Tag Archives: downtown parking

Roundup: Downtown Parking, Remarkable Theater, Alcohol Sales …

Free parking is still available throughout downtown.

But — like before the pandemic — there will soon be some limits.

Yesterday, the Board of Selectwomen voted to bring back the pre-COVID regulations. With a tweak or two.

All “timed” town lots will now be 3 hours long, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The previous restrictions were 1 and 2 hours, depending on location.

553 public spots downtown will be limited to 3 hours. Another 800 or so remain unlimited.

Approximately 700 more spaces are in private parking lots.

The vote was 2-1. Selectwomen Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore favored the 3-hour plan, with Candice Savin opposed.

The new rules are effective September 1.

“Open parking” will remain in some areas of downtown — but not all.



The Board of Selectwomen yesterday agreed to a request from the Remarkable Theater to use the Imperial Avenue parking lot from August 28 through November 3.

This marks the 4th year for the popular Imperial Avenue pop-up drive-in. The “curtain rose” for the first 3 — beginning with the socially distanced season of 2020 — in late spring.

A schedule will be announced soon. Meanwhile, representatives of any organization interested in sponsoring a movie should contact Doug Tirola: doug@4throwfilms.com.


The July real estate report is out.

After years of COVID-fueled frothy growth, trends appear to be leveling, according to Judy Michaelis.

Some July 2023 statistics, with July 2022 (in parentheses) for comparison:

  • New listings: 40 (48)
  • Number of properties for sale: 97 (124)
  • Number of properties sold: 53 (48)
  • Average days on market: 61 (55)
  • Average list price: $3,023,148 ($2,752,077)
  • Median list price: $2,450,000 (2,137,500)
  • Sales price/list price ratio: 103.8% (105.4%)
  • Average sales price per square foot: $574 ($726)

Click here for a full report. (Hat tip: Judy Michaelis)

The most expensive property for sale in Westport right now is this 9-bedroom, 8 1/2-bathroom, 10,959-square foot home on 3 acres, at 50 Sylvan Road North. It is listed for $3.9 million.


Westport Police made 3 custodial arrests between August 9 and 16.

A man at the International Wine Shop was charged with illegal sale of alcohol to a minor after 2 18-year-olds were seen leaving the store after making a purchase. He confirmed he had not checked identification of the buyer.

An investigation into the theft of a motor vehicle and credit cards led to charges of larceny, payment card theft, illegal transfer, fraud, forgery, illegal use of a payment card and identity theft.

A woman was arrested on a warrant for failure to appear.

Westport Police also issued these citations:

  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 5 citations
  • Failure to obey traffic control signal: 3
  • Failure to renew registration: 2
  • Distracted driving: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 1
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1

Off-limits to anyone under 21.


Speaking of police: Around 4:44 p.m. on August 7, Awesome Toys reported the theft of a “Traxxas” truck and art supplies.

Captured on film, the suspect appears to be 6-2, 220 pounds.

Four days later, on August 11, the same man returned. He filled 2 large bags with items, and left without paying.

Suspect in Awesome Toys theft.

Westport Police ask for help identifying the suspect.  Email swongwon@westportct.gov, or call 203-341-6080.


Two Connecticut residents died after contracting infections from a flesh-eating bacteria that can be caused by eating raw oysters or swimming in saltwater, the New York Times reports. A third person survived.

“Infections from the bacteria, called Vibrio vulnificus, are rare but extremely dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in five people who become infected die. Many survivors lose limbs to amputations, according to the C.D.C.”

People with open wounds should avoid swimming in warm seawater. Those with compromised immune systems should be careful eating or handling raw seafood.

Vibriosis is caused by a bacteria found in salt water, during warm weather. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting, fever and chills, slong with ear infections, sepsis and life-threatening wound infections.

Two of the state victims had open cuts, in Long Island Sound. A third became sick after eating raw oysters, though not at a restaurant here. Their towns were not identified.

As ocean temperatures rise, infections may spread.

The Times notes,”Connecticut has seen a few cases in recent years. One person died of a Vibrio vulnificus infection in the state in 2019. In 2020, five cases were reported; all recovered. The people who became infected had open wounds and were exposed to salt or brackish water.”

Inspectors have never detected the infection in Connecticut’s commercial oysters. Click here for the full story.


Speaking of the Times: Its “Ethicist” column often tackles thorny issues.

Yesterday’s will resonate with many Westporters. A reader wrote:

I live on Cape Cod, and I have recently noticed something of a current trend in which beachgoers claim valuable (and sometimes scarce) real estate by arriving several hours early to set up chairs, blankets and umbrellas before leaving to return (in some cases several hours later) to eventually move into their pre-claimed territory.

I always thought that you had to be on hand to occupy some piece of public space. Does an empty chair or blanket constitute actual occupancy? Do such phantom claims have any merit? Would someone have the right to ignore such maneuvers by removing these chairs or blankets? If so, what should be the response to the claimant who might return to find their items no longer claiming possession? 

“The Ethicist” replied:

The aim of such public space is to allow as many people as possible to make the proper use of it. That aim is undermined by absentee claims that prevent others from enjoying a spot on the beach for extended periods. It’s fine to leave evidence of occupancy if you’re just going off to get an ice cream, say, or to visit a restroom. If you do this, though, it might be wise to leave an explanatory note. (“10:15, buying a snack, back by 10:45.”) That’s within the spirit of the social convention. But your beach-blanket buccaneers are abusing this convention and effectively privatizing what should be public.

At the same time, moving other people’s things isn’t to be done lightly. You’ll certainly want to be sure that their owners haven’t just stepped away for an acceptable interval. The social conventions about claiming areas in these public settings are not, of course, precise. Half an hour or so strikes me as a good marker in most such circumstances, but take a poll among people you know. If the beach-spot hogs return while you’re around, you can show them where their possessions are and tell them that you waited for a while and assumed they were not returning. (Should you ever mistakenly displace a bathroom-breaker, you should apologize and immediately cede the spot.)

It’s best when these issues can be settled through social, rather than statutory, means. Certain beach towns in Spain, I’ll note, punish such infractions with stiff fines on beach-spot hogs; the Italian Coast Guard has even seized unattended towels, umbrellas and chairs, holding them until their owners pay a penalty. Let’s hope that at your beach, norms and social sanctions will eventually suffice to discourage these parasol-planting land-grabbers.

Remember that the next time you’re heading to the fireworks.

Or — on any day — thinking of reserving one of those South Beach picnic tables that say (quite clearly) “Tables May Not Be Reserved.” (Hat tip: Jay Petrow)

Reserving early spots for the fireworks, 2018. The arms race has grown substantially since then. (Photo/Doris Ghitelman)


Tomorrow (Friday, August 18) is the opening for Sorelle Gallery’s “On View” exhibition, with abstract artist Deborah T. Colter.

The Martha’s Vineyard-based artist layers found materials, handmade paper, paint, and other media to create abstract collages.

The show is open Tuesday through Saturday (10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sundays noon to 4 p.m.). Click here for more information.

Deborah T. Colter’s “On View,” at Sorelle Gallery.


Westporters love the ornamental plantings at Grace Salmon Park.

It’s also now home to this zucchini. Perhaps it wandered over from the Farmers’ Market, next door on Imperial Avenue?

However it got there, it’s a great image for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)


And finally … today marked the penultimate day for the 1969 Woodstock festival.

Were you there? If so, click “Comments” below to share memories!

Meanwhile, enjoy 3 of the most famous performances from this day, 54 years ago:

(You may have missed Woodstock. But you don’t have to miss a chance to support “06880.” Please click here. Thank you!)

Roundup: Downtown Parking, Remarkable Theater, Sweetgreen …

There’s no such thing as a free lunch — at least, if you’re eating in or taking out downtown.

Downtown parking though, has always been free — for 1 or 2 hours.

During the pandemic, enforcement of parking limits was suspended.

Tickets may soon return — but only after those parking limits are extended.

The second agenda item on Wednesday’s Board of Selectwomen meeting (August 16, 9 a.m., Town Hall auditorium) reads:

Acting in its capacity as the Local Traffic Authority, to re-establish the enforcement of timed parking limits previously suspended by the Board of Selectmen at its public meeting of June 10, 2020, and further, to establish uniform parking limits and times of enforcement throughout the town-managed and owned downtown parking lots known as Parker Harding Plaza, Sigrid Shultz Plaza, Baldwin, Bay Street, Jesup Road, and Taylor, and the Town roadways known as Main Street, Church Lane, Bay Street, and Taylor Place, by changing FROM the currently posted “1- and 2- hour parking” limits TO “3-hour parking” limits and enforcement times TO “8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.” And further, to request permission from the CT DOT to change the current parking term limits posted on Post Road East FROM “1- and 2-hour parking” TO “3-hour parking.”

Click here for the livestream of the Board of Selectwomen session, or watch on Optimum Channel 79. Comments may be sent to selectwoman@westportct.gov prior to the meeting.


The 3rd agenda item for Wednesday’s Board of Selectwomen’s meeting is also of interest: a request from the Remarkable Theater to use the Imperial Avenue parking lot from August 28 through November 3 for a 4th season of drive-in movies.

From 2020 through ’22, the Remarkable’s season began in the spring.

Paul and Melissa Levy, at the Remarkable Theater.


Jacqui O’Brien was one of several readers who sent photos of a strange object seen over Westport skies last night.

Susan Leone was the first to identify them as SpaceX Starlink satellites.

They were launched yesterday from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station. It was the 9th flight for the first stage booster supporting the mission.


As first noted on “06880” over a year ago — but denied vociferously by Organic Krush — Sweetgreens is indeed moving in to Compo Shopping Center.

Organic Krush has already moved out.

No date has been announced for opening. But the fast-casual salad-based chain — which emphasizes healthy eating and sustainability, and has 158 outlets in 13 states — already has Westporters excited.


The recent food drive for Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center and food pantry — which included a special, fill-my-shopping-cart trip by a mother and 2 children —  was celebrated yesterday, at the Sunrise Rotary Club’s weekly meeting.

The sponsors — including also the Westport Rotary Club, Westport Police Department and Saugatuck Rowing Club — presented a check for $1,105.62 to Homes with Hope.

Those cash donations were in addition to the hundreds of bags of groceries that were dropped off, as shoppers entered and exited the store.

From left: Liz Wong, Sunrise Rotary president; Rob Hauck, Rotary member; Helen McAlinden, Homes with Hope president; Paris Looney, HWH vice president, and Sunrise Rotary members Bruce Paul and Bruce Fritz. (Photo/James Wong)


The link provided yesterday by Wakeman Town Farm for their September 9 Harvest Fest fundraiser was incorrect. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Wakeman Town Farm’s Harvest Fest is coming soon.


Many Westporters love pickleball. Some hate it.

But all can agree: the Smart Shots Pickleball Social is great.

The September 30 event (6:30 to 9:30 p.m., Milford Indoor Tennis) is a fundraiser for A Better Chance of Westport.

Level-designated courts will ensure exciting matches. Vendors will offer pickleball services and products. A raffle includes special prizes. The Porch @ Christie’s is providing food (available for pre-purchase).

The event is sponsored by ATP (Alan & Tina Pickleball). Click here to register. Questions? Call 203-984-1949.


We like to think of Long Island Sound as “ours.”

But — as Karen Como’s “Westport … Naturally” photo reminds us — humans were not here first.

(Photo/Karen Como)


And finally … anyone who saw the 2012 Oscar-winning documentary “Searching for Sugar Man” knows that Rodriguez’s story is astonishing.

The Detroit musician wrote and sang haunting protest songs. But he never found an audience, and settled into a life as a laborer and office worker.

He was “discovered” in Australia however — and then, even more so, in South Africa during apartheid. According to the New York Times:

“To many of us South Africans, he was the soundtrack to our lives,” Stephen Segerman, owner of a Cape Town record store, said in the documentary.

“In the mid-’70s, if you walked into a random white, liberal, middle-class household that had a turntable and a pile of pop records, and if you flipped through the records, you would always see ‘Abbey Road’ by the Beatles, you’d always see ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ by Simon and Garfunkel, and you would always see ‘Cold Fact’ by Rodriguez. To us, it was one of the most famous records of all time. The message it had was ‘Be anti-establishment.’”

Astonishingly, Rodriguez did not know he had fervent fans in South Africa. Equally astonishingly, South Africans thought he was dead. One rumor was a drug overdose; another, that he had killed himself onstage.

In 1998, he was discovered — alive, and living in obscurity in Detroit. He was invited to South Africa, and played concerts at  sold-out venues.

He was “discovered” again more than a dozen years later, with the release of “Searching for Sugar Man” — a film about his strange but vibrant life.

Rodriguez — whose full name was Sixto Diaz Rodriguez — died Tuesday, in Detroit. He was 81.

Click here for a full obituary. Click below to hear Rodriguez.

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