Fairfield Region

Our Fairfield Region coverage includes stories about all the towns in the Greater Fairfield area, ranging from Sherman, New Fairfield and Brookfield to Shelton, Stratford, Bridgeport, Stamford and Greenwich.

Opposition Grows to Bridgewater Project in Stamford

Apr 29, 2013

Controversy is heating up over a plan by the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to move from Westport to Stamford - with the help of taxpayer dollars. But Stamford officials are under increasing pressure to get it done.

(Read more in the Connecticut Mirror at ctmirror.org). 

Controversy is heating up over a plan by the hedge fund Bridgewater Associates to move from Westport to Stamford - with the help of taxpayer dollars. But Stamford officials are under increasing pressure to get it done.

Sujata Srinivasan

Almost six months after Superstorm Sandy, some businesses are still fighting to get back on their feet. Pop’s Grocery, a 52-year-old corner store in Bridgeport, was inundated by floodwater during the storm. As part of her series on recovery after Sandy, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan went back to visit.

Sujata Srinivasan

Almost six months after Superstorm Sandy, some businesses are still fighting to get back on their feet. Pop’s Grocery, a 52-year-old corner store in Bridgeport, was inundated by floodwater during the storm. As part of her series on recovery after Sandy, WNPR’s Sujata Srinivasan went back to visit.

Alex (Wikimedia Commons)

We talk a lot about cities and urban planning on Where We Live - the way cities work, fit together, breathe and function.

But when it gets right down to it, I’m viewing the city structure from my “liberal arts” background - not using math to “crunch the numbers” about what makes a city.

The December massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School has led to calls for increased police presence in Connecticut schools.  Lawmakers heard testimony Friday on a measure concerning school-based arrests.

The bill aims to reduce the number of students arrested at school for low-level, non-violent offenses.  Schools would be required to report the number of arrests, and boards of ed would have to have written agreements with local police departments detailing the role of law enforcement in their schools. 

Sean Marshall (Flickr Creative Commons)

Officials from towns in Fairfield and New Haven counties got a crash course on transit oriented development.

Roger Reynolds is the senior staff attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He helped create the toolkit and he gave us a crash course on TOD.

Reynolds says taking a TOD will create more of a community and use the resources that we already have.

Sean Marshall / Creative Commons

Officials from towns in Fairfield and New Haven counties got a crash course on transit oriented development.

Roger Reynolds is the senior staff attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. He helped create the toolkit and he gave us a crash course on TOD.

Reynolds says taking a TOD will create more of a community and use the resources that we already have.

North Carolina and the famous Wright brothers are known for being “first in flight.” But Connecticut has been in an ongoing battle for that status. Some historians argue that German immigrant Gustave Whitehead made the first flight in 1901 in Bridgeport. New research this week provides more evidence in favor of Whitehead.

Governor Dannel Malloy rolled out new and aggressive proposals on gun control today. He and Vice President Joe Biden spoke at a conference in Danbury on gun violence. As WNPR’s The calls for harsher gun restrictions were emotional and, for some, unexpected.

A new report looks at the experiences of undocumented students at 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the US.  The study calls on institutions of higher education to improve policies that affect undocumented students.

Of the 65,000 undocumented students who graduate from high school each year, only about 5 to 10% go on to higher education. A new report finds inconsistency in the way colleges and universities manage undocumented students.

City of Bridgeport

Many of Bridgeport’s residents are complaining that city plows never made it to their streets after last week’s blizzard. But once the snow melts, the city will be left to deal with the promise of more storms and danger to its coastline. That will be a challenge, since mayor Bill Finch has staked economic development on bringing people back to the water.

Tim Coffey

Many of Connecticut's sewer treatment plants are in need of upgrades because of aging infrastructure.  But in the city of Stamford, some observers are blaming an ambitious "waste to energy" plan for taking the city's focus away from needed upgrades. In part 2 of a series about problems with Stamford’s sewer treatment plant,

Tim Coffey

Aging infrastructure is taking its toll on Connecticut’s sewer treatment plants. But in Stamford, that problem has been coupled with years of mismanagement that could cost state and local taxpayers dearly, and is creating problems for Stamford Harbor and Long Island Sound.

I’m standing in front of a huge water tank that’s 130 feet in diameter. And I’m with Bill Degnan, supervisor of Stamford’s sewer treatment plant. The plant treats an average of 17 million gallons of water a day in Stamford and Darien.

Transportation advocates and officials across Connecticut gathered in the state capitol Monday to ask some tough questions about how the state will pay for badly-needed transit upgrades. Commuters themselves will probably have to chip in.

On the national level, we’re looking either at a “fiscal cliff” meltdown with big spending cuts or possible tax increases. Here in Connecticut, the state’s own money problems seem to be getting worse each day. So where does that leave funding for transportation?

For Bridgeport, Post-Sandy Life Still A Struggle

Dec 10, 2012

Superstorm Sandy took a heavy toll on residents of public and low-income housing in Bridgeport. Those living near the water are faced with rebuilding as well as trying to prepare for the next storm. But they simply can’t afford to do both.

Debris still litters the front yards of Seaside Village in Bridgeport. It’s the second year in a row that resident Mariela Wilches has lost her washer, drier, water heater and furnace. Not only does she have to replace them all again, she has to pay rent to live somewhere while she has no heat.

Rant & Rail: The Plight of a Train Station Parker

Nov 19, 2012

Metro-North ridership is at its highest ever in Connecticut, but for many of these new passengers, driving – and parking – are still a part of their daily commute.

Dru Nadler

I don’t normally think of commuting as an adventure. But it did seem a little like one yesterday morning as people got word that they could finally take the train from Stamford into Manhattan once again. Trumbull resident Brian Keane usually commutes from Westport into the city. Today, he drove to Stamford’s train station – and was ready for a little adventure when it came to parking.

“I actually have a bike in my car, because I figured if there wasn’t any parking, I’d park up on Bedford Street and bike down," he told me.

As Funding Dwindles, So May Public Disclosure

Oct 15, 2012

As state and local governments deal with bigger deficits and less appetite for big spending, they’re asking the private sector to get more involved in construction projects. But as WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, that could mean a less open process.

Commuters will have a chance to weigh in on state plans to rebuild a parking garage at the Stamford train station tonight. But since the names of potential developers and their plans will be kept a secret, no one’s sure what they’ll be able to weigh in on. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

Fred S.C. Li

Today we're broadcasting from one of the cultural meccas of Fairfield County - a waterside aquarium that hosts a half-millionlion visitors each year.  Among other things, they have exhibits of seals and fish, and lots of stuff for kids. 

Four times a year, WNPR's Small Business Project goes on the road to take the pulse of small business in our state.  Today, we'll be visiting with business leaders from the shoreline to talk about something that's unavoidably important this year: the politics of small business.

The operating permit for Connecticut’s lone coal-fired power plant in Bridgeport was renewed yesterday, after the state received record amounts of public comment.

No one expected the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to deny a permit renewal for the Bridgeport Harbor Coal Plant.

Still, more than 150 people attended a public hearing on the issue in May and more than a hundred local businesses in Bridgeport have publicly supported closing the plant.

Scott Bauer (Wikimedia Commons)

As Lyme disease continues to spread across New England and into parts of the Midwest, more than 100 people gathered in Stamford on Thursday morning, August 30, to discuss ways to fight it. Senator Richard Blumenthal, who hosted the hearing, is proposing that Congress create an advisory committee on tick-borne related diseases that can help advocate for better diagnosing and prevention: “We share a common concern with a disease that has really reached epidemic proportions.

Will the Future of Rail Travel Include Metro-North?

Aug 27, 2012
WalkingGeek (Flickr Creative Commons)

There’s talk of Hartford to New York in half an hour. New York to Boston in 90 minutes. Tunnels under the Long Island Sound zipping trains across the region. It’s exciting stuff. But here in Connecticut, many are saying, ‘wait a minute. First thing’s first.’

“We don’t have money today to run the railroad that we operate – or try to operate – today," says Jim Cameron.

Neena Satija

A mattress recycling factory in Bridgeport is bringing jobs to those who need them – while disposing mattresses in an environmentally-friendly way. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on Park City Green.

44-year-old Angel Morales is surrounded by piles and piles of old mattresses. His job is to deconstruct them using his hands and a utility blade.

YVSREDDY (Wikimedia Commons)

Stamford is ramping up efforts to test private wells for potentially cancer-causing pesticides that may be in the water. But getting the word out is a slow process, and so far, surrounding towns haven’t shown much concern.

Neena Satija

For years, Danbury has tried to revitalize its downtown to become a vibrant, walkable community where people want to live. City officials held a meeting with the community last week to talk about their efforts, and many say a more welcoming environment towards immigrants is a big part of the solution.

There was seating for 120 people here at the 2 Steps Downtown Bar and Grille; 150 showed up for a meeting about downtown revitalization. Many were residents saying they want a reason to live downtown.

Bridgeport Landing Development, LLC

Decades ago, there was a steel mill on this 50-acre property. After that a power plant was built; then that was demolished too. About 100 families lived here; they were torn down in the 1990s to make way for a redevelopment that never happened. Now all you can see is an empty stretch of grass with a prominent sign that reads Steelpointe Harbor. That’s Steelpointe with an ‘e’ at the end.

Employers in cities across the country are requesting visas for high skilled foreign workers. As WNPRs Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the demand has increased in the last decade according to the Brookings Institution.

This is the first time a report has looked at the local demand for foreign workers who receive H1-B visas to legally work in the U.S.

Senior Research Analyst at the Brookings Institution, Jill Wilson says the visa is widely requested by employers across the U.S not just those in the Silicon valley or NYC.

Seth Tisue (Wikimedia Commons)

Delegates from more than 120 governments around the world gathered in a small seaside town in Uruguay this past week.  A Fairfield University Associate Professor was there to observe the continuing negotiations toward a global treaty reducing mercury emissions to the environment.

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