An epitaph for a police commission

Posted October 22, 2014 at 8:24 pm

By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

The joint Norwalk-Wilton Police Commission passed away Monday evening, Oct. 20, surrounded by a few indifferent family members and a few enemies who rejoiced in its demise.

Born about 10 years ago, the commission was the brainchild of forward-thinking trustees from Norwalk and Wilton who thought that sharing the cost of a police officer and associated equipment would be the solution for small towns that wanted to provide services but were plagued by small budgets.

It was a difficult birth. The commission had reached toddlerhood before the terms of its little life appeared to be settled.

However, the commission thrived for a number of years until going into a sudden decline in recent months.

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    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    I am not entirely certain what Menno Hershberger of rural Norwalk had in mind when he decided to produce a book. He first approached us several years ago with a fistful of handwritten memories from his family members.

    Every few weeks, he would wander in with another stack of documents. Although handwriting boils down to something much smaller when it is typeset, when the typed documents were eventually bound into

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    Hey, it's National Newspaper Week!

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Hey, it’s National Newspaper Week. I see you yawning. You’re thinking, it’s always some week: Celebrate Your Name Week, Fill Your Stapler Week, Pet the Dog Week, ad nauseam. Yes, there really is a Silly Week. No kidding.

    Even in the best of times, I would flunk cheerleading school, and these are not the best of times for newspapers. There probably is not a regular reader alive who has not noticed that newspapers are slimming down

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    Brookwood tackles old problem of teenage drunk driving

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    I am not quite sure what I expected from the mock crash held at Brookwood on Sept. 23. A cynical old lady, I anticipated being mildly amused and probably a bit bored.

    But an odd thing happened on my way to blasé. The tarp was drawn aside, revealing the mangled cars and the even more mangled bodies, and within minutes I began to feel alternately edgy

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    History shows bike trail sparked contrary controversies

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Years ago, when the Elroy-Sparta Bike Trail crossed Highway 71 just east of Norwalk, I used to take exception to the insanity of mixing vehicle traffic zipping along at 55-70 mph with bikers on fragile contraptions. I think bikers on city streets and highways tend to be far more alert than those peddling down a trail through forests and cow pastures. To the best of my kn

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    With ubiquity, is photography losing meaning?

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    Of all the changes that technology has brought into our lives, I am the most conflicted about those associated with photography. I absolutely do not miss being held hostage to the price of film and developing it. And I certainly do not want to go back to the days of locking myself in the darkroom and fumbling around in the blackness, wrapping film on reels, splashing around in icky chemicals, and printing pictures.

    With digital, even the most inept photographer is likely

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    Rural life more complicated than popular depictions

    By KAREN PARKER | County Line Publisher

    I was cruising from Ontario to Kendall last week when it occurred to me that I was mentally checking off what I knew about many of the places I passed by.

    I suppose if one lives in the same place for long enough, one builds up a dossier, a mental file cabinet of sorts, filled with knowledge about our fellow travelers in life. Running a newspaper

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