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Norwalk fire chief defends effort to increase department’s diversity

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Norwalk Fire Chief Denis McCarthy.

NORWALK, Conn. – No one in the Norwalk Fire Department wants to see unqualified people get hired to be firefighters, Fire Chief Denis McCarthy said Wednesday.

There is no plan to reduce the requirements, Mayor Harry Rilling said.

McCarthy and Rilling were responding to Tim Lyons, who said he is a former firefighter, at the Mayor’s Night Out held in the City Hall community room. “This is people’s lives at stake,” Lyons said. “You don’t want to lessen requirements to make other people happy. You need the very best you’ve got out there.” Continue reading Norwalk fire chief defends effort to increase department’s diversity

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Norwalkers line up to query Rilling, department heads at Mayor’s Night Out

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Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling listens to an Olmstead Place resident at Wednesday’s Mayor’s Night Out in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – A plea for more athletic space for low income Norwalk children and complaints that varied from not enough dog parks to unhappy feelings about a Norwalk Traffic Authority decision that was made without input from the residents who will be affected marked Mayor Harry Rilling’s latest Mayor’s Night Out on Wednesday, the best attended such event in recent months.

The occasion drew about 30 people to the City Hall community room, at least a third of whom were from Olmstead Place. Others getting to speak to Rilling face to face included a man who has not been able to get an appointment with the mayor, a former firefighter upset by recent news reports of a shift in hiring practices at the Norwalk Fire Department, and a woman complaining about brown water coming out of her spigot. John Mosby asked for help with noise in his neighborhood and Martha Dumas wanted to know which sidewalks would be repaired in the city’s new program. Continue reading Norwalkers line up to query Rilling, department heads at Mayor’s Night Out

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Board of Ed holds the door on winter recess

Deputy Superintendent Tony Daddona

Norwalk Deputy Superintendent of Schools Tony Daddona.

NORWALK, Conn. – This winter’s record-breaking cold has left teachers and school administrators scrambling to ensure the safety and well-being of their students.

Since the New Year, a Board of Education investigation has shown more than two dozen separate student and teacher injuries stemming from inclement weather during school hours, it was revealed at Tuesday night’s BoE Policy Committee special meeting. In most cases, the investigation showed, these accidents occurred during recess on icy parking lots and blacktop, as city school playgrounds are not shoveled. As a result, many principals have moved recess indoors to gyms or classroom for the safely of all involved.

Continue reading Board of Ed holds the door on winter recess

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Judge rejects Rowland’s push for new trial, sets March 18 sentencing

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland.

Former Connecticut Gov. John Rowland.

HARTFORD, Conn. – A judge rejected former Gov. John G. Rowland’s efforts to force a new trial on his recent convictions and scheduled a March 18 sentencing hearing — exactly 10 years after Rowland was sentenced to a year in prison for crimes while in office.

Judge Janet Bond Arterton has denied a request by Rowland’s attorneys for a hearing on their claims that prosecutors violated what is called the Brady disclosure law by withholding evidence supporting Rowland’s case.

Continue reading Judge rejects Rowland’s push for new trial, sets March 18 sentencing

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Watts bashes Rilling, operating budget, as Council sets spending cap

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Majority Leader Doug Hempstead (R-At Large), left, complements Mayor Harry Rilling Tuesday in City Hall. At middle is City Clerk Donna King.

 

NORWALK, Conn. – The Common Council voted 11-4 Tuesday night to set a 2015-16 operating budget cap after commentary that featured Republicans lauding Democratic Mayor Harry Rilling and certain Democrats saying that Rilling has done nothing for Norwalk’s urban core.

The vote fell along along racial lines, as Phaedrel “Faye” Bowman (D-District B), Travis Simms (D-District B), Sharon Stewart (D-At Large) and David Watts (D-District A) voted against the $326,889,467 budget cap. Everyone else voted for it; Eloisa Melendez (D-District A) made a point of saying “Representing District A,” before delivering a forceful “Yes.” Continue reading Watts bashes Rilling, operating budget, as Council sets spending cap

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Rilling decries Connecticut practice of property taxes

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling spent part of his Tuesday workday in Hartford, pleading his case for budgetary help, he said.

Rilling said in his remarks to close Tuesday’s Council meeting that he and other mayors had met with Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney. “One of the things I mentioned was the fact that reliance on property tax is not a good thing,” Rilling said. Continue reading Rilling decries Connecticut practice of property taxes

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Project manager updates Norwalk crowd on plans for Walk Bridge project

NORWALK, Conn. – Residents and business owners filled City Hall’s Community Room Tuesday night to hear a presentation on how the Walk railroad bridge will either be rebuilt or replaced, with construction tentatively scheduled to begin in 2017 and lasting 36 to 54 months.

Led by Christian Brown, the project manager from the engineering firm the state has selected to design the project, the program included descriptions of the types of bridges that might replace the existing 119-year-old structure, as well as how it might be reconstructed so it could remain in service.

Continue reading Project manager updates Norwalk crowd on plans for Walk Bridge project

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Malloy talks transportation

STAMFORD — As a follow-on to the plan he announced last week to spend more than $100 billion on transportation infrastructure throughout the state over 30 years, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Tuesday invited a group of Fairfield County politicians and business officials to offer suggestions as to what its priorities should be.

About 35 people attended the session in the Stamford Government Center, where Malloy emphasized that his plan is directed at all means of transportation, from highways and rails to bike plans and walking paths.

Continue reading Malloy talks transportation

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Wilms: Give state your input regarding restoring tolls on CT highways

Fred Wilms

Fred Wilms

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142) is reaching out to constituents for input on a bill to bring highway tolls back to Connecticut.

There will be a public hearing today at 10:30 a.m. in Room 1 E of the Legislative Office Building in Hartord to gain feedback on the bill (HB 6818), An Act Concerning the Establishment of Electronic Tolls at the State’s Borders (see related story).

Continue reading Wilms: Give state your input regarding restoring tolls on CT highways

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Border toll bill riles residents

A 500-page report published in 2009 examined nine different approaches to revenue generation via tolls. One method utilized tolls at each of the state’s eight limited access border crossings.  (Connecticut Electronic Tolling and Congestion Pricing Study graphic)

A 500-page report published in 2009 examined nine different approaches to revenue generation via tolls. One method utilized tolls at each of the state’s eight limited access border crossings.
(Connecticut Electronic Tolling and Congestion Pricing Study graphic)

HARTFORD, Conn. – Bringing back tolls – an idea that’s failed to gain traction in Connecticut for more than 25 years – will be at the center of a public hearing Wednesday as the Transportation Committee seeks input on a bill to establish electronic tolling at the state’s borders.

Continue reading Border toll bill riles residents

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