Diverse happenings, milestones

MSNBC commentator Joy Reid is speaking at Norwalk Community College this week.

NORWALK, Conn. —  A cancellation; beach pass time; various honorees; Joy Reid at NCC; a visit from Khizr Khan; a bike rodeo for the kids; the Norwalk Public Library helps an immigrant become a U.S. citizen; a big donation of books for Norwalk Public Schools. 

Also, the Wall Street Theater’s grand opening, a town hall with U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and a Tim Currie concert.

LMMM cancels Heavenly Notes

“Due to unexpected circumstances, the concert, Heavenly Notes: St. Mary’s at the Mansion, featuring St. Mary’s professional choir has been cancelled,” a press release said.

The fundraiser was planned for Sunday, May 7.


Got your resident pass yet?

The 2016 Norwalk Resident/Beach Pass expired on March 31. A 30-day grace period ends Monday, and if you’re driving a car or SUV to the transfer station or the yard waste site, you need a 2017 Resident/Beach Pass.

Resident passes on pick-up trucks, vans and/or trailers don’t need to be renewed until July 1.

If you need a pass, go to the Recreation & Parks Dept at City Hall or, better, get one online at www.norwalkct.org/residentpass


MSNBC’s Joy Reid at NCC

Norwalk Community College presents An Afternoon with MSNBC’s Joy-Ann Reid from 1 to 2:15 p.m. Thursday, May 4, in the NCC PepsiCo Theater. After completing her remarks, Reid will offer a Q & A session.

This event is free and open to the public.

A press release said:

“Reid is an award-winning journalist, political commentator, and host of MSNBC’s AM Joy, a political talk show which airs on weekend mornings.  She is author of the book, Fracture: Barack Obama, the Clintons, and the Racial Divide, published in 2015.
“A graduate of Harvard University, Reid is the former Managing Editor of theGrio.com, an online news and opinion platform devoted to stories affecting African-American audiences. She previously served as a talk radio producer and host for “Radio One,” and as an online news editor for the NBC affiliate WTVJ.

“During the 2004 presidential campaign, Reid served as the Florida deputy communications director for the 527 “America Coming Together” initiative. She was a press aide in the final stretch of President Barack Obama’s Florida campaign in 2008.  Her columns and articles have appeared in The Miami Herald, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel, South Florida Times and Salon.com.
“This event is sponsored by the NCC Committee for Diversity and Inclusion in conjunction with the Office of Student Activities and the Student World Assembly. Funding is provided through the generous support of the Norwalk Community College Foundation.”


Islamic group welcomes Khizr Khan

Khizr Khan, Gold Star Father of slain Iraqi war hero Capt. Humayun Khan, will be the featured speaker at a fund raising lunch in Norwalk, hosted by the Connecticut Chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations, a press release said.

The event is scheduled for noon to 2 p.m., Saturday May 6.  at the Norwalk Inn.

Khan rose to national prominence when he spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in opposition then-Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, because of Trump’s Islamophobic statements, the release said.

Khan has joined CAIR as a national ambassador visiting communities across the United States to speak about civil rights in the era of the Trump Presidency and how Muslims can become defenders of the US Constitution, the release said.

“Thomas Jefferson reminded us “The greatest danger to American freedom is a government that ignores the Constitution.” Khan is quoted as saying. “With a President who has shown contempt for our founding document its incumbent on ordinary citizens to exercise their fundamental rights.”

CAIR-CT Chairperson Farhan Memon said that Mr. Khan’s visit is an opportunity for Connecticut Muslims and their allies to unite together to defend the civil rights of all groups.

“During the first 100 days of the Trump Presidency we have seen an assault on the civil rights of Muslims through attempted travel bans, immigration raids on Hispanic communities, and an attempt to deprive millions of Americans of affordable healthcare. We are proud to host a gentleman who was one of the first to resist the President and who is continuing to build bridges between communities,” Memon said in the release.

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, the release said. Its mission is to protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.


Bicycle rodeo for the kids

Norwalk Kiwanis have scheduled a bicycle rodeo for Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the former YMCA parking lot, located at 370 West Ave.

Bike helmets will be given to children, while supplies last. Children will learn basic road hand signals and rules, and bicycles will be checked.

There’s also a fire safety trailer planned.



Martha Niño passes U.S. citizenship exam

Norwalk resident Martha Niño, a student in the Norwalk Public Library’s Greater Norwalk Literacy Volunteers (GNLV)  program, recently passed the U.S. citizenship exam and was sworn in April 7 at a naturalization ceremony in Hartford, a press release said. Niño was accompanied by her husband and three sons, all proud to have her join their ranks as U.S. citizens.

Martha Niño (left), pictured with her volunteer tutor Diane Hafter (right), recently passed her US citizenship exam. (Contributed)

A native of Nicaragua, Niño attends English conversation classes in the GNLV program at Norwalk Public Library, where she also received citizenship tutoring over the past year, the release said. The GNLV program at Norwalk Public Library has 64 tutors who serve 436 students from over 30 countries.

Students share a common goal of wanting to improve their English to better their lives and the lives of their families, the release said. To learn more about the GNLV program visit the Norwalk Public Library website.


Aquarium honors Fowler, XL Caitlin; raises funds

Norwalk developer Clay Fowler and global insurer XL Catlin were recently honored by The Maritime Aquarium with 2017 Red Apple Awards in recognition of their substantial support.

Fowler, of Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, and XL Catlin were honored April 20 during “Cirque de la Mer,” the Aquarium’s annual fund-raising gala, a press release said. The Red Apple Awards honor companies, organizations and individuals who share the Aquarium’s concern for the natural world and environmental education, it said.

“We are a more conservation-minded and efficient organization, thanks to Clay and to XL Catlin,” Maritime Aquarium President Brian Davis, Ph.D., in the release. “Their efforts have moved us forward as a dynamic aquarium, a resource for environmental education, and an economic driver in Norwalk and the state of Connecticut. We’re pleased and grateful to honor them both.”

The press release explained:


“As Spinnaker’s chairman and chief executive officer, Fowler leads one of the most highly regarded development firms in the NYC/Fairfield County region. In addition, his many advocacies include serving as chairman of the Planning Board for the town of Pound Ridge, N.Y., for the past 20 years, and on the boards of Fairfield County’s Community Foundation and Outward Bound USA.

“Fowler is committed to The Maritime Aquarium on many levels as a valued member of the Board of Trustees and serves tirelessly as head of the trustees’ Building Committee. His expertise and dedication to the Aquarium is essential to the Aquarium’s continued growth.”

XL Catlin

“XL Catlin is the global brand used by XL Group Ltd’s insurance and reinsurance companies that provide property, casualty, professional and specialty products to industrial, commercial and professional firms, insurance companies and other enterprises throughout the world. Clients look to XL Catlin for answers to their most complex risks and to help move their world forward. To learn more, visit xlcatlin.com.

“XL Catlin has been a strong supporter of The Maritime Aquarium’s environmental and conservation work. The company donated generously toward the Aquarium’s unique new hybrd-electric research vessel, as well as to its solar-panel initiative and Corporate Volunteer program. XL Catlin’s support is made possible through the State of Connecticut’s Neighborhood Assistance Act, which encourages corporations in Connecticut to provide valuable assistance to environmental and conservation activities in exchange for tax credits.”

Money raised at the gala helps to make the Aquarium’s marine-science and environmental-education programs available to students and teachers in the tri-state area who otherwise may not be able to participate, the release said.


NPS receives 40,000 free new books

Norwalk Public Schools education personnel distributed more than 40,000 free books last week, books provided by the national non-profit First Book to local students and families. The classroom aides, tutors, health services assistants, parent coordinators and other vital support staff organized the effort in order to help their students succeed, an NPS press release said.

Leaders of the local union representing the district’s education personnel in February began mobilizing eligible school staff, volunteers and community-based programs that serve students and families in need. First Book delivered the books to Ponus Ridge Middle School in Norwalk for distribution.

Wall Street Theater announces grand opening celebration

“After a 20+ year hiatus and a five year renovation, the Wall Street Theater, formerly the Globe Theater, is reopening,” a press release said. “Performing arts aficionados can look forward to the theater’s Grand Opening on Monday, May 15th, when eight of Broadway’s top stars will bring their talents to the stage for one amazing night. The performance will be directed by Wall Street Theater’s Artistic Director Billy Blanks Jr. and is produced by Jumpcast Productions. The highly acclaimed cast includes, Betty Buckley (Cats- Tony Award Winner), Mandy Gonzalez (Hamilton), Siobhan Dillon (Sunset Blvd), Nathaniel Stampley (The Color Purple), Sharon Catherine Brown (Ovation Award Winner-Jekyll & Hyde, Dreamgirls, Rent), Telly Leung (Godspell) and Lillias White (Life- Tony Award Winner.)”

It continued:

“A celebratory ribbon cutting with those involved in the project, as well as city and state dignitaries, will take place at 6:15 pm, with a Grand Opening show time of 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased at http://www.wallstreettheater.ticketfly.com. Also, a limited number of VIP tickets are available that include a cast meet and greet, a VIP after-party, and an autographed program.

“The Wall Street Theater originally opened in 1915 as the Regent Theater. At various times serving as a vaudeville house, a movie theater, dance club, and rock venue, the Wall Street Theater today has undergone an extensive renovation, including state of the art sound, lights, and digital technology. President Suzanne Cahill commented,’This theater has been an integral part of the Fairfield County community for more than a century, and we are grateful to all who have contributed to the redevelopment efforts of this important project. As we look to the future it is with great excitement and anticipation for all that is to come forth from the stage of the Wall Street Theater.’”


Chris Murphy town hall in Stamford

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) is looking to update constituents on his work in Connecticut and Washington, as well as answer questions, in a town hall scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 13, at UConn in Stamford, in the GenRe Auditorium, a press release said.

Parking is available at the UConn-Stamford garage.

RSVP to Kayla Reasco, [email protected] or 860-549-8463


Tim Currie’s Motown Band

Tim Currie’s Motown Band plans a party at Currie’s Tires, 599 West Ave., from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, May 19.



YWCA Darien/Norwalk honor 2017 Women of Distinction at luncheon

Erica Zaky is the host of the YWCA Darien/Norwalk 2017 Women of Distinction luncheon scheduled for May 4 at the Woodway Country Club.

Zaky, a freelance news anchor and reporter, has worked for the News 12 Networks for more than 15-years. In 2013, she received a New York Emmy for her education story, Not Really A Sacrifice. Prior to settling down in Connecticut, Erica volunteered in South Africa, and traveled as much as possible.

Honorees are Kara Nelson Baekey, Mindy Garcia, Catalina Horak, Lisa Koorbusch and Leslie Pennington.  Katie Schorr will be honored as a Young Woman of Distinction, recognizing the outstanding accomplishments of a woman under 21 years of age.

Tickets for the luncheon are on sale now and can be purchased at ywcadn.org. For further inquiries contact [email protected] .


Celebrating hope

Norwalker Gregory Smith, Celebrating Hope 2017 Honorary Chair, invites the community to attend the fifth annual event on Friday, May 5, at the Delamar Greenwich Harbor, a press release said. Event proceeds benefit the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut and the 77,000 Connecticut residents who currently live with the disease.

Hill Harper, known for his roles on Showtime’s Homeland and the hit CBS drama CSI: NY, will share his personal journey and inspiration during Celebrating Hope 2017, the release said.

“Through his work on the President’s Cancer Panel, he has witnessed the impact that research can have on a disease,” the release said.

“Research has led to the development of diverse interventions to reduce the risk of cancer and more effectively treat some cancers, enabling many individuals to survive diagnoses that previously were almost universally fatal,” Harper is quoted as saying in the release. “I am hopeful that increased research dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease will produce a similar outcome and that we can find a cure in the near future.”

Tickets are $350 and are available online or via phone at (860) 828-2828.

“It is an honor to be able to serve as the Honorary Chair of this important event,” said Smith, President and CEO of Maplewood Senior Living, in the release.  “I am both personally and professionally connected to Alzheimer’s and feel extremely passionate about doing what I can to help those living with the disease to continue to lead lives full of dignity and respect.”

Smith is on the board of directors of the Alzheimer’s Association of Connecticut, and a board member of the Western Connecticut Health Network Development Fund, Inc.

Celebrating Hope 2017 Invite

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