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Opinion: Dear Judge Moukawsher

Randall Smith

Randall Smith

Randall Smith is a social studies teacher and debate coach at Joel Barlow High School in Redding.

An open letter to Judge Moukawsher:

As a teacher in his sixteenth year in education, I wish to offer Judge Thomas Moukawsher both praise and some advice in response to his recent landmark ruling.

On the issue of school funding, I applaud him for holding our collective feet to the fire to come up with a cost-sharing formula that is fair to disadvantaged communities. His laserlike focus on abolishing achievement gaps echoes Brown v. Board of Ed., which challenged Topeka and the entire country to make good on the Constitution’s promise to give all Americans “equal protection of the laws.” The fact that it has been decades since Sheff v. O’Neill was handed down and so little progress has been made toward ending disparities in educational resources is indisputably disgraceful. Continue reading Opinion: Dear Judge Moukawsher

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Pols visit South Norwalk to highlight benefits of T.O.D. – new apartments, expected hotel

NORWALK, Conn. – Proximity to the South Norwalk train station was touted Friday as being key to Norwalk’s economic resurgence as officials drew attention to development in SoNo.

“The new reality is people want to be in places like this and are a little less interested in commuting from the suburbs to the cities,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said, in a tour of Transit Oriented Development (T.O.D.) South Norwalk projects.

The tour highlighted the newly opened SoNo Pearl, where developer Thomas Rich of F. D. Rich Company announced that he has gotten financing to build a hotel around the corner, next to Norwalk Police headquarters.   Continue reading Pols visit South Norwalk to highlight benefits of T.O.D. – new apartments, expected hotel

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Perpignan endorsed by Independent Party of Connecticut

Darline Perpignan.

Darline Perpignan.

NORWALK, Conn. – Republican Darline Perpignan has received the endorsement of the Independent Party of Connecticut in her drive to unseat State Rep. Chris Perone (D-137).

“I am honored to have been cross-endorsed by the Independent Party,” Perpignan said in a press release. “While the Republican Party is my home, I know that there is large portion of the electorate that does not identify with either party, and I can let them know that I understand their frustration.  I am running to help alleviate that frustration and the undue pressure put on them by our current state legislature.” Continue reading Perpignan endorsed by Independent Party of Connecticut

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Pennas given new hope in Walk Bridge project, as state gives Norwalk more time to comment

Robin and Vincent Penna fight to keep their business last month with a rally at 10 Goldstein Place, the Norwalk home of A.J. Penna & Son.

Robin and Vincent Penna fight to keep their business last month with a rally at 10 Goldstein Place, the Norwalk home of A.J. Penna & Son.

NORWALK, Conn. – A new home may have been found for a Norwalk business being displaced for the construction of the Walk Bridge, Mayor Harry Rilling said.

That possible good news is just one piece of information relayed by Rilling, who elaborated on the reasons why the Connecticut Department of Transportation (ConnDOT) has ruled out fixing the bridge in place. There are federal regulations prohibiting the use of Veteran’s Park as a staging area, he said.

Norwalkers will have more time than expected to weigh in on the issue, as ConnDOT has agreed to reschedule its public hearing from Oct. 6 to mid-November, State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) announced Thursday. The public comment period will close two weeks after the hearing, he said. Continue reading Pennas given new hope in Walk Bridge project, as state gives Norwalk more time to comment

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Opinion: Connecticut Can Do It

Greg Ehlers

Greg Ehlers

Greg Ehlers is the Republican candidate for State Senate in District 25, currently represented in the State Senate by Democrat Bob Duff. 

In the two decades I’ve lived in Darien, and over the last few months on the campaign trail, I’ve had the privilege of learning from a wide array of local residents from business owners in East Norwalk, commuters in Darien, single parents in South Norwalk and recent college graduates in Cranbury.  I’ve heard stories from immigrants who are struggling to support their families as well as from people whose families has been here since the 17th century who are contemplating leaving the state they love.

Every one of these people seems to agree on one thing: Connecticut has fallen behind.  Our state’s reputation on the national stage is defined by its dismal fiscal status, doomed new businesses, and politicians who are unwilling to face the reality of the issues…and their impact on our lives.  In Norwalk and Darien, no matter who you are, you have experienced the fallout from Connecticut’s failure to adapt to a changing economy, whether that be your household finances, or seeing increasingly depleting network of friends and family who are leaving this state – and its troubles – behind. Continue reading Opinion: Connecticut Can Do It

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Opinion: Why Wall Street needs a train station (or, how to keep jobs in Connecticut and solve problems)

Michael McGuire.

Michael McGuire.

Michael McGuire is principal of the Austin McGuire Company, a commercial real estate company located on Wall Street.

How can the City of Norwalk solve its two major problems in Downtown – Duleep’s burnt out building, and POKO’s default with no prospects of finding another developer to take this over?  How can the State attract and retain the jobs and small businesses that will drive our economy forward, particularly in the creative tech sector, all the while alleviating traffic and congestion?

Solution – re-activate the old Wall Street Train Station.  Where a train station goes so go the jobs. Continue reading Opinion: Why Wall Street needs a train station (or, how to keep jobs in Connecticut and solve problems)

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Opinion: Connecticut’s Transportation and Budget Crisis… Truths and Untruths

Terrie Wood

Terrie Wood

In reading a story published recently, titled “Battle Shaping Up Over Fare Hikes” and written by Bill Cummings, I found myself just shaking my head at statements from State Sen. Bob Duff.  (Sen. Duff represents most of Darien and all of Norwalk.)  Some facts need to be laid out, and misleading/incorrect statements need to be corrected for the record.

For perspective… Continue reading Opinion: Connecticut’s Transportation and Budget Crisis… Truths and Untruths

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Opinion: Connecticut needs to resolve its education funding issues

Gail Lavielle

Gail Lavielle

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) issued the following statement regarding the Supreme Court’s announcement that it will hear an appeal of Superior Court Judge Moukawsher’s decision in the lawsuit filed by Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education (CCJEF) against the state.

This is not a time to identify winners or losers in this matter. The Supreme Court’s review may be a very long process, and until it is completed, the state’s and the legislature’s obligations remain unaffected by the Superior Court’s decision.

While the issue of education funding, which is central to the case, therefore remains unresolved, it is an area where constantly changing legislation and policy over the years, coupled with grave deficiencies in the state budget, have created acute inequities or climates of great funding uncertainty in many school districts. Continue reading Opinion: Connecticut needs to resolve its education funding issues

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Kleppin named new Norwalk Planning and Zoning director

New Canaan Town Planner Steve Kleppin reacts Wednesday in Norwalk City Hall after the Norwalk Planning Commission and Zoning Commission voted to make him the new Norwalk Planning and Zoning director.

New Canaan Town Planner Steve Kleppin reacts Wednesday in Norwalk City Hall after the Norwalk Planning Commission and Zoning Commission voted to make him the new Norwalk Planning and Zoning director.

Kleppin resume

Updated 2 p.m.: Steve Kleppin’s resume added; 12:45 p.m.: Comments from Fran DiMeglio; phrasing of related changed for the sake of accuracy.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk on Wednesday selected for its next Planning and Zoning director a man who is described as “energetic” and “enthusiastic,” with good people skills.

The secretive selection of New Canaan Town Planner Steve Kleppin was approved by the Planning Commission and the Zoning Commission, with one Planning Commissioner voting no and two abstentions.

The selection of Kleppin leaked out three weeks ago when the New Canaan Advertiser published a report based on anonymous sources. But Norwalk officials declined to confirm or deny that rumor. Continue reading Kleppin named new Norwalk Planning and Zoning director

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Knopp, Wilms look to future with Norwalk BoE as state appeals CCJEF ruling

Former Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp speaks to the Board of Education on Tuesday in City Hall.

Former Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp speaks to the Board of Education on Tuesday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk’s leaders are pondering their next steps as the Connecticut Supreme Court considers an appeal of Connecticut Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s sweeping decision regarding the state’s educational funding.

“Gov. (Dannel) Malloy, to his credit, has said he doesn’t think he needs to wait for the Supreme Court to act to keep working to improve educational funding in Connecticut. Let’s put him to the test and see if we can’t come up with ways to measure the needs of communities like Norwalk and stop overestimating its wealth so we come up with a realistic funding formula,” former Mayor Alex Knopp said to the Board of Education on Tuesday. Continue reading Knopp, Wilms look to future with Norwalk BoE as state appeals CCJEF ruling

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Opinion: Voter ID is a women’s issue

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan political organization, encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy, according to its website.

On Sept. 10, a federal appeals court sided with the League of Women Voters and blocked a proof-of-citizenship requirement on voter registration forms in three states. However, 17 states have enacted voter ID laws that threaten to disenfranchise minority, low-income, and women voters.

Voter ID is a women’s issue because an overwhelming majority of women change their names upon marriage, whether by taking their husband’s surname or by hyphenating. If a woman gets divorced, she may or may not reclaim her maiden name. Add to this a requirement that all of a person’s ID documents must display the same name, and you have a recipe for disaster. A national survey reported by the Brennan Center for Justice found that nearly one-third of voting-age women could be turned away from the polls because they do not have the required documentation of their current legal name. Voting rights advocates point out that the expense of requesting copies of documents to satisfy strict voter ID laws amounts to the equivalent of a poll tax.

Citizens without proof Continue reading Opinion: Voter ID is a women’s issue

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Supreme Court grants Connecticut appeal of CCJEF ruling

NORWALK, Conn. — The Connecticut Supreme Court has granted the Connecticut Attorney General’s appeal of the decision in the lawsuit filed by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Educational Funding (CCJEF).

CCJEF filed an opposition motion Monday requesting that the Court not grant the appeal but on Tuesday the Chief Justice decided to hear the appeal. The Chief Justice did grant CCJEF’s request to review issues in the trial. Continue reading Supreme Court grants Connecticut appeal of CCJEF ruling

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Toper to Norwalk Special Education parents: ‘Failure is not an option’

Norwalk Public Schools Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services Lynn Toper, right, speaks to the public Monday in City Hall.

Norwalk Public Schools Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services Lynn Toper, right, speaks to the public Monday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. — Beleaguered Norwalk Special Education parents expressed tentative hope Monday after listening to the woman hired to turn the SPED department around.

Norwalk Public Schools Chief of Specialized Learning and Student Services Lynn Toper emphasized that she doesn’t do anything halfway, saying, “Anything that I have gotten myself attached to is done to a level of excellence.”

“I really did, in all honesty, have to think long and hard if I wanted to come here,” Toper said. “There was a lot of folks who said, ‘Are you sure you want to do this? Do you know what you are walking yourself into?’ I did. But we are talking about children and that’s what I am all about. So if we are talking about children who are not getting what they need and I can be a part of making that better, how can I say no?” Continue reading Toper to Norwalk Special Education parents: ‘Failure is not an option’

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About this site

NancyOnNorwwalk.com was conceived as the place to go for Norwalk residents to get the real, unvarnished story about what is going on in and around their city. NancyOnNorwalk does not intend to be a print newspaper online; rather, it exists to pull the curtain back and shine a spotlight on how Norwalk is run and what is happening regarding issues that have an impact on taxpayers’ pocketbooks and safety. As an independent site, NancyOnNorwalk’s first and only allegiance is to the reader.

About Nancy

Nancy came to Norwalk in September 2010 and, after reporting on Norwalk for two years for another company, resigned to begin Nancy On Norwalk so she engage in journalism the way it was meant to be done. She is married to career journalist Mark Chapman, has a son, Eric (the artist and web designer who built this website), and two cats – a middle-aged lady and a young hottie who are learning how to peacefully co-exist.