‘He Was Like a Beacon’: New Canaanites Remember the Late Cam Hutchins

Among the many words that Whitney Williams uses to describe her friend, the late Cam Hutchins—humble, gifted, creative, solid, thoughtful, unpretentious, honest and diplomatic—is “mischievous.”

Once on a cold day during a boys soccer game, Hutchins snapped a picture of Williams as she sat bundled up in the stands in “one of those sleeping bag coats,” she recalled, with “a terrible hat on” and “screaming” with other parents while cheering on their sons, “just looking awful.”

“He took a picture of me, in particular, looking horrible,” Williams recalled with a laugh. “And every now and then, out of nowhere, this photo would just appear on my phone. He would just send it for no reason whatsoever. And I would just be like, ‘Oh my god.’ It was just his way of saying, ‘Hey, I’m just thinking about you.’ But he’s not going to send a nice picture. He’s going to send a horrible picture.”

Earlier this month, as Williams went with friends and family to visit Hutchins in hospice and say goodbye, she recalled through tears, “I said to him, ‘Cam, still the absolute worst picture I’ve ever seen of me.’ ”

”And he said, ‘I had to take a thousand pictures of you before I got a bad one.’ And I thought: That’s just so Cam.

New Canaan’s Mysogland Family Honored by STAR Inc.

New Canaan’s Ernie Mysogland describes his adult special needs daughter Jassinia as “a true sweetheart” who models his wife of 50-plus years, Susie, in her kindness. For more than 20 years, Jassinia through an area nonprofit organization with deep ties to New Canaan has worked as a bagger at the Food Emporium on Elm Street, now Acme. 

Because the Mysoglands had such a large family—11 kids—and Jassinia’s brothers and sisters brought home so many friends, she came to know all kinds of people, according to her dad. “Those people got the idea that if Jassinia was going to work at the grocery store and she was going to bag groceries, they would try to get in her lane,” Ernie Mysogland recalled Monday night, standing near his wife and daughter and addressing more than 100 STAR Inc. staff members, clients and families gathered at the organization’s Norwalk headquarters for its 67th annual meeting. “And they would say, ‘Hi Jassinia,’ and she would say, ‘Hi, how are you?’ And Jassinia, unfortunately, would let a lot of family secrets out. People would say, ‘Jassinia, how are you?

Did You Hear … ?

The New Canaan Building Department on Tuesday received an after-the-fact application from the owner of 1541 Oenoke Ridge Road who had completed an estimated $150,000 kitchen remodel without obtaining a permit. The work included installation of new cabinets, countertops and appliances, moving a sink, running a propane line and reconfiguring lighting. ***

New Canaan Police at 11:26 p.m. Monday cited a 20-year-old Norwalk man for possession of less than .5 ounces of marijuana after stopping him on East Avenue for driving with a defective brake light. ***

New Canaan High School graduate Curt Casali went 3-for-4 Thursday for the Cincinnati Reds in the team’s 5-0 win over Miami. In 16 at-bats this season, New Canaan’s first MLB player is hitting .375 with an OPS of .938.

‘An Unsung Hero’: New Canaanites Remember Jim Cole 

Saddened by news of Jim Cole’s passing this week, New Canaanites are remembering the longtime former resident as a dedicated volunteer who served the community quietly and in numerous ways while helping to shape emergency preparedness in town. A former chairman of the New Canaan Police and Fire Commissions who went on to become the town’s director and later deputy director of Emergency Management and served on its Traffic Calming Work Group, Cole died Monday in Florida, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. In calling for a moment of silence at a regular meeting of the Board of Finance on Tuesday night, Moynihan called Cole “a great friend of New Canaan” and “great volunteer” alongside his wife, Nancy Upton. Known for his deep involvement in the Congregational Church of New Canaan, local service organizations and the Community Emergency Response Team, a volunteer group known as ‘CERT,’ Cole was a widely respected expert on emergency response for whom the safety of the community was imperative, according to those who knew him. 

He not only helped plan for emergencies but also rolled up his sleeves to work hard when they struck, according to Mike Handler, New Canaan’s director of emergency management. Handler called Cole “a remarkable guy” who “took community engagement and involvement to a different level” not only as a volunteer but also as a great recruiter who was “fiercely loyal” to those who gave of their time as he did.

Did You Hear … ?

The town received a notice of intent to sue from a New Canaan man injured when his Vespa presumably skidded out on Lambert Road one morning in June. At about 7:04 a.m. on June 12 (a Tuesday), he sustained “permanent injuries” including an ankle fracture and knee sprain, due to “deposits of gravel and/or sand and/or a slippery oil like substance upon Lambert Road which was open to traffic and concerning which no warnings or cautions were posted,” according to a notice filed Aug. 2 by attorney James Hyland, a partner in Hamden-based Mulvey, Oliver, Gould & Crotta. The man was traveling at or below the speed limit, the notice said. ***

The Planning & Zoning Commission on Tuesday voted 8-1 to approve Grace Farms for 12 events at the Lukes Wood Road organization to be auctioned off as fundraising items during its annual benefit in October.