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Westport, CT: Selectmen Approve Community Gardens Regulations

  • Subject: [cg] Westport, CT: Selectmen Approve Community Gardens Regulations
  • From: Adam36055@aol.com
  • Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 23:48:03 EDT


I thought you'd find this community gardeners meet legislators  and
Connecticut state sexual predator registry requirements (the community  garden
is on
school property) article.  If anything, community gardening  can be

Adam Honigman
Hell's Kitchen,
Selectmen Approve Community Gardens Regulations

By _Jennifer Connic_ (mailto:connic@westportnow.com)
Community gardeners will have their names matched against the statebs sexual
predator registry before they are issued a handpass to use the garden at Long
 Lots School, but some are opposed to the measure.
The Board of Selectmen approved regulations tonight that require the check.
It could be reviewed by the Westport Representative Town Meeting.
In addition to requiring gardeners to be checked against the registry, they
will be required to have their photo handpass when school is in session and
only  bring guests when school is closed. The gardens would also be closed 8-9
a.m.  and 3-4 p.m. on weekdays when school is in session.
Parks and Recreation Director Stuart McCarthy said the check against the
registry is to help with concerns Schools Superintendent Elliott Landon
expressed about adults being on the property during school hours.
Originally, the gardeners would have had to submit to a background check much
 like youth league coaches must go through, he said.
School officials, however, agreed to the cross-reference as an alternative,
he said.
bWebre not suggesting it only be gardeners,b he said. bWebve written
it so
that it is for anyone who receives a handpass for activities at a school
while  school is in session.b
At this time, however, the gardening would be the only activity that takes
place at a school during school hours, McCarthy said.
First Selectman Gordon Joseloff said the concern is not that a student may
wander into the garden, but rather that an unauthorized adult may wander into
the school.
Selectwoman Shelly Kassen said she does not believe the regulations are
discriminatory against the gardeners, but even if they were it would be
bAll we would need is one incident, and then the community would be forever
sorry,b she said. bWe have the registry for a reason.b
Chris Singer, community gardens representative, said the group will accept
anything to get the garden going.
bI didnbt like the full background check because it seemed like an
unnecessary expense,b she said. bIf you are agreeable to this, we are
Richard Lowenstein, RTM District 5, however, does not like the regulations
with the check, and he doesnbt understand why Landon was not present to
his position.
The schools are responsible for the students, he said, and if students wander
 into the gardens it is a failure of school officials.
bHe is reflecting concerns that are not valid,b he said. bThere are too
 defects, and the regulations should be sent back to the Parks and Recreation
 Commission for changes.b
Allen Bomes, RTM District 7, said he doesnbt necessarily agree with the
 against the registry, but if the matter is taken to the RTM the only ones
who  will suffer are the gardeners.
Posted 04/26 at 09:00 PM

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