Roundup: Kids’ Grief, Senate Parliamentarian, More


Kids are resilient.

We say that a lot. Partly, it’s true. Partly, we want to believe it.

But COVID has caused grief for many youngsters. They’ve lost relatives. They fear others may suffer and die. They’ve lost so much of their own normal lives. And there’s so much uncertainty, day after day after day.

Experience Camps knows a lot about grief. The national, no-cost program for grieving children who have experienced the death of a parent, sibling or primary caregiver runs great summer camps for children and teens.

When the coronavirus derailed last year’s programs, they focused instead on raising awareness of the many facets of childhood grief.

A key part of that effort is a Zoom panel discussion next Tuesday (March 2, 2 p..m.). Experts from a variety of perspectives will discuss “How the Pandemic of Grief is Impacting Kids.”

Experience Camps founder Sara Deren says the audience is “anyone and everyone. Everyone is grieving now. This is not just for professionals. If you have or know kids, it’s important to understand COVID’s impact on them.”

Click here to register, and for more information.


There’s always a Westport connection to national news.

When the US Senate parliamentarian ruled against yesterday that raising the minimum wage to $15 violated budgetary rules limiting what can be included in the legislation, at least 2 “06880” readers wondered: Who exactly is this parliamentarian.

Google (and Wikipedia) provided the answer: She is Elizabeth MacDonough. And although she grew up near Washington, DC, she graduated from Greens Farms Academy in 1984.

The New York Times reports that MacDonough — the first woman in the post — has “retained both the position and bipartisan respect under the leadership of both parties since she was named in 2012.”

Not much else is known about her local ties. If you’ve got more — or her remember her from GFA — click “Comments” below. (Hat tip: Clark Thiemann)

Elizabeth MacDonough:  (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia)


One of the town’s most important — and least publicized — honors is the James S. Bacharach Service to the Community Award.

Presented annually for the last 32 years by the Westport Youth Commission to one or more high school seniors who live in or attend school in town, it recognizes significant service to Westport. Bacharach founded and served as president of the Youth Adult Council. He was also deeply involved in the organization that is now Homes with Hope.

Any Westporter — adult or student — can nominate a high school senior. Nominees should have a strong record of community service within Westport. Click here for a nomination form.

Submissions must be accompanied by 2 references. A maximum of 2 letters of support can be uploaded to the application or emailed separately to The deadline is March 26.


Last night’s nearly full moon was big.

But not as big as it was as seen through the Westport Astronomical Society’s telescope, at Rolnick Observatory.

Franco Fellah sends along this shot, and points out the prominence of the Tycho impact crater on the right.

(Photo/Franco Fellah)


And finally … there are some red-letter birthdays today. Johnny Cash was born February 25, 1932. He died in 2003.

Fats Domino was born on this date in 1928. He died in 2017.

And of course Victor Hugo, born today in 1802. He died in 1885.

11 responses to “Roundup: Kids’ Grief, Senate Parliamentarian, More

  1. Louis Weinberg

    Great shot Franco!!!

  2. I hope Sen. Will Haskell is successful in legalizing marijuana so we can have a dispensary open up downtown to take advantage of all those tasty treat cafes and ‘bakeries’ that are planned! Continue to revitalize downtown!

    • Let’s hope there isn’t “success” in legalizing pot and having a store in the middle of downtown Westport.

      • Russell Gontar

      • Picture a downtown like a Burlington, VT. a P’Town, a Chatham….not one filled with gelato restaurants & bakeries…and a dinosaur bookstore chain. There are zero reasons to go to main st./downtown if you’re 50 or under. IMHO.

  3. Dan, complaining? How so? You post about downtown places, ‘opening’, yet two of them simply moved. Maybe we’re tired of reading about the, ‘Happy Day’s’ in Westport. While we respect your generation, and the generations before you who post, it’s time to move on.

    Don’t your arms get tired patting yourself on the back all day? Respectfully asking for a friend.

    • James, if you dislike the town and my writing so much, why do you keep reading? And commenting? I am genuinely curious. When I’m faced with a situation that I am not pleased with, I do one of two things. I try to change it constructively, or I move on.

  4. Elizabeth M did live in Westport and her mom was a high-level executive with General Foods during the time Elizabeth was at GFA.

  5. Priscilla Hawk

    Dan, it is very helpful to learn from you who is opening, what and where? It’s great information we all need to know and enjoy learning about from you, our great town-information person.