As Connecticut slowly eases restrictions, I am happy to test the waters and get back to some semblance of living—even if it means that in order to leave my home I must cover my face like a botched plastic surgery victim.
To break free from house arrest and re-enter society responsibly, I am armed with every sort of face covering that has to come to market. And since I am not one to shy away from accessorizing, my cache of enviable facewear is ready for serious action, and some mild interaction.
Over the past few months, I have put my masks through rounds of stress tests and unusual scenarios to strike the perfect balance between safety and comfort. Gauging the perfect fit and feel is no easy feat, especially when you are not a fan of getting a steam facial with your own breath. Try cleaning the entire house with a mask on (to avoid a serious dust allergy), or attempt jogging through Waveny huffing your own exhaust. Been there, done that.
Bankwell announced Thursday that it is leasing the 30,000-square-foot, three-story building at 258 Elm St. in New Canaan—formerly known as the “Unimin” building—from New York-based full-service real estate advisory firm Besen Partners, LLC, which acquired it in October.
Bankwell is to use the office space for its headquarters, and Bankwell CEO Chris Gruseke said in a a press release that the company would gather more than 100 employees there. “With the addition of over 50 of our team members relocating to New Canaan, I am personally gratified to be part of a plan that will bring economic stimulus to our town,” Gruseke said in the release. “We are mindful that, despite our growth throughout Fairfield County and into New Haven County, our bank has its roots in New Canaan and would not enjoy the success we have today without the original support from our local community. I would also like to thank Dan Steinberg of Besen Partners for the patience and flexibility which allowed us to plan this physical transition during these very trying times.”
New Canaan Library is expecting to begin self-service pickups of books and other materials as soon as June 15.
Led by a New Canaan family and joined by local police and public officials, an estimated 2,000-plus people held a peaceful protest in town Thursday evening. Calling for an end to police brutality and racism in the wake of the May 25 killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the protesters marched from Saxe Middle School along South Avenue to the Police Department—where town resident Fatou Niang and her son, New Canaan High School senior Ethan Niang, joined local clergy and Police Chief Leon Krolikowski, among others, in addressing the crowd—and then down Church Street to Main Street and back to Saxe. Fatou Niang thanked New Canaan Police for providing security for the march and for the department’s continuing service during the COVID-19 pandemic. “This march is not against the police in general, but against the minority of police officers in certain cities who abuse their power against defenseless black citizens,” she said. “We appreciate the support of those who came to march with us today.”
She said that her son, Ethan, with a few friends from NCHS and church, formed the idea of marching peacefully.
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said Thursday that he had received complaints regarding Emergency Management Director Mike Handler’s conduct prior to seeking his resignation. Asked during a press briefing what was the issue that led to Handler’s ouster, Moynihan said, “Respect.”
“Respect for co-employees,” he said during the briefing, held via videoconference.
Health officials “among others” had lodged complaints, Moynihan said. Asked what were the nature of the complaints, he said, “You can’t crush other people and expect them to work as colleagues.”
The sudden news of Handler’s resignation, made Wednesday at Moynihan’s request, traveled quickly through the community and drew strong reactions. On social media, many have voiced concerns about the dismissal of a volunteer who has been in regular communication with residents on town-wide outcalls during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
Asked during the briefing about feedback saying Handler’s resignation is regrettable given how much he has done for the town, Moynihan replied, “It’s regrettable that his conduct caused it, so you have to put the blame where it belongs.”
Yet it remains unclear just what Handler did, how his conduct merited pushing him out of an Emergency Operations Center that he himself helped steer during the ice storm of December 2008 or whether complaints about him amounted to a pretext for his dismissal. In a statement issued late Wednesday, Moynihan said Handler’s job was to “coordinate and communicate as the ‘voice’ of the EOC, but not as the ultimate decision maker,” adding, “Throughout any crisis, and especially during this pandemic emergency, decisions must be made after thoughtful and respectful discussion and debate.”
Asked during the briefing what decisions Handler had made or attempted to make that weren’t in his purview as emergency management director, Moynihan said he never asserted such.
In an email sent to EOC members Wednesday morning that was obtained by NewCanaanite.com, Moynihan said that he asked Handler to step down “due to a disagreement over his handling of the Covid testing and his treatment of staff and other personnel.”
Moynihan opened Thursday’s briefing by complaining about an article breaking news of Handler’s ouster based on that email.
Since its inception in May 2016, the New Canaan Athletic Foundation has partnered with our town to support youth athletes in our community. New Canaan has a long history of successful youth and high school sports that benefits the community at large by bringing joy to families and distinction to our town. NCAF is committed to continuing this proud tradition by organizing the financial support required to develop, preserve, and enhance safe athletic facilities that are used and beloved by so many of all ages.
In just a short time, NCAF, in partnership with our town, has organized and funded multiple major construction projects. In 2017, Dunning Field’s turf was resurfaced. In 2018, the high school track was reconstructed and expanded from six lanes to eight and the Water Tower 1 turf was replaced.