Top-10 Stories of 2017


I want to say Thank You to all of our readers, newsletter subscribers, advertisers and community supporters—2017 was a very big year for, and none of this happens without you.

This year, I moved into an office that has a window (please come by and say hello, 140 Elm St.) as the site set new highs in traffic and engagement, with a 14.5 percent rise year-over-year in pageviews, 640 events submitted to our community calendar and 1,697 comments approved.

We’ve seen such high demand for our monthly Community Coffee that I’m now looking to hold it twice per month, and as our newsletter subscribers will learn Friday morning, we’ve appointed an Editorial Board to help guide opinion pieces on We hit our all-time traffic high for a single month seven times in 2017, capped in November.

Here’s a look back at the most-read stories of the year.

Stickman66 pic swimming pool Wikimedia Commons

Swimming pool water. Credit: Stickman66 on Wikimedia Commons

10. Chilling Details of New Canaan Boy’s Drowning Emerge in Arrest Warrant Application — The 10th-most-read article broke news about what evidence police had gathered, through video surveillance as well as interviews, about a young man from New Canaan that they would charge with a felony in connection with the Aug. 3 nonfatal drowning of a local boy at Chelsea Piers in Stamford.

The patio area out front of Pine Street Concessions, which opens June 21. Credit: Michael Dinan

9. Wood-Fired Pizza Place, Japanese Noodle Shop, Fresh Salads and More: Pine Street Concessions Opens Wednesday — The news about what vendors were opening in the widely anticipated “Pine Street Concessions” eatery in New Canaan was the 9th-most-read story of 2017.

Jack Joyce. Photo courtesy of the New Canaan Police Department

8. Three Darien Teens Arrested after Assault in New Canaan; Trio Includes At Least Two DHS Football Players — The 8th-most-read article of the year was published the night before Thanksgiving, as three Darien High School teens were charged in connection with an assault earlier in November. Two of those arrested were star football players on the Blue Wave varsity team, and the Darien High School squad would fall 27-0 to New Canaan during the Turkey Bowl the next day.

A Bernese mountain dog puppy. By MarcellDuchardt – Own work (Original text: Eigene Fotografie), Public Domain,

7. Police: Owner of Dog, Subject of Neglect Investigation, Nonresponsive to New Complaints of Roaming — As anticipated, cries from some on social media and our own comment thread that an article about a roaming Bernese mountain dog on Devonwood Lane was unfair drove enough traffic to the story that it ended up in our top-10 most-read for the year. In this case, the dog’s owner was cited for allowing a dog to roam and issued two tickets for failure to license the animal.

Kevin Moynihan moments after learning he won election to first selectman of New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

6. Kevin Moynihan Wins New Canaan First Selectman Race by 33 Votes [UPDATED] — The closely contested race for New Canaan’s highest-elected official drew thousands of readers. Ultimately, Kevin Moynihan prevailed over Kit Devereaux, by a .6 percent margin.


NCPD. Credit: Michael Dinan

5. ‘I Don’t Want Cops in My House’: Interfering Charge for New Canaan Man, 59, in Oenoke Ridge Underage Drinking Party Case; Felony Charge for Teenage Son — The 5th-most-read story of the year involved one of many underage drinking parties in New Canaan. In this one, held at an Oenoke Ridge Road home, a senior whose parents were out to dinner had dozens of teens in the house, one of whom fell and seriously injured himself.

The New Canaan Police Department on South Avenue. Credit: Michael Dinan

4. ‘Patio and Lawn Covered in Vomit’: New Canaan Dad, Son, Daughter Arrested after Underage Drinking Party — Another underage drinking party, this one on Ponus Ridge and held at the very end of May, saw a father, son and daughter all charged by New Canaan Police.

Robert and Elizabeth Jansen on Thanksgiving Day in 2010. Contributed: Elizabeth Jansen

3. ‘So Much Stronger Than I Thought I Was’: NCHS ’09 Grad Jansen Goes the Distance for the Memory of Late Brother — This story by New Canaanite contributor Jes Sauerhoff, about a local girl’s journey to reconciling the untimely death of her brother, was the third-most-read article of 2017.

Paul Mauk launched Tequila Mockingbird in 1993. He recently sold the restaurant, which is expected to continue just as it is. Credit: Michael Dinan

2. Tequila Mockingbird on Forest Street Is Sold; Chef-Owner Paul Mauk To Leave at Summer’s End — The second-most-read article on in 2017 broke the news that downtown favorite and mainstay Tequila Mockingbird had been sold and chef-owner Paul Mauk would leave.

Scenes from the Sept. 17, 2017 Caffeine & Carburetors in downtown New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

1. ‘A Pit Stop’: Organizers Rule Out ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ in 2017 — The single most-read article of 2017 came early, on Jan. 3, when we broke the news that the hugely popular gathering of specialty and classic car enthusiasts—Doug Zumbach’s ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’—would not be held this year. Though ultimately a single date in September was set for a C&C downtown—the biggest, most anticipated event ever, drawing thousands—the news that Zumbach and C&C’s founders had “hit pause” on the popular event was the most-read story of the year.

4 thoughts on “Top-10 Stories of 2017

  1. Congratulations to you, Michael, for a job well done! The New Canaanite is the first thing I read every morning. Best wishes for continuing on the same trajectory in 2018!

  2. Michael
    Your success is well deserved. You understand what the town was, as well as what it is now. Like any business, the guy in charge is the key. You know what matters to the people who live here. To be totally honest, I never even knew about your site until you wrote the piece about me. Now, even if I am traveling, you are on my list of sites I visit every morning for news from my old home town. You are the source of news for New Canaan. A good guy who tells a good story. You and your site are part of the future of New Canaan. All the best Paul Mauk

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