Roundup: Bus Shelters, Cell Tower, Strawberry Moon …

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Westport has taken a big step toward adding more bus shelters.

Last night the Planning & Zoning Commission voted 5-0, with 1 abstention, on a text amendment. It adopts a definition for “bus shelters,” and exempts them from being considered a “structure.” That removes many obstacles from where they can be located.

Transportation and employment advocates have pushed for more bus shelters for years. Before last night bus shelters were deemed to be structures, and could not be located within the 30-foot setback along roads.

Thus, except for one shelter near Stop & Shop, bus riders on the Post Road must stand in all kinds of weather, on sidewalks or even the roadway.

Approval for new bus shelter locations will be made by the director of Public Works, in consultation with the Police and Fire Departments.

Among the people working for years for this change are members of the ad hoc Bus Shelter Working Group (Pippa Bell Ader, Harold Bailey, Ross Burkhardt, Ron Corwin, Jennifer Johnson, Melissa Kane and Larry Weisman), plus Peter Boyd of Sustainable Westport, and Planning & Zoning director Mary Young.

Click here for full details of the text amendment.

Waiting for the bus. (Photos courtesy of Planning & Zoning Commission Bus Shelter Working Group)

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Earlier this month, “06880” reported on a proposal to build a cell tower on private property at 92 Greens Farms Road.

An information session is set for Monday (June 28, 5:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium

To provide written comments before the session, email selectman@westportct.gov.

A cell tower been proposed for the property on the left: 92 Greens Farms Road. (Photo courtesy of Google Maps)

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Though the Westport Country Playhouse will not host any live productions this summer, the famed theater is opening up for special events.

They include cabaret performances tomorrow (Saturday, June 26, 8 p.m., with Tonya Pinkins and Brad Simmons, and another cabaret July 24); an in-person screening of the virtual production “Tiny House” (Tuesday, June 29), and more. (Click here for details.)

Playhouse managing director Michael Barker filmed a “welcome back” video. Click below to enjoy.

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Longtime Westporter Herman Smith died June 17. He was 84

Herman lived in The Villages, Florida for nearly 20 years, but called Westport and Danbury home. He was the second of 4 generations of Westport residents, following his father who started a business in the 1940s.

Herman was educated in the Westport school system, from kindergarten through his graduation from Staples High School in 1955. He then attended the Engineering Institute of Bridgeport. He was also honorably discharged from the United States Air Force, and served in the National Guard.

Herman was in management at United Parcel Services, working in the South New England District for over 30 years. He retired in 1995.

Herman Smith

Herman was an original member of the Gents, and a long time member of the African American Club at The Villages. He enjoyed his time with the Frogs and Flakes, and the ROMEOs with his neighbors on Lawson Loop.

He was also a collector of baseball hats, an avid golfer and a world traveler.  He and his wife Mary Fran traveled  to over 25 countries, and visited all 7 continents.

His favorite spots and activities included his gardens in Westport, boating on Candlewood Lake, golfing at the Villages, watching the ocean at Daytona Beach Shores and making memories at Disney with his family.

He was predeceased by his parents, John Herman and Jane Smith, and sister, Jane “Patsy” Smith. Herman is survived by his loving wife of 57 years, Mary Frances; children Mark of The Villages, Florida; Susan of New Haven, and Scott (Jane) of Westport, CT), and grandchildren Brandon, Jacob and Joshua.

Herman’s family will celebrate his legacy by establishing a scholarship in his name to advance the education and talents of promising youth. In lieu of flowers, they ask for contributions to that scholarship once it is established. Donations may also be made to another charity that fittingly honors Herman’s kind spirit, generous soul and full life.

A memorial service is planned for July 10 (11 a.m., Hiers-Baxley Funeral Services, The Villages, Florida). A celebration of Herman’s life will also be held in Connecticut in September.

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Last night’s Strawberry Moon was marred by a few clouds. But Daniel Johnson was one of many Westporters who gathered at Compo Beach. He captured this great shot:

(Photo/Daniel Johnson)

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Today in “Westport … Naturally”: Miggs Burroughs spotted this white deer in his Old Hill backyard. It (or a relative) has appeared once a year, for the past several years. Miggs writes:

“According to Native American legend, the appearance of an all-white deer signifies an abundant harvest. I must say, I have more weeds this year than ever.”

(Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

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And finally … in honor of the Planning & Zoning Commission’s vote last night that will lead to more (much-needed) bus shelters in Westport:

5 responses to “Roundup: Bus Shelters, Cell Tower, Strawberry Moon …

  1. I guessed your pick for a musical interlude but i didn’t guess you wouldn’t use Herman’s Hermits version. LoL forgot who wrote it. Thanks for the memories.

  2. Celeste Champagne

    Stunning photo of the white deer by Miggs Burroughs. Is there anything this man cannot do well? I think not:-)

  3. I offer many blessings to the folks who persevered on getting the bus shelters more easily available. I have felt such shame, for years, seeing hard working people sitting on an overturned grocery carriage, or standing in the rain or snow, waiting for the bus. We can do better, and now we will. Everyone in town benefits from these hard working people who take the bus to work here in Westport. They need and deserve to be treated with dignity.

  4. Robert Fatherley

    Happy to report that the Westport Town’s Commission on Human Services
    of which I was a member, initiated and executed the construction of the
    present Bus Shelter in front of Stop and Shop. It involved securing the
    support of the Manager of Stop and Shop (to encourage his employees
    to use the shelter to and from their homes), engaging the State’s
    Department of Transportation for technical guidance, persuading the
    Town to build the structure from blueprints and components from the
    Long Island manufacturer and, in addition, persuade a representative from
    the State to grant approval for and on-site supervision of the project. It was
    quite an involved process and I believe another example has been
    established for more of the same in our Town. Although not our
    first shelter, I believe it is the second. One factor was that the Post Road
    frontage is the property of the State, not the town or Stop and Shop. It
    should be reported that the State, the Town and Stop and Shop were all
    enthusiastically cooperative about doing their part to coordinate the moving
    parts of this worthwhile enterprise. Further, it is another demonstration
    of how governmental and non-governmental entities can and do join hands
    for a common good. A bit like motherhood and Apple Pie. I was honored
    to be the quarterback.

  5. I went to school with Herman Smith in the late 40s. He and Melvin Hayes were the only African-American students in my classes in those years. He was a kind and gentle kid, even then. I hope 06880 will publish a notice of the time, date, and place of his memorial service in Westport in September.

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