FIRST UP on GMW: Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019–Fly Like an Eagle [with Bald Eagle Video]
This new column will run frequently each week, highlighting shorter announcements or updates, and help you get a quick start to the Wilton news of the day. Today’s must see video–a bald eagle in Wilton!
Have a news tip, item or something you know people are chattering about? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Board of Selectmen Meeting–Yes to Solar Power, Not So Fast on 183 Ridgefield Rd.
At last night’s Board of Selectmen meeting, the BOS members heard about an invitation from the town of Weston to share in a solar power program to receive renewable energy credits–and save potentially thousands of dollars in utility bills. The BOS approved the town’s involvement.
Something they didn’t approve–yet–was a request from the Wilton Land Conservation Trust asking the BOS for a letter of support in the Trust’s application for a state grant that would enable the Trust to purchase the embattled property at 183 Ridgefield Rd.. The Land Trust wants to create an open space on the land, which in the past has been the subject of a battle between a developer and town residents.
The Board members wanted more details about how the Land Trust is completing the application before agreeing to offer its endorsement. The Land Trust representatives did not submit the application to the BOS for review prior to the meeting, and without it, some of the BOS members, including first selectwoman Lynne Vanderslice, were reluctant to give the town’s support of the application. Land Trust member Peter Gaboriault said the group hopes to submit the application by Jan. 24, and the selectmen asked to see the application at their next meeting on Jan. 22, noting that a letter of support could be turned around in time for the Land Trust’s deadline.
GOOD Morning Wilton will have a more detailed report on both stories later today.
Wilton’s Own Bald Eagle(s)
Once a very rare site in Connecticut, bald eagles are returning to the state–166 were counted during the 2018 midwinter Eagle Survey, according to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. Wilton is an occasional place for spotting bald eagles–most recently a resident posted sighting one aloft near the train station in Wilton Center.
Wilton resident Matt Ellenthal captured some incredible closeup footage of one of these majestic birds on a game camera. (Alert for the squeamish–the video shows the bird feeding on deer entrails that remained after a legal deer hunt; Ellenthal is a member of the Wilton Deer Committee. This video was captured in early December.)
Visit the DEEP website for more information on how to participate in the 2019 midwinter Eagle Survey.
Help a Warrior Become Athlete of the Week
Last week, Wilton Girls Varsity Basketball had a great win over Westhill High School (Stamford), 39-34, and Wilton’s senior co-captain, Kaitlin Reif was nominated for the Ruden Report‘s Female Player of the Week. Reif had 21 points: four 2-pointers, one 3-pointer and went 10 for 14 from the foul line. She had two loose balls, four forced turn-overs, two assists and three rebounds to round out the night. That’s 21 out of Wilton’s total 39 points. Wow!
To vote for Kaitlin, visit the Ruden Report to help get her the much-deserved title. Voting runs through noon on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Senior Eagle Scouts
Each year, Wilton typically sees a handful of Boy Scouts attain the rank of Eagle, the highest honor in scouting. This year’s graduating senior class, however, features one of the largest groups of Eagle Scouts in memory–there are nine Eagles among Wilton’s 2019 graduating high school seniors.
The boys represent both of Wilton’s local Boy Scout Units–Troop 125 and Troop 20. The nine scouts gathered at Wilton Troop 20’s Eagle Court of Honor on Nov. 23, 2018, at the Wilton Library‘s Brubeck Room, to honor Adam Harley, Evan Harley, Cole Avallone and Purab Angreji.
Attaining the rank of Eagle is a years-long effort for a Boy Scout, who must lead a service project representing the culmination of scouting skills acquired over a scouting career–project inception; planning and design; fundraising to source the project materials; logistical planning; and management of the volunteer corps on the job site. Service projects are designed to benefit the local community while challenging the scout to demonstrate a full range of leadership qualities.
Pictured (L-R) are Wilton’s 2019 Eagle Scouts, all members of Troop 20 unless noted: Tyler Daher (Troop 125), Sean Carlson, Matthew Johnson, Adam Harley, Evan Harley, Cole Avallone, Purab Angreji, Kace Stewart, and Thomas Mazzarulli (Eagle application pending).
For his Eagle Scout Service Project, Adam Harley led a team that designed, built, and installed three new Wood Duck boxes in the pond at Woodcock Nature Center. The Wood Duck is common to riparian environments, wooded swamps, and freshwater marshes, and Woodcock was looking to expand its habitat for the waterfowl.
Evan Harley led a team that designed, built, and installed a new kiosk at the Gilly Lane trailhead into Woodcock Nature Center for his Eagle Scout project. The previous kiosk was dilapidated and required replacement.
For their Eagle Scout projects, Cole Avallone and Purab Angreji each led a team that designed, built and installed a total of six new, raised wooden garden beds for the Neighborhood Garden at Wilton’s Trackside Teen Center. They also broke down and removed four dilapidated wooden garden beds that were in need of replacement. The garden at Trackside grows vegetables that are donated to the Wilton Food Pantry and flowers that are used to make fresh flower arrangements for the Wilton’s Senior Center.