Jan. 1, 2000 – The new millennium arrives in Ridgefield to fireworks and none of the feared computer glitches. Some 4,000 people have braved the cold to attend Festival 2000.

Jan. 6, 2000 – Ed Karvosky announces his purchase of Bissell Pharmacy at 382 Main Street.

Feb. 3, 2000 – CL&P offers the town a rail trail after its remediation of arsenic contamination along the old branch line railroad bed that’s now a power line right of way. Many neighbors oppose the idea, while town officials generally favor it.

Feb. 13, 2000 – Ruth Wills, a legendary Ridgefield High School teacher who taught there for 45 years, retiring in 1965, dies at 102.

March 9, 2000 – Ridgefield primary voters favor John McCain and Bill Bradley for the Republican and Democratic Presidential nominations, bucking the trend that eventually led to the George W. Bush/Al Gore contest.

April 8, 2000 – John McCain brings his “Straight Talk Express” to Ridgefield in support of Republican Mark Nielsen’s congressional bid.

April 11, 2000 – Town officials meet with state public health representatives to discuss how to combat the apparently growing threat of mosquito-borne West Nile virus and eastern equine encephalitis.

April 14, 2000 – Kohl’s department store opens in Copps Hill Plaza, taking over space that had once been Caldor’s and before that, W.T. Grant’s.

May 5, 2000 – Vandals with spray paint coat the windows of 38 school buses and one van, closing schools for the day, costing taxpayers about $115,000 for the lost day and the damage, according to Superintendent of Schools Ralph Wallace.

May 11, 2000 – The renovation of the old Ridgefield High School auditorium will be done by local firm Roche, Inc. and the new Ridgefield Playhouse for Movies and the Performing Arts is slated to be ready by the winter holiday season.

June 8, 2000 – The Ridgefield Library announces plans to buy the Webster Bank building behind it on Prospect Street; the building, previously the Village Bank, was originally the Ridgefield Playhouse movie theater, built in 1939.

June 30, 2000 – Bridgeport Hydraulic Company announces that its water in Ridgefield is unfit for drinking because of bacterial contamination, affecting some 6,800 customers. It is nearly two weeks before the all-clear is given and in the meantime, the utility supplies bottled water to its customers.

July 2, 2000 – St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church celebrates its 275th anniversary; the present church building dates from 1915.

July 25, 2000 – Tiger Hollow, the upgrading and expansion of Ridgefield High School sports facilities planned and financed by volunteers, wins Planning and Zoning Commission approval.

Aug. 10, 2000 – Ridgefield’s last dairy farm, the McKeons’ Arigideen Farm, closes and its 30 milking cows are shipped to New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and upstate New York.

Sept. 6, 2000 – The Board of Selectmen unanimously vote to rename the old high school The Richard E. Venus Municipal Building.

Sept. 10, 2000 – The Ridgefield Library hosts a reception in honor of retiring director Anita Daubenspeck, who is leaving after 25 years.

Sept. 30, 2000 – At a Founders’ Day celebration, the Ridgefield Preservation Trust’s Scott House committee launches public fund-raising efforts to rebuild the circa-1715 saltbox as the home of a new Ridgefield Historical Society on Sunset Lane. The earlier phase of fund-raising, Jeanne Timpanelli reports, has already raised more than $440,000 of the $600,000 goal.

Oct. 5, 2000 – ROSA (Ridgefield Open Space Association) has launched a petition drive for the acquisition by eminent domain of the Bennett’s Pond properties formerly owned by IBM.

Oct. 12, 2000 – Two anonymous donors come forward with an offer to build a town senior center and First Selectman Rudy Marconi proposes using the Ippoliti property on Danbury Road, which will soon figure into plans for huge school building project, though not as the site for a school.

Nov. 7, 2000 – George W. Bush outpolls Al Gore by more than 1,200 votes in Ridgefield and eventually wins the U.S. Presidency after the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes in Florida’s vote counting.

Dec. 5, 2000 – Voters approve “The Bundle” – a $90-million appropriation to convert the recreation center back into Barlow Mountain Elementary School,  renovate the five existing elementary schools,  East Ridge Middle School and the high school, and build a new recreation center on the Ippoliti property on Danbury Road.

Dec. 12, 2000 – The new Ridgefield Playhouse is packed for an opening concert by singer/guitarist Jose Feliciano.

Dec. 19, 2000 – Celebrating its 125th anniversary, The Ridgefield Press publishes a history of the 20th Century featuring a timeline and the stories of Notable Ridgefielders.


Jan. 1, 2001 – Ed Helminski, director of the Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club for 40 years steps down and is replaced by Terry Hughes,  one of the many young Ridgefielders who grew up as members of the club.  

Jan. 17, 2001 – Ridgefielders at public hearing get details of a plan that would allow the town to acquire 43 acres of the McKeon Farm in Ridgebury as open space, preserving a piece of Ridgefield’s farming heritage. Voters on Jan. 31 go on to approve the town’s participation in the purchase with a group of private investors.  

Jan. 27, 2001 – William I. Allen, government watchdog and founder of Ridgefield’s Independent Party, dies at 67.  

Feb. 5, 2001 – A very snowy winter is augmented by a storm that drops 15 to 20 more inches on Ridgefield.

Feb. 13, 2001 – J.R., a Bichon Frisé, owned by Cecelia Ruggles of Ridgefield, wins Best of Show at the Westminster Dog Show in New York.

Feb. 19, 2001 – Despite the signatures of 2,777 Ridgefielders on a petition asking for a vote on taking the Bennett’s Pond Property by eminent domain, the Board of Finance effectively quashes that plan by refusing to appropriate $10.6 million for its acquisition.  

Feb. 28, 2001 – The school board approves placing an armed police officer at Ridgefield High School as a “school resource officer.” 

March 1, 2001 – The family of Ridgefielder Jack Tobin reveals he has been arrested in Voronezh, Russia, and charged with drug possession, although Russian security services are also alleging possible espionage. Fluent in Russian, Mr. Tobin was a Fulbright scholar studying the Russian transition to a market economy. Charges are eventually raised that would mean up to 15 years in a Russian prison.  

March 8, 2001 – Grand Union, the only supermarket in the village, will close. It is to be replaced by a CVS store.  

April 10, 2001 – Ridgefield Democrats join in toasting U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman, their 2000 candidate for vice president, at the Jefferson-Jackson-Bailey Day Dinner in Danbury.  

April 19, 2001 – Bridgeport Hydraulic Company prepares to open its new pipeline into Ridgefield, solving supply and quality problems that have plagued the system.  

May 3, 2001 – After three months in Russian custody, Jack Tobin is sentenced to an additional two years and 10 months. Diplomatic efforts toward his release involve Secretary of State Colin Powell, as Congressman Jim Maloney rallies support for Mr. Tobin.  

May 15, 2001 – A majority of voters approve an advisory measure that would have the town acquire the Bennett’s Pond property by eminent domain.  

May 31, 2001 – Joan Voss, who was instrumental in founding the Alternative High School in 1995, is named Teacher of the Year in Ridgefield.  

June 7, 2001 – Print and television reporters descend on town to follow up on the story of the “phantom reviews” that appeared in Sony Corporation ads, highlighting effusive praise by “David Manning of The Ridgefield Press.” Mr. Manning, The Press confirms, was not and never had been its film reviewer.  

July 10, 2001 – A young black bear visits Ridgefield, sampling bird food at several feeders.  

July 11, 2001 – Daniel M. McKeon, “a leading citizen and advocate of conservation and local history,” dies at 94. An organic farmer and an accomplished horseman, he was a charter member of Ridgefield’s Planning Commission in 1958 and the longtime chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.  

July 22, 2001 – The first item of business at a meeting between President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin is “the Jack Tobin case,” reports Congressman Jim Maloney.  

July 24, 2001 – After the Republicans decline to renominate him, Selectman Steve Zemo, switches party affiliations and accepted the Democrats’ nomination for the Board of Selectmen, in a year when First Selectman Rudy Marconi, a Democrat, would run unopposed.  

Aug. 8, 2001 – Jack Tobin is free: The 24-year-old Ridgefielder lands at Kennedy Airport, accompanied by his father, John Tobin, and Congressman Jim Maloney. A rally at Town Hall welcomes him home on Aug. 13.  

Sept. 11, 2001 – Ridgefield, with the rest of the world, is devastated by the terrorists’ attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon. Churches fill for prayer services, volunteers head to New York, and the town comes to a halt as it waits for news of victims and survivors. The dead included Ridgefielders and Ridgefielders’ relatives Tyler Ugolyn, 23, Robert Higley, 29, and H. Joseph Heller, 37, who were in the World Trade Center; Wilson and Darlene Flagg, and Barbara Edwards, all on Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon; and New York City firefighters John Williamson and Christopher Blackwell.  

Sept. 25, 2001 – By a wide margin, Ridgefield voters approve spending $11.6 million to acquire the Bennett’s Pond property, by eminent domain if necessary.  

Oct. 26, 2001 – Larry Aldrich, a prominent fashion designer who championed contemporary artists, dies at 95. In 1964, Mr. Aldrich founded the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and gave the town Aldrich Park in Farmingville,  

Nov. 15, 2001 – The remaking of Copps Hill Plaza begins with ground-breaking for a new building along Danbury Road and will eventually include demolition of a portion of the original plaza buildings, expansion of Stop & Shop and the building of a freestanding Eckerd’s Drug Store. In the process, the popular 33 1/3 Restaurant closes.  

Nov. 18, 2001 – The Leonid meteor showers put on an amazing show, one of the best in many years, which Ridgefielders who were up at 4 a.m. enjoy from the comfort of their homes or at a gathering at Great Pond organized by the Discovery Center.  

Nov. 27, 2001 – Ground is broken for Founders Hall, the new senior center on the former Ippoliti property.  

Dec. 13, 2001 – ASML Holdings NV, which had been occupying the former Perkin-Elmer (former Benrus) building on Route 7, announces plans to leave town, consolidate operations in Wilton and lay off up to 400 employees.  

Dec. 20, 2001 – The town takes title to the 458-acre northern portion of the Bennett’s Pond property.  

Dec. 28, 2001 – A fire destroys a Pine Mountain Road home and kills its two residents, Rudy and Darlene Casagrande. Fire Marshal Dave Lathrop reports later it will be impossible to determine the cause.


Jan. 10, 2002 – The Board of Selectmen, as the Bennett’s Farm Development Authority, begins planning for the development of the southern 155 acres of the Bennett’s Pond property, which the town plans to take by eminent domain from its owner, real estate developer Eureka V, LLC. In February, Eureka sues to block the taking.  

Jan. 17, 2002 – Ridgefield joins several other Housatonic Valley area towns to hire legal representation to fight the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation’s petition to be recognized by the federal government. With federal tribal status, it is feared, the Schaghticokes might proceed to build a casino on their reservation in Kent.  

Feb. 25, 2002 – Scotts Ridge wins out as the name for the new middle school on a 6-2 vote by the Board of Education. The other proposed names were North Ridge, Mamanasco, and John Sturges (for the late chairman of the school building committee).  

Feb. 28, 2002 – The town learns that its sewage treatment plant was releasing vast quantities of coliform bacteria over a period of months in the previous year, because of decisions made by a now-replaced manager.  

April 1, 2002 – Ground is broken for the addition to Ridgebury School, and the following day, ground is broken for the addition to Ridgefield High School.  

April 8, 2002 – A new shuttle bus begins runs between Ridgefield and the Katonah, N.Y., train station; commuters park in a special lot at Jesse Lee United Methodist Church.  

April 18, 2002 – A continuing drought leads to calls for Ridgefielders to reduce water consumption by 20% by May 24. If that goal is not met, the Board of Selectmen plans to enact emergency water conservation measures.  

April 25, 2002 – The Catholic church’s burgeoning sexual abuse scandal touches Ridgefield as townspeople learn that a former priest at St. Mary’s Church has been defrocked following “credible” allegation of sexual misconduct.  

April 26, 2002 – The town begins a weekend-long celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgefield.  

May 16, 2002 – The Police Commission voices its opposition to changing the name of Danbury Road to North Main Street, a proposal that was brought to the selectmen by retailers. A public hearing is planned in June.  

May 27, 2002 – The Bark Park opens on Prospect Ridge.  

June 13, 2002 – Dunkin’ Donuts, a fixture in many people’s lives, is preparing to move from its 107-109 Danbury Road location a bit south, to the former Boston Market building on the opposite side of Danbury Road.  

June 25, 2002 – CHIRP (Concert Happenings in Ridgefield’s Parks) begins its first free concert series in Ballard Park, bringing out music aficionados every Tuesday all summer long. Selectman Barbara Manners is the creator and manager of the series.  

June 26, 2002 – Voters approve a 25-year lease of town land to ROAR (Ridgefield Organization for Animal Rescue) for a site for a new privately operated animal shelter.  

July 18, 2002 – Ridgefield Realtors describe the market as hotter than hot, with low interest rates making mortgages more affordable and increasing demand, resulting in rising prices and quick sales.  

July 25, 2002 – No one steps forward as an opponent for State Rep. John Frey, who is up for re-election.  

Aug. 1, 2002 – The town hears rumors that Donald Trump may be working on plans with the Schaghticoke Tribal Nation to create a casino on the former Union Carbide property in Danbury, just north of the Ridgefield town line.  

Aug. 13, 2002 – More than 5,000 Ridgefield customers lose electricity in a 90-plus-degree heat wave as demand for power causes a primary line on Grove Street to break.  

Sept. 11, 2002 – More than 700 Ridgefielders turn out for a remembrance ceremony at Ballard Park on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.  

Sept. 29, 2002 – The Scott House opens to the public as the new home of the Ridgefield Historical Society on Sunset Lane, three years after it was disassembled on Catoonah Street.  

Oct. 1, 2002 – Speaking to the Chamber of Commerce, Gov. John Rowland says “The best is yet to come” for Connecticut. Three years later, he is in prison.  

Oct. 15, 2002 – The new Scotts Ridge Middle School finally opens; students spend the beginning of the school year sharing space at East Ridge Middle School.  

Oct. 17, 2002 – Among the honorees at the Old Timers Association banquet is “Squash,” Aldo Travaglini, a fixture on Main Street for some 70 years, first at Bissell’s Drug Store and then at his Ridgefield News Store.  

Nov. 3, 2002 – In a sign of the times, firefighters from four area towns gather at East Ridge Middle School to practice a mass casualty event involving a school shooting. [A sniper in Washington, D.C., caused cancellation of a Ridgefield school trip earlier in the fall.]  

Nov. 13, 2002 – Voters at a town meeting reject a proposal to rename Danbury Road North Main Street.  

Nov. 14, 2002 – Superintendent of Schools Dr. Ralph Wallace announces plans to retire in 2003. He came to Ridgefield in 1998.  

Nov. 24, 2002 – Founders Hall, the new senior center, opens.  

Nov. 28, 2002 – Members of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, celebrate the church’s 100th anniversary in town at a Thanksgiving service.  

Nov. 30, 2002 – Some 100 people rally on Main Street in opposition to a war in Iraq.  

Dec. 14, 2002 – St. Mary’s Church learns that its pastor has resigned because of an allegation of sexual misconduct.


2003 – The town sells Bennett’s Pond’s 460 acres to the state as parkland. The price is $4 million; the town had condemned the land from Eureka V, paying $11.5 million.  

Jan. 12, 2003 – The Ridgefield Recreation Center on Danbury Road opens with a traditional ribbon-cutting and public open house.  

Jan. 14, 2003 – Ridgefield will continue to have a village funeral home: Dan Jowdy, owner of Kane Funeral Home, will move the business east from 41 to 25 Catoonah Street to a new building at the site of a former gas station.  The move is necessitated by the Kane family’s plans to sell the current Kane Funeral Home property.  

Jan. 23, 2003 – Ridgefield High School students organize “Ride the Bus Day” as an energy saving protest to put a focus on America’s oil consumption and its relations with the suppliers of oil in the Muslim world.  

Feb. 17, 2003 – A President’s Day weekend snowstorm drops more than a foot and a half of snow on the town; meteorologists at Western Connecticut State University rank it in the top 10 of recorded snowstorms.  

Feb. 21, 2003 – With the Homeland Security alert at level Orange, Ridgefielders consider what preparations to make: They’re encouraged to have family disaster plans and to stockpile emergency supplies including plastic sheeting and duct tape, water and food, medicines and batteries.  

March 4, 2003 – Town hall is evacuated after a roof beam slips, causing ceilings to collapse, the result of construction work on an elevator being added to the building. Some town offices are quickly re-established in several locations; the selectmen are in the firehouse.  

March 6, 2003 – Dr. Joseph Ellis announces he will retire after 13 years as principal of Ridgefield High School and 41 years in education.  

March 10, 2003 – Charles Coles, Jr., a retired president of the Ridgefield Bank, active in the community and a student of Ridgefield’s history, dies at 80.  

March 13, 2003 – With the war with Iraq imminent, three Ridgefielders prepare for deployment: Lance Cpl. Kevin Weber and Cpl. Mike Delpino, both Marines, and Spec. Nick Ciarcia, an Army reservist. A community prayer service for peace takes place March 19 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church.  

March 20, 2003 – Town planner Oswald Ingles, the longest-serving town administrator, having been hired in 1972, announces plans to retire.  

March 25, 2003 – Dr. James E. Sheehan, pediatrician to generations of Ridgefielders over 43 years, dies at 80.  

April 6, 2003 – A crowd of 300 rallies on Main Street in support of American troops fighting in Iraq.  

April 11, 2003 – David Harris is charged in the brutal murder of his ex-wife, Simone Harris, at her apartment in Ridgefield.  

May 1, 2003 – The Grand List reaches $4 billion, following a revaluation.  

May 8, 2003 – The town rallies to support popular barber and Main Street caretaker Mike Montello, following his diagnosis with a brain tumor. He dies Sept. 22.  

May 14, 2003 – Dora Conti Cassavechia, Ridgefield town clerk for 16 years, dies at her home.  

June 3, 2003 – Elizabeth "Betty Grace" Nash, who was an editor of The Ridgefield Press for 35 years, dies in Cocoa Beach, Fla., where she had been living for 10 years.  

June 8, 2003 – A Hummer, driven by an allegedly drunk Stamford man, crushes the Cass Gilbert Fountain after going over concrete planters and a raised platform designed to protect the marble fountain. It’s expected that rebuilding the fountain will take a year.  

June 22, 2003 – The Ridgefield Library celebrates its 100th anniversary with a party for the town.  

June 26, 2003 – Ridgefield voters reject a negotiated settlement that would have had the town pay $5.35 million to Eureka V plus allow the company to develop the 155-acre southern parcel of Bennett’s Pond property with a 160,000-square-foot office building and 225 townhouses.  

Aug. 7, 2003 – Ridgefield Bank announces plans for a merger with Fairfield County Bank, pending government approval [later received]. The banks are to each maintain their own names in their home territories.  

Aug. 21, 2003 – Ridgefield and most of the Northeast goes dark, the result of a fault in the power grid that took place in Ohio. The power is out for 24 hours.  

Aug. 31, 2003 – To the great sadness of their many friends and loyal customers, the Amatuzzi family (George, Anna Maria, Gigi and Vicki) close the popular Roma Pizzeria on Main Street.    

Sept. 7, 2003 – After nine years as head of the Redding-Easton regional school district, Dr. Kenneth Freeston becomes Ridgefield’s school superintendent.  

Sept. 25, 2003 – Boehringer Ingelheim announces a $500-million expansion of its Ridgebury headquarters, with most of the new construction on the Ridgefield portion of its campus.  

Oct. 1, 2003 – Ridgefield restaurants go smokeless as a new state law goes into effect, forbidding smoking in restaurants and nearly all public spaces.  

Oct. 23, 2003 – As the Aldrich Museum undergoes extensive rebuilding, art goes on, in the form of “Big Baby,” a seven-foot high sculpture of an infant, clad in a diaper, who sits in front of the museum property on Main Street. Response is not entirely enthusiastic.  

Nov. 4, 2003 – First Selectman Rudy Marconi easily wins a third term, defeating Republican Marty Heiser by a nearly two-to-one margin.  

Nov. 21, 2003 – Todd Szegedy Day, as proclaimed by Gov. John Rowland, honors the 27-year-old Ridgefield native who is the new NASCAR Featherlite Modified Touring Series Champion.  

Dec. 4, 2003 – The Chamber of Commerce issues a “call to action” to find a solution to the chronic lack of parking spaces in the Village retail district. Three-hour parking limits don’t seem to be doing the job and also aggravate visitors.  

Dec. 21, 2003 – Winifred Aldrich, an artist and founder with her husband of the Aldrich Museum, dies at the age of 89.


January 2004 – Ridgefield Crossings opens the “harbor Program,” an assisted living community for those who are memory impaired.  

Jan. 2, 2004 – The face of the Big Baby – a seven-foot-tall Styrofoam and clay child by artist Nina Levy, in front of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum – is burned by vandals using a roadside flare.  Mailbox vandalism was also rampant.   

Jan. 7, 2004 – The Selectmen discuss whether to sponsor hunting of deer on town land to cut the size of the growing herd.   

Jan. 14, 2004 – Schlumberger announces that it is moving over the next two years to the Boston area to be closer to scientific and educational research centers.    

Jan. 19, 2004 – The first Spirit of Martin Luther King community service award is given to Dave Goldenberg, active in promoting affordable housing in Ridgefield.  

Jan. 26, 2004 – Superintendent Kenneth Freeston proposes a 13% increase in the school budget to $64 million.   

February 2004 – Two veteran principals – Scotland’s Barbara DePencier and Veterans Parks Robert Lynam – announce they will retire in June.   

February 2004 - The Ridgefield Playhouse is seeking a liquor license.   

Feb. 1, 2004 – Joseph E. Brunetti, a second generation grocer who had operated one of the village’s last family markets and was a longtime supporter of athletics programs, dies at the age of 83.      

Feb. 4, 2004 - After more than 30 years as town health officer, Dr. Patrick Neligan retires, and Chief Sanitarian Ed Briggs is named the new health officer, the first time the job is held by a full-time town employee.   

Feb. 5, 2004 – John Edward Dowling, a popular Ridgefield attorney and raconteur who won two Purple Hearts in World War II, dies at the age of 82. The former FBI agent had been a probate judge and town attorney.   

Feb. 9, 2004 – A survey finds that 94% of village businesses believe there is a parking problem in the center of town, and 30 officials and merchants have a powwow on parking.   

Feb. 21, 2004 – A 364-foot luge, one of only four like it in the country, has been completed on the West Mountain property of Brett West, and is the highlight of Cub Scout Pack 124’s annual Winter Carnival.  

March 2004 – Two months after the death of their 10-year-old daughter, Cathy and Todd Tango create the Molly Ann Tango Memorial Foundation to provide grants to families with special needs children.   

March 2004 – Members of the Youth Commission meet with middle school officials about the continuing problem of bullying.  

March 1, 2004 – The school board reduces the $64 million budget to $62.5 million, an 11% increase. Cuts include removing a police officer from the high school.   

March 2, 2004 - John Kerry is the Ridgefield winner in Connecticut’s presidential preference primary. He gets 628 of 920 votes cast for eight Democrats on the ballot, including John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich and Al Sharpton.   

March 8, 2004 – The school board votes to restore February and April week-long vacations, which had been eliminated in favor of one week off in March.   

March 11, 2004 – Voters will face an 11% tax hike unless the Board of Finance cuts the proposed budgets, The Press reports.   

March 20, 2004 – Sixties rock star Chubby Checker (remember the Twist?) does two shows at the Playhouse.   

March 22, 2004 – Paul Hazel, who spent more than 30 years as school personnel director, announces he will retire in September.   

March 26 – Paul J. Rosa Jr. dies at 76. He had been a selectman and member of many town agencies during his 37 years of town service.   

April 1, 2004 – Fearing its budget would not succeed with voters, the school board cuts another $1.2 million, and its increase is down to 8.98%. 

April 13, 2004 – The Board of Finance cuts town and school budgets, resulting in a proposed 8% tax hike.  

April 13, 2004 – The Planning and Zoning Commission refuses to endorse a Police Commission plan to put traffic lights for Route 116 and North Salem Road, where the commission has installed all-way stop signs as an experiment.  

April 20, 2004 – Toll Brothers applies to build 73 age-restricted condominiums off Route 7, to be called Regency at Ridgefield. Units are expected to sell from $500,000 to $550,000 but in 2008 were mostly going for $700,000-plus.  

April 21, 2004 – State biologist Howard Kilpatrick tells the selectmen there are probably 150,000 deer in Connecticut. In 1894, there were fewer than two dozen.  

April 24, 2004 – Coast Guard Petty Officer Nathan Bruckenthal, a former Ridgefielder and volunteer firefighter, is killed protecting an oil terminal off the Iraqi coast. He served with the Coast Guard.  

May 1, 2004 – Lotus, a Chinese restaurant on Danbury Road for 22 years, closes after its lease is not renewed.  

May 2004 – Complaints about the large number of “sandwich-board signs” on Main Street prompts the Planning and Zoning Commission to discuss regulating temporary signs.  

May 5, 2004 – First Selectman Rudy Marconi testifies before the House Subcommittee on Government Reform in Washington, about faults in the tribal recognition process that could lead to Indians’ buying land and building a casino nearby.  

May 5, 2004 – The Youth Commission approves setting up a hotline to receive calls from bullying and harassment victims in the schools.  

May 10, 2004 – Wicked, the Broadway musical whose score is written by Stephen Schwartz of Ridgefield, is nominated for 10 Tony awards.  

May 11, 2004 – The school budget, with a 9% increase, is defeated by voters at a referendum, 2,747 no to 1,980 yes.  

May 13, 2004 – Yankee ace reliever Mariano Rivera visits Ridgefield High School to offer tips on athletic success to students, coaches and parents.  

May 17, 2004 – The Board of Finance cuts another $1 million from the school budget, dropping the tax increase to 6%.  

May 19, 2004 – A Ridgefield Deer Study Committee is established to recommend what to do about the burgeoning deer population.  

May 27, 2004 – Dr. Randall Balmer, an author, a professor of religious history at Columbia, and a Democrat, announces he will run against Republican John Frey for state representative.  

May 31, 2004 – William von Zehle of Ridgefield, an Iraq war veteran who was one of the first rescuers on the scene of the Aug. 19, 2003 bombing of the UN headquarters in Baghdad, is the Memorial Day speaker.  

June 5, 2004 – The town mourns the death of President Ronald Reagan. “I think he kind of restored pride in our country,” says State Rep. John Frey.  

June 8, 2004 – 5,201 voters – 34% of those registered – turn out at a referendum to approve a $60-million school budget, with a 6% tax increase. The vote is 2,880 yes, 2,321 no.  

June 9, 2004 – David and Martha Campbell are named “Citizens of the Year” by the Rotary Club.  

June 14, 2004 – Three new principals are named: Adeline Merrill at Farmingville, Lorraine A. Marcantonio at Veterans Park, and Mark H. Solomon at Scotland.  

June 18, 2004 – The first Relay for Life raises $195,000 to fight cancer.  

June 22, 2004 – 340 seniors graduate from Ridgefield High School.  

June 26, 2004 – The Westport Country Playhouse, whose building is being renovated, begins using the Ridgefield Playhouse as its temporary venue. Among the stars who show up during the season is Paul Newman.  

June 2004 – Cercarial dermatitis, or “swimmer’s itch,” has users of Great Pond’s beach scratching.  It’s caused by parasitic water-borne larvae that burrow into the skin.  

July 2004 – The fact that so many cell phones now include cameras prompts the Recreation Center to ban them in the locker rooms, swimming pool area, whirlpool or restrooms, “in order to protect the privacy of its members.”  

July 2004 – The Ridgefield Volunteer Fire Department elects a new chief who doesn’t live in Ridgefield. Dave Cuny grew up here, but resides in Bethel.  

July 1, 2004 – State Rep. John Frey attends the inauguration of M. Jodi Rell as governor, replacing disgraced and later imprisoned Gov. John Rowland, who resigned.  

July 7, 2004 – Steve Zemo, a member of the Board of Selectmen since 1995, retires. Julia “Di” Masters, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, soon announces she’s a candidate for the seat and is appointed, effect. Aug. 9.  

July 8, 2004 – Terrar LLC wants to raze Belzoni’s Red Lion restaurant on Route 7, which began life as a dog kennel, to build 50 condominiums.  

July 20-21 2004 – The stop signs on North Salem Road at Ridgebury Road are removed. The experiment to deal with the busy intersection fails. As a result of the sudden change, several crashes occur.  

July 29, 2004 – Nineteen veteran teachers retire, reports personnel director Paul Hazel, himself about to retire. Among them are Arthur Amend, Janet Belote, Jane Breen, Lois Brower, William Brower, Betty Gray Brown, Dorothea Lang, Monica McMorran, and Curtis Pickup.  

Aug. 2, 2004 – ROAR – Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue – breaks ground on its new dog and cat shelter on South Street.  

Aug. 5, 2004 – Two Ridgefield boys, Brian Schlierf, 8, and Kevin Schlierf, 6, are in critical condition after a fire at a Dominican Republic resort their family is staying at.  Brian dies Aug. 18. The community rallies to support the family through a medical fund.  

Aug. 18, 2004 – The selectmen decide to buy a reverse 911 system to make mass phone calls to residents in case of emergencies.  

Aug. 29, 2004 – George Brunstad of Ridgefield, a retired airline pilot who turned 70 three days earlier, becomes to be the oldest man to swim the English Channel, crossing in 15 hours, 59 minutes.  

Sept. 13, 2004 – A large party at the Amber Room in Danbury honors Tax Collector Mary Hart Foyt, who’s retiring after 37 years of service and is moving to Maine. 

September 2004 – Ridgefield’s Notable Trees is published by the Ridgefield Tree Committee and describes 20 significant trees here.  

September 2004 – St. Mary’s School celebrates its 50th anniversary and the completion of its rebirth to a full kindergarten through eighth grade school.  

September 2004 – Dr. Richard Lipton and three other local doctors propose converting part of the old SVG/Benrus building on Route 7 into a medical center.  

September 2004 – Norwalk Community College is considering having classes in Ridgefield, possibly at the Community Center or the old high school.  

Sept. 13, 2004 – High School Principal Dianna Lindsay tells the school board that Ridgefield High School’s graduation in June should take place at the O’Neill Center in Danbury, which is both air conditioned and free from threats of rain that sometimes force graduations into the small RHS gym.  

Sept. 19, 2004 – The Rev. Wilma White delivers her final sermon as minister of the Ridgebury Congregational Church. She arrived in 1996.  

Sept. 21, 2004 – The Planning and Zoning Commission votes 8-1 to allow Toll Brothers to build 73 age-restricted condominiums on Route 7 north of Great Pond.  

Sept. 23, 2004 – Only four member of the public speak at a hearing on Terrar’s plan to build 50 condominiums on the Red Lion restaurant site at Routes 7 and 35. “You’re actually putting down something here that is a celebration of sprawl,” says one.  

Sept. 29, 2004 – The new 19-member Deer Study Committee has its first meeting.  

October 2004 – Round Pond, once a town reservoir, becomes state property, part of the “Centennial Watershed State Forest” that includes 15,000 acres the state acquired from Aquarion Water Company, largely in other counties.  

October 2004 – Chloride levels are so high in the well at Scotland and Barlow Mountain Schools that children must drink bottled water.  

Oct. 1, 2004 – Chambers Army and Navy Store at Danbury Road and Grove Street closes after more than 20 years in business. The competition is just too much.  

Oct. 2, 2004 – Mary Wilson of The Supremes joins Broadway composer Stephen Schwartz of Ridgefield in a benefit concert for the high school Music Department.  

Oct. 6, 2004 – Sunrise Cottage, an independent living home for five people with developmental disabilities, is dedicated on Sunset Lane.  

Oct. 15, 2004 – In a year when vaccine is in very short supply, 500 older Ridgefielders line up outside the Visiting Nurse Association to get a flu shot.  

Oct. 21, 2004 – More than 1,000 political signs are stolen or damaged in two weeks, angering candidates of both parties, The Press reports.  

Oct. 22, 2004 – Police are called to a possible burglary at a ranch house on Branchville Road, only to find illegal living quarters for 18 workers at a Chinese restaurant.  

Oct. 23, 2004 – A concert at the Playhouse raises money to help the victims of embattled Darfur.  

Oct. 26, 2004 – Ridgefield zoners adopt tougher regulations, banning all kinds of temporary signs that make roadsides, especially in the village, look “cluttered.”  

November 2004 – In one week, the Ridgefield High School girls cross country squad wins the school’s first-ever regional championship, and the girls swim team captures the state Class L title.  

Nov. 2, 2004 – John Frey defeats Randall Balmer, 8,824 to 4,478, gathering more votes than any other candidate on the ticket, including George W. Bush (7,407).  

Nov. 23, 2004 – Voters agree to spend another $3.5 million in a court-ordered settlement of the lawsuit filed by Eureka V LLC over the condemnation of its Bennett’s Pond land. The town had already paid $8.5 million to Eureka, but the developer sued for $12 million more than that for the 458 acres, now a state park.  

Nov. 23, 2004 – The Planning and Zoning Commission rejects Terrar’s plan for 50 condominiums at Routes 7 and 35, but an appeal is expected because the plan includes “affordable” apartments that, under a state law, make it difficult to veto a project.

December 2004 – The Ridgefield Basketball Association proposes an outdoor basketball court at the high school to honor Tyler Ugolyn, a 1997 RHS graduate killed at the World Trade Center Sept. 11, 2001.  

December 2004 – Ridgefield police have their first “Shop with A Cop” program, treating a fifth grader whose father has vanished and whose mother is out of work to a holiday shopping spree.  

Dec. 3 and 4, 2004 – Nearly 70 downtown businesses join in the fifth annual Holiday Stroll.  

December 2004 – The Sky’s the Limit playground, built at the Recreation Center with money raised by Rotary Club, opens. The playground is especially designed for kids with handicaps, but is fun for more typical kids, too.  

December 2004 – The school board is debating whether to sign agreements with Coke or Pepsi to allow sale of their products in the schools in exchange for contributions.


January 2005 – Neighbors are vehemently opposed to a proposed 11,000-square-foot maintenance building on Weir Farm property off Old Branchville Road.  

January 2005 – To deal with possible terrorist threats, firefighters here are learning many new techniques.  

January 2005 – Residents of the Abbott Avenue neighborhood complain about a pony being kept at a home with only 0.17 acres. The debate eventually leads to an ordinance aimed at controlling the kind of animals allowed on small village lots.  

January 2005 – Terrar LLC and Toll Brothers are suing the Planning and Zoning Commission for rejection of their separate projects – 50 Terrar apartments and 73 Toll Brothers condos – at Routes 7 and 35.  

Jan. 6, 2005 – The Friends of Ballard Park announce a plan to improve the popular village park.  

Jan. 7, 2005 – A Ridgefield school bus driver is arrested for selling alcohol and tobacco to students.  

Jan. 15, 2005 – Local performing artists like Kevin Briody and Rabbi Jon Haddon give a concert to help victims of the Asian tsunami.  

Jan. 17, 2005 – Ruth Leibowitz, chair of the Youth Committee, is given the second annual Spirit of Dr. King Community Service Award.  

Jan. 24, 2005 – The school budget comes in just under the 8% increase “cap” agreed to by officials the previous year.  

Jan. 24-25, 2005 – After the weekend’s near blizzard, temperatures dip to minus 3, freezing pipes and triggering a cascade of heating system problems in four of Ridgefield’s 10 school buildings. Three close Monday and one also Tuesday.  

February 2005 – The Ridgefield General Store, opened in 1984 at Copps Hill Common and moved to Route 7 in 2004, closes its doors.  

February 2005 – An apologetic Stamford fireman, whose Hummer smashed the Cass Gilbert Fountain on June 8, 2003, volunteers his time to install stage lighting equipment at Ridgebury School.   

Feb. 7, 2005 – High School principal Dianna Lindsay has to temporarily step down from her post because the state rules she has not taken an examination needed to be a Connecticut educator. A week later, she passes the test, and is soon back on the job.  

Feb. 6, 2005 – The Rev. Mark Delcuze, a veteran of 20 years in the ministry in Virginia and West Virginia, delivers his first sermon as rector of St. Stephen’s Church.  

Feb. 8, 2005 – Ridgefield firefighters say staffing is unsafe.  

March 2005 – Town officials are looking at putting a water tower off Route 116 to help with water pressure and allow building of a new main to the water-troubled Barlow Mountain-Scotland School site.  

March 2005 – Eureka V LLC wants 510 condominiums for its 156 acres south of Bennett’s Pond, land zoned for corporate offices.  

March 2005 – Franny Wood sends pizza, donated by Genoa Deli, to her son, First Lt. David Wood, and 400 other soldiers in Iraq. The pizzas are vacuum sealed. They were “absolutely delicious,” Lt. Wood reports.  

March 2005 – The ROAR dog and cat shelter, built and maintained entirely with private funds, opens.  

March 9, 2005– Complaints about noisy snowmobiles on the frozen Pierrepont Lake prompt the selectmen to have a hearing on an ordinance banning them.  

March 31, 2005 – The Community Prevention Council distributes the Ridgefield Parent Network and Partyline Directory – a list of parents who supervise their teens parties.  

April 2005 – The Deer Committee determines that an ideal maximum population of deer would be 20 per square mile. Estimates vary between 60 and 100 as the current population density.  

April 2005 – At $171,000, the school superintendent Kenneth Freeston is the town’s highest paid employee, earning nearly twice what the first selectman, at $93,000, does.  

April 5, 2005 – 120 people attend an Inland Wetlands Board public hearing debating expanding buffer areas needing special building permits near wetlands. Speakers are split pro and con.  

April 6, 2005 – Jill Kelley receives the Edith B. Meffley Award for conservation.  

April 7, 2005 – A bus with 44 RHS freshmen on a field trip to the Museum of Natural History is turned back after five students are caught drinking in the back of the bus. All five are suspended.  

April 7, 2005 – Nehemiah Lyman Keeler, a descendant of the town’s earliest settlers and one of Ridgefield’s last native farmers, dies at 91. He was born in 1913 in the “Pink House” on Ridgebury Road.  

April 23, 2005 – The Ridgefield Historical Society hosts an encampment in Ballard Park, commemorating the 228th anniversary of the Battle of Ridgefield.  

April 24, 2005 –The Rev. Mark Allan, a Ridgefield lawyer, is ordained a minister at the First Congregational Church.  

April 27, 2005 – The former manager of a Subway shop here is arranged on charges he bought alcohol for a 15-year-old girl in exchange for sex.  

May 2005 – A Charter Revision Commission is appointed by the selectmen.  

May 2005 – House sales are showing signs of slowing. Only 78 sell in the first four months of the year, compared to 113 the same period in 2004.  

May 5, 2005 – The first Senior Arts Festival opens at Founders Hall.  

May 10, 2005 – Town and school budgets pass at a referendum, raising taxes by 6%.  

May 11, 2005 – The selectmen renew Chez Lenard’s permit for a hot dog stand, but Chad Cohen may have to move because a nearby landlord who says the operation hurts business at his tenants’ shops.  

May 18, 2005 –Delphine Marcus, a longtime Ridgefielder and WMNR broadcaster, dies at 73. 

May 20, 2005 – The Ridgefield Fire Department receives a donation of oxygen masks designed to be used on dogs and cats rescued from burning buildings.  

May 22, 2005 – The town has “Senior Appreciation Day” that includes 30 exhibits on community groups and services, plus food and entertainment.  

May 25, 2005 – Roy Cogswell, popular owner of The Early Bird restaurant, dies at 57.  

May 26, 2005 – A fire levels the Bissell Building, holding the pharmacy, Gail’s Station House restaurant, and apartments. The building is resurrected in 2008.  

May 30, 2005 – Three mysterious sculptures, seated human-like figures, show up on benches at the Branchville Station. No one knows who put them there, and weeks later, Metro-North removes them. “Its amazing they’ve been here as long as they have,” says Lolly Turner, owner of the Whistle Stop bakery in the station house. “People just sit down next to them as if there was nothing unusual.”  

June 2005 – Sally Anyan, music teacher in the Ridgefield schools for 38 years, retires.  

June 2005 – Experts say eating disorders are epidemic among teenagers in the country and Ridgefield is not an exception.  

June 2005– In what was a skillfully executed hoax, parents of many Ridgefield High School seniors are greeted with mail bearing the “news” that their child is failing English and will not graduate June 26.  

June 2005– The 35-year-old preschool at Ridgefield High School – designed to teach students about home care – closes.  

June 2005 – Workers on the new Arnold’s Way development off Main Street find a cannonball from the Battle of Ridgefield.  

June 6, 2005 – Jason McKinnon, a native of Australia, is named principal of Branchville School.  

June 8, 2005 – A transformer explosion causes nearly two days of power outages on Prospect Street. Merchants lose thousands of dollars worth of food and business.  

June 8 – Town Historian Kay Ables is named Rotary Citizen of the Year.  

June 17, 2005 – Ridgefield Academy pays $8 million to the Sisters of Notre Dame, completing a six-year lease-to-purchase agreement and gaining another 60,000 square feet of facilities on West Mountain.  

June 20, 2005 – The Zoning Board of Appeals gives Mario Conte a permit to turn the long-vacant gas station on Route 33, Wilton Road West, into a country store. In 2008, it is still long-vacant.  

June 26, 2005 – Ridgefield High School has its first off-campus commencement, using the O’Neill Center at WestConn in Danbury. About 330 students graduate.  


July 3, 2005 – Belzoni’s Red Lion Grill, born a dog kennel and a restaurant since the 1950s, closes to eventually make way for an apartment complex.  

June 2005 – The Deer Committee issues a 26-page report, favoring town-sponsored hunts on open spaces to help control the deer population. One of 18 members opposes, feeling there are non-hunting ways of controlling deer.  

June 2005 – Ridgefield police begin bicycle patrols in the village.  

July 1, 2005 – In the biggest residential sale in the town’s history, E. Hunter and Jeannie Harrison pay $12 million for the former McKeon farm in Ridgebury that includes 87 acres. Mr. Harrison, CEO of the Canadian National Railway, and his wife plans to maintain the place as a horse farm.  

July 12, 2005 – A gasoline tanker truck crashes and explodes on Route 7 near Simpaug Turnpike, killing the driver and closing the road for days. Nearly 9,000 gallons of fuel burn, heavily damaging a bridge over the Norwalk River that takes a year to replace. A one-lane temporary bridge is in place within 36 hours. Police seek a white SUV that may have caused the truck to swerve and jackknife.  

July 14, 2005– Attorney A.J. Di Mattia, chairman of the Republican Town Committee, announces he will run for first selectman against incumbent Rudy Marconi.  

July 2005 – Work begins on widening Route 7 north of Ridgefield Ice Cream to I-84.  

July 2005 – Dr. Peter Yanity announces he will retire as a selectman, ending more than three decades of public service in Ridgefield.  

July 14, 2005 – Sperry Andrews, an artist who, with his wife Doris, led efforts to preserve his home, Weir Farm, dies at the age of 87.  

July 22, 2005 – Jerry Marcus, a longtime Ridgefielder and nationally syndicated Trudy cartoonist whose work appeared frequently in The Ridgefield Press for four decades, dies at 81.  

August 2005 – 20 condominiums are proposed for 66 Grove Street.  

August 2005 – After 40 years on the Conservation Commission, Edith Meffley retires.  

Aug. 29, 2005 – Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans and almost immediately, Ridgefielders led by Selectman Di Masters begin planning aid efforts under the name, Ridgefield Responds. The town adopts Pass Christian, Miss., sending truckloads of supplies, plus other help.  

Aug. 30, 2005 – 5,600 children show up for school.  

September 2005 – In the wake of Katrina, premium gasoline is reaching nearly $4 a gallon in Ridgefield.  

September 2005 – Aquarion, the water company, proposes putting a water tank in Pierrepont State Park as part of a plan to get a water line to Scotland-Barlow Mountain Schools.  

Sept. 7, 2005 – 61 local nurses volunteer to be available in case of a local emergency.  

Sept. 7, 2005 – Davis Harris, 59, pleads guilty to murdering his wife with a baseball bat at a Danbury Road apartment in April 2003. He is sentenced to 35 years in prison.  

Sept. 22, 2005 – The Planning and Zoning Commission quickly approves plans for a new Bissell building that will look very much like the one that burned down in May.  

Sept. 24, 2005 – The Police Department has a semi-formal dinner dance at St. Mary’s Hall to celebrate the department’s 50th anniversary.  

October 2005 – New Alliance Bank says it will open any office in the old Chambers Army and Navy store. Three years later, the building is still empty.  

October 2005 – Temple Shearith Israel begins having services at the First Congregational Church while its building is being renovated and expanded.  

Oct. 1, 2005 – A state ban on talking on a cell phone while driving goes into effect. In the years that follow, Ridgefield police pinch many hundreds of drivers for violating the law.  

Oct. 8, 2005 – A 68-year-old Stony Hill Road woman dies after a candle sets her house afire during a power failure.  

Oct. 13, 2005 – Local Republicans charge that First Selectman Rudy Marconi was a partner 18 years earlier in a Long Island-based printing company involved in pollution and other legal entanglements. Mr. Marconi is among 11 named defendants in a suit brought by the state of New York to recover cleanup costs for pollution in Babylon, Long Island. Mr. Marconi says he is not responsible for the pollution, though he was once a partner in the firm.  

Oct. 16, 2005 – Temple Shearith Israel breaks ground on a $3 million expansion and renovation project.  

Oct. 19, 2005 – The selectmen appoint a five-member Deer Management Committee, led by Tom Belote who was co-chair of the previous Deer Study Committee. It will oversee hunts on town land.  

Oct. 20, 2005 – A two-year study of Route 35 finds that strategic “tweaking” of many intersections, costing perhaps only a half million dollars, could improve traffic flow.  

Oct. 20, 2005 – Ridgefield High School sophomore Heather Stephens and senior Josh Kearns each earn Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference cross country championships – the first time since 1991 that the same school produced both boys and girls individual winners.  

Oct. 26, 2005 – A security guard at Ridgefield High School is arrested for selling drugs to students, and the company that supplies guards is suspended.  

Oct. 26, 2005 – Edna-May Olson, a founder of the OWLS and a longtime vocal advocate for senior citizens, dies at 93. She was 90 when she retired as the town’s agent for the elderly.  

Oct. 31, 2005 – After 28 years with the department, Fire Chief Louis Yarrish announces he will retire July 1, 2006.  

Nov. 2, 2005 – Voters approve the town’s assuming ownership of Mapleshade Cemetery, four of the 14 acres of graveyards bounded by North Salem Road, Mapleshade Road, and North Street.  

Nov. 8, 2005 – Incumbent First Selectman Rudy Marconi takes 66% of the vote in defeating Republican challenger A.J. Di Mattia.  

Nov. 9, 2005 – Eureka V LLC has a new plan for its 156 acres off Bennett’s Farm Road: 345 age-restricted condominiums and a 100,000-square-foot office building.  

Dec. 1, 2005 – Wayne Addessi, whose family owns buildings and a jewelry store on Main Street, suggests the town build a 300-car parking garage on Bailey Avenue,  

Fall 2005 – Two Newtown men are arrested for stealing more than $40,000 worth of fuel oil from the Home Heating Oil terminal on Route 7.  

December 2005 – The King Neptune, a fixture on the restaurant scene for 50 years, closes.  

Dec. 1, 2005 – A 19-year-old Wilton man is arrested on an assault charge, alleged he broke a bottle over the head of a 15-year-old Ridgefield girl in a fight during a drinking party at a Ridgefield house.  

Dec. 6, 2005 – William Frazee, who died in Oct. 19 at 99, left bequests of $200,000 each to the Ridgefield Fire Department and the Ridgefield Library plus grants to other local organizations, it is revealed in Probate Court. 

Dec. 11, 2005 – The Rev. Dale Rosenberger preaches his last sermon at the First Congregational Church, from which he is retiring to take over a new congregation on Cape Cod.  He had been here nearly eight years.  

Dec. 16, 2005 – A large number of police surround Ridgefield High School after a report of a possible angry student with a gun. Officials never explain exactly what triggered the incident, but no one is arrested.  

Dec. 28, 2005 – A veteran and beloved school bus driver, fired after some minor traffic accidents and then found to be suffering from brain cancer, is rehired so she can get back her medical benefits, even though Marlene Buturla cannot drive. Many in the community rally to her support.  


January 2006 – The Ridgefield Police propose demolishing their East Ridge headquarters, a 1890s house, and replacing it with a new building. Preservationists object.  

January 2006 – Electric rates increase 22%. 

January 2006 – Vandals go on a rampage late in the month, smashing dozens of mailboxes, and knocking down fences.  

Jan. 4, 2006 – Toll Brothers pays $8.4 million for 27 acres north of Great Pond to build its 73-unit Regency at Ridgefield condominiums.  

Jan. 5, 2006 – Coordinated raids on the Ridgefield and South Salem homes of a suspected “significant drug dealer” by Ridgefield and Westchester County police uncover close to one kilogram of cocaine, some $75,000 in cash, a loaded .45 caliber semi-automatic handgun, and a stolen Kel-Tech .223 assault rifle.  

Jan. 16, 2006 – Mary Ann Baldwin receives the Spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King Community Service Award.  

Jan. 17, 2006 – Four days of severe weather cause many problems, but most lasting are the pipes that burst at the Keeler Tavern, damaging hundreds of old glass photographic negatives in the Joseph Hartmann collection. The plates are sent to a restoration company.  

Feb. 9, 2006 – After more than 130 years of publishing, The Ridgefield Press finally goes full color on its front pages.  

Feb. 11, 2006 – Both supporters and opponents of the war in Iraq stage demonstrations at the veterans memorial by the Community Center.  

Feb. 13, 2006 – The Board of Education approves Mandarin as the seventh language taught at the high school.  

Feb. 14, 2006 – The Planning and Zoning Commission vetoes Eureka’s plan for 345 age-restricted condos, and a 100,000-square-foot office building south of Bennett’s Farm Road.  

Feb. 18, 2006 – Playing goalie for St. Michael’s College hockey team in Vermont, Ridgefielder Kristen Salierno breaks an NCAA record – the most saves in a game: 86. Nonetheless, her team loses, 9-2, to Manhattanville.  

Feb. 26, 2006 – Bishop William Lori blesses the new organ at St. Mary’s Church. There’s also a concert in the afternoon.  

Feb. 27, 2006 – Julie Sullivan announces her retirement as principal of Ridgebury School.  

March 2006 – Uranium is discovered in a well serving 14 houses on Acre Lane and plans begin to provide an Aquarion water line to the street.  

March 2006 – Phyllis Paccadolmi, who worked at the Ridgefield Library 53 years, dies at the age of 76. When she began in 1946, the library had two employees. When she retired in 1999, it had 18.  

March 4, 2006 – Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt charms an audience of 500 people at the Ridgefield Playhouse.  

March 7, 2006 – RHS basketball Coach Ray Bielizna resigns amid allegations that he deliberately didn’t use his best players for much of the final regular-season game against Bassick Feb. 22, resulting in a loss that dropped Ridgefield into a less tough tournament category where it stood a better chance of doing well. The coach denies the charges. His team backs him at a school board meeting. Two weeks later, school administrators refuse to accept his resignation and he returns for another season.  

March 15, 2006 – Former Probate Judge Reed F. Shields dies at 85.  

March 28, 2006 – Sunset Hall, an 18,000-square-foot mansion built in 1912 on Old West Mountain Road, is placed on the auction block by the owners, but no one bids enough. It had been on the market for $11.5 million.  

March 31, 2006 – After learning he was not selected as the new fire chief, Assistant Chief Nick Gaeta has an angry confrontation with First Selectman Rudy Marconi. The next day, the selectmen call the behavior unacceptable, and tell him he can resign or take an unpaid leave of absence. He retires. Later, he appeals his treatment. [The case is still in litigation in September 2008.]  

Spring 2006 – Two Little Girls in Blue, a suspense novel by best-selling author Mary Higgins Clark that is set in Ridgefield, is published by Simon & Schuster. The author later speaks here.  

April 6, 2006 – Town historian Richard E. Venus, former postmaster and selectman, dies at the age of 91. His 365 Press columns, “Dick’s Dispatch,” tell the history of Ridgefield in much of the 20th Century.  

April 23, 2006– Matthew S. Turley, a 21-year-old Ridgefield High School graduate doing mission work in Argentina for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is struck by a car and killed.  

May 2006 – The housing market in Ridgefield is “softening.” A total of 233 houses are on the market compared to 149 the previous May.  

May 2006 – Zeus, the police department’s new dog, goes on patrol, sniffing for drugs and helping to find lost people. His handler is Officer Shawn Murray.  

May 8, 2006 – Heather Burford takes over as the new fire chief. She is the first female fire chief in the state and heads an all-male department.  

May 9, 2006 – Only 18.6% of the voters turn out to pass town and school budgets, totaling $111 million and raising taxes 3.5%.  

May 18, 2006 – The town’s Emergency Planning Committee meets to consider “what happens in case of an avian flu pandemic.”  

May 22, 2006 – Two women who have taught here for years are named principals: Elizabeth Smith of Ridgebury School and Julie Droller of Veterans Park. Carl Charles is named new athletic director at the high school.  

May 31, 2006 – In one of the biggest Town Meetings in many years, more than 700 people turn out and vote 531 to 194 to approve a controlled deer hunt on town properties.  

June 2006 – The venerable Limestone Service Station begins selling Irving gas, made in Canada and cheaper than any other brand in town.  

June 2006 – Superior Court approves 50 multifamily units at the old Red Lion site, overturning Ridgefield’s rejection because 15 of the units will be affordable housing.  

June 2006 – The widening of Route 7 north causes many traffic jams and irate motorists.  

June 4, 2006 – More than 1,000 parishioners gather in Ballard Park to celebrate the 125th anniversary of St. Mary’s Parish.  

June 5, 2006 – William T. Peatt Jr., a builder, contractor and Realtor in Ridgefield who for many years ran Peatt’s Resort on Lake Mamanasco, dies at 80.  

June 7, 2006 – Mary Creagh dies at 97. She had attended the one-room schoolhouses at Starrs Plain and Limestone, was a member of the last class to graduate from Hamilton High School on Bailey Avenue in 1925, and taught in the Ridgefield schools from 1933 until 1969.  

June 9, 2006 – A motorist almost hits a bear crossing West Mountain Road.  

June 13, 2006 – Heather Burford is sworn in as fire chief.  

June 21, 2006 – Edwin B. Allan is Rotary’s Citizen of the Year.  

June 25, 2006 – Victoria Howell, 12, photographs a Black Bear on her family’s back porch on Flat Rock Drive.  

June 26, 2006 – The town begins improving Cain’s Hill Road, probably the steepest old road in heavy use in Ridgefield.  

June 29-July 1, 2006 – The town celebrates the 225th anniversary of the encampment of Rochambeau’s troops in Ridgebury with a ball, re-enactments, a concert, speakers, exhibits, and a Mass in a meadow, celebrated by Bishop Lori.  

Summer 2006 – A new Little League practice field is built on town land off Shadow Lake Road.  

July 2006 – Dianna Lindsay, high school principal, takes a job in Virginia.  

July 2006 – Paying town property taxes online begins.  

July 2006 – Pond’s Edge Professional Park, mostly medical offices, opens in the old Benrus/Perkin-Elmer/Silicon Valley Group building on Route 7.  

July 2006 – A townwide property revaluation begins.  

July 26, 2006 – The selectmen name Kay Ables as town historian.  

August 2006 – The Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra terminates the contract of 10-year director Sidney Rothstein, who had suffered a stroke. Mr. Rothstein sues.  

August 2006 – The state Department of Environmental Protection says bow hunting will be allowed at Bennett’s Pond state park.  

Aug. 3, 2006 – Olinto “Lynce” Carboni, a multisport star in his youth and a dancer into his 90s, dies at 97. He had worked for the school system until he was 91.  

Aug. 5, 2006 – Albert Gaeta, former fire chief, police commissioner, and plumber, dies at 80.  

Aug. 8, 2006 – Anti-war challenger Ned Lamont outpolls U.S. Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, 3 to 2, among Ridgefield Democrats in the state primary. Lamont wins statewide, but by a slimmer margin.  

Aug. 9, 2006 – The selectmen agree that instead of a new police station, the town should renovate and enlarge the existing one.  

Aug. 12, 2006 – The 100th anniversary edition of the Nutmeg Festival takes place at St. Stephen’s Church.  The fair began in 1906.  

Aug. 29, 2006– Bob Fortunato lives up to his name when he wins $1.7 million in the Connecticut Lottery.  

Aug. 31, 2006 – The Odd Fellows sell their hall on King Lane to Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, which renovates it into a chapel and other facilities.  

September 2006 – Because of a mold problem, the high school library closes for eight days. The fix costs $30,000.  

September 2006 – The schools begin using ConnectED, a system that can notify parents in an emergency, calling up to 25,000 phones in three minutes.  

September 2006 – 50 Coins, a restaurant, opens off Main Street.  

Sept. 1, 2006 – For the first time in 17 years, the school year’s first head-count has found fewer students than were there the year before – a total of 5,492, compared to 5,540 on Oct. 1, 2006.  

Sept. 1, 2006 – The Rev. John Heeckt becomes minister of the Ridgebury Congregational Church.  

Sept. 5, 2006 – Construction begins on the new Boys and Girls Club, a $6-million project.  

Sept. 6, 2006 – A Town Meeting accepts the donation of 17 acres off Hickory Lane from the Bard family. Dr. Harry Bard, Ridgefield school superintendent from 1924 to 1928, bought it in 1915.  

Sept. 12, 2006 – The Ridgefield Library reveals expansion plans that call for tearing down the old Ridgefield Playhouse/Webster Bank building it owns.  

Oct. 25, 2006 – Four Ridgefield Marines, who went to Iraq together, arrive back home after seven months of service. They are Corporal Anthony Ippoliti, Lance Corporal Frederick Lohse, Lance Corporal Juan Ocampos and Lance Corporal Jon Olbrych.  

November 2006 – Connecticut Magazine again rates Ridgefield the number one town in its population class, citing in particular its low crime rate and top rating for “leisure/culture.” The crime rating was the lowest the magazine had found since it started ranking towns in 1992.  

November 2006 – Keith Jones, who has written two books of Ridgefield history, one covering the farmers of Farmingville and the other, the Battle of Ridgefield, reports he is moving to Arizona.  

Nov. 7, 2006 – Voters approve charter changes that among other things lengthen the terms of the first selectman and selectmen from two to four years.  

Nov. 7, 2006 – In the election, Gov. M. Jodi Rell, U.S. Senator Joseph Lieberman (running as an independent), and Congressman Christopher Shays all win by comfortable margins here.  

Nov. 9, 2006 – Media flood Peaceable Hill Road to cover the felling of this year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree on the Robert Kinnaird property.  

Nov. 15, 2006 – The first town-sponsored deer hunt begins at Hemlock Hills preserve.  

Nov. 13, 2006 – Teachers agree to a 3% a year pay raise for three years.  

Nov. 14, 2006 – A 17-year-old Ridgefield boy dies of an apparent suicide, and his parents charge that drugs obtained at school led to the death. Officials vow to boost the battle against drug use.  

December 2006 –  Deborah Ann’s Sweet Shoppe moves from near the Ancient Mariner, where it started eight years earlier, to 381 Main Street, once the site of several grocery stores.  

Dec. 11, 2006 – Responding to concerns about drugs in school, the Board of Education decides to allow the police dog to sniff high school lockers.  

Dec. 19, 2006 – The town’s first deer hunt ends; 25 are killed over about two months.  

Dec. 27, 2006 – Scott Mullin photographs myrtle blooming in his front yard as the weather continues to be unusually mild.  

Dec. 30, 2006 – Charles F. Meffley, who chaired the committees that built Scotland and Branchville Schools, dies at 84.


2007 –The Ridgefield Film Commission is created to woo moviemakers here.  

January 2007 – Town officials are talking about a parking garage to boost spaces at Branchville Station, but concede it’s not apt to happen soon.  

Jan. 2, 2007 – Superintendent Kenneth Freeston announces he will retire in one year, but soon changes his mind and becomes superintendent in North Salem, N.Y.  

Jan. 10, 2007 – The selectmen decide not to spend $1.3 million on 1.2 acres next to the police station, and the Leary property is eventually developed for apartments.  

Jan. 15, 2007 – Longtime community volunteer Frank Lancaster receives the Spirit of Dr. King Ridgefield Community Service Award.  

Jan. 21, 2007 – National Public Radio journalist Scott Simon speaks at the Playhouse in a benefit for Wooster School.  

Jan. 21, 2007 – A 78-year-old Ridgefield man is arrested for unlawfully discharging a firearm after shooting himself in the foot while apparently trying to bag a raccoon.  

Jan. 25, 2007 – Walgreens confirms it plans to become the town’s fifth pharmacy. In summer/fall 2008, the old A&P/CVS building at Danbury Road and Grove Street is razed and the new Walgreens building erected.  

Jan. 29, 2007 – William Peeler, who led the Toys for Tots program from a small local operation to a regional effort that distributes tens of thousands of toys each Christmas, dies at 77. His wife, who helped the effort, had died June 21, 2006.  

Jan. 30, 2007 – State Rep. John Frey is named a member of the Republican National Committee.  

Jan. 31, 2007 –Jeff Jaslow, a longtime staff member, is appointed principal of Ridgefield High School.  

February 2007 – Realtors find a glut of “inventory,” but also are hopeful for a rebound in the housing market. It doesn’t happen.  

February 2007 – George Harrison, owner for 16 years, announces he is closing the Ridgefield Photo Shop. The 60-year-old business is a victim of the digital age.  

Feb. 5, 2007 – A fire destroys the Monahan home on Seth Low Mountain Road.  

Feb 22, 2007 – John Katz, longtime planning and zoning commissioner and youth advocate, explains why he always wears black: “Its intellectual laziness,” he says. “I dont want to bother picking out colors.”  

March 2007 – Chad Cohen sells the Chez Lenard hot dog stand to Ridgefield native Michael Principi.  

March 2007 – Air Age, which had leased office space in the Venus Building, moves to Wilton. Dairyland USA, also known as The Chef’s Warehouse, soon moves its headquarters to the space.  

March 2007 – Police officials tell the selectmen they want a 7,200-square-foot addition to the 100-year-old police station. Cost is estimated at $5 million.  

March 2007 – A campaign begins to convince the TV show, Extreme Makeover Home Edition, to rebuild the home of EJ Carfi, a fourth grader at Veterans Park School who has a rare skin disease so severe that a touch can give him a blister. When the TV show picks someone else, the community rallies, raises money and has the project done in the spring of 2008.  

March 2007 – Some parents complain about the use of An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore’s movie on global warming, in a high school course.  

March 2007– The town basketball tournament, a mid-March tradition since 1977, dies for lack of players.  

March 5, 2007 – “We’re having a period of enlightenment, where people are becoming more aware of the risks that are out there,” Ridgefield economist Nick Perna tells PBS’s The News Hour, commenting on the Feb. 27 stock market plunge.  

March 11, 2007 – A Ridgefield father is arrested for breach of the peace and disorderly conduct after grabbing an eight-year-old hockey player by the collar, shaking him and screaming at him after a championship game ends.  

March 14, 2007 – Assistant Superintendent Michael Hibbard confirms he’s quitting to join Superintendent Kenneth Freeston as a North Salem school administrator [see Jan. 2, 2007].  

March 19, 2007 – A 19-year-old Bedford, N.Y., driver is sentenced to prison for the death of his passenger, 17-year-old Michael Plunkett of Ridgefield, in a December 2005 car crash in Bedford. The Bedford teenager was allegedly driving under the influence of drugs at the time, and a month later, was arrested for drunken driving after another crash the seriously injured another passenger.  

March 20, 2007 – Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz demonstrates the new optical scanning voting machine to students at Ridgefield High School.  

March 23, 2007 – Pauline Frulla Moylan, longtime Republican registrar of voters who had been one of the town’s first girl scouts, dies at 83.  

April 2, 2007 – The school board narrows its superintendent search to Deborah Low, who is assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction in Wilton.  

April 12, 2007 – Dr. David E. Weingast of Main Street, superintendent of schools from 1967 to 1977 and author of four books of history, dies at the age of 94.  

April 16, 2007 – In what is called the worst flooding since 1955, the Norwalk River overflows its banks in many places along Route 7 and sweeps away the long-famous Branchville antiques shop that had straddled the river for 75 years. With just over five inches of rain having fallen Sunday night and Monday in already rain-soaked Ridgefield, dams burst at Stonehenge Inn and Woodcock Nature Center. Some roads are closed for two days, and the state is eventually declared a disaster area.  

April 17, 2007 – Gov. M. Jodi Rell helps the town break ground on 20 units of affordable housing on Prospect Ridge. In the past 33 years, the state has helped Ridgefield provide 140 units of subsidized housing, including these.  

April 17, 2007– None of the 10 Ridgefield students who attend Virginia Tech University is injured when a gunman kills 32 students and faculty.  

May 2007 – Newsweek magazine ranks Ridgefield High School 440th in the nation, third in Connecticut, and first in Fairfield County for academic quality. The ranking is based largely on the number of students taking advanced placement courses.  

May 1, 2007 – Eureka V applies for a 509 unit housing development on its 153 acres south of Bennett’s Farm Road. It would include affordable units and cover 55 acres, leaving 98 acres for open space.  

May 3, 2007 – Developer Jerry Tuccio, who built more than 1,000 houses in Ridgefield over 25 years, announces he plans to give $125,000 to help five of his developments refurbish recreation areas.  

May 14, 2007 – The Ridgefield Library receives an anonymous $1 million gift for its building campaign.  

May 15, 2007 – For the annual budget referendum, optical scan voting machines are used in Ridgefield for the first time. Only 19% of the eligible voters turn out, and while they approve the budgets and planning for a police station addition, they reject a $1.4-million proposal to improve Onalfo field.  

May 16, 2007 – A “microburst” with winds near hurricane strength hits town late in the afternoon, felling countless trees and wires, closing more than 60 roads, and leaving thousands without power for up to three days. Downed trees trap 15 to 20 school buses that are delivering elementary pupils to their homes, but no one is hurt.  

May 28, 2007 – The Memorial Day parade uses a new route – from Jesse Lee Memorial United Methodist Church, as usual, straight up Main Street to Ballard Park. In recent years, it had turned east on Prospect Street, marched down East Ridge and over Market Street to the Community Center. The route is deemed too long and steep, especially for older marchers. Post-parade ceremonies now take place in the park instead of at the Community Center. Keynote speaker is Paul Bucha, who received the Congressional Medal of Honor for valor in the Vietnam War.  

May 31, 2007 – Matthew Gabriele, an East Ridge Middle School seventh grader, makes it to the quarter finals of the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.  

June 2007 – Dr. Lyn Merrill, principal of Farmingville School and a 33-year staff member here, retires, but later in the year is elected a member of the Board of Education.  

June 2007 – Barlow Mountain Principal Patricia Michael is named the new assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, replacing Dr. Michael Hibbard.  

June 3, 2007 – Ridgefield’s first triathlon takes place as 250 people swim a half mile across Great Pond, bicycle 15 miles through Ridgebury, and run 3.4 miles to end up at Veterans Park School.  

June 13, 2007 – A federal jury finds First Selectman Rudy Marconi violated Edward Tuccio’s First Amendment right to petition the government, by refusing to meet with him about a development plan. The jury fines him $1. Mr. Marconi appeals and the verdict is overturned [see Oct. 25, 2007].  

June 13, 2007 – Michael Ryer, Realtor and longtime community volunteer, is named Rotary Club Citizen of the Year.  

June 20, 2007 – Neighbors oppose a postal plan to put more parking spaces next to the post office, demolishing a 100-year-old house in the process.  

June 21, 2007 – Developer Edward Tuccio, who sued Rudy Marconi, announces he will run against Mr. Marconi for first selectman. Mr. Tuccio fails to get any backing and eventually drops out.  

June 21, 2007 – Hersam Acorn Newspapers, publisher of The Ridgefield Press and seven other community newspapers, announces it will buy 11 more newspapers, plus two printing plants and other publications.  

June 24, 2007 – 417 Ridgefield High School seniors graduate.  

June 25 & 27, 2007 – The last men’s and women’s monthly dinners are held at the Italian American Club, which is closing its banquet hall and leasing the space to Nature’s Temptations, a health food store.  

June 25, 2007 – The Connecticut General Assembly votes to name stretches of highway in Ridgefield for two prominent citizens, the late Dick Venus and the late Liz Leonard. West Lane from the fountain to the Little Red Schoolhouse (Route 35) would be the Richard E. Venus Memorial Highway and North Salem Road from Barlow Mountain Road to the New York State line (Route 116) would be the Elizabeth M. Leonard Memorial Highway.  

June 28, 2007 – HSBC, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corp., announces plans to open a branch at 108 Danbury Road [the old Duchess Restaurant].  

July 1, 2007 – Deborah Low begins work as school superintendent.  

July 3, 2007– Gino Torcellini, who had managed Silver Spring Country Club for 40 years and was a longtime town treasurer, dies at 88.  

July 5, 2007 – School board member Scott Mason confirms he is running for first selectman on the Republican ticket.  

Aug. 24, 2007 – Martin Lawrence and Raven-Symone shoot scenes for the film, College Road Trip, at the Community Center.  

Sept. 4, 2007 – A lone man robs the Citibank office at the north end of Main Street; it’s Ridgefield first bank robbery since 1984. The robber is caught several weeks later, after a car crash following a bank robbery in Monroe.  

Sept. 11, 2007 – Jeanne Timpanelli, a founder of the Ridgefield Historical Society who led the effort to save the 18th Century Scott house and move it to Sunset Lane to become the home of the new Ridgefield Historical Society, dies at 83.  

Oct. 2, 2007 – Aldo “Squash” Travaglini dies at 93. His nickname became part of the local vernacular from his 66 years working on Main Street, 36 of them as owner of the Ridgefield News Store. 

Oct. 11, 2007 – Two and a half years after the fire that destroyed the Bissell building on Main Street, works is ready to proceed, officials say.  

Oct. 13, 2007 – The new Ridgefield Boys and Girls Club on Governor Street, complete with an outdoor pool, has its grand opening.  

Oct. 19, 2007 – Branchville Elementary School Principal Jason McKinnon, who is the town’s first Australian school administrator, passes the test and becomes an American citizen, to the delight of his fifth grade study partners.  

Oct. 25, 2007 – A federal judge dismisses a jury verdict in a suit against First Selectman Rudy Marconi and the town, brought by Edward Tuccio who claimed his civil rights were violated. Judge Peter Dorsey said Mr. Tuccio’s claim had no basis in law.  

Nov. 6, 2007 – With more than 70% of the vote, Rudy Marconi is re-elected to his fifth term as first selectman, defeating Scott Mason. It is the first four-year term under the new charter provisions. It is also the first town election in which Ridgefielders vote with optical scan equipment rather than the old mechanical style lever machines.  

Nov. 17, 2007 – The Ridgefield High School boys varsity soccer team wins the Class LL state title; it was the third championship in program history, the first since 1984.  

Nov. 28, 2007 – After more than a year of battling over ponies kept on a small Abbott Avenue lot, a Town Meeting approves an ordinance prohibiting people from keeping livestock on plots of land of less than one-half acre.  

Dec. 6, 2007 – Hudson City Savings Bank of New Jersey announces plans to open what will be Ridgefield’s 16th banking office; it will be the 12th banking corporation to have a presence in the town. 

Dec. 13, 2007 – The donation of five Tasers to the Ridgefield Police Department by an anonymous donor kicks up a ruckus, with some selectman arguing that a private donation was driving public policy. The police keep the Tasers, which had been cut from several previous budget requests.  

Dec. 18, 2007 – The Planning and Zoning Commission refuses to prohibit first floor office space in the Central Business District.  


Jan. 6, 2008 – More than 1,400 people attend the opening party for the Ridgefield 300th celebration. The event in the Community Center includes many exhibits, actors as historic personages, and even ice sculptures (which soon melted in the above-average January weather).  

Feb. 11, 2008 – Pizza Hut on Danbury Road closes, making no announcement and no explanation.  

Feb. 26, 2008 – Dr. Peter Yanity, former selectman and founder of youth sports programs, who practiced dentistry in Ridgefield for 49 years, dies at 81.  

March 1, 2008 – The Governor’s Ball at the Community Center is part of the 300th Anniversary Celebration. Named for Governor Phineas Lounsbury, who built the center as his home, the event is also attended by current governor, M. Jodi Rell.  

April 23, 2008 – As the subprime mortgage losses mount nationwide, Ridgefield’s pension fund has seen an 8.5% drop and town officials consider suing the management firm that put town money into a riskier fund than the Pension Commission had approved.  

May 10, 2008 – The new music director of the Ridgefield Symphony is named. Gerald Steichen is one of four finalists who conducted the orchestra in the 2007-08 season.  

May 15, 2008 – With a run up in gas prices to $4 and more per gallon, Ridgefielders begin changing their driving habits, somewhat.  

May 16, 2008 – The Field of Flags, 4,576 small American flags, is placed on the lawn of the First Congregational Church to pay tribute to the members of the U.S. military forces who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan. The memorial, which moves from church to church, and sadly, grows, remains in Ridgefield till July 6.  

May 25, 2008 – Museum in the Streets is dedicated. The 30 illustrated historical plaques have been erected throughout the village and in Branchville and Ridgebury.  

June 7, 2008 – Thanks to the donations of money, materials and labor by hundreds of Ridgefielders and others, E.J. Carfi, his mother, Jodi, dad, George, and sister, Carina, move into their rebuilt home, which has special facilities to ease life for E.J., 11, who suffers from a rare disease that makes his skin incredibly fragile.  

June 13, 2008 – Ridgefield gets its first Farmers Market, a place where local growers will gather weekly to sell locally grown produce and foods.  

June 26, 2008 – As the price of fuel oil hits $5 a gallon, town zoning officials consider regulating wood-burning furnaces.  

July 4, 2008 – Rabbi Eric Eisenkramer conducts his first Shabbat service as the new spiritual leader of Temple Shearith Israel. Rabbi Jon Haddon, who retired after 21 years at the temple, remains as Rabbi Emeritus.  

July 5, 2008 – Ridgefield celebrates its 300th birthday with a parade featuring 10 marching bands and 29 floats, a town fair, an old-fashioned game of base ball, and a concert by the Air Force Band. Despite torrential downpours the night before (after the July 4 fireworks had ended), it does not rain on Ridgefield’s parade and the only people who get wet are the ballplayers sliding for catches on a saturated Veterans Park field.  

July 21, 2008 – Theodore “Ted” Kunst, 54, drowns in Pierrepont Pond after his kayak overturns; officials believe he became entangled in the heavy weeds.  

July 31, 2008 – Joining the trend in retail, the Ridgefield Library begins offering Express Checkout. Patrons use a special touch screen to scan their library cards and items they wish to take home.  

Aug. 13, 2008 – The Board of Selectmen declines to change the name of Pump Lane to Somerset Place.  

Aug. 27, 2008 – Ridgefielder Paul Bucha, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner for service in Vietnam, leads the Pledge of Allegiance at the Democratic National Convention, which nominates Barack Obama for President. Mr. Bucha is a national security and veterans affairs adviser to Senator Obama.  

Sept. 2, 2008 – A moose visits Ridgefield; it’s sighted near Route 7 and days later are photographed in the backyard of a Great Hill Road home. The roaming moose possibly meets its fate three weeks later when one is killed on I-684 in neighboring Lewisboro, N.Y., causing a nine-car pile-up.  

Sept. 4, 2008 – Ridgefield schools now employ video security and intercom buzzers to control who enters the building; the school board discusses even more security, in the form of a computerized “visitor management” system, which would require visitors to provide a photo ID for scanning.  

Sept. 12, 2008 – Police Chief Richard J. Ligi dies suddenly at age 60. He joined the force in 1967 as a clerk, when he was too young to carry a gun, and rose through the ranks before being appointed chief in 1999.  

Sept. 17, 2008 – Mike Principi, owner of the Chez Lénard hot dog cart on Main Street, gets a chance to serve a special hot dog creation to domestic doyenne Martha Stewart during her television show.  

Sept. 28, 2008 – Hundreds of people attend a three-hour party, with exhibits, marking the end of Ridgefield’s 300th birthday celebration that began in January.  

Oct. 1, 2008 – The State Highway Department announces it must close lower Branchville Road for two months in order to repair a retaining wall at Greims Pond, an old quarry.