TV’s original home improvement show has a webcam on the God’s Acre Greek Revival that made headlines this week when town officials voiced support for a sensitive restoration and rebuilding project. The antique at 4 Main St. is the 2019 “Idea House” for “This Old House” and will track developments there. ***
The peacock seen wandering around Wahackme Road on Monday afternoon is back home, according to police. The exotic bird’s Ponus Ridge owner saw an article about it, and the peacock was located and returned to its pen with three others.
Aaron Lefland stepped into a hilltop clearing amid beech, chestnut oak and American holly trees in Silvermine on Wednesday morning, and began to unroll about 80 feet of plastic tarp in a strip over the cold, hard ground. Together with local volunteers Susan Bergen, Catharine Sturgess and Peter Bergen, Lefland—executive director of the New Canaan Land Trust—laid the plastic over the footprint of a house that had stood here until about 18 months ago. That’s when the nonprofit organization acquired this 6.35-acre property from award-winning zoologist and longtime New Canaanite Jim Fowler, and began transforming the property into a publicly accessible piece of open space that features trails, seating, pond views and connection to an abutting 40-acre property that collectively form what’s being called the “Silvermine-Still Pond Preserve.”
The purpose of the plastic is to rid the site of invasive and other plant species without using herbicides or chemicals, so that a wildflower meadow may sprout there. “We tore down the house, and now we want to convert it really into prime wildlife habitat,” Lefland said on a crisp, cool morning, the “counsel ring” seating area created by Gus Larson of Troop 70 for his Eagle Scout project, and Still Pond itself, behind him. “So we are going to be planting native wildflowers and grasses that promote bee, butterfly and bird populations.”
An effort that honors the legacy of Fowler, a Georgia native who earned wide fame as TV host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” and called the sylvan property home for nearly 35 years.
Bruce Willis—star of Christmas season film favorite “Die Hard”—dropped into Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee on Pine Street on Monday morning for a cup of brew. ***
A sign posted Wednesday on the door at Hamptonite, a women’s fashion boutique that opened on Elm Street in May 2016, says “no sales can be transacted” there due to a sales and use tax permit issue. ***
The man who was arrested earlier this year after filming a woman in a bathroom at Grace Farms while he worked as a chef at the Lukes Wood Road organization, pleaded guilty to four counts of voyeurism, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records. ***
The Board of Education opened its meeting Monday with a moment of silence for former President George H.W. Bush. ***
Here are excerpts from parking ticket appeals letters filed recently with the New Canaan Parking Bureau:
“My daughter and I pulled into this spot both of us never knew it was handicap spot. There were no markings on the road all that was visible to us was the 2 hour parking sign in front of us on the right. The one handicap sign was beyond us when we parked and we never even knew it was a handicap. I’m compelled to let you know there were plenty of other spots to chose from at the time on Elm street and I have never and would never park in a handicap spot intentionally. The fine is very steep.
A group of local volunteers have formed a new entity to ensure that a beloved New Canaan tradition, long supported by some of the town’s most generous individuals and families, continues in perpetuity. Though it may appear to spring up spontaneously from the patch of ground on which New Canaan was founded, the cherished Christmas Eve caroling at God’s Acre is in fact the result of multiple coordinated steps and support from families such as the Hersams and Karls, and residents such as Steve Benko, officials say. With the sale in October of Hersam Acorn Newspapers Inc. to Hearst, the multiple “moving parts” overseen for decades by the former New Canaan Advertiser publishers—getting lights on the tree, printing 2,000 songsheets, setting up barricades and the bandstand and making arrangements for the New Canaan Town Band as well as coordinating with groups such as the Congregational Church of New Canaan, New Canaan Police Department and Department of Public Works—all must fall to new people. Enter Benko, Tucker Murphy, Tom Stadler, Steve Karl, Leo Karl III and Scott Gress. Following multiple multi-hour meetings in recent days, they formed the God’s Acre Caroling Foundation, established to collect donations and ensure that the century-old traditional can continue (see mailing info below).