Steve Benko

Recent Articles

Eyeing New Uses, Town Approves Funds To Restore, Repaint Colonnade at Mead Park

Town officials have approved nearly $12,000 to enter into contracts with two area companies to clean and paint the marble Greek columns of the colonnade in Mead Park. A WPA project that originally had been a wading pool and was converted into a “victory garden” following World War II, the grassy colonnade area hosts community events such as the recent cherry blossom festival, an annual breakfast hosted by the New Canaan Beautification League and junior prom photo gatherings. Parks officials since last year have discussed ways to spruce it up so that the colonnade offers more uses. The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved an $8,780 contract with Norwalk-based Royal Restoration and $11,855 with Stamford’s Aladdin Services to clean up and paint the marble columns. “I think it’s money well spent,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at the July 25 meeting, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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Fields Work To Displace Some NCHS Sports Teams Temporarily This Fall

Teams from New Canaan High School and youth sports groups will be affected by a $5 million construction project now underway and that will begin in full-force in mid-August, parks officials said last week. The project, which will bring turf to what are now grass fields at NCHS, will restrict or prevent access to athletes, mostly football and field hockey teams, through the first week of October, members of the Parks & Recreation Commission said during a special meeting on Thursday. While addressing the commission, Recreation Director Steve Benko said, “We are looking at how to accommodate this issue with some of our fields at Waveny.”

“[Sports teams] have to understand that, through the end of September, there are going to be times when fields have to be shared,” he said at the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “They might not have all the space that they had… it’s not staged, it’s all going to happen at once.”

Benko warned residents to take heed of signs announcing field closings. “Please be careful if you see that a field is closed,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Town to Waveny Walkers: Use the New Footpaths, Not the Road

Frustration with pedestrians who walk in the main road through Waveny—rather than on new pathways specifically created for them—is quickly turning into action, parks officials say. According to Recreation Director Stephen Benko, despite the recent additions of three brand-new pedestrian paths that hug the roadway, many who come to the park to jog, walk their dogs or push baby strollers favor the roadway that’s meant for cars, raising traffic and safety concerns. “Unfortunately, we might have to put up a ‘No Pedestrians’ ” sign,” Benko said of the rising problem. He said that visitors may be walking in the road because of the seasonal dryness of the pathways—a problem that will soon be addressed. The Department of Public Works is currently contracted to lay down a .25-inch layer of stone. Continue Reading →

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‘I Just Think It’s Unique’: Waveny Summer Concert Series Continues Wednesday

For Steve Halleck, a New Canaan resident who moved to town three years ago, the music of the 1960’s holds a certain nostalgia, and it keeps him going out to see that cherished music live. So on a recent early evening, Halleck made his way to Waveny for the first midweek installment of the hugely popular Summer Concert Series that resumes on Wednesday with country western group Gunsmoke (a concert sponsored by the New Canaan Community Foundation). “I’m here for the music,” Halleck said as foldout chair- and cooler-toting locals found their own spot of bright green lawn out back of Waveny House on June 21. “I’m here for the memories, to hear the music I grew up with,” he said. The night marked Halleck’s first time at the concert series, and as an avid fan of ‘60s R&B, he couldn’t miss it. Continue Reading →

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Parks Officials Designate New Areas at Waveny for Drone Operators, Eye Kiwanis for This Fall

Drone pilots finally have a viable and designated place to fly this summer. Parks officials on Wednesday created a plan for drone users and their devices to operate at Waveny. Under a proposal that the New Canaan Parks & Recreation Commission approved 8-0 during its regular meeting, beginning June 26 and through Aug. 15, drone-using members of the New Canaan Radio Control Society will be able to fly the devices in an area west of the water towers, near the softball fields behind Lapham Community Center, while model plane and “quad-copter” racing owners fly on the same field but nearer to the main road through Waveny. Flying will take place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends and 12 to 4 p.m. three days per week, commission Chair Sally Campbell said. Continue Reading →

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