Eastern Norwalk Neighborhood Association
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Letter to the Editor:
Published in the Hour and the Norwalk Citizen-News (May 8, 2009)
I had a pleasant
surprise when I recently walked my usual route along Beacon Street just
north of the Interstate, down Strawberry Hill Avenue and over to East Avenue
picking up litter for our annual Eastern Norwalk Neighborhood Association
spring cleanup. Many more residents had picked up along the street in front
of their own houses than on prior years.
taking care of their neighborhood is contagious. Some of the side streets I
walked had no trash along the length of the street because one or two of the
residents have ‘adopted’ the street, taking on regular trash cleanup
throughout the year.
side is seeing large-scale dumping on vacant private property, or city and
state property. Although dumping is illegal and shouldn’t be happening
property owners and government departments are responsible for getting rid
of it. But they need to be notified when it happens. Residents who live
close by are the best eyes and I encourage them to make the calls, and also
notify police of witnessed dumping or other suspicious activity.
And a big thank
you to all of the volunteers who participated in the ENNA spring cleanup –
those who signed up and those whom I heard from later letting me know that
they had gone out to pick up litter on their own street or at a local park
Letter to the Editor:
Published in the Hour and the Norwalk Citizen-News (March 27, 2009)
Board of Directors of the Eastern Norwalk
Neighborhood Association congratulates Board Member and Tree Liaison
Nick Overall on his winning the first annual
Norwalk “Tree Advocate of the Year” Award.
a resident of
East Norwalk and partner in Bothwell Site Design LLC of
Norwalk, is not only a valuable asset to our board, but also to all
residents of East Norwalk. He works tirelessly to promote responsible street tree
planting and protection and
seeks to improve
Norwalk's environment. Nick
is a vocal advocate for the Norwalk Free Trees program, and he is
responsible for selecting planting sites for 10-15 free trees in Norwalk
are proud to have Nick on our Board, as our Tree Liaison, and as an advocate
for the landscape and streetscapes of
Norwalk. We invite our fellow
neighborhood associations and all residents to join us
May 16 at the Norwalk-Wilton Tree Festival in Cranbury Park when our
city honors Nick as he accepts the Tree Advocate of the Year award.
Congratulations, Nick! You truly deserve this honor.
Laurel Lindstrom ENNA President
Norwalk strip club faces
opposition from neighborhood
By Frank MacEachern
Posted: 03/11/2009 08:21:59 PM EDT
NORWALK -- The owner of a city
strip club wants to talk to a neighborhood group that has interceded in his
quest for a liquor permit.
Gene Morrell owns The Office
Cafe, at 201
Liberty Square. The establishment was previously known as
Gentlemen's Club & Spirits.
Morrell said Wednesday he wants
to work out any issues the Eastern
Norwalk Neighborhood Association has with his club.
"I'd like to meet with them,
have dinner, so we can talk about this," he said as he stood in his darkened
club at noon. "Hey, they can meet with me here if they want to."
The ENNA has filed a
"remonstrance" with the state's liquor commission opposing the club's
application for a liquor permit. The club has a provisional liquor permit
issued Nov. 3. It was granted a three-month extension on the permit Feb. 3.
Laurel Lindstrom, the
association's president, said the group isn't trying to deny the business a
liquor permit. Instead, it wants to ensure the neighborhood's concerns are
"We've given the owner a heads
up we're out there, and we do care about the neighborhood," said Lindstrom,
who also is a Common Council member. "We just wanted to really, in some
ways, get a message across, if nothing else."
She said the ENNA will discuss
whether it will meet with Morrell, but a lot depends on whether the
association learns of any problems involving the business in the coming
"That's something we are talking
about. But if we found all sorts of violations, that would take a different
direction," she said. The association met
Wednesday night, and the matter was on its agenda.
Morrell said there have been few
problems since he opened in early November.
Sgt. Andre Velez, a media
spokesman for Norwalk police, said a quick review of incident reports
revealed no major disturbances or problems at the club.
Lindstrom said there have been
complaints associated with the former ownership, when the club operated
under the Mermaids
name. The neighborhood group is tracking incidents involving the club
because of its past history, she said.
"We have done that because of a
history of disruptive kinds of activities that have gone on there,"
Lindstrom said. "This is what a
good neighborhood association
Four years ago, Mermaids had its
liquor license suspended for three days after dancers exposed
themselves. The club also was fined $4,000.
John Suchy, director of the
state's Liquor Control Division, said there had been complaints about
Mermaids, but those incidents can't be held against the new owner. "(A
hearing) has to be based on the new owner and not what has gone on before,"
Once a hearing is held, the
Liquor Control Commission
has 90 days to decide whether to issue a permit, Suchy said. No liquor
permit hearing has been scheduled for The Office Cafe.
Morrell said he wants to be a
good business owner in the neighborhood.
"We had some pretty cagey
characters in here, but I got rid of them," he said. "I want to turn this
into a gentleman's club, more upscale, because strip clubs have a bad name,
I don't even want to call it a strip club; it's going to be a gentleman's
The bar will close after Sunday
to remodel its interior. Morrell said the stage will be moved from its
location along the wall and placed inside the enlarged bar, roughly in the
center of the club. The area between the stage and the remodeled bar where
the patrons sit will be where the bartenders will work, he said.
At present, there is no barrier
between patrons, who sit on short chairs in a semicircle around the edge of
the stage, and the dancers.
Lindstrom said if her group is
satisfied the club is not causing any disruptions in the neighborhood, it
may decide not to contest the business' liquor application.
"We can always opt out of a
public hearing if we choose to. It may not be required," she said.
-- Staff Writer Frank MacEachern
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