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

New Canaan Nature Center Appoints New Executive Director

After more than one year without a permanent employee at the helm, the New Canaan Nature Center on Monday afternoon announced that a longtime staff member will take on the role of executive director. Bill Flynn, most recently the Oenoke Ridge Road organization’s director of animal care & environmental educator, starts in the leadership role following a “comprehensive search and selection process,” according to Linda Andros, president of the Nature Center’s Board of Trustees. “He’s an accomplished naturalist with excellent communication and leadership skills,” Andros said in a press release. “We are confident that he will take the Nature Center to the next level while continuing to deliver on our core values of community, education, protection and preservation.”

Flynn, a resident on the town-owned property’s campus, came to the Nature Center in 2010 following a stint as naturalist and environmental science educator in Ohio and Southern California, according to the press release. He has earned degrees in Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology and Pre-Medicine from the University of Colorado, Boulder, it said. Continue Reading →

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Judge Denies Grace Farms’ Bid To Dismiss Parts of Lawsuit Filed Against Organization, President

A state Superior Court judge last week denied Grace Farms’ bid to dismiss parts of a lawsuit brought by neighbors who say the organization and its president are responsible for sediment, silt and turbid water entering a wetlands, stream and pond on their properties during construction of the Lukes Wood Road facility. Starting in September 2013, Grace Farms violated a permit issued by the New Canaan Inland Wetlands Commission in several ways, including by failing to control storm water run-off, failing to hire an independent site monitor and failing to notify the town about problems of erosion and siltation, according to a complaint brought last June on behalf of two abutting neighbors by East Berlin, Conn.-based attorney Janet P. Brooks. Attorneys had argued on behalf of Grace Farms and the organization that those neighbors lack the standing to sue for violations of an Inland Wetlands permit because they’re individuals and not the issuing agency, according to a decision filed April 10 by Judge Marshall K. Berger. Yet “as abutting landowners, the plaintiffs have sufficiently alleged that they are personally aggrieved by the Grace defendants’ failures to comply with the conditions and that these failures have adversely affected the plaintiffs’ property and their use and enjoyment of it,” Berger wrote. The judge continued: “Indeed, the plaintiffs’ interest in insuring that the Grace defendants did not violate the conditions of the permit could not be greater given that the plaintiffs’ property is downstream and that alleged discharges have occurred and continue to occur … therefore, the motion to dismiss count two is denied.”

In all, Brooks on behalf of her clients—Smith Ridge Road residents Timothy Curt and Dona Bissonnette—included five counts in the original complaint. Continue Reading →

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‘Wonderful, New, Highly Qualified’: Five New Faces at New Canaan Library

New Canaan Library Director Lisa Oldham said the organization has five “wonderful, new, highly qualified librarians and other staff” that have come on since October. Meet them below. According to Oldham, the library last year “lost some talented staff to retirement and incredible opportunities elsewhere.”

“We lost three people to the west coast,” she said. “Two to a startup and one to a big Washington state library. We have taken our time to find the very best people for the roles, because we are so committed to delivering excellent service to the people of New Canaan.”

We asked the new library employees to provide us with some basic information on their backgrounds, and to describe what they’re doing in their roles. Continue Reading →

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Fishing Derby at Mill Pond Scheduled for Saturday Morning

New Canaan’s young anglers will descend on Mill Pond Saturday morning for one of the town’s most cherished community traditions—the annual fishing derby. Registration will start at 8:30 a.m. for the popular event—a competition for special prizes—and fishing will start at 9 a.m. The fishing derby is open to kids 15 and younger, and 10-and-unders must be accompanied by an adult.

“Personally, it is one of my favorite events because it seems to attract a lot of New Canaan families,” said Tucker Murphy, president of the Kiwanis Club of New Canaan. “It’s a lot of people that we don’t see on a regular basis that come out for it, and I love that. I love to see these kids with all of their little lines, all ready to go, we are so grateful to all of our sponsors. At 9 a.m. they’ll drop the lines in. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm will help call Bingo next Wednesday at Lapham Community Center. ***

Saying neighboring communities are seeing overnight thefts from cars, the New Canaan Police Department is urging residents to ensure their vehicles are not left unlocked, especially with keys inside them. A list of theft prevention tips can be found at the bottom of this article. ***

A homeowner on Smith Ridge Road is evicting two people from her property, court documents show. There is no mention of failure to pay rent—the homeowner and evictees appear to be related. Continue Reading →

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