7 favorites.

Cinderella’s Broom would like to point to seven alternative news and opinion sources, all well-established sites that have supported this blog, despite its narrow focus and a fiction experiment (The Sorcerer of Wry) that may not appeal to the majority in the alternative audience.

More important, these are among the finest and most talented online social critics, researchers and journalists, covering pivotal and vexing topics that the mainstream press carefully avoids.

They are not all neatly aligned toward the same political slant, but I fully support diversity of opinion within the truth movement, because the truth is never simple. Please visit them.

Thank you. ~C


Fellowship of the Minds web site.

Sofia Smallstorm’s About the Sky  web site and blog.

PP Simmons Facebook and web site.

Memory Hole Blog.

Tyranny News Network Youtube channel.

Desultory Heroics web site.

Chemtrails Planet web site.



In and around and beneath Fairfield Hills.


Fairfield Building

Like Charles Dickens’s Court of Chancery in “Bleak House,” there are some places haunted by a taint of corruption, death and mystery so strong it reeks, no matter how much they’re sprayed with Lysol and presented to the public as prime real estate.

A figurative fog surrounds them, obscuring what might be going on within, above, and, in the worst case scenario, beneath.

Newtown, Connecticut’s Fairfield Hills is one of these. Obviously, “beneath” in the foregoing sentence refers to the tunnels of which, by now, nearly everyone is aware, unless you’ve been living in a bunker yourself for the past decade.

Opened in 1931 as a psychiatric facility and shut down in 1995, Fairfield Hills had more than 60 years to accumulate its ghost stories, weird coincidences and creaky reputation that no amount of public relations oiling has been able to silence.

At least one recent untimely and mysterious death is associated with Fairfield Hills; that of Matthew Hunt. Hunt died at the age of 18 on February 4, 2004, the same year Newtown bought the complex  from the state of Connecticut. He died ostensibly in his sleep for no apparent cause, during a time when he and his girlfriend, Sable Stevens, were working on a photo-journalistic web project. The subject was Fairfield Hills, of course. You can read more about Matthew’s work and his sad demise here.

It’s not the purpose of this post to chase down and vet every bit of Fairfield Hills lore. Other bloggers,  photo-journalists, videographers,  college students and web sites  (and Wikipedia) have already done a splendid job of that. There’s even an official site, with a sales mission, it seems.

The ghost hunters and film makers have taken their lucrative whack at the facility. And, fascinating though it is, Fairfield Hills’s association with Barack Obama’s social security number has already been plumbed and brilliantly exposed by “Barry Soetoro” via Memory Hole Blog here.  And by Dr. Eowyn’s peerlessly fastidious examination here. No need to scour an already shiny pot.

This post is about areas on or near or beneath the Fairfield grounds that could do with a bit of ventilation.

We may as well begin with the tunnels.

The tunnels. They were reportedly sealed by the Town of Newtown in 2009, the same year that certain residents of Newtown were receiving free homes  – a coincidence, perhaps, but an interesting one. During Fairfield Hills’s heyday, the tunnels were used to transport equipment, live patients (and corpses), especially during the harsh winter months, but after the facility closed, the tunnels  became the target of vandals and curiosity seekers. Newtown posted guards around the facility to keep them out. Failing that, it must have seemed easier just to ‘seal the tomb,’ as it were.

The other reason to seal the tunnels is because they were needed for utility lines, according to this old report by NBC.

So is it possible to determine where the tunnels once coursed (or still do, depending on whom you believe)? Testimony from those in the know would be preferable, but Cinderella isn’t anxious to follow in Matthew Hunt’s footsteps. We decided to see if we could find telltale signs of tunnels using a method by another tunnel investigator: “Ben Redacted.”

You can find Ben’s website here, which explores the extraordinary tunnels beneath Denton, Texas. You can see from his name that he’s anxious to obscure his identity, and he has copyrighted his site, so I won’t copy his prolific imagery here; rather, I will direct my dear readers to his links. [Update: Since this post was released, many of the links have been broken.]

Ben begins by telling us there was a huge, multi-tier military installation “beneath the surface of the Denton countryside”:

“This top-secret, three-story military complex has six hundred acres underground, miles of tunnels and hundreds of air shafts. Throughout the county, a network of regularly-spaced and heavily-filtered air shafts once connected the secret underground to the surface above. They drew fresh air in and pushed foul air out.”

Then in the 1960s, the ventilation system for Denton’s tunnels was dismantled: “The fans, the motors and the buildings that housed them were all hauled away,” writes Ben.  And the air shaft openings were sealed and covered up. Very much like what happened at Fairfield Hills.

Ben’s website is essentially an exposure project. He has found the former openings and mapped them in free-hand sketches that Cinderella finds charming. (Hardly anyone does anything free-hand anymore.)

What he found is that the former shafts are marked by cement slabs sometimes disguised by plantings; oftentimes, not. Sometimes, the slabs stand in the way of a perfectly straight road that’s diverted awkwardly around them. Scroll down Ben’s main page here to see the pattern of cement bread crumbs that he has revealed. You can click on each of his maps for a better view.

One example of a disguised slab can be found at this link. Three trees surround a slab, as you can see from Ben’s little drawing, between Bowling Green and Auburn Street in Denton, TX.  And, as Ben tells us, the site has been further disguised with a swing set, picnic table and jungle gym. Anxious to compare it with an actual aerial view, Cinderella found the site on Google maps. Here  it is:

Auburn Street & Bowling Green, Denton, TX{Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, Texas Orthoimagery Program, U.S. Geological Survey,  Map Data © 2016  Google }

You can see that the trees have grown quite a bit since Ben first discovered the slab they shade, and the playground provides good cover for it.

So, are there equivalent slabs at Fairfield Hills? Or, at least, oddly placed topological features? Well, here is one possibility:

Primrose Street Slab{Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2016  Google }

See the oddly placed rectangle marked by my red arrow? It appears to overlay a large island in the parking lot between 3 Primrose Street and 4 Primrose Street in Fairfield Hills.  The respective addresses are for:

  • Newtown’s municipal government (including the Board of Education), which is housed in the renovated former “Bridgeport House,” open since 2009 (that year again);  and
  • Newtown Youth Academy, a huge sports complex open since Nov. 2008, which you can read more about here.

3 Primrose Lane    Newtown Youth Academy

[Above, l-r: Entrance to Newtown’s town hall at 3 Primrose Street; A small portion of the sprawling Newtown Youth Academy at 4 Primrose Street]

What is this long, rectangular structure doing there? Why is it placed between the only two large Fairfield Hills structures that are actually being used on the campus? There may be a perfectly reasonable explanation, of course, but Cinderella hasn’t found one so far. One can only speculate as to whether this structure overlays a tunnel and, if so, whether it’s still being used. And, if it is being used, what for?

We may ask these questions in vain at this point. But this little virtual exploration of the tunnels hasn’t been entirely in vain. It’s caused our flashlight to veer in the direction of a pivotal year in Newtown history: 2009. That’s the year when:

  • Newtown’s town hall was moved to Fairfield Hills, right across from the already existing and oddly named Newtown Youth Academy
  • The Fairfield Hills tunnels were reportedly sealed
  • Free homes were distributed to various parties associated with the 12-14-12 Sandy Hook event;  AND
  • Peter and Nancy Lanza reportedly agreed to divorce, with their #36 Yogananda Street home in Newtown (since demolished) quit-claimed to Nancy

Interesting. Let’s dig our way out of the tunnels now to take a look at another prime Fairfield Hills real estate item.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC). There’s one in the Fairfield Hills complex, (aka the William T. Halstead Sr. Building) and it’s directly connected to the Sandy Hook event of 12-14-12 as well as to one Sandy Hook “star hero.” For a complete rundown and a charming photo of the shoebox-like little facility, go here.

From the above link we learn the following:

  • “This [sic] purpose of this center is to provide a location where department and agency heads can meet to manage large scale emergencies from a central location.”
  • The center was fashioned from an existing building on the Fairfield Hills complex during 2011 ~ in ample time to be used for a certain event that occurred the following year. The state of Connecticut, which means taxpayers all over the nutmeg state, paid for it.
  • The center is equipped with everything a public official (FEMA? Homeland Security?) could possibly need to monitor an emergency and/or direct a drill; for instance, videoconferencing equipment, display boards, computers and Newtown’s back-up 911 dispatch center, just in case the one at the police station were ever to meet with misfortune.
  • The building is named after Bill Halstead, who has several interesting titles, including: Fire Chief of the Sandy Hook Fire & Rescue Company on Riverside Drive in Newtown; Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief; AND, since 2012, Faculty Member  of the not-so-illustrious University of Phoenix. He’s also the spouse of Newtown’s Town Clerk, the not-to-be-budged Debbie Aurelia, who made headlines when she refused to allow journalists access to public information (death certificates) following the 12-14-12 event – for a solid six months.

One question that the link on the EOC doesn’t answer is exactly where it’s located at Fairfield Hills. And despite many attempts to pry that information loose from the Newtown Assessor’s Office website, Cinderella wasn’t able to locate it. Why the big secret? We are told on the link that there is another EOC at Sandy Hook’s fire station. No mystery there. Why should the Halstead EOC have an undisclosed address?

We can be certain that those in charge of the 12-14-12 event knew exactly where it was: they ostensibly used it as a second outpost during the reported chaos of the day. See the script  here at 11:40:47.

In sum, the post-9-11 government is embedded in Fairfield Hills – with an address-less FEMA/Homeland Security outpost that may just as well be hiding out in one of its tunnels.

A military presence, too. You have only to drive through the Fairfield Hills campus once to understand why it holds such appeal for the military. It has zero charm, blank brick edifices, expanses of close-cropped lawn and that mean, impenetrable look. And, in fact, the military has flirted and communed with Fairfield on multiple occasions.

As recently as November 2008, the Newtown Bee  reported that a military department known as BRAC was eyeing the campus for use as an Army Reserve Training Center, then estimated to occupy 13 to 18 acres of the site if ventured. (Of note: This was the exact month and year that the oddly named Newtown Youth Academy (NYA) was opened. But, as we all know, NYA is just a sports facility, not a military outpost or training center.)

What is BRAC? It stands for “Base Closure and Realignment Commission,” established in 2005. (See this page  for details.) Why would BRAC have anything to do with establishing a military training center at Fairfield Hills? Exactly which “base” was it planning to close and realign in 2008? Unfortunately, the Bee article (available now only on the Wayback Machine) is truncated, so we might never find out. But remember that acronym “BRAC.” We will return to it later.

Well before 2008, of course, there was a military presence at Fairfield Hills. It’s  been the site of the Newtown Horse Guard (2nd Company) at 4 Wildlife Drive, since 1988, when it was moved there from Bethany.  The barn accommodations in Newtown were refurbished in 2000. The horse guard is largely symbolic and ceremonial, a holdover from the Revolutionary War, harkening back to a time when government officials were escorted by guards on horseback, but it’s still taken quite seriously by Connecticut’s military establishment. See the flap  resulting from a proposed budget cut to the horse guard by Dannel Malloy last year (2015). That cut didn’t happen.

Alongside the horse guard, the Army National Guard had a presence at Fairfield Hills, too, so we are told.

Sir Crooked & the Gang. Now let’s go back to 2002. In Connecticut, Governor Rowland the Crooked and the Waterbury Gang were still in office, which you may or may not remember. It was the best of times for them and a bad time for the rest of us (which you can read about here) – but the worst of times is, of course, right now, under Dannel P. Malloy.

Let’s look at what happened when one of Rowland’s Waterbury appointees, Maj. General William A. Cugno, fell in love with Fairfield Hills – and an inappropriate female person.

He planned to expand the National Guard’s presence at Fairfield Hills with “a military canine unit, new training and administrative facilities and a recruiting center.” (See the NY Times article here and the Newtown Bee article here.) This was just after 9-11, remember, and Cugno’s plans for the dog unit (situated in a dilapidated piggery that former Fairfield psychiatric patients once kept) was in response to that event. He wanted dogs trained to “detect explosives and drugs and perform search-and-rescue operations,” as quoted in the NY Times.  And he had $2MM in federal funding to throw into his plans.

One matter of potential controversy was the armory he planned to install at the foot of Trades Lane, near where Fairfield Hills bumps up against the up-and-coming (in 2003) Reed Intermediate School. Cugno insisted that the armory would be used to prepare guardsmen to respond to chemical or biological attacks, but that no chemicals would be stored there. And everyone quoted in the NY Times article (including Newtown’s Board of Ed Chair and First Selectman at the time) were hunky-dory with it, praising Cugno to the hilt and saying that a military presence near a public school was a real asset.

But, like canned tuna,  human glory has an expiration date. Cugno would retire in ignominy just a few years later, in 2005, after he was found guilty of an extra-marital affair with a subordinate and the favoritism this fostered – a rule-breaker in the military and death to a career. All this,  in the wake of the Rowland administration’s disgrace. Cugno died for real – only six years later – in 2011. It has all the pathos of a Verdi opera – a man with a successful military career brought low by temptation. Was there more to it? Probably. And we’ll likely never know what it was.

Despite Cugno’s robust pre-disgrace plans, his idea of building an armory at Fairfield Hills suddenly ran afoul in 2004 even as the conversion of the piggery into a canine unit was proceeding apace. According to a Dec. 3, 2004 article  in The Newtown Bee:

“CNG [Connecticut National Guard] had been considering refitting the facility to house a “chemical decontamination unit,” where soldiers would receive training in chemical, biological, and radiological warfare, keyed to antiterrorism. Alternately, a military police unit or an engineering unit might have been housed there.

“That site though would not have provided suitable facilities for such an operation, so such plans have been dropped, Lt Col Lukowski said.”

(Lt Col Lukowski was the CNG’s construction and facilities management officer, the same article tells us.)

The facility in question – rejected as unsuitable in 2004 – was a state-owned building across the street from Reed Intermediate School, presumably the same one that Cugno had set his sights on in 2002.

Where is that dang armory? Now comes the real confusion – reported once again in our favorite local rag, The Newtown Bee, in an article dated May 25, 2005.

It seems that around this time,  the newly founded BRAC (remember that? – the Base Closure and Realignment Commission) was recommending to the federal government that “an Armed Forces Reserve Center be created in Newtown.”  In fact BRAC advocated for relocating the reserve centers in neighboring towns to the Newtown site.

But the BRAC document, according to The Bee, said that the move should be contingent on whether “the Army is able to acquire land suitable for the construction of the facilities adjacent to the existing Connecticut Army National Guard Armory in Newtown.”  [My italics]

The problem is, also according to the Bee, there was no such armory in Newtown at the time.

That pesky armory again. In the headline of the article, The Bee emphasized that it didn’t exist  and made pointed references to the fact that similar plans had been rejected previously. A chunk of the controversy from the May 25th, 2005 Bee article follows:

“The reserve center envisioned for Newtown would have the ability to accommodate military units from Army National Guard armories in Naugatuck, New Haven, and Norwalk, according to the BRAC document.

“Locating a military facility in Newtown would enhance military value, improve homeland defense capability, improve training and deployment capability, improve efficiency, and reduce costs, according to BRAC.

“Linda Jeleniewski, a spokeswoman for the US Army Reserve in Devens, Mass, said that the recommended changes are subject to review and approval by the government.

“The BRAC document’s erroneous reference to an existing armory in Newtown will be reviewed, she said.

“Implementation of the recommended changes would be several years in the future, she said. Applicable law would require the changes to be completed by late 2011.”

Ah, 2011.  That was the same year Cugno died. The same year in which the Halstead Building – aka EOC – was reportedly installed at Fairfield Hills. Coincidence? Cinderella doesn’t think so.

We know that BRAC was ogling Fairfield Hills a few years before that, in 2008 (the same year Newtown Youth Academy opened), as a possible site for an Army Reserve Training Center. Such a center would have consumed 13 to 18 acres of Fairfield land, we were told. Obviously, an above-ground version of that center never materialized (unless -ha!-it’s inside the interminable Newtown Youth Academy). But was an armory installed?

According to this map, there’s a “militia armory” in Newtown.

According to this page, which lists all of Connecticut’s armories, an armory is based at the Newtown Horse Guard at Fairfield Hills on Wildlife Drive. More specifically, 4 Wildlife Drive, as specified here.

Just for fun, go to Google maps or Mapquest and search for 4 Wildlife Drive, here. The pushpin will end up somewhere along “Craft Street.” (“What sort of ‘craft’ does this street name refer to?” you might well ask. Wonders just never cease in Newtown.) A little distance beyond that, you’ll see where the Horse Guard is situated on Craft Street.

Take a look around, as I did using the screen shot below. What do you see? I see two cement slabs, which I’ve marked by red arrows. And an interesting little building I’ve also marked. What could they be?

Cement slabs near Horse Guard{Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map Data © 2016  Google }

Well, slabs and cute buildings aside, one thing is for certain: there’s an armory somewhere in Newtown, likely at Fairfield Hills. But where? In a building across from the Reed school? In the EOC? In the horse barns/former piggery? In the canine unit? In the tunnels? At (ha ha) Newtown Youth Academy?

Obviously, wherever it is, it was there on a cold December day in 2012 – with many a gun to spare – surrounded by figurative fog.













Sandy Hook: The curious case of Adam Lanza’s ex-con funeral director

Fellowship of the Minds

Adam Lanza was the 20-year-old alleged mass murderer of Sandy Hook who, on December 14, 2012, first killed his mother, Nancy, with four shots to her face in their family home, then drove a short distance to Sandy Hook Elementary School. There, in the space of 11 minutes, he shot to death 20 first-graders and 6 adults, before killing himself with a shot to the lower back of his head.

Among the many curiosities about Lanza, such as not leaving any online footprints despite being a computer wiz, is the fact that genealogy websites, e.g., Ancestry.com, initially had Lanza’s date of death, according to the Social Security Death Index, as a day before the massacre, on December 13, 2012. It was only after the curious date had been discovered by bloggers, did the websites revise it to the day of the massacre. (See “SSDI changed Adam Lanza’s date-of-death…

View original post 1,632 more words

Beyond mortar and marble.

“What story belonged to this disaster? What loss, besides mortar and marble and wood-work had followed upon it? Had life been wrecked as well as property? If so, whose? Dreadful question: there was no one here to answer it — not even dumb sign, mute token.”– JANE EYRE, Chapter XXXVI, by Charlotte Bronte


Architecture is one of  Connecticut’s few free cultural experiences. A dwindling number can afford to buy their own estates, but anyone can afford to look at one, comment and take pictures.

Unless you lack imagination, it’s impossible not to be intrigued by the architecture at the 770-acre, 16-building Fairfield Hills complex, the remains of a former psychiatric facility based in Newtown, Connecticut. The sprawling site of brownfield Colonial-style houses and bleak halls opened in 1931 and shut down in 1995.

But it has the history, the mystery and revenant associations that attract curious minds.

One of the curious minds belonged to young Matthew Hunt, a Newtown high school student who was fascinated by historical lore. An amateur designer, Hunt was working on a web documentary to catalog his impressions of the site just before his untimely death. He titled his project, “The Lost Asylum.”

At the time, Fairfield Hills was the property of Newtown, which purchased it from the state of Connecticut in 2001.

The town inherited more than brick, mortar and stone: it inherited baggage. Fairfield has tunnels and ghost stories and the same cruel reputation for lobotomies and shock treatments that Connecticut’s other vacant institutions (Norwich State and Connecticut Valley) carry in their millstones.

Hunt must have known that, but respected the kind of property that people his age often don’t. Abandoned  “funny farms,” an unfortunate epithet for institutions like Fairfield, are commonly targets for graffiti, vandalism, drinking and drug binges and other teenage mischief.

But Hunt never presented that kind of trouble. He said in a 2003 interview, “We also have a disclaimer on the website that discourages people from trespassing. We absolutely, under no circumstances, condone this kind of behavior.” Hunt’s gentle, compassionate nature was noted many times by his classmates.

Tragically, on Feb. 4, 2004, Hunt was found dead in his bedroom for no apparent cause. He was 18. His friends and family knew of no drug or health problem. An autopsy was performed, but there’s no update in the media record I was able to find. The Newtown police investigated: Detective Sergeant Tvardzik said there was no foul play and was still awaiting the toxicology report on Feb. 12th.

By the time of his death, Hunt had completed audio interviews with numerous former employees of Fairfield Hills – from janitors to shock therapists – with intentions of including them in his web project. He’d visited the deserted buildings with his girlfriend, Sable Stevens, who’d taken pictures.

Scary Fairfield Hills copy

The pair was devoted to the project, motivated by an interest in historic preservation. In a news report,  dated Feb. 12, 2004, William Manfredonia, then the principal of Newtown High School, is quoted as saying that he intended to help Sable complete the project: “‘We can have someone who is very knowledgeable in computers finish it,’ he offered.”

If that really happened, Cinderella failed to find any evidence.

Hunt’s website was http://www.fairfieldhills.us, according to this report, but is no longer up and running. Go there and you get a “502 Bad Gateway” notice.

However, you can find the site’s remains on the Wayback Machine. Most of the activity is from 2003, January through October. Here is one snapshot, showing what appears to be the main page. Portions of the image are missing, but the misty black-and-white photo is unmistakably Fairfield Hills, with the title Hunt had chosen. There is a snipe at the right-hand corner that reads: “Public Review Release Date: 5.18.03.” All of the images are similar.

Matthew Hunt Photo

There are no audio files that we could find. And only one other Wayback snapshot, dated Feb. 4, 2005 – the one-year anniversary of Hunt’s death. What appears on this link isn’t another elegiac portrait of a crumbling Fairfield hall but a jolting GoDaddy page full of ads. Disturbing and sad.

Hunt was buried in the Newtown Village Cemetery; there’s a page devoted to him on the cemetery’s site. It includes this note:

“See Matthew’s project at: http://www.fairfieldhills.com/abtMat.html”

Going there brings up one of those awful pages with “Fairfield.com” at the top, leading nowhere quickly. Nothing about Matt. Nothing about his project. But typing the same URL above into the Wayback Machine (here) brings up two of the articles (from Newtown Bee) that Cinderella used to write this post: here  and here.

Nothing else remains.

In tribute to all whose lives have been snuffed out before their time.



What is it about the Sandy Hook Elementary School and special education?

Cinderella sees no reason to mince words on this subject. After Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung began her short term as principal of the school, Sandy Hook Elementary became increasingly “special” in the teachers it hired and the classrooms it harbored. Why?

Was there a larger percentage of needy learners among Sandy Hook students than among peers in other Newtown elementary schools?

Were they slower readers, slower speakers, more intellectually or behaviorally challenged? Were they more likely to need physical therapy and psychological services?

If so, why should this be the case? And, if this was the case, what were the financial and other implications?

Shot of Sandy Hook Canopy

Location questions are still valid. The above questions do not invalidate other inquiries regarding the location of the Sandy Hook Elementary school over the relevant time periods. As we have seen in previous posts, a replica of a school can be created  when wherewithal is no barrier.

Rather, the questions above are intended to further that inquiry and determine why Sandy Hook Elementary had special characteristics that might have a bearing on 12-14-12.

These are legitimate questions that can’t be answered without first examining the special transition that began in 2010, when Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung first entered the school’s dingy corridors.


Let’s begin with Mrs. Hochsprung/Ms. Lafferty herself. She came to the school with 12 years of administrative background in other systems: Woodbury, Bethlehem and Danbury. Previously, she had earned special qualifications: a bachelor’s degree in Special Ed from Central Connecticut State University in 1993; a master’s in Special Ed from Southern Connecticut State University in 1997 and a sixth-year degree from Southern in 1998. See this article.

So Ms. Lafferty was well-qualified to spur a trend toward special education at Sandy Hook Elementary. And this appears to be what happened. By August 28, 2012, here is how she described her special “intervention team”:

  • “Our intervention team is returning as well. Reading teachers are Diane Dennis, Laura Feinstein, Meg Horn, and Sandy Zuccarello. Special education teachers are Kelly MacLaren, Kerri Sommer, and Laura Esposito (formerly Miss Swanson). We also welcome Lola Aldrich to the team this year. Support services are provided by psychologist Mary Sherlach and speech language pathologists Connie Malgrande and Whitney Dunbar. We will also work closely with district occupational and physical therapists.
  • We welcome two preschool classes to Sandy Hook this year. Teachers will be Janet Walker and Eileen Cullen. Speech language pathologist Judy Silverlight will also join that team.”

Cinderella has included the bullet item on the new preschool classes above as well, as it raises other relevant and related questions.

Transitioning corridors. Let’s take a peek at how Ms. Lafferty’s team played out via classroom assignments in just two main corridors of the school – the northeast and the eastern – over a three-year period. This will tell us how much more special Sandy Hook Elementary became during Ms. Lafferty’s short term.

I have used the following resources to reconstruct the classroom assignment lists that follow:

  • 2010-2011 Classroom Assignments: Utilization map here. (See page 24.)
  • 2011-2012 Classroom Assignments: Utilization map here.
  • 2012-2013 Classroom Assignments: August 28, 2012 Newsletter and a source I cannot disclose (wishes to remain anonymous).

1. Northeast Corridor (moving from west to east, then back up the corridor going west again)


  • Room 12:  Roig (1st grade)
  • Room 10: Fressola (2nd grade)
  • Room 8: D’Amato (1st grade)
  • Room 6: Mackenzie (2nd grade)
  • Room 4: Soto (1st grade)
  • Room 2: Young (Special Ed)
  • Room 3: MacLeran (Special Ed)
  • Room 5: Walker (2nd grade)
  • Room 7: Wexler (1st grade)
  • Conference Room/Closet
  • Office: Hochsprung


  • Room 12:  Roig (1st grade)
  • Room 10: Soto (1st grade)
  • Room 8: D’Amato (1st grade)
  • Room 6: Mackenzie (2nd grade)
  • Room 4: Murray/Day (PT/OT) — Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Room 2: Young/Malgrande (Special Ed; also Malgrande is identified as a “speech language pathologist” by Ms. Lafferty)
  • Room 3: MacLeran (Special Ed)
  • Room 5: Walker (2nd grade)
  • Room 7: Wexler (2nd grade)
  • Conference Room/Closet
  • Office: Hochsprung


  • Room 12:  Roig (1st grade)
  • Room 10: Soto (1st grade)
  • Room 8: D’Amato (1st grade)*
  • Room 6: Sommer/Esposito (formerly Swanson) (Special Ed)
  • Room 4: Murray/Day (PT/OT)— Physical and Occupational Therapy
  • Room 2: Young**/Malgrande (Special Ed/Speech Language Pathology)
  • Room 3: MacLeran/Lamass (Special Ed)
  • Room 5: Taylor (2nd grade)
  • Room 7: Wexler (2nd grade)
  • Conference Room/Closet
  • Office: Hochsprung

*On 12-14-12, two teachers were in Room 8 in place of Amanda D’Amato: Lauren Rousseau and Rachel D’Avino, who was a behavioral therapist.

** There is some uncertainty about whether Marianne Young returned to Sandy Hook Elementary during the 2012-13 year, but since she is not mentioned in Ms. Lafferty’s list as having left, Cinderella has left her in Room 2, where she taught the previous year with Connie Malgrande.

2. Eastern Corridor (moving from south to north then returning back south again)


  • Room 46: Buckley (4th grade)
  • Room 48: Dunbar (Sp. Lang.)
  • Room 50: Kazlauskas (1st grade)
  • Room 52: Monahan (1st grade)
  • Room 54: Vollmer (Kinder)
  • Room 56: Dievert (Kinder)
  • Room 1: Perry (Kinder)
  • Room 53: Sommer/Swanson (Special Ed)
  • Room 57: Gunn (Art)
  • Room 49: (Computer Lab)
  • Girls’ Room


  • Room 46: Varga (4th grade)
  • Room 48: Dunbar (Sp. Lang.)
  • Room 50: Kazlauskas (1st grade)
  • Room 52: Monahan (1st grade)
  • Room 54: Vollmer (Kinder)
  • Room 56: Dievert (Kinder)
  • Room 1: Perry (Kinder)
  • Room 53: Sommer/Swanson (Special Ed)
  • Room 57: Gunn (Art)
  • Room 49: (Computer Lab)
  • Girls’ Room


  • Room 46: Varga (4th grade)
  • Room 48: Dunbar (Sp. Lang.) (identified as a “Language Pathologist” by Ms. Lafferty)
  • Room 50: Kazlauskas (1st grade)
  • Room 52: Monahan (1st grade)
  • Room 54: Vollmer (Kinder)
  • Room 56: Janet Walker & Eileen Cullen (Preschool) with Judy Silverlight (Speech Pathologist)
  • Room 1: Perry (Kinder)*
  • Room 53: ?? Other preschool classroom?
  • Room 57: Gunn (Art)
  • Room 49: (Computer Lab)
  • Girls’ Room

Ugly wall

Simple arithmetic. Here’s how it adds up:

  • Northeast Corridor
    • In 2010, the Northeast Corridor was devoting 2 rooms to special/intervention education, with 2 special /intervention teachers.
    • By 2012, the same corridor was devoting 4 rooms to special/intervention education with 8 special/intervention teachers.
  • Eastern Corridor
    • In 2010, the Eastern Corridor was devoting 1 room to special/intervention education, with 2 special /intervention teachers.
    • By 2012, the same corridor was devoting 2 rooms to special/intervention education with 2 special/intervention teachers.

In other words, the spatial and professional investment in special needs education had more than doubled in three years just within these two corridors of Sandy Hook Elementary.

That’s impressive, but there’s more. Ms. Lafferty spun off a list of reading intervention teachers in her August 2012 newsletter, including Diane Dennis, Laura Feinstein, Meg Horn, and Sandy Zuccarello. While these are all familiar names from previous years (although, in 2010-11, Meg Horn had taught 4th grade in Room #62 in the modular wing, not special reading), they add to our number of special/intervention teachers.

And Ms. Lafferty tells us that one more special teacher had been recruited: Lola Aldrich. Giving us a grand total of 15 special/intervention teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012-13. Up from only 7 (if you don’t count Meg Horn) in 2010-11. One could call that a significant transition.

And a preschool, too. Let’s not forget the introduction of a preschool in Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, said (by my source) to be situated in Room #56. Judy Silverlight, a speech pathologist who has since retired, was assigned to the new class. Was this to be a special education preschool? It isn’t clear.

It isn’t clear why a preschool was needed at Sandy Hook Elementary at all, since a very well-established one was/is available practically in the backyard of the school: Children’s Adventure Center  at 14 Riverside Road in Sandy Hook, founded in 1969. But perhaps this preschool lacked qualified special education teachers.

One thing is clear: special abilities will be catered to at the preschool in the new Sandy Hook Elementary School, slated to open this fall, as this letter to parents attests:

“This program offers quality educational services to children who have disabilities and to typically developing peers, also referred to as “Play Partners.” In addition to receiving instruction according to the preschool curriculum, Play Partners provide role modeling to students with special needs. For the 2016-2017 school year, this program is available at a rate of $2000 for a ½ day four-day program.”
 Ugly floorA nagging question. Considering that  Newtown elementary schools open their doors at 9:05 a.m., it seems reasonable to expect that Sandy Hook’s preschool did, too, even on 12-14-12. But if it did – and if the scruffy-looking school was indeed functioning as we have been told in the official story – then where were the little toddlers on that morning?

Perhaps they were there, but Cinderella can’t remember reading anything about them. More to the point, we didn’t see anything about them, as in watching histrionics about them on TV. Imagine mainstream media outlets passing up the opportunity to interview the parents of mere babies traumatized by the event. Imagine them purposely missing out on ratings that twisting the hearts and minds of a willing audience would have brought them.

The problem is, of course, that Cinderella can’t imagine it. Tele-venality being the rule, there would not have been an exception on such a prime occasion.

Perhaps the toddlers weren’t there that day – for strategic reasons.

Who benefits from school planning that favors special needs education? Special needs children, ostensibly. Special education teachers, obviously.  Taxpayers, definitely not. Who is the true beneficiary? Well, you tell me. Here is a site to get you started.

Other reasons. Are there other reasons, besides actual student needs and financial benefits, for schools to favor special needs children over what Newtown schools call “typically developing” schoolchildren? That is the more difficult and, perhaps, more pressing question. Are special needs children more suggestible? More vulnerable? Less likely to question or more likely to fall in line with certain rigid parameters? Easier to move toward compromising situations, such as mental health facilities or, even, prison? Easier to convince that they need government assistance? Easier to train into a state of mindless and helpless obedience?

These are questions, not just for specialists, but for all of us to ponder.