Norwalk zoners get first look at proposed Cranbury White Barn Preserve development

A diagram
A diagram of a development proposed for the White Barn Theater property in Cranbury, on the Norwalk/Westport line, shows conservation land in green, Attorney Liz Suchy said.

NORWALK, Conn. – A proposed Norwalk development, which has reignited opposition from the Save Cranbury Association, drew little in the way of negative comments Thursday from Norwalk zoning commissioners.

Attorney Elizabeth Suchy, representing Special Properties II, told the Plan Review Committee that the 21 homes planned for the White Barn property at 78 Cranbury Road conform with the Norwalk regulations regarding conservation development, which were written in 1981. Commissioner Nora King objected to the plan to demolish the White Barn Theater, but there were no other negative comments.

About 10 people attended the meeting just to hear the presentation. Assistant Planning and Zoning Director Mike Wrinn said that about 20 emails from neighbors have been received, and that he expects more.

The plan to develop the property that once belonged to the late actress and producer Lucille Lortel resulted in the formation of Save Cranbury in 2003. Eventually 5.5 acres of what was then an 18-acre estate were put into a permanent conservation easement. In 2007, a plan that the neighbors liked better, to build a campus for the Connecticut Friends School, was approved by the Commission. But that has lapsed, and the property is back in the hands of New Canaan developer Jim Feiber under the entity Special Properties II. Save Cranbury appealed for community support on Tuesday, with spokesman Julian Henkin calling the plan “a mockery of the efforts in the past of both the grass roots community and the support that was garnered by the local and state government.”

Attorney Liz Suchy talks to Norwalk Zoning Commission members Thursday in City Hall.

Suchy said that part of the requirements for a conservation development is that at least half of the land be in a conservation easement area. Fieber would add 2.2 acres to the existing conservation easement, making it just over 7 acres on the 15.4 acre property, she said.

“The goal is to conserve or preserve land, or preserve land for parks and recreation purposes, or preserve and protect areas of natural beauty or historic interest, to preserve streams, rivers and ponds or to preserve wetlands,” she said of the regulation.

There are about 30 conservation developments in Norwalk, ranging from five residences to 25 to 30 houses, she said. The property is in a AA zone, where the regulations require at least 4 acres for such a development, she said. The homes must be 30 feet apart and 40 feet back from wetlands or a watercourse and be served by public water and a public sewer, she said.

The proposal includes extending the sewer line, she said.

“For those of you who wonder how do you calculate the number of units, it’s a mathematical formula. You take the total acreage, you deduct two-thirds of any wetlands or watercourses from that total acreage, you then divide the minimum lot size. … It’s 21,780 square feet per lot, you multiply that remaining land acreage by .85 and that accounts for roadways, things of that nature, and that just gives you a number. It’s a mathematical formula, there’s very little subjectivity that goes into the way that you come up with the total number of units. You take all those numbers, you plug them in and you come up with 21,” Suchy said.

The three-bedroom homes range from 2,800 to 3,100 square feet and are designed for empty nesters, an architect said. This is patterned after Fieber’s successful development in Stamford, River Oaks, he said.

Commissioner Nate Sumpter asked how the public would gain access to the conservation land. Suchy said conservation developments do not include parking for people who do not live there, but there will be trails through the woods. The land would be open to the public in the same way it would have been if the Friends school had been built, she said.

King asked where the theater was on the plan. Suchy said it would be demolished.

“I believe the Friends School had a desire to use the White Barn as some sort of performing arts center but that just is not part of this plan,” Suchy said. “The building itself is in a tremendous state of disrepair. To renovate it would really be an unrealistic goal.”


47 responses to “Norwalk zoners get first look at proposed Cranbury White Barn Preserve development”

  1. SA

    Plan is dubious. Norwalk does not need housing for empty nesters. We could use a little more open lands and public parks.

    I join my voice in opposition to this redevelopment. Face it we aren’t Wilton or westport.

  2. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    @Julian Henkin:

    We heard nothing about this meeting to review the new assault on the Whit Barn property or we would have attended.

    Mr. Henkin, let us know how to get in touch with your group.

    We well recall the last battle to preserve that historic property and also remember that it was saved IN PERPETUITY. Apparently, the meaning of the word “perpetuity”, like the meaning of the word “IS” has the flexibility that Mr. Clinton once attempted to give that word.

    As for the architect’s contention that the new cluster of houses would be designed for the “empty nesters”. Where has he been? Most empty nesters we know head for warmer climates. If they don’t have the wherewithal for that, they look for AFFORDABLE apartments in other towns, since there are none here in Norwalk.

  3. Kevin Di Mauro

    I really can’t sympathize with anyone opposed to this plan.

    Building housing in a residential zone certainly makes more sense than building a large scale commercial driving range for golfers in a residential zone.

  4. Non partisan

    There is a definite need for housing for empty nesters moving to Stamford and Norwalk in the 50-70 years old- close to retirement- but not retired; grown children in the area- so they are not going to move too far; no school age children- so they don’t care about the schools. They are attracted to Norwalk and stamford by depressed real estate prices relative to the rest of fairfield and westchester counties, and the proximity to recreation Boating and golf.

  5. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    @ Non partisan

    So far as one can tell, there is no mob-sized crowd of “close to retirements” able to find buyers for their “depressed value” houses they have raised families in just so they can move to builder-built tightly clustered news houses built on wetlands.

  6. Suzanne

    I would like to see the statistics on those “empty nesters” Fieber Group is counting on. Most that I know of do not want to live in a house with its accompanying responsibilities and prefer smaller, attended condos (Pepperidge Farm comes to mind) where yards are absent, no up keep, and in a complex, fix-it guys/gals are on call. The need to arrange for oil is gone. Walks are cleared with no shoveling or blowing required of the residents.

    While these “empty nesters” might want to be close to their family members, they want to without worry or maintenance so they can enjoy all of that recreation and community amenities freely. In addition, aging bodies do not necessarily want the physical challenges of a home’s care.

    This seems a needless addition to Norwalk real estate that destroys a historic theater (look it up on Wikipedia – it is remarkable the number of plays premiered there by notable/famous playwrights) and environment that cannot be replaced.

    Really, custom cluster homes can be placed anywhere. Why this spot?

  7. Debora

    Norwalk’s conservation requirements are not the only ones that apply here. The property was partly funded with an Open Space grant (at least as reported elsewhere on this site). The easement “in perpetuity” stems from the PERMANENT requirements of accepting such a grant.

  8. piberman

    The building project may have merits but encouraging empty nesters is not one of them. Retired and empty nesters continue to move away from Norwalk for well known reasons – punitive property taxes and lack of real prospects for future appreciation. New homes will likely depress existing area home values. No wonder the neighbors are “overjoyed”. So too our new residents when they see their property tax bills.

  9. Bill

    I’m tired of Rod Lopez Fabrega opposing all developments in Norwlk unless they are subsidized housing paid for by taxpayers. Seriously guy, we need the mall and these homes for the tax base. Get over yourself.

  10. Suzanne

    Wow, Bill. I happen to appreciate his perspective. Did you know that Norwalk is receiving very little in the way of funds from the Mall? Most of their property taxes are being deferred (I believe on a gradual basis) for seven years. Sales taxes will go to the State.

    How much in taxes do you think will be realized with 21 homes? Is this more important than preserving an environment that cannot be replaced?

    I like good development but don’t happen to believe these two are good for the community.

    What is good about these threads is that EVREYONE gets to express what I call the pendulum swing of opinion. Rudeness, however, does not further your argument, Bill.

  11. Sharon

    First of all – what many of you do not realize is there are not only wetlands on that property, but wetlands in all the neighbors properties. These neighbors have experienced flooding and a higher water table with every single piece of construction over the last 10 years. What will 21 homes do? Screw the neighborhood, that’s what.

    The “empty nester” concept is BS – the developer just doesn’t want to raise a flag to the already taxed school system. What empty nester needs 3,096 sq ft (that number was quoted by the architect at the meeting – I was there)??

    I would much rather have a municipal practice facility at Oak Hills than a bunch of houses that will not sell, do not belong in Cranbury or destroy the homes that already exist in the surrounding neighborhood.

  12. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    @ bill:

    Suzanne said it much better than I.

    Perhaps bill is the guy who should get over himself for accepting all–or at least these two–attempts by builders whose main objective in life is their own bottom line, with little or no regard for the long-term well being of the town they have put in their cross hairs for easy pickings. I say, “easy” because there seems to be little resistance from those parts of our own town administration responsible for maintaining a well directed balance between controlled growth and free enterprise run amock

  13. Kevin Di Mauro


    I would rather have a bunch of houses at Oak Hills and have the municipal practice facility for golfers in your backyard at Cranbury.

  14. Tom Conwell

    How about building the mosque on this property?

  15. EveT

    Would someone please explain how increasing the conservation easement by 2.2 acres is violating the open space agreement? Also, what happened to the $6 million the Friends School paid for the property?

  16. Sharon

    @Kevin – it’s a deal, in the space for the practice facility, you can have 21 houses and I will take the practice facility, while preserving the Theater. It would take less acreage. The golf course stays, of course.

    @Eve the Friends School could never afford the property and I’m sure that the developer has always held the mortgage that the Friends never paid on.

  17. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    @ Conwell:

    The Buddhist Friends would probably approve…

  18. Kevin Di Mauro


    How should we consummate the deal?

  19. Debora

    @ Eve T.

    I did, on the double dip article 🙂


    But I’ll post again:
    The City can grant easements for conservation purposes on land, which effectively lowers the tax it can assess. In return, that easement permanently restricts what the owner of the property can do, if it impacts the purpose for the easement (can be to preserve natural growth, water quality, shoreline, etc. An easement encumbers the entire parcel even though it may represent only part of the land area (in this case 5.5 acres of the entire parcel). This is recognized because putting, for example, a large addition on a home adjacent to the easement could impact the section with the easement (contaminating water, blocking light to the wild growth, etc.) In this case, increasing the 5.5 acres to 7.7 while simultaneously doing development that fills in wetlands really does look like gaming the system.

    Open Space grants create a special kind of easement. Once you take Open Space money to purchase the land, you are agreeing to a permanent, almost irrevocable restriction to use the whole property for open space purposes, and not development.

    Using land purchased with OS money, and applying for easements on the same, is indeed, double-dipping. Putting development that fills in wetlands in an area purchasde with an OS grant may well be illegal.

    Here is the relevant passage relevant to the permanent easement conveyed by OS funds from the Connecticut General Code. Emphasis mine in the form of capitalized words.

    (e) At closing, a permanent conservation easement, as defined in section 47-42, shall be executed for any property purchased with grant funds, which conservation easement shall provide that the property shall remain FOREVER predominantly in its natural and open condition for the specific conservation, open space or water supply purposes FOR WHICH IT WAS ACQUIRED provided any improvements or changes to the property shall be supportive of such condition or purposes. The permanent conservation easement shall be in favor of the state acting through the Commissioner of Environmental Protection, or his designee, which may be a municipality or a land conservation organization. […] Such permanent conservation easement shall also include a requirement that the property be made available to the general public for appropriate recreational purposes, the maintenance of which recreational access shall be the responsibility of the grantee […] An exception to the provision of public recreational access may be made at the discretion of the Commissioner of Environmental Protection when provision for public access would be unreasonably detrimental to the wildlife or plant habitat or other natural features of the property or, for land where development rights have been purchased, would be disruptive of agricultural activity occurring on the land.[…]

    Regarding your question about the school vs housing, it is helpful to understand what the state defines as open space purposes. Two relevant pieces of the code may help shed light:

    (c) No grant may be made under the protected open space and watershed land acquisition grant program established under subsection (a) of this section or under the Charter Oak open space grant program established under section 7-131t for: (1) Land to be used for commercial purposes or for recreational purposes requiring intensive development, including, but not limited to, golf courses, driving ranges, tennis courts, ballfields, swimming pools and uses by motorized vehicles other than vehicles needed by water companies to carry out their purposes, provided trails or pathways for pedestrians, motorized wheelchairs or nonmotorized vehicles shall not be considered intensive development; […] (3) land which has already been committed for public use;

    I would argue that there is no possible housing development that meets the states definition of an open space use AND in this case, the school DID meet the definition of land already designated for public use, which was probably why the easement was applied to the 5.5 acres and not the whole property.

  20. Debora

    And Sharon’s comments about the wetlands on the neighboring properties is why properties with conservation easements have these restrictions…

  21. jlightfield

    So let’s see if I understand the usual suspects here in the macro:

    They are opposed to a driving range on a golf course.
    They are opposed to BJs in a commercial corridor.
    They are opposed to a mosque in a residential neighborhood.
    They are opposed to a mall in a commercial corridor & right next to the highway

    And now …

    They are opposed to residential houses in a residential area, because the houses are too big and the proposed open space is not the entire property.

    This is NIMBYism at its finest.

  22. Suzanne

    jlightfield: the opposition you describe above is what you call “good development” that is appropriate to neighborhoods without developers running amok.

    Each potential development you have described contain multiple issues that certainly don’t come under the moniker of NIMBY. It is far more complicated than that and any perception that it isn’t? Well, you just haven’t been doing your homework.

  23. cc-rider

    Suzanne- do you think Paul Cantor would be writing op-eds about the driving range at Oak Hills if he lived in Sono?

  24. Bill

    Again, Rod and Suzanne love developments as long as they are for poor people in South Norwalk and subsidized heavily by state tax payers, never let the free market decide what is feasible and in demand.

    I love hearing people who don’t have to sell a property tell a property developer that there isn’t any demand…hilarious

  25. Debora

    Oversimplification makes it look like NIMBYISM, but it’s actually good old fashioned fiscal conservatism and good governance (except maybe for the mosque).

    They are opposed to [spending millions of dollars in state grant money or through borrowing] a driving range on a golf course [that owes millions of dollars, is currently in violation of the open space grant received in 1966, and may be violating environmental law by leaving contaminated soil unremediated beyond a reasonable period of time because they want the City to pay for it].
    They are opposed to [a] BJs [of unprecedented size for the lot size, even by their own standards] in a commercial corridor [especially when supported by questionable traffic studies].
    They are opposed to [providing economic incentives to a developer for] a mall in a commercial corridor & right next to the highway [that provides almost no economic value to Norwalk, has, at best a twenty year life cycle, in an environment where malls are failing all over the country]
    They are opposed to residential houses in a residential area, because the houses are too big and the proposed open space is not the entire property.[Not a zoning issue to be characterized as residential in a residential…nobody made this objection–This is about not subsidizing development with money earmarked for open space…if the developer wants to reimburse the state, apply for a regular conservation easement for 50% of the property, get it assessed fairly and then go apply for a “conservation development”, then so be it. At least the OS money could be re-used to purchase true open space.]

  26. It certainly not Nimby. It is the banana theory. Build absolutely nothing anytime near anyone!!

  27. Suzanne

    To all you provocateurs out there: out of context and simply not true. I actually don’t know much about subsidized housing and have, I don’t believe, ever made a comment about it. (The only thing I can think of is the Washington Street development which is mixed use and being built in a flood plain. This has to do with the long term fiscal responsibility of building anything in a flood plain.)

    Needle anyone you want re: NIMBYism or bananas but I am looking at the whole fruit bowl. The two terms just don’t fit in the “macro” perspective of jlightfield’s comment (nor EDR’s.)

  28. Rod Lopez-Fabrega


    Are you a property developer?

  29. jlightfield

    Dear Usual Suspects,

    If all you can articulate is why you are against something, then you are in fact against something.

    Reality Check

  30. Rod Lopez-Fabrega


    Presumably, you are for:

    a driving range on a golf course.
    BJs in a commercial corridor.
    a mosque in a residential neighborhood.
    a mall in a commercial corridor & right next to the highway

    The answers to those items are inherent in the statements themselves–unless, of course, you yourself are a property “developer” with special interests and can’t see the forest for the trees.

  31. Oldtimer

    Opposing a conservation development like this, where the permanent conservation acreage is increased, and the homes proposed are clearly not out of character for the neighborhood is hard to understand. Is it developers they don’t like, or older residents moving from other towns or larger houses in Norwalk ? Maybe they oppose the tax income this will bring. This is not the first development like it in Norwalk, and nobody much notices the others. There is one on Cannon St where the greenhouse and gardens used to be. If there are any logical arguments against this project, it would be good to hear them. I suppose there are people who would like to see the theater preserved, but nobody has proposed paying for such preservation. That would be way more out of place in a residential zone than this proposal.

  32. EveT

    I really appreciate all the details others have supplied, especially @Debora. Thank you. (I’m not being sarcastic.)
    So, the statute doesn’t forbid building a school and it also doesn’t forbid building houses, is that right? Or are houses “commercial purposes” because they’re being sold for a profit?
    If the school had been built, wouldn’t it have filled in wetlands the same as the houses are proposed to do?
    If filling in these wetlands is illegal then certainly the developer shouldn’t be allowed to do it.

  33. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Thanks to Wikipedia, here is just one reason why residents of the neighborhood around the White Barn property feel strongly that it is an historic site that should be preserved just as the original owner intended:

    “The White Barn Theatre was a small theater founded by actress, producer and theater impresario Lucille Lortel on the property of her estate in Norwalk, Connecticut that premiered numerous plays from major playwrights and plays that went on to successful Broadway and Off-Broadway runs.

    “Lortel founded The theater in 1947 on her 18.4-acre (74,000 m2) estate at the corner of Cranbury Road and Newtown Avenue. The estate straddled both Norwalk and Westport, with about 15.5 acres (63,000 m2) in Norwalk and 2.5 acres (10,000 m2) in Westport,[1] and the theater was sometimes called an institution in Westport, which has more ties to the theater than Norwalk. Lortel donated much of her memorabilia to the Westport Public Library.

    “With the theater, created from an old horse barn on the estate, Lortel aimed to present unusual and experimental plays, promote new playwrights, composers, actors, directors and designers, and help established artists develop new directions in ways they might not have been able to do in commercial theater.

    “Stage works that started at the 148-seat[3] theater (some of which went on to commercial success elsewhere).”

  34. Amanda

    Jackie, perhaps there’s a 1.5 acre parcel near your home for Al Madany to build a 27,000 square foot mosque on.

  35. jlightfield

    @ Rod Lopez-Fabrega: the listing of facts inherently has no opinion.

    @amanda: my record on the mosque, or for the purpose of accuracy, my position on the exception for educational and religious used in residential zones is quite clear. When I was in a position to do something about it, I raised the issue following our approval of the expansion of the Greek OrthodoxChurch on Bayne. I simply ran out of time to convince at least 3 other zoning commissioners to make a regulation change. The regulation to date remains unchanged.

    @Rod Lopez-Fabrega: I believe actions speak louder than words. If you (and others) think the former White Barn property should have been preserved then where were you when the CFS calls for fundraising went out? Or when local politicos gave the White Barn Theater archives to Westport? I suspect crickets. I stand by my actions and wish the CFS community the best of luck to continue their education mission which has included btw, numerous full scholarships for Norwalk’s low income families.

  36. Rod Lopez-Fabrega


    I can say the same for you. Your list is not an opinion–just a list of actions and events of which you approve:

    So, one must conclude that you approve of:

    a driving range on a golf course.
    BJs in a commercial corridor.
    a mosque in a residential neighborhood.
    a mall in a commercial corridor & right next to the highway

    Can you explain why you are so much in favor of the above?

    My opinion is that they are not good for Norwalk. I and others have explained the many reasons why we believe they are not good for Norwalk in other discussions relating to everything on your list.

    So, please answer my question: Are you a real estate “developer”?

  37. EveT

    It would be lovely if the White Barn theater building could be preserved and rehabilitated, but as @Jackie said, where were the “Save Cranbury” folks when the fund raising call went out? It has been vacant and ignored for some 15 years. If the developer had ambitions to fix it up (say, as a clubhouse for the homeowners association), would Save Cranbury then be in favor of the houses being built?

  38. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Eve: Why do you assume that the Cranbury neighbors were not involved in all of this? We live in Cranbury and have been here since 1959 and very well recall when the first assault on the Lortel property took place and the fact that many of us were involved in active complaints then as I hope we will be now. At that time, many living in the area were architects, designers, writers, etc. with involvement in fostering the arts in Norwalk and interested in the values of preservation.

    We were delighted when the Friends took over and sadly disappointed that they were not able to follow through with their plans for a school there.

    Sadly, attitudes in Norwalk have changed in that regard. To a newcomer to Norwalk, none would know from the appearance of our town that we have a notable history, both old and recent. We are being paved over by those (and they know who they are) who consider that the bottom line that comes from opportunistic real estate development is more important than almost any other consideration.

  39. jlightfield

    @Rod Lopez-Fabrega: um no, my list was simply a list of facts. Your inspector Clouseau assumptions and questions are a good LOL this morning. The fact remains that while you may have lived in the same house since before NASA sent rockets to the moon, your grasp of civic engagement seems more limited to playing the old guy on his rocker mumbling about “getting off your lawn” except that on the White Barn issue, it isn’t your lawn.

  40. Rod Lopez-Fabrega


    Cute! You “developers” miss the point entirely. Issues about preservation and the ants in your pants to BUILD wherever there’s an empty spot should be an issue that is on EVERYONE’S lawn here in Norwalk. But you wouldn’t understand that as long as there’s a buck to be made.

  41. Michael McGuire

    @ Debra – The incentives on the 95/7 site were present prior to GGP getting involved. Love to see the support you have to back up the 20 year lifespan comment. Ditto for your comments regarding no direct or indirect economic benefit to Norwalk.

    @ Suzanne – you have to pull the bad fruit out of the fruit bowl to keep the remaining fruit from going bad.

    @JL – spot on. I don’t think the naysayers understand that unless credible, feasible solution(s) accompany the constant naysaying, it does come across as “chicken little” rants of NIMBYism.

    @ All Naysayers – the problem is not bad development/developers, it’s the lack of comprehensive, professional planning by the City. Vilifying the developer will only further cloud the real issue. Next election make this an issue.

  42. jlightfield

    @Rod Lopez-Fabrega: My philosophy in life is pretty simple, I’d someone can’t get the basic facts right on a simple thing then they really have no credibility in anything else. Now I’ll just sit back and let you inform me as to my position on; tastes great/less filling; dunker or not; thin crust or thick crust; and whether to put milk in the cereal bowl.

  43. Rod Lopez-Fabrega


    Congrats! You have a philosophy…

  44. Suzanne

    Ummm, Mr. McGuire, just what do you mean by “bad fruit”? (To further an already weak metaphor. Sorry!) I absolutely agree with Norwalk needing a City Planner (probably not for the same reasons but who cares?) Do you have feasible, detailed, factual information as to why Norwalk does not as yet have one?

    I read about non-statistical concerns in this thread, i.e., quality of community and environmental concerns for one thing. I believe the historic value of the land was also explained. It seems like the surrounding community to Cranberry Park have fought long and hard to retain this area for good reasons that might not be so statistically oriented but are valid nevertheless.

    In addition, I think jlightfield’s list represents a simplistic idea of just what these projects entail (on both sides). That citizens are against them does not represent the entire constituency, of course. But that there are some that do, even in an emotional perspective, they get their say. That is what “community” is called (among many other qualities.)

  45. Rod Lopez-Fabrega

    Suzanne: Thanks for putting a cap on this discussion which has gotten to be more suitable for The Hour rather than meeting the high standards of NON. When one side of the exchange has to resort to weird comments that have to do with philosophies somehow related to things to do with a donut, rotten apples and on and on, one would have to conclude that this discussion is over as it no longer is a debate among adults.

  46. jlightfield

    @suzane: reductionism here simplifies the underlying argument that Norwalk has in fact a Master Plan, that the underlying zoning regulations govern in principle what can be built and that property owners do have a right to develop a property that conforms with zoning. Yes a simple list stating the zone is precisely what is lacking from the various arguments about what to develop in that property.

    @Rod Lopez-Fabrega: I see now the errors of my childish ways, I should allow adult people like you to make judgments about issues because you don’t think philosophically. Further when posting comments on a political news web site, one should refrain from using humor and should instead clearly pick a side (preferably matching the self-appointed arbitrator) and commit to a serious adult treatise on the subject matter (deemed appropriate by the aforementioned arbitrator.)

  47. Suzanne

    Ms. Lightfield, Without sounding too “philosophical”, if I understand you correctly, that “simple list” reduces all matter of detail to conform to Zoning without a Master Plan which then makes it helpful.

    Given that zoning seems to be a fluid issue here in Norwalk and that each issue you described, once again, was entirely simplistic given the level of detail on both sides requiring extensive discussion and query, your reductionism comes off to me as a bias against any Norwalk citizen who might not have agreed with the developments on your list.

    You have a clear “pro-developer” bias and it’s showing. That’s ok but that doesn’t make any of the opposing viewpoints, expressed in any manner of ways including humor, any less valid.

    BTW, personal attacks? Float those on another WEB site. The rest of us are trying to talk about the issues. (A bit snarky, I realize, but merited in this case.)

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