The town of Westerly for years has fined parkers $25 for exceeding their time limit even though the ordinance establishing the fines calls for a $15 penalty. Police Chief Edward St. Clair said the department had been writing tickets for $25 before he was appointed chief on Dec. 13, 2011, and continued to do so until he was made aware of the discrepancy this summer. He said he then instructed his officers to write tickets for $15, not $25. Robert L. Lombardo, a Westerly lawyer, brought the situation to the attention of town officials after receiving two $25 parking tickets in January (since dismissed). He said he planned to keep the matter in front of the Town Council. “What about the money you owe people?” he asked. “How are you going to pay these people back?”
Local sports fans celebrated as the Boston Red Sox clinched their third World Series title in a decade. About 50 fans converged on C.C. O’Brien’s Irish Sports Bar in Pawcatuck to take in Game 6, which the Red Sox won, 6-1, over the St. Louis Cardinals to capture the crown, the first won by the Sox at Fenway since 1918. Most said they were lifelong Boston fans, and some recalled watching previous World Series games at C.C.’s. Three sat at the same “lucky table” they shared when the Sox won in 2004. “I’ve never seen the Red Sox win a World Series-clinching game not at this table,” said Mike Hunter, of Mystic, who said he planned on attending Saturday’s celebratory parade in Boston.
Concerts, an artists’ co-op and a film festival could all be coming to Charlestown’s Ninigret Park and the surrounding area. The Town Council has allocated $15,000 to the Parks and Recreation Commission to explore possible uses of the park, and Economic Improvement Commission Chairman Frank Glista said he’d like to see that money go toward all three events, including a music event much larger than the town’s successful Rhythm and Roots festival. “Anything that happens at Ninigret Park we feel is a benefit to our business community,” Glista said. “The EIC has always felt that Ninigret Park is the future economic engine that will drive our town.”
KeepSpace Westerly, a local initiative that’s part of a larger statewide effort created by Rhode Island Housing, has been involved in many changes around town over the years, including the popular community garden on Main Street, the downtown façade improvement program, the Westerly Regional Arts Partnership and the Westerly Revolving Fund. All came about with funding awarded to the program. Unfortunately, its most recent proposal for funding was frozen by RI Housing, which cited budget cuts, the downturn in the housing market and the federal sequestration, and that left the program essentially defunct. RI Housing Director of Development Carol Ventura said it’s unclear if the organization will be able to offer additional funding in the future.
Moved by the book “A Long Walk to Water,” 10-year-old Alexis Paul decided to raise money for Water for South Sudan, which brings clean, safe water to thousands in the poverty-stricken, war-torn country. So the Westerly Middle School fifth-grader approached her church, Dunn’s Corners Community, Presbyterian. She spoke at two Sunday services, and parishioners responded. By the end of October, she had raised more than $700. All the money collected will be consolidated into one check for her to send to the organization. “I will be very happy that I get to help these people,” she said. “These people have to struggle every day, and they’re dying.”