Nanny State

Shaved-Ice Enthusiasts and Liberty Lovers Fight Beach Town's Street Vendor Ban

Save the snow cones.


George Manko sells Hawaiian shave ice in a private parking lot for beachgoers in Westerly, where celebrities including Taylor Swift andConan O'Brien have summer homes.

The town recently banned street vendors, except for at festivals and one-time events. Town councilors who supported the ban said they did so because the police chief expressed safety concerns.

Manko continues to serve the treat from his yellow trailer with Hawaiian flowers and a surfing scene painted on it. He believes the councilors do not like the look of street vendors and are trying to turn Westerly into the next Martha's Vineyard.

"It's a blue-collar beach," said Manko, 59, of Groton, Connecticut. "Justin Bieber is not going to move in."

Manko pleaded not guilty in municipal court Thursday to 16 counts of violating the ordinance. He faces up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $500 for each count.