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’
No hunting at Calf Pasture?
State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-25) has submitted legislation that would make Calf Pasture Beach a Connecticut wildlife refuge.
Mayor Harry Rilling and Interim Recreation and Parks Department Director Ken Hughes told NancyOnNorwalk they had not heard anything regarding the legislation.
Duff did not respond to an email inquiry asking for comment.
Duff’s legislation is Senate Bill 7 and was referred to the Joint Committee on the Environment on Wednesday. It would “designate Calf Pasture Beach in Norwalk as a wildlife refuge but permit fishing in such refuge.”
Under state statute, hunting is prohibited in a wildlife refuge. Birds are protected and dogs are not permitted, according to the statute, which reads:
“Sec. 26-107. Hunting and trapping on wildlife refuge or closed area. No person shall, at any time, enter upon any state wildlife refuge or closed area to take, hunt, trap, snare, net, pursue, kill or destroy, or attempt to take, hunt, kill or destroy, any wildlife or disturb, destroy or remove the nest or egg of any bird or permit his dog to enter such wildlife refuge or closed area, and no person shall take, hunt, shoot, kill, pursue or trap any wildlife in any lane, road or highway adjacent to any land owned, leased or controlled by the state as a wildlife refuge or closed area; provided the commissioner or any person designated by him may take, hunt, kill or trap any fox, skunk, raccoon, wildcat, muskrat, mink, weasel, hawk, owl or other predacious bird or animal in any state wildlife refuge or closed area. The detection of any person with any firearm, bow and arrow, trap, snare, net or dog upon any state wildlife refuge or closed area shall be prima facie evidence of a violation of the provisions of this section. Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined not more than one hundred dollars.”
“I have not had any discussion on this with anyone,” Rilling said in a Thursday email.
“This is the first I have heard about this,” Hughes said in a Friday email. He said he’d contact Duff.
NancyOnNorwalk asked Hughes for an update on how the wildlife refuge status would affect the annual fireworks display, kayaking or sailing.
Huhges on Friday evening said he’d spoken to Duff. “He said the bill is currently only a concept and they did not delve into that sort of detail yet.”
REdApples not available to be read
Lisa Brinton’s REdApples website, which since March 2010 has featured a trove of statistics regarding Norwalk education, is not currently available.
The homepage states, “This Site is Being Redeveloped. Expected Completion Date – January 21, 2019”
Brinton is the only person who has announced a candidacy to be Norwalk Mayor.
Brinton in an email explained:
“Red Apples has been dormant for several years, and has just served as a data base of record.
“Anyway, the server that contains several of my website domains was hacked, placing a bunch of Japanese ads in front of the websites. My web guy adding additional security and then reloading. Not being updated with any new information.”
Brinton’s Lisa For Norwalk page was functional Saturday.
NancyOnNorwalk asked Brinton if she was planning to notify any authorities about the website breaches.
She wrote back, “No. It’s a storm in a tea cup. This is the new ‘thing’ for teenage hackers to do. Just tightening the security. It’s like a title page in front of my website. Annoying, but preventable :-)”
Metered parking on Wall Street: an idea whose time has come
Wall Street is set to be revamped to include angled parking.
“The retailers do want to see angled parking,” Wall Street Neighborhood Association Chairwoman Nancy McGuire said at last week’s Redevelopment Agency public hearing on the West Avenue-Wall Street Neighborhood Plan. McGuire thanked Parking Authority Chairman Dick Brescia for moving the idea forward.
Brescia told NancyOnNorwalk that angled parking would begin in July; minutes for the Nov. 28 Parking Authority meeting show that it’s part of the 2019-20 fiscal year budget.
The angled parking plan has been around for at least three years. Brescia is quoted in the minutes as saying it hadn’t happened sooner because “one thing after another stalled all plans for progress including what to do about the T intersection of West Avenue and Wall, the POKO project and Head of the Harbor Project.”
The new configuration will include the return of parking meters, according to the minutes; meters were removed early in the Moccia Administration, about a decade ago.
The angled spaces will add parking spots. McGuire characterized this as not “a whole lot of spaces” but said “the meters and the angled parking give the perception that parking is available.”
Visitors from out of town will walk up to the meters and see a diagram showing five parking options in the area, including the Yankee Doodle Garage, she said.
“I think when you have angled parking that slows the traffic down,” Brescia explained to NoN. “The traffic flies through the Wall Street area, just much too fast, … maybe that will help slow things down.”
‘No reason’ POKO can’t move forward
The mediation with Citibank over the stalled construction at Wall Street Place, commonly referred to as “POKO,” is ongoing, Rilling said.
Citibank owns Wall Street Place, because it foreclosed on its construction loan with POKO Partners, the original developer. The City in June declared Citibank in default because it has missed construction deadlines. The company subsequently asked for a 180-day extension, which was refused on Oct. 2. Mediation began in December.
Norwalk has also cited Citibank for blight and the City on Dec. 12 notified Citibank that it owed $5,500 in blight fines, which would continue to accrue at $100 per day. The City took the matter to Stamford Superior Court on Dec. 28, with a complaint alleging that Citibank has not responded to the violation notices.
An application for a temporary injunction states that Citibank is also in violation of the Zoning regulations for unpermitted or illegal use of land, failure to construct the development and missing construction timelines. The injunction would order Citibank, under its subsidiary Municipal Holdings, to remedy the violations.
A status conference is scheduled for Feb. 4.
Mediation with Citibank began Dec. 13.
“We are looking to make sure that we move this forward without any further delay,” Rilling said Tuesday. “I think we are all a little frustrated that there’s been a lack of movement. Mediation is and can be an ongoing process. Yes, we are looking at arbitration. We are looking at whatever we can do to make this move forward. And there’s no reason why it shouldn’t. There is no reason why sensible, rational people can’t sit down and work through this.”
Suib reaches out
Norwalk Fair Housing Officer Margaret Suib sent an email blast last week with a link to an article titled, “Get out: Black families harassed in their own homes.”
“Hate in your home – when your neighbor, maintenance worker, landlord, or condo board harasses you, calls you racial slurs, threatens you, actually physically hurts you or your property because of your race, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, marital status, sexual orientation, family status, disability, gender, religion, gender identity and expression, lawful source of income, veteran status…
“If you live in Norwalk, contact me, Norwalk’s Fair Housing Officer to report such incidents of hate. There are steps you can take and we can help you. Everyone has the right, the legal and moral right, to live in their home, their neighborhood, without being subject to such hate, bias, housing discrimination.”