Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Happy campers, play time and face time


Seen in Norwalk: From left, Hilmer Valladares, 7, Sophia Lopez, 4, and Steven Giraldo, 7, learn about math during Family Friday at the South Norwalk Community Center. With them was one of four Norwalk Public School teachers at the event. The idea, said math instructional specialist Craig Crueller, was to send them home with very low cost games so they can learn on their own. Here they throw dice and add the numbers together to “clear the board.” After 15 minutes of that it was on to the next game.

NORWALK, Conn. – Here are some items of interest that were seen or heard recently in Norwalk:

How do I sign up?

Norwalk is going to be the first community in Connecticut to host a New York Yankees summer camp, according to Board of Education member Artie Kassimis, in a deal approved by the board on Tuesday.

The 125 5- to 13-year-olds who get into the $4,500 Aug 18-22 camp will practice here with “mostly minor leaguers” and spend a day at Yankee Stadium where they will visit the dugouts and be given uniforms in their size.  This prompted a question from the audience.

“What’s the age limit?” asked Deputy Corporation Counsel Jeffry Spahr.

He wasn’t thinking of a child.

Two kids will get scholarships and Norwalk will receive $4,500 for the use of Brien McMahon High School.

Board Chairman Mike Lyons reluctantly supported the camp.

“As a Mets fan it really galls me,” he said. “But I have to admit it’s pretty hard to say no to a deal like this.”

For the record, $4,500 each for 125 kids would pay for a bit more than 5 innings of C.C. Sabathia’s $23,000,000 salary this year (averages 227 innings pitched per regular season)

The First Taxing District
Seen in Norwalk: Two First Taxing District water towers, one under construction, the other a relic of the past.

Save your money, stay in Norwalk

Accolades continued for the theatrical efforts of local high school and middle school thespians; a month ago the board was lauding “Les Miz” and “Cinderella,” and, on Tuesday, Norwalk High’s “Hairspray” joined the mix.

This time Mayor Harry Rilling chimed in. He had gone to see “Phantom of the Opera” on Broadway recently, but maybe he should have saved his money.

“I had more fun at the three plays in Norwalk then I did at the New York play,” he said. “They were phenomenal.”
Board member Jack Chiaramonte said he has relatives who used to come down to see his kids in plays. They still come down, he said, even though his kids are no longer in the plays.

Michelle Maggio's son stays occupied while his mom takes part in a council Public Works Committee meeting.
Michelle Maggio’s son stays occupied while his mom takes part in a council Public Works Committee meeting.

Just speaking my mind

Waste Programs Manager Jessica Paladino, Highway Superintendent Chris Torre and Supervising Environmental Engineer Ralph Kolb sat in on Tuesday’s Common Council Public Works Committee meeting, just so, Department of Public Works Director Hal Alvord said, committee members could put faces to names.

Torre was the one who shut down the wastewater plant during Superstorm Sandy and then turned it back on “so you could use your toilet,” Alvord said.

“He’s got a lot of power,” Jerry Petrini said.

Council member David Watts lauded Torre.

“Hal, sometimes I get concerned about your department, but I’m not concerned about Chris,” Watts said. “He’s a good man.”

“But you’re a little worried about the rest of us,” Alvord said, laughing heartily.

Others laughed as well. “I give him the thumbs up,” Watts said. “I’m sorry, I don’t know you guys. But I have my eye on the rest of this outfit.”

“We’re quiet because we’re doing our jobs,” Kolb said.

Seen in Norwalk: A new stop sign on West Cedar Street.

Seen in Norwalk: A new stop sign on West Cedar Street.

Memory lane

The issue of Magrath Park, which was created as part of the deal that changed the Magrath School into Norwalk Community College 30 years ago, brought Lyons into the mix at Wednesday’s Land Use and Building Management Committee meeting.

David McCarthy said Lyons was on the Council when the deal was made.

Lyons confirmed that via email:

“That was quite a Council term (I was Council President at the time),” he said. “In that term we approved the new City Hall, construction of the Maritime Aquarium, and the new NCC — all while fighting non-stop over political appointments!  I remember a drive to Hartford to ink the NCC deal with the state — Mayor Bill Collins driving, Council Minority Leader Ken Slapin shotgun, and me (Council Pres) in the back seat (I was 29 at the time).  Talk about strange bedfellows!”

That’s the story McCarthy relayed at the committee meeting.

“It would be kind of similar to me and David Watts going up to get something,” he said.

Ironworks SoNo.
Seen in South Norwalk: the fountain at Ironworks SoNo.


One response to “Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Happy campers, play time and face time”

  1. Oyster

    Another example of City structures in the middle of the sidewalk. That poor lady is going to have to wheel that stroller in the street.

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