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Trumbull: For Safety's Sake Stay Inside Tonight (Update)

But Halloween will be re-scheduled, and there is one indoor event tonight at the mall.

Update, 3:15 p.m.

First Selectman Tim Herbst has released the following statement:

“Right now, the Town of Trumbull is working to restore power and clear roads.  Earlier today, the Town of Trumbull, upon the recommendation of the Police Chief and our Emergency Management Team, made the strong recommendation to residents and parents to avoid going out this evening for Halloween. Thirty minutes ago, I received a telephone call from Chief Kiely advising me that the UI Make Safe Crew came upon three downed power lines - - all of which were live wires. Had these wires not been discovered this afternoon and had people gone out this evening and not seen these wires in the dark, a resident or their children could have been seriously injured. I cannot emphasize enough the seriousness of the safety hazards that exist on Town roads.  

School Supt. Ralph Iassogna has not even been able to make the determination as to whether school will open or close tomorrow given the condition of Town roads, downed power lines and those that remain without power. The Superintendent plans on making this decision later today, upon learning additional information.

Again, upon the recommendation of Chief Kiely and the Emergency Management Team, I strongly urge residents to not go out this evening with their children. 

The Town of Trumbull has rescheduled Halloween for this Saturday, November 5, 2011. Other communities in the State of Connecticut are taking the same steps and proceeding with the same date. We believe this will allow Halloween to proceed for Trumbull’s children without compromising their safety or the safety of their parents or any other Trumbull resident. I should also note that the Westfield-Trumbull Mall will be hosting tricker or treaters this evening from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM. I encourage all Trumbull residents to  go down to the mall with their children to participate in this event.”

Original Story:

Halloween is not cancelled in Trumbull, but it has been postponed until the roads are clear again, said First Selectman Tim Herbst.

Other towns, like neighboring Monroe, are doing the same.

In a phone recording, Herbst said, "In light of tonight being Halloween, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police and our Emergency Management Team, we are strongly advising residents to not take children out this evening. With high winds this evening and tree limbs still being a major issue, in the interest of the safety of the children and their parents, we believe this course of action is appropriate."

But Trick or Treaters can go to the today from 3-7 p.m. Children ages 16 and younger accompanied by a parent or guardian, are welcome to trick or treat at the mall. Participating stores will have pumpkins displayed in their windows.

Meanwhile, about 1,100 Trumbull UI customers lacked power at 11 a.m. Monday. If you are in need of sheltering call Trumbull Social Services at 203-452-5199.

Trumbull residents can take showers at the with identification from 6:30 a.m. to 10 a.m., 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Joe October 31, 2011 at 05:50 PM
Since when is it a town's decision for Halloween to be celebrated or not? It is not an official holiday. People have the right to trick or treat at their own discretion if their neighborhoods are safe. Overprotectiveness is ruining all the fun we once enjoyed as kids. I would hate to be a kid today. We are raising a generation of wimps!
Chris Russell October 31, 2011 at 06:13 PM
our neighborhood is perfectly fine, we are still going out...trumbull is overreacting
Jim Flynn October 31, 2011 at 06:22 PM
Mr. Herbst, please keep your governmental hands out of our childrens' Halloween celebration. Halloween has absolutely nothing to do with the government. It is parental choice whether to allow their children to go out trick or treating. Give parents some respect for the decisons they will make for their children this afternoon/this evening. My neighborhood has no trees nor electric poles down. Due to the warm weather, there is a mere dusting still left on the ground.
Mark E Smith October 31, 2011 at 06:48 PM
"In light of tonight being Halloween, upon the recommendation of the Chief of Police and our Emergency Management Team, we are strongly advising residents to not take children out this evening. With high winds this evening and tree limbs still being a major issue, in the interest of the safety of the children and their parents, we believe this course of action is appropriate." Mr. Flynn did you not notice the word "Recommendation" or "Advising" and it was coming from the Chief of Police and Emergency Management. You would probably be the first to complain or sue if one of your family members got hurt by falling in a hole, hit by a branch in the eye, or God-forbid electrocuted by a power line. I am not one for the Government telling me what to do, however in light of the recent weather I appreciate that our Town Executives have made this recommendation, especially because up here in Tashua there are still wires on the ground. However, I think rational Parents can make their own decisions. Good call Chief Keily.
Concerned Parent October 31, 2011 at 07:28 PM
Joe, Chris, Jim ... can't disagree with you more. This is a safety issue, with downed power lines. Some neighborhoods are hit worse than others. Is it really that traumatic to trick or treat this weekend? I don't know about you, but my kids (of varying ages) are running in the dark all over the place on Halloween. Pretty much all of the other kids I see are doing the same. Between downed limbs, trees that are currently hanging on power lines or about to fall over, and the power lines themselves, I appreciate the concern for the safety of kids in this town. While I have not been a Herbst supporter on many issues, I have zero problems with him sending out a "recommendation" to stay safe. Like Mark, who I have argued with frequently, I am also in Tashua and appreciate the "recommendation".
Jim Flynn October 31, 2011 at 07:36 PM
Sorry CP, there are no downed power lines in my neighborhood and only a dusting on the street. If the neighborhood children trick or treat this afternoon or tonight they will find an open door at my house. Parents should be making this call. They can take or leave the governmental advice here.
Concerned Parent October 31, 2011 at 07:40 PM
Then you agree with me, Mark and the FS. It's your choice, it was only a recommendation. For me, there is nothing to lose by moving it to Saturday, so I have no issues with that. If you and your neighbors feel otherwise, then that works, too. There is no harm in the FS conveying valuable information to the citizens of the town.
Concerned Parent October 31, 2011 at 07:43 PM
One last thing: In terms of "parents can take or leave the government advice", are you confident that if no warning went out and some kid was harmed that a bunch of citizens wouldn't rise up in anger that no warning was given? I know the answer, but I am curious to see if you will cop to it.
Trumbull Supporter October 31, 2011 at 08:31 PM
We will be trick or treating as well in our neighborhood.
Mitch Kelly October 31, 2011 at 08:51 PM
You people will find anything to argue about...
Joe October 31, 2011 at 09:05 PM
But there are plenty of neighborhoods that don't have those conditions. Obviously, if your neighborhood is unsafe with downed lines, etc., don't go trick or treating or go to the mall. But if it is safe, you shouldn't need to have your holiday fun squashed by politicos for the entire town. You should determine for yourself and be able to responsibly look after your kids.
Bounceu Stratford October 31, 2011 at 09:15 PM
BounceU in Stratford will be having a 6pm Halloween Bounce complete with pizza and trick or treating, 203-375-2700
Home here in Trumbull October 31, 2011 at 11:14 PM
Not trick/treating tonight isn't a First Selectman issue. This is a safety issue as deemed appropriate by the TPD. Why are adults being bigger babies than their own children? Get over it and grow up! Don't you have anything better to do than sit on your high horse criticizing town government...whom you surely blame if god forbid you/your child got hurt (or worse)!
Joe October 31, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Halloween is not a town sponsored event. They have no jurisdiction over its celebration. Parents can decide whether it is safe or not in their own neighborhoods to participate or wait 'til next week. If my neighborhood is safe, then my kids are going out tonight. If my kid got hurt, the only one I'd blame is me, because it's my job, and mine only, to be a responsible parent, not a politician's. Unlike some helpless individuals, I don't need to rely on government to tell me what to do constantly in every situation.
Jim Flynn October 31, 2011 at 11:53 PM
The trick or treaters have been constant in our neighborhood this evening. Great turnout.
Bill Holden November 01, 2011 at 12:04 AM
For those who wished to trick or treat tonight, hope all went well. Tim's statement was a recommendation, not an "order" (like a parking on the street ban). He was letting people know that the police and others with experise in such matters advised againt the kids going our tonight. He and they were thinking about public safety. All downed power lines have not been identified yet. There are severed branches and others hanging by a thread still in the trees than can fall at any time. The Governor also recommended that kids not trict or treat tonight. Is it OK for the Governor to take such a stand but inappropriate for first selectmen of several towns to do so? You have the right to make your own decision and hopefully none of your kids or visitors were hurt. But you were warned of abnormal danger. Some of you people cannot sheath your political fangs over anything, including a warning of danger to young kids.
louis November 01, 2011 at 12:50 AM
Great turnout....power to the people! Fantastic for Democracy...it is so important to do the opposite of what authority wants of us...especially when kids can get electrocuted by the downed power lines....yeahhhh! Seriously folks, get a life, grow up...and its supposed to be fun not a political issue, which most of the Trumbull wealthy turn everything into...complete garbage folks....no wonder you guys are the laughing stock of fairfield county.....Tim, I personally prevented a group of kids from walking into a driveway with live wires.....
louis November 01, 2011 at 12:51 AM
oh...and folks....you can't reschedule Halloween....there is a reason it is on the 31st....have it on Thanksgiving...cause you folks are turkeys...
louis November 01, 2011 at 11:35 AM
Yep...Mary beth, I would stay away from these tools if you want any credibility outside of zip code 06611
Concerned Parent November 01, 2011 at 12:54 PM
Joe, your entire response and train of thought here is a sad state of affairs. I feel really sorry for you that you interpret the situation this way. References to "politicians" trying to do your parenting and how you are paranoid about the government trying to control your life because they sent out a voice mail about avoiding downed live power lines (when a lot of parents may not have been aware they were out there, hidden in the dark). So much misguided animosity, it's just sad.
Concerned Parent November 01, 2011 at 12:58 PM
Bill, don't lump us all together. I have had issue with several of Tim's political moves, but I look at each issue independently. He absolutely did the right thing with the warning yesterday, I support him 100%. In fact, the mayor/FS of every town I know of did the exact same thing. These days, we just have some over-the-top libertarians who are just angry and losing focus of what they really want/need. This particular issue really separates those who have political differences with the FS from those who are just angry and unable to think clearly.
Kristy Waizenegger November 01, 2011 at 02:18 PM
And guess who would have been blamed if God forbid a child was injured... I don't understand these reactions to a decision that was made to keep your children safe but mostly I don't understand how the hostility is directed at just one person when others, including the Chief of Police, were clearly involved in the decision. Sometimes being a parent means kids are disappointed but safety has to be the priority.
Trumbull Supporter November 01, 2011 at 02:34 PM
Kristy There are a lot of parents who are extremely disappointed in the Herbst administration and its blueprint for education. Then they got a slap in the face with the nomination of Ms Cindy Penkoff for BOE. So when Trumbull Day as we knew it, and Halloween gets canceled under his watch we tend to be a bit more sensitive. Right or wrong that is my take on the overreaction.
Concerned Parent November 01, 2011 at 02:50 PM
Trumbull Supporter, I am with you on ALL of the items you listed, but I still feel the backlash on Halloween is unwarranted. I am convinced that Tim did not make his announcements with glee, nor did he make the decision lightly. He did the right thing, and asked the Chief of Police what to do and was advised to encourage people to stay safe. I haven't heard of any charges pressed against many kids and parents who did go out (including a few who visisted my house last night who we hapily gave Candy to). In fact, in life you can make lemonade from lemons. My kids think this year is great, they got Candy last night, and they get to go out and get more candy on Saturday. I understand why many are upset with Tim about education, Trumbull Day, and a bunch of the politics ... but this one was sort of a no-brainer (every town with power issues did the same thing) ... and it was harmless and thoughtful. People who find themselves feeling hatred or abnormal levels of animosity over politics should check themselves.
J Strouse November 01, 2011 at 07:37 PM
Although CP and I disagree on some issues, we totally agree on this one. CP's reaction to this is the same as mine; it was a good recommendation no matter how you slice it, and I would think that any First Selectman, Democrat or Republican, would have made the same decision to advise caution. That's all this was. I, too, am sometimes concerned about government intrusion in our lives, but this is exactly the role government should play. As CP said, this was one was a no-brainer.

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