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Achieving equity in education funding

(Contributed)

We can no longer afford or wait to leave kids behind in any community. Only through a fully funded state Education Cost Sharing (ECS) formula can we achieve that.

Today, I stood with over a hundred state legislators, religious leaders, and education advocates in a unified voice to say that this year we will fully and equitably fund all K-12 Connecticut school students for the first time. A long-sought goal that would achieve what I’ve set out to do since 2017 in creating a more equitable school funding formula. Continue reading Achieving equity in education funding

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GOP proposal could mean significant change to CT affordable housing law

The Griswold Hills apartment complex in Newington, offers a mix of affordable and market-rate apartments. Housing advocates and local officials say the complex is an example of how the state’s affordable housing law works. (Tom Condon, CTMirror.org)

A proposed technical adjustment to one of the state’s foremost affordable housing laws could put many Connecticut towns well over the threshold that exempts them from potential legal action if they deny developers’ proposals for certain affordable housing — without any new housing going up or changes to zoning policy.

The bill proposal from the House Republican caucus would add what’s called “naturally occurring” affordable housing to towns’ counts under the law known as 8-30g. Continue reading GOP proposal could mean significant change to CT affordable housing law

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P&Z Commission greenlights new Norwalk High School plan

Gets an earful about solar energy, Net Zero

Building and Facilities Manager Alan Lo explains renewable energy issues, Wednesday at a Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

NORWALK, Conn. — Plans for the new Norwalk High School were unanimously approved by the Norwalk Planning and Zoning Commission after a detailed presentation about renewable energy options and the strategies chosen to heat and cool the building.

Wednesday’s vote came two weeks after Diane Lauricella, an environmental activist and Norwalk resident, argued emphatically during the public hearing that the new high school needed to have more solar on the site. Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Lou Schulman resisted reopening the public hearing Wednesday, saying that he felt the presentation was more “clarification” than “new information,” but was advised that not doing so might result in an appeal of the approval. Continue reading P&Z Commission greenlights new Norwalk High School plan

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Partnership can work

Common Council member Nicol Ayers (D-District A). (Contributed)

Many have said that this will be a challenging budget cycle. I do not disagree, but I do feel that we are looking at the challenges we are facing with the wrong lens. In recent weeks, I have sat in on presentations from both the City and the Norwalk Public Schools (NPS). I have read many emails and studied the budget as if I was going to be tested on these materials.

The Common Council has been called out saying we do not understand the full grasp of the concerns that the school district faces. Personally, I take fault in that because not only am I a member of the Common Council, but I also serve as a community service provider within the schools. It is in both of these roles that my responsibility is to not just address one problem or issue but see how we can juggle a multitude of issues.

I strongly think tactics like, making the public think that the Common Council is not in tune with what the many issues in our schools, are used to pull at the emotions of not only us on the Council but parents around the district, but often those emotional pleas are not grounded in what we as the Common Council can do or offered. Continue reading Partnership can work

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Neonic Pesticide Reform Bill deserves support

(Louise Washer)

Send signed letters to [email protected], with a suggested headline.

I am writing on behalf of the Norwalk River Watershed Association (NRWA) and the Pollinator Pathway to thank Norwalk representative, Lucy Dathan, for submitting a crucial bill this legislative session in support of reforming the state’s restrictions on wasteful uses of neonicotinoid pesticides—neonics for short.

The growth of the Pollinator Pathway, which began in Wilton and Norwalk in 2017 and is now in 96 Connecticut towns, has been spurred by reports from the scientific community warning of an “insect apocalypse.” Most of us know, for example that monarch butterfly populations are down 90% in the last 20 years and that the bees are in big trouble. The rusty patch bumblebee, for example, which used to be common in Connecticut, has been in the headlines recently because it was added to the endangered species list. Continue reading Neonic Pesticide Reform Bill deserves support

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Milligan agrees to settlement in POKO lawsuit

Agreement is in principle; documents not drawn

Real estate broker Jason Milligan chats with Norwalk Chief of Staff Laoise King, Oct. 17 in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. — A settlement has been worked out in the fiery legal battle between real estate broker Jason Milligan and the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency and the City, legal documents filed Tuesday show.

The apparent agreement comes on the heels of a settlement document revealing terms between the plaintiffs and Milligan’s co-defendant Richard Olson. Continue reading Milligan agrees to settlement in POKO lawsuit

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Norwalk political notes: RTC resignations; Duff; McCarthy

(Contributed)

Norwalk Police Officer Mark Suda staffs last year’s Memorial Day Parade. Suda has resigned from the Republican Town Committee.

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

  • Two veteran RTC members resign: Suda out, four months after becoming District D chairman
  • Duff advertises forum with State delegation, including Republican newbie
  • Former Council member, now in Florida, misses mark in website criticism

Continue reading Norwalk political notes: RTC resignations; Duff; McCarthy

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Pain of police killings ripples outward to traumatize Black people and communities across US

RowVaughn Wells, in gray jacket, mother of Tyre Nichols, who died after being beaten by Memphis police officers, is with friends and family members at the conclusion of a candlelight vigil for Tyre, in Memphis, Tenn., on Jan. 26. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

As the video goes public of Black police officers in Memphis beating Tyre Nichols to death, it is a stark reminder of George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020. That set up the largest protests in U.S. history and a national reckoning with racism.

But beyond any protests, every police killing – indeed, every violent act by police toward civilians – can have painful and widespread consequences. Continue reading Pain of police killings ripples outward to traumatize Black people and communities across US

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Norwalk installs plaque to honor three sisters who helped change history

Secretary of the State Stephanie Thomas and Wendell Livingston, Rowayton Historical Society President, unveil a plaque Monday off Maple Street.

NORWALK, Conn. — It’s not difficult to find Norwalk women serving in government these days and even easier Monday off West Avenue, where three suffragettes are honored with a plaque along the Norwalk River Valley Trail.

The Hill sisters were the daughters of Ebenezer Hill, who in 1912 was the first Connecticut Congressman to speak out for women’s rights, said Wendell Livingston, Rowayton Historical Society President. Sisters Clara, Helena, and Elsie “crisscrossed the country to make their opinions known” and “scored their victory in 1920 when the Constitution was amended to give women the vote.” Continue reading Norwalk installs plaque to honor three sisters who helped change history

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Roberts seeks action after Memphis police brutality death

State Rep. Kadeem Roberts (D-137), right, leads a protest Monday on the Town Green.

NORWALK, Conn. — About 40 people gathered Monday evening on the town green in a protest hastily organized by State Rep. Kadeem Roberts (D-137), in response to the release of horrifying video Friday showing a 29-year-old Black man being beaten by five Memphis Police officers, also Black.

Victim Tyre Nichols, who died Jan. 10, was “someone that’s supposed to be among us today,” the father of a 4-year-old child, Roberts said. “We’re close to the same age. And I am African American male, and to see what occurred with him, it hurts. … We always say it’s a Black and white issue. Now this is a police brutality (issue).” Continue reading Roberts seeks action after Memphis police brutality death

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