Despite the month long ban on smoking at Ridgefield High School, many students continued to puff away, the Oct. 6, 1988 Press reported.
A number of students argued that the policy was unfair and that the school was being hypocritical for allowing its employees to light up. “People are going to smoke, no matter what the rule is,” said sophomore Roger Metz who said he had been a smoker for three years.
“I’m 18 years old. I have a legal right to buy the things,” said senior Jon Valen. “It’s my choice if I want to smoke ’em or not.”
Dick Venus was almost speechless when he arrived at an event sponsored by the Ridgefield Preservation Trust and Ridgefield Library where nearly 100 friends and family members greeted the former postmaster and selectman.
It was “Dick Venus Day,” a chance for the community to say thanks to the man who turned out 327 “Dick’s Dispatches” telling the story of what Ridgefield was like in the early years of the 20th Century.
“There really aren’t enough ‘whereases’ in this to state all of his contributions,” said First Selectman Sue Manning as she presented a proclamation honoring Richard E. Venus. She also gave him a wooden plaque bearing the town seal.
Mr. Venus received a number of other gifts including a host box that had been given to the Rev. Richard E. Shortell on the occasion of the opening of St. Mary’s rectory (since razed) in 1894. Mr. Venus, long active in St. Mary’s work, was named for Father Shortell, who was the pastor of the parish for many years in the early 20th Century. The host was presented by then pastor, the Rev. Charles Stubbs. Letters and telegrams congratulating Mr. Venus were received from Gov. O’Neill, Senators Christopher Dodd and Lowell P. Weiker, Congressman John Rowland, and Smithsonian Institution historian Silvio Bedini, author of Ridgefield in Review.
Residential development should slow down but further retail, restaurant, office and corporate development was fine. That was the opinion of Ridgefield residents according to a 1988 Planning and Zoning Survey of 1,000 people. Ridgefielders believed that future residential development should proceed at a slower rate than in recent years and they opposed more multi-family housing. But they approved increased housing for low and middle income groups.
State Rep. Barbara Ireland charged that her Republican challenger was misleading voters by implying that she supported forced busing of school children to achieve racial balance. Mrs. Ireland stressed that she was vehemently opposed to forced busing. She assailed Republican Tim Klvana for engaging in “politics of fear” and demanded that he apologize to the voters of Ridgefield. “There is no way I’m going to apologize for my opponent’s voting record,” he responded. Mr. Klvana denied Ms. Ireland’s charges, maintaining that he had simply pointed out her rejection of two amendments to a bill which would have “closed the door on forced busing.”