New Canaan residents share their thoughts and raise issues of importance to our community, on matters touching local residents—property and business owners, taxpayers, students, nonprofit leaders and caregivers. This is a space for New Canaanites to recognize good works that may otherwise go unnoticed or to raise questions and concerns for public vetting. To submit a letter to the editor, email email@example.com.
This year I am giving up politics for Lent. In lieu of complaining about local government, I want to share a ‘Thank you’ note to the New Canaanites helping me prep for my upcoming ultramarathon. This was not a New Year’s resolution (one-month survival rate: 64%). I just want to make some changes this year. My plan was to compete in an ultramarathon scheduled for late June with six months to prepare.
It’s official, the subtle art of dodging a phone call has been lost. Most New Canaanites simply avoid answering the phone anymore, unless of course, it is the Office of Emergency Management calling with timely, critical information. We have all been burned far too many times to think that the person on the end of the line is truly who Caller ID says they are—I am talking to you, Somali Pirate, who has been trying to lure me into a phone conversation for months. I remember the glorious moment when Caller ID first rolled out and became a standard operating feature. It was the dawn of a new day to gain the inside track on who had dialed.
In response to the “No Left Turn” editorial posted in the NewCanaanite. Given the situation, I don’t find declaring a six-month trial a failure in two weeks in reasonable. I feel the sign is working and it and deserves the full six-month trial period the Police Commission unanimously voted for in January. The Police Commission took action because they recognized the threat to the safety and quality of life of New Canaan residents. The 1.2-mile stretch of roads passing through Marvin Ridge, Nursery, White Oak Shade, and Gerdes Roads are all significantly safer and quality of life has been restored along the route.
Installed with the best intentions and even successful in some ways, the new “no left turn” sign at Nursery and Marvin Ridge Roads is creating more problems than it’s solving and should be removed. It’s true that since a sign prohibiting a left-hand turn from Marvin Ridge to Nursery from 7 to 9 a.m. weekdays went in nearly one month ago, some in the neighborhood have had relief from a surge in morning commuter traffic. The approximately 350 vehicles that had been using Nursery Road between 8 and 9 a.m.—including motorists using navigation apps such as Waze to avoid Merritt Parkway backups—posed a safety risk, advocates of the sign said. Yet a 3.5-year police history showed no reported accidents on Nursery Road from 2015 through 2018—that’s one data point cited by a professional traffic engineer hired by the town to study roadway characteristics, traffic volume and speeds on Nursery Road and make recommendations about how to help solve the problems there and on Gerdes Road. Ultimately, the engineer said, installing a “no left turn” sign would have the same negative impact as closing the road would.
On Valentine’s Day, many hearts simultaneously broke throughout New Canaan with a single widely distributed email.
As some swooned over loved ones or batted eyelashes at a crush, the much adored and longstanding principal of South School, Joanne Rocco, announced her retirement in an email to parents.
It was an email that launched a thousand forwarded messages, and reduced many to tears.
I received numerous frantic messages about the breaking news—or shall I say, heartbreaking news. Though I no longer have students at South, I felt a mix of immense sorrow for those families who will not know Ms. Rocco and absolute triumph that my kids attended “her” school. My family had six blissful years reaping the rewards of Joanne’s hard work and tenure. The thought of her absence is a big blow to our community.
And to pile on the hurt, it seems that our schools are getting hit hard this winter. Our Board of Education is fighting an uphill battle with town bodies to fully fund its proposed budget while in Hartford, the state government is flexing its muscular overreach, introducing bills that call for school regionalization.
I have officially exceeded my threshold and cannot take any more unexpected news regarding our schools.