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Lavielle, Thomas, explain views to Wilton crowd

State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143), left, and Democratic candidate Stephanie Thomas, shown in a screengrab of Tuesday’s League of Women Voters forum.

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated, 8:09 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Two District 143 State Representative candidates expressed their views Tuesday in a town hall held in Wilton.

“My job is and has always been to represent you, not a party, not a personal agenda, not an ideology. You,” State Rep. Gail Lavielle (R-143) said.  Lavielle has represented most of Wilton and parts of Norwalk and Westport since 2010.  To learn your State Representative district, click here and enter your address. Continue reading Lavielle, Thomas, explain views to Wilton crowd

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Norwalk briefs: A BoE mailer, good news on Wall Street and a rumor denied

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Barbis shows off the new Norwalk Public Schools mailer, Wednesday in Nathan Hale Middle School.

Updated, 7:53 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some brief Norwalk items for you:

  • Board of Ed spreads good news via mailer
  • Snail’s new ETA: Nine days
  • Spokesman: No construction underway at Manresa

Continue reading Norwalk briefs: A BoE mailer, good news on Wall Street and a rumor denied

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Norwalk bridge opponents allege ConnDOT ignored State financial agency’s input

A rendering for the proposed Walk Bridge, released in June by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. (ConnDOT)

Updated, 1:38 p.m.: Comment from attorney. Update, 7:17 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Both sides in the Walk Bridge court dispute said Tuesday that a federal judge should summarily rule in their favor.

The lawsuit was filed by Harbor Keeper, a non-profit citizens group, against the Connecticut Department of Transportation and the Federal Transportation Authority, and seeks to halt the project on the basis that the State has not adequately established the need for a bridge that opens instead of a fixed bridge, which could be much cheaper.  In dueling legal briefs, each side has filed a motion for summary judgment – a request for the court to rule that the other party has no case, according to lawyers.com.

Harbor Keeper has produced a December 2016 letter from the State’s Office of Policy Management accusing ConnDOT of changing the “purpose of need” for the massive project so that it would include keeping the Norwalk River navigable, which is the key justification for the controversial choice of a lift bridge to replace the aged swing railroad bridge over the Norwalk River. Continue reading Norwalk bridge opponents allege ConnDOT ignored State financial agency’s input

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Norwalk political notes: Milligan gets cited for one mural as another goes up; unfamiliar face at BoE

A mural Tuesday at 97 Wall St. Owner Jason Milligan said it’s not done yet.

Updated, 1:40 p.m.: Comment from Mary Oster; 6:50 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s some political happenings:

  • Rilling’s back at Board of Ed meetings
  • Milligan’s mural receives notice of violation as a second mural goes up
  • Wilton League forum draws a crowd, turns away a few
  • Merritt Parkway Conservancy changes leadership

Continue reading Norwalk political notes: Milligan gets cited for one mural as another goes up; unfamiliar face at BoE

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Questioning tax credits for Wall Street Place

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This is an open letter to Gov. Dannel Malloy, Department of Housing Commissioner Evonne Klein and Connecticut Housing Finance Authority Executive Director Karl Kilduff from Jason Milligan, owner of Wall Street area properties, including “POKO” phases II and III.

The residents of Norwalk are concerned.  While the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program (LIHTC) can be a beneficial program, one of the developments backed by LIHTC has come to be a burden on the City of Norwalk and its residents.  The Wall Street Place (POKO) project on Wall Street in downtown Norwalk has been stalled and left partially completed for more than two and half years.  The project sits like a ghost on the main street of downtown Norwalk on land that was granted through an LDA (Land Disposition Agreement) by the City of Norwalk.  This land was formerly a parking lot that was heavily utilized and sorely missed by area businesses. The project failure has caused a parking problem, blight and safety issues.  The project, at this very moment, sits wrapped in white Tyvek which has been exposed to the elements beyond it’s useful life span and is literally rotting away and flapping in the breeze. As such it looks like a six-story ghost.  It has not been touched for two years and the project no longer has a valid zoning permit or construction permits.  It is currently owned by an entity of Citibank and there is little urgency from them or care being shown for the City of Norwalk and its residents. Continue reading Questioning tax credits for Wall Street Place

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Support bipartisan Terrie Wood

Send signed letters to [email protected]

I am writing in support of Terrie Wood’s candidacy to represent Darien and Norwalk as our state representative.  I believe that Terrie’s socially responsible positions on issues such as reproductive rights and the environment along with her commitment to working toward bipartisan solutions to the important fiscal challenges facing Connecticut make her exactly the sort of candidate we need to support. In a time of deep political divisions, Terrie exemplifies the type of sensible, cooperative, outcome-focused legislator we need to see more of. Let’s make Connecticut a model for real bipartisan government that works.

Melissa McKeithen
Rowayton

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Many in CT still struggle with health care despite ACA and state wealth

Sally Grossman helps her son Parker, 5, with his homework while also doodling with her daughter Sadie in their Windham, CT home on Monday, Sept. 25, 2018. Grossman is a recipient of the state’s Husky Program, a healthcare program encompassing Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. (Amar Batra)

Up until Sally Grossman became pregnant in 2012 at the age of 30, she had been trying to live without health care.

Struggling to get her interior painting business going, Grossman routinely sacrificed her health, toughing out painful migraine headaches without medication. In her early 30s, she generally avoided doctors unless they would agree to phone in a prescription for her without requiring an office visit.

But when she experienced complications with her pregnancy, she quickly learned that her  health insurance didn’t cover prescription drugs or maternity care. Continue reading Many in CT still struggle with health care despite ACA and state wealth

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Norwalk Council considers flooding issues

Jefferson Elementary School, as seen through a windshield during a heavy rainfall on June 28.

Updated, Tuesday: Link to DEEP map added. Updated, 7:19 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – There’s a 100-year-storm happening every two weeks, it seems, Common Council Public Works Committee Chair John Igneri said recently.

Igneri and other members of the Common Council Public Works Committee were fielding complaints from Norwalkers who are chronically hard-hit by flooding, residents of the Friendly Pond area.  The committee also touched on flooding issues for all of Norwalk.

The sewer system is built to handle 90 million gallons a day, with a usual flow of 13 million gallons, Igneri said.  On Sept. 25, 105 million gallons flowed through and, “the system was pushed to the maximum that day and it’s unfortunate, a lot of people were flooded, we’ve gotten a lot of complaints.” Continue reading Norwalk Council considers flooding issues

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Norwalk election notes: Perone yet to qualify; Camacho, Hargrove trade barbs; Lavielle and Hosten gain endorsements

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated, 1:45 p.m.: Comment from Ed Camacho;  7:33 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s some election information for you:

  • Perone up against deadline for CEP funds
  • Hargrove: Dems pressuring would be panelists
  • Hosten gains police and fire endorsement
  • Lavielle nabs business support
  • League forums begin Tuesday

Continue reading Norwalk election notes: Perone yet to qualify; Camacho, Hargrove trade barbs; Lavielle and Hosten gain endorsements

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Calling Democrats to Darien rally

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Calling all Democrats!  Come rally in advance of the Midterm Elections with United States Senator Richard Blumenthal, Connecticut’s next Governor Ned Lamont and Congressman Jim Himes at Tilley Pond Park across from the Darien Train Station on Sunday October 21, 2018 from 1 to 2 pm.  Other state and local Democratic candidates and elected officials from Fairfield County and various grass roots organizations will be there too.  Continue reading Calling Democrats to Darien rally

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Spreadsheet details three years of Rilling’s expenses

Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling. (File photo)

Update, 11:49 a.m.: Copy edit, revised headline

NORWALK, Conn. – Mayor Harry Rilling has incurred nearly $13,000 in expense account items for the City of Norwalk in just over three years, roughly in line with spending by former Mayor Richard Moccia.

NancyOnNorwalk filed a Freedom of Information Act request for Rilling’s expense account after receipt of an anonymous letter which questioned Rilling’s expenses and alleged that he was receiving a free trip to Greece.

Rilling said that he paid for his recent vacation in Greece himself.  A Freedom of Information request and follow-up questions posed to Norwalk Finance Department officials revealed that three years of Rilling’s expenses include $45 in parking tickets and $182.94 for “warrants,” $860 total for Christmas staff luncheons in 2015 and 2016, and $341.70 for American flags in September 2015. Rilling’s expenses for the most recent two fiscal years total $8,081; former Mayor Richard Moccia’s total for his last two years in office was $9,563.79. Rilling’s total for fiscal years 2016 and 2017 was $10,252.

Continue reading Spreadsheet details three years of Rilling’s expenses

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Norwalk roundup: Monitoring the water, rebuffing widespread porta-potty storage and a ‘nut job’

Norwalk Mayor’s Quality Committee Chairman Joe Schnierlein leads the Committee’s Oct. 4 meeting in the Norwalk Health Department.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a roundup of Norwalk happenings:

  • Rilling reinstates Water Quality Committee
  • Porta-potties a topic of debate
  • A Westport “nut job”

Continue reading Norwalk roundup: Monitoring the water, rebuffing widespread porta-potty storage and a ‘nut job’

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Opinion: How to save Connecticut from insolvency

It’s time we all acknowledge Connecticut’s grievous financial condition. It is not simply a matter of the legislature needing to confront budget deficits of $2 billion in 2019 and $2.6 billion in 2020.

No – there is a far bigger problem; Connecticut is insolvent. Its debts are $70 billion bigger than its assets. This equates to $53,400 per taxpayer or $19,500 for each and every resident of the Nutmeg State.

For decades, we have forgotten the first rule of holes. When you are in a hole, stop digging. Continue reading Opinion: How to save Connecticut from insolvency

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