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Opinion: We must rededicate ourselves to conservation and the environment

Susan Bigelow

Susan Bigelow

Susan Bigelow is an award-winning columnist and the founder of CTLocalPolitics. She lives in Enfield with her wife and their cats.

Thanks to a generous donor, 40 acres of land in Bloomfield will be preserved as open space. Excellent. Any expansion of our state parks is welcome, especially during a time when conservation and environmentalism have faded from public consciousness.

Continue reading Opinion: We must rededicate ourselves to conservation and the environment

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Opinion: Lawmakers should listen to Jepsen, for there is much to lose, and lose …

Terry Cowgill

Terry Cowgill

Contributing op-ed columnist Terry Cowgill lives in Lakeville, blogs at ctdevilsadvocate.com and is news editor of The Berkshire Record in Great Barrington, Mass. Follow him on Twitter @terrycowgill.

State lawmakers eager to find more revenue — or terrified at the thought of losing same — are considering letting the state’s two federally-recognized Indian tribes literally wander off their reservations and open “gaming” facilities elsewhere in Connecticut. On the face of it, this sounded like a good idea. After all, hardly anyone cares whether we take more money out of the pockets of those who can least afford it.

Continue reading Opinion: Lawmakers should listen to Jepsen, for there is much to lose, and lose …

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Opinion: Keep empowering parents to show that all kids matter

Gwen Samuels

Gwen Samuels

Gwen Samuel is a parent of two children in Connecticut Public Schools and the founder and president of the Connecticut Parents Union. She also works with a Parent and Youth Group in New Haven. She can be reached on Twitter @RealTalkGwenS.

Parents, especially low-income and of color, understand more and more the importance of data, so why do away with accountability measures in our schools and federal law?

Continue reading Opinion: Keep empowering parents to show that all kids matter

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Opinion: What and how we tax shows what we value

Suzanne BatesSuzanne Bates is the policy director for the Yankee Institute for Public Policy. She lives in South Windsor with her family. Follow her on Twitter @suzebates.

Does our current tax structure reflect our values as a state? And how can we change our tax structure so that we get more of what we want — especially job growth?

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Top 10: The week’s most read, most commented-on stories

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Colarossi’s ‘smoking gun’ : acrimonious 2013 exchange between Norwalk Board of Ed members

Board of Education member Migdalia Rivas, left; BoE member Shirley Mosby, right.

Board of Education member Migdalia Rivas, left; BoE member Shirley Mosby, right.

Updated 11:05 a.m. Saturday, April 25, with two additional emails. The update material follows the originally reported material in chronological order and shows the response from BoE Chairman Mike Lyons and Vice Chairman Artie Kassimis. Updated, 5:23 p.m., clarifying indicators of which Mike is Mike Barbis or Mike Lyons

NORWALK, Conn. — Migdalia Rivas, in 2013, requested that the Norwalk Board of Ethics and Human Relations office get involved in the Board of Education’s superintendent search.

“The tone of these emails are political, derogatory, insulting and racial,” Rivas wrote in an email exchange, after BoE member Mike Barbis asked why she had cut nine of 11 candidates off her initial list, suggesting that she’d never answer the question, and BoE member Jack Chiaramonte said he smelled “a big freaking rat” because Rivas chose the “least competent person” as her favored candidate. Continue reading Colarossi’s ‘smoking gun’ : acrimonious 2013 exchange between Norwalk Board of Ed members

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Norwalk trails boosted at spring party

NORWALK, Conn. – Norwalk will be getting back a park it lost 50 years ago with construction that is expected to start next year, a friend of the Norwalk River Valley Trail said Thursday.

Jim Carter was touting the expected connection of piecemeal sections of the trail, the missing link between Union Park and New Canaan Avenue, at a Norwalk Trails spring party held at the Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Mathews Park. Funding for the project was approved last week by the Common Council, with $300,000 in the capital budget earmarked as matching funds for a federal grant, and another $45,000 for design work to be done this summer. Also touted was the Harbor Loop Trail, which is also getting a few missing links filled in. Continue reading Norwalk trails boosted at spring party

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Norwalk GOP contingent backs Republican version of state budget

Fred Wilms

Fred Wilms

HARTFORD, Conn. – Norwalk’s Republican state legislative delegation joined fellow House and Senate GOP lawmakers Friday in unveiling an alternative budget proposal to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s financial plan.

The Republican budget plan would restore some of the social service cuts proposed by Malloy, something the Democrat majority will be able to get behind when they release their own budget next week. However, Republicans call for about $600 million in labor concessions, reductions in overtime costs, and the creation of a hybrid 401k-style pension plan, ideas that could scuttle the bill in the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

Continue reading Norwalk GOP contingent backs Republican version of state budget

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Opinion: Connecticut health reform needs some tweaks

Carl Schmid

Carl Schmid

Carl Schmid, a native of Fairfield County, is deputy executive director of The AIDS Institute, Washington, D.C.

Connecticut has been a national leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act through its Access Health CT marketplace and we applaud the progress that has been made to ensure health coverage for residents in the state.

Continue reading Opinion: Connecticut health reform needs some tweaks

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Contentious vote makes it official: Norwalk DTC will expand to 55 members next year

Former Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp, second from left, leads the Democratic Town Committee meeting Thursday in the Common Council chambers. Sitting next to him are, from left, DTC Chairman Ed Camacho, Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells and Peter Thor.

Former Norwalk Mayor Alex Knopp, second from left, leads the Democratic Town Committee meeting Thursday in the Common Council chambers. Sitting next to him are, from left, DTC Chairman Ed Camacho, Democratic Registrar Stuart Wells and Peter Thor.

Norwalk Councilman David Watts (D-District A), left and Democratic Town Committee District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra react Thursday in City Hall as the DTC votes against keeping the membership at seven per district.

Norwalk Councilman David Watts (D-District A), left and Democratic Town Committee District D Chairman Vinny Mangiacopra react Thursday in City Hall as the DTC votes against keeping the membership at seven per district.

NORWALK, Conn. — There was “no mutual respect” in the Common Council Chambers on Thursday night, one member of Norwalk’s Democratic Town Committee said.

The internal DTC rifts were on full display as new bylaws were approved – and with it an expansion to 11 members per district – with Vinny Mangiacopra and David Watts trying to keep the DTC membership at a lower level, first with a compromise of nine per district, then by maintaining the current seven. Having failed in that endeavor, they and other members left in an exodus that was mostly along racial lines, a move that Steve Serassis said was self-defeating.    Continue reading Contentious vote makes it official: Norwalk DTC will expand to 55 members next year

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Watts: Camacho doesn’t support minority candidates, calls on DTC chief to resign

DTC Norwalk 15-0423 075

Norwalk Common Councilman David Watts (D-District A) talks to the Democratic Town Committee on Thursday in City Hall.

Updated, 7:34 a.m., expanded Nora King quote, Eloisa Melendez quote, other minor edits.

NORWALK, Conn. — Ed Camacho should resign as chairman of the Democratic Town Committee, David Watts said early Friday.

This comment follows a contentious DTC meeting, in which a move was made to require that future DTC chairmen be a member of the committee. Watts, who complained during a recess that Camacho does not support black people or minority candidates, sent an electronic message later calling for Camacho to go and posted a lampooning photograph publicly on Facebook. Continue reading Watts: Camacho doesn’t support minority candidates, calls on DTC chief to resign

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Finally there’s progress at Duleep’s Wall Street hulk — or is there?

NORWALK, Conn. — An apparent sign of “progress” on Wall Street is regarded with skepticism by Norwalk officials.

There’s scaffolding up at Ganga Duleep’s burned-out building, but Redevelopment Agency Executive Director Tim Sheehan on Wednesday questioned what it might be for, given that Duleep has not been given any approvals to change the exterior of the building. Continue reading Finally there’s progress at Duleep’s Wall Street hulk — or is there?

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Mosby needs to do more than simply acknowledge FOIA request for evidence

Send signed letters to news@nancyonnorwalk.com

Send signed letters to [email protected]

To the Editor:

On behalf of the PTO Council of Norwalk I would like to thank Board of Education member Shirley Mosby for responding to our Freedom of Information request. Unfortunately Ms. Mosby has refused to grant access to public records in her possession that purport to prove her allegation of discrimination and disparate treatment on the Board of Education. We believe that §1-210 of the Connecticut General Statutes confers upon us the right to view such documents and we believe that the exemptions claimed by Ms. Mosby are not supported by state law. We are therefore hopeful that, with the intervention of the Freedom of Information Commission, we may yet achieve a resolution to this matter.

Continue reading Mosby needs to do more than simply acknowledge FOIA request for evidence

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