Sandy Hook: Reviewing primary facts in the wake of Parkland.

Now that analysis of the Parkland school shooting is in full swing – with a full spate of anomalies and CNN anti-second-amendment propaganda – I thought it might be useful to review basic Sandy Hook facts – a “primer” as it is called by the person (“Duke Reichert”) who compiled it. It was posted on July 8, 2014.

Since the primer is on Duke Reichert’s FB page, and many of my readers understandably refuse to subscribe to FB, I have reproduced it below. It never hurts to review.

Pay attention to the list of the post-event disappeared, resigned and dead at the end of this primer. Will a similar “hit list” follow on the heels of Parkland? Or are there now too many awakened observers for the shadow government to pick off one by one? ~C.

[Duke Reichert Primer begins here]

Sandy Hook Key Facts: A Primer for Waking People UP

By Duke Reichert’s Research

1. No fingerprints removed from the car Lanza was driving. Yet, he was not wearing gloves.

2. Two AAA Cards were located in the Lanza home. A call to AAA tells us that BOTH of those cards were in the name “Ryan Lanza”- even the one that SAYS Adam Lanza. Each card had a different member ID ***-*****-***-8 and ***-*****-***-9.

3. When asked by press, the CME (chief med examiner) H. Wayne Carver stated that “Yes, the long gun was used” referring to the fact that the AR15 was the murder weapon of the victims in the school. However, NO rifle was found in the school. 4 handguns were. The rifle was in the trunk of the vehicle parked in front of the school.

4. Trauma helicopters were not called to the scene. They were offered, by LifeStar Services, according to the police report and police radio transactions, and the officers stated that they were to ‘stand down.’

5. In a similar fashion, no paramedics or ambulances were ‘called in’. Some arrived on scene, but NO MEDICAL STAFF was allowed in the school. Parts of the report show that the officers got radio transmissions asking if ambulances were needed and the same stand-down order was issued. Several officials, police officers, and even victim’s father Lenny Pozner indicated that the reason for this is to ‘avoid unnecessary traumatization of EMTs who should not have to see carnage if possible.’

6. The black Honda Civic we were first told was registered to a Chris Rodia (petty larcenist offender and also string of drug charges); but then it was reported that was an error and a miscommunication in officer radio transimssion, (Rodia was actually pulled over in a town 30 mins away, Greenwich CT, that morning, and officers said the radio somehow ‘picked up’ that transmission when the ‘wires got crossed’. We were then told the car was registered to Nancy Lanza, Adam’s mother.

7. The car’s 4 doors were all open in front of the school and black sweatshirts were strewn on the ground around the car. How does this match with the lone gunman scenario?

8. We were told that the school principal installed new security systems in the school that year (2012). FOIA requests have returned since then and have determined that the security system was installed in 2006 and there have been no requests for service, or upgrades, since that year.

9. Sally Cox, school nurse for 15 years, said that Nancy Lanza was a kindergarten teacher at the school for 15 years. A quote from her as reported by the MSM is as follows: “She was a loving, caring, and absolutely wonderful kindergarten teacher. The type of teacher you would want working with your 5 year old children.” We were then told by the MSM that officials stated that Cox’s statement was not accurate and she made a mistake. That Nancy Lanza never worked or volunteered in the school, and that she was in fact, never a teacher there, or anywhere else.

10. DNA in Lanza home on 1.)Christmas card addressed to Sandy Hook elementary school students and 2.) on .22caliber cartridges returned a hit for a NY Offender in the National DNA database of offenders. WHOSE DNA IS THAT? Why is this investigation closed if this DNA exists? Why did no one report on this relatively huge piece of evidence?

11. Adam Lanza was described as being 6′ tall, and weighing 110 lbs. I am 4’11 and I weigh 110 lbs. I cannot imagine how skinny and frail “Adam” must have been, and yet, as you can see in the attached screen shot, in addition to carrying the 60 lbs of gear he was said to carry into the school that day, he also then “piled bodies 2 and 3 high” after he shot them, before turning the weapon on himself. (Which leads us to the next issue)

12. The police report states that Lanza’s hands were handcuffed behind his back,
Attachment titled “Western”. Shows that Adam Lanza, CONTRARY TO MSM AND “Official reports” was NEVER enrolled in classes at Western (WCSU).

13. Mary Sherlach, school psychologist, was a victim of Sandy Hook, who was murdered on December 12, 2012. However, miraculously, in January 2013 she renewed her certification for 5 years.

Are these not shocking? Bizarre? Concerning?

Mysterious Missing People, Deaths, Retirements, and Resignations:

The People of Sandy Hook Flee, or are Taken Out

1. William Podgorski, State Cop, 49 @ Yale Medical (Sudden, unexplained death June 16, 2014)
2. Michael Bellmore, journalist, 27 @ Yale Medical (Sudden, unexplained death May 3, 2014)
3. Joann June Egletes, @ Yale Medical, paralegal at Pinsky Law where 1 and only lawsuit was filed, immediately pulled though, 53 (Sudden, unexplained death September 21, 2013)
4. Robert Hoagland, Newtown Real Estate Appraiser, 50 @disappeared (kidnapped) from his front yard in Sandy Hook on July 28, 2013. Interesting case because similar to Phillip Marshall (9/11 Truther, murder/suicided 2 kids, family dog, self, in California in Feb.2013, while his wife was on a 2 week vacation in Turkey), Hoagland’s wife was ALSO on a 2 week vacation in Turkey at the time of his disappearance. Just sayin’.
5. Reuben Bradford (State Police Commissioner) Retired and Moved away June 2014
6. Danny Stebins (State Police Incident Commander Sandy Hook) Retired and moved away June 2014
7. Lt. George Sinko (active during the whole incident, trained at Quantico for the 10 weeks just prior to SH) retired June 2014 at age 49
8. CT US Attorney David Fein, 52, resigned May 13, 2013.
9. Adam Heller, 35, tenured teacher in NY State, detained, committed to psyc ward, fired from teaching for questioning Sandy Hook in the iPhone app Instant Message communication “Words with Friends”. Is suing for his job back. FBI and local officers showed up at his house and said they found that he was “talking conspiratorially and owned weapons he purchased since Sandy Hook and that made him a terrorist threat”. He had an impeccable teaching record, never mentioned Sandy Hook at school to students, was a great teacher, no trouble with mental health, substance abuse, or the law prior.
10. Louis DeCarlo Stamford Police Commissioner who was best friends with Governor Dannel Malloy, as stated by each of them many times over the past few years, and who was involved in making statements about Sandy Hook after the shooting despite being retired. DeCarlo was found “dead in apparent suicide” in his driveway of a gunshot wound to the head at age 71 in June 2014.…/Former-Stamford-police-ch…

There are likely more but this is where I’m at with my list so far.

[Duke Reichert Primer ends here]


FBI releases Swiss cheese on Sandy Hook.

Why would the FBI release three heavily redacted PDFs on the Sandy Hook event of 12-14-12 — this week?

If they’re attempting to beguile or distract the public, they scored a zero. The documents contain more white space than an empty mental asylum in Newtown.

Click here for the PDFs.

There are some interesting if useless segments in Part 1. Take a look.


SH: A crystal-clear analysis by James Fetzer.

For those still having trouble understanding where the Sandy Hook narrative departs from real-life facts and evidence, Cinderella recommends this Real Deal video from Prof. James Fetzer.

  • Learn about signs of the school having been mothballed long before the event
  • Partake in a lesson on photographic “staging” and ruminate over the lack of evidence of any evacuation of the 400+ students from the school
  • Wonder at the bizarre absence of a Medivac helicopter
  • Explore the absence of emergency vehicles at the school itself ; such vehicles (and not many) were present only at the firehouse
  • Scratch your head over why trained EMTs were denied access to the school
  • Rehash the claims of the modern-day jester, Gene Rosen, while examining the “EVERYONE MUST CHECK IN” sign looming in the background
  • Witness the mysteriously present Port-A-Potties at the so-called crime scene along with bottled water and pizza in abundance in the adjacent firehouse
  • Ponder Social Security Death Index anomalies
  • See parents happily toting toddlers to the so-called crime scene
  • Ask yourself why badges on lanyards, worn by those in attendance, have color codes that correspond to those designated for a FEMA drill
  • Examine excerpts from a FEMA drill planned for 12/13/12
  • Imagine yourself climbing through a shard-edged hole in the SH front entrance, as 16 police troopers swore they did in succession, without one of them opening the nearby door for the next in line
  • Review coroner Wayne Carver’s bizarre statements concerning Newtown
  • Ask yourself how an allegedly metal-averse young man with Asperger’s syndrome could handle a Bushmaster with so much efficiency and speed that 20 children were each shot three to eleven times, as alleged by Wayne Carver
  • Where are the fingerprints on the rifle allegedly used to kill Nancy Lanza? Ponder why the official report (by Atty. Stephen Sedensky) admits that there were none to be found (highly unusual in a murder-suicide); yet DNA from an alleged felon from another state was found on a shell casing
  • Sedensky opposed the release of the 911 calls – Why?
  • Ask yourself why the names, ages and sex of the alleged victims are left out of the final report by Connecticut officials
  • Ask yourself why the clerk of Newtown entered into a secret agreement with the state legislature to avoid releasing death certificates to the press
  • Ask yourself, please, why those involved in the demolition of the school were required to sign lifetime gag orders about anything they saw or did not see
  • And pause a minute to reflect on why Obama administration officials told a school safety expert in California that the SH event was a FEMA drill and nobody died

The compilation of these and many more basic facts is available free of charge and, as a bonus, you can learn about the similarly fraudulent underpinnings of the Boston Marathon massacre.

May God save us all from the ignorance that keeps us enslaved on this wicked planet. And, lacking our own faculties or suffering from their erosion, may we be humble enough to follow the clear-sighted deductive reasoning of those with disciplined, astute minds and respect for the truth, no matter what conclusions, consequences and brain-shock we must suffer.

Fraud vitiates all records, all accounts, all claims of “just following orders.”

“The greatest charity one can do to another is to lead him to the truth.” ~Thomas Aquinas


Cinderella’s Fake News Forum: #1

Occasionally, Cinderella will be posting items on the Sandy Hook 12-14-12 Event that give you, the reader, a chance to exercise your wits in determining whether or not a news story or social media item (posts, Tweets and messages) is true or false.

Most will be small items not previously closely examined in the continuing Sandy Hook narrative. Some may seem trivial to the point of pettiness, but Cinderella has found that many tiny hanging threads eventually unravel a whole sweater, especially if the sweater is cheaply made.

We’re calling these little threads Cinderella’s Fake News Forum. Cinderella will do her best to provide  background, research and commentary to aid you in your reality check journey. As always, feel free to ferret out more facts on your own and share them with us.

News Item #1: Tweet by Erica L. Lafferty, December 6, 2016.


In the item above, Erica L. Lafferty asserts that she dressed the post-mortem, bullet-riddled body of her mother, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, for her funeral. True? False? Let’s examine some of the facts.

The body. This is the central point. If someone says she “dressed” a body, the casual listener automatically assumes there is a body to be dressed. Not necessarily. Click here for a host of reasons why this may not be true. Click here for information on how corpses can be faked. And click here for another interesting article on a similar subject.

The dress. According to this source (New York Daily News), Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung had an open casket funeral on December 19, 2012 – five days after the Sandy Hook Event – in which her reported body wore “a green silk dress and black cardigan.” So Ms. Lafferty is ostensibly referring to this particular dress and sweater in her Tweet.

The funeral. We are told in this article (Washington Post) that Mrs. Hochsprung’s funeral took place at the Munson-Lovetere Funeral Home in Woodbury, Connecticut. By Connecticut state law, Munson-Lovetere would be the party responsible for handling the death certificate and all subsequent matters concerning the body. (See The law, below.)

The reported body’s transfer. After the funeral, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung’s reported body was transported over state lines to Halgas Funeral Home in Broadalbin, New York, and was buried a day later (12-20-14) in the Broadalbin Union Mills Cemetery. You can read about such facts and the evidence supporting them here. Note that the town clerk of Broadalbin, with whom we spoke by phone in October 2016, expressed bewilderment as to why she does not have a death certificate or burial transport permit in her files for Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung.

The law. What does the State of Connecticut have to say about transporting, cleansing and dressing dead bodies? Well, quite a lot actually. From this official Connecticut Judicial Branch website, we found these passages (most relevant language in my bf italics):

“Connecticut law requires a licensed funeral director or embalmer to be involved in a number of ways throughout the burial or cremating process including the death certificate; removal, burial and transit permits; removal of the body; and transporting, washing, and wrapping of the dead body.

“PREPARATION AND TRANSPORTATION OF DEAD BODIES / Public Acts enacted in 2007 (PAs 07-104, amended by PA 07- 252) established requirements for transporting, handling, and cleansing dead bodies. These acts set out a number of specific requirements addressing how a dead body must be transported, washed, embalmed, wrapped, and disinfected. The law also prohibits an embalmer or funeral director from removing a dead body from the place of death to another location for preparation until the body has been temporarily wrapped (CGS § 19a-91(a), (b)).”

Of course, the State of Connecticut doesn’t have a spotless record in enforcing its laws where funeral directors/embalmers are concerned.  Here is one egregious example.

The procedure. Dressing a dead body is no picnic for the squeamish and hyper-sensitive. All the more so if the dead body is, as Erica claimed, riddled with bullets. That is because certain things must happen first that only a professional is fully equipped to handle. A post-mortem examination in the case of murder victims, for instance, then transport to a qualified funeral home. If embalmed, the body must be bathed, drained of blood, infused with chemicals and bathed once more. The eyes must be fitted with “eye caps” to hold them closed. Makeup is applied to the face. And while family members are called upon to supply the clothing, they don’t normally dress the body.

For obvious reasons, in most circumstances, families leave the cleaning, draining and dressing to the professionals, and are required to do so by certain states.

But there are some hardy do-it-yourselfers for whom such a task might be an experiential adventure. They step out of their normal milieu, perform tasks for which they aren’t qualified, then mount the podium to tell others all about it. George Plimpton, for instance. Remember him?

The bullets. Erica doesn’t tell us how many bullets riddled her mother’s body. Yet, if the murder happened as has been alleged, surely she knows this fact. It seems odd that, to our knowledge, this detail has never been disclosed by someone so personally invested in the authenticity of the Sandy Hook event and the issue of gun control.

On the day of the shooting, Dawn Hochsprung herself was reported by the Newtown Bee to have said that the shots fired were “more than she could count,” and went “on and on.” The statement was retracted by the Bee three days later as an error. But the cache date on the article (12-13-12) told a different story. (Click here and here.)

It should be stated that the exact number of bullet wounds are recorded somewhere in the autopsy report; however, in Connecticut, such data are not available to the general public without the written consent of a family member or a court order.

Key questions.

  • Was there a dead body belonging to Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung?
  • If so, was it dressed by her daughter Erica L. Lafferty or not?

If your answer to one or both of these questions is, “No” or “I’m not sure,” then you should pursue the Sandy Hook matter further on your own through as many sources as are available to you. Cinderella’s Broom is the least of these. Here is another. And another. And another. And another. And another. And on and on and on and on it goes, more by now than we can count.


Infowars revisits Sandy Hook.


Erica Lafferty, daughter of former SHES principal, Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung, apparently does not appreciate what Mr. Jones and others have said about Sandy Hook. In this USA Today article, she lobbies for President-elect Trump to denounce those who deny the “fact” of the Sandy Hook massacre. Ms. Lafferty writes: “We cannot normalize fact-denying behavior.” And she states that theories questioning the “fact” of the Sandy Hook massacre are “antithetical to our shared values.”

A brief history of missing roofs, windows, systems and time.

In a castle long ago, Cinderella had an old roof that needed new shingles.

She hired a carpenter to install the shingles, but aloft and unobserved, he cut a hole through the roof. It sprang a leak that damaged the ceiling, and soon the walls streamed with water that came through the hole that the carpenter had cut in the roof that needed re-shingling.

The carpenter said, “I’ll fix that roof, but first, looks like you need a new ceiling and brand new walls.”

But while fixing the ceiling, he shattered a window with the ladder he’d brought, and on his way out, he damaged a door and tore out a cornice, which fell on a mirror and cracked it.

And the roof was never re-shingled. (Cinderella has had a car like this, too.) What began with a secret hole ended in bills, legal parries and, ultimately, an abandoned castle.

The never-ending, shape-shifting repair budget. The old Sandy Hook Elementary school was a lot like Cinderella’s castle. Needs were acknowledged; at one time, needs may have been met. But after all the many things that were said and projected and analyzed, nothing much in recent history seems to have been accomplished.

In sum: Too many change orders. Not enough change. Or, at least, not the kind we were expecting.

Good intentions were stated. But in place of actual activity was a kind of talking, planning, analysis and budgeting ritual. Meantime, decades-old roofs, windows, HVAC and phone systems, shelves, wall tile, floors and paving aged and moldered and rotted and sagged and became obsolete.

No wonder, then, that the school appeared as it did in December 2012. Tacky and pocked, with nearly every corridor and hinge in need of serious attention. Non-ADA compliant, out of money and out of time. Click here to see it through the unforgiving eye of a forensic camera.

To a discerning eye, the school looks decades past its prime – likely shuttered well before 12-14-12. Many, including Cinderella, have seen merit in this conjecture.

Empty of schoolchildren, the Sandy Hook Elementary school would have made the perfect setting for a lone shooter FEMA drill. Or a data storage facility. Or something.

But … what?

The building: A remembrance of things past. Some high and low points in Sandy Hook Elementary’s building repair history deserve a careful review. A few of the items below were once substantiated in the Newtown Bee, but recently the Bee has removed or reset (“memory-holed”) the articles. See my article on “memory holes” here. Note that the items for 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2013 were well-documented in the Fellowship of the Minds blog here.

1956: The original Sandy Hook Elementary school was built on Dickinson Drive in Newtown, CT.

1957-1963: Cinderella found much about Elvis and the Beatles, but nothing about Sandy Hook Elementary. That is a project for another day.

1964: An addition was built onto the original school.

1965-1991: Fishing for news about the Sandy Hook Elementary school building during these three decades is a project Cinderella hopes to undertake at some future time. For now, here’s a 1970 article about a new $7000 well that had to be dug for the school due to a silt problem. (Reed Intermediate would have silt problems of its own decades later. History repeats.)

well at sandy hook school, top

1992 or 1993: Yet another Sandy Hook Elementary addition was built. (Cinderella found conflicting information on the year.)

2000: Four portable classrooms were added. In the Sandy Hook Elementary school  2010 handbook, this is the last of three additions mentioned.

2002: Consulting Engineering Services recommended to Newtown schools that Sandy Hook Elementary be “worked on in 2010 over a nine-month period” to upgrade and renovate its heating and ventilation system. Newtown Bee  memory-holed the link to the original article, but here is the quote Cinderella found in her old files:

“Sandy Hook School was also built in three sections — 1956, 1964, and 1993. It is being recommended by CES to be worked on in 2010 over a nine-month period. It is estimated to cost $4.5 million for heating and ventilation and $400,000 for air conditioning. The design of the school, the shape of a square, poses problems for efficient ventilation. It has hot air heat and heat coil in the ductwork, according to Mr Posca. The ventilation system is noisy in the library, which also does not have air conditioning and becomes quite warm. The school’s computer lab is in the library.”

Cinderella could find nothing to indicate this work was ever actually begun or completed.

2003: Newtown was toying with the possibility of “landbanking” acreage in the southeastern portion of town to use for a new elementary school. The reason: Sandy Hook Elementary school had an enrollment level that was 30% higher than the other elementary schools. ( See p. 10 here.) Note what’s in the southeastern part of Newtown: Fairfield Hills. (Also note the funny captioning typo on p. 9 here! Hawley Elementary is captioned as “Sandy Hook Elementary School.”)

There is no mention of the possible $4-5 million investment in Sandy Hook Elementary’s HVAC system, discussed in the previous year. It was apparently supplanted by the “landbanking” idea.

2004: Newtown Board of Education was told “there were serious problems with the Sandy Hook elementary school roof.” (Note that the link to the original report in Newtown Bee has been memory-holed.)

2005-2007: Cinderella looks forward to a time when she can fish and find Sandy Hook building history for these years.

2008:  Newtown Schools Superintendent John Reed made statements about asbestos in various Newtown public schools. Cinderella found his remarks from the now memory-holed  Newtown Bee article in her files:

“The asbestos levels in Newtown schools pose no threat to the health or safety of those using the schools, according to Superintendent John Reed. The areas in the schools where there is evidence of asbestos — the ceiling above the high school pool, areas of the upstairs floor of the Middle School A wing and the girls’ and boys’ locker rooms, are also considered acceptable and safe.”

But despite this breezy analysis, in Sandy Hook Elementary school’s case, the presence of asbestos would be confirmed in 2013, when the decision was made to raze the school due to serious hazmat issues. (See 2013 below.)

2008-2009: Cinderella could find no evidence of Sandy Hook building improvements during 2008 or 2009 where pertinent reports, if any exist, might be expected to appear here or here.

It was during 2008 that Sandy Hook Elementary’s website URL showed signs of inactivity according to the Wayback Machine. It attracted strong Wayback Machine interest from 2001-2007,  then got no Wayback attention  for a long time: four years, from early 2008 through 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. (Go here and look at item 5, then see the Wayback results here.) Then the Wayback Machine started noticing it again in 2013.

2010: Dawn Lafferty Hochsprung began her short term as principal of Sandy Hook Elementary school. She and others produced a handbook for parents and students. The front cover of the handbook features an old sketch of the school, with the address “Dickinson Drive” beneath it. There is no mention in this handbook of the $4.5 million upgrade recommended in 2002. Nor is there any mention of a roof repair. And, of course, the word “asbestos” doesn’t appear. However, see page 16, top, for info on the emergency phone system:

“EMERGENCY PHONE SYSTEM An automated notification system has been designed to alert parents to an emergency (unexpected) school closing. If an emergency situation occurs and Sandy Hook students are to be returned home at a time earlier than usual, the automated system will be implemented and parents / emergency contacts notified.” Interesting.

In June 2010, Newtown Schools allotted a modest expenditure ($25,000) for Sandy Hook Elementary’s building and site improvements in the approved budget. (See page 86, here.) Curiously, the items included HVAC for the computer room ($10,000), but zero for the classrooms, as the chart below shows:

2010 Sandy Hook building cost

Why would the computer room and portables merit more attention than, say, the Sandy Hook Elementary roof? Or the scruffy hallways, rotting wood and water-stained ceilings?

The total Newtown Schools building expenditure for 2010 (all schools) was $242,000. (See page 86, here.)

2011: In May 2011, a budget was passed that allotted Sandy Hook Elementary school a grand total of $0 for building maintenance during the 2011-2012 year. Yes, you read that correctly: Zilch. You can read about it in detail in Cinderella’s article here.

However, the budget also included a 5-year capital plan, during which Sandy Hook Elementary was to receive $369,500 – eventually, in installments, for building improvements. The biggest item? A $100k cafeteria roof. Not a new roof for the whole school, but a “cafetorium roof.” Take a look at the diagram below (upper right, with my added red arrow) to see how very small that roof would have been if the work had ever actually been done (to my knowledge, it wasn’t):

Sandy Hook Floor PLan, 2011

On pages 72-74 of the same document, you can read about the abysmal condition of many of the items slated for repair at Sandy Hook Elementary and other Newtown schools.

2012. In March this  appears, truly one of the oddest documents to emerge in this timeline. Dated March 6, 2012, it’s an ad hoc committee’s recommendation for closing down a school in Newtown, based on 2009 declining enrollment projections by a “Dr. Chung.”

Around and around the committee went, entertaining various “consolidation” and closing scenarios. Closing Sandy Hook Elementary was one option, but it was rejected, along with two other schools that weren’t ADA-compliant. The logic seems to have been that an ADA-compliant school is a better choice for a shutdown – because it could more easily be reopened if enrollments were to go up again.

Head O’Meadow school emerges as the favored school for a shutdown. But in the end, it’s rejected in favor of closing Reed Intermediate. The reason seems to be that closing Reed would reap the biggest cost savings: $3 million per year.

The committee also recommended that the Board begin the process of a shutdown once elementary enrollments drop to 1,500.

And yet. In the same month (March 2012), this little item appears: The Sandy Hook Connection. You can read about it in my post, “One School, One Reed,” here. Cute, whimsical, blithe, it announces that a Sandy Hook event (a sock hop) is to be held at Reed Intermediate. Why?

In August 2012, Sharon Epple, Reed Intermediate’s principal, leaves for greener pastures. Why? Was she convinced that Reed would be closing?

Then, on October 16, 2012: The Board of Education holds a public meeting at 3 Primrose Street. (See it here.) It reminds Cinderella of the famous tea party – in Lewis Carroll’s  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 


(Image above used with permission)

Suddenly a $600,000 expenditure is being discussed to replace the Sandy Hook school’s windows — slated for 2016. (See page 53, here.) Yet, nothing is mentioned about replacing the cafeteria roof, an item earmarked for future funding in the 2011 budget. It’s almost as if the Newtown Board had taken off in a tardis and landed in a different region of the multiverse. Or, like the Mad Hatter, it became stuck in time. Newtime.

(In the 2011-2012 budget nothing was mentioned – at all – about the Sandy Hook windows. Nothing.)

If the vintage 1956 windows are as bad as they say (see p. 53 here), why wait until 2016 to repair them? And why were they never mentioned in the 2011-12 budget? All of a sudden, they are the focus, for $600,000, nearly twice the amount Sandy Hook was to have received over a 5-year period in the 2011-12 budget. Why?

The closing of Head O’ Meadow school and, possibly, Reed Intermediate is also discussed. (See pp 56-57 here.) And this provokes confusion and distress among the poor parents who attended, beginning on page 56. Here are a few of their remarks:

  • If we close a school, where will those funds be used?
  • Will the process be made public?
  • We had a $1.3M surplus, and none came to education.
  • There is no proof it is necessary to close a school. Besides the loss of flexibility of space and large class sizes, we would lose talented staff.
  • All schools should be ADA-compliant.
  • Parents should be involved in the decision.

On December 10, 2012: At a Newtown Board of Finance meeting, the Newtown Schools superintendent Janet Robinson leads a discussion about decreasing enrollment in Newtown’s elementary schools and the possibility of a school closing. (Click here.) But there’s no specific mention of Sandy Hook Elementary school’s physical plant.

Then December 14, 2012 happened, changing everything forever.

2013:  On Oct. 5, 2013, nearly 10 months after the 12-14-12 event, Newtown passed a referendum to demolish and rebuild Sandy Hook Elementary with a $49.25 million grant from the state of Connecticut. The reason for the demolition:  “asbestos abatement.” (Note that the link to the original report in Newtown Bee has been memory-holed.)

Then, on Dec. 2, 2013, Newtown’s Public Building and Site Commission Chairman Robert Mitchell justified the approved demolition with a report, saying that “had the town decided to reoccupy the school on Dickinson Drive, it would have faced a daunting and possibly insurmountable challenge regarding the presence of hazardous materials.” The school was found to be contaminated by asbestos as well as PCBs. (Note that all of the links above to original reports in Newtown Bee have been memory-holed.)


Well after 2008 – when asbestos became an issue in Newtown schools – Sandy Hook Elementary was still being discussed and treated as an active school facility.

It had a school handbook with a calendar, bus regulations and an alleged emergency phone system. Its physical plant was still in the budget – though just barely. In the March 2012 ad hoc committee recommendation, it was considered and rejected for mothballing precisely because it wasn’t ADA-compliant. Because if it ever had to be reopened, it would be harder to upgrade than, say, Head O’Meadow Elementary or Reed Intermediate.

If Sandy Hook Elementary was still a functioning school complex in 2012, then it was operating without a known school website URL. It was operating despite problems with ventilation, roofing, asbestos and PCBs, not to mention severely worn-out finishes. And it was operating in defiance of the ADA. As one Newtown parent put it, “All schools should be ADA-compliant.”

If it was still a functioning school in 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary wasn’t providing a healthy environment for children. Given Newtown’s financial and other difficulties, which Cinderella explored here, perhaps we can understand the ever-shifting budget. The confused and confusing decisions. The refusal to follow through on recommended repairs. The endlessly revolving planning game. What we cannot understand is why small children should be forced to pay the price.

If it was still a functioning school, Sandy Hook Elementary was on the verge of costing Newtown taxpapers quite a lot of cabbage: $600,000 worth of windows, perhaps in addition to the $369,500 approved in 2011 for the 5-year capital plan. (Of course, other schools would be costing even more.) Was Sandy Hook Elementary the actual school selected for shutdown? Because everyone knows it did shut down – on 12-14-12 – while all of the other Newtown schools have remained open.

If, on the other hand, Sandy Hook Elementary was an empty, aging hulk in 2012, where were the 454 children being educated instead? Cinderella has speculated on this subject here and here. She hasn’t yet exhausted all the possibilities.

And one more If. If Sandy Hook wasn’t used for teaching K-4 schoolchildren around the time of the 12-14-12 event, then just what was it being used for? Was it merely a dingy and drafty cave? If so, why spend anything on it at all?

Remember, there was a $0 building improvement budget for the school in 2011-2012.

But not so in 2010-2011. The last known improvements were:

  • Painting and repairing the portables ($10k)
  • Repairing the skyshades ($5k), and
  • Adding HVAC to the computer room ($10k)

Is this significant? If so, what does it tell us?


This post has been written to aid others in their exploration of these questions. Cinderella has her own theories, but cannot prove them at this time. Therefore, she leaves the answers to the patient, probing and capable minds of her readers. ~ C.










History: Bad news and big dues for Newtown.

Cinderella decided to take a look at the Newtown Board of Education budget for the 2011-2012 school year. The budget, approved on 5-17-11, was for $67,971,427, with an increase of 1.16%.

Mind-numbing and eye-straining though it was, Cinderella’s search turned up anomalies characteristic of the Sandy Hook saga.

There are strange divergences, with numbers bouncing all over the place so that the two budget documents still available for perusal would almost seem to be for two totally different towns.

What follows is a sampling of line-item weirdness from the 2011-12 school year. It isn’t possible to point out all of the oddities in these documents, so I’ve chosen to focus on only a few.

As always, if a dear reader can offer a better explanation or analysis, please share. Cinderella wholly supports free, open-source information – and isn’t afraid to admit her silly mistakes!

Bad News: “The Superintendent’s Estimate of Expenditures for 2011-2012.” Click hereThis is likely the January 2011 version of the budget that was passed in May 2011, but it isn’t dated, so we don’t know exactly when it was entered into the public record.

The initial ask was for a 5.76% increase. That is breathtaking. But this document doesn’t actually cough up the exact figure. Ultimately, the ask gets scaled back to a 1.16% increase.

So for the purpose of simplicity, let’s just focus on building and maintenance issues and ignore staffing and other matters that came up the same year. (If anyone would like to delve into other issues, please have at it – all hands on deck.)

Bad News lists the following long-term school maintenance costs on page 39:

Bad News - Long-term Maintenance

Sandy Hook is slated for $197,500 of expenditures for maintenance in 2011-12, but only $24,500 (“status quo”) was being spent on Sandy Hook’s maintenance needs presumably at the time of the report.

Note that Hawley can anticipate receiving $98,500 in 2011-12 in this version.

And the system-wide total for 2011-12 long-term maintenance items is: $815,500. (The term “system-wide” here seems to be a sum, not a reference to grounds or shared buildings.)

Bad News just gets badder and less specific. On page 38, it lists a goal of $2.5 million in maintenance and restoration projects for schools over a  five-year period, without itemizing costs.

How did the Superintendent arrive at this number? It must have been a guesstimate.

Big Dues: “Newtown Schools Board of Education Approved Budget for the 2011-2012 School Year.” Click here.  This is the BOE budget that was passed in May 2011.

See page 47 for a very different building maintenance chart from the one in the previous budget proposal. The numbers, in fact, except for Reed, might be for an entirely different school district:Building and Maintenance chart from BOE 2011-2012Sandy Hook Elementary gets naught for 2011-12. Zero, as in $0! (How can you not do any maintenance at all on an elderly school? Unless, of course, it isn’t being used.) The other elementary schools are likewise shunned, except for Hawley, which collects a respectable $31,000. Not as good as Bad News, but something.

However, the “total” for 2011-2012 is only $96,500, delaying or deleting quite a bit of the maintenance pain that Bad News proposed ($815,500) for 2011-12.

But Big Dues also includes a five-year capital plan for all Newtown schools. See page 74 for the total cost for all Newtown schools: $3,237,500. 

That’s a significant jump from the $2.5 million estimate in Bad News.

Over five years, the 2011-12 building & maintenance breakdown for all schools in Newtown is given below. Cinderella has also included the costliest items in most cases, just for the sake of seeing. You never know – some of this info might be helpful down the road.

  • Sandy Hook: $369,500 — biggest item: $100k cafeteria roof
  • Hawley: $426,000 — biggest items: boiler and generator, ea. $150k
  • Middle Gate School: $576,000 — biggest item: $200k boiler
  • Head O’ Meadow: $145,000 — several $20k items, such as gym floor striping
  • Reed Intermediate: $194,500 —biggest item: $75k wall system on stage
  • Middle School: $575,500 —biggest item: $110k front parking lot paving
  • High School: $716,000 —biggest item: $380k parking lot paving
  • Buildings & Grounds (System-wide): $235,000 —biggest item: $150k phone system

Sad buildings. Pages 72-74 of Big Dues also tell us about the sorry state many of Newtown’s schools were in, especially Hawley, Sandy Hook and the Middle School.

Many of the items needing repair are “worn,” “badly worn,” “badly deteriorated,” “damaged/ADA,” “damaged beyond repair,” “inefficient,” “end of warranty,” “poor condition,” while others are health and security/safety issues and even described as  “past life expectancy.”

Sandy Hook’s biggest ticket item is its “cafeterium [sic] roof” – $100,000. There’s no mention of its heating and ventilation system, subjects of BOE discussions in 2002, when a $4.5 million repair was discussed, but, to Cinderella’s knowledge, never completed. (See the Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) article here. Note that the links have been memory-holed since the article was written on Sept. 9, 2015. )

The same FOTM article points out that in 2004, the Newtown Board of Education was told that Sandy Hook Elementary’s roof had “serious problems.”  And in 2008, problems with asbestos in Newtown public schools were being discussed.

Yet, years later, in Big Dues, the focus has narrowed to Sandy Hook’s cafeteria roof, book shelves, some cabinets and doors, etc. No mention of many other things this photo album reveals in the all-too-familiar drab, faded Sandy Hook colors – hanging wires, a raddled parking lot, water damage, possible leaks, plywood patchwork, dismally worn and neglected finishes.

Consider: this is a public school not far from relatively new (2009) swanky town offices that are across the street from a luxurious sports complex.

Cinderella isn’t a town planner or an accountant or even a journalist. She’s just a house cleaner and ballroom dancer!  She knows that budgeting is often a rob-Peter-to-pay-Paul affair.

But it seems very strange that a public school system in Connecticut’s richest county would keep its elementary school buildings in such frowzy fettle.

And then, just to add insult to injury, it releases budgetary figures that dart and zig-zag from one extreme to another like drunken bees. (And speaking of Bees, keep reading.)

Whoosh! But, of course, the money flow picked up immediately after the 12-14-12 event: Over $19 million through various sources. Click here for an itemized list, which doesn’t count the $50M from the state for the new Sandy Hook school, repeat lottery winnings or subsequent charity windfalls.

Speaking strictly economically, the 12-14-12 Sandy Hook event was one of the best things that ever happened to Newtown taxpayers – and tax collectors.

It sounds crass because it is. And Cinderella can find much stronger words for it.

Let’s put the budget issues aside for a moment and devote some attention to Reed Intermediate school, which has swallowed up quite a portion of the Newtown taxpayers’ dollars (and likely various insurance proceeds) over the years.

Reed: Two recipes for disaster. The most expensive trouble occurred between 2001 and 2008, but other kinds of trouble loomed over Reed well into 2012.

  1. Silt, mold and oil spill soup. The long, legal perils that arrived even before the $22,123,000 Reed Intermediate school opened in January 2003 are worthy of a tabloid. Newtown Bee did its best.  In 2002, the DEP arrived after Haynes Construction, the contractor with the lowest bid, allowed silt to pour into a neighboring waterway. Then, after the school opened, an air handling system failed and flooded an interior area with 1,000 gallons of water, causing a serious mold problem that resulted in itchy rashes. Then a 4,000-gal.  fuel oil leak befouled the neighboring brook and necessitated a $1.2M cleanup. You can read about the legal ramifications and settlement here. No wonder the Reed school, from an aerial perspective, resembles the eye of Horus. In its early days, it seems to have been a sad and sorry money hole.
  2. Denniston stew.  Donna Denniston was Reed’s principal for 6-7 years, from 2003-2009. She had the misfortune of being married to a white-collar criminal, Garrett Denniston, who operated a fraudulent investment scheme from 2005-2012. You can find the entire FBI report on Garrett L. Denniston’s financial shenanigans here. Even the Newtown Bee ran a story on the “Former Newtowner” here,*  (“Former Newtowner Pleads Guilty in Elaborate Fraud Scheme,” 2-22-2013)  in which his name is linked to Donna Denniston. Such associations could not have been good for Mrs. Denniston or for Reed School or, for that matter, Newtown.

*Since Cinderella began writing this post, Newtown Bee saw fit to take their article on the Denniston scandal down. Click on the link anyway, so you can witness the memory hole.

Two cents from the taxpayers. At first, Newtown’s 2011-12 budget didn’t pass the April referendum because only 21.5% of the residents voted, a stunning show of apathy or perhaps something even worse.

In fact, it was the worst voter turnout since 2002 – the same year that the $4.5 million repair to Sandy Hook was being discussed. The same year that the DEP was investigating the silt being dumped into the brook near Reed school by Haynes Construction.

Not to be defeated, two Newtown legislative council members conducted an informal survey to find out why, in 2011, voters were still staying home – and what they thought about the proposed budget.

You can find the taxpayers’ responses here. Some wanted more spent (particularly on schools); others wanted less; still others approved.

Of those who wanted less, it’s clear they were cracking under the weight of Newtown’s taxes during a very bad year for the housing market and the economy in general.  So many interesting comments. Here’s a particularly revealing one:

“Ms Robinson and the Mr. Hart have not solved one real problem but have hired consultants to do their jobs, been found responsible for a FOI violation, and have an accounting system that has been determined to be in violation of state law by our auditor. I have no faith in their plans.”

As said, you can find all of the taxpayers’ responses here.

Let’s imagine. To conclude this dreary ramble, let’s engage in one of Cinderella’s favorite pastimes: A purely hypothetical, possibly silly, ultimately funny, just-for-fun thought experiment. This is an exercise solely in imagination, what we dancers call “improvisation.” Ready? Here we go:

You’re a town with money woes in 2011. You have schools that need refurbishing and you don’t exactly have a sterling track record in your choice of building contractors. You’ve made people on both sides of the taxation issue mad at you. Quite apart from that, your reputation has been sullied by bad people being associated with other choices you have made. A while ago, you bought a big, scary-looking mental hospital from the state of Connecticut with karma-laden buildings that you can’t find buyers for. Except, of course, for local taxpayers, who helped pay for your new offices there. An altruistic entrepreneur built a sports complex there, too, which boosts the tax base, but it isn’t enough. You already have one high-security prison in town and, much as you like the $1 million+ annual offset on taxes, you don’t want another state pen. You have to do something fast or more tax slaves and businesses are going to pull up stakes and move out. Your birth rate is quickly approaching zero per year. So what’ll it be? How will you rally the cooks and salvage the porridge? Let’s see …


“What’s past is prologue.”-Antonio, II. i. 288 from The Tempest by William Shakespeare