‘A Win-Win for Everyone Involved’: With Generosity and Care, a Plant-Loving Legacy Endures in New Canaan

Dr. Nicholas and Ashley Rutigliano moved to New Canaan last summer from Manhattan’s Upper West Side. A Brooklyn native whose wife hailed from Stamford, Rutigliano said the couple had been pregnant—their daughter Emilia is now nine months old—and began “thinking of where to set our roots.”

They found an apt home on Millport Avenue. The Cape Cod-style house at number 156 had been owned since 1973 by Bruce Pauley, a fourth-generation New Canaanite and owner of the still-active Pauley Tree & Lawn Care Inc. who had stepped down the prior summer as town tree warden. Pauley and his wife Elaine—together with ‘Deputy Tree Warden’ Bheema, his ever-present and handsome young German shepherd dog—set their eyes on retiring to 33 acres in Vermont, and the Rutiglianos closed on the Millport Avenue house last June. The owner of SANO Physical Therapy & Wellness, providing services to patients in their own homes, Nicholas Rutigliano had come to know the Pauleys through purchasing their home and understood on moving in that they’d “taken care of and nurtured” their property to a high degree.

Did You Hear … ?

2016 Cyclocross National Champion David Thompson Junior Men 9-10

Uploaded by Cyclocross Magazine on 2016-01-09.

Congratulations to New Canaan’s David Thompson, who last weekend earned the title 2016 Cyclocross National Champion in the Junior Men 9-10 division (see video above). We hear that David is a 9-year-old who attends the fourth grade at West School, and local cycling guru Lou Kozar of New Canaan Bicycles informs us (dryly) that David’s accomplishment is “kind of a big deal.”


After impounding and multiple roaming dogs that all had invisible fence collars on them, New Canaan Animal Control Officer Allyson Halm is urging residents to double-check the batteries on those devices as well as their systems at home. A golden retriever on Skyview Lane, Labradoodle on Jelliff Mill Road and a pair of dogs on Oenoke Lane—a German shepherd and pit bull—all were collected by the New Canaan Police Department Animal Control section in recent days. ***

We’ve got the details on New Canaanite and “What’s Up With Wendy” radio show host Wendy Lowy Sloane’s sixth anniversary broadcast at 11 a.m. on 1490 AM-WGCH and online at WGCH.com. Her guests include actress Monica Potter, NBC Sports broadcaster Leigh Diffey and Bob Leary, founder of Trimino.

Did You Hear … ?

Congratulations to the Pauley family on the birth of baby girl Peyton Ann Elaine Joyner. The daughter of Michael Joyner and Lauren Pauley—and granddaughter of recently retired New Canaan Tree Warden Bruce Pauley and his wife, Elaine—Peyton was born at 10:04 p.m. on July 14 at Norwalk Hospital. Lauren Pauley is a 2000 Trinity Catholic High School graduate. The Joyner family resides in Stamford. ***

New Canaan High School 2015 graduate and football standout Zach Allen will wear No.

As Review of Town Charter Nears, Question of Police Role in Traffic Control Re-emerges

The town could pay contracted certified flagmen about half of what police earn in overseeing traffic control jobs—such as for roadside tree work—and an upcoming review of New Canaan’s governing document may provide an opportunity to bring about the change, officials say. Under Article II, Section 54-41 of the Town Code, the police chief decides when traffic control is needed at such roadside jobs, and the Police Department is the go-to agency to staff them. Asked at the July 21 Board of Selectmen meeting about how the policy plays out in practice, Tree Warden Bruce Pauley said: “The police, they make the rules—what roads have to have traffic control.”

“And it pretty much involves every single road—there are rare exceptions,” he said at the meeting, held in the Training Room of the New Canaan Police Department. “It adds a certain amount of price to this—if this is $29,000 you can expect to pay $5,000 in traffic control. It adds up and it comes out of the tree budget which I am not happy with but it is the way it is.

Bruce and Bheema Pauley To Step Down As Tree Warden, ‘Deputy Tree Warden’ at Month’s End

In some ways, the position of New Canaan tree warden never became just what Bruce Pauley envisioned. He took over the role in October 2010, in the wake of a powerful March nor’easter that snapped trees and power lines alike, and spent the first part of his tenure identifying and removing dangerous trees—rather than pruning and improving healthy ones. That unnamed winter storm was followed in succession by Tropical Storm Irene and Hurricane Sandy, which set the tone for Pauley’s role as tree warden in New Canaan. “I think we have pretty much gotten there,” Pauley said Wednesday evening, hours after notifying area tree companies that he would step down as tree warden at the end of this month. “There are always trees that have died or cracked or broken or rotted, and have to be removed, but we are reaching the point where more maintenance such as pruning can be effective in keeping the old trees we have.”

Still and all, for Pauley, a third-generation New Canaanite who is selling the Millport Avenue home he and wife Elaine bought in 1973 and moving to Vermont—and who last year sold his own tree care business—the experience of working with trees in New Canaan and serving as tree warden has been a rewarding profession and life that has connected him equally with nature as it has with fellow residents.