Opinion: NoN and Norwalk – a symbiotic relationship

NORWALK, Conn. – At 4:37 p.m. Wednesday, NancyOnNorwalk received an urgent statement from Norwalk Common Council members Bruce Kimmel (D-Dist. D), Doug Hempstead (R-At Large) and Jerry Petrini (R-Dist. D). In the emailed statement, the trio of Republican-nominated council candidates (Kimmel is maintaining that first “D” while shedding the second after Republicans nominated him for an At-Large seat) called for the BJ’s Wholesale Club zoning petition to be withdrawn.

The statement cited a litany of concerns, including the size of the store, traffic problems and pollution. That the store would be located in their district was of deep concern to them.

Curiously, the urgent statement, and the accompanying message imploring NoN to get it online quickly, and assuring us we were the first to receive it, was time-stamped 4:37 p.m., some 36 minutes after a statement was issued by Peter Barhydt of the public relations firm Aberdeen Associates Inc. at 4:01 p.m. announcing the application had been withdrawn.

Because that announcement went to Nancy, who was at a Harry Rilling press conference at the site of the planned store, we did not see that email until nearly a half hour after posting the Kimmel/ Hempstead/ Petrini statement, which had been sent to both Nancy and this editor.

Who knows who knew what when. Did the council members know the application had been withdrawn when they sent the statement? The withdrawal had not yet been reported by the media. The Hour did get it out there slightly ahead of us, but the political statement was on NancyOnNorwalk ahead of that announcement.

Which brings us to today’s topic: The importance of competing news outlets and the growing relevance of NancyOnNorwalk to those who care about what’s going on with their city government.

When the council members wanted to get their news out fast and to reach Norwalk’s most engaged readers, they turned to NancyOnNorwalk.

Accolades are coming in from around the city for the contribution NoN has made to bringing city and Board of Education business to the taxpayers.

And yes, we have our share of detractors. Even some of our supporters make sure they let us know that they are not always happy with what we print. That’s good, too. In this business, if you are pleasing everyone, you are not doing your job. Somebody is always going to be mad at you, and that’s OK.

To continue to get you, Norwalk’s citizens, the full story when it comes to news that affects your lives on a daily basis, we need your support. October’s bills are coming due soon, and, as a young news site – five weeks from our first anniversary — starting to gain serious traction in the community, we are operating on a shoestring. We are in talks to make NoN a nonprofit, 501(c) (3) organization, but for now we must rely primarily on the desire of our readers and local businesses to keep us going until such time as we can solicit grants and larger donations.

So, if you want to help keep NancyOnNorwalk a part of your life, we ask that you donate whatever you can. There is a donation button near the top of the page on the right, or you can send a check made out to Englewood Edge LLC to Nancy On Norwalk, PO Box 64, Norwalk, CT 06856.

We thank you in advance for reading and for your support, and urge you to send questions or concerns to [email protected]

(Englewood Edge LLC is the name of our company, stemming from our first site in Englewood, Fla., and is registered in Connecticut.)


6 responses to “Opinion: NoN and Norwalk – a symbiotic relationship”

  1. Bruce Kimmel

    For the record: The statement had been written right after we all attended the NASH meeting and had some questions answered about unpublished environmental reports. We planned to read the statement at the public hearing last Thursday night, and then send it out to the media. We began to hear rumors that the public hearing was going to be called off because the application was being withdrawn. So we decided to immediately send it to Nancy on Norwalk. About an hour later, I received a call from the Hour, which was already doing the BJ’s story. They decided to fit the statement into the next day’s paper.

  2. Jlightfield

    Maybe the real issue here is how the City doesn’t bother to communicate about development plans that staff has been working in for months prior to zoning applications are filed. For council members to say that they didn’t know that DPW staff was reviewing traffic plans speaks rather clearly about a government that doesn’t act in support of the the public good and instead focuses on the convenience of bureaucratic process.

  3. EveT

    I think NoN has definitely boosted the quality of news reporting in Norwalk. True, there are other news outlets besides The Hour, but NoN has greatly raised the bar for timely, complete, and accurate reporting. With more competition for daily news reporting, the result is a more informed public and that’s a good thing.

  4. Suzanne

    Double that sentiment, EveT, for me! I greatly appreciate the work that NON does.

  5. Mike Mushak

    Kudos to NON for breathing life back into journalism in Norwalk. God knows I have used up a few acres of real estate on this site with my own comments on the excellent stories. Thank God I am not paying Norwalk’s escalating real estate taxes on this cyber acreage! (Up at least 40% under Moccia among everyone I know.)
    So much for the tired old argument that the GOP trots out every election that Dems are tax and spend. Now that’s hypocrisy when Moccia has stood watch over the largest tax increases under any Mayor in decades, based partly on the totally botched ’08 reval that the evidence proves shifted the tax burden off commercial to residential. Rilling has vowed to fix this mess. Moccia has no plan. He even renewed Assessor Stewart’s contract after that huge mess of ’08 that we are all still paying for. As Bush said about his FEMA Director after Katrina, “Way to go, Brownie!” Oh, I digress.
    Thanks NON for this site, and for providing the public forum we all need to help fix this seriously broken but still amazing city with so much untapped potential.

  6. Piberman

    Everyone knows that the BJ critique by Councilmen Kimmel and Hempstead was a blatant attempt to secure political points by grandstanding at the last moment after the deal was rejected. Had these venerable Councilmen been serving their constituents their clarion voices would have been heard months and months ago. After all after 3 decades on the Council Mr Hempstead as a leading Big Box proponent understands all the arguments. Plus he’s a senior executive in our most prominent Big Box. The OpEd by Messrs. Kimmel and Hempstead is a good example of why we need term limits. Unless one favors punitive property taxes to fund the highest paid municipal salaries of any city in the state.

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