Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Green

There is absolutely no question whatsoever that our Green is beautiful.  But let's calm down a bit about the Atrium and put it into perspective (no pun intended).  Some beautiful structures line the Green's East Side but the pictures that follow show a swath of ill-fitting, non-New England structures on the West Side.  In fact, there are only three buildings on the West Side that have any charm or historical meaning: the building that houses Tivoli, the Bank building and the Cramer and Anderson property.  Remember that a huge fire destroyed most of the West side long  ago.  Have a look at  the other properties and tell me that they're what you have in mind when you think of the Green:

Sunday, November 20, 2011


The rendering submitted to Zoning:

A view of the interior of the unfinished structure:

A couple of locals celebrate the new addition:

Charles Raymond: Hypocrisy At Its Worst.

Tivoli's new construction in New Milford has awakened one of the Town's most destructive, checkered and costly pieces of its past. Charlie Raymond's letter in last week's Spectrum was appalling.  How dare he criticize the Zoning Commission when he and his cronies did so little to help guide the Town into the 21st Century and did so much to stymie the Town's progress?

I'll never forget the very first Meeting that I attended in New Milford.  It was at a Meeting of the Zoning Commission that I saw then Chairman George Doring -- leaning back in his chair, hands clasped behind his head in his typical manner -- belittle a female applicant in his soft-spoken, quiet fashion to the point that she later cried in the hallway.  It was there that I saw Charlie Raymond at his flank, joining in the fray and clearly enjoying his exercise of power.  It was there that I saw Larry Greenspan, perhaps somewhat oblivious to the subtlety of what was happening, but nevertheless a participant in the negativity.  So this was my first exposure to New Milford government, nasty to its taxpayers.  As time passed, these three repeatedly said "NO!" to just about every application that seemed to make sense for a growing Town.  A Town that was watching huge changes take place in the world around it and refused to step up and take positive, progressive steps to prepare for its future.   The "Say No!" attitude of these three and their wholesale zoning ignorance cost the Town millions of dollars in lost opportunities and we are still suffering from their poor decisions.

Today, Charlie Raymond attacks the Zoning Commission of which he was once an unfortunate part.  With regard to Tivoli's new construction, he wrote in his letter that the Commission "Has failed the Town dismally." No, Charlie.  It was YOU that failed the Town miserably.  It was YOU that made its job today so difficult.  It was YOU that left the Commission the arduous task of struggling with the results of the opportunities that YOU gleefully rejected.  It was YOU that said no to major retailers and other development on Route 7.  The Members of our Zoning Commission work hard at their volunteer job and are doing service for the right reason.             

The fact that Charlie Raymond makes comments about the Tivoli atrium before it's finished speaks volumes about the man. Here's the analysis: attacks, jumps to conclusions, pre-judges.  Just like he did on the Zoning Commission!

Let's put the Atrium debate into perspective.

The Zoning Commission seeks advice from the New Milford Trust for Historic Preservation on all Village Center applications.  The voice of the Trust is Pat Greenspan.  My friend Tom Pilla, the former owner of the Tivoli building and corner lot, said, "Pat's knowledge of the Downtown has been invaluable to the Commission."  Tivoli's Application for the Atrium received her approval as did many improvements to the building that houses the restaurant.  Tommy received a Citation from the Trust for the many improvements that he made to the building during his two decades of ownership.  

Once upon a time, the lot on which the Atrium is being built was occupied by a Mobil gas station, replete with a 40-foot revolving sign.  After years of being boarded up and unsightly, its removal -- both gas station and sign -- were hailed by the Zoning Commission.  This was followed by years of environmental reclamation to enhance groundwater quality.  "Now after all this we have a debate about this Atrium," Tommy said. 

The owners of Tivoli's have created a very successful business in Town. The restaurant is full every night, especially the patio.  It is tastefully decorated and, as a resident said, "Tivoli's brings some class to the Town.  It's not collecting garbage and it's well maintained.  Sometimes I wonder if people are resentful of success."

I say give Tivoli's a chance.  Wait until the Atrium is finished before making a judgment.  To Mr. Raymond, I say, stay in Roxbury and stay out of our hair. We don't need your comments.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

Invitation to Swearing-In Ceremony

FOI Workshop Open to All Residents

Town Attorney Randy DiBella will be conducting the Workshop;  he's a great speaker and an expert on FOI.  I encourage all readers to take advantage of this.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

From Public Works: Town Wide Brush Removal

"Town Wide Storm Related Brush removal will begin on Saturday November 12th. Residents on Town roads should place their brush ASAP within the right of way- DO NOT obstruct any emergency structures or sight lines. The contractor will make two separate sweeps of the Town beginning on November 12th and the second pick up will be finished by the beginning of December. The objective is to have the debris removed ASAP before the another snow falls. We can not give out details as to when your road will be done. The public area of the Century Enterprise Center that has been open for brush drop off will close on Thursday November 10th at 4:30pm so the contractor can begin work."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Republicans Sweep New Milford Election!

Town Council: Failla, Buck-Taylor, Francis, Bass, Esposito, O'Brien, Wargo, Lundgren, Mullen (6-3)
Board of Finance:    Tripp, Falder, Pruss
Board of Education:    Shook, Nichols, Brant, Shaffer, Lawson
Board of Assessment Appeals:    Brandt
Planning:    Girardot, Waterman, Rush
Zoning (4 year term):   Florio, Volinski, Ward
Zoning (2 year term):    Scorza
Zoning Board of Appeals:    Bogie, Huntington


Town Council:  Republicans and Democrats Bayer and Wargo.  You do NOT have to vote for 9

Board of Finance:  Beth Falder, Shelly Pruss

ZBA: Charles Bogie

Monday, November 7, 2011

Vote Tomorrow!

Town Council:  Republicans and Democrats Bayer and Wargo.  You do NOT have to vote for 9. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Wendy LaCava: Some New Milford Athletic Policies Need To Be Changed

Hello and Good Evening All,

I am sending this email around because I think that a few changes need to be made regarding policies in the school system and I need your help - on more than one count as there a few topics that need attention.  Please give me a moment of time and read below.

Being on the sidelines of so many games of so many sports for many years I have made a few observations and also gotten into a few discussions here and there on things that need changing.  I have four sons aged 16 - 4 who play soccer and lacrosse.  I have been involved in NMYL and SCNM for years and followed so many of our high school athletes from those fields right up through to their high school careers and beyond.  I know sports are not everything but being a part of a team and having a great experience / season - it teaches alot of lessons , builds character and coaches spend more time with our children than any one teacher on any given school day.  I think that paying attention to our athletic program is important.

1.  As you all know the weather is crazy!  And when school is cancelled or dismissed early no school related functions or practices are allowed to be held. Normally this might not be a problem as it might be one day here or there, however, a high school team was not allowed to play all week going into the SWC Championships or the States this past week.  Surrounding area teams were allowed to practice - and did so - all week.  This did not just affect us - the teams in the SWC could not play on Saturday solely because of our schools rules. I know not everyone is a soccer fan or has a soccer student but what if this situation came during football playoffs, wrestling states, band competitions, swimming meets, lacrosse or track....  if it was your team and you saw all other districts around you training and you could not because of school policy - and you were in the running for a title - would you want the policy changed?

I think we need to change policy to allow the teams to practice outside of school if necessary if school is cancelled.This situation was extreme - we were out for a whole week - but it is October - and we had a bad winter last year. I think it is time to represent ourselves as parents of athletes and see if we can change the policy so if another situation like this arises our teams can practice and be ready for competition.

2.  The first line of business should be the above stated policy change but the second topic that I would like to address is advertising at the school - mainly at the fields.  If this policy is reversed and advertising allowed - the money should be earmarked for sports and I believe that should include band - and we need to get turf in the school with that money and take care of our student athletes. Student athletes are dedicated and hardworking.  They spend hours a day training in season.  It would feel so good to change some of these policies to allow for them to thrive at NMHS.  I know that the booster club and a few really dedicated individuals have been working tirelessly to try and make turf happen.  But what if one policy change could help speed that up.  I think this is an issue that will
need representation and I believe it is time to start making the change.  If we make it now.  If we stand up now - then our children can benefit from this in a not too distant future.  The athletic department does not even receive the gate money charged at games - that goes into the general fund.

I am not sure where everyone stands regarding advertising.  I went to Pomperaug recently for a soccer game and they have advertising on their fields and it is so well done.  I have been to many schools across the state and even other states over the past 15 years and seen advertising at many of them. Signs and fields are sponsored by big companies and it is well done.  I am not sure how to start this one - but I feel like there are benefits to allowing advertising and I think it is a topic that should be explored more thoroughly and a policy that needs review at the very least.

So what I am asking is that you come to the board meeting on Tuesday, November 8 - it is at Sarah Noble School at 7:30 pm. Please come - and bring friends and neighbors - let your teams know and get the kids there.  Please come and show our numbers. Any parent whose child plays a sport at NMHS or will in the spring - or will in the future!  Even if your kids are younger - come and help us make these changes now so your children will benefit from them.  If I included you in this email and you are not interested I am sorry.  You can just delete.  I tried to copy in people who might be passionate about making some changes and who might come and stand up with me on Tuesday night. I really need some numbers...

For two years as the Schaghticoke PTO President I got the message - if you don't like something come to the meetings!  COME TO THE BOARD MEETINGS! Come and speak - be heard and stand up.  I heard - don't complain and then do nothing about it - Come to the board meetings!  So when I heard about the team that couldn't practice and when I saw all of the other teams right here in our town practicing, when I started hearing the story unfold .. I wanted to give a voice to that team - and NMHS sports teams in total.  Because I know these kids.  I know the parents.  I know how hard they have worked all season.

I know that a policy change can make a difference - could have made a difference this past week and it can in the future. By going to the meetings and speaking on these two matters - with support of people who believe the same - I think we can make changes. At the very least, we can together make a start at the changes we want to see for our student athletes.

I know that Tuesday will be the beginning - as policies don't typically change overnight - so I would like to get a petition started if you are interested in either of these changes. I will have it with me on Tuesday night so if you want to be represented but can't stay please come by and sign.  And if you are interested in taking a petition and having your team / parents sign it - I have one attached here.  [ed. note: I have not posted the Petition but I will, if asked].

You can have it filled out and mail it to :  Wendy LaCava, 103 Washington Ridge Road, New Milford.

Please forward this to anyone who you feel might be able to take a little time out of their Tuesday night to come to the meeting. Please forward to anyone whom you think might be interested in either of these issues!   Please forward to your team / teammates.  Please help get the word out.  And if you can - please come to the meeting.  You will make a difference.  I am going to address these two topics and attend- so please consider it!!!!!  Thank you so much!

Wendy LaCava

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

URGENT UPDATE: Railroad Crossing Work to Commence Tuesday, November 8

Mike Zarba, Director of Public Works, told me a few  moments ago that as a result of telephone conversations he had this morning with representatives from DOT and the Housatonic Railroad, work on the crossing will start on Tuesday, November 8 and end on Thursday, November 10.  He explained that this is due to the DOT's and Housatonic Railroad's heavy workload caused by storm damage.

Work On Train Crossing Begins Tomorrow, Not Today

The storm caused a lot of damage on Boardman Road and cleanup will be completed today.  Because Boardman will be crucial to rerouted traffic, the work on Bridge Street at the railroad crossing will be begin tomorrow, not today as originally planned.  The crossing will be closed tomorrow through and including Friday for repairs. 

Drivers may cross the Bridge coming East but they will have to make a left onto either Youngsfield or Patriot's Way.  If coming West, the last means of exiting Bridge Street will be a right turn onto Railroad Street.