‘Is This Really the Year?’: Councilman Flags $35,000 Request for NCHS Club Sports in Proposed Budget

A proposal that would create a way for New Canaan High School club sports to apply for some public financial support through the district was met last week with a raised eyebrow from at least one town funding bodies’ member concerned about its scope and timing. Town Councilman Jim Kucharczyk during a budget presentation last week called the $35,000 that the Board of Education is seeking to set aside for a pilot program “a nontrivial amount.”

“In a year where we are already funding a major renovation project at Saxe” and facing a required, steep increase in healthcare costs in the district, Kucharczyk said he would “raise the question: Is this really the year we need to allocate $35,000 with everything else that’s going on to the fencing and ski teams?”

His comments, made during New Canaan Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s Feb. 2 budget presentation to the Town Council and Board of Finance, address a proposed new policy (embedded in full as a PDF at the end of this article) that the Board of Education supported by way of including the additional $35,000 in its final proposed spending plan. Sports such as squash are not part of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, or CIAC, because not enough public high schools in the state have a team. That often relegates a sport to private funding only in New Canaan, because it means the district’s Athletic Department cannot offer funds, and the bylaws of the New Canaan High School All Sports Booster Club only allow disbursement of funds to CIAC sports.

Did You Hear … ?

The Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday night unanimously approved a special permit application that Silver Hill Hospital filed more than two years ago in order to use a home at 225 Valley Road as a residential medical treatment facility. The approval follows months of discussion between the psychiatric hospital and neighbors, as well as a legal dispute with the town, and comes with a set of five conditions agreed upon by Silver Hill and a neighborhood group, and seven additional conditions between the institution and one contiguous neighbor. ***

An out-of-state property preservation and maintenance company appears to have winterized the long-vacant, antique home at 4 Main St. Historic District officials have expressed concern that the 1870-built Greek Revival-style house on God’s Acre could be a case of “demolition by neglect” and invoked the prospect of a blight citation there. In July, a civil court issued a judgment of foreclosure by sale on the property, according to records on file with the Connecticut Judicial Branch.

Did You Hear … ?

Police have told an out-of-town man to keep his 5-year-old female golden-doodle out of the dog park at Waveny until he gets the animal spayed. The dog (her name is Amber) is in heat and on a recent weekday evening her owner upset other Spencer’s Run users when he got angry about male dogs in the park trying to mount her. We’re hearing that the man grabbed the male dogs and yanked them off of his fetching female, as though it was their fault. Officials say that if the out-of-towner returns with the dog un-spayed, he’ll be ticketed and his PIN number to enter Spencer’s Run revoked. ***

Though the property owner at the Bank of America building on Elm Street could not be reached for comment after town officials blasted the condition of the planters out front, he appears to have taken at least one major step toward addressing the problem. Within days of a meeting of the Plan of Conservation & Development Implementation Committee that saw some members refer to the area as a “non-garden,” a crew appeared in the morning to install new flowers, topsoil, gravel and plants there.

NCHS Squash Players Receive Honors; Grayson Bubrosky FairWest All American

Grayson Bubrosky, a senior who plays #1 for the NCHS Boys Varsity Squash team, and will be playing squash for the University of Virginia next year, has been named the US Squash FairWest League All American for 2015. The US Squash All American has to first be nominated by their coach and approved by the FairWest All American committee and then is looked at for their overall level of play for the season. Factors that are taken into account include: US Squash ranking, FairWest (NCHS) league matches, match scores at the US High School Team Squash Championships, conduct, and dedication to fulfilling all team and league requirements. The FairWest All American committee researches multiple sources of information on all nominees and votes to approve one nomination which is sent to US Squash for final approval. In addition to this honor, Grayson was also recognized by US Squash as a Scholar Athlete which requires a GPA of at least 3.5 and participation in a certain number of US Squash sanctioned tournaments and matches.

NCHS Boys Varsity Squash #2 Public High School Team in Country; Wins FairWest Cup

It has been a big year for New Canaan High School Squash. The Boys Varsity team finished as the #2 public high school team in the country and 27th overall in the U.S. (among both private and public schools) at the U.S. High School Team Squash Championships in February. Then the Boy’s Varsity Squash team concluded their winning season by defeating Bronxville High School to win the FairWest Cup. The FairWest Cup tournament was held on February 28th at Chelsea Piers in Stamford and represented the culminating event of the FairWest season. Teams from Greenwich, Bronxville, Darien, Rye and Fairfield competed in three Divisions.