Michael Dinan

Michael is owner and editor of NewCanaanite.com. He is a 1993 New Canaan High School graduate who earned a bachelor's degree in philosophy from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Oxford. Michael has worked as a professional journalist since 2003, including at Greenwich Time and Patch.com. He lives in Stamford with his wife, Marie, five dogs (Wilbur, Russell, Louis, Marvin and Dexter), managing two fantasy baseball teams each summer, reading in the winter and hiking with the dogs at Mianus River Park year-round.

Recent Articles

New Sponsors Step Up To Support NC Softball; Program Sees Rapid Growth

For decades, iconic New Canaan business Karl Chevrolet has sponsored—and continues to sponsor—little league baseball teams in town. The national Chevrolet company runs a program that distributes funds to specific youth leagues through the 1927-established Elm Street business and local Chevy dealers. This summer, Karl Chevy is expanding its support to include one of New Canaan’s rapidly growing sports for girls: softball. “We’ve met a couple of families from the program and they asked for help,” said Steve Karl, a VP at Karl Chevy and former Bantam league Huron who graduated in 1980 from New Canaan High School. “We said yes, we would do it this year.”

Sponsors for softball have nearly doubled year-over-year, according to Jeff Fortmann, a town resident handling community relations for New Canaan Softball. Continue Reading →

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15-Month Investigation into Thefts of Checks from New Canaan Mailboxes Yields Felony Arrests

Police on Wednesday morning arrested two Norwalk residents by warrant in connection with multiple thefts of checks from mailboxes in New Canaan over a year-plus period. The pair victimized at least nine New Canaan residents starting in December 2015, cashing checks whose combined total exceeds $31,000, and their arrest marks the culmination of a 15-month joint investigation of the police department’s Patrol and Investigative sections, officials said. Kimberly Ann Ruff, 36, of 41 Wolfpit Ave., 1E, turned herself in to police at 7:15 p.m. on three felony charges: third-degree larceny, second-degree forgery and third-degree identity theft. Police arrested Wayne Barker, 24, of 10 Christy St., at about 11 a.m. at state Superior Court in Norwalk, where he had been held on a separate matter. He was charged with second-degree forgery as well as misapplication of property, a misdemeanor. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Teen Charged with Disorderly Conduct

Police on Wednesday afternoon arrested a New Canaan teenager and charged him with disorderly conduct. At about 12:44 p.m. on March 29, officers were dispatched to an Avalon Drive East home on a report of a dispute between two residents there, police said. Following an investigation, police issued a juvenile summons to a 16-year-old male there. Police withheld the offender’s name because of his age. It isn’t clear whether or how he is related to the victim, what the dispute involved, whether anyone was threatened or physically injured or what prompted police to bring the charge—it’s classified as a misdemeanor under state law. Continue Reading →

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Federal Judge Dismisses Nowacki’s Lawsuit Against the Town

A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a New Canaan man’s lawsuit against the town, 10 police officers, former chairman of the Police Commission and state. Citing the United States Constitution, statute of limitations and qualified immunity, among other principles, U.S. District Judge Jeffrey Alker Meyer upheld the defendants’ motion to dismiss Michael Nowacki’s claims.

They center, largely, on his three arrests by warrant in 2010. Following incidents involving his ex-wife and their childcare provider (more on them below), New Canaan Police charged Nowacki on separate occasions with disorderly conduct and illegal use of a motor vehicle with intent to harass, then second-degree harassment and, finally, criminal violation of a protective order, according to Meyer’s ruling. Ultimately, a jury acquitted Nowacki of the first two charges and the second two were dropped on appeal. Before the Appellate Court’s decision, however, Nowacki served about three weeks in prison for the jury’s guilty verdicts on the harassment and protective order charges, the ruling said. Continue Reading →

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P&Z Denies Plan for Roger Sherman Inn, Developer Vows To Appeal

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Saying the proposed redevelopment of the Roger Sherman Inn is wrong for its neighborhood and that changes to the New Canaan Zoning Regulations would need to undergo to allow it are too site-specific, officials on Tuesday night by a 7-2 vote denied a plan to replace the Roger Sherman Inn with six single-family homes. Though changing the use of 195 Oenoke Ridge Road from a business to a residence normally would make it more conforming to the regulations, the plan as proposed isn’t “a good trade here, for a lot of reasons” beyond its excessive density, according to Planning & Zoning Commissioner Bill Redman. “One is, it is certainly not like the Maples Inn from years ago, it’s not the same look and feel,” Redman said during a regular meeting of P&Z, held at Town Hall. “Things have changed around town in terms of the types of housing that have gone in. I don’t want to give false hope by saying, ‘Come in with something different.’ I don’t feel that way. Continue Reading →

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