Did You Hear … ?

A building permit application has been filed for a new, 8,600-square-foot home planned for 386 Weed St.—part of a large-scale project for a combined 7-acre parcel that had drawn some criticism from neighbors and originally included a 15,000-square-foot manmade pond that since has been withdrawn from the plan. The new home will include 40 rooms and will cost about $2.4 million to build, according to a building permit application filed May 15. The contractor on the project is Westport-based Coastal Construction and architect is Christian Rae Studio LLC of Easton. ***

Animal Control officers fined a Weed Street woman $90 for allowing her dog to roam after they saw her let a golden retriever off leash at Irwin Park at about 12:19 p.m. on May 22. The officers were in an unmarked car and watched the woman waiting for them to leave, which they did and then looped around to the far side of the park where they assessed the ticket for allowing a dog to roam (which now includes an additional $46 fine).

Did You Hear … ?

Congratulations to New Canaan’s Mitch and Erin Hoffman on the birth Monday of twins Brody Merrill and Cole Francis Hoffman. See the slideshow above, where the newborns are pictured on their own as well as with big brother Maddox. Son of the New Canaan High School varsity baseball coach, Maddox autographed baseballs for his new siblings. ***

“Everybody asks me, ‘How do you sleep at night, chief?’ And I say, ‘Like a baby: I sleep for two hours, wake up crying, then sleep some more.’ ”—That’s what New Canaan Police Chief Leon Krolikowski told the Town Council on the subject of overtime spending, during the legislative body’s March 25 meeting. ***

Congratulations to the New Canaan High School Debate Team, which sent three pairs of students to Saturday’s state finals at Wilton High School, and senior co-captains Casey Manzella and Steven Singer won the state championship varsity division.

Confidence, Competition, Camaraderie: Popularity of New Canaan High School Debate Team Soars

New Canaan High School senior Matt DeMattia strode to the podium at the front of Room 105 after school on a recent afternoon, his fellow Debate Team members—a group that represents all four grades and numbers about 45, up from a half-dozen less than a decade ago—waiting during this practice to hear him argue in favor of this statement: “College athletes should be paid competitive salaries.”

A New Canaan Rams varsity football player recently restored to the Debate Team from the gridiron (and a state title), DeMattia argued that “the American economy is built on one thing, and that is capitalism—and capitalism isn’t necessarily fair, it isn’t necessarily even, but it’s built around the fact that those who generate income get to keep that income.”

“Big football schools earn $40 million to $80 million for a single season, such as Florida or Penn State. These football players are playing for their schools and generating massive amounts of wealth for their programs and for the NCAA, and they are receiving absolutely none of this wealth. They are generating this income and by the fundamental beliefs of capitalism, they should earn this income.”

It’s a cogent, reasoned argument that the teen delivered with confidence and facts—qualities, according to Debate Team coach Kristine Goldhawk, that DeMattia has developed over three years with the group. “When he started, he was very brash and not very organized and not really logical in terms of his thought process, so he tended to ramble all over the place,” recalled Goldhawk, a NCHS teacher whose classes include World History, Civics and AP Comparative Government and Politics. “Over the course of the years, he has really tightened up his argument style.