SH: Parking lots that are still talking.

As a writer who sometimes tires of words, I enjoy looking at satellite photos. They tell a story plain and simple like a Grandma Moses painting, with an unadorned, omniscient view of roads, highways, farmland furrows, trees, buildings and parking lots.

Recently, Wolfgang Halbig has been sharing satellite photographs taken over several years of the same view: the acreage encompassing three of Monroe, Connecticut’s public schools: Jockey Hollow Middle School (JHMS);  Fawn Hollow Elementary School (FHES); and the former Chalk Hill Middle School (CHMS).

Let me refresh your memory on the latter.

The perfect replica. In January 2013, Chalk Hill Middle was the school that loaned its classrooms and halls for Newtown’s use as a Sandy Hook Elementary replica , where traumatized Sandy Hook students could continue classes that were interrupted by the event of 12-14-12. “Down to the crayons on the desks,” according to MSM reports, Chalk Hill was modeled into a Sandy Hook Elementary clone. All of this business was portrayed by MSM as an act of community largess.


It seemed bizarre at the time and still does. How could a replica be created on such a short notice? Wouldn’t there have to be numerous code and  safety inspections, a certificate of occupancy, permissions, such things? Work of this nature takes time to process through the bureaucratic machine. Especially considering the poor state Chalk Hill was in at the time.


The little school that couldn’t. In 2010, Chalk Hill Middle was facing some major repair bills, due to broken-down water pipes to its boilers. Roughly half the school was already closed.

By June 2011, the school was no longer open and was off the hands of the Monroe Board of Education and under the control of the town of Monroe, formally turned over to the town on July 1, 2011. Despite an expensive 2010 study by a local architectural firm (Silver, Petrucelli & Associates of Hamden, CT) that recommended either mothballing the school or demolishing it, the town dithered.

Demolition would have raised the specter of hazardous waste, since Chalk Hill Middle was stuffed with asbestos and other toxins, similar to the old Sandy Hook Elementary.  And then a mysterious corner was turned. Chalk Hill was declared “structurally sound” in  2012 and the town of Monroe was actually considering turning it into a community center.

A paper trail. It never happened, but 12-14-12 did, and quite suddenly Chalk Hill was in business again as a school, irrespective of  bad water pipes and asbestos. Then a strange paper trail emerged, suggesting that Chalk Hill was being used to house Sandy Hook students well before the fateful 2012 event.

In March of 2016, Cinderella posted this article on that subject. Some of you might remember it. It’s complicated, and I won’t go into it here. (Do read it, however, if you haven’t already, for a story that supplements this one.)

Wolfgang Halbig was still asking questions about the chummy arrangement between Sandy Hook and Monroe, but no one was talking or answering his persistent FOIA requests for public documents.

Then, after four years of requests, he received satellite photos of Chalk Hill Middle and adjacent school properties, taken over a series of years – 2010 (when the Chalk Hill school was being phased out of use) through 2017 (after the new Sandy Hook Elementary opened and Chalk Hill was no longer needed as a replica school).

If parking lots could talk. The Google Earth satellite photos say a lot about the activity going on in Chalk Hill Middle over the years. Or the lack of activity. And they do so through the parking lots. Take a look. The notes that appear in yellow and orange are Wolfgang Halbig’s, not mine.

#1:  The August 31, 2010 shot below concurs with what we already know: roughly half the Chalk Hill Middle school (CHMS) was closed, so the parking lot is sparsely populated.

{Imagery 2010 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2010 Google }

#2: This March 29, 2012 shot doesn’t correspond with what we already know. By 2011 the school had been CLOSED, and the town was still talking about possibilities for its future use. Below we see that Chalk Hill’s parking lot is full of cars, as if classes were in full swing. Who was there? What were they doing? Remember, this is well before 12-14-12.

{Imagery 2012 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2012 Google }

#3: The shot below, taken on September 19, 2013, reflects what we know about Chalk Hill Middle (CHMS) by this time: It was standing in for the old Sandy Hook Elementary as a “replica” school. As you can see, the parking lot is densely populated.

{Imagery 2013 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2013 Google }

#4: The April 16, 2016 shot below likewise shows an active parking lot at CHMS, as we would expect. Sandy Hook children were still reportedly there, waiting for their new school to open in September 2016.

{Imagery 2016 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2016 Google }

#5: Below is a photo from this year, taken September 23rd. Note that there is little to no activity in the CHMS parking lot, which makes sense, since by then, Sandy Hook students were no longer being educated there.

{Imagery 2017 © DigitalGlobe, Map Data © 2017 Google }

A lot to talk about. Obviously photo #2 is the outlier, telling a story that conflicts with the one MSM told us. It suggests that Chalk Hill Middle school was reopened long before January 2013, when it was reported to have been turned into a Sandy Hook Elementary clone virtually overnight.

For what purpose should it have been opened sooner?

Reach your own conclusions, bearing in mind what Wolfgang Halbig is saying in the quote below:

“I have over 75 Satellite photos that are shot in sequence showing the Chalk Hill Middle School completely  empty. Then you can see starting on 3/29/2012 the Chalk Hill Middle school with over 80 to 100 cars on a daily basis showing up for work. Satellite images show that even before the Dec 14, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that this school is fully operational on a daily basis.”




“Speed dialed” to the scene of the crime.

From International News Daily comes this recent article by James Tracy on Al Barbarotta of AFB Construction Management and Conveo Energy, who transferred furniture from the Sandy Hook Elementary School to Monroe’s Chalk Hill School on Dec. 15, 2012. That’s one day after the alleged shooting. Nice quick work if you can get it.

The article supplies evidence of Barbarotta’s long association with Gov. Dannel Malloy and a history of lucrative contracts awarded to AFB by the State of Connecticut since 1999.

It’s tough to follow the money stream in the Sandy Hook story because there are so many rivulets and tributaries.

Easier to follow the major renovations in bricks, mortar and décor. In January 2013, Chalk Middle School became a miracle of reconstruction when crews reportedly began creating a Sandy Hook Elementary replica “down to the crayons on the desks” within its walls.

From the ABC News article linked in the preceding paragraph (bf itals are mine):

“Teachers photographed their classrooms at Sandy Hook in order to replicate everything about them, from the pictures on the walls to the crayons left on the students’ desks. This is all part of an effort to make the students feel as comfortable as possible.

“Workers completely retrofitted the former middle school to fit the needs of its young students, including tearing out bathrooms that were made for teenagers and rebuilding them for elementary-aged kids.

So, when were the photos taken? After the school had become a crime scene? As for the retrofit, we wonder who was speed-dialed for that contract.


Free lunch breadcrumb trail leads straight to Chalk Hill Middle School.

This post provides evidence that Chalk Hill Middle School of Monroe, Connecticut may have been used as a replica of Sandy Hook Elementary School long before January 2013 – perhaps as early as 2011.

The evidence is found in a breadcrumb trail of free and reduced-rate lunch stats used to calculate high-speed Internet discounts for schools. Newtown’s 2012 paperwork includes Chalk Hill Middle School, whose numbers are identical to that of Sandy Hook Elementary.

Truly glaring – but buried. Fortunately, Cinderella has a shovel as well as a broom.



Wolfgang Halbig has been sending Cinderella some interesting documents about free and reduced-price school lunches. It’s disturbing that even in Newtown nowadays – where you might expect many lunchboxes to contain sushi-on-ice – there are children who need that kind of help.

What’s really interesting is how free lunch eligibility stats are used to calculate how much the school system will be discounted on their use of high-speed Internet services. Did you know this? (Cinderella didn’t.)

Well, it’s true. Go here to read about the USAC E-Rate program. Don’t feel too sorry for those responsible for completing application forms for this type of financial aid. They manage to slog through – the discounts are worth it. The website describes how it pays off:

“Discounts for support depend on the category of service requested, the level of poverty and the urban/rural status of the appropriate school district. Discounts range from 20 percent to 90 percent of the costs of eligible services.”

Poverty stats equate to cheaper Internet access for schools. The concept is simple: the poorer the school’s student population (based on free and reduced-rate lunch eligibility stats) the greater the discount.

It gets more interesting, thanks to Mr. Halbig, whose persistent FOIA requests have likewise begun to pay off.

Mr. Halbig sent me a 21-page document with the title “USAC 471 Application” which he received recently.  It’s dry as a bone and full of bureaucratic parlance. However, it contains a very intriguing breadcrumb trail.

Newtown’s 2012 application. It’s obvious on page 1 that this document concerns Newtown’s 2012 application for an E-Rate discount. Here’s a screen shot of the relevant information:

Screen Shot 1

You’ll have to zoom in: the type is Thumbelina-sized. The relevant information gleaned follows:

  • The billed entity is Newtown Schools.
  • The billed entity’s street address is 3 Primrose Street (where the Newtown Schools’ Board of Education is located).
  • The bill pertains to the entire (Newtown) school district.

Another entity unexpectedly appears. On page 2, Cinderella found something unexpected. Newtown appears to be working with contacts at E-Rate Online’s office at 856 Main Street, Monroe, CT.  Here is the relevant screen shot from page 2:

Screen Shot #2

And it continues on page 3:

Screen Shot #3

And, finally, the breadcrumb trail ends – at Chalk Hill Middle School. On page 4. Below is that page in two screen shots stacked below:

Screen Shot #4

Screen Shot #5

As you can see, we may have a problem here.

Anomaly #1: Our document of interest concerns E-Rate discounts for Newtown Public Schools. Why, then, is Chalk Hill Middle School, which is in Monroe, not Newtown, listed as one of those schools?

You’ll remember that the Chalk Hill Middle School (at 375 Fan Hill Road in Monroe) was allegedly not opened to accommodate Sandy Hook Elementary School students until after the alleged massacre of 12-14-12. Chalk Hill suddenly became “Sandy Hook Elementary” in January 2013. (Go here and here for MSM articles about that.)

E-Rate discount applications must be filed by late April of the school year they’re intended for. (Go here  and scroll down till you see a little gold-colored banner that says the window closes on April 29th.)

So this application was filed, at latest, in April 2012, not December 2012. In 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary students were not supposed to be at Chalk Hill Middle School. They were supposed to be in the icky-sticky brick dungeon that used to be Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Of course, Mr. Halbig, along with many others, has been questioning that all along.

Anomaly #2. Compare the numbers for Sandy Hook Elementary and Chalk Hill Middle School. You will see a striking similarity! Here they are, stacked below:

Screen Shot #6

Screen Shot #7

The numbers are the same. The critical number here seems to be the percentage of children receiving free or reduced-rate lunches. It is exactly the same for both schools: 4.223%. How is this possible?

The numbers for all of the other schools are unique. There is no such striking sameness!  Yet Sandy Hook and Chalk Hill numbers are so completely the same, the schools themselves may as well be the exact same entity.

Could the explanation be that they were the same entity – not only in 2012, but well before that – when these numbers were being collected and compiled? Cinderella quakes with confusion.

Of course, strangest of all is that Chalk Hill Middle School of Monroe should be included in an application for Newtown Public Schools in the first place.

Where were Sandy Hook Elementary students before 12-14-12? Were they already at Chalk Hill Middle School? The evidence above seems to be pointing to that possibility while jumping up and down and shouting.

To take that suggestion seriously, let’s consider whether Chalk Hill Middle School was in any condition to house students before January 2013, when it rolled out a red carpet and reportedly began creating a Sandy Hook Elementary replica “down to the crayons on the desks” within its walls.

  • Chalk Hill Middle is much younger (built in 1969) than Sandy Hook Elementary (built in 1956).
  • By 2010, the school was about to lose students to nearby STEM Academy (by design, it seems) and was facing expensive repairs to systems: Broken-down underground water pipes to the boilers, for one. To save money (about $500,000 per year) and trouble, while putting off major repairs, Monroe Public Schools was considering decommissioning Chalk Hill. (Go here for details.)
  • By November 2010, fifth graders had reportedly already been moved out of Chalk Hill (half the school was closed) to Jockey Hollow Middle and there was more talk about “mothballing” the school.
  • By December 2010, the Monroe Schools Superintendent was proposing a one-year closure of the school to save the reported $15MM it would have taken to bring the building’s systems up to par.
  • By December 30, 2010, Monroe was looking at a report by Silver, Petrucelli & Associates of Hamden, CT, an architectural and engineering firm in Hamden. Here is the cover of the report that Mr. Halbig sent Cinderella:

Cover of report

  • The 55-page report vetted three options:
    • Mothballing the school
    • Mothballing the upper floors and keeping the basement open to house the school’s IT department
    • Demolishing the school
  • The report recommended mothballing the school to”preserve the structure for future use”  (p. 7) as a lower cost option. Demolition would have involved significant costs ($1.9MM) due to the presence of a great deal of asbestos and other toxic materials.
  • According to local media, by June 2011, the school was no longer open and was under the control of the town of Monroe, not the Monroe Board of Education. Mr. Halbig told Cinderella that the Superintendent of Monroe Public Schools said that Chalk Hill Middle School was formally turned over to the town of Monroe on July 1, 2011.
  • The town was no longer seriously considering demolition because the building was judged “structurally sound.” In fact, the possibility of turning it into a community center was still on the table.
  • Then 12-14-12 happened and suddenly Chalk Hill Middle was standing ready with cloned Sandy Hook Elementary décor.

Was the school “mothballed” or wasn’t it? It isn’t clear from the MSM reports Cinderella has read. That may be intentional.

Where there are crumbs, a school lunch has likely been eaten. There appear to be crumbs all over Chalk Hill Middle School, if the USAC document is to be believed.

What do you think? Where do you think Sandy Hook Elementary students were during that critical time (2008-2012) when the Wayback Machine ferret was no longer sniffing at the Sandy Hook school URL?

Cinderella was amused by the idea that they were all being harbored at Newtown Youth Academy. See the post here. What a funny idea that was!

But funny does not a good hypothesis make. Facts, such as those in the USAC document, rival a good joke any day, such as the one that may have been played on us all.

Crumbs, dear readers, crumbs. Stick to the crumbs.