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What’s to become of Harry’s Norwalk?

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Nancy on Norwalk has been dutifully reporting Mayor Rilling’s fundraising results based on filings with the State Election Enforcement Commission (SEEC).  How about we look a little deeper?

Three campaign finance filings by “Friends of Rilling” are available. The SEEC filings cover the period from November 2020 through June 2021. Here are some notable observations:

Lots of money. The Rilling campaign raised a total of $135,800 from 377 contributors. An impressive haul for a Norwalk mayoralty race. Political candidates are either skilled at raising funds or they are not. Harry Rilling clearly is. At this pace, the Rilling campaign may be on track to raising the largest war-chest ever for Norwalk Mayor. Continue reading What’s to become of Harry’s Norwalk?

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Norwalk BoE reverses course, reverts to 7:30 a.m. high school start time

Jake Bella speaks to the Norwalk Board of Education, Tuesday in Ponus STEAM Academy.

NORWALK, Conn. — The Norwalk Board of Education is turning back the clock on its “bell times” and will be returning to the start and end times it had in 2019-20, effective on Oct. 4.

The 5-0-3 vote at Tuesday’s BoE meeting followed an outcry against the traffic gridlock the start of the school year brought, with the Healthier School Start Time plan in effect while COVID-19 still has life rearranged and road construction compounding the problems. Teenagers spoke to the Board, explaining that the inability for drivers to make it to their destinations counteracted any gain the Board had hoped to give them by allowing them to sleep an hour later. Continue reading Norwalk BoE reverses course, reverts to 7:30 a.m. high school start time

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McMurrer and Fairbairn give Kydes a jolt – recount will determine primary winners

Common Council member John Kydes (D-District C) chats outside the polls, Tuesday at Marvin Elementary School.

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. The results of Tuesday’s District C Democratic primary will be recounted.

NORWALK, Conn. — Nine months ago, John Kydes was thinking maybe he’d run for Mayor this year. Now he may not even get onto the ballot as a Common Council candidate.

Kydes, who was first elected to the Council in 2013, tied for second place Tuesday in a Democratic primary forced by two newcomers unhappy with the way things went during the budget cycle this spring. Only two people can win the contest to be Democratic Council candidates for District C. Continue reading McMurrer and Fairbairn give Kydes a jolt – recount will determine primary winners

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NPS considers ‘cost neutral’ plan to alleviate traffic gridlock

Parents line up on Strawberry Hill Avenue next to Norwalk High School in this photo included in a Norwalk Public Schools PowerPoint presentation. (Contributed)

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk Public Schools’ leadership is proposing that NPS elementary students go to school earlier and middle school kids arrive later, as soon as possible, and will be discussing the plan in depth at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.

The sudden shift, just weeks after the start of the school year, is being presented as an attempt to lighten the traffic nightmares that came with school reopening in a post-remote learning environment. Many blame the 2019-approved plan to delay high school start times for the mess.   Continue reading NPS considers ‘cost neutral’ plan to alleviate traffic gridlock

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Moore sues NPS, alleging disparate treatment and retaliation

Norwalk High School Assistant Principal Lynne Moore, left, and NPS Executive Assistant Maura Perrottelli at the Board of Education retreat in July.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk High School Assistant Principal Lynne Moore has filed a lawsuit accusing Norwalk Public Schools of racial discrimination, age discrimination and retaliation. The City is also named as a defendant, as is former Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Steven Adamowski.

The allegations stem from Moore’s reassignment from West Rocks Middle School principal to NHS Assistant Principal position at the end of the 2017-18 school year, and ensuing actions taken by then-NPS Chief of School Operations Frank Costanzo in 2019 after Moore filed a complaint with the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (CHRO) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Continue reading Moore sues NPS, alleging disparate treatment and retaliation

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Residents given two weeks to dump debris; an event cancellation and good news for the Maritime Aquarium

The Maritime Aquarium’s seal exhibit. (Courtesy photo)

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • City invites you to dump your stuff at Meadow Street transfer station
  • Zullo event cancelled
  • Himes touts nearly $200K for Maritime Aquarium

Continue reading Residents given two weeks to dump debris; an event cancellation and good news for the Maritime Aquarium

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A Democratic Norwalk primary in C: ‘It may be a healthy race’

The John Kydes signs in East Norwalk easily outnumber the ones for opponents Jenn McMurrer and Tyler Fairbairn. Only a few Kydes signs are accompanied by one for his running mate, Jennifer McAllister.

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. A District C Democratic primary is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14.

NORWALK, Conn. — It will be an unusual primary Tuesday in Norwalk, as it’s been years since District C voters were asked to decide who’d be on November’s ballot as a Democratic Common Council candidate. If ever.

That’s the only race being decided; recent primary votes have either been city-wide races or in other districts, so it’s difficult for political operatives to formulate strategy and predict what will happen, as ordinarily they’d use numbers from a previous primary.

While it might seem obvious that incumbent John Kydes has a leg up given his established ability to get votes and line up a power base, recent facts indicate that much of his support is from the Republican side of the aisle. Those people can’t cast votes Tuesday; his unaffiliated folks might, if they’ve changed their status in time. Continue reading A Democratic Norwalk primary in C: ‘It may be a healthy race’

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A look at the Democratic primary candidates

Norwalk Democrats vying for a District C Council endorsement are, from left, Jenn McMurrer, Tyler Fairbairn, John Kydes and Jennifer McAllister.

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. A District C Democratic primary is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14.

NORWALK, Conn. — Four Norwalk Democrats are seeking to be their party’s candidates for District C Common Council on the ballot this fall. Half will fall short, as there are only two candidacies available.

Voters will decide who gets the slots tomorrow, Tuesday, Sept. 14, in a District C primary. Polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.; the polling places are Marvin Elementary School and Nathan Hale Middle School. Continue reading A look at the Democratic primary candidates

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Working Families Party announces endorsements; Kydes snubbed

A Facebook post from James Burke, A New London City Council member.

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. A District C Democratic primary is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14.

NORWALK, Conn. — The Connecticut Working Families Party has announced endorsements, spurning an incumbent Democrat who is seeking to stave off a challenge in Tuesday’s primary.

Tyler Fairbairn and Jenn McMurrer, Common Council hopefuls who obtained enough signatures to force a primary for in District C, got WFP’s nod over John Kydes, who’s been on the Council since 2013, and his running mate, Oak Hills Park Authority member Jennifer McAllister. Continue reading Working Families Party announces endorsements; Kydes snubbed

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Norwalk 9/11 ceremony remembers those who were lost, reflects on tragedy

Norwalk first responders salute Friday at City Hall while “Taps” is played. (Harold F. Cobin)

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk marked the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11 on Friday with personal details of local residents who died in the attack on the World Trade Center and a testimonial from a Norwalker who lost her brother.

“I miss him. My memory of that day is still a blur. And long after that, time stood still,” Kathryn Hebert said. “This violent, awful event impacted our country, our way of life, our very being, but it is different for me and my family, and for many others. It is a personal tragedy, and it’s still very difficult, even after 20 years.”

Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story Continue reading Norwalk 9/11 ceremony remembers those who were lost, reflects on tragedy

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9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded

Toxic dust hung in the air around ground zero for more than three months following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. (Anthony Correia/Getty Images)

The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York resulted in the loss of 2,753 people in the Twin Towers and surrounding area. After the attack, more than 100,000 responders and recovery workers from every U.S. state – along with some 400,000 residents and other workers around ground zero – were exposed to a toxic cloud of dust that fell as a ghostly, thick layer of ash and then hung in the air for more than three months.

The World Trade Center dust plume, or WTC dust, consisted of a dangerous mixture of cement dust and particles, asbestos and a class of chemicals called persistent organic pollutants. These include cancer-causing dioxins and polyaromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs, which are byproducts of fuel combustion. Continue reading 9/11 survivors’ exposure to toxic dust and the chronic health conditions that followed offer lessons that are still too often unheeded

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Critic’s tip highlights ‘uncommon practice’ by Kydes

Common Council member John Kydes (D-District C). (Photo contributed by the Kydes exploratory committee)

The 2021 Election is Nov. 2. A District C Democratic primary is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 14.

NORWALK, Conn. — A Freedom of Information request for City records, inspired by a tip from a City Hall staffer, produced information that appears to support an allegation that Common Council member John Kydes (D-District C) nurtures political allies by providing favors for those who support him.

Kydes threw his support to an applicant for a City job early this year, the records show, appealing directly to Norwalk Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz. The candidate, who reportedly is a relative of another Council member, wasn’t hired.

Dachowitz, who has been CFO since April 2019, said it’s the first time he’s had a job applicant recommended by a Council member. Continue reading Critic’s tip highlights ‘uncommon practice’ by Kydes

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