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A look at the decision to reverse NPS high school start time move, and its ‘complex’ origins

A petition posted over the weekend by Rob Pascarelli.

NORWALK, Conn. — Even as Norwalk Public Schools works to revert to its 2019-20 bell time schedule the outcry continues, with a petition asking the Board of Education to continue giving high schoolers an extra hour to sleep.

“I am requesting a stop to this reversion of school start times until we brainstorm, trial, and test every other possibility first while collecting more sufficient data,” Rob Pascarelli wrote in his petition. “At least try the two options that were initially offered and if after all other possibilities are exhausted and the data shows nothing else will work, then we can think about reverting the time change, but wait until next school year to do it, not this year. It is too detrimental to the mental health and well being of our children to do it now.”

That’s not likely to be effective, even with 133 signatures in just a few days, as NPS is on track for the reversion. Board of Education Chairman Colin Hosten voiced support for the move Monday and Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella is expected to give an update at Tuesday’s BoE meeting. Continue reading A look at the decision to reverse NPS high school start time move, and its ‘complex’ origins

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What is the Moon Festival? A scholar of Chinese religions explains

A popular delicacy eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival is the mooncake. (Xvision/Moment via Getty Images)

With the arrival of September and hints of cooler temperatures also comes one of most important traditional festivals in the Chinese calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Zhongqiu jie (中秋節), also known as the Moon Festival.

At this time of the year, the Chinese store down the road from our home in Gainesville, Florida, is stocked with mooncakes, known in Chinese as yuebing (月餅). The same is true of Chinese stores around the world. There is even the option these days of buying these desserts from online retailers such as Amazon. Continue reading What is the Moon Festival? A scholar of Chinese religions explains

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Norwalk Council greenlights latest artificial turf field, for BMHS softball players

Artifical turf at Skyline Park in Brookline, Mass., which opened in 2008. Norwalk will install CoolPlay at Brien McMahon High School, not a topping of crumb rubber. (Photo by Flickr user Josh Graciano.)

NORWALK, Conn. — The city is going ahead with artificial turf for the new softball field at Brien McMahon High School, even if some Common Council members are not quite cool with the idea of CoolPlay.

“The reason why this item is off consent this evening is because a number of us on Council have begun to question whether turf fields are as safe as they have been represented to us to be. There seems to be conflicting research in the field to determine the levels of toxicity that these fields possess,” Council member Lisa Shanahan (D-District E) said Tuesday.” Continue reading Norwalk Council greenlights latest artificial turf field, for BMHS softball players

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Norwalk photos: Oyster Fest

An Oyster Festival attraction, Sept. 12 in Veteran’s Park. (Nancy Chapman)

James Connor (left) and Kobe Chan, Sept. 12 at the Oyster Festival. They just moved into SoNo two weeks earlier, Connor from Newtown and Chan from Brooklyn. They had been roommates at the University of Albany. (John Levin)

NORWALK, Conn. — Tremendous crowds greeted the Oyster Festival after its one-year absence, Norwalk Seaport Association President Mike Reilly said.

“The festival was great. We had fantastic weather, obviously blessed with great weather. And we had tremendous crowds, you know, and I think people really want to get out, you know, and I think that was a big thing. Obviously, we had lots of COVID safety protocols, and we had a safe weekend,” Reilly said Saturday. “…We don’t really know the attendance numbers, per se right now. We are working on that initial note numbers pretty soon. But I would say, close to record breaking grants.” Continue reading Norwalk photos: Oyster Fest

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Norwalk Dems begin Get Out the Vote campaign

Norwalk Democratic Town Committee Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez, right, speaks to Democrats, Saturday on the Town Green. (Harold F. Cobin)

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. A second District C Democratic primary is scheduled for Oct. 5.

NORWALK, Conn. — Mayor Harry Rilling knows he’s not a shoo-in, he said Saturday.

Norwalk Democrats held a campaign kickoff in the Town Green, where Rilling told the assembled faithful – about 40 people – that they need to get out the vote this fall.

Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story. Continue reading Norwalk Dems begin Get Out the Vote campaign

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Westport UU offers book talk; Health Department honors volunteers; Maritime Aquarium offers homeschool families discount tickets, programs

A squid dissection program for ages 7 and up is one of the classroom presentations available during “Homeschool Day” on Fri., Oct. 1 at The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk. (Maritime Aquarium)

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Journalist to discuss American political divide
  • Saluting health department’s volunteers
  • ‘Homeschool Day’ at Maritime Aquarium

Continue reading Westport UU offers book talk; Health Department honors volunteers; Maritime Aquarium offers homeschool families discount tickets, programs

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Columbus Magnet School student Skye Martin named a National Invention Convention winner

(Norwalk Public Schools)

The Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize Columbus Magnet School Student Skye Martin for having placed first out of all fourth graders competing nationally in the annual Invention Convention this past summer.

Skye invented the Pump & Twist shampoo bottle to solve an issue that many face daily, trying to get all of the product out of the bottom of the shampoo bottle that the pump can’t reach! Continue reading Columbus Magnet School student Skye Martin named a National Invention Convention winner

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A bipartisan effort underway to resettle Afghans in Connecticut

Pastor Thomas Burke, Afghanistan veteran, speaks during a press conference to discuss efforts to welcome Afghan refugees to Connecticut. (Yehyun Kim, CTMirror.org)

Americans who served in Afghanistan joined Gov. Ned Lamont and refugee resettlement officials Friday in a bipartisan effort to generate support for the 310 Afghans who soon will be settling in Connecticut.

One was the Democratic mayor of Hartford, another the Republican town chair of Fairfield. There was a minister who had been a Marine, and a Cambodian refugee who became an American soldier. All served in Afghanistan.

“This is not Republican and Democrat. This is about what it means to be American, that we stand by those who stand by us,” said Mayor Luke Bronin, a Navy veteran among the first elected officials to pledge support. Continue reading A bipartisan effort underway to resettle Afghans in Connecticut

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Recount confirms primary results, District C Dems will vote again

A recount Friday in City Hall. (Harold F. Cobin)

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. A second District C Democratic primary is scheduled for Oct. 5.

NORWALK, Conn. — The results of Tuesday’s primary have been confirmed.

“Jenn McMurrer wins and becomes one of the Democratic nominees for the District C Common Council. Tyler Fairbairn and John Kydes remain tied for the second nomination and an ‘adjourned’ primary, with only those two names on the ballot, will be held on October 5, 2021 at the same two voting locations: Marvin Elementary School and Nathan Hale Middle school,” Norwalk Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells said Friday. Continue reading Recount confirms primary results, District C Dems will vote again

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Activists, Norwalk business man, urge action on climate change

Boaters attempt to spur action on climate change Sunday by protesting off shore from the Oyster Festival. (Michael O’Donnell)

NORWALK, Conn. — Look at Norwalk and see how much of it is 10 feet above sea level, Martin van Breems said.

“We don’t have a seawall, a hurricane wall, like Stamford does or some other cities do. So, you know, Norwalk has a particular incentive to make sure that that we that we are ready for climate change,” the Norwalk businessman said Sunday after working with activists to bring attention to the issue.

Three boats and a blimp were offshore the Oyster Festival attempting to get folks to think about the subject. A fourth boat had mechanical difficulties and couldn’t make it. Continue reading Activists, Norwalk business man, urge action on climate change

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Norwalk Republican endorsed by firefighters as Dems work to sort it out

Norwalk Fire Department Captain Read Auerbach, Republican candidate for District C Common Council, right. Top row at left are Democratic candidates Jenn McMurrer and Tyler Fairbairn; middle left are Democratic candidates John Kydes (incumbent) and Jennifer McAllister; and bottom left is independent candidate Scott Goodwin. (Courtesy photos)

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. The results of Tuesday’s District C Democratic primary will be recounted Friday. A second primary is possible.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk firefighters have thrown their support to District C Republican Read Auerbach in his quest to be elected to the Common Council.

Auerbach’s opponents in the in-district race may be determined Friday in a recount of the Democratic District C primary results. If the tie between incumbent Council member John Kydes and newcomer Tyler Fairbairn, who both came in second to Jenn McMurrer in the primary, isn’t broken, there could be another primary in three weeks, Norwalk Chief of Staff Laoise King said. Continue reading Norwalk Republican endorsed by firefighters as Dems work to sort it out

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Eversource plans to underground transmission lines advanced by Norwalk Public Works Committee, Planning Commission

Norwalk Principal Engineer Vanessa Valadares presents the new plan to bury electrical transmission lines under the Norwalk River.

NORWALK, Conn. — As a part of the Walk Bridge project, Eversource has been planning to underground its transmission lines that cross the Norwalk River via the Walk Bridge. On Monday, members of the Norwalk Public Works Committee and Planning Commission unanimously advanced the latest version of the plans to move the lines underground.

The transmission lines will start above ground at the Norwalk Police Station, before moving underground to cross South Main Street and then continue under Elizabeth Street, cross under Water Street and then under the water, following a path close to Route 136, according to Vanessa Valadares, principal engineer for the city. They’ come back above ground along the train tracks at the Fort Point intersection. Continue reading Eversource plans to underground transmission lines advanced by Norwalk Public Works Committee, Planning Commission

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Norwalk photos: Half a building?

96 East Ave., on Aug. 18.

NORWALK, Conn. — It’s an odd site – half a building faces East Avenue.

Bradford Craighead, under BPC Capital Management II, LLC won zoning approval in January to convert the historic building at 96 East Ave. into eight residential units and 825 square feet of office space. The plan was to keep the eastern half of the building demolish the western half, zoning documents show. Continue reading Norwalk photos: Half a building?

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