Roundup: Bridge Slide, Smoke Shops, PAL Gala …

A reminder (and we can’t remind readers often enough): From tonight through early Monday morning, the second “bridge slide” takes place.

The new I-95 Saugatuck Avenue bridge will be slid over, replacing the old one. Traffic will be diverted onto local roads.

Drivers using Waze and other apps will find their own ways around the miss, as they did 2 weeks ago. Areas far from 95, like Hermit Lane and Gorham Avenue, were affected.

If you’re going to weekend happenings — like Saturday’s Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services banquet at the VFW, or the next day’s “First Folk Sunday” (also at the VFW), or Sunday’s “Historic Homes of 06880” house tour — plan accordingly.

To keep up to date, bookmark this website.

And don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Preparing for the 2nd I-95 “bridge slide.” (Photo/JD Dworkow)


If it seems like there are a lot of vape and smoke shops popping up around town: You’re not high. It’s true.

The Planning & Zoning Commission has taken notice too.

The first agenda item at its November 13 meeting (7 p.m., Zoom; click here to see) includes a text amendment that would “protect the public health and welfare by adding language to define and prohibit Smoke Shops and add stricter standards applicable to other establishments that sell smoking related products, but do not qualify as a Smoke Shop as described in the definition.”

New language is also proposed to “prohibit light emitting diode or LED signs so as to reduce potential distractions to motorists” — one of the complaints about Savvy Smoker, the new shop next to Christian Siriano at the corner of Post Road East and West Parish Road.

Click here for the full text amendment.


Nearly 400 fans packed the Inn at Longshore last night, for Westport PAL’s 2nd annual gala.

The Romano family (Pete, his parents PJ and Joan, sister Pam Romano-Gorman, and daughters), and former PAL president Ned Batlin, were honored for their longtime contributions to the non-profit that serves thousands of Westport youth every year.

There was an auction too, including special items like VIP parking — and beach sitting — areas for the PAL-sponsored 4th of July fireworks.

And there were heartfelt testimonials to the importance of Westport PAL (and the influence of so many volunteer coaches) by former lacrosse player Henry Dodge, current Staples High School quarterback Caleb Smith, and 6th grade athlete Tristen Rycenga.

It was a great, Westport-centric evening. Funds raised will go to the new, 2-story clubhouse planned for (of course) PJ Romano Field.

6th grader Tristen Rycenga (at microphone) and teammates thank Westport PAL for all they do. PAL president Craig Bergamo is at left. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)


Also yesterday: 90-year-0ld Win Allen provided a snapshot of his life story to the Y’s Men of Westport & Weston.

The 48-year resident of Westport grew up in Harlem, attended law school, earned a Fulbright Scholarship, then created the first Black-owned Wall Street firm.

He has written 3 books, most recently“How I Pried Open Wall Street in 1962.”

Win Allen speaks to the Y’s Men. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)


Ukraine Aid International – the non-profit founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer — continues to deliver crucial aid.

The organization has purchased a water filtration truck, for deliveries to frontline locations to places — like our sister city of Lyman — without permanent installations.

Lyman’s police also just received a generous donation from the Westport Police Department. The shipment includes gear that was scheduled to be replaced here, including bulletproof vests, shoulder radios, winter hats and gloves, car radios, police belts and ballistic helmets.

Donations to Lyman are always welcome. Click here; then click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.)

Ukraine Aid International’s water filtration truck.


No, the Sherwood Diner’s “closed for improvements” isn’t a euphemism.

The popular, decades-old Post Road restaurant is updating its kitchen. It closed Monday. Construction may take another week or so.

Then it’s back to normal — well, even better — for one of our town’s most favorite hangouts. (Hat tip: Arthur Hayes)

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


There can’t be enough Halloween candy for kids.

For adults — well, you may have way too many Kit Kats, M&Ms and apples (just kidding) left over from Monday night.

Al’s Angels are happy to take it off your hands.

From now through Wednesday (November 8), bring extra Halloween candy to Saugatuck Sweets’ Westport or Fairfield locations.

It will be placed in nearly 1,500 Al’s Angels Thanksgiving holiday meal bins, for children battling cancer, rare blood diseases and several financial hardship.

Sweeeeeet! (Hat tip: Francis Fiolek)


For a while, the Highway Department has been working on Cross Highway, between Punch Bowl Drive and Roseville Road.

They removed the embankment and adding new catch basin tops, prepping the area for contractors to pave.

The result: a more accessible, safer stretch for pedestrians. It will also be easier for the Department of Public Works to maintain, all year long.

Roseville Road (Photo courtesy of Department of Public Works)


Kevin McCaffrey writes:

“On September 13, the Conservation Board approved a plan to build a luxury townhouse next to Eloise A. Ray Park, on Riverside Avenue. 

“This approval occurred over the objections of a number of residents, including a ‘Friends of the Park’ group which has been lobbying against the project for some time. 

“Opponents of the project argue that it will be unusable while construction is ongoing; that it will be used in part as a staging area, and damaged by equipment; that the park will be ‘forever altered by having a multi-level house, driveway, patio and walls’ encroaching on it; that trees will be cut, wildlife displaced, and that traffic on Riverside will be affected for lengthy periods of time.

“While the project still requires approval by Planning & Zoning (no hearing date has yet been set), Friends of Eloise A. Ray Park urges residents to find out where P&Z candidates stand on this issue. They also invite interested residents to email”

Eloise A. Ray Park


People with Autism Spectrum Disorder, who are drivers or passengers in cars, are invited to a “Traffic Stop Practice” tomorrow (Saturday, November 4, 8 a.m. to noon), Sacred Heart University).

Sponsored in part by the Westport Police Department, the goal is to provide those with ASD with information about interactions during a routine traffic stop. They’ll also learn how to use the Department of Motor Vehicles’ “Blue Envelope,” which helps enhance communication with officers.

To register, email; include “Traffic Stop Practice” in the subject line, and include name, phone, email and physical address.

The state DMV “blue envelope” program, for people with autism.


Though 180 families applied to the Salvation Army for Thanksgiving turkeys and other food, the organization expects their CT Food Share allotment will not cover the need.

The seek additional support from are residents.

The Salvation Army also hopes to purchase new coats, sneakers and toys for hundreds of youngsters.

To help, and for more information, contact Major Persi Sanclemente:; 401-439-3480.


Yesterday’s frost was the first of this fall.

Jacqui O’Brien captured it in Greens Farms, for “Westport … Naturally”:

(Photo/Jacqui O’Brien)


And finally … this weekend’s “bridge slide” is not electric.

But this video will get you in a happier mood than you otherwise might be:

(Staying home to avoid all the traffic? Slide over to this link, and help support “06880.” Thank you!)

4 responses to “Roundup: Bridge Slide, Smoke Shops, PAL Gala …

  1. Here in NYC, vape/smoke shops are subjected to really weird regulations that I have yet to fully figure out. Because a majority of the floor space must be devoted to “snacks,” the stores look at first glance like museums of Doritos. (With lots of flashing lights).

  2. Regarding that vape store: since when are signs allowed on roofs in Westport?

  3. Nancy Kondub- Harris

    Don’t forget Peter’s sister- Pam Romano-Gorman ( Staples ‘75 and cheerleader co-captain.) She has given tremendously to Westport PAL as she works quietly beside her wonderful mother Joan.

  4. What an ironic, stupid and pretentious store name is “Savvy
    Smoker.” There ARE no savvy smokers…not now, not ever.

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