Private Group Seeks Permission to Display Advertising in Makeshift Ice Rink at Public Park

Parks officials are seeking permission from New Canaan’s legislative body to forgo enforcement of a local ordinance that prohibits advertising in public parks. The Parks & Recreation Commission voted at its meeting last week in favor of allowing a private group to run “dashboard” ads inside a makeshift ice rink that’s planned for Waveny. 

Though the advisory Parks & Rec Commission supported allowing the ads last year—despite concerns voiced then-Recreation Director Steve Benko—the discussion never was vetted by the Town Council because the makeshift rink itself never materialized. Gene Goodman—a principal of the private group behind the rink, NC Rink Inc, according to Connecticut Secretary of the State records—said the ads themselves would be six feet wide by 2.5 feet high. “If you were standing at the perimeter of the dasher boards which will be about four feet high or so, you will be able to see it,” Goodman said during the Nov. 9 Parks & Rec meeting, held in Lapham Community Center.

‘Greenwich Wine and Food Festival’ Founders Propose Three-Day Event in Waveny

The founders of the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival say they’d like to move their popular annual event to Waveny and hold in the park over three days this coming fall. Held in a harbor-front park in Greenwich since its inception, the festival has had its last two installments canceled due to the pandemic, according to Suni Unger, CEO of the publication company that owns Serendipity magazine, which puts on the event. 

The renamed “Serendipity Wine and Food Festival” would be held on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday with about 600 people in attendance each of those days, preferably in the final weekend of October, Unger told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their Jan. 12 meeting. Waveny itself is “central for our attendees,” who come from Bedford, N.Y., New Canaan, Darien, Westport and Greenwich, Unger said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “But that’s really our core area and then there are a lot of people—I don’t know whether it’s scaling back in size—but we do draw a lot of national attention, mostly because of the chefs,” Unger said.

Town Forgives $150 Ticket Issued for Parking in Disabled Space

Town officials last week voided a $150 ticket that had been issued to a New Canaan woman who parked in a disabled space on Elm Street. Shohah Drakos told members of the Parking Commission during her Nov. 4 appeal hearing that the sign indicating a “handicapped” space on Elm just above the intersection with Main Street was obscured by a hanging basket, and that she didn’t see the blue-painted symbol in the road because she backed into the space while parallel parking. 

In addition, a blue line painted in the street marking out the spot did not “look like an official” line, Drakos said during the hearing, held via videoconference. “I parallel-parked into the space and saw that I had a two-hour parking OK, what I assumed was OK, and went on way and did a few errands and came back to find that I inadvertently had a ticket because I’d parked in a handicapped parking space which I would generally obviously never do,” she said. “I work with the elderly and I know what it’s like when you are counting on having a handicapped space that’s available and it’s not and it’s being taken up by somebody else.