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Garden Cinemas owner confirms theater is being sold

The Garden Cinemas at 17 Isaac St. in Norwalk, as seen through the stalled construction of Wall Street Place phase I. The theater was built in 1967, according to Norwalk land records.

Updated, 9:26 a.m.: Information added; 8:27 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Garden Cinemas is being sold, owner Richard Freedman confirmed to NancyOnNorwalk Saturday.

Attendance at the arthouse theater is half what it used to be, Freedman said, and the building is under contract to be sold to JHM, a developer expected to take over construction of the adjacent stalled redevelopment project known to many as “POKO.”

Freedman blamed the theater’s demise on a lack of parking since 2015, when POKO — officially known as Wall Street Place — began construction atop what was the Isaac Street municipal lot, across the street from the theater.  He said Saturday that he assumes JHM will demolish the theater.   Continue reading Garden Cinemas owner confirms theater is being sold

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Norwalk BoE celebrates successes

Attendees of Tuesday’s Norwalk Board of Education meeting applaud Rowayton Elementary School leaders and their second recognition as a School of Distinction.

Updated, 8:57 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Board of Education members on Tuesday emphasized the positive with a presentation that drew multiple rounds of applause from a full Common Council chambers.

Highlighted were Saturday’s surprising Norwalk High School girls’ basketball state championship and other high school athletic champions, along with schools which earned School of Distinction awards.

“What a thriller,” Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski said of Saturday’s come-from-behind basketball win at Mohegan Sun.  Adamowski noted that the Norwalk Lady Bears beat New London in the last minute of the game. Continue reading Norwalk BoE celebrates successes

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NAACP plans to press case to Norwalk BoE, in absence of sit down

Norwalk Branch NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams attends the March 5 Norwalk Board of Education meeting.

Updated, 8:43 a.m.: Copy edits; 8:02 a.m.: Copy edits, information added

NORWALK, Conn. – Calls for Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Barbis to resign continue, following  emails criticizing prominent people of color, and some see the controversy as a cloud over educational issues.

A meeting between Norwalk NAACP President Brenda Penn-Williams and Barbis, which Mayor Harry Rilling said he would arrange, is still pending, one month after Barbis’ comments about the NAACP became public. In the meantime, Penn-Williams is again circulating a flier alleging that Barbis “undeniably lied and demonstrated animus toward people of color and institutions that protect people of color.”  The flyer encourages attendance at Tuesday’s BoE meeting.   Continue reading NAACP plans to press case to Norwalk BoE, in absence of sit down

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Norwalk state legislators talk taxes, tolls, school regionalization

Concerned citizens attend a Democratic legislator forum, Tuesday in Norwalk City Hall. (Harold Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s Democratic legislators talked sales taxes to support municipalities, tolls, school district regionalization and cost-saving measures at a forum Tuesday in City Hall.

About 40 people attended the meeting.  State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) and State Reps. Lucy Dathan (D-142), Chris Perone (D-137) and Travis Simms (D-140) answered questions for about 50 minutes.

Some highlights:

 

Video by Harold Cobin below Continue reading Norwalk state legislators talk taxes, tolls, school regionalization

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Norwalk notes: Cheating scandal, a debunked report, Norwalk’s Love on CNN, and NPD at mosque

A screenshot of former Congresswoman Mia Love (R-Utah 4th) appearing on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper Sunday.  Love is a 1993 graduate of Norwalk High School and the daughter of Haitian immigrants.

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk-related news for you:

  • Norwalk native accused of paying $50K to get son into college
  • Yahoo issues latest McDowell-inspired smear on Norwalk
  • NHS ’93 grad and former Congresswoman: We need love language
  • Rilling sends Norwalk Police to Al Madany in ‘caution’

 

Continue reading Norwalk notes: Cheating scandal, a debunked report, Norwalk’s Love on CNN, and NPD at mosque

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Wall Street Theater attendance is surging

Send signed letters to [email protected]

First, I would like to change a misperception that seems to be running around in some circles. The Wall Street Theater was funded without a cent of money from the City of Norwalk. So referring to it in some way as a municipal responsibility is incorrect. The Wall Street Theater Company is a 501(c)3 nonprofit which is solely responsible for its profit and loss/success or failure. We receive no regular funding from anyone. Our performance is how we operate and nothing else. We welcome your support and donations when appropriate, but it is a business for the community. Continue reading Wall Street Theater attendance is surging

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A Danish word the world needs to combat stress: Pyt

Instead of overreacting to minor slights, it’s healthier to just say, ‘pyt.’ (Ezume Images/Shutterstock.com)

Danes are some of the happiest people in the world, and they also happen to have a lot of cool words for ways to be happy.

You may have heard about “hygge,” which has been the subject of countless books, articles and commercials. Often mistranslated to mean “cozy,” it really describes the process of creating intimacy.

But another word “pyt” – which sort of sounds like “pid” – was recently voted the most popular word by Danes, beating out “dvæle” (to linger) and “krænkelsesparat” (ready to take offense). Continue reading A Danish word the world needs to combat stress: Pyt

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Roton students call for update to Norwalk’s Heritage Wall

From left, Rosie Strickland, Roshni Yousuf, Ella Dino, Raisa Yousuf, and Gia Magana-Garcia at Norwalk’s Heritage Wall. The Roton Middle School students researched the wall as part of a project for Mark Jackson’s social studies class. (Mark Jackson)

Editor’s note: Students in Mark Jackson’s Roton Middle School seventh-grade social studies class researched Norwalk’s Heritage Wall.  Here is what they learned.

 

In the early summer of 1983, former Norwalk teacher and future mayor Thomas C. O’Connor dedicated Norwalk’s Heritage Wall, which is located on West Avenue, across the street from Stepping Stones and Lockwood-Mathews Mansion. The wall project began under then-Mayor Frank Zullo and was implemented by a team which included O’Connor.   Today the wall and its plaques stand as a testament to O’Connor’s planning and vision, and showcase Norwalk’s many ethnicities.

The language on the plaques includes poetic representations of each culture. For example, the plaque honoring Italians in Norwalk states: “Strong through the teaching of our forefathers. Lovers of work and freedom. Humble we came honoring the laws. We pursued our dreams, achieved our goals, strengthened our beliefs, and proudly we are Americans.” Continue reading Roton students call for update to Norwalk’s Heritage Wall

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Opinion: The real ‘takers’ are not poor people, but the rich

(CTMirror.org)

Taxes should not be raised for those who create jobs and spend their money in Connecticut. Most working people in Connecticut spend their money in the Nutmeg State buying fishing rods, furniture, toilet paper, food, cars, fast food, diapers, bullets and what have you. When the average person has money he or she spends it, which creates demand and more jobs. Continue reading Opinion: The real ‘takers’ are not poor people, but the rich

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City attorneys argue against Milligan’s motion to dismiss lawsuit

Jason Milligan, left, shows off a map on March 5 as Attorney David Rubin (center) and Norwalk Assistant Corporation Counsel Darin Callahan address Judge Charles Lee (not shown) in Stamford Superior Court.

Updated, 9:12 a.m.: Copy edits, revised headline

NORWALK, Conn. – Jason Milligan has pounced on a statement made by Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan as the basis for a motion to throw out the lawsuit filed against him by the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and the City of Norwalk.

Milligan was expected to testify Thursday in the case, but the hearing was postponed due to a motion to dismiss filed Wednesday by Milligan’s attorney, David Rubin. In response to the motion, lawyers for Norwalk and the Redevelopment Agency have argued that the statement made last week by Sheehan is incorrect. Continue reading City attorneys argue against Milligan’s motion to dismiss lawsuit

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Norwalk political notes: A train station study, ‘what Mushak said’, and Mayor Maddafari?

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, left, and Mike McGuire chat Tuesday outside City Hall.

Updated, 8:43 a.m.: Copy edits, new headline

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk political notes for you:

  • Rilling pushes for Wall Street train station
  • ‘Give the plan a chance’ and ‘what Mushak said’
  • Maddafari for Mayor?

 

Continue reading Norwalk political notes: A train station study, ‘what Mushak said’, and Mayor Maddafari?

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‘Blindsided’ Norwalk officials scramble to assuage 260 rebuffed taxpayers

From left, Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation Chairman Ed Camacho and Mayor Harry Rilling on Wednesday question Tax Assessor Michael Stewart in City Hall.

Carl Cooke’s not feeling euphoric about the valuation placed on his Utopia. (Google)

Updated, 9:14 a.m.: Comments from Adam Blank.  8:21 a.m.: Copy edits, revised headline

NORWALK, Conn. – Two hundred sixty commercial property owners have been denied a hearing on their assessment appeals, because the city body that hears appeals doesn’t have the necessary experience.  City officials are scrambling to find a solution that doesn’t require costly litigation for each case.

Property owner Carl Cooke’s request for an appeal was turned down by the Norwalk Board of Assessment Appeals, and he finds the situation “insane”.

“As the owner of about two dozen properties in Norwalk, paying over, $175k in yearly taxes, I find it incredible that I have to take the city to court to argue some relief on what I believe to be an over valuation of my property,” he wrote.

Cooke said he knows roughly half a dozen property owners who are similarly outraged, and that may be just the tip of the iceberg: City officials say 260 Norwalk commercial property owners, whose properties are assessed at more than $1 million, have been denied a hearing on the results of the 2018 revaluation, an outcome permitted by state statute. Continue reading ‘Blindsided’ Norwalk officials scramble to assuage 260 rebuffed taxpayers

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