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Norwalk officials: Milligan demolitions illegal, unsafe

A photo taken Friday at 31-39 Wall St. If the wood lath had ignited, the entire block would have gone up in flames, Norwalk Chief Building Official Bill Ireland said. (Contributed)

Updated, 2 p.m.: comments from Jason Milligan; 8:42 a.m.: Additional quote from Laoise King.

NORWALK, Conn. – Workers scattered and fled last week when Norwalk officials began asking about the demolition work they were doing for Jason Milligan.

The Norwalk Fire Department was called Friday to 31-39 Wall St, a Milligan property, because the unauthorized demolition severed a sprinkler line and the first-floor stores underneath were flooded, officials said. Norwalk Chief Building Official Bill Ireland said he subsequently found cut electrical wires throughout the second floor, some of which were live, and conditions that were unsafe for workers.  The flooded stores remain closed. Continue reading Norwalk officials: Milligan demolitions illegal, unsafe

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Let’s talk alternatives to Wall Street Place proposal

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The upcoming proposal by Citibank/McClutchy for the rescue of the POKO project “Wall Street Place – Phase 1” leaves a lot to be desired from the perspective of Norwalk’s citizens.

It doubles down on the complexity of the previous deal with even more complex financing arrangements, puts an out-of-character and oversized anchor in a charming and historic downtown, and does little beyond adding more people to the area (without the associated property taxes). And it leaves most of Isaacs Street with a blank wall.  (Granted it will have some architectural elements to break it up, but essentially it will be a long blank wall.) Continue reading Let’s talk alternatives to Wall Street Place proposal

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NO EXIT: A road to nowhere

Photo illustration by Jason Milligan.

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We’ve been at this for years, through multiple mayors, and we still seem to wind up right back where we started, with the flood of 1955 and the people’s hopes pinned to a plan that’s doomed from the start. The Citibank plan coming before the Common Council Planning Committee Thursday night permanently makes Isaacs a one-way dead end street.  There’s literally no exit.  We’re destined to circle in an endless logic loop where big government tells ordinary folks—Norwalk taxpayers, business owners, employees and customers—what’s good for them.  We tell them we don’t like it. And they hit repeat.  We are trapped in hell with people we don’t like, who don’t like us, and there is no escape. Continue reading NO EXIT: A road to nowhere

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Livingston, Bryant seek historic look for resumed ‘POKO’ project

A rendering of the plan for Wall Street Place, referred to by many as “POKO.”

NORWALK, Conn. – Amid the many criticisms of the proposal to restart construction on the stalled Wall Street Place development, commonly known as “POKO”,  two influential voices have objected to the design.

Longtime historic preservation activist Tod Bryant, speaking at a July 1 public meeting where developers John and Todd McClutchy presented their plans to complete the partially-built structure at the corner of Wall and Isaacs Streets, said that the proposed look is not compatible with the surrounding area’s historic character.  The Wall Street area has waited a long time for the infill development that “POKO” was designed to be, and deserves a building it can be proud of, Bryant said.  Bryant co-founded the Norwalk Preservation Trust in 2003, currently serves as its president, and operates Heritage Resources, a historic preservation consultancy. Continue reading Livingston, Bryant seek historic look for resumed ‘POKO’ project

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Norwalk Council notes: ‘POKO,’ straws and Maritime Aquarium

The Maritime Aquarium went straw-less more than a year ago. The Norwalk Common Council is now considering a city-wide ban.

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Common Council news for you:

  • McClutchy’s ‘POKO’ plan going to full Council?
  • Potential plastic straw ban draws concern for disabled
  • Meerkats to stay put, unless…

Continue reading Norwalk Council notes: ‘POKO,’ straws and Maritime Aquarium

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Norwalk election notes: Is there a rabbit for the Republican Party?

From left, Democratic incumbent Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, unaffiliated Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton and Republican Mayoral hopeful Darnell Crosland.

The election is Nov. 5.

NORWALK, Conn. – Silly season has come early, according to Republican electoral contest veteran (and Town Clerk) Rick McQuaid.

Thoughts from McQuaid, who served on the Common Council for 16 years and began his political career when he was a teenager, contribute to a NancyOnNorwalk election notes column:

  • ‘Usually there are more (Republican) candidates’
  • Wishing the opponent well
  • ‘No. No. No. :-)’

Continue reading Norwalk election notes: Is there a rabbit for the Republican Party?

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Norwalk legal roundup: $1 million settlement; Milligan and Mosby

The Norwalk Housing Authority in January 2016 is shown plans to update Colonial Village, a public housing project, by representatives of Vesta Corporation. (File photo)

NORWALK, Conn. – Some recent legal developments:

  • A $1 million expense for the Norwalk Housing Authority
  • Mosby loses appeal
  • City dropped from Milligan suit challenging Wall Street Plan

Continue reading Norwalk legal roundup: $1 million settlement; Milligan and Mosby

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Norwalk political roundup: Zoning, Crosland and Facebook part II

Norwalk Planning and Zoning Director Steven Kleppin talks to Common Council members in April as then-Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan listens.

NORWALK, Conn. —Some Norwalk political developments:

  • City seeks consultant for Zoning overhaul
  • Crosland plans campaign kickoff, Tweets anti-Rilling sentiments
  • King alleges borderline harassment

Continue reading Norwalk political roundup: Zoning, Crosland and Facebook part II

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Opinion: How much is your data worth to tech companies?

Your social media data is immeasurably valuable. (Shutterstock)

New proposed legislation by U.S. Senators Mark R. Warner and Josh Hawley seeks to protect privacy by forcing tech companies to disclose the “true value” of their data to users.

Specifically, companies with more than 100 million users would have to provide each user with an assessment of the financial value of their data, as well as reveal revenue generated by “obtaining, collecting, processing, selling, using or sharing user data.” In addition, the DASHBOARD Act would give users the right to delete their data from companies’ databases. Continue reading Opinion: How much is your data worth to tech companies?

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Lamont, political leaders tout support for immigrants and refugees

Gov. Ned Lamont and other state officials gathered Friday to denounce the Trump administration’s immigration raids, planned for Sunday in cities across the U.S. (Kelan Lyons)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – As federal authorities prepared to deport thousands of migrant families from cities across the U.S., Connecticut leaders gathered in Bridgeport Friday morning to underscore the state’s support of immigrants and refugees.

“We’re proud that you’re here, we’re proud that you’re going to our schools,” Gov. Ned Lamont said. “We want you to go on to UCONN, we want you to start up a family here, and that’s why we’re all here today.” Continue reading Lamont, political leaders tout support for immigrants and refugees

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Norwalk political roundup: Saving $2M, beach issues and a Facebook situation

A Norwalk Parking Authority officer on Wednesday patrols Calf Pasture Beach.

Updated, 10:43 a.m.: Added details of one instance in Dec. 2017 when Rilling responded to a complaint about snow removal made on his personal Facebook page.

 

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk political developments:

  • Bond refunding to save $2 million a year
  • Rilling authorizes more police at beach
  • Did Rilling emulate Trump?

Continue reading Norwalk political roundup: Saving $2M, beach issues and a Facebook situation

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Stand Up Norwalk, for undocumented immigrants

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Councilwoman Eloisa Melendez is to be commended for appealing to Norwalk residents to join this Friday’s nationwide rally to protest the Trump administration’s brutal treatment of undocumented immigrants and as Stand Up Norwalk or SUN¹ has noted in the past two points are worth making in support of her appeal:

 

  1. Undocumented immigrants are a blessing not a threat to our welfare.
  2. Past administrations in our country are largely responsible for the poverty and violence that they are fleeing.

Continue reading Stand Up Norwalk, for undocumented immigrants

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