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‘POKO’ news: Lawsuit(s)

Wall Street Place, a.k.a. “POKO” or “The Tyvek Temple,” in December.

Updated, 8:52 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – There have been some significant developments related to “POKO,” a.k.a. Wall Street Place:

  • Milligan says judge ‘sanctioned’ Norwalk and the Redevelopment Agency on Tuesday
  • Milligan demands that Citibank clear easement, cites ‘sloppy’ project
  • Milligan claims Rilling lied; source confirms Rilling’s statement

 

Continue reading ‘POKO’ news: Lawsuit(s)

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Norwalkers weigh in on next decade of development

Larissa Brown of Stantec speaks to the public Tuesday in City Hall.

Correction, 1:30 p.m.: New plan every 10 years. Updated, 8:20 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Criticisms of the draft city-wide master plan on Tuesday centered on the Wall Street area for some and the harbor for others.

A series of speakers said there are too many plans being developed at once, at the Planning Commission’s public hearing on the draft Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD) — which would set Norwalk’s priorities for  the next decade.

“I urge you not to rush this through to get something off your plate. This is something that is going to be long term,” Harbor Management Commissioner John Romano said. Continue reading Norwalkers weigh in on next decade of development

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Norwalk BoE will tout successes in request for $12.9 million boost

A sign in the third floor City Hall lobby on Jan. 8, left, and Thursday, right.

Updated, 8:35 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Board of Education members are taking a new tone as they plan to request a $12.9 million budget increase for the 2019-20 school year.

“We’ve had several years of catching up for the school district, filling out programs and needs.  The city has been very generous in what they have given us to go forward with our strategic operating plan,” BoE Finance Committee Chairman Bryan Meek said Thursday. “We’re not all the way there yet. This budget is very aggressive. It’s a big ask. And it is just that right now, it’s an asked to have a discussion about the school system needs.”

The Board will vote on its 2019-20 operating budget request at Tuesday’s Board meeting.

Meek, as last year’s budget cycle drew to a close, repeatedly decried what he called “cuts” being forced on Norwalk Public Schools as Common Council members worked to authorize a $6.4 million increase in school funding. Last week, Meek, with no trace of anger, requested that Norwalk Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton prepare a three-year projection of upcoming budgets, to reinforce the Board’s opinion that the budgets will “level off,” with smaller increases. Continue reading Norwalk BoE will tout successes in request for $12.9 million boost

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Fedor hopes ‘The Barnacle’ will reduce towing of illegally parked cars

Kevin Dougherty shows off The Barnacle, Jan. 7 at Fedor Auto Body in South Norwalk.

Correction, 6 a.m. Jan. 16: Kevin Dougherty; copy edits.

NORWALK, Conn. – Allen Fedor hopes to drastically reduce the number of cars his company tows from private parking lots.

Instead, under a new system Fedor will soon deploy, drivers who have illegally parked would find a hard-shelled plastic device suction-cupped to their windshield. ‘The Barnacle’ is much kinder and gentler than coming out to find their car gone, he said.

Fedor Auto Body has more than 400 contracts to tow cars from private lots, he said. It’s up to the individual property owner to decide whether they want to have a car towed or use the new system.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story Continue reading Fedor hopes ‘The Barnacle’ will reduce towing of illegally parked cars

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Norwalk political notes: Calf Pasture Beach; Brinton hacked; meters coming back to Wall Street

Calf Pasture Beach in May.

Correction, 1:11 p.m.: Norwalk First is Debora Goldstein’s domain. Reference removed. 

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk political developments for you:

  • Duff proposes making Norwalk’s beach a wildlife refuge
  • Brinton: REd Apples site down due to hackers
  • Angled parking expected on Wall Street – with paystations
  • Rilling: Mediation with Citibank is ongoing
  • Suib: ‘Report incidents of hate’

Continue reading Norwalk political notes: Calf Pasture Beach; Brinton hacked; meters coming back to Wall Street

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Happy new year: It’s still easy to get rid of bulky waste… taxes due, renters advised to stay warm

The Norwalk Department of Public Works collects a mattress Wednesday. (City of Norwalk.)

NORWALK, Conn. – Some City of Norwalk announcements:

  • Bulky waste pilot program continuing through 2019
  • Pay taxes by Feb. 1 to avoid interest charges
  • Renters have the right to a minimum 65 degree-heat level

Continue reading Happy new year: It’s still easy to get rid of bulky waste… taxes due, renters advised to stay warm

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NCC President to retire; Ireland to lead parade; NPS opens lottery for magnet schools

From left, Norwalk Police Emerald Society Vice President Terry Blake, St. Patrick’s Day Parade Grand Marshal William Ireland III and NPES President Brendan Collins. (Contributed)

David L. Levinson

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk announcements:

  • NCC President Levinson set to retire
  • Bill Ireland to lead St. Patrick’s Day parade
  • Silvermine and Columbus magnet schools accepting lottery applications
  • Christmas tree collections

 

Continue reading NCC President to retire; Ireland to lead parade; NPS opens lottery for magnet schools

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Lamont to CT legislators: ‘Let’s fix the damn budget’

Gov. Ned Lamont during his State of the State speech Wednesday. (CTMirror.org)

Connecticut’s new governor showed himself Wednesday to be affable, straightforward, optimistic, playful — and even slightly goofy — in his first address to the General Assembly, promising a collaborative approach to rebranding a state down on itself.

Less than two hours after taking office, Gov. Ned Lamont matter-of-factly warned lawmakers that the financially struggling state was teetering “on a knife’s edge,” then assured them he would deliver a budget in six weeks that would bring elusive fiscal stability.

“Let’s fix the damn budget, once and for all!” Lamont said. “You with me?” Continue reading Lamont to CT legislators: ‘Let’s fix the damn budget’

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Opinion: Shout out to Norwalk ACTS Board of Directors

Anthony Allison is the executive director of Norwalk ACTS.

Shout Out to the Board of Directors of Norwalk ACTS for their unending resolve to ensure that Norwalk ACTS continues to move towards realizing its stated Mission – enriching and improving the lives and futures of all Norwalk’s children, cradle to career.

This resolve has lead Norwalk ACTS to begin the process of hiring a CEO. For more information on the position, click on the link below or paste it into your browser. Also, please share this opportunity with others who you feel might be interested.

https://www.appone.com/MainInfoReq.asp?R_ID=2290282

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Norwalk BoE reviews new ideas for Jefferson renovation

Norwalk Board of Education Chairman Mike Barbis, center, begins a discussion about plans to renovate Jefferson Elementary School, Monday in City Hall.

Updated, 8:11 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – A conceptual design for Jefferson Elementary School renovations shows features that weren’t in the project’s original proposal to City officials, including a gymnasium and a bus loop in the back.  The bus loop is a driveway surrounding a playground.

The original proposal cost $23.9 million and the total cost is now estimated as $27.8 million, Norwalk Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton said.  “If we are going to build a gymnasium, which was not part of the original estimate that was approved, and the other things that are talked about here, {we are} likely going to need some more money,” Hamilton said Monday.

“In order to move forward with what we want to do with the dining environment, you really can’t have a gymnasium plus an auditorium plus a cafeteria in one room. It just doesn’t work,” he said, explaining the need for a gymnasium on the school’s upper level. Continue reading Norwalk BoE reviews new ideas for Jefferson renovation

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Third Taxing District presented with plans to change East Avenue

A rendering of the East Norwalk train station and accompanying road lowering planned by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. (Harold Cobin)

Updated, 9:39 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – Plans to redo East Avenue from the Interstate 95 interchange to Van Zant Street include a “criss-cross” rearrangement at exit 16, a realigned train station driveway at Fort Point Street and underground utilities in between.

“We think it will make a very beautiful gateway into the East Norwalk area,” Mayor Harry Rilling said at a Monday meeting where the plans were unveiled to Third Taxing District Commissioners.

Video by Harold Cobin at end of story Continue reading Third Taxing District presented with plans to change East Avenue

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Norwalk political notes: TTD, POCD, bag ban, and new council members

From left, Common Council members Darlene Young (D-District B) and Colin Hosten (D-At Large) at their first Council meeting Tuesday in City Hall.

Updated, 4:15 p.m.: Attribution changed, more explanation added;  2:07 p.m.: Correction, Pam Parkington nominated Johnnie Mae Weldon to serve as Chair.  9:14 a.m.: Copy edits, information added.

NORWALK, Conn. – Some Norwalk political notes for you:

  • Third Taxing District ‘historic moment’ – it’s all-female
  • Drafted city-wide master plan (POCD) topic of upcoming meetings
  • Livingston: No worries
  • New Council members assigned to committees

Continue reading Norwalk political notes: TTD, POCD, bag ban, and new council members

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Redevelopment Agency hearing on Norwalk Center plan draws critical crowd

Wall Street Neighborhood Association Chairwoman Nancy McGuire speaks to the Redevelopment Agency, Tuesday in City Hall.

Updated, 5:22 p.m.: NancyOnNorwalk’s first poll added. Correction, 1:47 p.m.: Bobbie Kinn. Updated, 9:39 a.m.: Copy edits

NORWALK, Conn. – The West Avenue-Wall Street Neighborhood Plan has many good ideas but needs serious work, Norwalkers told Redevelopment Agency commissioners Tuesday.

More than 50 people crowded into a City Hall conference room for an early evening public hearing about the plan, which seeks to re-imagine the area as an “innovative urban environment.”   Some decried the absence of the Plan of Conservation and Development in the document.  The POCD is a city-wide master plan which is updated every ten years; a new one is expected to be the subject of a public hearing this month.

Others speakers defended new apartments.  Frank Farricker assailed the plan’s definition of blight for the area.  Some commenters jested about a sense of odd bedfellows: former Republican Common Council member Rich Bonenfant said he was nervous to be agreeing with former Democratic Mayor Bill Collins and historic preservationist Todd Bryant said he was worried that he was agreeing with real estate broker Jason Milligan. Continue reading Redevelopment Agency hearing on Norwalk Center plan draws critical crowd

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