Roundup: Showers, Library, Cash, Kayaks, More

Staples High School is open today (Monday, August 10) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., for Westport residents to use hot showers. Everyone must bring their own towels and toiletries. The Community Emergency Response Team will assist with scheduling and social distancing.

Yesterday, CERT volunteers delivered food to seniors in need.

The Westport Library is open from noon to 6 p.m. today too, so residents can charge their devices. Everyone must wear a mask, maintain social distance, and limit their stay to an hour.

Need a place to work?

Office Evolution — the work space in the office building opposite fire headquarters — offers a low rate for this week: a $50 day pass for a private office; $25 for socially distanced co-working, with no additional or hidden fees, and free Starbucks coffee! (Strict safety protocols are of course in place.)

Interested? Email or call 203-635-8770 and leave a message. They respond quickly. For more information on Office Evolution, click here.

A reader writes:

“Hocon is a big problem. This is the second storm where they  let us run out of propane when we have a partial generator. My husband started calling them Thursday to say that we had 55% in the tank and would run out by Sunday. He called Sunday 5 times explaining that we’re not getting power till Tuesday midnight or Wednesday. They promised to come today, without an estimated time, but never came.

“I have a heart condition, atrial fibrillation that gets very exasperated by heat.  We have a couple of fans going. When the generator dies, which will happen within the hour, we will have nothing to deal with this heat, and tomorrow’s heat.

“It’s so frustrating to have invested in a generator and not be able to get propane when we need it. This is so upsetting.”

Like many Westporters, John Karrel has been struck by the sudden necessity for actual dollars, quarters and dimes. He writes:

“A week ago, all bets were that cash was on its way out in our world. Yesterday I picked up dinner at March Burger Lobster. I’m now sitting outside Donut Crazy with my iced coffee. Both establishments: cash only!

“The volatility of a pandemic. The shorter-term volatility of a severe power outage. For sure, not our last power outage. Maybe cash does remain a viable Plan B.”

It sure does. Provided your ATM has power.

(Photo/John Karrel)

A reader writes: “Could you provide an update on Optimum, the local cable/internet monopoly? How widespread is their outage? When will they get back online? They are not answering calls or calling back.

“By the way, when I called to cancel part of my service due to an exorbitant monthly fee (before the storm hit), they told me they closed their cancellation department.”

I don’t have any info from Optimum (or Altice, the parent company). I don’t have any sources there either. If any readers knows the answers — or has a special number to call — please click “Comments” below.

You may not have had power. But Mystic Bowie and Talking Dreads had plenty of it yesterday.

The popular band rocked Westport, in the 2nd of back-to-back sold-out “Supper & Soul” shows at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Everyone — the powered-up and the power-less — had a fantastic time. Kudos to Mystic and the Dreads. And of course to the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. Which should probably change its name to “Chamber of Concerts.”

A small part of the large crowd last night.

For the past few days, Westport was up the proverbial creek, without the proverbial paddle.

But grab those paddles. August 14-31 are the dates for the 5th annual Paddle for the Sound. This year it’s virtual, so even the most land-locked lubbers can join.

For 17 days, Save the Sound will help participants raise awareness and funds to find and fix pollution sources, while leading habitat restoration projects throughout the Long Island Sound region.

Prizes will be awarded to 1st place finishers in the Paddle/Kayak, Sail, and Run/Walk divisions for total distance traveled or time spent doing their sport over the span of the event. Prizes also go to the top fundraisers.

Participants will start their virtual races from self-selected launch points, tracking their miles and time with each excursion. Those interested in supporting without racing can “raise their paddle” in an online virtual auction featuring private boat excursions, local artisan products, and a signed New York Giants jersey. For more information and to register, click here.

Local photographer Michael Chait, whose photographs are part of the permanent collection in the Brooklyn Museum, has an outdoor photo show and sale closer to home.

It’s next Sunday (August 9, 12 to 5 p.m., in the outdoor courtyard at 11 Riverside Avenue). It’s an eclectic, “kooky” exhibit of photos through several decade, including classic cars and cityscapes. All are framed and ready to hang.

A classic car photo, by Michael Chait

Back in action, and with power: (among many other businesses): Granola Bar, Ignazio’s, and Joey’s by the Shore Featuring Elvira Mae’s Coffee Bar. We are getting back to normal!

PS: For the past few days, Kawa Ni has operated a food truck.


And finally … utility crews have arrived in Westport from all over. I haven’t seen a Wichita lineman — but I had a great chat Saturday with 2 from Neosho, Missouri, just a few miles from the Kansas border. They drove non-stop to get here, and are driving back and forth from their hotel — which is in Chicopee, Massachusetts (north of Springfield). Westport owes a huge thanks to all the linemen (and linewomen), working hard for us from all around North America.

22 responses to “Roundup: Showers, Library, Cash, Kayaks, More

  1. Do you have a list of non food establishments that have free Wi-Fi besides the Library?


  2. Betsy Mae Kravitz

    THANK YOU!!!!!

  3. Louis Winthorpe

    This morning I sent the following email to our elected officials and copied the CEO of Eversource.
    I am a long-time Westport resident at [ADDRESS REDACTED] Westport. I am writing to report an extremely disturbing conversation I just had with a contractor for Eversource at the Greens Farms train station equipment marshalling area.

    I have patiently waited for 6 days for power to be restored to my neighborhood. The issue appears to be relatively minor, some hanging wires on Beachside Ave (no pole damage, no extensive tree work). Of course, nothing has been done.

    This morning I spoke to a worker who appeared to be a supervisor for the out-of-state crews at Greens Farms station. I asked him when they would get to my circuit, which Eversource website said includes 69 customers. He apologized to me and said he has been working in the area for days and hoped to finish the job. Unfortunately, he said Eversource was moving all of the crews at the station (about 8 trucks) to Norwalk!

    To say I am furious is an understatement. Not only are my wife and I suffering through Eversource’s incompetent restoration process but I am extremely worried about some of my elderly neighbors living through a heatwave without air conditioning.

    I understand you are in contact with senior Eversource officials. Please share this situation with them.

    I have spent my entire work career in customer facing businesses. Faced with this type of service, any of our clients would immediately terminate our relationship. Unfortunately, Eversource customers do not have this option

  4. Hello Dan … I’m willing to run over my small propane powered Generator , for the person who has health issues .. I’ll bring a tank that runs for 24 hrs , including a bunch of extension cords … I’ll send you my email and tele ##

  5. Anytime Dan ..
    I just got off the phone with her , and she was just thrilled that I had offered .. Hocon finally arrived at their house … Keep up the Great Work my Friend ………

  6. Peter Mihalick

    Since when has the imperial lot been designated for these musical events? First the drive in theater.. no objection to that during this time and for a good cause. This is a zoned residential area and is not to be used by whoever decides to show up and start playing music. If the town wants to allow such unsanctioned events have them go to Compo Beach. Plenty of parking and there they won’t disturb people who may want some piece and quiet.

    • Wendy Cusick

      The Chamber of Commerce put it together, I thought.

      • What right do they have to approve of such a gathering. This is not an area zoned for commerce. If they want such music and whatever let them have it on Main St.

        • The First Selectman knows perfectly well that the seasonal use of the Imperial Lot for rock concerts, etc. would, at the very least, require a Special Permit from P&Z. As a downtown resident who lives 1/4 mile from the Imperial Lot, I certainly didn’t appreciate having to shout to have my guests hear me on my own terrace last night.

          • Wendy Cusick

            It was that loud…
            It was only entertaining those in the parking lot.
            They should have set up smaller or different kind of speakers 🔊
            You shouldn’t be able to hear a small concert all the way down to Church St and Myrtle.
            By the way, Morley I was thinking of you when I saw the construction of the intersection of Church St at the little Island with the tree. They shrunk the intersection to one lane. No longer the wide intersection that split left lane and right lane.

            • Oh yes, we love our impervious surfaces here in Westport, Wendy.
              So all those eco-weenie tree huggers can just choke on the acres of sweltering fresh concrete; the new urbanism is here.

              As for the unusually loud government sanctioned concerts on the Imperial Lot, you’ll be relieved to learn the First Selectman has ordered that these must not exceed 86 decibels(!) Whether he picked this number from a hat is not presently known. I wonder if anyone in his circle is aware that hearing loss occurs at 85 decibels.

              • What gives him the right to assign a decibel level. They don’t belong there in the first place.
                Again I’ll say it! These folks want to perform have them go to Longshore Mr Marpe.
                It may be convenient for you and them but it’s not for us neighbors, and that’s who need to be respected.
                Town Hall is another option for these traveling troupes who think there performing a live concert at Central Park

          • Well then this has got to be nipped in the bud!
            Guess a call to Mr Marpe is in order

    • Peter, maybe call or email Matt Mandell, he’s the Director of the Chamber of Commerce and get his side of the story.

      • Nice thought but he doesn’t run the town and has no authority to break zoning laws. His interests are only about what benefits business, with apparently no regard for neighbors rights to Not listen to music etc whenever these people show up.

  7. Wendy Cusick

    Treadwell and Kings Highway South are closed.
    Traffic lights also not working at those locations.
    I just came from Stew’s. I noticed they have ice.

  8. Wendy Cusick

    Update 830pm Treadwell traffic light is back in operation.