Around Town

This is our New Canaan news catch-all category—stories about traffic calming, public parks, local weather, human services efforts and other quality of life matters facing New Canaanites.

Recent Articles

Q&A: Meet One of the New Canaan Chapters of P.E.O.

For this, our final installment of a Q&A series with local service groups, we put questions to New Canaan resident Laura Dijs of the local chapter of the Philanthropic Education Organization, or “P.E.O.”

P.E.O. does many things on behalf of women—celebrating with advancement, helping with education and motivating women to “achieve their highest aspirations.”

Here’s our exchange with Dijs, president of the local chapter. New Canaanite: Is P.E.O. in New Canaan part of a national or international organization? If so, please provide details of that organization, such as the year it started, its size and scope. Dijs: P.E.O. (Philanthropic Education Organization) is an international organization with members in the U.S. and Canada. We were founded in 1869 by seven young ladies at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mt. Continue Reading →

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Back to School, Back in the Day: The Knockout Pit

Some first day of school images in New Canaan persist through the years: bright new outfits, embarrassing photo shoots at the bus stop, tearful kindergarten farewells, nervous classroom energy, locker combinations, crisp notebooks, teacher introductions, excited and awkward classmate reunions. The playground equipment and areas have been double-checked—for example, the New Canaan Department of Public Works last month diligently crack-sealed parts of playgrounds at East and West. Yet for many years, and for scores of nostalgic New Canaanites who attended Center School—demolished after the 1982-83 academic year to make way for the Center School Parking Lot ($120 per year for a permit) opposite Maple Street from New Canaan Library—the centerpiece of the playground was a narrow, long, recessed, cement “pit” around the back of the school itself. A place of physicality, perhaps even violence, as well as fierce competition and glory—and, of course, wholly unfathomable at an elementary school today—the Knockout Pit at Center School remains a singular touchstone for alumni more than three decades later, despite no official historical record of it and at a school far better known and remembered among educators for its innovations in student learning and curriculum. “My best memory of the school, other than some friends, is the Knockout Pit,” said Bill Taylor, a 1981 New Canaan High School graduate who attended Center in the early-‘70s. Continue Reading →

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Waveny Landmark: ‘Mosley Hill’

Note: This article first appeared in October 2014. Most great running races have a pivotal point in the course where leaders can separate from the pack while others begin to fade—iconic examples include the Boston Marathon’s daunting Heartbreak Hill, the climb up the Queensboro Bridge in the New York City Marathon and the grueling Cemetery Hill in Van Cortland Park’s famed 5K course. While it may lack the flash and celebrity of these obstacles, Waveny’s FCIAC Cross Country Championship course has its own formidable entry that has earned near-mythical status here in New Canaan: Mosley Hill. Located southeast of the main house, the hill stretches about a quarter mile from the edge of the woods right up to the house itself. The FCIAC Championship course—upon which scores of athletes will descend Monday, race day—has undergone several different incarnations since the race moved to Waveny in the 1980s. Continue Reading →

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‘It All Starts With Play’ — New Canaan Brothers Start Tech Repair Business

For several years,  brothers Griffin and Ethan Hall had been repairing phones and computers for family and friends as a profitable hobby until this past July, when they decided to turn that hobby into a full-blown business. The duo set up a stand at the annual Sidewalk Sale on Elm Street, and New Canaan Tech Solutions was born. (more…) Continue Reading →

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