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Pay to play: School budget calls for student-athletes to pay $100 to participate

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons, right. At left is Norwalk interim Superintendent of Schools James Connelly.

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons, right. At left is Norwalk interim Superintendent of Schools James Connelly.

NORWALK, Conn. – Should Hannah or Zachary decide to play sports in Norwalk Public Schools next year, their parents might find themselves digging through the couch cushions for some extra change.

According to the school budget as submitted in January by former Superintendent Manny Rivera and approved by the Board of Education, Norwalk schools will be moving to a pay-for-play system starting next fall. Want to play ball? It’ll cost $100.

That’s $100 per student for the year.

Continue reading Pay to play: School budget calls for student-athletes to pay $100 to participate

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Rilling cuts ties with troubled DNA Campaigns, but keeps campaign manager

Mayor Harry Rilling's campaign manager, Kevin Coughlin (right), also worked on the successful campaigns of state Reps. Chris Perone (left) and Bruce Morris last November.

Mayor Harry Rilling’s campaign manager, Kevin Coughlin (right), also worked on the successful campaigns of state Reps. Chris Perone (left) and Bruce Morris last November.

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling has given DNA Campaigns, the company that helped him get elected in 2013, the boot, but retained campaign manager Kevin Coughlin to run his current re-election bid.

Rilling confirmed the move Tuesday night, but was tight-lipped about the reasons behind the move, or when or why Coughlin parted ways with DNA Campaigns.

Continue reading Rilling cuts ties with troubled DNA Campaigns, but keeps campaign manager

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Pay to play: Questionable call

Send signed letters to news@nancyonnorwalk.com

Send signed letters to [email protected]

To the Editor:

I support the proposed pay-to-play annual fee of $100 per student-athlete at Norwalk High School. However, that support is diminishing for a number of reasons.

My main issue is trust – I simply have lost trust with many elected officials in Norwalk. I don’t trust the mayor, some on the Council and some on the BOE because I believe the $100 will be diverted to some type of General Fund Swamp. Then, diverted and schemed to the pork project of the day. Simply put, some Norwalk officials are losing touch with it’s “customers” – the taxpayers.
Continue reading Pay to play: Questionable call

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NoN needs your support to continue to provide the city an alternative news voice

Help us keep you informed.

Help us keep you informed.

NORWALK, Conn. – When we arrived in Norwalk nearly five years ago, the news landscape was a bit more crowded. While the Stamford Advocate had retreated from its daily coverage here, The Daily Voice and Patch had taken root, the Norwalk Citizen was publishing its weekly paper and a daily website, YourCT was blogging away. Standing above it all was The Hour, the city’s traditional hometown daily.

Continue reading NoN needs your support to continue to provide the city an alternative news voice

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Questions surround South Norwalk Community Center

South Norwalk Community Center

The newly renovated lobby of the South Norwalk Community Center, located at 98 South Main St.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk and the South Norwalk Community Center continue to struggle to untangle the mess left behind at 98 South Main St. when NEON declared bankruptcy.

Not only is ownership of the building still in doubt, but SoNoCC has struggled with utility bills and agreements with third parties working out of the building, one of which has just begun paying its way and another that refuses.

Continue reading Questions surround South Norwalk Community Center

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Rilling campaign reports $24,299 in revenue, but rejects a $1,000 check

As of March 31, Mayor Harry Rilling had taken in more than $46,000 for his re-election bif.

As of March 31, Mayor Harry Rilling had taken in more than $46,000 for his re-election bif.

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling’s campaign for re-election got a substantial shot in the arm in the second quarter of 2015, collecting $24,180 in donations from individuals and $24,299.25 total. As of March 31, Rilling had raised a total of $46,849.25.

The campaign reported that, after expenses, it had a balance of $36,252.64.

As of March 31, Rilling had no Republican challenger. Since the filing, Kelly Straniti has entered the race and begun to raise money. Her first financial report will be due by July 10.

Continue reading Rilling campaign reports $24,299 in revenue, but rejects a $1,000 check

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Opinion: On access to police records, the people have compromised too much already

James Smith

James Smith

James H. Smith is president of the 60-year-old nonprofit Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information.

Our state Supreme Court ruled last summer that all anyone needs to know is the name of someone arrested, the date, and where the arrest took place. That’s it. 911 tapes? No way. Crime scene photos? Absolutely not. Race of the person arrested? Nope. Criminal record of the person arrested? No way. Nada. Nothing.

Continue reading Opinion: On access to police records, the people have compromised too much already

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Jacob Tomlin, 11, inspires applause at Norwalk BoE meeting

NORWALK, Conn. – You have to see the speech made by an 11-year-old boy to the Norwalk Board of Education last week.

The confidence shown by Jacob Tomlin in addressing a packed City Hall community room is just one of the recent “good news” aspects coming out of Norwalk Public Schools. There’s also the science experiments showcased last week at Brien McMahon High School, and the Norwalk High School Winter Percussion ensemble came home Sunday from Ohio with a Bronze Medal from the WGI World Winter Percussion Championship.  Continue reading Jacob Tomlin, 11, inspires applause at Norwalk BoE meeting

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Connecticut hearing officer weighing tons of testimony in Washington Village challenge

Diane Lauricella speaks recently in City Hall.

Diane Lauricella speaks recently in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk activists trying to stop Washington Village from being rebuilt in its current location did not present any experts or evidence to back up their claims, the Norwalk Housing Authority asserts in a brief submitted to the state hearing officer holding the fate of the project – and possibly the $30 million in federal money earmarked for Norwalk – in her hands.

The Friends of Ryan Park in their reply brief do not answer that claim, but Diane Lauricella complained during the last hearing held by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) that state experts had refused to testify. Continue reading Connecticut hearing officer weighing tons of testimony in Washington Village challenge

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On tap in Norwalk: Library fundraiser for literacy volunteers, senior symposium; poetry slam delayed

Once Around

Updated Wednesday, 5:19 a.m.: Poetry slam postponed

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalkers can support the library’s literacy volunteer program, get vital info about senior health and care, and have a chance to express their creative selves with some events planned for later in the week.

Fundraiser to benefit library literacy volunteers at Norwalk Inn

The Norwalk Public Library will host a fundraiser for its Literacy Volunteers department from 5:30 to 8 p.m. (hor d’oeuvres from 5:30 to 6) on Friday, April 17, at the Norwalk Inn and Conference Center.

Continue reading On tap in Norwalk: Library fundraiser for literacy volunteers, senior symposium; poetry slam delayed

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Opinion: New York makes Connecticut look like an educational Shangri-La

Barth Keck

Barth Keck

Barth Keck is an English teacher and assistant football coach who also teaches courses in journalism and media literacy at Haddam-Killingworth High School. Email Barth here

Connecticut has been taking a beating lately in the court of public opinion.

Last year, a Gallup poll found that nearly half of all Nutmeggers want to move out of the state, and indeed, Connecticut’s population decreased by approximately 26,000 between July 2013 and July 2014, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates.

Continue reading Opinion: New York makes Connecticut look like an educational Shangri-La

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Opinion: Turning around low-performing schools must be a top priority

Yamuna Menon

Yamuna Menon

Yamuna Menon is the director of research and policy at ConnCAN (Connecticut Coalition for Achievement Now), the New Haven-based education research and advocacy organization. A forum hosted by the Education Committee on turnaround efforts will be held April 16, 2015.

Improving student achievement in our lowest-performing schools is a challenge faced by states across the nation.

Continue reading Opinion: Turning around low-performing schools must be a top priority

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Straniti takes on Rilling with promise of ‘decisive leadership’

Updated, 7 p.m., additional information; 10 p.m., additional Straniti quotes and correction, class of ’94.

NORWALK, Conn. — Kelly Straniti stepped back into the spotlight Saturday, promising that “decisive leadership” would be the result if she is elected Norwalk mayor this fall, four years after she left the Common Council.

Straniti, whose six years on the Council included leadership roles, stressed her personal experiences with adversity as she officially announced her Republican challenge to incumbent Democratic Mayor Harry Rilling in front of about 40 Republicans at the Norwalk Inn.

Norwalk is a great place, but, “We can do better,” Straniti said. Continue reading Straniti takes on Rilling with promise of ‘decisive leadership’

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