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Seen and Heard in Norwalk: Lawyer-speak, hormones and approaching sticker shock

Norwalk Rilling for Mayor Feb. 24 2013 015
Democratic mayoral hopeful Harry Rilling, left, laughs after a quip from Attorney Darnell Crosland, center, about the close proximity of Norwalk Police Officer Marc Suda Sunday.

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

Ringing endorsement

Attorney Darnell Crosland found himself in line last Sunday just ahead of Norwalk Police Department Officer Marc Suda – with whom he is not exactly friends – as he waited to get into a packed room at the Hilton Garden Inn to see former Norwalk Police Chief Harry Rilling kick off his campaign to be mayor.

Rilling was greeting people at the door. When he reached out to shake Crosland’s hand, the attorney’s cracked him up by saying, “If you can get us both in the same room, you must be good for Norwalk.”

Marks was overwhelmed, admirable

Former Superintendent Susan Marks didn’t know what she was getting into when she agreed to take over Norwalk schools and was overwhelmed, a chatty Norwalk teacher said last week as she sat waiting for a friend.

“She got out,” the teacher said. “She took a penalty for that. But she did the right thing. I admire her, I really do.”

The teacher, who had no agenda and no ax to grind as she killed time with pleasant conversation, said Marks was not informed of what she would face here. To those who complain that Marks’ back ground had been in human resources, the teacher said, “You hired her.”

Things are really tough in the schools, she said, complaining of classroom sizes, inadequate evaluations for children who might need special education and a lack of money from City Hall.

Norwalk Federation of Teachers President Bruce Mellion is helpful to younger teachers but doesn’t do enough for the older ones, she said. “They’re the ones who need help,” she said.

She indicated disgust with the way things have gone. “It turned into a fight between Bruce and Jack,” she said, meaning former BOE Chairman Jack Chiaramonte.

The ‘love hormone’ in politics

Common Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E) was given the honor of nominating Janet W. Karpiak, M.D. for reappointment to the Board of Health Commission at Tuesday night’s council meeting.

“I’m happy to nominate Janet Karpiak for the Board of Health position,” he said. “I think she has the coolest email address that I have ever seen on a resume. Oxytocin, which, if you know what that is, is very exciting. Aside from that, I’ll keep it short and say I’m happy to nominate her.”

According to the Psychology Today website, “… This hormone is also greatly stimulated during sex, birth, breast feeding — the list goes on.”

Oh no, higher rent!

WSHU public radio reporter Kaomi Goetz did a piece this week about progress at Waypointe, the long-delayed development on West Avenue, now entering the construction phase.

Goetz talked to owners of nearby businesses, the construction manager and Paxton Kinol of Belpointe Capital, funder of the project.

You can expect Bonefish Grill to move in when Phase 1 of the project is complete, Goetz said, later letting Kinol have his say: “This project that you’re looking at is a thousand new residents. Average household income is going to be probably over $200,000 a year, and they live in small apartments.”

Goetz finishes with, “If successful, Kinol says Norwalk is on its way to replicating Stamford’s economic growth. And that means Norwalk may soon catch up to Stamford’s rent prices as well.”

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