Roundup: Baldwin Parking Lot, Beach Stickers (Again), Red Maple …

The Baldwin Parking Lot — the large, often unwieldy, pieced-together area off Elm Street between Brooks Corner and Christ & Holy Trinity Church — will soon get an upgrade.

A reconstruction project begins Monday, weather permitting.

Initial phases include reclamation of the existing deteriorated asphalt surface, installation of new drainage pipes; regrading to reduce frequent flooding, plus installation of LED lighting, electric vehicle chargers, security cameras and blue-light emergency stations.

Parking stalls will be realigned to conform to P&Z regulations, improving circulation and maneuverability.

Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich said that while the project will likely continue through the month of June, and lot closures will be necessary, the contractor will coordinate with town officials and the Westport Downtown Association to minimize disruptions.

This is the first of several downtown lots to be reconstructed and reconfigured.  Still ahead: Taylor Lot (near Jesup Green), Imperial Avenue, and the biggest, baddest of them all: Harder Parking.

I mean, Parker Harding.

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup noted that as of May 1, stickers will be required for all cars entering Westport beaches. It included a link to the Parks & Rec website, for easy online ordering.

Easy, that is, if you’re on a desktop or laptop.

Paul Lenihan could not order using his smartphone. Eventually he headed to the Parks & Rec office in Longshore, where they told him the link does not work on mobile devices.

So why do they call them smartphones?

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Yesterday’s early morning fire at Townhouse for Dogs destroyed a 2nd-floor apartment. Cassidy  Gleacher’s mother, stepfather and little brother were awakened by a smoke alarm, but their exit was blocked by flames.

They jumped from a window, with only the clothes on their backs. The family lost all their belongings, their home and their pets.

Cassidy has set up a GoFundMe page, to get them back on their feet. Click here to help.

Yesterday morning’s fire at the Townhouse for Dogs destroyed a 2nd-floor apartment. (Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)

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Tree warden Ben Skykas planted a new red maple at Grace Salmon Park on Wednesday.

The species is native to North America, can grow over 100 feet, may live over 200 years, and hosts a spectrum of wildlife, from caterpillars and squirrels to a wide array of birds. It’s also a valuable climate change-deterring shade tree and carbon converter.

For more Arbor Day-related activities, click here and scroll down. (Hat tip: Dave Lowrie)

New red maple at Grace Salmon Park.

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The NAACP’s Million Jobs Campaign helps people leaving prison make a fresh start — and reduces recidivism.

This Sunday (April 24, 11 a.m.), Christ & Holy Trinity Church’s Racial Justice Working Group invites everyone interested for coffee, donuts, and a conversation with Connecticut State Conference NAACP and national board member Scot Esdaile.

He’ll talk about the program, which focuses on jobs in hospitals and healthcare. It will launch in Fairfield County this fall.

Questions? Email fkgarden13@gmail.com. (Hat tip: Jeff Wieser)

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Like many stop signs, the one by Elvira’s/Joey’s by the Shore at the foot of Compo Hill is treated more like a suggestion than a command.

In just 30 minutes the other, standing at the corner with the team that’s raising funds to save the near-century old market/deli, I watched at least a dozen drivers blow blithely through.

Here’s hoping this new addition helps. Fingers crossed, at this very popular — and dangerous — crossing.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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As the pandemic eases, will people return to movie theaters?

AMC is betting yes. Bow Tie seems to think no.

Just a few years after spending millions of dollars on new seats and food options, Bow Tie Cinemas sold 5 Connecticut theaters to AMC Entertainment. Included in the deal: the 6-plex just over the line in Norwalk.

The news owners are so excited, they list themselves as the “coming attraction.” (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

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The 6-0 Staples boys lacrosse team hosts its annual Sticks for Soldiers event tomorrow (April 23, 3 p.m., Paul Lane Stadium).

The Wreckers take on always-tough Wilton. All proceeds go directly to Sticks for Soldiers, to support wounded veterans.

A special ceremony at 2:30 p.m., with town and Sticks for Soldiers officials, kicks off the event.

In 2018, Staples lacrosse players wore special shirts at a game honoring the “Sticks for Soldiers” veterans organization.

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Remember the Ramones?

Last night at MoCA Westport, Monte A. Melnick, the band’s former tour manager, shared stories of touring with them.

The event was part of the museum’s “Cocktails and Conversation series, which presents free programming related to exhibitions on Thursday evenings. The current exhibit is “Punk is Coming.”

Talking Heads co-founders Chris Frantz and wife Tina Weymouth were part of the crowd.

Next Thursday (April 28, 6 p.m.), MoCA features Richard Hell, a founder of several important early CBGB punk bands, including Television and the Heartbreakers, and whose Richard Hell & the Voidoids’ 1977 album “Blank Generation” influenced many other punk groups. The event is free, but advance registration is requested (mocawestport.org).

Last night at MoCA (from left): Monte A. Melnick, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, Ruth Mannes (MoCA executive director) and Liz Leggett (MoCA director of exhibitions)(Photo/Cynthia Dempster)

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John Weiss, a Westport resident from 1979 to 2015, died peacefully at his Southport home on Tuesday.  He was 88.

Born in Manhattan, he graduated from the Horace Mann School in 1951 and earned a BA from Cornell University 4 years later. Following college, he served as a communications officer in the Navy for several years, stationed in the Pacific.

John then joined Bache & Company. He was a floor broker and general partner. The firm became Prudential Securities, from which John retired as a senior vice president.

In retirement, John served the Y’s Men as membership chair for several years, and arranged annual meetings and picnics. He pursued his interests in sailing, tennis, photography, travel, theater, current events and music. He played clarinet in the Westport Community Band for many years.

John is survived by his wife Sheila; sons Graham and John Jr.; stepsons James (Polly) Bienen and Jonathan (Tracy) Bienen; grandchildren Chantal (Jay) Crompton, Hunter Weiss, Cheyenne Weiss, Carl Jason Tondo; and Owen Bienen; great-granddaughters Lola and Millie Crompton, and brother Georgia (Jack) Morris.

Contributions in John’s memory may be made online to support Dr. Richard Frank’s pancreatic cancer research. Gifts also may be mailed to the Norwalk Hospital Foundation, 34 Maple Street, Norwalk, CT 06856

A memorial service is set for Monday (April 25, noon, Temple Israel).

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This is Claudia Sherwood Servidio’s first spring in town.

Our new neighbor is discovering how beautiful this season is. And she’s sharing her discoveries with us all, with today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Whether you’ve just arrived, or this is your 100th spring here: Enjoy!

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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And finally … in honor of the new owners of the closest (permanent) movie theater to Westport:

4 responses to “Roundup: Baldwin Parking Lot, Beach Stickers (Again), Red Maple …

  1. Richard Johnson

    People should obviously stop at stop signs, but I find the “SLOW DOWN” and “DRIVE LIKE YOU KIDS LIVE HERE” and little green men infesting town completely obnoxious. No one, of course, actually changes their behavior based on these signs. It’s just a way for property owners to loudly express their frustration while making our town look ugly and appear like it is overrun with harpies. If people are speeding on your street, call the police and ask them to conduct traffic enforcement. (A running theme on this blog is dozens of commenters observing that WPD does not do any traffic enforcement of any kind.) That is, after all, what we pay them for (I think?).

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Richard, what are your thoughts on those people who drive around with “Baby on Board” signs in their car windows?

    • So, is it the signs that irks you or the WPD? Seems like 2 very different issues.

  2. Can someone please explain Gofundme to me? Shouldn’t they have insurance to help them with the fire? Insurance typically provides emergency funds for food, new clothes, hotel, longer-term housing, right? Its a tragedy the fire happened but thought we all buy insurance for situations like this.

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