In today’s Q&A with a local business owner, we hear from Adam Jacobson, executive vice president of Pet Pantry Warehouse on Grove Street. Here’s our exchange. New Canaanite: How is Pet Pantry Warehouse faring at this time? Adam Jacobson: Thankfully, both the state of New York and the state of Connecticut have officially designated pet stores, such as Pet Pantry Warehouse, as ‘essential businesses.’ This means that we are allowed to remain open in order to service the needs of pets in your home and in the greater community at large. These are certainly uncertain times and business is not ‘as usual’ right now.
New Canaan’s highest elected official on Monday ordered the closing of all local public parks, according to the town’s emergency management director. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan’s Emergency Order includes the closure of public school fields, as well, Emergency Management Director Mike Handler said. “This order is effective immediately through April 30th,” Handler said in a town-wide voice call and email. “These actions are being taken to ensure that our message is absolutely clear—there should be zero social gathering. This may be received poorly by some; unfortunately, it is necessary to save lives.”
The Order comes less than one week after Moynihan expressed a desire to keep the parks open so that people could get out. Yet by then Norwalk, Stamford and Wilton were among the towns that already had closed their own public parks, and Darien is following suit.
First a huge debt of thanks to the entire school district for getting us ready and launching e-learning. Well done. Second kudos to the team for keeping up the spirit—absolutely vital—again fantastic.
We now, however, need to start talking about how we can minimize the long-term effects of this situation on our kids and community. The governor recently floated the idea of kids not coming back to school until the fall—i.e. they would be out of school from March 11 to Aug. 31. I am not sure if people suggesting this were serious, or if they have outlined why this would be a prudent course of action, in my view this would be terrible for just about everybody. The kids don’t need more time away from educators and friends, they don’t need to graduate on a pass-fail basis, and they don’t need to be promoted or held back a year based on vague guidelines and crisis thinking. What kids need is an education (and society needs educated kids). We can accomplish this, also in these times. My proposal is very simple. For each day of e-learning we add back half a day of school (if we think e-learning is the same as real school—we should have a larger discussion about how we educate our kids and the investments we are making going forward). If we stick with the April 20 return we should be able to get out around July 1—not too bad considering. If we go longer in closure, we just go longer into July and August (this will be very simple to administer, and for people to understand).
In this installment of our daily Q&A this week with a local restaurant owner dealing with restrictions during the COVID-19 emergency, we hear from Lorenzo Colella of Joe’s Pizza on Locust Avenue. Here’s our exchange.
New Canaanite: What has this past week been like for you?
It’s been pretty hectic. The new system of doing everything works well when they can’t come in but it takes planning. I had to hire two new kids, a high school kid and college kid. It’s just the logistics of it all when it’s busy.
The five firefighters that had been in isolation due to exposure to COVID-19 are all healthy and have returned to work, Fire Chief Jack Hennessey told members of the Board of Selectmen Tuesday.. ***
New Canaan Police fielded seven reports of larcenies from motor vehicles in the first two months of 2020, compared to zero in the same period last year, according to data reviewed at Monday’s regular meeting of the Police Commission. Car crashes with injuries increased from four to nine in the same period, data show, while radar-related incidents declined from 173 to 83. ***
The Town Council on Tuesday voted to reappoint Mike Sweeney and Bernard Simpkin to the New Canaan Housing Authority. ***
Here’s a CNN video of anchor Brianna Keilar interviewing the Rev. Peter Walsh of New Canaan, who performed last rites over the phone for a local man and parishioner who had contracted COVID-19.
New Canaan’s Alessia Miller—together with Meghan D. Hely Walsh as well as Dana Cifone and chef Stephen Lewandowski of the Townhouse Restaurant in Greenwich—received a great boost in efforts to support her sister, Tania Mariani, an Emergency Room attending physician at Greenwich Hospital. Asked if they would donate food to the Emergency Department staff, New Canaan moms and other residents of the town and surrounding area donated more than $800, according to Miller, and the restaurant matched the donation in food.