Tag Archives: Westport Parks & Recreation Department

COVID Roundup: Restaurant News; Graduation Gowns; Live Music; More


Looking for a list of open restaurants and delis — those with outdoor dining, along with takeout and delivery?

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce has you covered.

They maintain an up-to-date list. Click here for their website. As of this morning, the list included Arezzo, Bartaco, The Boathouse, Calise’s Market, Granola Bar, GG & Joe (the new acai bowl spot in Parker Harding Plaza, near TD Bank), Joe’s Pizza, Little Barn, The Naan, Pearl at Longshore, Rive Bistro, Rizzuto’s, Romanacci Xpress, Spotted Horse, Viva Zapata and The Whelk.

The Chamber site also includes FAQs, applications, and rules and regulations for restaurant owners.

There’s also this: a great new logo. It was created by (of course!) Westport’s go-to graphic designer, Miggs Burroughs.

 


On the long list of things people really, really want, then never look at again after wearing them once, the only thing less than a wedding dress is a graduation gown.

Except now. That goofy, floor-length outfit could save a life.

As healthcare workers lack personal protective equipment in the fight against COVID-19, they grab anything they can think of. Even trash bags.

Graduation gowns are a lot more effective than that. They cover legs and arms, and offer easy zipper access.

The Gowns4Good program provides graduation gowns to the men and women who desperately need them. Whether yours from years ago is gathering dust somewhere, or yours is spanking new for that less-than-raucous, socially distant 2020 ceremony: It can help.

Just click here. Fill out a short form. Select a medical facility from the dropdown list (pro tip: the closest to Westport is Stamford Hospital). Submit.
You’ll get an email back, with instructions on how to ship your gown.

Whether you graduated first in your class or last, you know: This is a very smart idea! (Hat tip: Becky Acselrod)

Despite the cigar smoke, these gowns will be useful.


Talk about “burying the lede”!

At the bottom of an email sent yesterday announcing new outdoor hours for The Whelk (Tuesday through Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m.), and the opening of a new Kawa Ni patio in “the next few days,” there was this momentous news from Bill Taibe’s group:

“With the seismic change that is happening in the world, we look at this as an opportunity to pivot and grow. Over the next few weeks Jesup Hall will evolve into Don Memo.

“While it is bittersweet to say goodbye to Jesup Hall, it is so exciting to create this new concept and be able to bring what we love about this cuisine and culture to downtown Westport. See you soon!”

“06880” will keep you posted. One thing is for sure: Don Memo won’t have to worry about creating outdoor seating. The patio in front of the old stone building next to Restoration Hardware — Westport’s original Town Hall — is already perfect.

Jesup Hall, soon to be Don Memo, aka the old Town Hall.


Westport’s Parks & Rec Department is posting clever new signs at their facilities around town.

Good thing they didn’t try to spell out “Recreation.”


If you wander by Jeff Franzel’s Saugatuck Island house any Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m., you may hear him playing piano.

But you don’t have to live here to hear Jeff. His listeners span the globe, via Facebook Live. They suggest themes; he improvises. Original songs, plus those by Elton John, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder, Thelonious Monk, Count Basie, Ed Sheeran, Billie Eilish — he plays them all.

And very well. The Westport native has quite a resume. He’s played piano for the Hues Corporation (“Rock the Boat”), Les Brown, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Mel Torme and Bob Hope. He wrote hits like “Don’t Rush Me” for Taylor Dayne, and others for the Temptations, NSYNC, Shawn Colvin, Josh Groban, Placido Domingo and Clay Aiken. He mentors songwriters around the world, and brings some to his Songwriting Academy, at his home.

Intrigued? You’re in luck: Today is Thursday. Click here at 5 p.m., for Jeff’s 10th concert.

Jeff Franzel


Looking for a good read — and podcast? Persona’s Rob Simmelkjaer interviews Westporter Emily Liebert. Her 6th novel, “Perfectly Famous,” will be published June 2.


And finally … it will be a while before we get 400,000 people together in one place.

Or even 40.

But the Youngbloods’ message is as relevant today as it was more than half a century (!) ago.

COVID Roundup: No Camp Compo Or RECing Crew; Antibodies And Masks; More


One more casualty of COVID-19: Westport Parks & Recreation’s long-running, popular Camp Compo and RECing Crew programs.

Parks & Rec director Jen Fava says:

“Due to the many restrictions placed upon camps by the state, the limited number of children that could be served, limitations of our facilities, the challenge of social distancing, and the new unknowns related to Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, we are concerned about our ability to provide these programs in a safe manner. Additionally, they would not be the camp experiences that our campers and parents have come to expect.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe adds, “This was not an easy decision to make, but after consulting with staff and the Westport Weston Health District, we believe this is the right decision for our specific programs.  The health and safety of our participants and staff, and the larger community, is our foremost concern. In light of that and the uncertainties related to the Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, there was too much health risk as it pertains to these programs.”

Other Parks & Rec summer programs are being evaluated and restructured to meet requirements. Information will be provided as soon as they are finalized.


This weekend on Hillspoint Road, Peter Maloney asked a 40-something woman to please use a mask as she walked near him.

“Not a problem! I have the antibodies,” she chirped.

Of course, Peter — and most Westporters — don’t have “the antibodies.”

Earth to woman: It’s not always about you.


And finally … the holiday’s over. Back to work (from home)!

Compo Reopening: Parks & Rec Answers Questions

Wondering about the new Compo Beach rules, which go into effect this Friday (May 15)?

You’re not alone. Yesterday, the Parks & Recreation Department provided these questions — and answers.

I am concerned that Parks & Recreation will run out of beach emblems before I purchase mine. Will only 50% of beach emblems be sold?  No! As in the past, the number of beach emblems for Westport and Weston residents is unlimited. If you are not planning to use the facilities immediately upon opening, there is no need to rush to purchase your beach emblem. We will not run out. The 50% pertains to the number of cars that will be allowed into the parking lots at a given time.

What if I purchase my beach emblem but do not receive it before May 15? As a result of the office being closed to the public, and not being able to purchase your emblem in person, you can use your receipt to gain entry into the lots for up to 10 days after the date of your receipt. We anticipate you should receive your emblem in the mail within that time frame.

(Photo/Mark Marcus)

What does 50% capacity mean? This refers to the number of cars allowed in the parking lots at any given time. There are approximately 800 parking spaces between Compo Beach lots and the Soundview lot (excluding marina parking), so we will allow 400 cars at a time when utilizing 50% capacity.

Once the 50% capacity of the parking lots is reached, are they closed for the day? No! We will monitor the number of cars. After the maximum number allowed is reached, we will allow others to enter as space becomes available.

Are we allowed to bring our own chairs? Yes! You may bring your own chairs, blankets, towels etc. and enjoy the beach. However, you must adhere to limiting group size as required by the governor, and social distancing rules of maintaining at least 6 feet from others.

Are face coverings required at the beach? Face coverings are required when not able to social distance by maintaining at least 6 feet from others who are not members of your immediate household.

Is grilling allowed? No! At this time, grills have been removed, and bringing your own grill is not permitted.

South Beach, sans tables and grills (Photo/Dan Woog)

Are tables available at the pavilion? At this time, there are no tables available in any location, in an effort to limit gatherings.

Can we play games such as catch, Frisbee, corn hole etc. at the beach? No! At this time we are not allowing this type of play, in order to limit the possibility of people encroaching on others as we continue to promote social distancing.

Can I bring my beach umbrella, pop up or tent? To help us safely monitor gatherings and social distancing guidelines, only umbrellas are allowed at this time. The use of pop-ups and tents smaller than 10′ x 10’ will be reevaluated later.

Will the playground and other amenities be open for use? No! The playground, basketball courts, skate park, volleyball courts, pickleball courts and softball field remain closed at this time.

Can these restrictions change? Yes! Based upon guidance from the governor, federal, state and local authorities, as well as community compliance, restrictions may be changed.

Click here to purchase a vehicle parking emblem. It will be mailed to you.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

Longshore, Beach Lots May Open May 15

As the weather turns — in fits and starts — toward spring, outdoor recreation may be just the thing to cure cabin fever.

Town officials hope to open both the Longshore golf course and Compo Beach parking lots on May 15.

Golfers will face tight restrictions. For example, carts will not be permitted. The driving range, pro shop and halfway house will remain closed. Porta-potties will be on site.

This may be more than a pretty sight soon. It will once again be an open golf course — with restrictions. (Photo/Tom Cook)

Parking at Compo and Burying Hill beaches will be limited to 50% capacity. Emblems will be available for Westport and Weston residents only. No daily parking will be available.

The Soundview and Compo Beach lots will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Boat slip and dry stall holders must have a special parking pass, along with their emblem, but will not count toward the 50% capacity. Restrooms will remain closed, but porta-potties will be available.

Grills and tables will not be available.

A familiar scene may return — in limited form — soon. (Photos/Larry Untermeyer)

Parking at Burying Hill is anticipated to open Memorial Day weekend, and will also require a valid 2020 Westport or Weston beach emblem.

Beach emblem parking restrictions and regulations at Longshore Club Park will take effect May 15. The Old Mill lot remains open for residents of Old Mill and Compo Mill Cove only.

The Parks and Recreation office remains closed to the public. All beach emblems must be purchased online (click here). For more information, call 203-341-5152.

Parks & Recreation Department director Jennifer Fava noted that all opening dates and details may be modified, if circumstances to change.

If guidelines are not followed, officials “may make changes as appropriate, such as in capacity or whether to keep facilities open altogether.”

First Selectman Jim Marpe adds, “Compo Beach and Longshore are clearly Westport’s most popular outdoor destinations. We are doing everything we can to safely open them for at least limited use.

“We will continue to work toward opening other sports and recreation facilities, but will do so cautiously so as not to undo our efforts to combat the virus.

“We understand the desire for our residents to get back to some normalcy, especially as the weather gets warmer. In order to relax our restrictions, we need the cooperation of everyone to adhere to the guidelines so that we can keep facilities open.”

Burying Hill Beach opens Memorial Day weekend. (Photo/Yvonne O’Kane)

Remembering Joe Saviano

Joe Saviano died last weekend in New Milford Hospital. He was 65.

The first baby born in Norwalk Hospital in 1955 (January 2), he grew up in Westport. He was a champion pole vaulter at Staples High School, where he graduated from Staples High School in 1973.

Joe retired from the Westport Parks and Recreation Department, where he worked for most of his career. He was an avid fisherman, nature enthusiast and photographer. RTM member Andrew Colabella offers this remembrance.

Have you been to a game at an athletic field in town, and noticed the perfectly groomed grass? How about the perfectly edged gardens in town parks? Have you thought about the guy in the tractor who grooms the beach, leaving oddly satisfying smooth lines?

This is a dedication to just one of those talented former Parks & Rec maintanance employees.


At 5 a.m. — bright and early before sunrise, Joe Saviano inspects his tractor and beach rake. Sporting a town polo, a hat he obtained from a garden place or distributor/wholesaler, and a bandanna, he makes his way to Compo Beach.

Joe Saviano

Joe starts on South Beach by the barbecue grills. He slowly raises the benches with the bucket to move them out of the way, then rakes up the charcoal, ash and trash left by washed up waves and last night beach goers.

As the sun peeks over the horizon, it’s time for coffee at Elvira’s. If he’s lucky (which is every day), one of the usual beach walkers, runners or visitors brings him one.

His fans, friends, runners taking a break, even curious dogs, all stop to watch him ride by. If they’re lucky (which is always), Joe stops to say hi, ask how they are, gives the dog a pet, and offers a cigarette to the runners (as a joke).

It’s now past 7 a.m. Time to make a pass on east beach, as the town garbage truck makes its rounds picking up trash cans. Racing from can to can to beat the dust blowing off the beach rake, Joe stops to tell a corny dad joke. That turns into more jokes, and stories of when he was a champion pole vaulter.

Joe closes the cab door, raises the throttle, engages the beach rake, then makes his way to the jetty to loop back to the cannons until every inch of beach is raked — all before the swimmers and sun worshipers lay their towels, chairs and umbrellas out on the sand.

Next up are Old Mill and Burying Hill Beaches. Easy little strips, but a chance for Joe to practice and critique his operating skills, as he removes all the pebbles from the sand, and seaweed that washed up past the high tide line. Spotting a low spot in the beach, Joe shifts the high sand away from the wall to smooth out (all in one shot).

Joe Saviano, working at Compo Beach.

When the beaches are all groomed, Joe rides shotgun in truck 100, with Joey Arciola driving. The two Joes ride from job to job, working together. Joe Saviano chats away; Joe Arciola listens.

On the job site though, barely any words are spoken. The two work in silence and sync. If something is broken they just happen to have the right part, or a way to jerry-rig it. Most of the time, their innovative, makeshift part never needs replacing. 


That was a normal Monday, Wednesday and Friday for Joe.

For over 30 years Joe Saviano maintained town parks, beaches and field. He applied his natural green thumb, immunity to poison ivy and carpentry skills to building bleachers and split rail fences, and growing the greenest grass and most mesmerizing flower beds and gardens anywhere.

Joe was wise when it came to finances too. He always found the craziest deals. Joe’s truck was over 15 years old, but had little mileage. He never paid for a single repair on it!

Joe also never purchased cigarettes. He thought they were overpriced and filled with cancer. So he grew and rolled his own cigarettes, from tobacco he grew or purchased. It never made sense to me, just like his theories about extraterrestrial life, what was beyond our galaxy, and the purpose of some of the jobs we had to do at work.

Joe never sugarcoated anything. He was always straightforward and honest, and spoke his mind. Even if you didn’t agree, you respected his honesty and creative thinking.

When Joe wasn’t at work he could be found at Jr’s Hot Dog Stand, in the first chair. Congregating around him were big town names, high-ranking employees, retirees — all close friends shooting the breeze.

One of Joe Saviano’s favorite spots.

He cold also be found at his mother’s home, tending the garden and taking care of her. Or New Milford, where he settled down to raise his son Joseph Danial. And his vacation spot, his cabin in upstate New York — off-grid, where he fished and perfected his photography skills.

Joe left behind a legacy of talent, hard work, dedication, multiple friends and relationships. He also left his mark on the town, one that will be forever imitated but never duplicated.

Most importantly, Joe left behind his print on this earth.

So the next time you visit a town park, athletic or recreational field, or a beach, Joe’s mark can be found everywhere. Take time to notice the work of the bleachers he put together for you to sit on, the perfectly manicured pesticide-free cut grass with water-based stripes applied by careful eye, the boardwalk you walk on, the wooden guardrails you lean on waiting for your ride, or the barbecue grills you cook on to serve friends and family to as the sun sets.

Hardworking, talented people maintain those areas every day.

Joe was one of those people.

Joe, we’ll miss you!

Joe Saviano kept Loeffler Field — where the Staples High School boys and girls play — looking great.

New Beach Concessionaire Moves Forward

No one knows when — or even if 😦 — Compo Beach will open this year.

But a key piece of summer fun edged closer to reality last night. The Planning & Zoning Commission — acting in its capacity to consider land use issues — voted unanimously in favor of a new concessionaire.

Upsilon Entertainment Group — the applicant chosen by the Parks & Recreation Department — would run the Compo food service that for over 30 years was operated by Joey Romeo. The Larchmont, New York-based company would also take over Romeo’s 2 other concessions: the Longshore golf course halfway house, and the concession by the pool.

Parks & Rec director Jen Fava describd the formal bid process. There were 36 downloads of the RFP. Eight businesses made site visits. Five submitted proposals. In addition to Upsilon’s, they came from Norwalk, Stratford, Woodbridge and Ryebrook, New York.

Fees to be paid to the town ranged from a low of $55,000 a year to a high of $100,000 or 10% of the gross revenue the first year, whichever is higher. The latter bid came from Upsilon.

The new concessionaire will take over from Joey Romeo. For over 30 years, he ran Joey’s by the Shore. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Fava said that 3 groups were interviewed by a committee of representatives from the RTM, Parks & Rec Department, Parks & Rec Commission, and Department of Public Works.

They selected Upsilon for a variety of reasons. One was those highest fees (which top out at $120,000 a year or 12% of gross revenues, whichever is higher, in the final year of the 5-year contract). An opt-in clause covers 2 additional 5-year terms.

Fava said the committee was enthusiastic about Upsilon’s previous experience, which included operations at New York’s Bryant Park, Prospect Park and Hudson River Park.

The menu would include “typical beach food,” plus “healthier options like smoothies and salads.” They would offer special food nights, like Italian cuisine, and events like cheese tastings.

The company will use biodegradable packaging, and will compost materials. They committed to hire local staffs, and sell Connecticut-based products.

“They’re very professional,” the Parks & Rec director said. “They want to be partners with us, and involved in the community.”

Joey Romeo owned much of the interior equipment. The new concessionaire will have to bring in its own. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Fava said that while many terms in the original contract were similar to those in the past, the coronavirus pandemic necessitated a rider. It covers uncertainty over starting dates for the beach, and addresses issues like partial openings.

The P&Z vote marked the first step toward town approval for Upsilon. Still ahead: the Board of Finance and Board of Selectmen.

COVID Roundup: Fields Monitoring; Free Coding Class; Mask Making; Easter Baskets; STAR Funding; More

Beginning yesterday, town personnel are monitoring facilities closely. The goal: making sure that physical distance standards are adhered to by all.

Director Jen Fava says, “We continue to find people not only using our closed facilities, like athletic fields, courts, and other recreational areas, but also gathering in groups at these and other Parks & Rec and school facilities. In addition, there continues to be an issue with people not having dogs on leash.

“Parks and Recreation Department staff, in conjunction with school security staff and the Westport Police Department, will monitor the facilities to ensure compliance in an effort to protect the health and safety of our residents. Any non-compliance with staff will be referred to the Westport Police Department.”

Crowds have been gathering at the Staples football field, among other venues.


Looking for a new hobby, for yourself or your kids?

Learn to code — for free.

Staples High School Class of 1992 graduate Mark Lassoff has made a career offering tech ed videos online. Now he’s paying it forward.

Lassoff’s Fairfield-based Framework TV COVID-19 Code Camp teaches digital skills like coding, web development and digital design — for free. No prior experience is needed.

Video lessons and activities are offered 4 times a week. It’s interactive: Participants get to know each other, and ask questions of instructors.

For more information and registration, click here.

Mark Lassoff


For the past 2 years, Virginia Jaffe helped make costumes for the Greens Farms Elementary School play. Now she and her fellow designers are putting their creative skills to use by making masks for men and women on the front lines — in food stores, markets, hospitals, medical offices and the like.

Virginia, Jurga Subaciute, Marisa Zer and Taran Gulliksen set up production lines in their homes. They make over 100 masks a day. “We’re home schooling, house cleaning and meal making,” she says. “But we can also cut fabric and sew.”

As national and state officials urge Americans to wear masks, the need will grow.

The women need unused flat 5mm or thin rope elastic. Colors do not matter.

In addition, they’re looking for people with sewing machines who wants to help. “We’ll give you instructions and patterns for making masks,” Virginia says. “And we will coordinate where they need to be sent.”

If you can’t sew but want to get involved through a financial contribution (to purchase fabric, threads and elastic directly from a Norwalk supplier who offers heavily discounted prices), see below.

If you know of a group of local front line workers who need masks, she’d like to know too.

To donate elastic and/or funds, offer to help, or suggest recipients, email Westportmasks@yahoo.com.


With all that’s going on, add another stress: how to fill an Easter basket.

Savvy+Grace’s doors are closed. But energetic, creative owner Annette Norton offers safe (curbside pickup) for orders. And every one includes a solid chocolate bunny!

Email savvyandgracewestport@gmail.com. Include:

  • Your full name and cell phone
  • The age, name and gender of the gift recipient
  • The gift recipient’s size (top and bottom)
  • The recipient’s interests (dance, theater, type of sport, etc.)
  • Pierced ears? Likes jewelry?
  • Any other info that might be helpful.

Annette will text back with photos and prices, for your perfect basket.

Annette Norton is ready for Easter.


Laura Blair is one of STAR’s best fundraisers. This time of year, she’s usually a familiar figure outside stores and Staples sports contests, collecting pledges and donations for the annual Walk, 5K and Roll at Sherwood Island State Park.

STAR serves individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. The event helps support 12 group homes and 10 apartments, assisting 110 people with independent living, plus training and job placement to nearly 250 adults.

This year, the fundraiser is online. Click here to help Laura reach her $15,000 goal.

Laura Blair is a fundraising STAR.


And finally, what better way to end the week than with the wonderful Louis Armstrong:

New Beach Concessionaire Ready For Approval

No one knows when Compo Beach and Longshore will reopen.

But when they do, the Parks & Recreation Department will be ready.

After announcing in November that Joey’s by the Shore is no longer the concessionaire at the beach, pool and halfway house, Parks & Rec sent out an RFP.

There were 5 responses. Three applicants were interviewed. And the winner is …

Upsilon Entertainment Group.

The Larchmont, New York-based firm begins the approval process at a Board of Finance meeting tomorrow (Wednesday. April 1). The 8 p.m. Zoom meeting will be livestreamed on WestportCT.gov, and shown on on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020.

Then, at a public meeting on April 7 (8:30 a.m.), the Planning & Zoning Commission considers the 1st selectman’s 8-24 Request for a Report about the new concessionaire. The meeting will be streamed live on the town website, and on Cablevision Channel 79.

The P&Z’s purview is to consider the overall planning impact of the proposed lease for the use of these municipal spaces. Public comment can be made in writing only. Email pandz@westportct.gov, to ensure that comments are circulated to the entire P&Z Commission.

Interested residents can review the application materials, including the proposed lease, here: https://www.westportct.gov/government/departments-a-z/planning-and-zoning-department/p-z-pending-applications

Final approval would be granted by the Board of Selectmen. A date for that meeting has not yet been set.

Upsilon Entertainment Group hopes to be the new beach concessionaire. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

COVID-19 Roundup: Business Advice; Stop & Shop Special Hours For Seniors; Restaurant, Parks & Rec News

State Senator Will Haskell says:

Person-to-Person
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 dol.webhelp@ct.gov.

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
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 nbrogadir@delivery.com 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)

 

Photo Challenge #267

There’s always a story.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed an easily identifiable — well, to anyone who lived here through the 1970s, anyway — painting.

I called it a lighthouse. I wrote that for decades it stood between the marina and pool entrance at Longshore — near where the pavilion and snack bar are now. (Click here to see.)

So that was not the challenge. I asked: Where can you see this painting today?

Fred Cantor, Joyce Barnhart and Lynn Untermeyer Miller all know: In the lobby of the Parks & Recreation offices, at Longshore a few yards from the 1st tee.

Then Richard Stein chimed in. He found this painting at a tag sale at the Red
Barn restaurant, on Wilton Road.

It was coated with dust, cobwebs and dirt. He had it cleaned and repaired, then donated to the Westport Permanent Art Collections, with the request that it hang at Parks & Rec office.

He added that a label on the back said “Horowitz.” The name “Harriet” appears at the bottom of the painting, along with “’71” — presumably indicating it was done in 1971.

Jill Turner Odice quickly added some details: Her mother, Julie Turner, was friends with Harriet Horowitz. They painted and played tennis together in Westport, between 1966 and ’89. “This painting is in her style,” Jill said.

That’s the story. Except for even more information, courtesy of Stein. He’s been told that some of the granite foundation stones of the tower are still there, in the marina parking lot.

Plus this: It was not actually a lighthouse. Stein says it was an observation tower.

“06880” readers truly are on top of everything.

This week’s Photo Challenge should ring a bell. If you know where in Westport you’d find this, click “Comment” below.

And of course, provide the back story.

(Photo/Ed Simek)