Letter: ‘Rich and Unique’ Lecture at New Canaan Library

Dear Editor,

What a rich and unique Stoddard lecture was held at New Canaan Library this week. This year’s speaker was artist and architect Mohamed Hafez, whose talk and work dealt with “home.” 

Born in Syria, Hafez spent the first half of his presentation contextualizing his artwork. He talked about life in the culturally diverse world of pre-war Damascus; about traveling to Disney as a kid and enjoying its culture shock; about following his siblings to study at the University of Iowa; about the warmth of family, rooted in endless conversation over coffee in traditionally appointed Syrian rooms. All these stories were important to hear as they made the second half of his presentation crackle with meaning. 

We then saw Hafez’s sculptures come alive on the screen in a way that felt as three-dimensional as the pieces themselves (currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, Bruce Museum, and Quick Center in Fairfield). He makes breathtakingly detailed miniatures of the rooms and buildings that tell his stories, both before and after the war and resultant refugee crisis. In that hour and half, Hafez showed that as much as war and traumatic displacement shape his life, his stories of home are human, universal.

Letter: Commending the First Selectman for Comments in Support of Library

We would like to commend our First Selectman Kevin Moynihan for his comments in support of the New Canaan Library and the potential for $10 million of investment from the town. The library serves a vital function in the center of our community for all of our residents.  

The vision for the new library is nothing short of spectacular and would be transformative for New Canaan. Even in these increasingly digital times, a strong library is a community resource that would energize downtown.  

The library team is working hard to find private support and has a lot of momentum.

Op-Ed: A Report on My First Year in Office

This week marks the one-year anniversary of my taking office as first selectman. Here is a brief report on our progress. My campaign in 2017 focused on five major themes: improving cell phone service, increasing commuter parking, strengthening financial management, insuring transparency in government and maintaining excellence in our schools. I also highlighted the issues of strengthening our downtown business district, encouraging the building of senior housing and preserving open space. Improving Cell Phone Service

In 2017, New Canaan was threatened with the prospect of having to replace the existing cell antennas on the Waveny water tank—which provide one-third of our cell service—with a new cell tower in Waveny Park.