Francesca Segalas

Recent Articles

Police to Parks Officials: We Have No Safety Concerns Regarding ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ at Waveny (or Downtown)

Parks officials on Tuesday night reasserted that they have safety concerns about how the Caffeine & Carburetors auto enthusiasts’ gathering at Waveny, even though the deputy chief of police said that the New Canaan Police Department has no such worries. In fact, Deputy Chief John DiFederico told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission during their special meeting, “We have no issues at all from a police and safety perspective either here in Waveny or downtown.”

“We have worked closely for the past five years with Caffeine & Carburetors and from my perspective they are one of the most organized groups that we have worked with,” DiFederico told the Commission during its meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “What they bring to the town—the size, the volume of people and the volume of traffic—they work very closely with us, they are very organized, they work with Public Works and with [the Community Emergency Response Team]. They hire as many officers as we need to cover the event. They are open to all suggestions. Continue Reading →

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‘We Will Figure Out What Is the Best Uniform One’: Parks Officials Seek to Standardize Benches in New Canaan

Town officials say they’re pulling together an inventory of all the different types and styles of park benches in New Canaan, with an eye on creating a more uniform look and feel. 

Members of the Parks & Recreation Commission said at their most recent meeting that they’d like to “standardize the benches” so that there’s less variety on a per-park basis. “These are different from the memorial benches—we are also going to get a protocol together for that,” Commissioner Francesca Segalas said at the group’s regular meeting, held July 11 in the Lapham Community Center. “But each of these places has different benches and chairs and picnic tables. We all know Irwin has the Adirondack type look, and the Apple Cart-looking tables at Mead with the cross-hatch green, and so each of the parks has a difference. But some of them have four or five different variations and [Commissioner] Laura [Costigan] and I are accumulating data and pictures and then we will figure out what is the best uniform one to have at each of the parks.”

Recreation Director Steve Benko noted that many of the teak benches in New Canaan parks are 25 years old. 

Segalas said that most of those are memorial benches. 

“They are supposed to have like a 10-year-life, right?” she said. Continue Reading →

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Testy Parks Officials Critical of ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ at Waveny

During a testy meeting last week, parks officials said the ‘Caffeine & Carburetors’ auto enthusiasts’ gathering at Waveny in June violated several of the conditions established for the event. Though the June 17 show “was very well attended and it was a beautiful day” and “people seemed to really enjoy it,” still some members of the Parks & Recreation Commission “were concerned that some of the procedures we asked to be put in place were not followed,” Commission Chair Sally Campbell said Wednesday night. “We had some controls over who was coming and exhibiting cars, and we wanted to ensure that our fields and our park weren’t damaged and then we were concerned about safety,” Campbell said at the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “All of these are very correctable. But we just wanted to bring them up because we thought they were very important.”

According to Campbell, about half of the exhibitors who had registered in advance did not display show placards on their windshields, many spectators appeared to drive into Waveny by South Avenue instead of parking at New Canaan High School, as planned, exhibitor cars were parked in front of the footpath along the main road through Waveny, forcing pedestrian traffic into the roadway and unauthorized food trucks were selling food and creating a mess. Continue Reading →

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Officials Consider Installing Cameras in Irwin Park To Catch Irresponsible Dog Owners

While the New Canaan Police Department cannot spare an officer to patrol Irwin Park exclusively, authorities are recommending use of motion-activated trail cameras to help catch irresponsible dog owners who don’t pick up after their pets, officials said Wednesday night. According to Sally Campbell, chair of the Parks & Recreation Commission, video footage that matches dog owners with their cars would be the “best way” to identify violators. Police have “asked us to explore with IT what time of camera to use and the only a type of camera we are able to use is a game camera,” Campbell said during the commission’s regular meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “So we acquired a few of those and are trying to figure out how to best use them.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Parks Officials Approve Formation of ‘Dog Litter Committee’

To address the ongoing complaints about dog owners and walkers failing to clean up after their pets at Irwin and Waveny Parks, the Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved at its meeting Tuesday night the formation of a committee of six volunteers who will be permitted to place “Shame on You” flags where animals’ feces are left behind and administer waste bags to those who need them. The Dog Litter Committee members approved by the commission include: Jean Scheidl, Linda Gordon, Lise Schoenfield, Lynn Tilon, Meredith Landis, and Christina Thompson. Commission member Francesca Segalas—who formed a subcommittee with members Hank Green and Steve Haberstoh to help coordinate the “Dog Poo Initiative”—spoke on behalf of the Dog Litter Committee members, who were not present at the meeting, about how Irwin Park visitors are responding to the flags. “The reception has been very positive. There’ve been a few dissenters—maybe one in 10,” she said at the meeting, held in Lapham Community Center. Continue Reading →

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