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.

Connecticut Beaches No. 17 In Water Quality

Jul 3, 2013
Hakaider - Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut's beach water quality ranks 17 out of 30 states, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. 

State environmental officials say those findings, like many states, are heavily dependent on weather conditions. 

"The issue in Connecticut is more of a storm runoff issue," said Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Stamford residents protest Bridgewater project

Jun 20, 2013
Dru Nadler

Governor Dannel Malloy is going forward with plans to move Bridgewater Associates to Stamford. But some local residents have been working hard to delay that project. They expressed their opposition in a public hearing in Stamford this week.

Governor Malloy’s plan is to give the hedge fund Bridgewater more than $100 million in tax breaks to move from its current location in Westport to Stamford.

Stamford Residents Protest Bridgewater Project

Jun 20, 2013
Dru Nadler

Governor Dannel Malloy is going forward with plans to move Bridgewater Associates to Stamford. But some local residents have been working hard to delay that project. They expressed their opposition in a public hearing in Stamford this week.

Governor Malloy’s plan is to give the hedge fund Bridgewater more than $100 million in tax breaks to move from its current location in Westport to Stamford.

Coastal Communities Adapt to Change

Jun 18, 2013
Mike Gambina

As the region prepares for a new hurricane season, Connecticut’s shoreline is still suffering from the devastation of previous storms. Irene and Sandy have changed the nature of coastal neighborhoods in Fairfield County.

Fairfield Beach is a neighborhood in transition. Along entire stretches of this town’s coast you can see five, ten houses in a row that have been boarded up or marked for demolition with red paint. And then, right next door, life seems normal. With some small exceptions.

School districts across Connecticut are wrestling with how to implement  the new Common Core state standards, which mean changes to the way teachers teach reading and math along with new computer-based tests. 

The transition is expected to take place over the next year and a half. But some districts say that time frame may be hard to meet.

The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math. The goal is to ensure that  students have the skills they need for success in college and careers. 

Connecticut Lags in Use of Sandy Relief Dollars

May 30, 2013

More than six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state region and many people are still struggling. Money from the congressional Sandy relief bill is already helping those in New York and New Jersey. But Connecticut lags behind.

In Fairfield Beach, you can hear the constant whir of construction. Some recently raised homes look like they’re standing on long stilts 12 or 14 feet above ground. Many others are marked for demolition or are already empty lots.

On some streets, things look normal, until --

Connecticut lags behind in use of Sandy relief dollars

May 30, 2013

More than six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state region and many people are still struggling. Money from the congressional Sandy relief bill is already helping those in New York and New Jersey. But Connecticut lags behind.

In Fairfield Beach, you can hear the constant whir of construction. Some recently raised homes look like they’re standing on long stilts 12 or 14 feet above ground. Many others are marked for demolition or are already empty lots.

On some streets, things look normal, until --

Four Danbury police officers have been placed on administrative leave over the alleged verbal harassment of an undocumented driver. The traffic stop was recorded on a cell phone.

During a March 9th traffic stop, Danbury police allegedly subjected the driver -  an undocumented immigrant – to a long, verbally abusive tirade. A recording of the incident circulated among other police officers. Then in April, a complaint was filed.

After an internal investigation, Chief of Police Alan Baker says he referred four police officers to Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton.

Monday's Commute: Carmageddon Avoided

May 23, 2013

Metro-North railroad has announced it will restore full service to the New Haven line on Wednesday. While many commuters heeded pleas to avoid rush hour travel on Monday, some didn’t have a choice or decided to brave it anyway -- including me. 

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

ArtsieAspie (Flickr Creative Commons)

Britain's Prince Harry capped his week-long trip to the U.S. by winning a charity polo match at a star-studded event in Connecticut.

The prince's team won 4-3 after he scored a game-tying goal Wednesday afternoon at the Greenwich Polo Club.  Polo is a sport long associated with the British upper crust, but there are polo clubs playing matches right here in Connecticut.  Joining us by phone is  Andrew Flint, he's a veterinarian, and is a member of the Giant Valley Polo Club in Hamden.

Dru Nadler

Coastal towns in Connecticut are already gearing up for another hurricane season less than a month away. This is the second of a three-part series examining vulnerable areas on Connecticut's shore. 

Yesterday I visited Morris Cove, one of New Haven’s most desirable neighborhoods right on Long Island Sound. Now, we head to a very different residential area on Connecticut’s coastline.

Chion Wolf

A group of parents in Darien have filed a complaint against the school district, alleging that their children with learning disabilities have not been getting the services they are supposed to. It’s just one of many examples of parents fighting through a hard-to-navigate system, one where schools say they’re struggling to find the money to pay for learning disabled students.

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.

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