Did You Hear … ?

A Darien-New Canaan tussle played out ahead of this week’s highly anticipated Turkey Bowl, and just a few football fields away from Dunning Stadium. At about 1 p.m. on Nov. 11, a 4-year-old miniature Australian shepherd from New Canaan attacked an 18-month-old Vizsla from Darien at Spencer’s Run, the dog park at Waveny. The local dog bit the puppy’s earflap and did enough damage to require stitching, according to a report on file with the Animal Control section of the New Canaan Police Department. “All in all, Spencer’s Run as a rule runs very, very smoothly,” said Officer Allyson Halm, head of Animal Control.

‘It Is Probably Getting Too Big’: Parks Officials Seek To Control Size of Caffeine & Carburetors at Waveny

Though Caffeine & Carburetors operates smoothly and safely, the auto enthusiast gathering has grown so popular that it’s reached a tipping point where controls on attendance must be considered, parks officials said this week. On the heels of a the largest-ever Caffeine & Carburetors at Waveny—a gathering that saw an estimated 1,300-plus people attend—Park & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell said Wednesday that “it is probably getting too big.”

“Things grow to a point and then you really have to look at them, and they have come to a point,” Campbell said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. Launched six years ago as a modest gathering of specialty and antique car enthusiasts by New Canaan resident Doug Zumbach, the owner of the eponymous coffee shop on Pine Street, Caffeine & Carburetors swiftly outgrew its original location. It drew an estimated 400 cars in November 2013, and the following spring expanded to Elm Street downtown. It debuted at Waveny that fall of 2014, and parks officials approved two events downtown and two at the park for 2015.

Drones at Waveny: Citing Safety Hazards, Town Officials Call for Use Policy

Saying the drones they see flying at Waveny with greater frequency represent safety hazards, parks officials will set about drafting a policy on the use of the devices there. Recreational drone operators and at least one out-of-town Realtor—practicing her listing flyovers—have sent the devices overhead during baseball and softball games at nearby fields, according to Steve Benko, director of the New Canaan Recreation Department. With a policy in hand, signage and organization, those who fly drones hopefully would become as responsible and respectful as the men who fly model airplanes as part of the venerable New Canaan Radio Control Society, Benko told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting this month. “Unfortunately, Waveny Park has become ‘Fairfield County Park,’ ” Benko said during the meeting, held May 11 in Lapham Community Center. “Everybody from Stamford, Darien, Westport and Norwalk comes here and they think, ‘I can just do that.’ ”

And in some cases, they appear to feel very strongly.

New Canaan YMCA Eyes Waveny for April 2017 Gala; Parks Officials Flag Impact on Lawn

The town’s decision regarding the New Canaan YMCA’s bid to host a gala at Waveny House next spring will depend, largely, on minimizing the number of days that large canopy tents are standing on the lawn out back, officials said last week. A local organization held a big party there in 2001 and the seven tents needed for check-in, cocktails, dining and food service stayed up for about one week, “so we ended up with seven big yellow squares on the lawn at Waveny,” according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. “It’s feasible,” Benko said at the Park & Recreation Commission’s regular meeting Wednesday, held at Lapham Community Center. “It can work.”

Led by Y member and gala co-chair Kelly DeFrancesco, the South Avenue organization told Park & Rec that the event would mark the end of its five-year capital campaign and renovation and expansion project. Calling Waveny the “perfect” venue for the late-April 2017 gala, DeFrancesco said the evening would include 350 to 400 guests and feature a cocktail hour on the terrace, weather-permitting, a seated dinner, live auction and DJ and dancing.

New Bocce Courts at Mead Park Receive First Town Approval

A citizen-led campaign to create public bocce courts in New Canaan received its first formal approval this week, as parks officials green-lighted a plan to install two of them in a largely unused area past the little league fields and kids’ playgrounds at Mead Park. The Park & Recreation Commission voted unanimously to approve the plan first proposed last fall by New Canaanites John Buzzeo and Len Paglialunga, anchors of the morning crew at Dunkin Donuts. “In general it’s a nice social gathering,” John Howe, superintendent of parks for the New Canaan Department of Public Works, told members of the Park & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting Wednesday. The 76-by-13-foot courts are “a good size bocce court for recreational use,” Howe said at the meeting, held in the Lapham Community Center. “They’ll put two of them in, with a five-foot walkway between them and they’d be raised up some.”

The area in question, roughly beyond the left-field fence of Mellick Field and the right-field fence of Gamble Field—formerly site of the horseshoe pits, New Canaanites will recall—slopes somewhat and by raising the courts six inches or so, “we wouldn’t have any drainage issues,” Howe said.