NEWS BRIEFS | January 12th, 2024


Community Tip Line Enhances Safety
The New Canaan Police Department actively encourages community participation in combating criminal activities through its dedicated “Tip Line.” Residents can anonymously report suspicions, criminal activities, and past crimes. Residents can call 203 594 3544 and share detailed information, including suspicions, activity specifics, and relevant details such as names and license plate numbers. The department underscores the significance of detailed information for efficient follow-up investigations. Callers can remain anonymous, but they have the option to leave a contact number for a direct follow-up. The Tip Line is not intended for emergencies, and residents should use appropriate channels for urgent matters.

New Canaan Fire Safety Guidelines
The New Canaan Fire Marshal’s Office provides safety guidelines on Facebook for the holiday season. Tips for trees include selecting fire-resistant artificial ones, ensuring freshness in live trees, and placing them away from heat sources. Recommendations highlight trimming tree trunks, using certified outdoor lights, and turning off lights when not in use. Decorative suggestions focus on non-combustible materials, avoiding lit candles, and child-friendly options. Fireplace safety involves clearing decorations, using screens for embers, and proper disposal of hot ashes, with residents encouraged to contact the Fire Marshal’s Office for inquiries.

NCPD Holiday Giving Drive
The New Canaan Police Department is facilitating a gift drive. At their temporary headquarters at 39 Locust Avenue, there is a holiday initiative for community members to participate in. A Giving Wall, displaying tags representing local children in need, is open for individuals to choose a tag, buy up to three gifts based on the child’s age and gender, and return them by this Sunday, December 17th. Officer Ceci is available to answer questions and facilitate the delivery of gifts to deserving children.

Responsible Christmas Tree Disposal
In the spirit of eco-conscious festivities, safeguard your Christmas Tree from a fate in the landfill. Residents have the opportunity to responsibly dispose of their evergreen companions at the Steve Benko Parking Lot, available for drop-offs between 9 am and 3 pm from December 30th to January 8th. Remember, for your tree to find a new purpose, it must bid farewell to decorations, ornaments, lights, tinsel, and flocking. It’s a small but impactful way to weave sustainability into your holiday traditions.

Boucher Ice Rink Opens Second Season
The Boucher Community Ice Rink at Waveny Park is opening for its second season, overseen by the New Canaan Ice Rink Committee. The season is expected to run until late February, with updates available on the committee’s Facebook and Instagram pages. Passes can be purchased online or at the rink. New features include an expanded warming tent, extended skate rentals for kids up to size 5, and a skate sharpening service. In December, free skating is offered to New Canaan town and NCPS employees who show their IDs at the register. provides information on hours and rates, and complimentary hot chocolate is available for both skaters and spectators.

40th-Year Giving Fund Assists Locals
The Giving Fund, now in its 40th year, assists residents facing financial challenges during the holidays. The initiative channels monetary donations to families dealing with necessities like rent, utilities, and medical bills. The absence of a support network compounds the difficulties for recipients. Bill Brucker, Chief Advancement Officer for Family Centers, emphasizes the fund’s focus on addressing basic living needs and aiding individuals in their daily lives. Donations, specifying monetary requirements for each case, can be made online to ensure direct assistance while respecting privacy through altered names. Contributions can also be made by phone through Bill Brucker at 203-869-4848 or via email at

Van Leeuwen Opens New Canaan Shop
Van Leeuwen, a well-known ice cream brand, opened its third location in Connecticut in town this past Thursday, December 14. Co-founders Ben and Pete Van Leeuwen, natives of Fairfield County, are returning to their roots where their ice cream journey started 20 years ago. CEO Ben Van Leeuwen looks forward to bringing quality ice cream to the community. The scoop shop will collaborate with Elm restaurant for a unique topping and hold a giveaway for ten winners to receive a custom monogrammed ice cream mug for free scoops throughout the year.

Waveny CNA School Earns Recognition
Waveny LifeCare Network announced that its Kathleen M. Fruin, RN Certified Nursing Aide (CNA) School received the Connecticut Assisted Living Association “Best Practices Award” for staff recruitment and retention. Russell Barksdale Jr., Waveny’s president and CEO, accepted the award at CALA’s annual meeting. The CNA School addresses the nursing shortage by recruiting, training, and employing caregivers. Barksdale outlined the school’s mission, emphasizing the transition of participants into full-time positions, career advancement opportunities, and the removal of barriers to progress within the healthcare sector.

BHS Successfully Concludes Coat Drive
Brown Harris Stevens (BHS) recently completed its third annual coat drive in Connecticut, collecting 150 coats across its offices in Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Rowayton, Stamford, and Westport. Partnering with the nonprofit organization Button Up Connecticut, BHS is distributing these coats to individuals in need across the state. Christopher Halstead, BHS executive sales director, leads the initiative, encouraging agents, clients, and customers to contribute gently used and new coats each October to provide warmth and protection to Connecticut residents during the cold months. Button Up Connecticut, founded by Dan Siracusa in 1992, has distributed over 750,000 coats in the last 30 years.

Executive Director Lisa Oldham Retires
Lisa Oldham is retiring after ten years as the Executive Director of New Canaan Library.

New Canaan High School Courant Developing App
The Courant is launching a mobile app focused on improved accessibility for readers. The app aims to seamlessly integrate into students’ daily routines, offering a straightforward navigation process. The app is positioned to be a readily available source of information for students.

New Canaan Secures 14th Championship
New Canaan won their 14th CIAC Class L state championship with a 28-21 victory over Darien. Despite Darien’s early lead, New Canaan leveled the score at 7-7 and later took a 14-7 lead. Darien then went ahead 21-14 in the fourth quarter, but New Canaan, led by quarterback Lawrence Robinson, equalized at 21-21 in the final 5 minutes. The defining moment occurred when New Canaan’s defense forced a crucial turnover, leading to the game-winning touchdown by Alexander Benevento. Coach Lou Marinelli expressed satisfaction with the team’s performance, emphasizing their resilience and the significance of the defense. The victory solidified New Canaan’s football legacy and contributed to Marinelli’s career with 374 wins and 14 state titles.

Fazio, O’Dea Announce Successful Bi-Partisan Effort to Secure $2 Million in Funding for New Canaan Playhouse
The New Canaan Playhouse, a century-old landmark in Connecticut, is poised for a $2 million bond injection, with strong bipartisan support led by State Senator Ryan Fazio from Governor Ned Lamont, his chief of staff Jonathan Dachs, State Rep. Keith Denning, State Rep. Lucy Dathan, and State Sen. Ceci Maher. The funding, awaiting approval by the Connecticut State Bond Commission, will help rejuvenate the theater, closed for three years, into Cinema Lab, a contemporary cinematic hub. Spearheaded by Andy Childs and Luke Parker Bowles, the project aims to blend historic charm with advanced technology, reviving the building as a community-centric venue. This initiative marks a significant step in revitalizing New Canaan’s business district and cultural landscape, fostering local engagement and economic growth.

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