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Eversource digging up Norwalk school bus depot

Norwalk school buses, parked on Wilson Avenue in 2015. (File photo)

Updated, 6:50 p.m.: Information added.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk school buses have been moved across the street from the bus depot created by the Board of Education and the City just one year ago, according to BoE Chairman Mike Barbis.

NPS and the City of Norwalk were not aware that Eversource has an easement for a high voltage underground transmission line at 332-334 Wilson Ave., the site of the new school bus yard, Barbis said at last week’s BoE meeting. Eversource plans 25 days of work to replace its underground facilities and notified the City two weeks ahead of its planned start date, resulting in contentious negotiations, Norwalk Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton wrote in a memo, explaining the reasons for an agreement that the Common Council will consider Tuesday. Continue reading Eversource digging up Norwalk school bus depot

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ConnDOT fields Walk Bridge-related noise complaints, reaches out to public

A Nov. 17 Facebook post by Tessa Lee Orgera.

Updated, 1:41 p.m. Nov. 27: Meeting has been moved to 20 Marshall St.; 10:29 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Noise from Walk Bridge-related construction is making life difficult for East Norwalk resident Tessa Lee Orgera.

The nighttime rock grinding is just part of the problem; Orgera said the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) cut down all the trees behind Reboda Court six months ago “and left things wide open for all the kids in our neighborhood in danger.”

Norwalkers with similar concerns are invited to a Walk Bridge Program public information meeting Wednesday in the Walk Bridge Welcome Center, located at 20 Marshall St. There will be two sessions with identical info presented, at 4 p.m. and at 6:30 p.m. Continue reading ConnDOT fields Walk Bridge-related noise complaints, reaches out to public

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Norwalk political notes: Noise ordinance, an award and Wall Street kudos

Former Mayor Bill Collins, left, and wife Tish Gibbs attend the Nov. 8 NancyOnNorwalk pizza party at Fat Cat Pizza.

Updated, 12:23 a.m., Nov. 27: Information added; 2:12 p.m.: Information added; 7:48 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a collection of noteworthy Norwalk news items:

  • Council continues noise ordinance deliberations
  • Collins and Gibbs will be feted for ‘social justice’ efforts
  • Wall Street area has new website

Continue reading Norwalk political notes: Noise ordinance, an award and Wall Street kudos

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Opinion: Being thankful

We hope your holiday is filled with happiness.

On this, our annual Turkey Day, I am thankful for the family and friends who make life enjoyable. I am in New Jersey, enjoying Thanksgiving with my closest loved ones! We go to the same local restaurant every year. It’s the one day that we are all together.

My Norwalk friends include my Board of Directors and everyone who supports NancyOnNorwalk. Without your good wishes and financial contributions, I wouldn’t be able to keep this experiment going!

I am thankful to Bob Welsh for finding the Institute for Nonprofit News, and their NewsMatch program. It’s truly amazing that your donations can be doubled at this time – up to a total of $25,000! Imagine what independent journalism could do with that type of support. Continue reading Opinion: Being thankful

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What the first Thanksgiving dinner actually looked like

Waterfowl – not turkey – would have been the main course. Winslow Homer, ‘Right and Left’, 1909. (National Gallery of Art)

Most Americans probably don’t realize that we have a very limited understanding of the first Thanksgiving, which took place in 1621 in Massachusetts.

Indeed, few of our present-day traditions resemble what happened almost 400 years ago, and there’s only one original account of the feast.

As an anthropologist who specializes in reconstructing past diets, I can say that even though we don’t have a definitive account of the menu at the first Thanksgiving, letters and recorded oral histories give us a pretty good idea of what they probably ate. And we know for a fact that it didn’t include mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie.

 

Continue reading What the first Thanksgiving dinner actually looked like

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Norwalk BoE set to revise GPA system, work toward keeping teens in bed longer

Norwalk Public Schools Chief of School Operations Frank Costanzo, shown in a screen capture from the livestream of Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

Updated, 2:41 p.m.: PDF added, copy edit; correction, Bruce Kimmel did not “sit in” on the task force meeting; 7:47 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Some items from Tuesday’s Norwalk Board of Education meeting:

  • Committee formed to study later high school start time
  • A new GPA system ready for a vote
  • SpEd Advisory Councils
  • An update on education funding task force

 

Continue reading Norwalk BoE set to revise GPA system, work toward keeping teens in bed longer

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Rilling: ‘Very troubling’ dirt pile was not authorized

A view of the former Loehman’s Plaza in April, from the roof of one of Belpointe Capital’s neighboring buildings. The trailers have been removed and the dirt pile is smaller, making its edge further from West Avenue, Paxton Kinol said last week. Belpointe plans to build Pinnacle at Waypointe on the site, which is bordered by West Avenue, Butler Street, Orchard Street and Quincy Street. (File photo)

Updated, 11:59 p.m.: Photos added; 9:05 a.m.: Copy edits

The former Loehman’s Plaza on May 26. (John Flynn)

NORWALK, Conn. – The Norwalk Zoning Commission is “not really pleased with” the way the former Loehman’s Plaza looks from West Avenue, Commission Chairman Nate Sumpter said last week.

Sumpter and Vice Chairman Lou Schulman raked Belpointe Managing Director Paxton Kinol and others over the coals Wednesday, demanding to know why dirt from The SoNo Collection was being stored on the site, where Belpointe is planning to build Pinnacle at Waypointe. Kinol said he didn’t want to throw anyone under the bus, but “every major group” in City government had been aware of the plan to put the mall’s dirt on West Avenue.

Belpointe was “being good neighbors,” allowing Brookfield’s contractor, VCC/KBE, to store the mall site’s fill on a nearby location rather than truck it all over Norwalk, and the Department of Public Works said no permit was necessary, Kinol said. Continue reading Rilling: ‘Very troubling’ dirt pile was not authorized

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Wall Street murals uncovered after Norwalk P&Z gives green light

The mural at 21 Isaac St., in early October. Owner Jason Milligan had it covered by Tyvek after being cited by Planning and Zoning, but said Monday that the Tyvek has been removed and the business names painted over.

Updated, 9:11 a.m.: Corrected location of mural on 21 Isaac Street.  8:34 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Jason Milligan’s Wall Street-area murals are once again visible to the public, he said Monday.

Milligan had the Tyvek removed from his Isaac Street mural and the business names painted over, he said. The Mill Hill mural at 97 Wall St. and the seemingly-political mural on the Isaac Street dead end have also been uncovered. Continue reading Wall Street murals uncovered after Norwalk P&Z gives green light

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Norwalk news briefs: Pinnacle needs new movie tenant, SpEd complaint update

An artist’s rendering of Waypointe Pinnacle, approved for a 4.6-acre lot on West Avenue between Orchard Street and Butler Street.

Updated, 9:05 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s an assortment of Norwalk news briefs:

  • Kinol: Pinnacle construction four to six months away, iPic out
  • Mosby loses court battle
  • SpEd parents seek signatures on petition to state
  • East Norwalk TOD study set to begin
  • POCD date set

Continue reading Norwalk news briefs: Pinnacle needs new movie tenant, SpEd complaint update

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Norwalk murals a metaphor of City’s management

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Metaphor: “A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.”

Nothing could be more abstract than the host of issues plaguing the once-vibrant commercial city center of Wall Street.  Contrary to City officials’ popular excuse, the area’s struggle has not been due to the flood of 1955.

The very public saga with real estate developer Jason Milligan and the mayor over the recent downtown murals has spread to other favorite wall art dotted around town, provoking discussions over selective enforcement,  the value of art and concerns over City Hall having bigger issues to focus on. To me, these colorful murals are metaphors communicating much, much more. They’ve shined a light on City Hall’s  vindictiveness, overreach, inconsistency and lack of focus. Continue reading Norwalk murals a metaphor of City’s management

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Opinion: Our differences are killing us — in spirit

How ironic that we vilify black men and Muslims for their violent tendencies, when between 54 and 63 percent of the mass shootings in the U.S. since 1982 have been committed by white men.  White men make up the majority of males in our country.  Some might say statistically that makes sense.  Some might say white men are the enemy.

I say let’s stop exclaiming that all people who share the same ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs are the same.  They are not, any more than all white men are the same.

But I’m not looking to make sense out of senseless acts of misplaced rage and vitriol.  I just so desperately want us to be a united nation, embracing our differences and learning from them. Continue reading Opinion: Our differences are killing us — in spirit

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NoN joins national NewsMatch campaign

Keep Nancy asking questions on your behalf. Donate today!

Noticed our new ads about a free press and strong democracy? NancyOnNorwalk has joined with 154 other independent news organizations around the country to participate in a two-month campaign called NewsMatch.

Funded by national foundations including the Knight Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and Gates Family Foundation, this campaign is a special funding opportunity for a select group of local non-profit news organizations.

When NoN was accepted into the Institute for Non-Profit News in August, we grabbed a chance to grow and serve you even better. INN membership has led to a host of valuable benefits, including access to advisers, local news experts, and the opportunity to share relevant stories from other news sites such as the CT Mirror. Continue reading NoN joins national NewsMatch campaign

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Rilling deflecting blame for POKO ‘disaster’

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How typical that Harry Rilling takes no blame.  We were supposed to be reading Harry’s “explanatory statement” about the POKO disaster, instead we get a opinion letter deflecting any and all responsibility.  “Jason Milligan is entirely to blame and all his actions are entirely to benefit himself,” Rilling wrote.  The people in the area that have seen me donate my time and money to causes that benefit the area would disagree.

Harry: “We do not play favorites, negotiate back-door deals, or bend the rules for anyone.” That is exactly opposite of true.

Harry’s “transparent” administration took the unheard of step to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Citibank and a potential developer so they could keep their discussions secret. Secret because if public the plans would be rejected! Continue reading Rilling deflecting blame for POKO ‘disaster’

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