For today’s Q&A with the head of a local organization, we interviewed Craig Panzano, executive director of the New Canaan YMCA. The Y’s doors are closed and the building is essentially shut down, though the organization launched virtual programming that includes on-demand and live workouts in areas such as yoga and pilates, as well as kids’ dance classes and sessions on nutrition. Some of the videos are live while others are pre-recorded, and the Y has had some 14,000 views on them since launch, Panzano said. Here’s our interview. New Canaanite: The YCMA serves so many local people and in different ways.
February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month. New Canaan YMCA will open its spinning studio for local youth to participate in a “Ride to Raise Awareness.” The ride, co-hosted by Domestic Violence Crisis Center will incorporate a fun, high-energy workout with some key facts about teen dating abuse prevention. The 45-minute spin is free to all area high school students with a valid school ID. Contact email@example.com to reserve a bike.#TDVAM2020
Saying it’s needed for pedestrian safety and to accommodate use during peak hours, the YMCA is seeking to expand a parking lot along the side of its South Avenue building by 20 spaces. Fewer than 5% of the Y’s current 247 space are available when the nonprofit organization is busiest, according to an application filed with the Planning & Zoning Commission.
“Cars circling the parking lot looking for a parking space create an unsafe condition for pedestrians, many of them children, and may invite patrons to park on South Avenue or Putnam Road,” according to a letter that accompanied site plan and Special Permit applications filed on the Y’s behalf by attorney Ted O’Hanlan of Stamford-based Robinson+Cole.
In approving the Y’s extensive renovation five years ago, P&Z noted that if more parking is needed, the organization should submit a site plan along those lines, O’Hanlan noted.
“That time has arrived and is motivated by genuine concern for safety and convenience,” he said. “No increase in either programs or membership has motivated these applications.”
The application includes a traffic study that “clearly demonstrates that more on-site parking will better serve the YMCA’s existing parking demand.”
“The traffic analysis states that, because the YMCA is not adding any new programs, there will be no increase in trip generation to and from the property, and, therefore, no traffic impact on South Avenue and the surrounding street network,” O’Hanlan said. Plans call for 20 striped parking spaces on what the applicant is calling the “south side of the building,” running roughly parallel to Putnam Road. The spaces are to be used by Y staff and “as overflow parking for patrons.” Two new landscape islands with curbing are to be installed, along with a 6-foot-high wooden fence, forsythia hedge and access gate for emergency vehicles.
Orthopedic surgeon Paul Sethi will address how patients are minimizing or eliminating the use of opioids following major surgery. This is the final 2019 session of the Pathway Series, educational offerings held at the New Canaan Y covering substance use and mental health related topics. Dr. Sethi will discuss his views on current pain management practices, and also research being funded through the ONS Foundation.
Swim, Bike, Conquer! Golden Games at the New Canaan YMCA
This event is designed for active, older adults ages 60+ to get active and have fun while competing in a three-part relay: 500m pool swim, 4 mile stationary bike ride, and an obstacle course. Register as a team of four, or as an individual. Participants will receive a t-shirt, swag bag, and post race snacks. The top teams will receive prizes following the race.