Norwalk makes the Top 10 …
The U.S. Conference of Mayors has accorded Norwalk honorable mention in its nationwide City Livability Awards. Norwalk was among 10 national winners in the small city category, chosen from 200 applicants.
The news was announced by Mayor Harry Rilling in a Friday press release. Rilling announced in March that Norwalk was among 15 semifinalists under consideration for an award.
The Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force was the focus if the application. Chaired by Council member John Kydes (D-District C) and staffed by volunteers, “the Task Force has adopted cutting-edge energy and environmental practices that protect the environment and save the city and its residents thousands of dollars,” according to the press release.
“Placing in the top 10 for this national award is a great honor,” Kydes said in the release. “The Task Force and I will continue to work hard to find ways to save energy and money for Norwalk residents and businesses.”
An initiative of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Waste Management, the largest environmental solutions provider in North America, the program is characterized by the U.S. Conference of Mayors as “the most competitive award program” sponsored by the organization. It honors mayors and city governments for developing innovations that enhance the quality of life in urban areas.
Key achievements of the Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force in Norwalk, according to the release, include helping to keep the city budget (and taxes) in line through reducing City Hall energy costs by 50 percent with minimum out-of pocket expense, saving $50,000 annually; instituting the Norwalk Firewood Program last winter, which took 23 tons of potential waste out of the waste stream and helped homeowners heat their homes by purchasing firewood at a reduced rate while lowering city costs, as trees that the City had to cut down were previously disposed of by the City at a cost to the taxpayers; reaching out to senior citizens to tell them about energy cost-saving opportunities; completing an energy consumption evaluation for every city and school building; and hosting a grant-funded event that informed commercial property owners how to finance energy-reducing projects through C-PACE (CT Properly Assessed Clean Energy).
… And city’s legal eagle makes the Top 40
Norwalk Corporation Counsel Mario Coppola was honored as one of Fairfield County’s best and brightest business leaders under the age of 40 at the 11th annual celebration of the “40 Under 40 Awards” held at the Maritime Aquarium on June 25.
Coppola practices in the areas of municipal law, land use and zoning, property tax assessment appeals, real estate transactions and general civil litigation. He has handled many zoning and tax appeal matters from the administrative level through the Connecticut courts, according to the announcement from the law firm Berchem, Moses & Devlin, where he practices.
In addition to his work in Norwalk, Coppola also has served as a town attorney for Trumbull from 2009 to 2013 and an assistant town attorney for Westport since 2006. He regularly provides legal representation and services to other municipalities, including Easton, Madison, New Canaan and Trumbull.
“You are the rising stars of Connecticut, and we thank you for what you do,” said Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling, as quoted by Danielle Brody in the July 7 edition of Fairfield County Business Journal.
Music in the park
A free Broadway Pops Concert will be presented at 3 p.m. Sunday, July 12, on the Great Lawn of the Gallagher mansion at Cranbury Park. The Norwalk Symphony Orchestra will join with local arts organizations to perform the program. Young musicians from the Talent Education Suzuki School will open the program, followed by Norwalk Symphony Music Director Jonathan Yates conducting members of the Norwalk Youth Symphony and the Norwalk Symphony in Rossini’s “Barber of Seville.”
Guest Music Conductor Paul Bogaev, a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning conductor and composer, will then take the podium to conduct a group of Broadway and up-and-coming stars from the Music Theatre of Connecticut, Crystal Theatre, the New Paradigm Theatre of Milford, led by Kristin Huffman (director, actor, singer, teacher and musical producer).
In case of inclement weather, the concert may move to Norwalk Concert Hall.
Rebecca Christopherson, a member of the Board and the orchestra, said, “I am very excited about this concert, which is the first outdoor pops concert the symphony has held in 75 years. The collaborations are also a first for us, and we hope to continue these relationships into the orchestra’s future.”
Local media prankster to discuss life and antics
Media hoaxer Alan Abel will pay a visit July 13 in Norwalk to the monthly meeting of the Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County to discuss his life and career.
The event begins at 6:30 p.m. at the Silver Star Diner at 210 Connecticut Ave in Norwalk. It is free and open to the public.
Abel, who lived in Westport for many years and now resides in Southbury, took the idea of pranking the media, the public, and anyone who would fall for his antics to absurd lengths long before anyone else.
He pretended to be billionaire recluse Howard Hughes. He hired impersonators to be Watergate conspirators. Abel tweaks the powers that be and those gullible enough to believe what they are told.
Abel’s hoaxing career began in the late 1950s with the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals. This tongue-in-cheek moral crusade, whose purpose was to clothe all animals for modesty’s sake, was a commentary on censorship.
The event will also feature a documentary titled “Abel Raises Cain” about Abel’s life and escapades. The 2005 film was written, directed and produced by Abel’s daughter, Jenny. It won many awards at film festivals for its appeal to a generation of young people skeptical of authority.
The Humanists and Freethinkers of Fairfield County, Connecticut, espouses Reason and Compassion, seeks to promote Humanism and free thought in our community. It meets on the second Monday of each month, with speakers, discussion, and social time. Learn more at meetup.com/HFFCCT.
New exhibit set at Lockwood-Mathews
A new “Summer Invitational” exhibition, “Interpretations,” will open July 22 at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Avenue.
The exhibition will feature works by Katharine Draper, Catherine Caulfield Russell, and Joan Poarch. The exhibit will run through Oct. 1 with a fundraising reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10.
Tickets are $20 and proceeds will benefit the museum’s cultural and educational programs.