Lindsey Soderstrom, left; Valeria Rojo, front; and Justin Taylor Burke volunteer at SafeRides Norwalk recently in the South Norwalk Community Center (SoNoCC). (Contributed photo)
NORWALK, Conn. – The rollout of a new program to keep teenage drivers safe has been hampered by the specifications in state law.
Melissa Rojo, a 2012 Norwalk High School graduate, says she has signed up 60 teenagers to serve as drivers in a SafeRides program for some 400 teenagers who have signed up to get the free rides on Saturday nights. But the 16- and 17-year-old drivers are not qualified for an exemption from age restrictions provided by section 14-36g(6)(b) of the Connecticut General statutes. Continue reading ‘Energetic’ SoNoCC SafeRides program hits glitch
Planks at the end of the Veterans Park boat ramp are revealed by a recent low tide.
NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk harbor keepers have a warning for boaters – don’t use the ramps at Veterans Park.
It’s been a steady refrain issued by Shellfish Commission Chairman Pete Johnson, who has said repeatedly that the recent Vets Park dredging has damaged the boat ramps. He also said planks were dropped on shellfish beds.
Thursday, several commission members chimed in to echo Johnson’s thoughts on the ramps. This is in direct opposition to comments made earlier this week by Parks and Recreation Director Mike Mocciae. Continue reading Norwalk Parks and Rec: Dredging did not destroy ramp
The Norwalk Redevelopment Agency is hoping to construct a new portion of the Harbor Loop Trail to connect with this 144 East Ave, boardwalk this summer.
NORWALK, Conn. – Plans for an extension of the Harbor Loop Trail were looked at skeptically Thursday evening by Shellfish Commission members as Chairman Pete Johnson criticized the idea of replacing grass with asphalt along the Norwalk River waterfront.
Commissioners voted to send the application for a walkway on city-owned property behind 148 East Ave. along to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) with a request for information regarding the environmental impact of replacing grass (or phragmites) with asphalt. Continue reading Shellfish Commission eyes proposed Harbor Loop Trail segment with skepticism
By Christine Stuart
HARTFORD, Conn. – Fitch Ratings maintained its AA rating for Connecticut bonds in anticipation of the sale of $400 million in general obligation bonds later this month. That’s the good news. The bad news is that Fitch also maintained its negative outlook of the state based on “budget vulnerability.”
Fitch Ratings lowered the outlook for Connecticut’s bonds from stable to negative in July 2013.
In its recent report, Fitch stated that the negative outlook “reflects the state’s reduced fiscal flexibility at a time of lingering economic and revenue uncertainty.”
Continue reading Rating agency says outlook for CT bonds still ‘negative’
The 2014-15 recommended operating budget for the Norwalk Police calls for eight new SUV cruisers and two used cars to be used by detectives.
NORWALK, Conn. – Things have reached a critical point and the city really needs to invest in new police vehicles, even if it’s not a good year to do it, Norwalk officials said Wednesday.
The planned purchase of eight SUV’s is one of the primary reasons the next Norwalk Police budget has swelled 3.8 percent from 2013-14, Finance Director Thomas Hamilton said.
But Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation members, who are saddled with the task of cutting $500,000 from Hamilton’s recommended 2014-15 operating budget, got no easy answers from Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik as they looked for things they might cut. Continue reading Norwalk tax board looks to slash Norwalk Police budget
Alvin Mosby talks to the Norwalk Board of Education on Tuesday.
NORWALK, Conn. – A labor complaint filed against the Norwalk Board of Education has been recommended for dismissal by the state.
The complaint filed in 2013 by Alvin Mosby, Tony Miller, Clyde Richards and Paul Kaminski alleges that the BOE bargained in bad faith with Local 1402 of Council 4 of American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in a contract that changed the characteristics of their retiree medical insurance. Katherine Foley of the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations recommended on Monday that the complaint be dismissed. Continue reading Union members’ complaint against BOE recommended for dismissal
By Gail Lavielle (R-143)
NORWALK, Conn. – This week, Metro-North’s new president Joseph Giulietti, delivering on a commitment he made in February, sent Connecticut DOT (Department of Transportation) Commissioner James Redeker the outline of a 100-day action plan to address the railroad’s operational and safety issues.
While the document’s timely delivery reflected an appropriate sense of urgency, the plan is still vague in many respects. As Mr. Giulietti himself wrote in his accompanying letter, it “does not include scope, schedule and budget.” Continue reading Letter: Metro-North’s 100-day action plan
By Hugh McQuaid
NEW BRITAIN, Conn. – President Barack Obama is unlikely to get a hike in the minimum wage through Congress, but he encouraged states and businesses to take the lead during a half-hour speech Wednesday at Central Connecticut State University.
Costco, Gap, and even Cafe Beauregard in New Britain — where the president ate lunch Wednesday — have increased their employees’ wages to $10 an hour or more.
Continue reading Obama: Raising the minimum wage is ‘common sense’
By Christine Stuart
HARTFORD, Conn. – Gov. Dannel P. Malloy told a group of business leaders Wednesday that there’s not going to be a budget deficit in 2016 and he’s not going to raise taxes if there is. That’s assuming he runs for re-election and is elected to a second term.
The Office of Fiscal Analysis predicted last November that the state would have a deficit of more than $1 billion starting in fiscal year 2016.
Continue reading Malloy: No new taxes, no deficit
By Christine Stuart
HARTFORD, Conn. – A Motion Picture Association of America executive told the Public Safety Committee on Tuesday that its attempt to regulate noise levels in movie theaters would violate the First Amendment.
The legislation seeks to create a standard that says movie theater owners would not be allowed to show a movie or movie trailer with noise levels that exceed 85 decibels. The Commissioner of Administrative Services would be responsible for making sure the theaters are in compliance.
Continue reading Could regulation of movie theater noise violate the First Amendment?