VAX Facts

As of May 19th, 51.83% of the town’s population had been vaccinated with a first dose.

Stratford clinics have dispensed 11,876 vaccines to date. It’s important to keep in mind that we are part of a larger regional and statewide vaccination network and effort. Stratford does not vaccinate ONLY Stratford residents – many of residents and first responders have been vaccinated at locations outside Stratford, and conversely, many from outside of Stratford have been vaccinated here.

The Stratford Health Department offered its last mass vaccination clinic for those wanting the MODERNA vaccine on Wednesday, May 26th. This clinic was the last “first dose” clinic being offered. Corresponding (28 days later) second dose clinics will take place in June.

Anyone wanting a Johnson and Johnson vaccine can still make an appointment for June Wednesday clinics as it only requires one dose. For questions about the June Wednesday vaccine clinics, please contact the Stratford Health Department by email at or by phone at 203-385-4090.

Statewide Covid-19 Vaccine Clinics:
To view a statewide list and map of COVID-19 vaccine clinics, go to:, and enter your zip code or town in the location box on the right, and press the yellow search icon.

Telephone: Those without internet access can call Connecticut’s COVID Vaccine Appointment Assistance Line: 877-918-2224. The phone system is targeted to provide support for eligible vaccine recipients who have limited technology access, or who have language, disability, or other barriers that could prevent them from using existing self-scheduling options successfully. The line will take calls on Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and will offer a call-back option when all contact specialists are busy serving other callers. The team will aim to return calls as soon as possible, with the goal of same-day response.

Imporant: If you are having a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, it must be of the same type as your first dose. The vaccines cannot be mixed.

Mayor Announces Changes to Masking and Distancing Guidance in Town Hall Effective May 24th
Mayor Laura R. Hoydick has issued changes to requirements on social distancing and masking in Town Hall and other Town buildings. In accordance with CDC guidelines and executive orders from Governor Ned Lamont, restrictions on social distancing and masking are relaxed for employees and for visitors to Town buildings.

Individuals who have been fully vaccinated for at least two weeks will no longer be required to wear masks indoors or to maintain 6-foot distance from others. Those who are not vaccinated, or have not yet been fully vaccinated for two weeks will continue to be required to wear masks and to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

The Mayor noted that the Human Resources Department is maintaining records of employees who are fully vaccinated to ensure compliance with the new guidance.

New Guidance Changes
As of May 19, 2021, Connecticut’s protocols regarding masks and face coverings were updated to align with the recently modified CDC recommendations. The protocols that are currently in effect statewide are as follows:

Outdoors? Masks not required

Indoors: Vaccinated not required to wear masks, Unvaccinated must wear masks

Masks are required to be worn by everyone in certain settings such as healthcare facilities, facilities housing vulnerable populations, public and private transit, correctional facilities, schools, and childcare
Businesses and state and local government offices have the option to require masks to be worn by everyone in their establishments

YES WE CAN: Big Win in 2020 By Stratford Residents

You took on a developer and town government and WON

A house located at 2019 Main Street, the Lillie Devereux Blake house; is an important part of Stratford’s history. Built in 1856 by Lillie Devereux Blake’s mother, Sarah Elizabeth Johnson Devereux, it sits on what was part of the William Samuel Johnson estate and called Elm Cottage.

The house is an American Carpenter Gothic. Most American Carpenter Gothic structures are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which may help to ensure their preservation. Many, though, are not listed and those in urban areas are endangered by the increased value of the land they occupy. Apparently this was the case in Stratford.

In June Kaali-Nagy Properties submitted an application to the Stratford Zoning commission with a proposal to build a 100-unit apartment complex at 2009-2019 Main Street referred to as The Village. The developers of The Village intended to raze the house and replace it with 6 residential units “that will appear to be part of the neighborhood”.

Their plans were posted on Stratford Facebook pages, an on-line petition was created on, contact information on the Mayor and members of the Zoning Commission were posted – and in one week this is what happened next: This excerpt is from the July/August issue of Connecticut Preservation News:

Facing broad public sentiment, a developer dropped plans to demolish the home of an important but little known 19th-century author and feminist. In the years around 1860 Lillie Devereux Blake (1833-1913), lived in a Gothic Revival house (c.1855) on Main Street in what is now the Stratford National Register district. Her novel Southwold, published in 1859, is set in the town. Later, she became a leading figure in the women’s suffrage movement. The Kaali-Nagy Company of New Canaan had proposed razing the house for a six-unit apartment building to accompany a new 97-unit building to be built at the rear of the property. An online petition garnered more than 1,000 signatures, and on June 24 the town zoning commission approved revised plans with the requirement that the house be preserved and incorporated into the development. Damian Kaali-Nagy told the commission, “We understand and have great admiration for period and architectural identity… We will preserve at least the primary and architecturally significant portion of the existing building.” Blake’s childhood home in New Haven was demolished by Yale University in 1999, after a protracted preservation battle.

Lillie Devereux Blake (aka Elizabeth Johnson Devereux) was a noted woman suffragist, reformer, and writer. She is a direct descendent of Samuel Johnson, William Samuel Johnson, Judge Samuel William Johnson, and Rev. Jonathan Edwards.

In 1869 she joined the woman’s suffrage movement. She worked alongside Susan B. Anthony , and, after visiting the Woman Suffrage Headquarters and meeting Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and others prominent in the movement, Lillie decided, “They’re ladies,” and began to participate actively. Lillie played a prominent part in the National Woman’s Suffrage Association (where she was unanimously elected president of the New York State Woman suffrage Association, an office she held for 11 years) and the American Woman’s Suffrage Association . Her writing was channeled to the movement and included a contribution to the Woman’s Bible, a publication based on Biblical criticism and ecclesiastical history, proving that there was “no explanation for the degraded status of women under all religious, and all so-called ‘Holy Books.'” The book created a sensation when it was printed in 1895, with widespread coverage in New York papers. The clergy declared it the work of Satan.

Lillie was a natural organizer. She worked on the national level, but her chief success was in the state of New York. She championed the working people, particularly the women An active lobbyist in the legislature, she pled for school suffrage, equality of property rights, women factory inspectors, women physicians in hospitals and insane institutions, and police matrons. A Committee on Legislative Advice was organized with her assistance, to help other suffragists; her leaflet of instructions was printed in the Woman’s Journal. She succeeded in seeing the passage of legislation granting women the first vote in state elections and the right to become trustees of schools; with the support of Governor Theodore Roosevelt and over “the persistent opposition of the New York Police Department,” a bill was passed providing for police matrons. Further legislation allowed women to retain citizenship following marriage to a foreigner, and her final accomplishment was the enactment of an equality of inheritance law by the New York assembly.

She was one of the active promoters of the movement that resulted in the founding of Barnard College. In 1869, she visited the Women’s Bureau in New York and soon after, began speaking all over the United States in support of female enfranchisement. She
earned a reputation as a freethinker and gained fame when she attacked the well known lectures of Morgan Dix, a clergyman who asserted that woman’s inferiority was supported by the Bible. Her lectures, published as Woman’s Place To-Day rejected this idea, asserting in one instance that if Eve was inferior to Adam because she was created after him, then by the same logic Adam was inferior to the fishes.

Doggone Good Advice

from the Town of Stratford Health Department


Election Day: Stratford

By Elizabeth Saint

“Something so simple has such a big impact.” Michael Vernon, first time voter.

Delicia Desouza proudly displayed her “I Voted Today” sticker.

Stratford’s election day was noted for “Early Lines,” “Lots of first time voters,” a “Constant stream of voters,”  “mask wearing and social distancing being followed” “as well as Very smooth and safe.”

The Stratford Crier toured many polling stations in the town of Stratford.

Here is what we heard and saw:

District 1: Lordship Elementary School


Election Moderator, Michael Rodriguez reported that at 5:15am there were already 50 to 60 people in line waiting for the doors to open.  “Things have been going smoothly.”

District 2: Stratford High School

There was not coverage of District 2 due to technical difficulties.

District: 3: Stratford Academy; Johnson House

Election Moderator, Robert Bradley said “We had about 25 people lined up to vote when I got here at 5:15.”

Johnson School, which is in District 3, reported that 70% of their registered voters had voted by 2 p.m.

District 4: The Franklin School

Voter, Ray Hess reported it took “about six minutes” from parking his car to casting his vote.

District 5: Nichols Elementary

At 10:19am there were approximately 36 people in line wrapping around the school.  The line moved efficiently and the mood was positive.

Tiaire Lee said it was his first time voting in a Presidential election.  “It took about twenty minutes and it was pretty easy.”

Diana Kosa,  planned ahead and brought her own chair.

District 6: Wooster 

Judy Cleri, Election Moderator reported lines of voters ready at 6am and wrapping around the building.  The line flowed constantly, with lots of new voters, even creating a need for double lines until about 8:30am, when things began to slow.”


District 7:  Wilcoxson Elementary

Election Moderator, Elizabeth Christiansen reported being busy all morning.  “Right now we are in a lull.” She said,  even as voters arrived in a steady trickle.  “People started standing in line at 5:30am.  The line finally dissipated at 8:30am. Everyone has been fine.


District 8 — Chapel Street School

One couple, when asked about their voting experience said.  “ It was wonderful.  We didn’t even wait a minute.”

Father, Mark Vernon accompanied his son, Michael Vernon, who is 19 years old, to the polls for his first experience voting in a Presidential election.  When asked how it felt, Michael said, “Filling in the ballot is a little underwhelming.  You are just filling in a circle.  But you remember that doing something so simple has such a big impact.”

Zach Kassay, Cameron Vatnais, Lily Kassay, Julia Delke, Madison Letsch and Noa Reid

Assorted organizations saw election day as an opportunity.  At the Chapel Street School, the Sixth grade class was hosting a bake sale to raise money for end-of-sixth grade awards and picnics.  “We don’t know how it’s going to be this year but we are hopeful.” one sixth grade mother said.

Enthusiastic sellers included: (from left to right)





District 9: Bunnell High School


Everything was quiet with single voters arriving every few minutes.  However, Malcolm Starratt, the Election Moderator, said the day didn’t start that way.  “At six am the line went up back along the side of the school.  And they kept coming till about 8:30am. It was just packed.

Malcolm Starratt, Election Moderator for 18 years takes a breath during a busy day of voting.

Then it started tapering down but it has been consistent all day.”  “What I’m hearing”, said Starratt, “is that all the districts had powerful mornings.”

Starratt has been an Election Moderator for about 18 years.

“We’ve got a great team.”  He said, “A great team that works well together”  — referring to the women and men working the Bunnell High School polling station.

“I’ve never done this with a mask before.  It’s a different thing.  Everyone has had a mask. Everyone was keeping a social distance.  It’s been nice.  We haven’t had to tell anyone to wear a mask.  It’s the biggest round of people I’ve seen.  It’s big.”

District 10: Second Hill Lane


This morning there was a line of approximately 47 people.

Beth Kardamis reported that the experience was a positive one.  That it felt very “smooth and safe.”

Joyce Varrone (pictured here with her “I Voted” sticker) reported that she arrived at 10:50 and took her almost exactly 20 minutes to vote.  “It didn’t take that long.”




Shakespeare Property Task Force

October 4th Part IV

Task Force Panel:  Mayor Laura Hoydick; John Casey, Town Engineer; Jim Benson, Chair of the Economic Development Committee; Mary Dean, Director Economic Development; Chris Tymniak, Chief Administrative Officer; Tom Dillon; George Perham, Principal, President at VIA Visionary Interiors Architecture

Editor’s Note:  The S/L/A/M Collaborative Team, unlike previous presenters, had a whiteboard with QR codes, some of them were 3D videos, so that the Task Force Panel was able to scan on their phone.  SLAM thought that would be helpful just to quickly get their skill sets out and present their executive summary of The Proposal. These QR codes were not visible to those in the audience.

Team # 4 The S/L/A/M Collaborative (SLAM)

SLAM is an architecture firm with integrated construction services, landscape architecture, structural and civil engineering, and interior design. We have an infinite drive to unlock and solve complex design problems. We strive to design exceptional places that inspire the people who inhabit them. Our design thinkers have a never-ending flow of ideas and energy across our offices in Atlanta, GA, Boston, MA, Denver, CO, Glastonbury, CT, Iowa City, IA, Los Angeles, CA, Orlando, FL, Philadelphia, PA, and Providence, RI. In short, we’re built around the exact services our clients need to take a building project from concept to completion, and to do it beautifully.

Our clients make the world a better place. At SLAM we create the places that make them smarter and more successful.


Daniel Granis, out of the Connecticut office in Glastonbury, is Principal/Landscape architect, and designs and manages an array of project types including recreational facilities, educational facilities, comprehensive master planning, town planning, and site planning. He has experience in all phases of a project, from site analysis and regulatory compliance through conceptual design, design development, construction documents, and contract administration.

Chuck Koichi, professional civil engineer.

Ryan Bond of Tighe&Bone, splits his time between the Middletown and Shelton offices.  We probably have close to sixty engineering professionals, so pretty much all the services you can think of, we have right here in Connecticut, and I’ve been working in the Land Development field for some thirty years.

Jeff Gant I am a principal in the education Studio at SLAM, and I have been working in education projects for over twenty years. We deal a lot of times with campuses, and so understanding the way in which open space and buildings work together seamlessly is really important to us.

Alex Bagnall is from CavanaughTocci Associates. He is a principal consultant specializing in the area of theater planning, audiovisual, lighting and rigging system design. His projects typically involve design consulting and system layout using Revit, CAD and loudspeaker modeling software. Typical projects include performing arts and theater spaces, courthouses, athletic facilities, and classrooms.

Presentation Introduction:

The SLAM Collaborative is something that we take very seriously, with a focus in landscape architecture and planning, but we’re pretty much interchangeable working together, as we find if you design things from the inside out and the outside in at the same time, that’s how we make places. We’re not just building buildings—every project changes a place, not just with the project itself but everything around it. It’s like a stone thrown in water—it doesn’t just affect where it lands, but those ripples done properly have a dramatic impact on the community as a whole, so we take that very seriously. On the engineering front, as you know, Ryan Bond has all the pieces that we don’t have, so when you put the two together, it’s a one plus one equals three.

Timing and all of those things will be managed. We do have an in-house Construction Services team, so we are builders, as Dan mentioned. We have professional estimators on our staff, and we have an understanding of each other. There’s a Synergy where we can build this project, we don’t have to build this project, but either way it’s great to have that perspective of the marketplace, materiality procurement, all of those things are CR critical these days, and so having those folks in-house that we can walk over to their desk and ask a question is important. We understand the full spectrum of those stewardships, and understanding that you know all the different phases that they’ll be involved with, understanding the different costs that are associated with any project, so it’s critical that we have those in our in our team.

SLAM Presentation Highlights:

  • Commitment to sustainability as it relates to flooding and to storm wage management for that is critical.
  • Civil engineering, geotechnical will be important on this site. We have a coastal practice, and seeing as this is on the Housatonic river, there’s features to this that I think Coastal is going to be critical to this site.
  • Soil remediation and hazardous building materials.
  • Wastewater Building Services
  • Make it a place making and not just a park and a blackbox theater.
  • Our work is about our clients. We never say you should do this or you should do that. We want to listen to you find out what’s best for you, and our programmers will be heavily involved in figuring out what you really need, and then what you want, and we want to get you what you want as well, but we’re going to help prioritize those items
  • We want it to be a transformational experience: what really excites us and draws our attention to your particular site and your particular program is there is lots of indoor-outdoor connection. The image with the amphitheater with the waterfront view — we want to make sure it has the right orientation, of course, but we’re going to look at opportunities with the blackbox theater as well. How it visually connects outdoor spaces should create some kind of conversation with the traditional architecture.
  • Acoustics: if you’re going to have a music performance, that’s a much different room than if you’re going to have a theater performance because of the way sound and resonance work. So you have to have that variable acoustic built in, but you can do it in ways that are Artful and responsive, and that’s true on the inside but even on the outside. We know you have a historic building that is adjacent to this, or maybe on the same site. How those the two structures talk to each other is going to be a critical component of this project.
  • Sculptures, I think, is going to put that on the list. Those sculptures are fantastic things that we want to protect and preserve, and things that the weaknesses of the site we want to flip into assets rather than liabilities.

Q&A With Task Force:  What obstacles do you see on the horizon?

  • Early on we would want to get a really comprehensive site survey to identify where the flood plain elevation really is on the site so we can know when we’re in or out of flood the flood plain. We have wetland scientists who can go out and actually confirm where your tidal wetlands are located, so if we know where the tidal wetlands are, then we know if we avoid those areas we can limit the amount of Permitting.
  • Regulations state that building HVAC systems have to be above flood plain, so you have to think about when they come in. They have to be waterproof and then they have to be raised up above flood plain, like a transformer for example
  • Then basically just understanding where the utilities are on site to know if we have to bring in new utilities from the street.
  1. Q. Based upon what you proposed, what would you see like a realistic timeline to get all this done?
  • It depends on the permitting. If we’re strategic about where the theater goes where the improvements are, the permitting could be a few months. If we get Army Corps of Engineers, Connecticut DEEP, it could be up to a year.
  • The other thing we might want to look at when we’re doing geotechnical, we do geotechnical borings to determine what the soils are, to determine what the foundation of the building is. We may want to also sample the soils for environmental constituents just to see what we’re dealing with in the soil, and if we want to manage that on site and keep it on site as opposed to trucking it offsite, which would be costly if it has some kind of environmental pollution in it.

Q:  I thought that was a good creative presentation; the blackbox versus the whitebox, and I think you made a comment about we call it a blackbox, but then we said 500 people. What’s the typical size, and do you have a lot of experience with either black boxes or white boxes, and is one favored over another, so I think the idea of the white box is an evolution from the black box

  • There is a difference in our mind between a true blackbox Theater which is typically right around there 150-200 max. It’s usually a flat floor. When we heard blackbox we were like, okay we know that, and then we heard 550 seats we said, you know if it is truly a blackbox, that’s, you know, a little bit smaller and experimental. A white box is just an evolution of that that says it can be more than just a theater space, and if you add the 550 seats to it again, we’re going to ask you questions about should they be fixed seats or do you want to roll them back and actually use that floor space for something different. So hopefully that answers the question. I’ll just add quickly the cool thing that Jeff said earlier is that we have experience in all of them, every conceivable theater—blackbox, whitebox—we have an enormous amount of experience about the pros and cons
  • What do you think it is in time to get to a concept after you’ve talked to us and understood our wants and our desires, and then from that point the permitting process. You did mention, I think, three months in one way and it could be a year in another way, because that sort of blows us out of the water a little bit, and I think it’s realistic so I’m not saying that it’s wrong, I just want for this committee to understand that our expectations might be too high. So can you give me your high level perception, what you think that could look like from the time you get the survey.
  • Chuck answers the regulatory hurdles, but a good way to think about it is that when we get those regulatory hurdles, that Chuck will outline them for us and we’ll put them as little bars. Then sometimes what we do is we slide those bars around a little bit on the design side, those become hard things, fixed things that we don’t like to be optimistic about them, we like to be pessimistic about them.


To view the actual meeting go to:


Editor’s Note:  As with previous presenters, this, as well as the other firms, made it very clear that they were not given any information before hand to give a detailed description of the actual site and cost.

Happy Thanksgiving

All of us at the Stratford Crier wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! We’re thankful for your readership, and the opportunity to serve our hometown with the best in local journalism.


The Editorial Board

David Chess, Board Chair; Barbara Heimlich, Editor-in-Chief; Andy Byrne, Board

Member, Copy Editor; Tucker Chase, Board Member; Thomas Newman, Board Member, Arts & Lifestyle Editor; Walter Owusu, Board member, Co-Health Editor; Orna Rawls, Board Member, Co-Health Editor; Rachel Rusnak, Board Member; Mike Suntag, Board Member; Amy E. Wiltsie, Board Member; Sarah Chess, Social Media

Teakwood Estates Development Public Hearing

Editorial Note: The dates and times of the public hearing are Statutorily defined, and not up to the Wetland Committee


The Stratford Inland Wetlands Commission will conduct a public hearing on Wednesday, December 20, 2023 at 7:00 P.M. in the Council Chambers of Town Hall, located at 2725 Main Street, Stratford, Connecticut pursuant to notice duly given and posted to hear the following:

2022-23: Clearcutting inland wetlands and upland review area without the benefit of a permit.  Proposed construction of a single-family dwelling and associated infrastructure. Map 5.18, Block 3, Lot 22 James Farm Road. Violator/Applicant: Willie McAllister

2023-20: Nineteen Lot Residential Subdivision. Address: North of Broadbridge Avenue, West of Ronald Road, West of Teakwood Drive, East of Ridgefield Drive. Assessor’s Reference: Map 20.13, Block 1, Lot 1. Applicant: Teakwood Estates LLC

A copy of the proposed application is available for public review in the Conservation Division of Public Works located at 550 Patterson Avenue, Stratford, Connecticut; and online at

The public hearing will be immediately followed by a regular meeting of the Inland Wetlands Commission.

Ed Scinto, Vice-Chairman, Stratford Inland Wetlands Commission

Special Message: Any individual with a disability who needs special assistance to participate in the public hearing should contact the ADA coordinator at (203) 385-4020 or 385-4022 (TDD), Five (5) days before the scheduled meeting, if possible.