Author Archives: Citizens for Easton

BILL KUPINSE – ORAL HISTORY WITH DOLLY CURTIS

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BILL KUPINSE-BELOVED MENTOR

If you want to know what Bill Kupinse meant to Easton, best to know what Easton meant to him. That’s easy enough. After his family and his beloved wife, Pat, Easton meant almost everything. 

  From Silverman’s, on down the road to Greiser’s.   From the Saugatuck, on over to the Hemlock.  From the Aspetuck River, over to the Mill River.  East to west, north to south. All of it, as if a famous line from a famous song appealed to him: This land was made for you and me…

 This land was certainly made for Bill.  

 He had an unusual bond to the land, an enlightened bond. It was rooted in the past, when Easton was a hard-scrabble farm town which seemed especially adept at growing rocks. A couple hundred years ago, those rocks were stacked into stone walls. Those cleaved the woodlands, representing someone’s hard work and also their futility.

  Who was that “someone,” he wondered. Were their lives and efforts in vain? 

  With a few notable and enduring exceptions — the Edwards or Sherwood’s, for example  — most farmers abandoned Easton in and around 1900. They were happy (or not) to take whatever Bridgeport Hydraulic offered. Their fields turned to brush, brush to trees. Nature rebounded. The Easton past receded and in places disappeared altogether. Easton became a “reservoir town.” Its number-one promoter called it the “Jewel of Fairfield County.” 

  That number-one promoter knew “jewels” were easily tarnished, easily lost. When that happened, the past was lost and in the bargain, dishonored. He refused to allow that to happen. 

  In 1972, he helped found Citizens for Easton. It opposed the construction of GE’s corporate headquarters off of South Park. GE gave up, and went across the Merritt instead.

 Soon, more challenges to long-standing zoning regulations appeared. Some wanted to commercialize parts of town, or terminate three-acre zoning. Some wanted to build cluster housing. One wanted to put in street lights. 

 To have just one commercial district would not change the character of the town insisted its proponents, but Bill knew otherwise. It was never about one proposal, but the aggregate of the proposals. Bill’s famous “Camel in the tent” theory. Precedents would be set. One after another. Like dominoes, or stonewalls. A condo complex on one abandoned farm would be followed by a condo complex on another.  A “commercial district” here, eventually a Target there. 

  Nothing against condos, commercial districts or Targets. Like all of us, he patronized them. He wasn’t against anything. Bill was for something — that past, for those who came before, and especially for those who would come in the future. 

  What is the role of a “citizen”? He wondered about that too. Seems obvious, or superficial enough. Not to Bill. A citizen is someone who believes that he or she has an obligation to other citizens — those living, those gone, those yet to come. It was a complex configuration, a multifaceted one, but not for him. We’re all part of a community and our responsibility is to that community. That’s what a citizen does, who a citizen is. Who he was.

 Who was Bill? He was old school. Of course he was. He spoke quietly. He wore a conservative gray suit. His tie was never loosened. He had a slight stoop in his shoulders.  He walked with purpose. 

  Bill Kupinse was an honorable man. We’re blessed to have known him. Above all, Easton was blessed.

FORUM ON ZONING MOVING TO HARTFORD- TONIGHT @ 6PM

On the shirt tails of our referendum yesterday regarding the sidewalk, please join this informative forum this evening. Many issues that are on the table for discussion may be a jumping off point for why the sidewalks are becoming first and foremost at the forefront now.
Join us for a virtual forum on zoning changes that will affect your home and your town:
Date: Wed. March 31, 2021
Time: 6PM – 7:30 PM
Zoning, Land Use Issues & What is at Stake
Place: Please be sure to register here:

www.eventbrite.com/e/zoning-land-use-issues-whats-at-stake-for connecticut-tickets-148291549015
Here’s why:
A dozen bills are proposed in Hartford that if passed will restrict your local zoning board’s authority to regulate land use without considering the uniqueness of each of our 169 towns in Connecticut.


Zoning boards must be able to rule based on local criteria like location, topography, flooding, traffic, parking, environmental issues, wildlife, open space, historic preservation, infrastructure capacity and what is already built nearby.
The panel includes State Rep. Kimberly Fiorello, Sherman First Selectman Don Lowe, Woodstock TPZ Chairman Dr. Jeffery Gordon, Kathryn Braun, Esq. TPZ Commissioner Fairfield, and Steven Mullins TPZ Commissioner West Haven.


HOSTED BY: CT169Strong.org

PROPOSED ZONING CHANGE-YOUR TESTIMONY NEEDED BY MONDAY!

Our understanding is:

This proposed change in the CT General Statutes puts zoning control at a state level- it does not consider individual towns, and it is aimed at increasing density.

At the 32 minute mark- the Westcog speaker- explains the bill and voices the same concerns we have raised for the last approx 50 years- he says this bill will eliminate public hearings, and the state will not  consider water quality issues

Affordable housing Act
Allows litigant to seek attorney’s fees against the towns- Town would have to pay own attorney expenses and litigant’s attorney fees

This from Sen. Hwang:

The need for more diverse housing in Connecticut needs to be addressed, HOWEVER the unique needs and geography of each community (including cities, suburbs, and rural areas) must be considered. The above noted bills will:Force municipalities to erect specific types of housing developments within a ½ mile of transit stations OR ¼ mile of commercial corridors, Eliminate local control over certain types of housing (location-based, accessory, 2+ units) and allow certain developments to occur without a local public hearing, Create new mandates – including training staff, assimilating local regulations and shouldering new costs, Affect the environment and drinking water statewide by ignoring the responsibilities of municipalities who host waterways, open space, Impact traffic flow, parking demands, Drive up residency at a rate which outpaces the capacities of local resources/services – Police, Fire, Schools, Overburden the public water and sewer infrastructure (if available )Require access to public transportation (if available)
Have your “Voice” be heard on the issues! Planning & Development Committee Public Hearing Monday, March 15, 10 a.m.
Sign Up to Testify (via Zoom)
Registration deadline: Sunday, March 14, 3 p.m.
Testify via email:Send testimony to pdtestimony@cga.ct.gov Include “NO to State-Mandated Zoning and Yes to maintaining Local Control & Municipal Home Rule” in the subject line Preferably Word or PDF format Include your Name, Town and Bill Numbers (HB 6107, HB 6611, HB 6612, HB 6613, SB 1024, SB 1026, SB 1027) Copy me on your testimony at tony.hwang@cga.ct.gov Testify by phone:To register, call (203) 350-3769 to leave your contact information.   You can watch the hearing here.
 HELP SPREAD THE WORD !

PROPOSED CHANGE IN CT STATE STATUTES IMPACTS OUR LOCAL ZONING!

Please join Senator Hwang tonight at 7PM for further information.

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CFE COOKBOOK HITS THE SHELVES!

MOREHOUSE FIELDS PUBLIC INFORMATION MEETING MARCH 18, 2020-7:30 pm

There will be a public information meeting March 18, 2020 in the Easton Library Community Room  at 7:30 pm to discuss the Letter of Intent from Sacred Heart University to build a Sports Complex on Easton’s Morehouse Road fields adjacent to Samuel Staples Elementary School.

Letter of Intent Attached

Easton Courier Launch Event

birthday, victim to changing times and a nationwide trend of declining
local coverage.

An all-new Easton Courier will make its debut on Feb. 29, styled for
discerning readers who want to know everything that’s going on in
their hometown, quickly and accurately, and in an attractive and
accessible, updated format.want to know everything that’s going on in
their hometown, quickly and accurately, and in an attractive and
accessible, updated format.

Through a partnership with the School of Communications, Media & the
Arts at Sacred Heart University and with you, the community,
contributing content about the town you know and love, the Easton
Courier will rise again.

Mark your calendar for the Easton Courier Launch Event on Saturday,
Feb. 29 at 10 a.m. at the Easton Community Center, 364 Sport Hill
Road. 
Come and meet the editors and see the new Easton Courier as it
goes live for the first time.

This will be a chance to find out about the new, nonprofit local news
source and how you can be a part of it. We can’t do it without you.

We need you to send us your photos and articles about your clubs,
organizations, milestones — all the things that matter to you and that
make Easton the place that locals affectionately call the “jewel of
Fairfield County.”

Spread the word! Let others know about the launch event. We hope to
see you there.

Upcoming Brown Bag Lunch and Q & A with the First Selectman…

First Selectman Bindelglass invites the public to a brown bag lunch chat on February 18th, 2020 at noon at Easton Town Hall, Conference Room A. Come spend some time with the First Selectman. All are welcome!

There is also an opportunity for Q & A with the First Selectman on February 19, 2020 at 5:30 pm at Easton Town Hall, Conference Room A.

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LETTER FROM CONCERNED RESIDENT