Tucker Murphy

Recent Articles

‘Pop Up Park’ Organizers Eye Extended Summer Season Downtown

The organizers of New Canaan’s ‘Pop Up Park’ downtown will seek permission to run it continuously from July 16 to Sept. 4. If approved by the Police Commission, the dates—from just after the Sidewalk Sale through Labor Day—would expand by several weeks the longest continuous run for the Pop Up Park, which was in place for three straight weeks last August. Tucker Murphy, an advisor to the Pop Up Park Steering Committee from the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said many visitors were disappointed last year when the park—located on South Avenue between Morse Court and Elm Street—was disassembled before what turned out to be a beautiful Labor Day weekend. The committee is “trying to build upon last year while still recognizing that some of the merchants and some people have concerns about traffic flow,” Murphy said. Continue Reading →

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‘Ally-Bally-Bee’: Handcrafted Gift Store To Open This Month on Elm Street

Prior to moving to the United States from her native Scotland 11 years ago, Morag Grassie had been deeply immersed in her career as a scientific researcher. After earning a bachelor’s degree in molecular biology from Glasgow University and doctorate degree at the Institute of Virology, a government agency, she worked as a research fellow and professor, then spent eight years in psychiatric drug development and finally in human genome DNA research, leading one company’s large pharmacological department. The family moved here (they’re now in Redding, kids aged 21, 19 and 15) for the sake of her husband’s career and “I left my other life,” Grassie recalled on a recent afternoon. Unable after just a few years out of her field to re-penetrate the job market in the United States at a hard-won, accustomed level, Grassie decided “I’m doing something different,” she recalled, “and I started to look for a property to do this business idea that had been incubating for quite a while.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Chamber to P&Z: It’s Time To Review New Canaan’s Zoning Regulations for Main and Elm

New Canaan’s charming downtown remains attractive to prospective merchants as well as visitors, though changes in retail in recent years should prompt officials to update some of the zoning regulations that restrict the type of businesses that can occupy street-level storefronts, according to the head of the local Chamber of Commerce. Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations now (see page 72 here), non-retail uses are largely restricted on the street level throughout the “Retail A” zone (in purple here) of Main and Elm Streets. For example, the only service establishments allowed are on the first floor of any building are “personal service” businesses such as salons. Medical, educational or fitness-related uses are relegated to upper floors or business zones beyond the “magic circle” downtown. Those downtown business zones “have served us well over the years, but the time might have come that we want to consider some of the businesses in the Retail A zones and places like that, that complement retail,” Tucker Murphy, the chamber’s executive director, told members of the Planning & Zoning Commission during their regular meeting on Tuesday night. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

The hopeful developer of the Roger Sherman Inn property has clarified that he does not intend to raze all of the existing historic structure under his newest application, as NewCanaanite.com had reported last week. Andrew Glazer of Rowayton’s Glazer Group intends to pick up and move the oldest portion of the 18th Century-built inn closer to Oenoke Ridge Road, converting it into one of six new residences planned for the 1.89-acre site. He outlined that plan during a public hearing last month before the Planning & Zoning Commission. ***

New Canaan’s Michael Nowacki is featured in a Connecticut Mirror news story that ran Jan. 13, regarding his interest in hearings in Hartford before the state legislature on judges seeking reappointment. Continue Reading →

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‘I’ve Had a Great Reception’: Organic Mattress Shop Opens on South Avenue

David Spittal spent much of the two years he had earned after founding, building and in 2005 selling his first mattress company reconnecting with family and community. The Putnam Valley, N.Y. resident served on his local school board, coached soccer with his two middle school-aged kids—his daughter is now a junior at Wesleyan University, his son a freshman at Gettysburg College—volunteered as chairman of the board for his local YMCA camp and also sat on a sustainable energy committee. It was while serving in that last role that Spittal paused to consider that most mattresses are made with some combination of polyurethane, polyester fibers and wire springs—creations whose useful life ends at about age eight and then lay in landfills for thousands of years. He began researching the prospect of a comfortable, eco-friendly, far longer-lasting, biodegradable mattress made of entirely organic materials. “I knew that there was a desire, especially with the ‘out-gassing’ of chemicals from polyurethane foam,” Spitall recalled Monday from the warm, welcoming showroom of Healthy Choice Organic Mattress, open since Friday at 21 South Ave. Continue Reading →

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