Letters to the Editor


NewCanaanite.com recently received the following letter(s) to the editor. Please send letters to editor@newcanaanite.com for publication here.


I was horrified to read that 10 dogs were shot and killed at a facility owned by David Rivera Jr, a New Canaan K-9 police officer. His Black Rock Canines is a training facility for potential military and police dogs, as well as dogs privately owned by people seeking such training. It was documented by local police that he killed dogs that he thought could not be trained.

While police removed over 30 dogs from the facility and arrested Rivera, the fact remains that there are other employees of Black Rock Canines still at large.

Police canines are wonderful animals. They are highly skilled and essential to police work.

Rivera used his authority as a K-9 police officer to abuse and kill dogs in his care. A search of his facility found high explosives, for which he had no permit.

How did this happen? Why didn’t’ the New Canaan Police monitored Rivera’s behavior and see that he was dangerous not only for the dogs in his care, but the people of New Canaan who he was sworn to protect and defend?

It has been documented by the FBI and the Humane Society of the United States that people who abuse animals go on to hurt people. All the individuals at Black Rock Canines belong behind bars. No one is safe until they are brought to justice.

I want to note that our New Canaan police department do a fabulous job. Rivera is a disgrace to these hard-working men and women.

Cathy Kangas
Member of the Board of Directors, the Humane Society of the United States
New Canaan, CT


Dear Editor,

As Stand Together Against Racism (S.T.A.R.) enters a milestone in its organizational development with the news that we have received 501c-3 nonprofit status, we would like to reflect on our journey thus far as an organization and as a community.

In the summer of 2020, New Canaanites filled the streets, marching in support of Black Lives following the murder of Mr. George Floyd. There were powerful emotions out there on South Avenue. We came together in anger and in despair, and yet, we left uplifted: encouraged by the presence of our neighbors, strengthened by the passion of their voices.  We took these steps together as a community, and, as a community, we resolved to continue this journey together. 

Seventeen-year resident Fatou Niang, organizer of that march, followed up by creating S.T.A.R. and gathered a multiracial, multicultural group of residents in support. Many organizations around town, plus numerous local and state elected officials, clergy and the New Canaan Police Department, joined as partners or participated, demonstrating a public commitment to the cause. Individually and collectively, local organizations have given shape and form to the issues that animate the cause of racial justice through a variety of public programming. 

For some of us, the outcry following the murder of Mr. Floyd was our first entry into this work. For others, it was a long overdue recognition of what it means to be a person of color in America. Together, we ask the same question: how do we build solidarity around these hard-won truths? 

Grappling with what is often new and harsh knowledge is not easy. It can be gut-wrenching, but avoiding it is to turn away from lessons that many people cannot so willfully ignore. And, by taking on this challenge we expand our perspective, and from anguish we can emerge into honesty; from despair to determination; and from learning towards growth. 

Here at S.T.A.R., we see self-reflection as a critical aspect of racial justice. By starting with an examination of our own biases and preconceived notions, we more fully open ourselves up to learning from those who are different. We begin to see people as they wish to be seen, rather than speaking for their experience or perpetuating stereotypes. By looking at the ways dominant cultures have sought to push others to the margins, we promote the voices of those who society has sought to devalue and embrace them in the fullness of their identities. 

Even as we expose and explore the challenges of addressing racism, we seek joy in a growing sense of community and belonging. We seek healing in the embrace of honesty and the acknowledgement of pain. We seek dignity in affirming the equal worth of all races, cultures and the individuals who embody them. 

Whether it’s your first step or you are a long-time traveler on this march towards justice, we welcome your participation, your input and your presence.  We hope to see you at our next event: S.T.A.R. will be hosting a Juneteenth “Heart of Freedom” community picnic on the New Canaan Museum & Historical Society lawns from 4:00 – 7:00 pm, on Sunday June 19th.

By Standing Together we create a community where all can flourish and thrive. Please reach out and tell us what’s on your mind, by emailing us at  info@star-ct.org or joining us at one of our events. We’d love to hear from you and are grateful for your support.

On behalf of S.T.A.R., 

Fatou Niang, Founder & Chair
Susan Borst, Vice Chair 
Alyssa Mackenzie, Secretary
Mike Rodgers, Treasurer
Karima Bryant
Christa Carr
Afsie Djabbari-Aslani
Nancy Geary
Bob Lord
Myrlove Stansfield
Richard Russey
Gabriela Deambrosio
Janet Fonss
Emmi Goldenberg
Freya Goldenberg
Olive Goldenberg
Shona Goldenberg
Thea Haley
Jane Himmel
Nancy Huang
Katrina Kaupp
Tess Mackenzie
Elijah Manning
Shandia Mitchell
Ethan Niang
Mary Ntiri
Lauren Connolly Nussbaum
Micaela Porta
Avery Russey
Sophia Rwambuya
Amy Silberfein
Layla Steed
Bryant Soohoo
Annette Terry
Alejandra Zamora


Dear Editor,

On Friday night, May 13, NCHS will celebrate its first in-person senior prom and Post-Prom celebration in three years.  Since 1959, the community of New Canaan and parent volunteers have banded together to create a magical evening for our graduating offering food, games, entertainment, music and prizes to both keep kids safe and create a night to remember.

This event would not be possible without the support and commitment of our local businesses and merchants. In particular, we would like the thank our platinum level sponsors for their abounding generosity willingness to underwrite significant portions of this event: 

  • Alembic Global Advisors 
  • Camsan Inc.
  • The Karl Chevrolet Company 
  • S.D. Charles Realty LLC 
  • Silver Hill Hospital 
  • Wendy Wernerburg of Hannelore Kaplan Team-William Raveis
  • Town of New Canaan Department of Human Services

Our corporate donors provide financial support each year and we are so grateful for your ongoing commitment: 

  • New Canaan Community Foundation
  • Bankwell
  • Carnegie Prep
  • RAND insurance 
  • Renaissance Partners LLC
  • Team Saxe and Bryan of Compass

Finally, local businesses across our community provide food, décor, and prizes to make this night particularly special for our graduating class. We are so grateful for your ongoing support: 

  • Allison Mazabras/Beauty Counter
  • Benefit
  • Beau Fit Boxing
  • Burtis Nails
  • Camillo Tuxedo
  • Camsan Inc.
  • Chef Luis
  • Club Sandwich
  • CT Club Sandwich
  • Darcey Fitzpatrick
  • Debbie Raymond
  • Divaz Salon
  • Erin Marich Boot Camp
  • Family Britches
  • G. Albert
  • Gelatissimo
  • Goddess Glow
  • Hartley family
  • Heather Rossati
  • Johnnie-O
  • Julie Ballantine Fine Jewelry
  • Jul Salon
  • Lighthouse Associates
  • Lisa Melland
  • Luscious and Company
  • Maria Livesay Salon
  • NC Music
  • Ngoc and Scott Kropf
  • Patisserie Salzburg
  • Pennant Shop
  • Pennyweights
  • PJ Marcella
  • Ralph Lauren
  • Starbucks
  • Swirl
  • Tony’s Deli
  • Tori Kieran
  • Vineyard Vines
  • Yvette and Karl Slatoff
  • Walter Stewart’s Market
  • Winged Monkey Westport
  • YMCA
  • Zumbach’s
  • 84 Sports

We appreciate and are inspired by the support our community in upholding this cherished Post Prom tradition and are grateful for the “Spirit of New Canaan” that their participation and generosity embodies. 

With many thanks, 

Denise Luccarelli and Eileen Thomas
Co-chairs of Post Prom 2022 Fundraising Committee

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