Maritime Aquarium; City tree pickup; Norwalk Library events

The Maritime Aquarium’s new residents, Feisty and Gracie. (Contributed)

Announcements of interest.

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • Maritime Aquarium welcomes two new seals
  • City schedules Christmas tree pickups
  • Norwalk Library offers slew of events

Gracie and Feisty

Newly-arrived harbor seals Feisty and Gracie, ages 33 and 20 respectively, have joined the other five seals in Pinniped Cove, the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s giant exhibit where visitors can view the seals from three sides and two levels.

Both newcomers are blind.  Gracie, whose eye damage renders her unable to survive in the wild, was rescued off the Maine coast.  Feisty is Pinniped Cove’s sole male, and he’s only the second male seal to have lived at the Aquarium since its 1988 opening.

Upon arrival from New Mexico’s ABQ BioPark, the two newbies quarantined for 30 days.  They were then allowed into the Cove’s huge tank where they explored their new surroundings and were slowly introduced to the Aquarium’s other five seals who languished in the adjacent safety-gated holding pools.  A news release reports smooth sailing throughout the process.

“This is an extremely exciting moment for The Maritime Aquarium,” said Senior Trainer Dylan Salamone. “Gracie and Feisty are the first new seals to be introduced to the group since 2005, and they have acclimated to their new home quicker than we expected. We hope you’ll visit them as they continue to explore Pinniped Cove.”

Seal training demonstrations at the Cove are held daily at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., and 3:30 p.m.

The Aquarium’s website is at  www.maritimeaquarium.org



Tree pickups

The City will start picking up residents’ Christmas trees, except for people who live in the Sixth Taxing District, who are privately serviced for this collection, a news release said.

The schedule based on snowplow routes:

  • During the week of 9, Routes 1-8 (Blue Zone) will be collected.
  • During the week of 16, Routes 9-16 (Red Zone) will be collected. (Except for Monday, Jan. 16, a holiday, MLK Jr. Day).
  • During the week of 23, Routes 17-26 (Yellow Zone) will be collected.


Rules are:

  • Your tree must be curbside by 6 a.m. on the Monday of your corresponding collection week.
  • No plastic bags, lights, decorations or stands will be
  • Holiday wreaths will not be collected – these are considered garbage due to the metal


Additional Resources:

 Use this map to identify your plow route.

City of Norwalk’s Christmas Tree Collection Map


In addition, note that for the most part:

  • The Blue Zone on the map includes residents who live North of Connecticut Avenue and West of Route 7.
  • The Red Zone on the map includes residents who live North of I- 95 and East of Route 7.
  • The Yellow Zone on the map includes residents who either live South of I-95 and/or South of Connecticut Avenue.



  • Go to the City’s website for more information, here.
  • Contact the Customer Service Center at (203) 854-3200 or [email protected].



Library events

A Norwalk Public Library news release announces some upcoming events.

Ukrainian Christmas Celebration

The Ukrainian Christmas Celebration will be presented by The Greater Norwalk Literacy Volunteers on Sunday Jan. 8 from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. at the Library’s Main Branch, located at 1 Belden Ave.

Tales such as The Spider and the Christmas Tree which tells “how spiders have left a dazzling Christmas miracle” will be offered, and School of Ukrainian Studies students will perform.  Ukrainian cookies and juice will be served.  Register by email to [email protected], or call Shelly Young at (203) 899-2780 ext. 15182.  Leave your name, phone number, and number of guests accompanying you.

We’re told that Carol of the Bells originated in Ukraine.


Revolt of ‘Mother,’ a stage play

A nineteenth-century New England farmer’s unfulfilled promise to his wife ignites a twisting chain of events in Mary E. Wilkins Freeman’s story The Revolt of “Mother.”  Actress Michèle LaRue, a Norwalk Public Library mainstay, will return to the SoNo Branch to render the tale on Saturday Jan. 14 from 1 until 3 p.m.   LaRue previously captivated SoNo Branch audiences with signature performances of Gettysburg: One Woman’s WarThe Bedquilt, Someone Must Wash the Dishes: An Anti-Suffrage Satire, and last summer’s virtual rendition of A Bird in the Hand.

Register for the play online at norwalkpl.org/sono, or by calling (203) 899-2790 ext. 15911.  The SoNo Branch Library is located at 10 Washington St.

Learn about Michele LaRue here, here and here.

AARP/VITA/IRS Volunteer Tax Assistance Program

Free full-service tax filing help will be available to the public again this year at both library branches by appointment from Wednesday Jan. 25 until Saturday April 15 thanks to the IRS-supported AARP Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program.  Seniors and low-to-moderate income filers will get special attention. To make your appointment, call the Main Library at (203) 899-2780 ext. 15109 or the SoNo Branch at (203) 899-2790 ext. 15911.  Or choose the online option at https://simplifyct.org.

According to Library Director Sherelle Harris, the program “is the nation’s largest, free IRS-certified, volunteer-run tax assistance and preparation service,” having processed 52,000 federal returns plus an equal number of state returns and many amended filings in Connecticut during the last full pre-COVID tax season.  The counselor group that services Norwalk Public Library prepared and filed more than 7,000 returns last season, generating over $10 million in federal refunds including $3 million in credits for education, earned income, and such,

“The same IRS-certified volunteers who have been serving our community for years will be available,” Harris said.  “Our residents are very grateful for this service.  They begin calling late November every year to inquire about it. They deserve the break these volunteers provide pro bono.  Residents can sense their sincerity.”

You must bring the following documents to your appointment:

Identity Documentation:

  • Government Issued Photo ID.
  • Social Security or ITIN numbers for all taxpayers and dependents.
  • Bank account/routing numbers (blank check preferable), if expecting a refund.

All 2022 income report forms received:

  • SSA1099 if you were paid Social Security benefits.
  • W-2(s) from your employer(s).
  • W-2G from gambling winnings.
  • 1099G from unemployment compensation payments.
  • 1099s: Bank interest, stock dividends, retirement distributions, broker statements.


Other Important Documents

  • If itemizing deductions, receipts for expenses such as taxes paid (real estate, vehicle) and charitable contributions; and verification of the original price of sold assets (home, stocks).
  • Form 1095-A if health insurance was from the Access Health Connecticut Marketplace.
  • A Copy of last year’s (TY 2021) Return


Appointments can be made per this schedule:

(Norwalk Public Library)


Yuanxiao Jie Kuai Le – Happy Lantern Festival


Happy Lantern Festival, a family program conducted by Greater Norwalk Literacy Volunteers on Sunday Feb. 5 from 12:30 until 1:30 p.m. at the Main Library will mark the last day of the lunar New Year celebration on the fifteenth day of the first month in the lunar calendar year. A news release says “Traditionally, children go to temples carrying paper lanterns and solve riddles at night.”

In Chinese tradition, 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit.  The Festival will include Chinese dance performances by Li Garden Dance Company and the Connecticut Chinese Education Dance Group, a Chinese meal, and Create-Your-Own Chinese lantern.

Register by email to [email protected], or call Shelly Young at (203) 899-2780 ext. 15182.  Leave your name, phone number, and number of guests accompanying you.

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