Seen and heard in Norwalk: Oak Hills Park

Seen in Norwalk: A tug boat aground last Saturday, Jan. 11, just off Vets Park.

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

Coming to a woods near you?

It was a heart-stopping moment for one new Oak Hills Park Authority member Thursday when Exceutive Director Shelley Guyer combined an environmentally conscious concept with an environmentally sensitive location that she has fought to protect.

Park Superintendent Jim Schell said he wished they could find a source of water on the property, leading Guyer to comment that the water bill is currently double what is was last year at this time.

“It’s insanely expensive to search and find a good source of water,” Schell said.

“You’re not a dowser?” Ernie Desrochers asked.

“A what?” Schell asked, clearly confused.

A citizen who was watching mentioned divining rods. Schell still didn’t get it. “Different generation,” Derochers said.

“As I was driving in from White Plains I was thinking it’s raining, I wonder how much (water is going down the drain),” Clyde Mount said.

“You’re hooked now, buddy,” Desrochers said.

“Can’t you build a cistern? That’s what they use in the Caribbean to get water,” Pamela Block Works said.

“Where are you going to put it?” Guyer asked. “Behind the restaurant?”

As hearty laughter erupted, Elsa Peterson Obuchowski comically put her head in her hands.

The horror!

Honoring a citizen

Common Council members voted Tuesday not to name a Magnolia Avenue traffic island after the late Dianne Witkowski – but only due to a technical problem.

The idea had to go to the Land Use Committee to get the right paperwork behind it, Councilman David McCarthy (R-District E) said.

McCarthy chairs the Public Works Committee. The committee’s agenda contains this explanation of why Witkowski deserves recognition:

“Dianne Witkowski, who passed away on Oct. 28, 2013, was a long-time leader and driver of the Spring Hill/Hospital Area Neighborhood Association, deeply involved in numerous activities designed to improve the quality of life in Norwalk, and one of the first and longest-serving tree liasons. In this latter role, she was personally responsible for the maintenance pruning of existing trees and the planting of new trees throughout her neighborhood, as well as across the city of Norwalk. She attended meetings of the Norwalk Tree Advisory Committee religiously, always participating fully and always offering sound advice and offering creative suggestions. Her contributions were key to the city’s constant re-certification as a Tree City USA and to its consistent qualification for the annual Growth Award.

“Improvement of the island of Magnolia Avenue, at the intersection of Truman Street … was a personal goal of Dianne’s. It was her perseverance that resulted in the removal of the old diseased trees from the site and the planting of new healthy trees in the location.”

Not so much

Norwalk Deputy Democratic Registrar Bob Sodaro says if you want to lodge a protest vote in the next election, you might as well vote for yourself.

Hey, maybe you’re more qualified for that guy the major parties put up.

“If enough people who vote for people who can’t win, then maybe the parties that are putting up less-than-qualified candidates will go, ‘You know what? Maybe we need to change our platform, maybe we need to get more qualified candidates.’”

Now about that landslide concept:

“I love it when they go, ‘There’s a majority.” No. You know what? There are 80,000 people in town. There are 40,000 who are registered voters. There are 20,000 people who come out to the election and 59 percent of those people voted for you. That’s not a landslide, that’s half of half of half of 1 percent. Yeah, 10 people voted – are you serious? There sometimes is a disconnect because we think that means something. You know the old Will Rogers line: ‘There’s lies, there’s damn lies and then there’s statistics.”


Seen in Norwalk: National champions. The U10 and U13 Norwalk Packers cheerleading squad made an appearance at Tuesday’s Common Council meeting, where Mayor Harry Rilling read a proclamation honoring them for coming in first place in December at the 2013 American Youth Cheer National Championships. “They brought national recognition to the city of Norwalk as so many of our citizens have done,” he said.


6 responses to “Seen and heard in Norwalk: Oak Hills Park”

  1. Oldtimer

    Shorehaven has a series of ponds used to collect rain and irrigation system water runoff so it can be recycled to supply an extensive irrigation system. The irrigation and pond system represents a considerable investment, but also a big saving on purchased water. The design takes advantage of natural topography variations on the course. It might make sense to take a look before drilling a well.

  2. Mike Mushak

    Pam Works’ idea for a cistern should be researched. There actually is space behind the restaurant that is an old “fill” area that has no trees and is in front of the woodlands and wetlands that should not be touched for any reason. Cisterns can also be built under parking lots, although that isote costly due to structural concerns with weight.
    The runoff from roofs and parking lots, after filtering, could be used for irrigation. The well idea is tricky, as the amount if water needed to water an entire course could possibly compete for the same limited groundwater that is now used by hundreds of local residents in the area who have private wells, as they are beyond the city water supply lines. I lived in Pound Ridge for many years and recall long battles between golf courses like the Rockrimmon and Pound Ridge Clubs, and neighbors whose wells would routinely dry up in droughts causing extreme hardship and property values to plummet. Hydrology is complicated and expensive, and vetting a new well for irrigation could cost the city hundreds of thousands in experts’ and legal fees proving no neighboring private wells would be affected, with no guarantee the well would be approved. This cost for approvals would have to be weighed against the continuation of water purchases from the city.
    The cistern idea is sounding better and better!

  3. Suzanne

    Why doesn’t Oak Hills become an Audubon rated facility which, in its comprehensive environmental approach, examines water conservation and non-polluting fertilization techniques? There is an entire golf-design organization that has step by step evaluations and remediation. I worked on the Round Hill Country Club course many years ago and they had achieved the distinction. It saves money as well.

  4. EveT

    Landslide? Let’s look at the 80,000 population versus 40,000 registered voters. About 23% of the 80,000 are children under 18. That’s more than 18,000 kids. Then you have adults ineligible to vote: chiefly non-US citizens, also individuals with a felony conviction who are not finished serving probation.

    Of the adults eligible to vote, yes, some aren’t registered either because they aren’t interested in voting or they don’t know where to go to register, but it’s not like 40,000 is only half of Norwalk’s potential voting population. 40,000 registered voters out of a total population of 80,000 seems fairly normal.

    Next, voter turnout. OK, let’s say it’s 50%. Granted, election results would be more meaningful if more registered voters actually voted. But a 50% turnout is 1/2 of 1/2 of 100% of all Norwalk residents, not 1/2 of 1/2 of 1%.

    Finally, a candidate wins with 59% of the vote — that is 59% of 1/2 of 1/2 of 100%, or 59% of 25%: about 15% of the overall Norwalk population, or 12,000 voters who voted for the winner.

    If my arithmetic is correct, it’s a lot more than 1/2 of 1/2 of 1%.

  5. spanner

    Drilling a well where any suspect contamination may be will only depress the water table and let any contamination migrate to a central point,maybe these guys know if there is contamination a well for collection is the way to go maybe we don’t know everything about the tanks in the ground and if they had strike plates.Most of if not all Cumberland Farms tanks leaked in the 80’s by not having strike plates was that the case at Oak Hills? Odd how a possible problem is sidelined by a solution of another.Trust is a large issue in Norwalk I can now see why.

  6. spanner

    The tugboats name was Capt Dan according to the Coast Guard and some felt it was sitting on protected Oyster Beds but they were the lowest bid Norwalk hired for the job.Anyone know the facts?

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