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Monday, October 31, 2011

Town Officials: Postpone Trick or Treating Until Saturday

Town officials and local emergency management personnel determined it would not be safe for trick or treat activities tonight, and urge parents and children to postpone trick or treating until Saturday, November 5.

There are significant safety risks, according to a press release from the Westport Fire Department, because wires remain down and there are hundreds of damaged trees and downed branches throughout Westport.

“The possibility of falling tree limbs, slippery surface conditions, and electrocution hazards remain very real throughout town, and the situation is as bad or worse than the recent damage caused by tropical storm Irene,” according to the Fire Department.


Posted 10/31/11 at 05:38 PM  Permalink


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Seems a bit overcautious given that the town deemed it perfectly safe to open the schools on time. If I had known the streets were so hazardous I would not have sent my son to the school bus stop at 7 AM in the darkness.

Posted by Paul Bradshaw on October 31, 2011 at 06:16 PM | #

but meanwhile it is quite ok for kids to walk to the school bus stops at 6:45 a.m…..........

Posted by Joe Witz on October 31, 2011 at 06:19 PM | #

And in other news, Town Officials are urging parents to move Christmas to July as it will be less dangerous for travel with warmer temperatures and more daylight hours.

Posted by Paul S Greenberg on October 31, 2011 at 06:30 PM | #

Total craziness…who’s calling the shots? Why was school open then?

Posted by Billy Nistico on October 31, 2011 at 06:43 PM | #

Trying to decide on my halloween costume - Gordon Joseloff or CL&P worker?

Posted by Joe Witz on October 31, 2011 at 07:15 PM | #

Man, the lineup of cynical second-guessers is long today.  Come on people the town is making every effort to mitigate a very bad situation. From the tree trimmers to police to the First Selectman, I say hats off.

Posted by Andy Yemma on October 31, 2011 at 07:20 PM | #

For release 5 PM Saturday November 5, 2011

Posted by Michael Calise on October 31, 2011 at 07:38 PM | #

Just curious why this recommendation was released so late in the day, rather than as a first order of business?

Posted by Heidi McGee on October 31, 2011 at 07:43 PM | #

Why in the world is Halloween postponed? The childeren could have been hit with falling branches very easily at 6:45 this morning too. This is a stupid decision very late in the day. Whoever made this decision to postpone trick or treating but not postpone school should be questioned. I hope there is no school tommorow because there will still be tree limbs and downed power lines all over town. I’m very disgusted right now!

Posted by Scott Monaghan on October 31, 2011 at 07:50 PM | #

I am disgusted that +48 hours after the storm, there are still 2500 customers without power and only 2 CL&P crews working in Westport.  Who is advocating for our town to get more crews?  Don’t be comforted that 80% of Westporters have power as a comparison with other towns.  The 20% without powerl amounts to 2500+ Westport ‘customers’.  Also please give restoration priority to people with well water (eg Red Coat/Hermit Lane area).  Well water customers were not prioritized during Irene and nobody could give me a reasonable answer as to why.  The extent of direct intervention by our elected officials in resolving this will directly correlate to who gets my vote in the upcoming elections.

Posted by Shane berry on October 31, 2011 at 08:06 PM | #

If authorities were going to make this decision, they should have made it, not just “strongly urged”. The Gault, beach and Juniper neighborhoods are all saying that they are doing Halloween tonight and not Saturday…doesn’t sounded like anyone has been urged.

Posted by Gina Beranek on October 31, 2011 at 08:19 PM | #

Sadly, we are not the “hub of the universe.” There are a few other towns with larger blackouts:

Lot’s of towns in the dark:

I did see a group of about five line trucks from North Carolina on I-95 this afternoon.

And Westport is not the only town recommending to do trick or treating later:

Posted by Matt Murray on October 31, 2011 at 08:30 PM | #

The Grinch who stole Halloween?!

I hardly think a few “questionable” areas should be cause for postponing an entire town’s Halloween an hour before school let out!  Plans have been made….and people are still going out in areas..so this means we have to go out twice and answer the door two nights? There were a gaggle of girls that got off the bus in front of me going to a halloween party!!! Now nobody knows what to do! Strongly urged?! Give me a break?

so…we just go, not go…??!!!  Come on “Authorities”...you really get an F on this (well meaning) effort!

Posted by Ann McLean on October 31, 2011 at 08:40 PM | #


I agree with you about prioritizing well water customers usually (and you’re right, there was no satisfactory explanation), but this time heat may be more of a priority than water, and few people have heating systems that don’t require electricity.

Posted by Ernest Lorimer on October 31, 2011 at 09:09 PM | #

So, if you are “urged” not to feed your child melon due to risk of Listeria or eat chicken due to E. coli outbreak, would you anyway?

Posted by Laureen Haynes on October 31, 2011 at 09:17 PM | #

With Gordon Joseloff on the west coast, is that why the decision was made so late?  Is that why our children went to school if such a danger existed?  Interesting times.  Horror movie or comedy?

Posted by Bart Shuldman on October 31, 2011 at 10:02 PM | #

Once again we must be asked to sacrifice a weekday and accept no progress made on a stormy weekend for us. I was out early Sunday morning plowing snow in Wspt and Wilton for 6 -8 hrs and never once saw a road crew, tree crew, utility crew or storm assessment crew the ENTIRE DAY.  After delivering a generator to a family member in Ridgefield, which suffered unprecedented damage…(97% w/o power), I still never saw any clean up crew and returned back home well after 830pm.  ON A SUNDAY!  What’s the real problem??...no money for time and a half for these guys?  I get it.  So as I avoid these trees and dangerous power lines all day, more so in other towns, for my own work purposes, as well others who just yearned for a hot meal, I’m now asked to avoid a beautiful Autumn evening in my town for MY SAFETY!  Or is it for our towns lack of progress!?  Granted it’s only been a day 2, that I understand, but compared to surrounding towns… were the Westport Halloween’rs going to disrupt a night of repair??

Dear Town of Westport:  Please stop trying to justify your obligations to me by bringing to my attention the obvious and start just concentrating on producing results for both you and I.  Why is it safe for my children to travel on a school bus a few miles today, after this historical October snow event, but not to walk my neighborhood tonight for an hour?  I mean really… I think everyone would agree, it wasn’t a night of progress or repair!  And caution was worn on the sleeve of all costumers.

Posted by Damon Conte on November 01, 2011 at 02:36 AM | #

Wow. I am amazed at how many parents chose not to follow the rules. My children ages 14,12 and 10 were rather disappointed regarding the advisement from the town to postpone Halloween until Saturday. However, as a parent it was my duty to show my children that we need to follow the rules particularly when it involves safety. Were they upset? Of course but that is part of growing up and managing life’s disappointments. Later on when your kids are told by a teacher or person of authority not to do something because it may be harmful they can just say to themselves oh I want to do it now I don’t really care if I was told otherwise. I don’t have to follow the rules ...my parents don’t. Was it really worth candy 5 days early?

Posted by emily Blaikie on November 02, 2011 at 12:17 PM | #

Yes, It was worth it. I guess we were protesting in our own little way. I am always concerned about my children, but not this time. We just stayed on our bus route (as we did have school and it was fine for my children, me and the dog to walk back and forth to the bus stop all day long.)  We are rule followers but i feel ok to teach my kids to question authority. If it was a curfew..then yes… would have stayed put.  It was an advisory…not the law! Yes, worth it…  Have fun on Sat night!

Posted by Anne Spencer on November 02, 2011 at 02:07 PM | #

A “mandatory” declaration of delaying Halloween was not legally possible nor could it have been enforced (or would we want to divert our precious resources in this manner).

We should feel blessed there have not been any reported incidences for those who had Trick-or-Treating in the non-affected areas.  A safe outcome, in my eyes, does not always justify the means.  This is the lesson I try to teach my children.

Posted by Laureen Haynes on November 02, 2011 at 04:07 PM | #

With all due respect, there was NOT an advisory announcement in the elementary schools and I believe the same for Middle. I have heard that the schools were not authorized to make an official announcement (i don’t now if this is correct.)  There was a lag time between when people knew of it (checked their machines, emails etc.) and when the advisory was issued. I am just telling you what I heard and what my kids reported. There are several schools here..so maybe it was handled differently for each?  I had every right to make my own decision (as it was not mandated), as did you. I did feel pressure in the 11th hour to make a quick decision and still feel ok with it..as our kids have other activities that were already scheduled on Sat.  So we don’t agree…? Some will have lights on, some will not…just like many other years (without issues.) Can we lighten our moods? Does anyone want to talk about rain water run-off or coverage?

Posted by Ann McLean on November 02, 2011 at 06:34 PM | #

I was in my child’s classroom when it was announced. I am not sure where your child goes to school. I am sure each school/classroom handled it differently. Good for you that you are still happy with your decision. Every family handles things differently.As a community however we do need to abide by the officials who are in charge and heed their warnings. We are not all over town seeing trees and power lines down.

Posted by emily Blaikie on November 02, 2011 at 07:04 PM | #

Wearing seat belts when driving is “strongly urged”, yet 40% of drivers don’t wear them; No smoking is “strongly urged” yet tobacco and illegal products still sell like crazy.  And what about all those hand-held device users I see while driving???  How inconsiderate to disrespect such Authoritative rules.  (A choice by many everyday)
Looks like our town’s risk takers/ true individuals enjoyed an insanely dangerous Halloween and cheated the odds.  I just hope my taxes aren’t affected because I went against the “strongly urged surge” of my town’s demands.  Selfish behavior happens constantly in so many different forms when we ALL evade responsibility and take a gamble with safety.  Our and others.  No one is immune.  Yet nobody emails comments to me for that!  I just chalk it up as “part of the character of society.”  Never to be controlled.  Kind of like all those drivers on the road right now who shouldn’t be…
If a town issued a parental warning of storm damage, baked into a school day, coupled with an annual kid-fest,  draws this much attention, everyone should keep their eyes peeled for the next big Kid holiday storm and say a prayer the lights don’t go out.

Posted by Damon Conte on November 03, 2011 at 02:48 AM | #

Last time I checked, Halloween was a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ much like many others and is NOT a mandatory occurrence. I truly feel for these kids who have now been confused even further because ‘the adults’ can’t seem to figure it out and will likely be further disappointed come Saturday when most everyone has already celebrated and moved on from it.  I know dozens of families that handed out hundreds of pieces of candy Monday who aren’t too keen on a repeat.

Posted by Billy Nistico on November 03, 2011 at 10:29 AM | #

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