Pic Of The Day #2112

Seen today at Compo Beach. Photographer Jon Rosenoer writes: “I hope this ended with a yes.'”

Roundup: Lisa Newman, Jaden Waldman, Teens And COVID …

Representative Town Meeting District 8 will be looking for a new member soon.

Lisa Newman resigned yesterday. In a letter to colleagues, she wrote:

“This was not an easy decision, as I love serving the town with you, but it’s the right move at this time.

“As many of you know, I went back to school last year to pursue my law degree. I’ve loved being on this new path so far, but it has taken a lot of time and attention. Over the last few months, I’ve realized I need to preserve as much of my time as I can for my children – something that would be impossible to do once we enter budget season. And it’s not fair to my district or the RTM for me to hold a seat that I cannot fully commit to (plus those who know me know I can’t do anything half way!).

“So as much as I’m going to miss those late, late nights in the auditorium with all of you (haha – but will I?? 🙃), I realize the right thing to do — for my family and the seat -0 is to resign. I’m hopeful that doing this now will create enough time to get someone seated in District 8 ahead of budget season/committee meetings.

“Of course, this is not goodbye – I still expect lots of updates from the trenches and, make no mistake, I’ll be watching the meetings and texting many of you in real time with my nonsense. I also plan to stop by the Feb. 7 meeting before it begins to say a proper goodbye in person.

“And you never know – when life calms down and my kids get a bit older, I might just be back. There just aren’t enough attorneys on the RTM.😎”

Lisa Newman

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Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day.

The night before, Jaden Waldman helped honor it. The Bedford Middle School 7th grader sang in an emotional Carnegie Hall concert

The “We Are Here” event drew dignitaries from all over the world. The all-star lineup of presenters and performers included Joel Grey, Harvey Fierstein, Chita Rivera and Shoshana Bean.

Jaden Waldman, on stage. (Photo/Tom McDonald)

“Songs from Songbooks” — written by Jews in ghettos and camps, and discovered after liberation — were sung in honor of survivors and in memory of those that perished. 

Jaden most recently originated the lead role of Noah Gellman in Broadway’s “Caroline, or Change.” He starred as Ben for 2 years in the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and performed in the “Ragtime on Ellis Island” concert.

Jaden has voiced lead characters in “Star Wars: Visions,” “Pinkalicious & Peterrific” and “Mirai.” His TV credits include “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and “The Plot Against America.” Jaden is in the feature film “Give or Take,” and the upcoming short film “Curls.”

Click here for the program, and details.

Jaden Waldman at Carnegie Hall.

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Positive Directions’ next “Lunch and Learn” covers “Helping Teens Navigate Loss After COVID.”

The March 2 event (noon to 1:30 p.m., Westport Weston Family YMCA) will be led by Malaika Boyer-Seme, a licensed professional counselor associate with Positive Directions. For more information, click here.

Malaika Boyer-Seme

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Thursday’s “Cocktails and Conversation” at MoCA featured talk about “the intertwined nature of style, and how we use creativity to define a look that is our own.”

Panelists included WEST owner Kitt Shapiro, photographer Jane Beiles, content creator and Designport founder Jen Berniker, and “social artrepreneur” Diana Mashia.

At next week’s “Cocktails and Conversation,” Alexandra M. Thomas leads a curator talk about the current exhibition, “Paul Camacho: El Ritmo y La Unidad.” Click here to register.

Enjoying the MoCA exhibit: Vernice Holmes and Sue Donato. (Photo/Leslie LaSala)

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Staples High School’s January Student of the Month are seniors Frankie Lockenour and Claire Sandhaus, juniors Moses Beary and Curtis Sullivan, sophomores Luca Caniato and Shane Sandrew, and freshmen Matthew Anto and Annabelle Katz.

The program recognizes students who help make Staples High School a welcoming place for peers and teachers. “They are the ‘glue’ of the Staples community: the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students that keep the high school together, making it the special place that it is.”

All candidates are nominated by teachers.

Staples High School’s January Students of the Month (from left): Claire Sandhaus, Luca Caniato, Frankie Lockenour, Shane Sandrew, Annabelle Katz, Moses Beary, Curtis Sullivan, Matthew Anto

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There’s always something special at the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Next month, it’s extra special.

On the first 2 Thursdays — February 2 and 9 (Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) — you can drop off gently used winter coats, mittens, hats and gloves, plus medical supplies. All are desperately needed in Ukraine.

Cash contributions to help with shipping costs are always needed.

Questions? Want to help? Email Mark Yurkiw: mark.think3d@gmail.com.

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Carl Addison Swanson’s latest book, “Blind Bigot,” is now available at Amazon

“The inner bigotry and hate of a suburban commercial banker comes to light after he suffers from a horrific medical procedure,” the bookseller says. Booklist describes it as “a nasty look at ourselves. A page-turner.”

Swanson — a longtime Westport resident, and member of Staples High School’s Class of 1966 — is an award winning author of 54 novels. They include the Hush McCormick series, Tug Christian thrillers, Scooter mysteries, Ian Fletcher legal series, Justin Carmichael nostalgic memoirs, 5 books of short stories, and 5 stand-alone books.  

He has co-authored 10 books with editor Jo Ann Miller. Five of his works have been optioned to the film industry, including the latest Hush McCormick trilogy to DreamWorks. 

Swanson earned a Presidential Unit Citation for his service in Vietnam. He is CEO of Bermuda’s CAS Publications, and  is a contributing editor at Hearst Communications.  

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Former Westport resident Abraham Nad died peacefully yesterday at United Hebrew Geriatric Center in New Rochelle, New York. He was 92.

Born in Houston, he graduated from Rice University, where he was Phi Beta Kappa. He also earned a master’s degree from Columbia University.

Abraham served in the National Guard and Navy from 1952 to 1954. He worked as an accountant and publisher, eventually opening Directors’ Publications.

Abraham loved to travel, and was an avid fan of classical music and the arts. He was a longtime member of Temple Israel, serving on its Board of Trustees, and a supporter of the Westport Arts Center.

Abraham is survived by his daughters Karen Bernstein (Peter) and Laurie Desjardins; grandchildren Rebecca Anne Bernstein (Justan Dakes) and Benjamin Jacob Bernstein (Jocelyn Ezratty), and great-grandson Lucas Joshua Dakes.  He was predeceased by his wife Elsa Nad in 2015.

Funeral services will take place tomorrow (Sunday, January 29, 10 a.m., Temple Israel Cemetery in Norwalk). Memorial contributions may be made to the Nad/Schiff Special Children’s Fund at Temple Israel. Click here to leave a condolence message.

The Nad family extends deep love and gratitude to United Hebrew Geriatric Center for their love, care and grace over the past 4 years.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature shows yesterday’s sunrise. Katherine Jacob captured all its glory, at Schlaet’s Point on Hillspoint Road.

(Photo/Katherine Jacob)

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And finally … Philadelphia is mourning the death of Jerry Blavat.

The former TV dancer became “the most influential disc jockey in the Delaware Valley thanks to his third-rail energy, fantastical wordplay and finely honed instincts for the particular rhythms of his native city. He died last week at 82, from an autoimmune neuromuscular disease.

“The Geator with the Heater” had an outsize influence on the music scene of his day, thanks to his radio, television and concert efforts. Flags flew at half-staff throughout the region, in his honor.

While still in high school, he was a road manager for Danny & the Juniors:

He is credited by many in the radio industry with inventing the concept of “oldies.”

And among the many groups he is credited with helping break out nationally: the Isley Brothers.

 Click here for a full obituary.

(On this mid-winter weekend day, please consider a contribution to “06880” — your hyper-local blog. Click here — and thank you!)

Online Art Gallery #146

Colors abound this week.

Of course, there are the usual charcoal and pen-and-ink submissions too.

With a mix of works from regular contributors, and newcomers (and professionals and talented “amateurs”).

Every week is a new experience. But always: This is your feature. All readers are invited to contribute. Age, level of experience, subject matter — there are no restrictions.

All genres are encouraged. Watercolors, oils, charcoal, pen-and-ink, acrylics, lithographs, collages, macramé, jewelry, sculpture, decoupage and (yes) needlepoint — whatever you’ve got, email it to 06880blog@gmail.com. Share your work with the world!

“Manhattan as Seen From Hunter’s Point” (Warren Jahn)

“Four Fish” — one image, several views; oil paint, photography, colored ink (Peter Barlow)

“My Arthritic Left Hand” (Lawrence Weisman)

Needlepoint (Lucy Johnson)

“Neurographic Art” (Amy Schneider)

“Early Years of a Foodie. ‘Is This Where Bacon Comes From?’ (Mike Hibbard)

“Il Duomo – The Town’s Big Church!” (Steve Stein)

Untitled (Matt Murray)

Photographer John Richers explains: “This covered bridge/tunnel connects the TWA Hotel at JFK Airport to the JetBlue terminal. The hotel is very cool. The mid-century architecture is fabulous, and it is appointed with all circa-1962 furnishings.”

(If you enjoy our Saturday art galleries, please consider a museum-style contribution. Click here — and thank you!)

State Reps Blow Whistle On Turf Fields

Westport has 4 artificial turf playing fields: Paul Lane and Jinny Parker at Staples, Wakeman just north of Bedford Middle School, and PJ Romano behind Saugatuck Elementary School.

There has been talk of turfing at least one more surface at Wakeman, and Loeffler at Staples.

Turf fields require much less maintenance than grass fields. However, they must be replaced every 10 years or so.

Paul Lane Field at Staples High School is one of Westport’s 4 artificial surfaces.

Nearly every other town in Connecticut has multiple turf fields too.

Their future would be in doubt, if a bill proposed by 2 state representatives passes.

The “Act Prohibiting State And Municipal Contracts For The Purchase And Installation Of Artificial Turf Fields” asks that

the general statutes be amended to provide that on and after October 1, 2023, no municipality, including, but not limited to, any school district, and no private entity, department or agency of the state shall enter a contract for the purchase, use or installation of artificial turf for a new or existing field.

It also would provide that “such turf fields be grandfathered to allow for their useful life but prohibit their replacement after such time.”

The purpose of the proposed legislation is to “prohibit municipal and state contracts for the purchase and installation of artificial turf fields that pose health and environmental concerns.”

There are many kinds of artificial surfaces, including coconut and crumb rubber. Different surfaces were not identified in the proposed law, nor were “health and environmental concerns.”

The bill heads now to the Joint Environment Committee. For more information, click here(Hat tip: Kathleen Galley)

Visitors watch the UN-Westport soccer match at PJ Romano Field.

Pic Of The Day #2111

View from Church Lane (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Friday Flashback #332

Continuing our Friday Flashback series of old aerial photos, Richard Jaffe sent this fascinating view of Westport before the mid-1950s, when I-95 slashed through town.

The image — looking west (at the top) shows Saugatuck on the right, between the railroad and Cribari bridges — without the highway in between.

The Bridge Street/South Compo Road/Greens Farms Road intersection looks quite a bit different — and as does Greens Farms Road itself (curving, near the center of the shot).

Some parts of town have plenty of trees. Others have none.

What else do you see of interest? Click “Comments” below.

(Please click here to keep features like the Friday Flashback — and all of “06880” — coming. Thank you!)

Roundup: Lunar New Year, EMT Training, Dick Rauh’s Botany …

What’s a Lunar New Year without a celebration?

On Tuesday, AAPI Westport founders Patra Kanchanagom, Rosie Jon and Sarin Cheung headed to Town Hall. They brought popular treats.

Selectwomen Jen Tooker, Andrea Moore and Candi Savin, and Police Chief Foti Koskinas, joined them. The AAPI members shared new year traditions, and showed the work of middle school Mandarin classes. Each year, they decorate schools with words signifying good future, prosperity, peace and protection.   

農曆新年快樂!

AAPI representatives and town officials celebrate the Lunar New Year at Town Hall.

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Have you always wanted to be an EMT?

Act now!

Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services’ spring class begins February 28. It runs through June.

For more information, click here or email training@westportems.org.

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Upcoming at the Westport Library:

98-year-old artist Dick Rauh talks about his current (and remarkable) exhibit, “A Botanical Retrospective.” A reception follows. (Sunday, January 29, 2 to 4 p.m., Trefz Forum.)

“Musical Notes: Selections from the Westport Public Art Collections Reception” is set for Tuesday (January 31, 6:30 to 8 p.m.). The Staples High School Jazz Combo performs, and light snacks will be served.

Dick Rauh, and his art.

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Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup gave an incorrect time for this Sunday’s “medical kit maker” event at The Readiness Collective, in Norwalk’s SoNo Collection. The correct time is 4 to 6 p.m.

Run by Staples High School graduates Jesse and Sefra Levine — who since 2003 have been helping people around the globe survive disasters.

The goal this Sunday is to build 600 med kits, to be hand delivered next month to front-line units.

Everyone is welcome. Questions? Email jesse@tactivate.com.

Jesse and Sefra Levin.

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On Saturday, the Fairfield County Story Lab (21 Charles Street, 2 to 4 p.m.) welcomes Sandi Shelton (aka Maddie Dawson) to celebrate her latest novel, “Snap Out of It!” Everyone — Lab member and others — is invited to the reading, signing and snacking.

The Fairfield County Story Lab is a shared workspace for creatives. To reserve a spot, email info@fcstorylab.com.


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Darwin Day is an international event. Proceeds from dinners around the US support the National Center for Science Education.

Locally, the 15th annual Darwin Day Dinner is set for February 11 (The Inn at Longshore; also Zoom).

It’s both a party (cocktail hour, dinner), a science quiz (with prizes), and a lecture.

“Concurrent Infections” is the topic of the presentation by Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa, professor and researcher at Yale’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Her research focuses on the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases in wild animal populations.

High school and college students passionate about science join the celebration (and help their tables with the Science Quiz). Their tickets are covered by attendees and benefactors.  

Click here for tickets and more information. Questions? Email jlevin6@zoho.com, or call 646-221-9134.

Dr. Vanessa Ezenwa

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo features the sight just outside Lauri Weiser’s Lansdowne condo window:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … in honor of Dick Rauh’s fantastic botanical art exhibit, at the Westport Library (story above):

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(“06880” relies on support from readers like you. Please click here to contribute. Thank you!)

 

Bus Stop

School bus safety is high on the list of every Westporter’s concerns.

Well, almost everyone.

As aggravating as it is to be behind a bus that stops at what seems like every driveway, most drivers grit their teeth and ride their brakes. It’s kids we’re talking about, after all, and this is the way buses operate in today’s society.

Some drivers can’t wait. They blow past the outstretched “Stop” arms that drivers extend. Often they come from the opposite direction. Sometimes they just race past a row of cars trailing the bus.

Trailing a school bus is seldom fun.(Photo/Christie Stanger)

An “06880” reader recently chatted with a man who drives a Dattco elementary bus in Westport.

He enjoys his job very much. But when the reader noted that the job demands plenty of responsibility and patience, he said that drivers routinely ignore bus stop signs.

He said that just a few weeks ago, a speeding driver nearly hit a young girl. Her father yanked her back, as the car came near.

And, the driver continued, following up on incidents is a process. Video is reviewed by police. Then the driver must take half a day off to testify in court — losing pay, and other incentive compensation given for consecutive days on the job.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

The driver’s perception is that even when the process works, if it’s a first offense there are seldom significant consequences for offending drivers.

That sounds pretty bad for Dattco, Westport’s school bus company.

But it’s not true.

I contacted Bryony Chamberlain, the company’s vice president. She said that any employee asked to go to court gets paid by the company.

She added that there are forms for drivers to fill out whenever their bus is passed by a vehicle. Dattco then sends the forms to local police departments, who mail a ticket for a $475 fine to offenders.

“I don’t know what happens after that,” Chamberlain said. “We don’t have a way to follow up.”

My next call was to Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas. He confirmed what Chamberlain said.

There are 3 types of complaints about motorists passing school buses: from the bus drivers themselves; from other witnesses, and from police officers who sometimes follow school buses for just that reason.

The police contact the driver to hear their side. In almost every case, Koskinas said, a ticket follows.

The reader who contacted “06880” about school bus safety recalled a tragedy from the 1990s, which led to changes in policies.

It seems that Dattco, and Westport Police, are doing their part to ensure that every child gets on and off the bus safely.

Now it’s up to every driver to do the same.

We stop for deer. Let’s stop for school buses too. (Photo/Paul Delano)

 

 

Pic Of The Day #2110

Better art than spelling at Trader Joe’s (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Roundup: 8-30g, Crime, Med Kits …

Connecticut’s 8-30g regulation may be in for a change.

House Republicans have proposed a “technical adjustment” to the affordable housing law that allows developers to bypass most local zoning restrictions for new developments. unless a municipality has at least 10% of its stock designated as “affordable” under strict guidelines.

Westport’s housing stock includes “affordable” units that were built before 1990, but are not included in the formula because that is the law’s start date.

The proposed adjustment would “put many Connecticut towns well over the threshold that exempts them from potential legal action if they deny developers’ proposals for certain affordable housing — without any new housing going up or changes to zoning policy,” the CT Mirror reports.

It would add would add properties that are not deed restricted, but are affordable to people whose income is up to 80% of the area median income.

Click here for the full CT Mirror story.

Westport’s approval of a 187-unit apartment complex on Hiawatha Lane was driven in large part by 8-30g factors.

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Westport Police made 5 custodial arrests during January 19-25.

One — for burglary, larceny, conspiracy to commit larceny and failure to appear — dated back to an April 11, 2020 burglary at a residence. Approximately $70,000 in jewelry and personal effects were taken.

Another arrest for larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny was connected to a January 25, 2022 incident in which checks worth over $28,000 from a local business were altered and fraudulently cashed.

A woman was arrested for third degree assault, following an incident on December 7, 2022 in which she bit the arm of someone in the Walgreens parking lot.

A man was arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol after he was seen speeding and driving erratically on Post Road West. When an officer caught up with him, he was driving extremely slowly in the left lane.

A man was charged with breach of peace after he took a neighbor’s cat.

Police also issued the following citations:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 5
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Improper passing: 1
  • Failure to obey control signal
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Criminal mischief: 1
  • Breach of peace: 1.

Not the stolen cat. But bad luck for the thief.

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Meanwhile, in related crime news:

On Tuesday, people got out of 2 vehicles in the Westport Weston Family YMCA parking lot, then smashed the windows of several cars and snatched laptops, credit cards and other items.

The Westport Police responded promptly, but no arrests have yet been made. The license plates on the vehicles were obscured; the thieves wore hoodies, and the car visors were down to further obscure their faces. They most likely made their getaway on the adjacent Merritt Parkway.

The Y offers this advice to members (but it applies to everyone):

Before you exit your vehicle, make sure:

  • Your personal items and valuables are out of sight – including phone, cash, laptop/laptop bag, small electronic devices, briefcase, shopping bags, etc. Items visible on the seat, dashboard, floor may elicit unnecessary interest.
  • You always lock your doors and close windows (including sunroof).
  • Take your keys/fob with you.

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Since graduating from Staples in 2003, Jesse and Sefra Levin have been on a mission: preparing people around the globe to survive. They bring “readiness skills” to the veteran, disaster response and entrepreneurial communities.

Their company — Tactivate — outfits customers with gear, and offers advice and training, for every conceivable emergency. They call themselves “bespoke readiness outfitters. For a while, they had a pop-up shop on Church Lane.

They have been in Ukraine since February. They’ve assembled a team of 20 people, focused full time on efforts there and throughout Eastern Europe.

This Sunday (January 29, 7 to 9 p.m.), they’re hosting a “medical kit” maker space event at The Readiness Collective, in Norwalk’s SoNo Collection.

The goal is to build 600 kits, to be hand delivered next month to front-line units.

Everyone is welcome to help create the kits. Questions? Email jesse@tactivate.com.

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There’s a special, behind-the-scenes look this Saturday at the development and pre-production of “The Team Room” — a new play about Army Special Forces immediately before, during and after 9/11.

The sneak preview is set — very appropriately — at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 (Saturday, January 28, 3:30 p.m.).

Playwright Bill Raskin and producer Michael Hare will discuss the production and premiere in Washington, scheduled for this coming October.

The 501 (c)3 show will raise awareness for veterans’ services. Following the run, all net proceeds will be donated to the Special Operations Warrior Foundation.

Saturday’s event is free. The production team is excited to share their story, and raise awareness of the show. Click here for more information.

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Generations of Westporters remember the Country Playhouse kids’ shows. For many, those weekday summertime events were their first introductions to live theater.

They’re still around — in a different form. Three family-friendly shows are on tap on weekends, to liven up the long (if snow-less) winter.

They include:

“Woof Woof” shadow theater; grades pre-K and up (Sunday, February 12; 1 and 4 p.m.).

“Pete’s Big Hollywood Adventure”; grades pre-K and up (Sunday, February 26; 1 and 4 p.m.).

“Scaredy Kat Presents”; grades 6-10; Sunday, March 5, 2 p.m. Click here for details.

All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

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CronArt — a cool little pop-up gallery — enlivened Bedford Square in 2018.

Artist/owner Ryan Cronin is back in New Paltz, New York. But his many Westport fans may want to know that his “Obama” painting has been accepted into the Obama Presidential Center’s permanent art collection in Chicago.

The curatorial process took a year and a half. But now Ryan’s work lives forever.

Ryan Cronin, with his “Obama” painting.

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Staples High School Class of 1979 graduate David Halsey died unexpectedly in his sleep earlier this month. He was 61, and lived in New Canaan.

His family said in his obituary that he died of natural causes, and was active, healthy and happy in the days before his death.

The Kalamazoo, Michigan native spent much of his life in Westport. He was described as :a voracious reader with wide-ranging interests,” and “an avid rock hound.” He loved the outdoors, animals and music.

Dave is survived by his mother, Carol Halsey of Knoxville, Tennessee; Karen and brothers John and Peter. He was preceded in death by his father Philip B. Halsey of Underhill, Vermont.

No funeral services are planned.

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Rev. Demetrios Recachinas of Westport, protopresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne, died Sunday. He was 74.

Born on the island of Lefkada, Greece, he came to Washington in 1966. He graduated from Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology in Brookline, MA. Father Demetrios earned a master’s of theology from Princeton University School of Theology. He attended Catholic University, working towards a Ph.D. program

Father Demetrios was ordained as a deacon in 1977 and ordained into holy priesthood at Saint Paraskevi in Greenlawn, Long Island, four months later. He was assigned as Assistant Pastor at his home parish of Saints Constantine and Helen.

Father Demetrios served on several committees in the DC area, including the National Conference of Christian and Jews Executive Committee, the White House Conference for the Elderly and the President Reagan Inaugural Committee for the International Sector, Catholic University and Maryland University Ethnic Studies Committee, and the UN Environmental Program Committee. He represented the Archdiocese in many official capacities as well.

In 1983 Father Demetrios was appointed pastor of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Bridgeport. His emphasis in his ministry was on youth. He served as president of the Orthodox Clergy Association of the Greater Bridgeport Area. He was a member of the Archdiocesan Youth Commission and the Advisory Board of Sacred Heart University, and a chaplain at St. Vincent’s and Bridgeport Hospitals.

Father Demetrios served on the Board of Trustees and Executive Board of Hellenic College and Holy Cross School of Theology and also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Basil’s Academy.

Father Demetrios represented the church at the Ecumenical Patriarchate during the Third Millennium first World-Wide Orthodox Ecumenical Conference, and represented the Archdiocese at the World-Wide Biennial SAE Conference in Thessaloniki, Greece.

In 2001, Father Demetrios was bestowed with the highest honor awarded to a married clergyman of the Greek Orthodox Church, “Protobresbyter of the Ecumenical Throne,” by Patriarch Bartholomew on his visit to Holy Trinity.

In addition to his wife Eleftheria he is survived children, Tassos Recachinas, Katerina (Daniel) Pergola and Emmanuel (Paige) Recachinas; grandsons Christopher, James and Nicholas; brothers, Dion (Laura) Recachina and Andrew (Sophie) Recachinasl sisters, Sophia Espanopoulos and Christina Plotas; sister-in-law, Haido Neda, and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Trinity Church. Click here for online condolences.

Rev. Demetrios Recachinas

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Harold Gross died peacefully at his Westport home on Tuesday. He was 96.

Born in the Bronx, he graduated from high school in 1944, then proudly served as an Army paratrooper in World War II. He remained in Japan with the occupational forces, and lived there for 13 years.

He saw the world through his work, selling medical and dental equipment and supplies to countries in need. He became fluent in Japanese and Portuguese.

Harold is survived by his wife Francine Schweiger; son David Grosz, stepson Jordan Schweiger (Wendi) and their children Chase, Mason and Sloane Schweiger and son-in-law Michael Collins; grandson Nick Grosz and nephew Daniel Gross. He was predeceased by his daughters Diana Gross and Debbie Collins, grandson Brian Grosz and brother Joseph “Lenny” Grosz.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Friday, January 27, 11:30 a.m., Abraham L. Green & Son Funeral Home, 88 Beach Road, Fairfield). Shiva will be observed immediately following services at Francine Schweiger’s home in Westport. For more information and to share a condolence message, click here.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Jewish National Fund to plant trees in Israel.

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“Westport … Naturally” can’t resist dogs-at-the-beach photos. From October 1 through March 31, that’s their playground.

The other day, Bobo had a blast.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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And finally … the Army Special Forces featured in an upcoming play (story above) are also known as the Green Berets.