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NCC nursing students to be feted; Norwalk historian to discuss Nathan Hale monument; NRVT progress

From left: Jack McFadden, Past President, Wilton Kiwanis; Beth Merrill, Executive Director, Norwalk River Valley Trail; Greg Chann, President, Wilton Kiwanis; Charlie Taney, President, Norwalk River Valley Trail; Mary Anne Franco, Past President, Wilton Kiwanis; Dave Hapke, Chair, Wilton Kiwanis Contributions Committee. (Photo by Michael Franco)

NORWALK, Conn. — Some Norwalk announcements for you:

  • NCC set to salute nursing students
  • Wilson Grant will speak about Nathan Hale fountain
  • Wilton Kiwanis support Norwalk River Valley Trail expansion

Continue reading NCC nursing students to be feted; Norwalk historian to discuss Nathan Hale monument; NRVT progress

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Norwalk celebrates Arbor Day

Norwalk leaders help plant a tree at Friday’s Arbor Day observance in Oak Hills Park. (Bill Wrenn)

NORWALK, Conn. — For Arbor Day 2021, Eversource and the City planted 10 new trees, in cooperation with Norwalk Public Schools, Norwalk Tree Advisory Committee, Norwalk Tree Alliance, and Oak Hills Park Authority. Eight were planted Friday in Oak Hills Park; Eversource paid for five of the trees while the City paid for three.

To meet the Arbor Day Foundation guidelines of “Planting the Right Tree in the Right Place,” three Fastigiate European Hornbeams were planted near the white house at the Oak Hills Park entrance sign, a Redmond American Linden and a Liberty Elm were planted near the Great Lawn area behind the Club House Building, and two Swamp White Oaks plus a Red Maple tree were planted in the park along Fillow Street. Continue reading Norwalk celebrates Arbor Day

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How many Tyrannosaurus rex walked the Earth?

Tyrannosaurus rex spanned all of ancient North America, and about 20,000 lived at once. (1Ado123/Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA)

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

The big idea

During 2.4 million years of existence on Earth, a total of 2.5 billion Tyrannosaurus rex ever lived, and 20,000 individual animals would have been alive at any moment, according to a new calculation method we described in a paper published on April 15, 2021 in the journal Science.

To estimate population, our team of paleontologists and scientists had to combine the extraordinarily comprehensive existing research on T. rex with an ecological principle that connects population density to body size. Continue reading How many Tyrannosaurus rex walked the Earth?

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Norwalk parents organize to keep sailing school open

The Norwalk Sailing School facility, Sunday at Calf Pasture Beach. (Claire Schoen)

NORWALK, Conn. — A grassroots group of Norwalk parents expects to be running a sailing school this summer on Calf Pasture Beach, continuing a tradition that reportedly goes back more than half a century, in spite of the unplanned departure of long-time operator Bruce Caslowitz.

Norwalk Sailing School LLC was the only bidder responding to a City request for proposals, participants say. Continue reading Norwalk parents organize to keep sailing school open

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Himes announces federal funds for two Norwalk projects

A West Rocks Road sidewalk.

NORWALK, Conn. — Norwalk appears set to get federal funding for repairs to the Five Mile River bridge on West Cedar Street and for pedestrian improvements to West Rocks Road and France Street.

Both are on the “final list of projects” U.S. Rep. Jim Himes (D-Greenwich) will submit for funding through the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Member-Designated Projects process and Appropriations Committee Community Project Funding (CPF) process, a press release said Thursday. Continue reading Himes announces federal funds for two Norwalk projects

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Norwalk photos: Planting trees to improve the urban canopy

From left, Anna Thurston, Ayanna Belton, Caleb Belton, 5, and Jeff Scherr roll one of six young oaks into its new home, Saturday on Elm Street. (John Levin)

NORWALK, Conn. —  The Norwalk Tree Alliance inspired community members to help plant 15 trees recently, working toward the goal of improving Norwalk’s tree canopy with native species.

It was the group’s first volunteer project, Vice President Tom Arbron said. Continue reading Norwalk photos: Planting trees to improve the urban canopy

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Push back against racism

Send signed letters to [email protected]

Fifty years ago this past Wednesday, April 28, Muhammad Ali gave up his heavyweight title – and millions of dollars – in protest against the Vietnam War and systemic racism. He then spent three years in prison. Today’s athletes like Maya Moore and Colin Kaepernick have courageously followed Ali’s actions, themselves forfeiting millions, along with athletic honors, in the cause of social justice.

When we hesitate to push back against the racism we encounter, let’s think of Ali, Moore, Kaepernick, and others like them, to give us the courage to do the same.

Bob Giolitto

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Former Norwalk Recs & Parks director, accused of ‘mismanagement,’ defends record

Then-Norwalk Recreation and Parks Department Director Mike Mocciae, center, shows off the second floor of the Fodor Farm main house to Common Council Recreation, Parks and Cultural Affairs Committee members in 2016. (Archive photo)

NORWALK, Conn. — It’s ridiculous to take credit for great things going on in Norwalk parks, developments that were years and even decades in the making, and then claim the Recreation and Parks Department was mismanaged before the latest director came in, Mike Mocciae said.

Mocciae, speaking recently to NancyOnNorwalk from his retirement enclave in South Carolina, hotly took aim at comments made by Norwalk Chief of Staff Laoise King when it was announced that his replacement, Recs & Parks Director Nick Roberts, was leaving. Continue reading Former Norwalk Recs & Parks director, accused of ‘mismanagement,’ defends record

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Financial penalties ordered for Eversource, UI for storm Isaias response

Decision reduces utilities’ ability to recoup costs

Eversource and United Illuminating failed to fully prepare for and respond to Tropical Storm Isaias last year, according to State utility regulators who reduced the companies’ ability to recoup costs.

The decision adopted unanimously Monday by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority also could lead to the imposition of civil penalties. PURA chairwoman Marissa P. Gillett said the Authority will move immediately into the next phase of its proceedings and that action could happen as soon as next week. Continue reading Financial penalties ordered for Eversource, UI for storm Isaias response

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Biden gives Congress his vision to ‘win the 21st century’ – scholars react

Biden laid out an ambitious agenda to Congress with a historic backdrop. (Melina Mara/The Washington Post via AP)

President Joe Biden spoke to Congress April 28, 2021, with a historic duo flanking him: two women, one of them African American. Vice President Kamala Harris called the proceedings to order; Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made the formal introduction of Biden to Congress. We asked three scholars to provide reactions to Biden’s speech, which began with a recounting of his administration’s accomplishments during its first 100 days and ended with his plea for unity so that America can “deliver on its promise.”


A return to normalcy

Karrin Vasby Anderson, Professor of Communication Studies, Colorado State University

The visual backdrop to Biden’s address to Congress highlighted what was unusual and extraordinary this year, from the masks and social distancing that signaled the continuation of the pandemic, to the two women flanking the president. Continue reading Biden gives Congress his vision to ‘win the 21st century’ – scholars react

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Norwalk Council roundup: Parks master plan, gender neutrality, public safety

A light moment during Tuesday’s Norwalk Common Council meeting on Zoom.

NORWALK, Conn. — On Tuesday, the Norwalk Common Council unanimously:

  • Moved forward with work on a new Recreation & Parks master plan
  • Approved gender neutral language for the City code
  • Approved a simulator for Norwalk Police
  • Provided a training facility for prospective firefighters and heard an update on recruitment

Continue reading Norwalk Council roundup: Parks master plan, gender neutrality, public safety

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Norwalk to host public meeting on industrial zones study

Maggie Tsang of the Boston-based consulting firm Utile shares zoning recommendations March 10 with the Industrial Zones Oversight Committee.

NORWALK, Conn. — What does industry look like in the 21st century? Where should industrial zones be located in the city? How can residents “co-exist” with industrial uses?

These are some questions that the City of Norwalk was hoping to answer with its industrial zones study. At 6:30 p.m. Thursday, April 29, members of the public will have the opportunity to view and weigh in on the preliminary study findings. Continue reading Norwalk to host public meeting on industrial zones study

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NPS calls Norwalk budget strategy ‘fiscally irresponsible’

Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella, left, and NPS Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton are interviewed by NancyOnNorwalk.

NORWALK, Conn. — A debate over what constitutes “the greatest good” that can come of federal COVID-19 relief money has Norwalk Public Schools at odds with the City over how that money ought to be spent.

Mayor Harry Rilling says a zero-tax increase would be the best way to spread the greatest good across all residents and businesses, given the prohibition on lowering taxes with the money, and the City has tentatively approved a budget that keeps NPS at the same funding it had for the current school year, denying the Board of Education’s requested increase in light of the millions of federal dollars that are on the way.

Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella calls that “fiscally irresponsible,” charging that the City is using pandemic relief money to fund ordinary expenses. At a recent Board of Education Finance Committee meeting, both she and NPS Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton warned if the relief money is used to spare taxpayers, NPS won’t be able to meet the escalating needs of students who have fallen behind due to COVID-19.

 

Video by Harold F. Cobin at end of story, interview with

Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella and NPS Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton Continue reading NPS calls Norwalk budget strategy ‘fiscally irresponsible’

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