The Day Some Said Would Never Happen…

…happened yesterday.

Y groundbreaking

Ground was broken for the new Westport Family Y, at Mahackeno.

After the ceremony, pigs flew.

28 responses to “The Day Some Said Would Never Happen…

  1. LOL, Dan.

  2. The Family Y is hosting an informational Q&A session about our construction project on Thursday, Feb. 7, at 7:30 pm in the 2nd-floor Board Room of the Y’s downtown facility. This meeting is open to the public, with a special invitation extended to nearly 100 homeowners neighboring the Y’s Mahackeno campus. More information can, of course, be found at

    • You all are never at a loss for words in your informational sessions but when it comes to answering the real, tough questions? Nothing.

      • Jim, we’ll be happy to answer your questions anytime, including at tomorrow night’s Q&A. Dan has asked me to supply ID info for the photo above, and I will happily list the names of these community leaders, from left to right. Space here doesn’t lend itself to much more, but a quick Google of any of their names will surely show you how much they’ve given to our community on this and other civic endeavors:
        Rob Reeves
        Steve Halstead
        Les Wolf
        Jim Kempner
        Helene Weir
        Sam Gault
        Ted Davis
        Rosemary Halstead
        Bonnie Strittmatter
        Iain Bruce
        Pete Romano
        Jim Marpe

        And as mentioned, the Y’s website has lots more info, but this link will take you to the Y blog at and an article with more photos of the groundbreaking, a series of renderings showing what our new Y will look like from the outside and inside, and photos of the site preparation under way:

  3. I believe in the power of pigs!

  4. Richard H. Finnegan

    Hi Dan Is there any expression about pigs zooming around overhead that’s equivalent to the famous “It’s a Good Thing cows don’t fly.”? Just askin’ . . . I’d be grateful for a who’s who of the Members of the Order of the Shining Shovel as shown here. And ‘while you’re up,’ how about letting us see the architects’ final renderings. Thanks in advance.

  5. On this day, thousands of fairies lost their wings…children cried all over the world…and the poor little creatures of Mahackeno held a vigil.

    This is, indeed, a very sad day for Westport and Weston. My prayers are with this town — and Wilton Road residents — over the next year! Because it’s going to be hell.

    • U. Zooelly N. Trouble

      They had to wait until Lucie Bedford was pushin’ up daisies. now its full speed ahead!!!! What’s next? A streetcar from downtown to the new “Y”? A hydrofoil to whisk everybody up the Soggytuck and bypass the new Wilton Rd. parking lot???? Great idea!!!!

      • Isn’t Lucie’s sister, Ruth Bedford, still with us? And living on Clapboard Hill Road, close to the top of the hill with a grand view all the way down and across to the LI Sound?
        If a streetcar / light rail would help alleviate what will almost surely be an increase in auto traffic on Wilton Road, then let ground be broken now!

        • U. Zooelly N. Trouble

          I hope Ruth is still with us Richard (are you the same Richard Finnegan son of the wonderful and beautiful B Finnegan, war hero Tom Finnegan, USAAC and Neil F. Lebhar, MD who made sure that children in Westport grew up healthy and happy?). AT LEAST if Ruth is still alive it would mean that there is one vestige of her generous family still alive among us. The nouveau riche in Westport have plundered and squandered all of the rest of the Bedford family’s legacy to the quality of life in this town. Let’s hope that the shovel diggers in the picturee hit a septic tank and the EPA comes in and saves the day for Mahackeno. That’s the only hope we’ve got left. Say hi to Ruth on behalf of everyone who appreciates her family and their generosity to Westport.

          • I am that (he wrote in a properly Irish manner) and admit my great surprise, astonishment even, that there is anyone still around who recalls my parentage so clearly and exactly. It’s also true that all three of my parents deserve being remembered — by my choice and wish the unique and wonderful Dr. Neil eventually became my father in every way except biological — which I do NOT say because of my relationship to them.
            All while thanking you for one of the nicest surprises ever to come my way, I say how eager I am to know the identity of the person behind that very intriguing pen name.
            Richard Finnegan

            P.S. I love your idea of the Brigade of the Shining Shovels puncturing a septic tank while digging so’s to send a geyser of noxious effluvia skyward à la Old Faithful.


      • Exactly.

      • Wrecker –

        You’re an old, bloated ex-Westporter who has no grasp on what kind of negative impact this will have on the community. Get a life.

      • Dearest Jimbo,

        You are a Sky-is-Falling Chicken Little that thinks the End of The World is Near.

        The traffic in the area of the new Y will NOT be negatively impacted (just like all the other gloom and doom predictions people have made about other new projects in town) because the new Y doesn’t have peak traffic like say an office complex where hundreds of employees arrive at a certain time in the morning and leave at a certain time in the evening.

        People come and go to the Y at their leisure and even if there are people attending a class at the Y….WOW!! Huge impact!! 15-25 cars on Wilton Road!!!! Oh The Huge Manatee!!

        Here’s a quarter…go buy yourself a clue.

        • They’re not building a huge new facility to attract and serve casual visitors. You are smoking a special kind of dope if you think the morning and evening rush hours – which are already a nightmare in and around Exit 41 – will not be negatively impacted by both the morning and afternoon retail activity at the Mahackeno YMCA development (day care, after school activities, etc…). As others have said, they won the right to develop the property. So be it. However, the Y does not have the right to their own special magical “no traffic” reality.

  6. Jim Marpe might be diggin bad dirt for his election bid.

  7. nice shovels! i will take one of those once they are finished with them.

  8. Babette d'Yveine

    I wonder how much the fees will increase.

  9. Richard Lawrence Stein

    Seriously the ship left the dock…. I am one of the families this will have a direct impact on. My family has lived here for nearly 40 years. It’s done. Why bemoan what is… Lets just hope it’s a great place… And pray that it becomes a shinning example of support to our community…. And as an aside… Two people in the photo are two Westporters who could not do more for this town. Pete Romano and Sam Gault are stellar contributors to many causes.

  10. Westport Momma

    As much as we enjoy currently, when it moves from its central location, our children will not be moving with their programs. Its too far out of the way, and would add an extra 30 minutes of commuting to our morning and evening routines. This may have been where the Y owned land, but their inability to raise funds over the years has proven their strategy to be flawed. Instead of the facility they planned, it’s going to be half the size, with the compromises being made that take benefits from the smallest users, who happen to spend the most time there. There’s very little upside for non-Rats.

  11. Everyone is so whiny about traffic for this, but the real problem when it comes to traffic in this area has existed for years at this point. An enormous office complex was built on Wilton Road near Orem’s. This wouldn’t be much of an issue, except for the unbelievable lack of foresight to keep the road at only one lane, ensuring massive gridlock during commuting hours.

    THAT’S the traffic issue in the area, not the Y. Who cares about the nonexistent Y compared to the garbage we’re already buried under?