For what it’s worth The rewards of fighting City Hall
Who says you can’t fight city Hall? Residents in the vicinity of a proposed sports and health complex in the High Ridge Office Park did just that when the Board of Representatives overturned a decision by the zoning board. In a city where residents looked on apathetically for years while developers ran amuck with the city government’s blessing, neighborhood organizations have begun fighting back. One in my old South End neighborhood is opposing a plan by Building & Land Technology to circumvent a city regulation requiring developers to set aside at least 10 percent of new luxury apartment buildings for affordable housing. Under the proposal, which is obviously designed to generate more income for BLT and to keep relatively low-wage families from living with well-to-do residents, BLT would house 10 percent of the affordable housing families in old refurbished houses in the South End instead of in two high-end apartment towers. The duplicitous maneuver, though legal, runs counter to the 10-percent regulation and should not be allowed in the proposed South End towers or any other future high-end apartment buildings.
In a city that has had a hard time of holding on to good school administrators, stripping longtime basketball coach and history teacher Jim Moriarty of his job as the athletic director at his (and my) alma mater Stamford High School, is an outrage. One of the most popular coaches Stamford has had, Moriarty lost his post because he lacked a new certification he certainly would have qualified for if given the time. Making his dismissal all the more difficult to understand is that he’s being replaced by a high school coach from Norwalk. The move makes no sense and should be reversed.
To say the least, Bobby Valentine likes challenges. After suffering a compound leg fracture climbing a chain-link, canvas-covered fence to catch a ball for the California Angels in 1973, Valentine came back even though he lost most of his vaunted speed, playing for the Angels, New York Mets and Seattle Mariners. He subsequently became a successful manager who took the Mets to the World Series in 2000. While managing in Japan for three years, he became the first American manager to win Japan’s version of the American World Series in 2005, developing a huge following in the process, for his managing skills, enthusiasm and charitable work , which included arranging games between American and Japanese players to raise money for victims of three earthquakes. Valentine last week received the highest honor bestowed on foreigners by Japan — the Order of the Rising Sun Gold Rays Rosette award during a reception at the Japanese consulate’s mini mansion on East 67th Street in Manhattan, which was presented by Japanese ambassador and consul general Reiichiro Takahashi. About 75 of Valentine’s friends, including some from Sacred Heart University where Valentine has served as athletic director since 2013, attended the reception. The citation given to Valentine cited his “outstanding contributions to the development of Japanese baseball and to the advancement of friendly relations between the United States and Japan.” It also acknowledged the his so-called “Bobby Magic” in 2005 when he managed the Chiba Lotte Marines to their first Japanese series title in 31 years. A beaming Valentine obviously was deeply touched by the award. Banzai, Bobby V.
How much has Stamford changed? During the first 200 feet or so of a walk along the shore at a crowded West Beach recently, I heard about four languages being spoken, none of them English or Spanish. Proving, I guess, that Stamford has indeed become a multi-lingual city. Reflecting Stamford’s ever-increasing population growth, West Beach, the city’s smallest, has become more crowded than ever, to the chagrin of many longtime Stamford beach-goers, and less attractive with the inexplicable destruction of virtually all of its 50 or so trees and a boardwalk which was never replaced after Hurricane Sandy.
Why do I feel Mayor David Martin is not a beach-goer and has no conception of how conditions at Cummings Park in particular have deteriorated as the City That Doesn’t Always Work gets bigger but not better? If he did, he’d realize the city needs more than the two — two! — park police officers to patrol its three largest parks, Cummings, Cove Island and Scalzi. Stamford had eight park police officers when it was half the size. Please explain that to us, Mayor Dave. Also would like to have the mayor share the experience of Cummings beach-goers who drive over the disgraceful rutted roadway leading to the beach from Shippan Avenue.
Jack Cavanaugh, a Stamford native and resident, is a Stamford Advocate columnist, a longtime print and broadcast reporter and sportswriter and the author of six books. He can be reached at email@example.com.