Roundup: Ramadan, Michael Douglas, Daffodils …


It’s a Ramadan tradition for Muslims to visit civil service offices, meet executive officers in person, and thank them for their contributions.

Yesterday, Feroz Virani, Adil Kassam and Tameeza Asaria — members of the Ismaili Muslim community — presented 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Fire Chief Robert Yost with a gift of appreciation.

At Town Hall …

… Police headquarters …

… and the fire station. (Photos courtesy of Town of Westport)


Westport Republican Town Committee member Jim Campbell has tossed his hat in the ring: for chair of the Connecticut Republican Party.

A former chair of the Greenwich Republican Town Committee whose early and avid support of Donald Trump was chronicled in Evan Osnos’ New Yorker story “How Greenwich Republicans Learned to Love Trump,” Campbell is an executive with Frontier Communications.

Jim Campbell


The cover story for AARP Magazine’s April/May issue is Michael Douglas.

In a long interview about his life and career, the 76-year-old actor mentions his teenage years in Westport:

I was into hot rods, tinkering with cars. I worked at a Mobil station at one point, and my first real award was Mobil Man of the Month. I was also a member of a group called the Downshifters. A little bit like the Jets in West Side Story: [sings] “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way.”

I had a D.A. — when you’d comb your hair to look like a duck’s ass — the D.A., we called it. We were known to spend a little time locating automobiles that had parts that we wanted. Not proud about it, but it kept me out of a lot of other trouble.

Click here for the full interview.


Scott Smith writes: “I can’t remember a prettier season for daffodils and forsythia. I read an New York Times article on tulips that suggested the snow cover this winter may have helped. I

“I don’t recall buying any type of daffodil with multiple blooms, though I know some such varieties exist. So when I spotted this pretty bloom in my yard, I wondered if I have some sort of self-evolved mutant. Anybody else around town have this sort of daffodil?”

Daffodil lovers: Click “Comments” to respond!

(Photo/Scott Smith)


Speaking of blooms: The Westport Garden Club’s annual plant sale has a new venue: Jesup Green. The date is Friday, May 14 (9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

Also new this year: the option to pre-order plants online, for curbside pickup. The ordering page goes live May 1, at

Held annual since 1928 (except during World War II, and last year’s pandemic), the event features over 1,000 homegrown perennials from members’ own gardens, with a special section of Connecticut native plants. Club members will be on site, for advice. Each plant has a tag with care information too.

The Westport Book Shop — across Jesup Green — will offer a selection of garden books.

Proceeds from the sale — and the club’s booth at the Westport Museum for History & Culture’s May 1 Spring Market — support the club’s projects, including maintenance of local public gardens and parks. For more information, click here.

Getting ready for the sale.


Westporter Melissa Bernstein has been very open about her lifelong battle with existential anguish and depression. LifeLines — the multimedia platform recently launched, in collaboration with Doug, her husband and fellow Melissa & Doug toy company founder — has gotten great publicity.

One of the most in-depth and powerful stories was just published in the Washington Post. Click here to read. (Hat tip: Marc Selverstone)

Melissa Bernstein reads her “LifeLines” book.


Food insecurity and cancer are both difficult situations. Too often, they go together.

In honor of Mother’s Day, Pink Aid is helping struggling moms feed their families. With every the breast cancer support group will purchase food cards for women battling both breast cancer and financial hardship.

Pink Aid will send every donor’s mother a card acknowledging the meaningful gift. For every donation of $100 or more, they’ll send the donor (or donor’s mom) a reusable insulated grocery bag. Click here to donate.


From the Cincinnati Reds to Greens Farms Academy. That’s the unusual career path for the private school’s new athletic director. Eric Lee — senior director of player development for the MLB team — begins his next job in early July. He replaces Tauni Butterfield, who is moving to North Carolina after 2 decades at the Beachside Avenue school.

Lee’s 8 years with the Reds includes stints at director of baseball operations and senior director of international operations. He played baseball at Haverford, where he earned a BA i political science. He then taught world history and coached coaches baseball at basketball at Hawaii Preparatory Academy before returning to Haverford as an assistant dean of students and assistant baseball coach. He also worked and coached at National Presbyterian School in Washington, DC — and earned a law degree from the University of Maryland.

Eric Lee


And finally … on this day in 1965 Luciano Pavarotti mad his La Scala debut in Franco Zeffirelli’s production of “La Bohème.” Here he is, 21 years later:

9 responses to “Roundup: Ramadan, Michael Douglas, Daffodils …

  1. Wendy Crowther

    Some new daffodils popped up this year at the edge of my yard along the road that I don’t recall being there before. They have a multi-petaled, carnation-like center. I haven’t a clue how they got there.

  2. Clark Thiemann

    Recently there was a debate in the 06880 comment section about whether the local Republican candidates for Selectperson should have to weigh in on state and national issues like the former President, the attack on the Capitol and voting rights in our state. Reading the New Yorker story about a member of the Westport RTC, who is now running for state Republican Party chairperson who had a key role in supporting the candidacy of the former President I think makes clear that the link between local politics and the national debate is real.

    • Silence is complicity. Republicans don’t care – it’s about unbridled power-grabs.

      I’m embarrassed to have been a proverbial card-carrying Republican for twenty-five years, but at least I have the morality and the love of country to not have anything to do with the party of sedition.

      I don’t know how these people can teach their children right and wrong with a straight face. They don’t care, as long as their taxes are low.

  3. Susan Iseman

    Frontier communications filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in 2014.

  4. I’ll leave it to others to comment on Mr. Campbell’s politics, but I would like to remark on his employer. Frontier Communications is the sorriest excuse for a utility company as there ever was, perhaps excluding the Ministry of Telecommunications of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics..

    Merely ordering a simple phone line from Frontier is a multi-hour and sometimes multi-day ordeal, and once the order is finally entered, there are certain to be fatal errors requiring further calls and waits on hold.

    Mr. Campbell appears to be a rather junior manager at this troubled and bankrupt phone company — it’s probably some sort of retirement job — but having any managerial position there is a black mark on anyone’s resume.

    Mr. Campbell’s position on GOP candidates for national office is meaningless, as there is minimal chance of any of them winning in the general election.

    I’d suggest, instead, to have our CT political leaders, Democrat and Republican, explain why they approved this mismanaged firm to take over from SNET/AT&T as custodians of the legacy wireline phone network for nearly all of the state.

    • James Waldron

      Peter, who orders or has a landline these days? SNET? AT&T? Landlines? What’s next, Dan posting a 1972 wall phone photo and the old guard 06680 readers posting they know where it is!

      Chrysler went bankrupt too, who cares?

      • James, actually I believed in your simple but incorrect assumption until last fall, when storm Isaias hit and our power was out several days. We had Optimum for internet, and relied on VoIP phones, which were also out for the duration.

        And, since our cellphone service relies on a combination of WiFi and an LTE 4 signal booster, no cell service either. That was when I added a Frontier analog line, the kind that nobody you know has. It’s the only voice communication service that will work in a power outage where we happen to be.

      • Susan Iseman

        We have a landline through Optimum – it’s only use is for our fax/scan/printer equipment

  5. Fred Roberts

    Per usual, EMS is forgotten.