Roundup: School Reopening, Seed Exchange, Leadership, More


Westport’s elementary and middle school open for full in-person on February 1.

A new Westport Public Schools website offers information on the transition. it includes details on schedules, specials, health and safety, lunch and recess, mitigation and hygiene strategies, classroom cohorts, special education, transportation, technology and more.

Click here for the elementary school page. Click here for the middle school page.


Talented Westport photographer Ted Horowitz posted this photo to his Instagram this morning:

He took the shot years ago at sunrise, in the Lincoln Memorial.

“In the silence of dawn, with golden light reflecting on the statue, the  the sense of gravity and majesty was overwhelming,” he says.

“It was a hopeful moment, as morning light poured in and a  day dawned once again. I felt that this image was appropriate for today, as we seeking relief from the past 4 years, and are hopeful for the new day which is about to begin.”


Next Thursday (January 28) is National Seed Exchange Day.

Stumped for a celebration? Head to the Westport Farmers’ Market. It’s (no coincidence) their annual seed exchange.

People can bring seeds saved from their gardens — or take home a few saved by others.

WFM farmers will donate seeds from their favorite crops for the community to try at home. All seeds except invasive species are welcome, but the market urges people to bring and take home heirloom or organic varieties. (Click here for a list of invasive plants.)

Heirloom seeds are critical to reclaiming the food system. They’re open-pollinated plants passed down from generation to generation, without human intervention or manipulation. They taste better, are more nutritious, and help protect plant diversity.

“Collecting, sharing, and growing seeds saved by our very own shoppers, farmers and vendors – especially heirloom varieties – involves the community personally in the promotion of local food and flora,” says Farmers’ Market executive director Lori Cochran-Dougall.

“This year more than ever we want to seed the year with love and health.”

The seed exchange runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. — or until all seeds are shared —  on January 28th at Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Avenue.

Experts will be on hand to informally discuss the importance of seed saving.


Yesterday’s mention of Capuli — the new restaurant in the old Westport Pizzeria location across from Bank of America — may have left the impression that it’s a pizza place.

It’s not.

The California-Mediterranean fusion menu — filled with healthy options — includes appetizers like chimichurri shrimp skewers and grilled octopus, and entrees like eggplant polenta Napoleon, pansotti, classic New York steak and California hamburger.

Click here for the mouth-watering lunch and dinner menus.


Mike Hayes is a 20-year veteran of the Navy SEALs, with service in Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan. He had defense policy and strategy roles in the Bush and Obama administrations.

He’s got a master’s in public policy from Harvard, and is the author of an inspirational book, “Never Enough.”

Hayes is also a Westporter. And on February 4 (7 p.m.), he’ll share his thoughts on leadership with former Westport Library trustee Maggie Mudd.

He’ll talk about how decisions get made, particularly under duress; crisis management, conflict resolution and more. Leadership lessons are applicable to every walk of life, Mudd notes.

Click here to register for the free virtual program.

Mike Hayes


And finally (and I do mean “finally”) …

7 responses to “Roundup: School Reopening, Seed Exchange, Leadership, More

  1. Michelle Benner

    After last night’s boe meeting, which I implore everone to watch, I hope the teacher’s concerns are taken into account and school plans modified. Over 60 teachers and community members wrote in for public comments. It was truly heartbreaking to hear how undervalued and acutely stressed many teachers feel. Teachers need to be heard, their health and safety must be acknowledged and respected. I’m very discouraged, and frankly, disgusted, by 5 of the 7 boe members’ callous handling of the outpouring of responses and cries for help. Full reopening should commence only when all teachers are fully vaccinated. Or at least delay until there are zero student cases in our community. Currently, there are 30 students & staff in the Westport Public Schools who are sick with covid. Teachers should not be subject to the irresponsible behavior of those families who choose to unsafely socialize, dine out, or travel out of state without quarantining. If the school community wants schools to reopen full time then the school community as a whole needs to put more effort into providing a safe environment for the teachers and staff.

    • James Waldron

      Michelle, I truly applaud your efforts in bringing these issues and the educators and parents concerns to the community. However, this site, as you can see by the lack of engagement does not skew toward those in the community who care about this issue. Although this working paper is lengthy and data cumbersome, it will provide some insight to the issues you raise locally that is being faced from a national perspective;

      Stay safe.

  2. The Lincoln Memorial… carved by Daniel Chester French!

    • A relative?

      • Not sure but very possible. My grandmother’s brother was a genealogist and traced that side of the family 12 generations to the 2nd voyage of the Mayflower.

        • The story I always liked was this. Their name was Disney, so he wrote Walt to see if there was a connection. He actually wrote back! But his letter sort of said…Now that I’m rich and famous I’m not looking to here from old relatives. I got a kick out of that, but not my grandmother Mimi.