City Notes
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 30

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 19, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has announced the city’s participation in the 10th annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30.

Nov. 30 also marks the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree on the Green. The Yuletide event attracts hundreds of people each year, many of whom Rossi hopes take advantage of sales at downtown specialty shops.

Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a day to celebrate and patronize the small, independently owned businesses that help stimulate local economies across the country.

“Patronizing a West Haven small business is a great way to kick off your holiday shopping,” Rossi said. “While you’re downtown for the tree lighting, why not stop at one of the stores or restaurants. Whether you’re looking for items for your holiday table — fresh flowers, truffle products or gourmet meats — or perhaps jewelry, wine or gift cards, West Haven small businesses have you covered.”

Small Business Saturday was established by American Express in 2010 in response to the most pressing need of small-business owners — more customers — and has served as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses ever since.

According to AmEx, U.S. shoppers reported spending an estimated $17.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday in 2018.

Similar to last year, the Small Business Saturday Coalition, led by Women Impacting Public Policy, a nonpartisan small-business advocate known as WIPP, is rallying mayors nationwide to show their support and encourage their communities to shop small on Nov. 30.

“West Haven’s diversity is reflected in our small businesses,” Rossi said. “When you support a small business, you’re supporting our community as well.”

In recognizing the importance of supporting independent businesses, Rossi has issued a Small Business Saturday proclamation declaring the special observance in West Haven.

Read the Proclamation.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Small Business Saturday, including how to participate, at

Lowe’s gives back again, builds West Haven’s 1st gaga pit

The new gaga pit in Painter Park built by employees from Lowe’s of Milford. Gaga is a form of dodgeball played in an octagon-shaped structure, or pit. (City Photo/Tom Conroy)

Lowe’s gives back again, builds West Haven’s 1st gaga pit

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 19, 2019 — Employees from Lowe’s of Milford have built West Haven its first gaga pit in the heart of Painter Park.

For those who don’t know, gaga is a form of dodgeball played in an octagon-shaped structure, or pit.

To accommodate the popular children’s game, a group of Lowe’s volunteers recently erected a gaga pit, measuring 20 feet long, 20 feet wide and 4 feet high, with a way for climbing in and out, said city project coordinator Tom Conroy, acting director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.

Lowe’s constructed the wooden gaga pit, which includes a mulch base, next to the basketball court behind the Noyes Field dugout, where shade is provided, Conroy said.

The home improvement store donated the labor and materials for the project, which took two weeks to complete, he said.

According to Conroy, Lowe’s called him over the summer to see if the city had any projects for its volunteer program.

“Kids from the Summer Adventure Camp had visited a place where they had a gaga pit and loved it and asked if we could get one,” Conroy said. “So when Lowe’s came along, we thought this was a great idea.”

The game combines dodging, striking, running and jumping. Players hit the ball at each other with their hands and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the waist. The last player to not get hit by the ball is the winner.

Lowe’s, headquartered in Mooresville, North Carolina, is no stranger to giving back to West Haven.

Three years ago, employees from four area Lowe’s stores — Derby, Milford, New Haven and Orange — volunteered their time to renovate the Painter Park wooden playground on Kelsey Avenue.

For five weeks, starting Aug. 26, 2016, dozens of Lowe’s employees painstakingly restored the castle-themed playscape for their annual “Lowe’s Heroes” community service project.

On Oct. 15, 2016, West Haven officials dedicated the refurbished “Maureen’s Dream” playground in honor of park neighbor and former city schoolteacher Maureen Blake.

Peer advocates

Peer advocates giving out toys collected by Park-Rec

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 19, 2019 — City recreation program coordinator Diane Dietman, third from back left, and West Haven High School peer advocates flank a box of toys at the Department of Parks and Recreation on Monday.

The toys were donated to the department’s “Christmas in July” toy drive, which was co-sponsored by the Connecticut Recreation & Parks Association and Christmas Wish CT, a charity committed to sharing the spirit of Christmas year-round.

Park-Rec collected more than 1,000 new, unwrapped toys in July and early August at its Painter Park office, swimming pool venues, and camp and playground programs.

The department has given a portion of the collected toys to Christmas toy drives being held by the West Haven High Peer Advocacy Program and West Haven Professional Fire Fighters Local 1198 for those in need.

Residents wishing to receive toys for city children 12 and younger who are under their guardianship must fill out a registration form at Proof of residence is required for registration, which ends Dec. 13.

To make an online donation to the peer advocates’ Toys for Joy campaign, visit

(City Photo/Camdyn Morgillo)


City issues snow rules for parking

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 19, 2019 — To help crews expedite snow removal, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy is reminding residents and businesses to observe parking regulations during and after storms.

Per the “Severe Weather” parking ordinance under Chapter 188 of the West Haven Code, police will tag and tow vehicles violating the ordinance at the owner’s expense. Violators will receive a $100 fine.

Once snow begins to fall, a parking ban is in effect on the even-numbered side of most roads, unless one is posted with a “No Parking” sign on the odd side.

The ban is in effect for 36 hours after a storm. Residents are urged to park in driveways or designated private lots.

However, during an official snow emergency declared by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, a parking ban will run from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on both sides of Campbell and Savin avenues, Morgan Lane, Elm Street, Meloy Road, Second Avenue from Elm to Beach streets, and Main Street from Savin to Washington avenues.

McCarthy is also reminding residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after a storm or face a $25 fine “for each day that the violation persists.”

According to the “Removal of Snow and Ice” ordinance under Chapter 195 of the West Haven Code, people are given 24 hours to remove snow from sidewalks on and bordering their properties. Violators are subject to the $25-per-day fine, which is enforced by the Police Department, the ordinance states.

To report a complaint, call the department’s nonemergency line at 203-937-3900. Complaints are kept confidential.

McCarthy also pointed out that plowing or blowing snow into city streets is prohibited and violators are subject to a $60 fine for each offense, per the ordinance.

Also, residents and businesses with mailboxes damaged by snow thrown from a plow are the responsibility of the property owner. The city will only repair mailboxes damaged by the striking of a plow blade if there is visible evidence, such as paint or tire tracks.

Snow removal around mailboxes is the property owner’s responsibility.

Residents are also urged to help firefighters keep hydrants clear of snow.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works at 203-937-3585 or visit Public Works.

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