Steve Karl

Recent Articles

Did You Hear … ?

The gallery for this week’s “Did You Hear … ?” features interior photos from rental units at the newly built mixed-use building at 16 Cross St. in New Canaan, “The Crossing.”

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The Town Council on Wednesday night voted 12-0 in favor of an operating budget of $148,136,106 for fiscal year 2018. The overall figure and amount allocated to the Board of Education ($87,618,405) are the same as had been approved by the Board of Finance. The schools are seeing an approximately 1.6 percent year-over-year increase, while the overall operating budget is going up 2.6 percent. Continue Reading →

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New Canaan High School Per-Sport Spending [TABLE]

On a per-student, per-season basis and before private donations are applied, New Canaan Public Schools projects next fiscal year to spend the most money among all sports on NCHS girls ice hockey ($2,264), followed by boys ice hockey ($2,094), girls gymnastics ($2,072), girls softball ($1,437) and girls golf ($1,311), according to district officials (see table below). Within the total NCHS athletics program cost of $1.47 million for fiscal year 2018, the varsity football team at an estimated $154,993 by far would garner the highest percentage of spending for any single sport, according to the schools’ budget book. Football’s high participation (158 total athletes across four teams) drives that overall cost, as does its large combined coaching staff of 16—more than twice the next-closest sport (boys’ lacrosse, at seven), according to the data. Overall, NCPS expects to spend about 23.7 percent more on combined boys’ sports versus girls’ sports next year—$589,875 versus $477,033, the data shows. On an average per-student basis, it expects to spend about 11 percent more overall on boys than girls, before shared costs and private contributions are considered, according to the district’s own data. Continue Reading →

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Officials: Bow Tie Cinemas Interested in Restoring, Possibly Purchasing New Canaan Playhouse

The movie theater company that leases the Playhouse building from the town is interested in putting money into the aging brick structure and possibly owning it, New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday. Bow Tie Cinemas has “a very, very long-term lease and they have expressed no interest in getting out,” according to First Selectman Rob Mallozzi. “They are a very happy movie theater,” he said at a regular Board of Selectmen meeting, held at Town Hall. “They like the vibe, they like the business model. They have 143 theaters nationwide and are very prideful to be in New Canaan. Continue Reading →

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‘The Town Needs To Invest a Little More’: Officials Call for More Funds to Maintain Public Parks’ Grounds

More maintenance is needed in New Canaan’s parks, particularly in landscaping the areas immediately around public buildings, and the officials in charge of them say they’ll seek more money in the upcoming budget season to care properly for the cherished properties. The Parks Department doesn’t have the funds needed “to adequately maintain the parks,” Sally Campbell, chairman of the Park & Recreation Commission, told members of the Town Council at their Nov. 16 meeting. “I just still can’t believe the conditions of the landscaping around our town buildings and around our beautiful town assets,” Campbell said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “And we are fortunate that [Parks Superintendent] John Howe does an amazing job maintaining the athletic fields and maintaining our baseball diamonds—and those are kind of easier to maintain—but to maintain the landscaping around Lapham [Community Center], or in Irwin Park where the weeds are just all over the place or the town buildings, we just need more money.”

The comments came during a pre-budget season review of parks and recreation before the Town Council, the final funding body to sign off on New Canaan’s spending plan each year. Continue Reading →

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Editorial: ‘Moral’ Shopping in New Canaan

One lesson I learned in seven years of studying Latin in the New Canaan Public Schools involves the word ‘mos.’ It’s a noun and in the singular it means habit or custom. In the plural, ‘mores,’ it translates as character because, taken together, a person’s habits and customs form his or her character. It’s where we get our word ‘morals.’

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At the time I launched NewCanaanite.com, nearly three years ago, convenience and cost alone guided my own spending habits. I only asked ‘Can I find it here in New Canaan?’ if I were downtown already and needed something straightaway. Yet today, before purchasing or signing up for anything, I consciously seek out a local retailer or service provider—a habit so ingrained that it’s become second nature, part of my character. Continue Reading →

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