Finance, Tom Flynn and the Board of Finance, Tom Conley, Jim Wendt, William Kessler, Fire Marshal, Town Engineering, Parks & Rec, Conservation, the RTM, engineers DeStefano & Chamberlain, Construction Manager Shawmut Design and Construction, Colliers International Project Management Oversight, DeStefano & Sullivan Architectural Firm and more. “People are very excited about this whole facility coming back better than what we started with.”

“The Fire Marshal and Building Department are extremely happy that this project came in as designed and on time and under budget so we’re very pleased,” said Tom Conley, Chief Building Official. “We finally have a building that the public can use and our building committee is very happy with.”

The waterfront Penfield Pavilion is now open year-round, offering spectacular panoramic views overlooking Long Island Sound, and featuring a new banquet room, commercial warming kitchen and state of the art amenities. The facility holds seating for up to 175 indoors and an additional 50 outdoors on the deck. Anthony Calabrese, Director of Parks and Recreation said, “Wow, it’s been a long time in the making but we did it. Our Pavilion is back and it’s better than ever.”

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Sen. Hwang Urges Public to Join Him in “David vs. Goliath” Fight

Hwang 2017-03-09 Public Safety with Bob Steele (5 of 12)

Seeking to Prevent Gambling Expansion, Future Casino in Fairfield County

Sen. Tony Hwang on Mar. 9 said that if legislation to expand gambling in Connecticut passes, a casino somewhere in Fairfield County could one day be reality.

“At the State Capitol, I am trying to prevent that from happening,” Hwang said. “This is a David vs. Goliath fight. The forces that want expanded gambling are extremely powerful, but I am proud to say that the following groups are joining me in the fight:

  • Connecticut Catholic Conference
  • Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ
  • Episcopal Church in Connecticut
  • Connecticut League of Women Voters
  • Family Institute of Connecticut
  • New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Connecticut Association for Human Services
  • Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport
  • Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.
  • Farmington Valley American Muslim Center
  • Resident Bishop New England Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • American Baptist Churches of Connecticut

“Anyone who does not want to see more people’s lives ruined by expanded Connecticut gambling can make their voices heard at the State Capitol,” Hwang said. “Let state lawmakers know how you feel, and do so today.”

Hwang said the public may do the following:

  • Send an email to: PStestimony@cga.ct.gov (the email may be as brief as you like)
  • copy me at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and include your name and town
  • put “No More Casinos!” in the Subject Line
  • share this information with anyone who does not want to see more people’s lives ruined by expanded CT gambling!

*Sen. Hwang represents Easton, Fairfield, Newtown, Weston and Westport . On the web: www.SenatorHwang.com and www.NoMoreCasinosInCT.org .

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Join us in our David vs. Goliath fight!

Make no mistake: if legislation to expand gambling in Connecticut passes, a casino somewhere in Fairfield County could one day be our reality.

At the State Capitol, I am trying to prevent that from happening.

This is a David vs. Goliath fight.

The forces that want expanded gambling are extremely powerful, but I am proud to say that the following groups are joining me in the fight:

  • Connecticut Catholic Conference
  • Connecticut Conference of the United Church of Christ
  • Episcopal Church in Connecticut
  • Connecticut League of Women Voters
  • Family Institute of Connecticut
  • New England Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church of America
  • Connecticut Association for Human Services
  • Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport
  • Advocacy Unlimited, Inc.
  • Farmington Valley American Muslim Center
  • Resident Bishop New England Conference of the United Methodist Church
  • American Baptist Churches of Connecticut

Will you join us and make your voice heard? Here’s how:

  • Send an email to: PStestimony@cga.ct.gov (the email may be as brief as you like)
  • copy me at Tony.Hwang@cga.ct.gov and include your name and town
  • put “No More Casinos!” in the Subject Line
  • share this information with anyone who does not want to see more people’s lives ruined by expanded CT gambling!

Thank you!

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