Professor, Author and Visionary Conservationist Doug Tallamy to Speak in New Canaan

Renowned author, professor and researcher, Doug Tallamy, will speak on the topic of his recently published book, “Nature’s Best Hope: A New Approach to Conservation that Starts in Your Yard.” Tallamy is best known for the national conversation he sparked more than a decade ago about the link between healthy ecosystems and human wellbeing. His first book, “Bringing Nature Home”, emphasized the irrefutably significant tie between native plant species, native insects and the rest of the food chain essential for a healthy world. Sponsored by the ten organizations that comprise the New Canaan Pollinator Pathway, Mr. Tallamy’s presentation will offer specific suggestions of how homeowners can turn their properties into conservation corridors and help make a difference for global biodiversity. The event will take place on Tuesday, March 3 at New Canaan Country School Auditorium, 635 Frogtown Road, starting at 7:30 pm (Doors open at 7:00 pm). Tickets are $15.

Public Works Director: Town’s Curbside Pickup of Leaves Is Over, Please Don’t Pile Them There

New Canaan’s curbside pickup of leaves is over and officials are asking residents to stop raking or blowing them to the edges of their properties. Instead, leaves should be bagged and brought to the Transfer Station, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. The final round of curbside leaf pickup typically starts the Monday after Thanksgiving, Mann said. “We did extend it because the leaves weren’t coming off the trees, so we decided to continue it a little bit further, but now we are done and people are still putting their leaves out,” Mann said. “We are asking them to put them in like a Home Depot bag and bring them to the Transfer Station.

New Sod To Be Installed at Athletic Fields in New Canaan

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved a contract to install new sod at athletic fields in New Canaan. The new sod will replace areas of worn sod on fields on the New Canaan High School campus alongside Farm Road, as well as Conner and Saxe. The work will be done by Athletic Field Services, LLC, a company based out of Bridgeport that focuses on installing and upholding fields. It will cost up to $12,705 to complete the project, which will be funded by fees paid to the town by local athletic leagues, officials said. _______________________________________________

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Town Officials Lean Toward New Parking Deck Design on Locust

Town officials said Wednesday that they’ve narrowed down the design for the eagerly anticipated Locust Avenue parking deck to three candidates, and appear to be leaning toward a model that would add 89 new spaces overall. Each design includes two levels, but an originally conceived model with a “donut” in the center would create problems with snow removal and, because it would need to be built right up against a property line, concerns for neighbors seeking screening, according to Michael Pastore, director of the New Canaan Department of Public Works. Another possibility is a design that includes a ramp between two levels, though because of that space-hogging ramp, it would yield only 61 new spaces overall—a concern given the parking crunch on that side of town, Pastore told the Board of Selectmen during a presentation of DPW’s capital budget request for next fiscal year. The best possibility—and the three “finalists” emerged from a field of eight, working with a Norwalk firm—is a standard model that includes a buffer around it to screen the parking deck from neighbors and would yield 89 new spaces, though it would not offer a connection between the on-grade and upper levels of the deck, Pastore said. “The disadvantage as some people would see—and this came up from the Parking Commission—is there is no connection between the deck and on-grade parking,” Pastore said during the meeting, held at Town Hall.

Following Feces Incident, Ongoing Problems, Town Seeks To Install New Security Cameras At Train Station

Following the discovery that at least one individual associated with a local taxi service had been living out of the New Canaan train station, complaints that cab drivers often nap on the benches inside and some rather disgusting vandalism in its bathroom that turned up over the holidays, town officials are seeking state approval to install additional video cameras both inside and outside the facility. The approximately $10,000 camera installation (the MTA already keeps its own cameras on the platform side)—to be paid for out of a fund generated by the $5 parking fees immediately adjacent to the station itself—also would help save time investigating accidents such as when CT Transit buses strike the platform canopies, according to Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Pubilc Works. “Overall, it is a hard building to manage with so many people in and out, and we need to tighten it up—as we know, with everything going on in the world, security is not a bad thing, and for police to get real-time data from the cameras is good.”

Oestmann said that some time between Christmas and the New Year, a bathroom in the station was vandalized by feces strewn all about it. In other incidents, a friend of a cabbie had been found to be living at the station, and more recently, officials discovered personal belongings stuck into the electrical cabinets on the platform, Oestmann said. Local officials do not have access to the MTA’s cameras on the platform side, and under a new security system—which will include updating locks on the doors—New Canaan police and Oestmann will be able to monitor the goings-on at the station far better, he said.