John Howe

Recent Articles

Parks Officials Support Scaring Canada Geese Out of Mead, Disrupting Birds’ Breeding Cycles

Town officials last week voiced support for using taxpayer money to hire a Wilton-based company to scare Canada geese at Mead Pond and disrupt the birds’ breeding cycles in an effort to make sure their droppings go away from playing fields. The Park & Recreation Commission voted unanimously to recommend accepting about $5,000 from parents of New Canaan High School baseball players and requesting $15,000 in next fiscal year’s budget for the balance of a “geese management” program that would include Mead as well as the Saxe Middle School playing fields. The money would be paid to Chris Santopietro of Geese Relief LLC. The company’s website says ‘Got poop? We can help.’

Geese Relief works with “highly trained working border collies,” Santopietro told Park & Rec commissioners at their Dec. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

The Planning & Zoning Commission during a special meeting on Monday night reviewed some 65 yet-to-be-released conditions that it is considering as part of an approval for the closely followed Merritt Village proposal. Though still in draft form and therefore not public, the approval P&Z discussed appears to land on 105 total units at the proposed development. The specter of an affordable housing application looms over the project, should property owner M2 Partners and the town fail to reach a compromise. During an interview after the P&Z meeting, New Canaan resident and would-be Merritt Village builder Arnold Karp said he and his partners “have sat through six months of hearings.”

“We went from 160 to 140 to 123 to 116 to get 105? That doesn’t sit that well with myself or my partners, because it’s way too arbitrary and capricious,” Karp told NewCanaanite.com. Continue Reading →

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New Sod To Be Installed at Athletic Fields in New Canaan

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved a contract to install new sod at athletic fields in New Canaan. The new sod will replace areas of worn sod on fields on the New Canaan High School campus alongside Farm Road, as well as Conner and Saxe. The work will be done by Athletic Field Services, LLC, a company based out of Bridgeport that focuses on installing and upholding fields. It will cost up to $12,705 to complete the project, which will be funded by fees paid to the town by local athletic leagues, officials said. _______________________________________________

The NewCanaanite.com Summer Internship Program is sponsored by Baskin-Robbins. Continue Reading →

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Town Approves $10,000 for Mosquito Management; Selectmen Discuss Zika Virus

New Canaan likely would work with neighboring communities under the Connecticut Department of Public Health’s guidelines if the Zika virus ever turns up in mosquitoes in the region, town officials said. No locally acquired cases have been reported to the DPH since the agency launched a surveillance program in February, according to the state. And “at this point in time, there has not been a mosquito that lives and breathes in Connecticut that can transmit the Zika virus or contain the Zika virus,” according to John Howe, parks superintendent with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “They [the Zika-carrying mosquitoes] are getting closer and there have to be some changes in the lifecycle for that to happen,” Howe told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held June 14 at Town Hall. The comments—prompted by an inquiry by Selectman Nick Williams—came as the selectmen approved a $9,960 contract with Branford-based All Habitat Services LLC to apply an insecticide called ‘Spheratax’ to storm drains as part of New Canaan’s regular, annual mosquito management program. Continue Reading →

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Town Officials Look To Help Motorists Navigate Confusing Traffic Island in Mead Park

Town officials want to install some type of traffic control measure in Mead Park—signage or possibly painting the road—to help motorists navigate the hugely confusing island near the pond. A ‘Keep Right’ sign should be installed on the traffic island, and ‘Slow’ or ‘15 mph’ should be painted on the road through Mead, according to members of the Park & Recreation Commission subcommittee that helps oversee the popular spot. “I’m not sure what the traffic flow is supposed to be, and I’m pretty sure nobody else does, either,” commissioner Katie Owsley said during the group’s May 11 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. Owsley said she observed numerous cars negotiating the traffic island differently during a recent visit. According to Recreation Director Steve Benko, Mead allowed for two-way traffic up until about 25 years ago, when the town made it one way. Continue Reading →

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