Once Around the City: Lots going on as summer turns to fall

Author Jean Zimmerman will be speak at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion.
Author Jean Zimmerman will be speak at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion

NORWALK, Conn. – The kids are back in school, but there are still a few loose ends to tie up, not to mention a slew of things going on.

There’s a Back to School night planned by Norwalk Acts and Stepping Stones Museum, and the library is going to give away some prizes to kids involved in the summer reading program. There’ an author talk planned for Lockwood-Matthews that you need to register for by Sept. 5, and, if a fall cleanup is in the cards, a chance to dump hazardous household waste next weekend.


Norwalk Acts, Stepping Stones plan Back to School Night adventure

A free back-to-school night at Stepping Stones, filled with innovative school readiness and enrichment programs for children and parents with some of Norwalk’s most important community leaders, is planned for 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4.

Back-to-school time means the beginning of the new school year and time to prepare for your child’s success. This year is also significant for the Norwalk Public School District as the city’s educators, led by Superintendent Manny Rivera, prepare to welcome students and parents back to school.

Join Norwalk ACTS member organizations, Rivera, Mayor Harry Rilling, and many more special guests at Stepping Stones in a salute to students of all ages, parents and educators at this one-of-a-kind celebration.

Meet Norwalk ACTS members and learn about the outstanding community resources available for children and parents that can help prepare children for school.

  • Listen to story times led by guest readers and meet local authors (including a Spanish-language story time)
  • Pick up free giveaway items
  • Receive a free book from Norwalk Reads!
  • Purchase discounted dinner in the museum cafe


Norwalk ACTS to award Summer Reading prizes

Norwalk ACTS and the Norwalk Public Library will distribute prizes, including Kindles and Amazon gift cards, to several children and teens who participated in the “Fizz, Boom, Read” summer reading program. Prizes will be given to the winners at 4 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, in the 2nd Floor Auditorium of the Norwalk Public Library at 1 Belden Ave.

More than 1,600 children and teens who participated in the summer reading program earned tickets for the drawing by reading nearly 18,000 books over the summer. This is an increase of 70 percent in the number of books read last summer.

The program was designed to remind Norwalk students that learning should not stop with the end of the school year. Summer reading helps combat the summer slide – the learning loss that often occurs when kids are not challenged to keep up learning over the summer.

In addition to lots of reading, children participated in fun events at both the main library and the South Norwalk branch and at a summer beach party at Calf Pasture Beach with fizzy, fun science experiments, free books from Norwalk Reads and musical entertainment.


Author to speak at Lockwood-Mathews; RSVP by Sept. 5

Author Jean Zimmerman will be at the Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum, 295 West Ave., at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 10, to talk about “Love Fiercely: A Gilded Age Romance.” A book-signing courtesy of Elm Street Books in New Canaan will follow the lecture.

A famous John Singer Sargent portrait inspired Zimmerman to research its subjects and write their love story, according to a LMMM press release.

Jean Zimmerman is a New York-based writer who has made the history of Manhattan a central focus in her many books. She also is the author of historical novels “Savage Girl” (Viking, 2014) and “The Orphanmaster” (Viking, 2012), and many nonfiction books that include “The Women of the House: How a Colonial She-Merchant Built a Mansion, a Fortune, and a Dynasty” (Harcourt, 2006).

This will be the fourth in a series of lectures titled “Lockwood-Mathews Mansion: Seventy-Four Years of Culture – Art, Life, and Love, 1864-1938” by curators and experts in the field of Victorian era material life. The lectures are $25 for members, $30 for non-members per session. RSVP by Friday, Sept. 5. The price includes lecture, lunch and a first floor Mansion tour. Lunch is courtesy of Michael Gilmartin’s Outdoor Cookers. Contact 203-838-9799, ext. 4 or see the website to purchase tickets.


Dump your hazardous household waste Sept. 6

Household Hazardous Waste Day is set for 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 6, at Norwalk High School, 23 Calvin Murphy Drive (County Street).

Those dropping off waste should have a driver’s license or vehicle registration readily available.

Residential waste only will be accepted – no commercial or business loads accepted.

Examples of household hazardous waste:

  • Garage: Gasoline, auto care products, oil-based, alkyd and latex paints, stains, thinners, spray paints, etc.
  • Garden: Insect killer, weed killer, fungicides (rose dust), chemical fertilizer, garden lime, etc.
  • Household: Cleaners, polishes, mercury thermometers, pet care products, pool chemicals

Items not accepted:

  • Motor oil and antifreeze: Norwalk Residents only – Bring to the Norwalk Transfer Station
  • Electronics: Norwalk Residents only – Bring to the Norwalk Transfer Station
  • Cooking oil: Norwalk Residents only – Bring to the Norwalk Transfer Station
  • Ammunition, flares, or explosives: Call Norwalk Police Department (203-854-3000)
  • Asbestos: Contact the Connecticut State Health Department or CT DEEP
  • CFL Bulbs: Dispose of unbroken bulbs at Home Depot.
  • Medical or biological waste
  • Radioactive materials

For more information on these services, visit the Norwalk website or contact the Customer Service Center at (203) 854-3200.


Himes, Rilling visit Nathaniel Ely Head Start

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (CT-4) and Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling visited the Head Start program at the Nathaniel Ely Elementary School recently to highlight the importance of investing in early childhood education. The Head Start program at Nathaniel Ely provides critical educational, nutritional and health services to more than 270 children in the Norwalk community. Head Start is the nation’s primary early childhood development program for low-income children.

“Our city government worked hard to continue this program through a bumpy road in 2014,” Rilling said in a prepared statement, “and we continue our support of education for our youngest citizens. It was a cooperative effort between city and state officials with the tremendous contributions of Congressman Himes’ office. Seeing these youngsters learning and thriving gives us all hope for this new generation of students.”

The Head Start program at Nathaniel Ely is supported by a $731,350 federal grant and is overseen by the Norwalk Housing Authority (NHA) in partnership with Norwalk Community College and Stepping Stones Museum for Children. The NHA operates two Head Start programs in Norwalk, as well as an Early Childhood Program and multiple after-school education programs in the area.


State grant aids Norwalk neighborhood preservation

Norwalk has been selected as one of five municipalities to be awarded a grant from the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation through the Vibrant Communities Initiative.

According to a city press release, the $50,000 grant will fund a preservation plan for the Lexington Avenue residential area, long home to the city’s factory workers. The plan will build on current housing initiatives to preserve the neighborhood as a center of affordability and explore the feasibility of a National Register district. Norwalk intends to investigate preservation tools such as tax credits and low-interest loans. Norwalk will also incorporate the area into the Transit Oriented Development plan, including input from key stakeholders from the community, the city, and the Redevelopment Agency.

“This funding is an important investment for a long-neglected neighborhood,” said state Rep. Bruce Morris (D-140). “It will help the city provide for the future sustainability and growth of the Lexington Avenue area. The historic character of this neighborhood is an asset to Norwalk and we need to do whatever we can to stimulate investment and improve its quality of life.”

“I am pleased to receive these grant monies to be used in the preservation of the Lexington Avenue, Ely and Lowe Street area,” said Historical Commission Chairman Dave Westmoreland. “Not only are there many great old buildings in this area, I look forward to working with all interested parties on this matter.”

In addition to the funding, Connecticut Trust Circuit Rider Brad Schide will continue to work with the City of Norwalk to carry out the grant project.


Merritt Parkway Multi-Use Trail Feasibility Study info meeting

The Connecticut Department of Transportation will conduct a public informational meeting concerning the Merritt Parkway Multi-Use Trail Feasibility Study at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 16, in the Greenwich Town Hall Meeting Room, 101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, Connecticut.

For more information, please visit the ConnDOT website.



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