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Rona Siegel

Parks Officials Propose Children’s Playground Area at Waveny 

Parks officials on Wednesday voted in favor of requesting funds for next fiscal year to update the fitness area at Waveny while also creating a children’s playground area. 

Located just below the main road through Waveny, next to the parking lot that serves the “Orchard Field” softball diamond, the all-abilities fitness station has equipment that will need to be replaced in a few years, according to Parks Superintendent John Howe. Many kids already use that equipment “even though it’s not age-appropriate for them,” and the area is large and flat enough to get a poured-in-place surface not only for the fitness area but also for new playgrounds for younger children, Howe told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their regular meeting. “We feel strongly that a playground would really round out recreation at Waveny Park,” Howe said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “We would say that we need to put a fence just so that kids would not be able to go into the roadway from there. But we could make a wooden fence similar to down at Mead Park where it would blend into the surrounding woods and everything else.”

Commission Chair Rona Siegel and members Carl Mason, Francesca Segalas, Steve Haberstroh, Hank Green, Gene Goodman, Laura Costigan, George Benington and Jack Hawkins voted unanimously in favor of a future funding request.

Parks & Rec: Tennis Permits Up 70% in 2021

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Sales of Mead Park tennis permits are up 70% year-over-year, officials say. The New Canaan Recreation Department had sold 473 permits in 2021 as of the Sept. 8 meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission, according to Commissioner George Benington. The figure compares to 277 in 2020 and 142 “so we can obviously see the post-COVID effects, or COVID effects, are having a huge impact on our facilities,” Benington said at the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“The numbers speak for themselves,” he said. “They’re absolutely phenomenal.”
The comments came during update from Benington on the town’s tennis, platform or “paddle” tennis and recently opened pickleball facilities.

Moynihan: Parks & Rec Member Arrested in Domestic Incident To Remain on Commission

New Canaan’s highest elected official said this week that he’s looked into the arrest in a domestic incident of a Parks & Recreation Commission member and has concluded that there’s no reason for the town to take action regarding that individual’s seat on the appointed body. Jack Hawkins, 45, was arrested May 31 by New Canaan Police and charged with disorderly conduct. A 67-year-old woman, Judy Hawkins, also was charged with the misdemeanor offense following what police called a “domestic dispute” that involved both of them and a third occupant of the Hawkinses’ New Norwalk Road home. Police withheld details, saying it was a domestic matter. Following the arrest and prior to the Commission’s June meeting, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan outlined a decision-making process whereby he would meet with police and discuss the domestic incident “to understand what they know before I can make any judgment as to Jack.”

Asked during a phone interview Monday whether he had followed up with police as planned, Moynihan said, “I would say no, although let me recollect entirely.

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