Looking Back: Kids wanted to smoke at school; 'Permissiveness' blamed for vandalism

Smoking — the right to pollute their lungs with tobacco — was a big deal to kids 25 years ago. “Showing a videotape of a boys’ restroom that looked like an inner city war zone, the Ridgefield High School Student Council pleaded with the school board Monday to keep the outdoor smoking area students had won temporarily last fall,” the Jan. 16, 1992 Press reported.

First Selectman Sue Manning and Parks and Recreation Commissioner David Campbell were among the officials credited with 100% meeting attendance throughout 1991, while attendance for major boards was 89.4%.

Mr. Campbell’s wife, Martha, wrote as Red Cross publicist that 257 people had donated blood.

“Parks and Recreation Superintendent Paul Roche announced that Main Street is getting new trash receptacles with compartments for recyclables.”

Fewer than half a dozen local doctors — including Dr. Eric Moscow, Dr. Jeffrey Sandler, dentist Dr. Robert Mead, Dr. Jean Harder, Dr. Jeffrey Monroe — responded to a Commission for the Disabled survey of more than 50 practitioners, seeking those who would provide “medical help for disabled people who ended public assistance.”

Steve Zemo, now a selectman, and Ruth Liebowitz, founder of the Inside/Out youth improvisation group, were organizing a fund-raiser for The Barn youth center, planned on Governor Street but needing an estimated $80,000 of renovations.

Peter Wyden, a prolific writer during his years in Ridgefield and the father of Oregon senator Ron Wyden, had collaborated with Dan Rather on the TV newsman’s memoir, I Remember.

“What’s the toughest part of being a teenager?” the Spotlight interview series asked students. “Going to school,” replied Dan Imbrogino. “The pressures of school work and your parents,” said Bill Masterson.

Ridgefield Briefs said Stephen and Bettina Slade were seen with “a blue three-seater stroller” for their triplets Bridget, William and Morgan.

50 Years ago

“The breakup of many family units, parental permissiveness, and a disrespect for law and authority are prime factors in the increase of vandalism,” said the Jan. 19, 1967, Press, summarizing Police Chief John F. Haight’s talk to the Ridgebury Community Association.

Voters were to decide whether Ridgefield should become the third town to join the Housatonic Valley Regional Agency — a group that became the Housatonic Valley Council of Elected Officials for many years, and survives today as the Western Connecticut Council of Governments. First Selectman Leo Carroll wrote in favor: “No foreign power and no non-resident of Connecticut had any part in creating this type of agency,” he assured townspeople. The League of Women Voters, too, was in favor, but the Conservation Commission was against it.

Detective Richard Bellagamba headed Ridgefield Police’s investigation of a robbery of Bounty Esso on Route 35. Two “white males” had knocked out 16-year-old attendant Charles Judkins and made off with $150 in cash.

Ridgefield’s first baby of 1967 was Kris MacKenzie, the third child of Mr. and Mrs. David MacKenzie of Rolling Ridge Road. She was born at 3:45 a.m. on Jan. 2 in Danbury Hospital.

Twins, Caitlin and Theodore, were born to RHS English teacher Bernard Winans and his wife.

Joseph Consentino of West Mountain Road, “a contributing photographer to the Saturday Evening Post,” planned to give a course on “photojournalism and documentation” at Silvermine College of Art in New Canaan.

Major Dominic D’Addario of Ridgefield showed films about the Air Force to Boy Scout Troop 80.