Once Around the City: Road redux, school talks, the environment and all that jazz

Jazz luminary Bennie Wallace will join Norwalk's Mike Camacho and others for a night of music Saturday,, Oct. 11, at Fat Cat Pie Co.
Jazz luminary Bennie Wallace will join Norwalk’s Mike Camacho and others for a night of music Saturday,, Oct. 11, at Fat Cat Pie Co.

NORWALK, Conn. – You know how it’s so hard to get over to South Norwalk and Brookside from Connecticut Avenue and I-95? Well, it’s about to get harder for a few weeks, as Scribner Avenue gets a makeover before the temps drop and the snow flies.

Got kids? There’s a helpful forum planned to address the college search, and another session addressing youth violence.

Sen. Bob Duff is going to be dishing up pasta, and drummer Mike Camacho will join with some heavy hitters for a jazz nite at Fat Cat Pie Co. (this one is NOT an NoN event, but we wish it were).

Also, NCC is inviting everyone to plug in and get a charge, and the city has wood to burn – literally.

Read on…

Scribner: A road to recovery, detour to everywhere else

The reclaiming and re-grading of Scribner Avenue from Cossitt to Flax Hill Road will begin Monday, Oct. 6. Paving is predicted to be completed by the week of Oct. 20.

Throughout this process, traffic on Scribner will be limited to local traffic only. If residents are driving eastbound on Flax Hill Road, they should take Rampart Road if they intend to go to Route 1 or I-95 North.

Although the Fairfield and Taylor Avenue bridges are closed, the city has authorized this work to take place this month, before weather conditions become too poor to reclaim and to set appropriate grades to meet the recently installed storm drain improvements.

The city’s construction on all three streets is scheduled to be completed by the end of October and the Taylor Avenue bridge is anticipated to re-open in November.


Library, Norwalk Education Foundation host college planning forum

Guidance Department heads from Norwalk Public Schools and an expert on financial aid from Barnum Financial Group will provide an information session on college planning, hosted by the Norwalk Public Library and the Norwalk Education Foundation, on Wednesday, Oct. 8. The free event for students, parents and community members will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the library’s main branch on Belden Avenue. Light refreshments will be provided by the Norwalk High School Culinary Department.

Norwalk High School Guidance Department Chairman Dan Sullivan will cover the college application and selection process. Dawn Leeds, guidance chairwoman at Brien McMahon High School, will provide an overview on Naviance, the online college planning tool used by all Norwalk middle schools and high schools. John Pearson of Barnum Financial Group will discuss financial aid documents as well as how to find out how much financial aid each college provides.

This is the third year the Norwalk Education Foundation and the Norwalk Public Library have hosted the College Planning Forum.

According to NEF Executive Director Gloria Tenofsky, “Many of the surrounding towns have additional supports for their students to guide them through college planning. Our guidance departments do yeoman’s work, but are challenged by large caseloads. We stepped in to facilitate outreach to families who are seeking more support and information. We’ve also recognized that students are especially concerned about their college essay. So this year we’ve added a workshop about writing the college essay which will be held on Oct. 15, also at the library.”

If you have a student interested in attending the Interactive College Essay Workshop, contact Cynde Bloom Lahey at the library to register: (203) 899-2780, ext. 15133 or email [email protected]. There will be pizza at the College Essay workshop, so a final count will be needed by Oct. 13.


Poet Malcolm London to speak at CT Stomp the Violence

Poet, educator, and activist Malcolm London will be the keynote speaker Oct. 10-11 at the CT Stomp the Violence: From Non-Violence to No Violence Youth Conference at West Rocks Middle School.

Norwalk not for-profit Serving All Vessels Equally (SAVE) is hosting the event highlighted by the address and Q&A with London, a recent TED Talk participant, on Saturday, Oct. 11, to address the issue of youth violence.

The conference opens on Friday with a dramatic presentation from Bridgeport’s Creative Youth Productions, “Under the Gun.”

Designed for students in grades 6 through 12, the conference has the full support of Norwalk Superintendent Of Schools Manny Rivera.

Registration Fee is $5 for students, $10 for the public and educators. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

For more information about the conference, to register, place an ad, or to be a sponsor, visit the website.


The music never ends

NancyOnNorwalk’s favorite jazz drummer, Mike Camacho, and a trio of serious jazz veterans will be performing from 9 p.m. to midnight Saturday, Oct. 11, at Fat Cat Pie Co., 9-11 Wall St.

Norwalk's Mike Camacho will back Jazz star Bennie Wallace at the Fat Cat.
Norwalk’s Mike Camacho will back Jazz star Bennie Wallace at the Fat Cat.

Camacho, whose “Mike Camacho and Friends” jazz group has graced NoN’s last two fundraisers, will join tenor sax heavyweight Bennie Wallace, guitarist Tony Lombardozzi and bassist Alex Tremblay at the Cat. A good turnout could mean a recurring jazz venue on Wall Street.

Full disclosure: Camacho is the son of NoN board member Dede Farnsworth and Norwalk Board of Estimate and Taxation member and Democratic Town Committee Chairman Ed Camacho.

Wallace has played with a Who’s Who of jazz greats and can be heard on more than two dozen albums, the majority as the front man. He contributed original music for films such as “White Man Can’t Jump” and “Blaze.”

Lombardozzi is a jazz studies teacher at Wesleyan University and an international touring musician, and Tremblay, a recent graduate of Hartt School of Music, is rising star on NYC jazz scene.


Learn the art of collecting art
Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum Curator Raechel Guest will give a talk titled, “The Art of Collecting: The Mansion’s Hidden Treasures” at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct 15, at the museum, 295 West Ave.

One of the "hidden treasures" on display at the Lockwood Matthews Mansion Museum.
One of the “hidden treasures” on display at the Lockwood Matthews Mansion Museum.

Guest will take an in-depth look at some of the “hidden treasures” featured in the upcoming exhibit, “Hidden Treasures: Artifacts from the LMMM Collections,” including a silver inkwell made by Tiffany & Co. just after the Civil War, a gold and pearl scent bottle also made by Tiffany, whimsical hat pins with semi-precious stones, and a set of rare hand-painted French porcelain dishes made during the 1880’s. The exhibit will open to the public Wednesday, Oct. 22.

This will be the fifth 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, Oct. 10. The price includes lecture, lunch and a first-floor Mansion tour. Contact [email protected] or 203-838-9799, ext. 4 to purchase tickets.


NCC to open new electric vehicle charging stations Oct. 14

Two newly installed electric vehicle charging stations will be officially opened at noon Tuesday, Oct. 14, at Norwalk Community College.

NCC President David Levinson will officiate at a ribbon cutting ceremony at the college’s West Campus A-Wing parking area. The NCC campus is located at 188 Richards Ave.

The charging stations are open to the public as well as the NCC college community.

The NCC Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Stations were made possible in part by a grant from the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The DEEP grant requires that host sites provide free vehicle charging for users during the first three years of operation.  The chargers at NCC are available to the public at no charge during normal college hours of operation. The parking stalls are well-lit, and there is signage on Richards Avenue directing drivers to the location. For information regarding the NCC Electric Vehicle Charging Stations, contact Eric Gribin at [email protected] or (203) 857-7345.


City has wood to burn

Mayor Harry Rillings’ Energy and Environment Task Force, in conjunction with the Parks Department and the Department of Public Works, has announced a new Resident Firewood Program. Norwalk residents will now be able to purchase, at a reduced rate, firewood that is split and seasoned.

The city currently accepts and pays to dispose of a tremendous amount of usable hardwoods.

Rilling praised the new program in a prepared statement, stating, “With the new Resident Firewood Program, Norwalk residents will be provided an inexpensive heating fuel source, while the city of Norwalk will be reducing its cost for disposal and generating revenue from its sale. It is certainly a win, win for the city.”

Councilman John Kydes (D-District C), chairman of the Mayor’s Energy and Environment Task Force, said, “I would like to thank Ken Hughes, Superintendent of Parks, for helping bring this idea to fruition. I would also like to thank the Department of Public Works and Mike Mocciae, Director of Recreation and Parks. This has been a team effort and a sign of the city’s approach toward efficiency and service to the community.”

Norwalk taxpayers will be able to visit the Norwalk website and purchase a firewood voucher. This voucher, a matching photo ID and a resident pass then must be presented at the DPW Yard Debris Site at 15 South Smith St. for self-loaded pick-up. The quantity of firewood for sale is 175 pieces (approximately half cord) for $75.

Firewood vouchers will go on sale at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 6. The first pick-up times will be from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 8 and 15. Quantities are limited.

Purchased firewood must be picked up in one visit and on specified pick-up days. Residents will be limited to the purchase of a half cord of firewood per season.

Future firewood pick-up days will be announced on the city’s website.


Duff to celebrate democracy with pasta dinner and dance

State Sen. Bob Duff (D-25) and his family are offering a free pasta dinner dance from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 18, at the American Legion hall, 60 County St. The event is open to all Norwalk and Darien residents, and reservations are not necessary.

Attendees are asked to donate a canned or non-perishable food item for a local food pantry.

There will be a cash bar. Dance to the Music and Socks the Clown will provide the entertainment.

“My family will be making the homemade sauce, serving dinner and dessert,” Duff said in a press release. “It’s a tradition that people look forward to attending. This is an opportunity to celebrate our freedom and democracy.”


2 responses to “Once Around the City: Road redux, school talks, the environment and all that jazz”

  1. Casey Smith

    Thanks for the heads up, Mark, about Scribner Avenue. I’ve always accepted the fact that we live in the State of Construction, but this is getting ridiculous.

    I’ve taken to using 95 to avoid the area on Route 1 between Toys R Us and the Silver Star simply because my car simply can’t take the pot hole abuse. We managed to endure the endless months of CL&P digging up Connecticut Avenue for the high capacity electrical lines. They actually paved from curb to curb after it was done, but only after a year or so, the State ripped the darn thing up again.

    By the way, I heard a hot rumor that Couch Street was also scheduled to be closed soon. And I think the gas company might actually be finished working on George Street and paving is going on down there.

  2. Scott

    The city firewood program has been a long time coming. It always bothered me to watch a perfectly good resource be discarded especially at a cost. The one thing that I would keep in mind is that this is a new service and that there will be a teething process. I also believe that it is being rushed to be ready and would question the “seasoned” portion of the announcement. Purchase for end of season use would be my suggestion.

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