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Norwalk BoE votes for new Columbus school, postpones Cranbury work

Columbus Magnet School, which has a 46 Concord St. address. Demolishing it and building a new school would cost $1.5 million more than renovating it to a new-like condition, Jim Giuliano of Construction Solutions Group said. The school’s student body is expected to move to Ely Avenue, which will facilitate demolishing the existing structure and building a new one.

NORWALK, Conn. – Columbus Elementary School is one step closer to a wrecking ball, after a Board of Education vote to request funding for a new school to replace the 81-year-old building.

The Board voted unanimously Tuesday to request an additional $1.5 million from the City for the proposed new school, and ditch plans to renovate the edifice on Chestnut Street which houses Columbus Magnet School.  The Board also delayed work on Cranbury Elementary School, which will free up the money needed to cover the $13.6 million budget shortfall in its construction projects. Continue reading Norwalk BoE votes for new Columbus school, postpones Cranbury work

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Council greenlights ‘good start’ noise ordinance

Ordinance Committee Chairwoman Eloisa Melendez (D-District A), Tuesday in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – Common Council members on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved a revised noise ordinance that several called a “good start.”

The complicated ordinance calls for a maximum outdoor noise level of 55 decibels in the daytime and 45 decibels at night.

Washington Street’s bar area has special limits: 65 decibels at night, 10 feet from an establishment, and 35 decibels inside a residence. Continue reading Council greenlights ‘good start’ noise ordinance

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‘POKO’ restart proposal will be made public ‘soon,’ Rilling says

Wall Street Place, otherwise known as “POKO,” as seen from Isaac Street on April 12.

Updated, 10:40 a.m.: Information added

NORWALK, Conn. – A deal to restart the stalled Wall Street Place development, commonly called “POKO,” will be made public “soon,” Mayor Harry Rilling and Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola said Tuesday.

Common Council members met in executive session for about an hour and a half on Tuesday evening, discussing a proposal first disclosed during March 6 court testimony by Norwalk Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan. Continue reading ‘POKO’ restart proposal will be made public ‘soon,’ Rilling says

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Rilling names new Norwalk CFO

Norwalk Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz.

NORWALK, Conn. – Three months after Norwalk’s CFO resigned abruptly, the City has a new head number-cruncher.

New Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz will start April 29, Mayor Harry Rilling said at Tuesday’s Council meeting.  Dachowitz comes to Norwalk from Wayne County, Michigan, where since January 2018 he was Chief Financial Officer and achieved five bond rating increases in five months, according to his resume.   Continue reading Rilling names new Norwalk CFO

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Norwalk Republicans hear surprise pitch from Dem Mayoral aspirant

Darnell Crosland, lifelong Democrat, enjoys the friendship of Norwalk Republicans recently in a photo he provided to NancyOnNorwalk. Left to right, Thomas Burns, Crosland, RTC Chairman Mark Suda, and Marc and Heidi D’Amelio.  (Contributed)

The election is Nov. 5.

Updated, 4 p.m.: photos added; 9:22 a.m.: Information added.

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Republicans on Monday continued their quest to find a Mayoral candidate by hearing from two contenders who are not Republicans.

Lifelong Democrat and activist Darnell Crosland, who is the former head of the Norwalk NAACP, made a surprise pitch to the Republican Town Committee.  If Republicans endorse him for mayor, he’ll join that party, he said. At the same meeting, unaffiliated Mayoral candidate Lisa Brinton also addressed the group, seeking a cross-endorsement.   Continue reading Norwalk Republicans hear surprise pitch from Dem Mayoral aspirant

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Norwalk BoE considers new Cranbury school instead of renovation

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Barbis, left, and BoE member Barbara Meyer-Mitchell, Monday in City Hall.

Updated, 2:43 p.m.: Additional information.

NORWALK, Conn. – Plans to renovate Cranbury Elementary School may be ditched in favor of a brand new school, as the Norwalk Board of Education responds to a budget shortfall by rejiggering its facilities improvement program.

The BoE Facilities Committee on Monday voted to shift its school construction funds by transferring $11.9 million from a capital projects account, in addition to other money, to raise the additional $13.6 million needed to move forward with a new school at the Nathaniel Ely site and two school renovations. Of the $11.9 million, $9 million were originally slated for Cranbury renovations, and $2 million for improvements at Fox Run, Norwalk Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton explained.
Continue reading Norwalk BoE considers new Cranbury school instead of renovation

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Milligan sues City, RDA to undo Wall-West neighborhood plan

Norwalk real estate broker Jason Milligan talks to the Common Council Planning Committee, February in City Hall.

NORWALK, Conn. – A real estate broker being sued by the City of Norwalk has sued it back, in hopes of invalidating the recently-approved neighborhood plan for the Wall Street-West Avenue area.

Jason Milligan, under the legal entity IJ Group LLC, filed the lawsuit Monday against the City of Norwalk, the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency, Harriman Associates and the Regional Plan Association (RPA). Milligan alleges that due process was not followed in the plan’s creation and approval, and accuses the City and the Redevelopment Agency of fraud.
Continue reading Milligan sues City, RDA to undo Wall-West neighborhood plan

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NPS looks to improve ‘customer service’

Norwalk Public Schools Communications Director Brenda Wilcox Williams on April 2 uses a pie chart to highlight the results of a recent NPS customer service audit: the blue area represents the 66% of the auditors who felt welcomed by NPS.  The orange reflects those who did not.

NORWALK, Conn. – If you’re sick of waiting on hold when you call one of Norwalk’s public schools, then the Norwalk Board of Education has good news for you.

NPS, under its newly developed plan to improve “customer service,” aims to change the on-hold music for phone calls, eliminate voicemail hell and upgrade all of its websites. The district will also conduct staff training work, improve signage at schools and at Central Office, and consider recognizing excellent service.   Continue reading NPS looks to improve ‘customer service’

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Suda, del Pino named Officers of the Month for arresting armed felon

Norwalk Police Officers Anthony del Pino (center) and Mark Suda (right) are recognized on April 15 as March Officers of the Month by Norwalk Police Commissioners, from left, Fran Collier Clemmons, Mayor Harry Rilling and Charlie Yost. Suda is also Norwalk Republican Town Committee Chairman. (Harold Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. – Two police officers were named the Norwalk Police Department’s Officers of the Month for March in recognition of their arrest of an armed felon.

Officers Mark Suda and Anthony del Pino on March 29 were conducting a “proactive patrol” behind the Palace Theatre on North Main Street when a civilian advised them a known felon was selling narcotics in the area, Commander of Special Services, Lt. Marc Lepore, said in a summary of the incident. Continue reading Suda, del Pino named Officers of the Month for arresting armed felon

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Norwalk conservationists will talk pollinators, preservation at Monday meeting

Norwalk River Watershed Association President Louise Washer will speak on conservation and pollinators at the Norwalk Land Trust’s annual meeting Monday.

Louise Washer, president of the Norwalk River Watershed Association, will speak on pollinators and habitat preservation Monday, April 22 at the Norwalk Land Trust’s annual meeting.

Washer’s Earth Day talk, titled “The Pollinator Pathway: A Plan for Preserving Land, Water and Wildlife Habitat in Norwalk,” is free and open to the public. Continue reading Norwalk conservationists will talk pollinators, preservation at Monday meeting

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The story of Easter, a Christian festival that feels pagan

Easter symbols such as eggs and bunnies give the festivities an air of pre-Christian paganism. (Wikimedia Commons)

There’s a lot of confusion about Easter – not least because this most important of all Christian festivals moves around so much from year to year, decided by a complex set of calculations based on the vernal equinox and the phase of the moon. Easter symbols – eggs, bunnies, lambs and the rest – give the festivities an air of pre-Christian paganism.

So where do the origins of Easter and the rituals observed by so many – whether Christian or not – really lie? Continue reading The story of Easter, a Christian festival that feels pagan

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Opinion: One Norwalk Boomer’s perspective on AOC

Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (Wikimedia Commons)

How did a 29-year-old capture the curiosity of a nation?  A freshman congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, appeared on the covers of Time Magazine and Vanity Fair in her first semester in office. What is in us — and what is in her — to bubble into such controversies that catch our collective attention?  She, the communication virtuoso (Bloomberg Businessweek) of/for the millennium generation, is telling her elders something. We might want to listen.

Here’s one Baby Boomer’s perspective on what AOC is about. Continue reading Opinion: One Norwalk Boomer’s perspective on AOC

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Author talk, Norwalk theater and nonprofit events, and resident pass info

Comedian Chris Destefano will perform at Norwalk’s Wall Street Theater April 25. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Author talk with Sandra Day O’Connor biographer
  • Wall Street Theater’s May schedule
  • Networking, panel discussion for women business owners
  • Minks to Sinks accepting donations for giant tag sale
  • YWCA to honor Women of Distinction
  • Norwalk/Nagarote Gala
  • Resident/Beach Pass info

Continue reading Author talk, Norwalk theater and nonprofit events, and resident pass info

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