This week on 0684-Radi0, our free podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Leo Karl III, past president and longtime member of the New Canaan Rotary Club, about the organization’s Lobsterfest. An important fundraiser that benefits local nonprofit organizations, this year’s event runs Oct. 15 and 16, and includes some new “dine-in” options for those seeking a fresh lobster, salmon or fried chicken dinner, as well as the ability to purchase meals for New Canaan’s emergency responders.
Bankwell CEO Chris Gruseke and his management team already were tracking COVID-19 infection rates, deaths and government regulations related to the pandemic daily as the rollout of vaccines got underway earlier this year. The New Canaan-based company was in the early phases of its widely anticipated move into a new building at Elm and Grove Streets, and as workers moved into offices and cubicles, Gruseke and his managers “were encouraging people to get the vaccine, we were wearing our buttons and badges around the office,” he said. “Being an employer and being a public employer and being responsible for other people’s lives, also being a member of the community, we are monitoring this daily,” Gruseke, a New Canaan resident, said from his glass-windowed corner office at 258 Elm St. “What are the regulation changes and what is happening in Connecticut and what the CDC is saying? And we were always on the most conservative ends of the discussion.
The New Canaan Parking Commission is recommending that the town install a second electric vehicle charging station at Morse Court and at least one more in the Town Hall lot. Officials also should consider updating the New Canaan Zoning Regulations to require developers in creating multi-unit housing to set aside a percentage of attendant spaces for electric vehicles, or ‘EVs,’ with charging units provided, according to Commission Chair Keith Richey. “We look kind of pathetic now because these other towns have got them, have got more charging stations,” Richey said during the appointed body’s regular meeting, held May 6 via videoconference.
“We are lagging behind,” he said. Richey and Commissioners Laura Budd, Jennifer Donovan, Drew Magratten and Peter Ogilvie voted 5-0 to make the recommendation to the Board of Selectmen. The selectmen are expected to take it up at their regular meeting Tuesday.
One year after withdrawing its application to build a senior housing complex on Oenoke Ridge, Waveny LifeCare Network last week purchased a residential property there for $1.5 million.
Waveny officials had said in the months leading up to applying in October 2019 to build a 70-unit residential retirement building that its purchase of the .88-acre property at 65 Oenoke Ridge was under contract pending approval for its project by the Planning & Zoning Commission.
Ultimately, following several widely followed hearings before P&Z, the organization on March 18, 2020 withdrew its application, citing its focus on the emerging COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, Waveny purchased the parcel, which includes a 1929-built Colonial, from the New Canaan Museum and Historical Society, tax records show. The acquisition “is purely a prudent business decision,” according to a press release issued by Waveny on Monday on behalf of the organization. “This parcel effectively ensures a contiguous connection of important real estate that protects and improves the sustainability of Waveny’s future,” it said. Russ Barksdale, Jr., Waveny’s president and CEO, said in the press release, “Exercising the purchase option now gives us time to evaluate all of our options through an inclusive process to which we remain committed.”
A letter dated Friday and attributed to Barksdale as well as Kathleen Corbet and Leo Karl III—chair and vice chair Waveny’s Board of Directors, respectively—says, in part, “Although there are no specific plans for the property at this time, exercising the purchase option gives Waveny time to evaluate all options.”
Catherine Palmer, the 48-year-old Butler Lane woman arrested by warrant Sunday on felony animal cruelty charges following a months-long investigation, had been sued in housing court this summer as the landlord of two Greenwich properties, according to Connecticut Judicial Branch records. In July, a tenant paying $900 per month to rent a room in a Prospect Drive home filed a Verified Lockout Complaint and Application for Temporary Injunction against Palmer after visiting family in Florida, saying that upon his return some of his possessions remained in the house and that his personal papers and passport were missing. The subject of a New Canaan neighbor’s complaint two summers ago regarding her renting out the “South of the Y” house to transient tenants, Palmer—who is out on $10,000 bond—was scheduled to appear this week in a related civil matter after the town petitioned state Superior Court for ownership of 12 dogs (including 10 puppies) seized from the home. The next hearing in that matter is scheduled for Tuesday. The case has resurfaced some people’s concerns regarding the condition of the building at the town dump that police use as an animal shelter.
Congratulations to New Canaan Rotary Club member Leo Karl III on earning an honorary Paul Harris Fellow award from the service organization for his “extraordinary leadership in successfully reinventing Lobsterfest 2020 during the COVID era.” The citation in a press release said, “In so doing, he ensured that the club will meet its annual goal to provide necessary support to local non-profits serving those in our community.” The Paul Harris award recognizes a Rotarian’s devotion to the organization’s goals.