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Weekly Wrap Up: January 30

Top stories from around the area

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Stamford, CT | Added on January 30, 2014 At 05:51 PM

Here’s what made news this week on It’s Relevant

In Stamford, residents got the chance to meet with Mayor David Martin face to face as part of the Mayor’s Night In program. Martin held private meetings in his office to hear residents’ concerns and ideas.

“I sort of believe in providing that channel of communication that best meets their needs, that they can best communicate the type of issue that they need addressed,” the Mayor said.

“This is the first time after four years that I could talk to a mayor. That’s a good thing because if you don’t let people participate into the system then Democracy doesn’t work very well,” said Stamford resident and business owner Mike Papa.

Martin says Mayor’s Night In will be a monthly event. He says he also plans to visit residents in their neighborhoods and hold virtual meetings.

The YMCA of Greenwich is now debt free. The Y borrowed $20 million for a facility makeover 8 years ago and was about $26 million in debt by the end of 2010. Fortunately the organization was able to enter 2014 with a clean slate.

"The idea was to have a three step process, the only way we could raise money was to have a break-even budget, so we restructured the building and now it has been break-even for about 38 months," said Jim Cabrera, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Greenwich YMCA. "The second thing was to finish the building so we had to raise about $6 million to finish the building, which happened in September. And the final thing was to attack the debt at the time which was about $33 million of debt and so through tremendous donation we were able to pay off the debt on December 31st and basically set up the Y for the next 100 years."

"Now that we have some things put behind us we're able to do things for the community as well and reach out and solve community issues like the New Lebanon after-school program," said Ed Philipp, President and CEO of Greenwich YMCA.

In Norwalk, over $13,000 was raised to benefit seven local charities. Senator Bob Duff presented the money Monday, which was raised at his Holiday Open House last month.

Senator Duff said, "We wanted to raise the awareness of a lot of these charities and what they do in the community. It's important to present the checks, thank the donor who came out. We got a lot of food and a lot of toys from individual citizens."

Norwalk Police Chief and Treasurer of the Police Activities League (PAL) Thomas Kulhawik said "These donations really come in handy and allow us to do even more for the [Police] Explorers, for the Police Cadets, for our DARE camp in the summer; for a lot of things we do that the public really enjoy."

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