The Make-A-Wish Foundation has asked the Westport Weston Family YMCA to help with an emergency request this afternoon.
And the Y has asked everyone to help.
The wish — from a 6-year-old boy — is to swim with his family at the Y, have a pizza party, and pet a bearded dragon.
The Y hopes that members of the community will join staff and members to line the Y driveway entrance, to welcome the youngster at 3:10 p.m. today (Sunday, march 28. Let’s make it an unforgettable day for him and the family.
The tennis courts at Town Farm (North Compo Road) and Doubleday (behind Saugatuck Elementary School) open next Friday (June 5). Play is limited to singles, on only those courts with nets. For all tennis court rules and regulations, click here.
Beginning Monday (June 1), single rider and pull golf carts will be available at Longshore, through the 2 p.m. tee time. That ensures enough time for proper sanitation. Carts are limited, and available while supplies last.
As of Friday (June 5), Longshore tee times begin at 7 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. They remain at 8 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays. Play is extended daily; the last tee time is 7 p.m.
And — to the delight of young athletes throughout town, and runners of all ages — fields at Wakeman, Staples High School (including the outdoor track) and Kings Highway Elementary School open for individual use and exercise on Monday (June 1).
No organized, competitive, pick-up team play, practices or games are allowed. Groups can include no more than 5 people, and social distancing must be followed. Non-compliance may result in field closures, Parks & Recreation officials say.
NOTE: Jinny Parker (field hockey) Field at Staples, and PJ Romano Field at Saugatuck Elementary will be closed for the summer, due to construction.
Wakeman athletic fields
Every day you seen, sense and feel it: More and more activity, all around town.
This was the scene yesterday on Wilton Road. A long line at the Post Road light — it’s almost a welcome sight!
It takes a lot of cojones to open a new restaurant in the midst of a pandemic
But that’s what the owners of Mexica are doing. The new spot — with similar cuisine — replaces Señor Salsa in the small Post Road West shopping center by Sylvan Lane.
Who doesn’t need a shot of tequila right now?!
You know all those bottles and can you’ve been collecting since the coronavirus hit, and Stop & Shop closed their return center?
Bring ’em back. The doors are open once again.
Except 7 to 7:30 a.m., and 2 to 2:30 p.m. The room is closed then, for cleaning.
JL Rocks started at Bungalow. Now the luxury jeweler and home emporium are separate stores. But owners Jamie Camche and Wende Cohen still collaborate.
They’ve survived the Great Recession — and now, a retail apocalypse — by offering great quality, exemplary customer service, and a unique aesthetic.
Safe 1-on-1 appointments, FaceTime consultations, curbside pick-ups and shipping have kept their many loyal customers delighted.
Jamie and Wende are working together on a new project: the “City of Lights” collection. They created a series of slim, stackable rings, each highlighted with a stunning diamond. Available in 14K yellow, white and rose gold, the 5 rings are inspired by Parisian landmarks: the Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, Eiffel Tower, Palace of Versailles and Notre Dame.
So what if the coronavirus has canceled your European trip? It’s a lot less expensive to buy a beautiful ring. You’ll have it forever. And you’re helping 2 wonderful women, whose 2 stores — and close partnership — has brought joy to so many Westporters.
Jamie Camche and Wende Cohen .(Photo/Jen Goldberg for Private Portraits)
And finally … when Paul Simon wrote “America” in 1966, our nation was in the midst of convulsive change. Half a century later — battered by a pandemic, polarized by beliefs, ripped apart by race and class and so many other divisions — we’re still empty and aching. And we don’t know why.
Many families in our area are struggling with the economic repercussions of temporary unemployment. Person-to-Person (P2P) serves residents of Fairfield County who are affected by the outbreak. No proof of income is required for those who are seeking food assistance.
Free shelf-stable groceries including produce, protein and dairy are available to employees furloughed due to COVID-19 and residents with incomes below 235 percent of federal poverty guidelines. Call 203-655-0048 to make an appointment. Locations in Darien, Norwalk and Stamford supply food to the public with varying hours.
P2P is also supplying emergency financial assistance for those who need help with rent, security deposits, utilities and small emergency expenses. Call 203-655-0048 for more information.
If you’re not struggling to put food on the table, consider helping others by donating food, toiletries, paper goods, diapers or gift cards. These supplies can be dropped off at 1864 Post Road in Darien or 76 South Main Street in Norwalk from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, and after hours by appointment. For more details, call 203-621-0703.
Finally, you can donate to a virtual food drive at www.p2phelps.org. Person-to-Person can purchase more than $3 worth of food with every dollar donated.
Unemployment and Layoffs
Unfortunately, an increasing number of businesses will be laying off staff and reducing hours. The financial repercussions of this health crisis could be tremendous. The Connecticut Department of Labor asks that you follow these steps if you are a worker or business owner who needs to file for unemployment:
If you are a worker: Visit www.filectui.com to file for unemployment as soon as possible. It is important to file as soon as you become unemployed. If you need help completing your application, email email@example.com.
If you contract COVID-19 and need to take time off work or are fired, you may file for unemployment benefits. You may also file for unemployment benefits if you are required to self-quarantine, your employer closes during this outbreak or a family member becomes ill. The outcome will depend on a case-by-case basis.
If your employer only permits you to work part-time instead of full-time or you work multiple jobs and your full-time employer closes, you may be eligible for partial unemployment.
If your employer retaliates against you for filing unemployment, you may file a complaint under the Connecticut Unemployment Compensation Act.
The Department of Labor is also suspending federal work search programs requiring unemployment recipients to meet one-on-one for assistance and is suspending work search requirements for unemployment benefits. Furloughed employees are eligible for at least six weeks of benefits.
If you are an employer: If one of your employees is sick with COVID-19, you can require them to stay home, though you should issue them an Unemployment Separation Package.
If you must close your business due to illness or quarantine, direct your employees to www.filectui.com.
The Department of Labor offers a SharedWork program for employers seeing business slow down. This is an alternative to a layoff, allowing employers to reduce full-time employees’ wages by up to 60 percent while workers collect partial unemployment. All employers with at least two full-time or permanent part-time employees can participate. A reduction of work must be between 10 and 60 percent of activities.
More details, including information about paid sick leave, wages and hours, and family medical leave, can be found at this link.
Small businesses are the cornerstone of Connecticut’s economy, employing roughly 700,00 residents. That’s why Connecticut’s Department of Economic and Community Development announced that the 800 small business owners who owe loan payments to the state’s Small Business Express program can defer payment for three months.
Yesterday Governor Lamont submitted a request to the U.S. Small Business Administration, asking the federal agency to issue a declaration that will enable Connecticut’s small business owners to receive economic injury disaster loans. Once these loans become available, I will spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Starting Thursday, Stop & Shop will offer seniors-only shopping from 6 a.m. to 7:30. Only customers 60 and over — the most vulnerable group for acquiring the virus — will be allowed in the store then.
The decision was made, the chain says, to “practice effective social distancing.”
In addition, starting today, all Stop & Shop stores will now close at 8 p.m. That will give employees more time to unload inventory and stock shelves.
(Hat tip: Paula Lacy)
Nathaniel Brogadir of Delivery.com is offering local restaurant owners no fees for 30 days. Owners should email firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department has closed its office until further notice.
All programs and program registration is postponed indefinitely.
Beach emblem sales are postponed until April 1. They can be ordered online then. If assistance is needed, call 203-341-5090.
Westport’s Parks & Rec Department in Longshore is closed until further notice. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)
Alert “06880” reader — and tree-lover — Jeff Seaver was appalled last night to discover that nearly every tree in the sprawling Stop & Shop parking lot was gone.
Here’s one small example:
Jeff did a little digging. Today, he writes:
“Stop & Shop manager Dave — a very nice man — says he is not sure why the trees are gone. He wasn’t sure if it was disease or overgrowth, or why they couldn’t just prune.
“S&S does not own the parking lot, but the owner of the lot – who is located down at the far end — is planning to replace the trees. Replacements are stacked up at the end of the building, waiting to go in.”
Jeff also provided the headline for this story. Good to know it doesn’t end badly.
To celebrate their 100th year in business, Stop & Shop asked their 200 store managers to solicit ideas for local worthy organizations.
Managers got feedback from employees. Each store then selected 1 charity or group.
Of the 200 suggestions, 100 were selected. Westport’s Stop & Shop made the cut — and Staples Tuition Grants is now $1,000 richer.
Pat Mooney — pictured at right with store manager David Faccin and STG president Rob Morrison — is a 23-year Westport resident. A single mother, she works hard to stay in Westport to send her 2 daughters through local schools.
She knew that without lots of help, college was out of reach.
Thanks to 4 years of aid from STG, Caitlin graduated from Wheelock College. She’s now teaching elementary school in Boston.
Her sister Brittainie graduated from Staples in 2011. She too received Tuition Grants help, and she too is interested in the field of education.
Pat — who says that her daughters would never be where they are now without STG — submitted the organization’s name to Stop & Shop.
Thanks, Pat. And happy 100th anniversary, Stop & Shop!
“This is a snap,” says Randy Christophersen, in between hectic preparations for the massive feast.
“Last year after the fire, we had only 3 days prepare.”
Turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, apple pie for hundreds of Westporters, neighboring residents, seniors, first responders, municipal and utility workers — piece of cake.
(The Saugatuck Congregational Church’s 41st annual Thanksgiving feast is set for Thursday, November 22, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Christ & Holy Trinity Church. For more information, or to request a delivered meal or ride, click here.)
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome — and appreciated! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to: Dan Woog, 301 Post Road East, Westport, CT 06880. Or use Venmo: @DanWoog06880. Or Zelle: email@example.com. Thanks!)