Cece battles East Norwalk TOD plan, claims community ‘mistrust’

A slide used by Planning and Zoning Director Steven Kleppin to illustrate the Seaview Avenue pedestrian promenade concept introduced by consultants as part of the emerging East Norwalk Transit Oriented Development Plan. It’s one of the best recommendations and, “After the plan is approved, we’ll work with DPW, Recs & Park and Transportation and Mobility on developing a plan for the promenade,” he said. “By including the concept in the plan places more importance on it and allows us to pursue grant funding and indicates consistency with the POCD when seeking capital funding.

NORWALK, Conn. — Development guidelines being formulated by the Planning and Zoning Department may result in 1,200 to 1,500 new apartments in East Norwalk, according to Diane Cece.

Cece is engaging in “scare tactics,” according to Third Taxing District Commissioner Pam Parkington.

Planning and Zoning Director Steven Kleppin said experience shows that things don’t move that fast and, “I don’t think this will immediately translate to the entire area being redeveloped.” Continue reading Cece battles East Norwalk TOD plan, claims community ‘mistrust’


COVID-19 notes: Rilling highlights SoNo businesses, keeps East Norwalk library closed for now

Lt. Gov. Susan Bysiewicz and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling start a SoNo visit, Wednesday on Washington Street.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some COVID-19 developments:

  • Rilling tours SoNo with Bysiewicz
  • East Norwalk library reverses course, stays shut
  • FOI concerns

Continue reading COVID-19 notes: Rilling highlights SoNo businesses, keeps East Norwalk library closed for now


Boat owner asks: Why is Norwalk stealing my yacht?

Swany, being moored near Sheffield Island in early May. (Contributed)

Updated, 1 a.m. Thursday with additional comments from James Harding. 

NORWALK, Conn. — James Harding says the City of Norwalk is stealing his half-million-dollar yacht, and, “Their aggressive behavior is pretty dysfunctional.”

Harding is a “real sh—bag,” said Harbormaster Greg Scully, a Norwalk Police Officer. Harding’s sailboat was declared an abandoned vessel under State Statutes because Harding tied it to City property without permission and didn’t make good on multiple promises to remove it, Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr said, describing it as “like a schooner.” Continue reading Boat owner asks: Why is Norwalk stealing my yacht?


Some Norwalk photos: Quakers mark Memorial Day

Former Norwalk Mayor Bill Collins., right, holds a Veterans for Peace banner with Amelia Christie of Melborne, Australia, left, Monday on the Town Green. Christie is sheltering in place in Norwalk. (Contributed)


NORWALK, Conn. — Wilton Quaker Meeting held a one-hour silent worship Monday to memorialize the war dead and rededicate themselves to promote the peaceful resolution of conflict, according to Diane Keefe, who submitted these photographs.

“The iris (at right) was in the center of one of the two meditation circles,” Keefe wrote. “When the church bells range at noon. One of the Quakers in each circle picked up the flower and shared it with another person to break the silence.” Continue reading Some Norwalk photos: Quakers mark Memorial Day


Updates spell out the latest on COVID-19

This transmission electron microscope image shows SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, isolated from a patient in the U.S. Virus particles are shown emerging from the surface of cells cultured in the lab. The spikes on the outer edge of the virus particles give coronaviruses their name, crown-like. (Courtesy of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases {NIAID}.)

NORWALK, Conn. — Four more Norwalk citizens have died due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 124, according to Mayor Harry Rilling’s Monday update.

“It is with great sadness that I share we have lost four more residents to COVID-19. These are not just numbers or a statistic, these are our friends, family, and neighbors. I offer my thoughts and prayers to their loved ones. I hope they will find peace and comfort during these difficult times,” Rilling said in the update. Continue reading Updates spell out the latest on COVID-19


Norwalk Zoning Commission ruling halts all contractor yard expansions for a year

(Wikimedia Commons Free Repository)

NORWALK, Conn. – No new contractor yards or expansions of existing ones will be approved in Norwalk during the next 12 months, due to a moratorium unanimously approved by the Zoning Commission after several hours of deliberation and public
comment in the Zoners’ May 11 and May 20th meetings.

An extensive study of Norwalk’s industrial zones will be conducted throughout the year-long period that the moratorium is in effect.  No contractor yard applications will be accepted during that time.

Norwalk Planning and Zoning Director Steve Kleppin advocated for the measure. “Many contractors operate well within the bounds of what’s permitted by the City,” Kleppin said.  “Unfortunately, there are also many illegal contractor yards that are a constant source of work for the Planning and Zoning Department.  The City is looking at its industrial zones and is about to start a study of them within the next month or so.  How do we maximize industrial zones for job growth? What type of industries do we want to see in the city, and how do we attract them?  Norwalk has a very large amount of industrial zoned land.  We’re going to look at how that should be utilized going forward.” Continue reading Norwalk Zoning Commission ruling halts all contractor yard expansions for a year


NancyOnNorwalk wins eight Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists annual awards

The Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Connecticut Chapter announced its annual Excellence in Journalism Contest award winners online, May 21.

NORWALK, Conn. – NancyOnNorwalk scored eight awards in the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) Connecticut Chapter annual Excellence in Journalism Contest, as announced May 21.  Five were given to Nancy Guenther Chapman and three went to videographer Harold F. Cobin. NancyOnNorwalk placed second only to the New Haven Independent in the hyperlocal category.

The First Place Award for Hyperlocal Photo Essay went to Chapman for Scenes from Nov. 19 Norwalk BoE meeting – Will there be a repeat Tuesday? which depicted rowdy out-of-town NAACP protesters demanding Board member Mike Barbis’ resignation over racially charged emails.

The First Place Award for Hyperlocal Video Storytelling went to Cobin for Ramirez honored by Norwalk Police, city leaders which depicted Norwalk Police Officer Cesar Ramirez’ retirement ceremony.  Ramirez, a well-liked 32-year NPD veteran who also chaired the Norwalk Housing Authority, succumbed to cancer the following month. Continue reading NancyOnNorwalk wins eight Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists annual awards


Memorial Day 2020 and the coronavirus

Kemper Park. (Contriubuted)

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This year I won’t be attending the annual Memorial Day ceremony in Richard Kemper Memorial Park as I have been wont to do for the better part of a century.   Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus pandemic it, along with the Memorial Day parade in Norwalk and similar Memorial Day events everywhere, has been canceled.

Richard Kemper, my uncle, was killed on Aug. 5, 1944, in the Battle of the Hedgerows.  After he was killed my grandparents, Adolph and Helen Kemper, purchased land adjoining Mamaroneck High School in Mamaroneck, N.Y., placed a monument on the land on which Richard’s name and the names of 97 other men and one woman from the community killed in World War II were engraved, and dedicated it to the school district as a park in their honor.

Then in a dedication ceremony on May 25, 1947, West Point Graduate and Commander of Fort Slocum, Col. Bernard Lentz said, “In presenting this Park to the people of Mamaroneck you have seen to it that the heroes of yesterday will not be pushed out of our recollection or the recollection of the generations of boys and girls who will be receiving the blessings of liberty in the shape of an American common school education.” Continue reading Memorial Day 2020 and the coronavirus


Commemorating those who made our history


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Memorial Day is a time to reflect on the contributions of those who served in the military in times of war and made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of our country.

It is a solemn and moving occasion, because it is a time for us to honor the fallen who served in all armed conflicts, at all moments in our history. It can be hard, with the distance of time, to take the measure of their sacrifices. But thinking about them as individuals makes it easier. Each loss of life left a void in a family that will never be filled, a lifetime of opportunities never to be taken, and a grief for many that is intensely personal. Continue reading Commemorating those who made our history


Trump has been a great president for China. For America amid coronavirus, not so much.

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

Chinese diplomacy has never been more aggressive. It has never had such sweeping objectives. It has never been served with such a sharp tongue. From threatening Australia with an economic boycott, to imprisoning Canadian citizens, to pushing the U.S. military out of the Philippines, President Xi Jinping is on the march.

“Wolf warrior diplomacy,” named for a blockbuster Chinese film in which a Chinese soldier goes on a patriotic international rampage, is the most outward sign of a new China — afraid of little and increasingly willing to test the power of its long accrued capital.

And there exists one singular accomplice of the new Chinese wolf warriors: President Donald J. Trump. Continue reading Trump has been a great president for China. For America amid coronavirus, not so much.


Some Norwalk photos #10



NORWALK, Conn. – A SoNo development had a signature feature installed Friday: a 16- by 36-foot open air swimming pool atop its six-story building.

F. D. Rich Company, Fuller Development and Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, the developers of Harbourside SONO, sent photos of the latest work on the 129-unit development at 123 Water St., slated for completion in November, they said. Continue reading Some Norwalk photos #10


Norwalk given 11,000 surgical masks


NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk Police will be able to hand out masks to citizens thanks to a donation from Grace Farms, Mayor Harry Rilling said.

Rod Khattabi, Chief Accountability Officer & Justice Initiative Director with Grace Farms, presented Norwalk with 11,000 surgical masks Friday at City Hall. They were loaded into police vehicles by Community Police Officers Delgado, Holms, Salley, and Abruzzini, a press release said. Norwalk Police will be distributing masks to those in need as they patrol the city to enforce local and state regulations.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story Continue reading Norwalk given 11,000 surgical masks


NPS schedules drive-in high school graduations

A drive through graduation in Sacremento, Calif., as shown in a screengrab of a YouTube video.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk’s high school seniors will mark their graduation this year with drive-in ceremonies, in late July and early August. Most will graduate at Calf Pasture Beach.

“Our high school administrators spent a great deal of time several weeks ago talking to seniors polling seniors, getting their views on the kind of graduation that they wanted, and discussing options with them,” Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski said at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting. “There was very little support for a virtual graduation, which many districts throughout our state and country are doing.” Continue reading NPS schedules drive-in high school graduations