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

‘It Helps Make the Park More Accessible’: Remade Trails at Waveny Near Completion

Waveny visitors benefitting from a nonprofit organization’s efforts to improve trails at the popular park soon will have another new footpath to enjoy. The Waveny Park Conservancy’s long-standing plans to upgrade pedestrian paths alongside the main road through the park, from South Avenue to the main house, soon will be completed. “The old trails there are very worn down and basically dirt trails,” Conservancy board member and Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell said when asked about the project. “These new ones give it a good surface that can take a beating and helps runners stay out of the mud and tree roots, things like that,” Campbell said. “They’ve been very well utilized and well received by the public.”

The Board of Selectmen on July 10 unanimously approved a $45,800 contract with a New Canaan-based landscaping company to finish the final stretch of the trail, meaning park-goers starting at South Avenue can use it all the way into Waveny. Continue Reading →

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Selectmen Approve Public Works Department’s Request to Create Plan for Nature Center Roof Project

The Board of Selectmen unanimously approved a request from the Department of Public Works during its regular meeting Tuesday morning for $21,300 to enter a contract with consulting firm Fuss & O’Neill for a plan to make structural repairs to the roof of the New Canaan Nature Center Visitors’ Center building. An earlier engineering study identified that the cabling system supporting the roof within the Nature Center’s walls was a point of concern. The department cited “issues including adjustments on backing systems.”

Following the initial study, the engineer concluded that the structural integrity of the building is threatened by excessive tension on the cable system. “We need to solidify the roof…[the engineer] feels that the long term longevity of the building will be compromised if we don’t do something to help support that roof,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann said at the meeting, which was held at Town Hall. The original engineer has since switched firms to work with Fuss & O’Neill, which has local offices in Trumbull and Manchester, but Mann said that the department feels it’s important to be able to contract the individual who has previous “knowledge and drafts” of the project. Continue Reading →

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Lawsuit: New Canaan Woman’s Instagram Post Was Libelous, Defamatory, Malicious and Knowingly False

A New Canaan woman knowingly published a false and “malicious” statement about a fellow town resident last year on her Instagram account, libeling and defaming that individual, according to a lawsuit filed in state Superior Court. Referencing a widely discussed local incident in 2017 where a young man fell and was injured in the plaintiff’s home, the social media post asserted falsely that the individual had “watched [the victim] die for over 10 minutes,” according to the complaint, and said “where is HER mugshot???”

Published last June, the Instagram post which finishes with a series of hashtags—“Big money =. big lawyers = miscarriage of justice #gthirsty #basic #sojv #karmaisabitch #sickpeopleflocktogether #morepressthanaserialkiller #hatesmemorethanhelovesourkids #pathetic #makesmesadregardless”—and specifically the false assertion about watching a young man die “is a communication that tends to harm the reputation” of the plaintiff, “as to lower her in the estimation of the community and, or deter third persons from associating or dealing with her,” according to the complaint. The defendant nearly three months after the Instagram post went up was told it was false and libelous, and asked to retract it by Sept. 8, 2017, according to the complaint, filed in February. 

The plaintiff also claims that the defendant published the false statement “with the malicious, willful and intentional purpose of inflicting emotional distress” and that the woman should have known it would cause as much. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan Merchants on Keeping Up Summer Business

As we enter the end of July and August, many New Canaan residents will bear the beach, mountain, and city traffic for annual summer vacation trips. With the decreased foot traffic, many merchants routinely describe business as slow during this time. NewCanaanite went around town to some local businesses to see how they actively avoid the end of summer sales slump. Phil Williams, New Canaan Music

“How do we deal with the New Canaan Business Clear? We’re staying open our regular hours, a lot of businesses close for a week or reduce their hours, but we keep our lessons going year round. Continue Reading →

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Unwelcome Sight: New Parking Plan for Elm Street Takes Shape

An unwelcome change to parking on Elm Street in New Canaan has materialized in the form of thin strips of white paint. Though the permanent striping on New Canaan’s main business road is yet to come, public works officials have drawn the outline of a new parking arrangement over the recently repaved Elm Street that will see it lose 15 spaces. 

Prompted by a resident formally putting New Canaan on notice that the town was out of compliance with a little-known (and variously observed) state law that calls for a 25-foot buffer zone between a crosswalk and legal parking space—a notification that could open up the municipality to liability in the event of a collision—officials studied the parking plan on Elm Street and, reluctantly, approved revisions that respect the statute. Last week, residents got their first look at the new “no parking” zones based on outlines in the asphalt, and the change is dramatic. 

It also means downtown New Canaan, always struggling to accommodate demand for parking between workers and visitors, soon will be squeezed even tighter. Laura Budd of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce said the change makes it that much more urgent and necessary for those who work in both first- and second-floor businesses on Main and Elm to park in municipal lots. “Prime spots are for prime customers,” Budd said. Continue Reading →

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