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Co-ops, malls and mayors: Help us keep the stories coming

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NORWALK, Conn. – OK, you know what’s coming.

It’s that time again – the heat is on, rent is due, and the wind chill has sent a shiver through the NancyOnNorwalk bank account.

For those of you who might be new to NoN, we are a 501(c)(3) charitable organization existing from month to month on donations from you, our readers. We are two fulltime, career journalists trying to keep serious government coverage alive and well in an era when the mainstream media is either cutting back or ignoring it completely.

Continue reading Co-ops, malls and mayors: Help us keep the stories coming

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Norwalk Council members taking on ‘heated staircase’ Tuesday

The existing staircase at Martin Luther King Drive, top; an artist’s rendering of its proposed replacement, bottom.

The existing staircase at Martin Luther King Drive, top; an artist’s rendering of its proposed replacement, bottom.

NORWALK, Conn. – An alternative to a heating element for the proposed Martin Luther King Drive staircase would encourage people to hang out on the steps and heighten the need for police protection, according to the packet for Tuesday’s Common Council Public Works Committee meeting.

The documents, which are not signed, outline a history of heated staircases and sidewalks and cite research that says they are reliable and safe. A covering for the stairs, mentioned by Councilman Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) as an alternative to a heating element, would not keep the steps free of snow and ice on its own, making sidewalls necessary, the document states. That would create an enclosure that might encourage people to hang out and “possibly habituate” the stairs, making police attention necessary, the document states. Continue reading Norwalk Council members taking on ‘heated staircase’ Tuesday

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Opinion: Norwalk Fire Department has high hiring standards and diversity goals

Chief Denis McCarthy

Chief Denis McCarthy

Denis McCarthy is chief of the Norwalk Fire Department.

Although steeped in tradition, we are also a progressive department. We strive for excellence in everything we do.

I would like to explain the importance of having a diverse fire department; our ongoing efforts to create diversity and the critical role we all play in helping achieve these goals.

Continue reading Opinion: Norwalk Fire Department has high hiring standards and diversity goals

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Charter revision worth looking at, but not to extend mayor, Council terms

Send signed letters to news@nancyonnorwalk.com

Send signed letters to news@nancyonnorwalk.com

To the Editor:

City charter revisions have been infrequent. A 1999 revision changed the way Board of Education members were elected, and, in 1995, the Council was given a role in the budget process. A proposed change making the Town Clerk an appointed position was defeated in 2003.

Continue reading Charter revision worth looking at, but not to extend mayor, Council terms

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Opinion: The SBAC tests are coming – and now they count

Opinion searchJohn Bestor has been a practicing school psychologist for 40 years and is a Sandy Hook resident.

As local school districts attempt to explain to parents of students the purpose and value of the government-mandated, highly controversial, newly designed testing system that will be imposed upon their children in grades 3 through 8 and 11 this spring, perhaps we should begin to ask questions to better understand whether we want our children to participate in this questionable educational undertaking.

Continue reading Opinion: The SBAC tests are coming – and now they count

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They hate the cuts, but Malloy doubts they will increase taxes

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (Christine Stuart photo)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (Christine Stuart photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy acknowledged Thursday that the legislature hates cuts in his proposed budget and lacks consensus to raise taxes. But the governor said a lot can change in the three months before a budget plan must be approved.

Continue reading They hate the cuts, but Malloy doubts they will increase taxes

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Unions pitch healthcare pooling

Sal Luciano, executive director of AFSCME Council 4, and Lori Pelletier, New London Mayor Daryl Finizio, and Mark Waxenberg. (Christine Stuart photo)

Sal Luciano, executive director of AFSCME Council 4, and Lori Pelletier, New London Mayor Daryl Finizio, and Mark Waxenberg. (Christine Stuart photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Union officials and municipal leaders asked state lawmakers again Thursday for the ability to pool their health insurance risk with other municipalities and the state employees’ plan.

Continue reading Unions pitch healthcare pooling

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With Nordstrom on board for proposed SoNo mall, Norwalk officials think ‘jobs’

NORWALK, Conn. – The die has been cast for SoNo’s expected mall, according to at least one potential Common Council candidate.

Steve Serasis said the announcement that Nordstrom will be one of two or three anchor stores for General Growth Partners’ development at the erstwhile 95/7 site, it’s sure the rest of the stores also will appeal to high end or medium scale shoppers.

Continue reading With Nordstrom on board for proposed SoNo mall, Norwalk officials think ‘jobs’

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Rilling offers to meet with concerned Norwalk residents before ‘Don’t Block the Box’ moves forward

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling welcomes the public to his latest Mayor's Night Out on Wednesday in City Hall.

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling welcomes the public to his latest Mayor’s Night Out on Wednesday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Neighbors of a proposed traffic alteration will have a chance to meet with Norwalk officials before the matter continues to move forward through city government.

Olmstead Place and Knickerbocker Avenue residents made a strong showing at Wednesday’s Mayor’s Night Out to voice their concerns about the “Don’t Block the Box” proposed for East Avenue at Interstate 95’s northbound Exit 16 and the proposed restriction of left turns from the only way out of their neighborhood during peak periods – like when they need to go to the East Norwalk train station to get to work in the morning. Mayor Harry Rilling told them in return that he also thinks that’s illogical, and promised an informational discussion. Continue reading Rilling offers to meet with concerned Norwalk residents before ‘Don’t Block the Box’ moves forward

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Norwalk Police pass first Council hurdle on way to body cameras

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Police moved a step closer Thursday night to outfitting all of its patrol officers with body-worn cameras.

After posing questions to Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik, members of the Common Council’s Health, Welfare and Public Safety Committee voted unanimously to authorize up to $32,000 for the purchase of 35 Taser Axon cameras. Continue reading Norwalk Police pass first Council hurdle on way to body cameras

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Opinion: ‘Socialized’ or not, Britain’s health care system is superior

Wendell Potter

Wendell Potter

Former CIGNA executive-turned-whistleblower Wendell Potter is writing about the health care industry and the ongoing battle for health reform for the Center for Public Integrity.

America is the home of the brave, they say, but a lot of us brave folks are terrified of the way the British do health care.

Continue reading Opinion: ‘Socialized’ or not, Britain’s health care system is superior

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UConn defends Herbst salary, objects to foundation transparency

UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence McHugh, right (Hugh McQuaid photo)

UConn Board of Trustees Chairman Lawrence McHugh, right (Hugh McQuaid photo)

HARTFORD, Conn. – University of Connecticut officials on Thursday defended a decision to use UConn Foundation funds to raise President Susan Herbst’s salary, during a hearing on a proposal that would require more transparency from the nonprofit foundation.

Continue reading UConn defends Herbst salary, objects to foundation transparency

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