John Howe

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Parks Officials: Mead Pond Now Open for Ice Skating

Parks officials said they opened Mead Pond for skating on Monday afternoon and plan to blow snow off of the ice starting Tuesday morning. The pond now has eight inches of ice, according to Parks Superintendent John Howe—that’s more than enough to satisfy the town’s insurer that it’s safe to for skating. “We’ll go out with snowblowers [on Tuesday], and what we’ll do is keep making the skating area bigger and bigger,” Howe told NewCanaanite.com. Mill Pond, which has far faster-moving water underneath and takes longer to freeze over, will not be cleared off for skating or opened, Howe said. As reported last week, the sustained cold temperatures of recent days opened the possibility that New Canaan would see skating at Mead Pond for the first time in three years and just the third time in 10 years. Continue Reading →

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Parks Officials Hope To Open Mead Pond for Ice Skating This Week

Town officials say they’re hoping this week to take steps that will make it safe to skate at Mead Pond. Though the pond has just four inches of ice right now—whereas the town’s insurer requires six inches in order to open skating to the public—Parks Superintendent John Howe said he’s hoping to clear its surface of snow and add a layer of water to the top in order to create the requisite thickness. “A little bit of snow on top of the ice works as an insulating blanket, so it keeps the cold air from getting to the ice and freezing through,” Howe told NewCanaanite.com. “So our intention is to put some water on it [on Wednesday] and flood it. That will accomplish two things: We’ll get rid of the snow and let the ice form up instead of down.”

“My hope is that there will be skating by the end of the week,” he added. Continue Reading →

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‘An Amazing, Amazing Six Years’: Emotional Farewell for Board of Selectmen at Final Meeting

Wednesday morning’s Board of Selectmen meeting—typically a workmanlike affair, with approvals of tree removal contracts and reviews of how the pavement is faring on local roads—saw multiple department heads offering heartfelt thanks to the three town officials gathered at the dais for the final time. This week’s election signaled the end of the board composed for six years of First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectmen Beth Jones and Nick Williams.

“Yours was my fourth administration and for the past six years, I have found your board to be the most collegial, congenial and decent one yet,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann said after the selectmen approved the purchase of a pickup truck from Karl Chevrolet. “Things won’t be the same. It has been a pleasure.”

During the meeting, held at Town Hall, Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones thanked the board for “a great few years” and Parks Superintendent John Howe said, “Thank you for six years of wonderful cooperation.”

Jones and Mallozzi did not seek re-election, he after a narrow loss at the Republican caucus in July. Williams earned 3,827 votes on Tuesday and will join Kevin Moynihan and Kit Devereaux on a newly configured board, as first selectman and selectman, respectively. Continue Reading →

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Parks Officials: 504 People with 701 Dogs Now Registered for Spencer’s Run, Mostly New Canaan

In the fifth year since New Canaan began requiring canine owners to register their pets in order to use the dog run at Waveny, 504 people have done so, officials said this week. Currently, 701 dogs are registered for Spencer’s Run, according to Kit Devereaux, a member of the Parks & Recreation Commission who serves as a liaison to the popular facility located next to the paddle hut. New Canaanites account for about 56 percent of those with their dogs registered and Recreation Director Steve Benko “has a program that he set up that really is making a difference,” Devereaux said during a regular meeting of the commission, held Wednesday night at Lapham Community Center. “Dogs dig, as we all know, and then people complain. But Steve has—with dog park money—set up a program where someone comes in and fills the holes and seeds it. Continue Reading →

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Parks Superintendent: Town Playing Fields ‘Better Conditioned Now Using Less Pesticides and More Organics’

Officials last week approved more than $100,000 for the purchase and application of grass treatment products at New Canaan’s athletic fields, both on school grounds and in parks. A figure that has come down as some grass fields are converted to artificial turf, the approximately $109,000 approved by the Board of Selectmen will be divided between two contracts: $90,911 for the purchase of products from Burlington, Mass.-based Tom Irwin Inc. and $18,200 for Harwinton-based Championship Turf Services to apply them. “It has been working great separating the products from the company that is applying them,” John Howe, parks superintendent with the New Canaan Department of Public Works, told the selectmen at their Aug. 22 meeting, held in Town Hall. “We own the products and we know how much we are supposed to apply and make sure that we get that applied. Continue Reading →

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