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Norwalk Zoners consider Monroe Street plan for 150 apartments, retail and restaurants

A rendering of the plan for a Spinnaker development that would rehabilitate two Monroe Street buildings and add 150 apartments, retail and restaurant space to SoNo. At lower right is the plaza at Norwalk Police headquarters. At upper right is a building already under construction.

NORWALK, Conn. – The area around Monroe, Chestnut, and South Main Street could see 150 residential apartments, commercial, office, retail, and restaurant space added if the Zoning Commission approves a new plan for the area.

Plans for 8, 10, and 18 Monroe St., 2 and 4 Chestnut St., and 75 and 77 South Main St. were presented to the Zoning Commission recently by Coastal Lofts LLC and Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, which has properties in Norwalk including Ironworks SoNo, the Shirt Factory Lofts, and the Corset Factory.

The properties are about one block from the train station, all within the city’s “Sono Station Design District.” Plans include a new structure, as well as the “rehabilitation of the existing commercial structures” at 8 and 18 Monroe St. The new building, which will have fronts along all three streets, will include retail along South Main Street and resident amenity use along Chestnut. Continue reading Norwalk Zoners consider Monroe Street plan for 150 apartments, retail and restaurants

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Study ranks Norwalk Hospital first in state, 43rd nationwide, for avoiding overuse of tests and procedures

Norwalk Hospital. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. – “Knowing what is valuable and what is not valuable. That is, not to test just to test,” said Dr. Jason R. Orlinick, commenting on the results of an assessment by a medical think tank that ranked Norwalk Hospital highest in Connecticut for avoiding overuse of tests and procedures.

“You’ve got to have a philosophy of putting the patient first,” said Orlinick, an internist and the hospital’s vice president of medical affairs. “What is necessary and what is not necessary.” Continue reading Study ranks Norwalk Hospital first in state, 43rd nationwide, for avoiding overuse of tests and procedures

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A Norwalk photo #98

Thursday in Mathews Park.

NORWALK, Conn. — Tracey Magnet School students have created a story walk at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum.

The second sign explains, “A story walk is an enjoyable way to promote a love of literacy and the outdoors at the same time! Our grade 2 students explored the book Where Oliver Fits and how it connects to our core values at Tracey Magnet School. Throughout his journey, students give the main character, Oliver, advice and make connections to the story. Start at the first sign and follow the path to find out what happens in, Where Oliver Fits by Cale Atkinson.”

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Norwalk Republicans embrace change, seek better outcomes

From left, then-Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman Carl Dickens and RTC District D Chairman John Romano wait to greet voters on Election Day, Nov. 3 at the West Rocks poll. (File photo)

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Republicans, battered badly in the last three municipal elections, are energetically retooling their efforts ahead of an uncertain attempt to unseat Democratic Mayor Harry Rilling and regain a voice in City government.

One major change was involuntary – Carl Dickens has stepped down from the Republican Town Committee leadership role due to health concerns and former State Rep. Fred Wilms is now acting Chairman. Changes to the bylaws were proactive and intentional, with former Board of Education Chairman Mike Lyons drafting the revisions, including a lengthy statement of principles, before moving to South Carolina recently. Isabelle Hargrove has written a game plan and an organization change will allow Republicans to act in a “nimble” way, she said.

“We’ve been hard at work behind the scenes reformulating and restructuring the party itself,” Dickens said. “We want to attract a lot more citizens, who maybe are on the cusp of being either an undeclared or an independent (voter), maybe a soft ‘D,’ but are looking to, if they have more Republican tendencies than they think they have, we want them to know that we would welcome them with open arms.” Continue reading Norwalk Republicans embrace change, seek better outcomes

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NPS move to change SGC policy prompts parental objections

Attorney Dori Page Antonetti of Shipman & Goodwin explaines recommended changes to the Norwalk Public Schools SGC policy at Tuesday’s Board of Education Policy Committee meeting.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk School Governance Councils, instituted five years ago as a way to guide individual school development, may be scaled back under the current administration.

“The policy really gives a lot of authority to the School Governance Council that’s not provided for in the law,” Attorney Dori Page Antonetti of Shipman & Goodwin said at Tuesday’s Board of Education Policy Committee meeting.

“On the surface, this appears to be a way to minimize parent involvement in our schools,” said Kelly Turner, one of seven parents who submitted public comment for the meeting, all of them objecting to the proposed changes. Continue reading NPS move to change SGC policy prompts parental objections

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NPS agenda prompts fear of redistricting

Rilling promises land acquisition for South Norwalk school

Demographer Mike Zuba presents enrollment projections during Tuesday’s Norwalk Board of Education meeting on Zoom.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk is prepared to move forward with its huge investment in school construction, including building two South Norwalk schools on the same property, Mayor Harry Rilling said Tuesday, indicating through his statements that their location won’t necessarily be where Columbus Magnet School is now.

Rilling’s comments followed a lengthy discussion of a demographics analysis with an explanation of a PowerPoint presentation that inspired an outcry over the past few days, chiefly from Rowayton parents, who interpreted the information to mean that the Board of Education was planning to redistrict school zones. Continue reading NPS agenda prompts fear of redistricting

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CT is first state to vaccinate half of adults against COVID

Darker blues denote the highest vaccination rates; Lighter shades the lowest.

Connecticut became the first state Monday to fully vaccinate at least half its adult population against the novel coronavirus, pushing down the rates of COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths, Gov. Ned Lamont said.

“That’s an extraordinary achievement that allows the reopening to continue in a prudent way. [It] makes such a big difference,” said Lamont, who is eliminating all limits on businesses other than wearing masks indoors as of May 19. Continue reading CT is first state to vaccinate half of adults against COVID

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Norwalk BET authorizes funding for permit processing, Fair Rent attorney, harbor study

Monday’s Board of Estimate and Taxation meeting on Zoom.

NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation on Monday greenlighted budget transfers to:

  • Clear a backlog in permit applications (by funding wages for temporary and part time staff)
  • Pay a contractual attorney to cover Fair Rent issues until a new director is hired
  • Buy a van for animal control
  • Study land uses for Norwalk harbor

Continue reading Norwalk BET authorizes funding for permit processing, Fair Rent attorney, harbor study

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Norwalk BET approves 2021-22 budget, using federal money to keep taxes flat

A stencil at Marvin Elementary School in August, 2020.

NORWALK, Conn. — It’s officially a “zero percent” increase for Norwalk Public Schools this year, though City departments have their budgets reinstated to the level they were at before the Council set its cap.

The Board of Estimate, without much comment, voted Monday to approve the tentative 2021-22 operating budget in spite of NPS objections. The capital budget was also approved and the Finance Department authorized to issue bonds totaling $31.4 million to fund the planned expenses. Continue reading Norwalk BET approves 2021-22 budget, using federal money to keep taxes flat

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The ‘Tesla Bill’ isn’t about the environment, it’s all about benefiting Tesla

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Many Connecticut car dealerships offer universal charging ports that are compatible for any electric car, including Teslas. Dealers across Connecticut are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars in charging stations that are part of the charging infrastructure of our state. A number of these are super chargers, making the charging process fast and efficient.  The chargers at the dealerships are open to the public, whether you purchased your car at that dealership or not, and the majority are also free of charge.

Providing universal chargers is the right thing to do. It’s good for the environment. It demonstrates good corporate citizenship. Continue reading The ‘Tesla Bill’ isn’t about the environment, it’s all about benefiting Tesla

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It’s Norwalk Restaurant Week

Mayor Harry Rilling.

One of my favorite things about Norwalk is the many, diverse restaurants we have. Our city knows good food. This week is Spring Restaurant Week in Norwalk and I want to encourage residents to enjoy the warmer weather and support our local restaurants.

Nine Norwalk restaurants will have special menus and discounted prices, including B.J. Ryan’s, BanC House BBQ and Crab, Coals, Dry Dock Bar & Grille, New York Bakery 1955, Osteria Romana Norwalk, Romanacci Norwalk, The Spread and Wall Street Tavern. Continue reading It’s Norwalk Restaurant Week

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Rilling to reopen City Hall on May 20

The foyer in Norwalk City Hall, on April 21.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk City Hall is reopening May 20. You will be able to walk in without an appointment, but will be required to check in at the security desk.

“All Departments will be available during normal business hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. for routine business,” the City said in a press release. Continue reading Rilling to reopen City Hall on May 20

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Most of us are hurting, Norwalk leaders say

Margaret Watt, Prevention Director at Positive Directions – The Center for Prevention and Counseling, speaks Friday at a City Hall press conference. Norwalk Partnership is one of many nonprofits “available to support Norwalk, those who are struggling with your mental health or your substance use,” she said.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk citizens need to help each other with the distress caused by COVID-19, community leaders said in a Friday press conference.

A recent survey revealed “sobering statistics” – 62% of respondents, “way more than half,” reported experiencing psychological distress, said Margaret Watt, Prevention Director at Positive Directions – The Center for Prevention and Counseling. Of those, 29% described moderate or severe symptoms.

Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story Continue reading Most of us are hurting, Norwalk leaders say

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