ESP News

2010 Census Shows Large Population Growth in East Side Stamford

STAMFORD—The number of people living in Waterside, the northern collar of downtown and portions of the East Side grew by more than 15 percent over the past decade, according to the 2010 Census.

The finding was one of several that stood out in an analysis of the census figures by tract.
Of all city areas, Tract 217, associated with a section of the East Side bounded by Greyrock Place and Myrtle Avenue, saw the greatest population growth, 23 percent, or an addition of 1,377 residents. It now becomes the city’s most populated neighborhood, with 7,354 residents.

In 2000, the largest number of city residents were living in a North Stamford tract bordering New York state and New Canaan.

The decennial survey shows four tracts shrank by varying degrees — the eastern half of the West Side, central downtown, a swath bordering Interstate 95, including parts of the East Side and Glenbrook, and Westover.

The West Side, which lost 615 residents, had the most sizable decrease, 9 percent. It was followed by a tract in the heart of downtown, which saw a loss of 9 percent. The other two tracts saw smaller decreases. Westover, for example, lost half a percent of its 2000 population.

Overall, the city grew by nearly 5 percent, adding 5,560 residents for a total of 122,643. The latest count allowed Stamford to preserve its ranking as the state’s fourth-largest city.
Since their release in early March, city officials have been dissecting the census results. In addition to determining levels of federal funding, population shifts shown by the data effects legislative redistricting.

While it is difficult to pinpoint reasons for some of the dramatic shifts, Todd Dumais, an associate planner in the city’s land use bureau, speculated that lost population in the West Side might be attributed to redevelopment efforts by Stamford Hospital and the city’s housing authority.

Since 2007, the hospital has acquired about 45 residential properties toward its expansion. The housing authority in 2008 demolished Fairfield Court, an aging 144-unit public housing project, as part of a plan to replace the units with less dense mixed-income developments spread across the West Side.

The population explosion in part of the East Side reflects a large influx of Asians and Hispanics. There, the number of Asians more than doubled to constitute 18 percent of the area’s population. Hispanics rose by 29 percent and now represent 20 percent of the population.

Citywide, Hispanics grew by 50 percent — from 19,635 to 29,188 — for a 24 percent share of the Stamford’s population.

Asians, however, experienced the largest percentage growth rate, that of 65 percent, climbing from 5,856 to 9,675 residents.

Non-Hispanic whites registered an 9 percent decline, from 71,610 to 65,406. The group now accounts for 53 percent of the city’s population.

Staff Writer Elizabeth Kim can be reached at elizabeth.kim@scni.com or 203-964-2265.

 

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East Side Partnership to Honor Donors at Stamford K-9 Police Event

The East Side Partnership, Inc. will honor supporters of its Bravo Police Dogs program at a benefit to be held at Stamford landmark United House Wrecking Design Center, located at 535 Hope Street on Thursday, September 30th, from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.

 

The East Side Partnership’s long history of support for and cooperation with the Stamford Police Department represents key elements of its redevelopment goals.  In an effort to further support this important partnership, The East Side Partnership created the Bravo Police Dogs program to expanded its funding and support of the Stamford Police Department’s K-9 Units.

The East Side Partnership’s commitment to enhancing the K-9 Unit comes in response to the Stamford Police Department’s increased demands for service, decreased staffing levels, and budget restrictions.

Tax-deductable donations to The East Side Partnership Bravo Police Dogs program will help the Stamford Police Foundation provide added officer safety and labor-saving K-9 units without increasing the department’s overall budgetary requirements.

K-9 units trained for public order enforcement; search and rescue; drug and explosive detection reduce the number of officers required to respond to various situations and resolve them more quickly and safely as well as improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the entire Police Department.

Stamford Police Chief Robert Nivakoff will recognize major contributors to The East Side Partnership’s Bravo Police Dog program, whose donations will be very generously matched on a two-for-one basis by SAC Capital founder Steven Cohen.

Interested and concerned members of the public are invited to attend the benefit. Admission at the door is a tax-deductable $25 contribution to the East Side Partnership—Bravo Police Dog program.

Donors will be treated to a demonstration by Stamford Police K-9 officers during the event.

The East Side Partnership is a Connecticut non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, comprised of residents, merchants, businesses and property owners. This neighborhood group is the driving force in promoting the transformation of Stamford Connecticut’s East Side community into a vibrant, urban village.

The East Side Partnership was founded in 2002 to support community redevelopment efforts and revitalize the east side of Stamford socially, economically as well as environmentally. The organization is made up of area property owners, merchants, residents and community advisors who have joined to improve the East Side neighborhood— an important corridor leading to downtown Stamford—making it “Clean, Safe, and Green.”

 

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For more information about The East Side Partnership, Inc. or to schedule an interview with its Chairman, James M. Grunberger, please contact John Roman III at 203.324.5167 or by email at jroman@eastsidepartnership.org.

Public Hearings September 29 & 30 on Proposed Metro-North Fare Changes

STAMFORD—The Connecticut Department of Transportation will hold public hearings Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 29 and 30 in Stamford and New Haven regarding Metro-North ticket sales and fare adjustments proposed by the New York Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA).

 

These changes would affect Connecticut customers using New Haven Line commuter rail service. These adjustments are part of a larger proposal by the MTA that would increase fares for New York customers.

 

On the New Haven Line, MTA proposes the following adjustments:

  1. Reduce the time period during which one-way and round-trip tickets must be used to as few as 7 days including the date of purchase; exclusions may apply for special event and package tickets.
  2. Reduce the time period during which all other non-commutation ticket types must be used to as few as three months including the date of purchase.
  3. Reduce the redemption period for all unused or partially used tickets to as few as 30 days after the date of purchase.
  4. Impose a service charge of up to $15 for redemption of each unused or partially used ticket.
  5. Reduce discount to as little as 2% on Mail&Ride fares for joint Monthly Commutation/Monthly Unlimited Ride Tickets.
  6. Eliminate or reduce discount on other Mail&Ride fares and all WebTicket fares.
  7. Round up to nearest whole-dollar amount on Supplemental Step-up and Ride Extension fares.

 

 

MTA expects to implement these adjustments on or about Jan. 1, 2011. Information regarding these proposals and public hearings scheduled for New York is available on Metro-North’s Web site at www.mta.info

 

The public hearings for Connecticut will be:

 

Wednesday, Sept. 29, University of Connecticut Stamford Campus, Gen Re Auditorium, One University Place, Stamford.

 

Thursday, Sept. 30, Connecticut Department of Transportation, Office of Rail Operations, Conference Room A, Union Station, 4th Floor West, 50 Union Avenue, New Haven.

 

The hearings will be open from 6 to 9 p.m. ConnDOT and MTA representatives will be present to listen to comments. Registration for people wishing to speak will remain open until 8:30 p.m. A five minute time limit will be imposed for speaking at the hearing.

 

Written statements or exhibits concerning the proposals may be submitted at the hearing; by e-mail to dot.farecomments@ct.gov ; or mailed or delivered to: Connecticut Department of Transportation, Office of Rail Operations, Conference Room A, Union Station, 4th Floor West, 50 Union Avenue, New Haven.

 

Written statements or exhibits must be submitted to ConnDOT no later than Oct. 14, 2010. Such written statements or exhibits must be reproducible to black and white and on paper not to exceed 8 1/2″ x 11″ in size. Written statements and exhibits will be given the same consideration as oral statements.

 

Deaf and hearing impaired persons wishing to attend this hearing and requiring an interpreter must make arrangements by contacting the Department of Transportation’s Office of Communications (Voice only) at (860) 594-3062 or TTY at 860-594-3090 at least five working days prior to the hearing.

3rd Annual 2010 East Side Day Promises To Be Largest Ever

STAMFORD, CT—September 13, 2010—The East Side Partnership’s 3rd Annual East Side Day celebration will be held Sunday, September 19, 2010, from 11:30-AM to 3:30-PM on the DOMUS Trailblazers Academy grounds located at 83 Lockwood Avenue, Stamford, CT.  The event is open and free to all.This “Rain or Shine” Stamford wide event will also celebrate the creation and first harvest of Kellie’s Community Garden—the largest urban school based vegetable garden in Connecticut.  The East Side Partnership, Inc., in close cooperation with DOMUS and the Trailblazers Academy, developed the community garden this year as a model for community participation as well as part of a nutrition/education component for Domus curricula.Stamford Mayor, Michael Pavia, will open ceremonies at approximately 1:00 PM dedicating the community garden, named for the late Kellie Duggan, daughter of DOMUS CEO Michael Duggan.

 

This celebration of Stamford’s East Side community will include entertainment from:

  • Choreographer, Jimmy Locust of Stamford, whose credits include work with both Michael and Janet  Jackson, Olympic Games ceremonies, and commercials for a number of sporting goods companies, as well as local dance instruction.
  • Vocalist Dennis Collins of Stamford, whose unique musical style charms audiences everywhere.
  • The new music sensation, Analog Fire.
  • An appearance by Sergeant Slaughter, one of Stamford-based WWE’s most popular ‘heritage’ personalities.
  • ‘Cleo,’ a Bloodhound, who is one of the newest additions to the growing K-9 Division of the Stamford Police Department.

Families taking part in the East Side Day celebration will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from number of emergency service providers, educational, wellness, and non-profit agencies as well as area businesses.

Stamford-based Optical Energy Technologies, Inc., will be displaying its unique sun-tracking
photovoltaic/thermal solar system.

FREE Food and refreshments for East Side Day participants has been generously donated by two businesses in the East Side Partnership’s service area, Taste of Sicily, and Smokey Joe’s BBQ Restaurant.

The East Side Partnership is a Connecticut non-profit 501(c) (3) organization, comprised of residents, merchants, businesses and property owners. This neighborhood group is the driving force in promoting the transformation of Stamford Connecticut’s East Side community into a vibrant, urban village.

The East Side Partnership was founded in 2002 to support community redevelopment efforts and revitalize the east side of Stamford socially, economically as well as environmentally. The organization is made up of area property owners, merchants, residents and community advisors who have joined to improve the East Side neighborhood— an important corridor leading to downtown Stamford.—making it “Clean, Safe, and Green.”

 

For more information about The East Side Partnership, Inc. or to schedule an interview with its Chairman, James M. Grunberger, please contact John Roman III at 203.324.5167 or by email at jroman@eastsidepartnership.org.

Stamford Legislators Approve $4.8M for Urban Transitway

The Board of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the final $4.8 million in funding needed to complete the first phase of the Stamford Urban Transitway Tuesday night, even though the Board of Finance has announced that it may audit the project.

The funding passed two votes at Tuesday night’s meeting, with only two city representatives, Pat White, D-1, and Joe Coppola, R-15, dissenting. The approval clears the way for the completion of Phase I of the ongoing $131 million road construction project, which city officials announced last Thursday costs $68.1 million.

“I pretty much knew it was going to pass, and I think it’s the right thing for the city to do to go ahead and finish the project,” said city Rep. Terry Adams, D-3, who represents the South End. “I think anybody would anticipate for it to pass, and it did without controversy. The same people who are going to oppose it are going to oppose it.”

White and Coppola, who voted against the funding, did not return calls and e-mails left for them Wednesday morning.

The Urban Transitway project is intended to increase access to the downtown train station and reduce congestion in the city’s South End by creating a 2.25-mile-long commuter pathway along Jefferson Street. The first phase reaches from Atlantic to Elm streets and is expected to be completed Oct. 15.

“All they have to do now is put the final surface on the road and finish digging a little bit on the opposite side of Elm Street,” Adams said.

The remaining $4.8 million in funding was initially blocked by Republican and independent members of the Board of Finance, but ended up being approved Aug. 16 after Mayor Michael Pavia and other city officials warned that further delay could put the project in danger of losing federal funds. The funding comprises $3.9 million in federal money and $967,000 in city funds. The measure was then passed unanimously by the Board of Representative’s Fiscal Committeelast week.

Also last week, Board of Finance Chairman Joseph Tarzia said he is advocating an audit of Phase I in light of the recent discovery of an indictment brought against the project’s general contractor, Earth Technology Inc. The company has been charged with fraud and money laundering and is accused of trying to overbill a client for the removal of contaminated soil from a New York construction site.

The indictment, which was brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in 2009, concerns the Urban Transitway because a removal of contaminated soil increased the cost of construction by $3.7 million, Tarzia said last week. However, the work was monitored by two independent engineering firms, and the Federal Transit Administration oversaw the project’s finances, city officials said.

Board of Representatives President Randall Skigen said on Wednesday that he is pleased by the board’s vote and that he understands why the Board of Finance is considering an audit of the project.

“I think that an audit may be appropriate,” Skigen said. “I hope that they are being advised in their spending because they seem to be auditing a lot of things these days. But on a project of this size, I don’t think an audit is out of place.”

Staff Writer Kate King can be reached at kate.king@scni.com or 203-964-2263.

Ferguson Library to Cut Hours

Because of profound city budget cuts, The Ferguson Library will reduce hours at the main library and branches as of September 13. The Library Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to make the cuts in order to close a $1.2 million budget deficit.

“We deeply regret having to reduce public service. It’s a painful decision no library ever wants to make,” said Ferguson Library Board of Trustees Chair George Harvey, “but given the financial realities, we had no choice.”

In addition to reducing hours, the library will lay off ten to twelve full-time employees and a still undetermined number of part-time staff. Management and supervisory staff have taken salary cuts and unpaid furloughs to help make up the deficit.

The library has been working hard to cut expenses and raise money in the face of reduced city support. Last year, the Ferguson raised nearly $750,000 (about ten percent of its budget) from donations, fines, rental income from Starbucks, and passport services. None of these efforts has come close to raising the $1.2 million the library needs to keep operating at current levels. The Ferguson has also requested that the Board of Representatives enact a special ‘library fund’ to close the budget gap. If this is successful, the hours of operation will be restored to the extent of the funding received.

Democratic Primary for Governor: It’s a Greenwich-Stamford Showdown

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It will be a Greenwich vs. Stamford showdown for the Democrats seeking their party’s nomination in the race for the governor seat in next Tuesday’s primary.

 

Ned Lamont, a Greenwich businessman, faces off against Dannel Malloy, former mayor of Stamford, in what will likely be one of the closest primary battles this season.

Mr. Malloy won the party’s endorsement in the Democratic Nominating Convention in May, but Mr. Lamont received enough delegates to force a primary on Aug.10.

Mr. Malloy’s running mate for lieutenant governor is State Comptroller Nancy Wyman. Mary Glassman, an attorney who serves as the first selectman of Simsbury, joins Mr. Lamont’s team. However, the endorsement of the lieutenant governor candidate is independent of the governor’s race, so while one candidate for governor might win the party’s endorsement, his running mate must independently receive enough votes to join him on the ticket in November.

Hersam Acorn Newspapers sent out requests for short biographies from each of the candidates. We also posed one question to each: Why are you the better candidate for office? The following are excerpts of their responses.

Governor

Mr. Lamont is a businessman, educator and public policy advocate. He founded Lamont Digital in 1984, now one of the largest independent providers of cable services for college campuses. He founded a policy center at Central Connecticut State University, where he is a professor, and was a volunteer teacher at Harding High School in Bridgeport.

In 2006, he received the party’s endorsement in his run for the U.S. Senate seat, dealing a major blow to then three-term incumbent Joseph Lieberman, although Mr. Lieberman ultimately retained his Senate seat, running under the party label “Connecticut for Lieberman.”

Mr. Lamont said the problem with Connecticut’s government now is that it is “outdated, slow and inefficient.” He said he is running for governor to shake up the way Hartford does business.

“For too long, the career politicians have promised us the world, all the while running up our deficit and failing to create even one net new job in the last 20 years,” he said. “We need someone with a different kind of experience to lead us out of this mess.”

Pointing to his experience as a small business owner, Mr. Lamont said local entrepreneurs should receive incentives to grow their businesses and hire new employees. He said he will work with legislators to produce an “honest budget” and start making long-term investments in the state’s future by “working to revitalize our urban centers, encouraging development around our transit hubs and tackling the gridlock on our highways that Fairfield Country residents are painfully familiar with.”

He also listed improving access to education and vocational training as some of his major priorities.

Mr. Malloy is a former prosecutor who served as mayor of Stamford for 14 years, becoming the city’s longest serving mayor. He is credited with bringing 5,000 new jobs and attracting 12,000 new residents to Stamford while at the same time overseeing a 63% drop in crime in the city, earning it the label of one of the “Top 10 safest cities in the U.S.”

He listed job creation, economic security and getting the state’s fiscal house in order along with improving transportation infrastructure, expanding access to health care and investing in new technologies as his priorities as governor. Being mayor of “large diverse city” will be similar to being governor of a “small, diverse state,” he said.

“You have to manage resources, build consensus and lead from the bottom up. In other words, I’ve done this job before and done it well,” he said.

He is the first gubernatorial candidate in Connecticut’s history to qualify for the Citizens’ Election Program.

“In qualifying, my campaign demonstrated real organizational strength and grass-roots support,” he said. “When we win, the people of this state will know that their government belongs to them — not to someone’s bank account, not to a bunch of special interests.”

Beautifying Our Neighborhood with Keep America Beautiful

On Tuesday June 20th, Keep America Beautiful (KAB) partnered with the East Side Partnership to assist us in cleaning up our neighborhood. Over sixty volunteers from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Day Pitney, Mastercard, Plow Share Group, Oberland Marketing, and ReGenerating Solutions participated. Volunteers were divided into four groups stationed at different locations throughout the East Side.  

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One group painted a vibrant mural on the knee wall leading to the entrance to the Children’s Learning Center on Maple Avenue and William Street. The mural is a landscape with homes and children playing among trees and flowers. There, they also planted a weeping cherry tree. A thunder cloud plum tree was also planted next to the I-95 Lockwood Avenue Underpass.

Two other groups mulched both the sculpture garden next to the railroad underpass and the island at Exit 9. They also filled a dumpster provided by the City with dead tree limbs dragged from the sides of the railroad beds.

 The fourth group painted over graffiti under the I-95 underpasses.

The fourth group painted over graffiti under the I-95 underpasses.

The East Side Partnership wants to give special thanks to KAB President and CEO Helen Lowman, Senior Vice President and Marketing and Communications Mike Rosen, Senior Director of Program Operations Jason Smith, Director of Development and Individual Giving and Foundations Sara Brody, and Board of Directors and Executive Committee member Tom Tamoney. These five individuals helped create an impactful, collaborative event to give back to the residents of the East Side. KAB contributed by supplying mulch, trees and painting materials for the event. ESP would also like to acknowledge Stamford’s Supervisor of Recycling and Sanitation Tom Colleluori for donating a dumpster.

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All the hard work could not have been done without the help of our volunteers. Beautifying the neighborhood helps create a friendlier, safer environment for all residents.

Maya Ponzini East Side Partnership