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Wilms, Dathan, take their case to Norwalk and New Canaan voters

From left, Democratic District 142 State Representative candidate Lucy Dathan and incumbent Republican State Rep. Fred Wilms, Monday in New Canaan. (Harold Cobin)

The election is Nov. 6.

Updated 1:23 p.m.: Copy edit.

NORWALK, Conn. – Stark differences emerged Monday between two finance professionals seeking to represent District 142 for the next two years in the State House.

While incumbent State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142), who was first elected in 2014, said there’s room to cut Connecticut’s spending, his Democratic challenger, Lucy Dathan, said, “We can’t be shortsighted and cut our way to prosperity.” Dathan said she supports tolls and took shots at Wilms, accusing him of voting with his Party 97 percent of the time; Wilms said he’s voted with his Party 98 percent of the time but also with the Democrats 75 percent, and said Democrats want to use tolls to solve their excess spending problems.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story

Continue reading Wilms, Dathan, take their case to Norwalk and New Canaan voters

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Norwalk roundup: A home for Indigenous Peoples artwork; new NPS administrator and slew of Council expenditures

The Indigenous People’s statue created by 5iveFingaz is installed Monday on the Norwalk Museum grounds. (Contributed)

Tina Henckel. (Norwalk Public Schools)

Correction, 11:33 p.m.: Ordinance employees who have been given additional duties and corresponding pay raises are not eligible for 2.36 percent increase. Updated, 1:08 p.m.: Copy edit.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here’s a couple of local items for you:

  • Indigenous Peoples statue-like artwork given prominent home
  • NPS hires new STEM director
  • Council set to award department heads 2.36% pay raises
  • A $150,000 contract for engineering on stormwater issues
  • $24,000 GIS flyover planned
  • ‘Mobile pop-up library’ aims to improve youth outreach

Continue reading Norwalk roundup: A home for Indigenous Peoples artwork; new NPS administrator and slew of Council expenditures

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D’Amelio talks education at forum

Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio, left, listens to State Rep. Fred Wilms (R-142), Wednesday in Nathan Hale Middle School.

Updated, 7:33 a.m.: Copy edits, Isabelle Hargrove comments added

NORWALK, Conn. – Republican State Senate candidate Marc D’Amelio would like to reduce waste at the University of Connecticut, increase Norwalk’s state funding for education, and increase Norwalk’s revenue by allowing cities to charge a sales tax.

D’Amelio’s Senate campaign held a forum Wednesday featuring questions and answers on education funding.  The event was attended by an audience of about 30 in which Republican faithful were well-represented.  D’Amelio is seeking to unseat State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25). Continue reading D’Amelio talks education at forum

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City should answer taxpayers, repo POKO, and start over

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Last month, the Coalition of Norwalk Neighborhoods  Association (CNNA) hosted a panel discussion  in the renovated Wall Street Theater with Redevelopment Agency Director, Tim Sheehan, local real estate, property developer, Jason Milligan,   Norwalk 2.0 co-founder and past chairwoman of the city’s zoning commission, Jackie Lightfield and commercial real estate broker, appraiser and owner of 64 Wall Street, Michael McGuire. The discussion, titled What’s Up With Wall Street?  brought out about 80 individuals, representing local businesses and residents.  Continue reading City should answer taxpayers, repo POKO, and start over

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It’s no accident that Norwalk is in a renaissance; Wall Street is ‘doing it together’

A new mural at 21 Isaac St., cited by Norwalk Planning and Zoning as being in violation of Zoning regulations.

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NancyOnNorwalk on Friday contacted Wall Street Neighborhood Association Chairwoman Nancy McGuire and asked her to elaborate on the Association’s comment, in a petition, that a new mural on Isaac Street has “provided a long-missing sense of pride in our neighborhood.” This is her response. 

We have a lot to celebrate on Wall Street.   Young entrepreneurs like Chris Wyant, Casey MacDonald, Rene Soto  and Sherri Gallina have chosen to locate their new businesses in our neighborhood.  The Wall Street Theater is open and hosting weekly shows, and restaurants like the Magnolia Room and Peaches are bringing in music lovers and diners from all over Fairfield County.   The Isaacs Street lot is now available to the businesses who have all but closed from the lack of its availability; and established businessmen like Paul at Café Aroma are sustaining their businesses despite the lingering Citibank construction site.   I actually took a YOGA class tonight – an amazing start to the weekend, especially for a middle-aged woman, and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this.

POKO and its failed “Wall Street Place” are a thing of the past.  Duleep’s contractor has closed up her building for the winter and taken down scaffolding.  She has hired a broker to market her empty retail spaces.   The residents and business owners who have endured this graffiti-ridden site for seven years are simply relieved.  Continue reading It’s no accident that Norwalk is in a renaissance; Wall Street is ‘doing it together’

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Norwalk petition urges preservation of ‘wall art’

A mural being painted at 51 Isaac St., commissioned by property owner Jason Milligan. Asked if the mural is political, Milligan replied, “It’s art. People can make of it what they wish.” (Jason Milligan)

Updated, 9:47 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – A complaint against a new Norwalk mural has been answered by a petition saying, “Stop Norwalk Zoning’s overreach!”

The petition posted by the Wall Street Neighborhood Association had 124 signatures as of 10 p.m. Friday. Meanwhile, real estate broker Jason Milligan has a third mural going up, and on Thursday peppered the City with emails pointing out that there are other murals that appear to violate the Zoning regulations, murals which have been around for years without Zoning enforcement.

“Oops. A little research and outreach might have been a good idea before launching into a violation campaign at lightning speed,” Milligan wrote in one email. Continue reading Norwalk petition urges preservation of ‘wall art’

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CT jobless rate falls to 4.2 percent based on August job gains

Connecticut’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent Thursday despite the loss of 500 jobs in September, as labor officials announced August job growth was larger than originally anticipated.

The state Department of Labor reported 3,300 non-farm jobs gained in August, triple the number originally reported. This drove the jobless rate down by one-tenth of 1 percent.

“Despite the drop of 500 jobs in September, Connecticut’s labor market appears strong,” said Andy Condon, director of the labor department’s Office of Research, who added that job growth for the year is up nearly 20,000 positions. “Only the trade, information and government super-sectors show annual job losses.”
Continue reading CT jobless rate falls to 4.2 percent based on August job gains

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Opinion: Committed to revising and refreshing Norwalk’s permitting process

Mayor Harry Rilling.

As Mayor, I receive comments, both good and bad, on a daily basis. It comes in the form of emails, calls, social media posts, letters, and face-to-face as I go around Norwalk. I enjoy hearing directly from residents as it helps me check the pulse of what is happening around the city. Recently, what I have heard time and time again is that the permitting process at City Hall is frustrating. The city had planned for a permit signing day, but due to miscommunication, it unfortunately did not happen, and for that, I apologize. I hear and understand the concerns raised by wonderful volunteers who give their time, energy and talent into planning events for our community to enjoy.

I am committed to revising and refreshing the permitting process in Norwalk and am pleased to announce that we have begun developing a new online permitting system. When the system goes live, obtaining a special event permit will be a streamlined process that is easy to understand and use. This will lessen the time volunteers spend chasing signatures around the city. Continue reading Opinion: Committed to revising and refreshing Norwalk’s permitting process

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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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