Roundup: Cannabis, Weston Fine Arts Festival, Drew Angus …

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Several years ago — after the state of Connecticut legalized medical marijuana — the Planning & Zoning Commission debated locations for dispensaries in town.

Several meetings drew SRO crowds. They lasted past midnight. After much contentious discussion, a dispensary has operated — quietly — since 2019.

Now, the state has legalized recreational cannabis. The local process begins again. As with medical marijuana, municipalities have the option to allow or disallow dispensaries.

This Thursday (6 p.m., Zoom), the Planning & Zoning Commission holds a work session on the impact on Westport. Besides whether or not to allow recreational sales, the P&Z may discuss a related issue: What — if anything — to do about residents who want to grow cannabis, for commercial use.

This is a work session only. Public hearings will be held at a later date. Click here for tonight’s full agenda.

Tonight’s meeting will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, Optimum channel 79, and Frontier channel 6020.

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What a musical weekend!

“06880” has already covered the Darlene Love and Broadway on the Beach shows.

Last night, the Levitt Pavilion was again packed. Broadway star/cabaret singer Frank Mastrone and Friends wowed the crowd with a selection of classics, pop and show tunes.

Frank Mastrone (right) and part of his band. He was joined onstage by 2 daughters, and Broadway singers he’s starred with. (Photo/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup includes the Connecticut Ballet (Tuesday), Divinity Roxx (children’s series, Wednesday), Feufollet (Cajun, honkytonk and string band, Thursday), the Drew Angus Band (Staples High School Class of 2007 singer/songwriter, Friday), Billy & the Showmen (R&B, soul, funk; Saturday) and Leonardo Suarez Paz & Cuartetango (tango, Saturday).

Click here for times and (free!) ticket information.

The Levitt Pavilion crowd for Frank Mastrone. (Photo/JC Martin)

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This weekend’s first-ever Weston Fine Arts Festival was a smash. The weather was great; plenty of artists exhibited, and Weston’s own José Feliciano gave his first public concert since COVID struck.

A small sampling of the large number of artworks. (Photo/JC Martin)

Plans are already underway for next year’s event.

Among the artists (below): Westporter Gabrielle Ferrara.

(Photo/JC Martin)

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Drew Angus’ video of “Made to Love You” — one of the talented Staples High School Class of 2007 singer/songwriter’s recent releases — has already racked up more than 60,000 views.

Featuring a pair of mesmerizing dancers, it’s one of the best of the “official music video” genre.

It’s also got another important Westport connection. Director of photography Todd Rawiszer is a fellow Staples alum. He and Drew met in high school.

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Elliott Siff died peacefully earlier this month, at his Westport home. He was 90 years old.

Elliott grew up in Whitestone Queens. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from  Cornell University Engineering School, where he was elected to the honorary societies Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma.

He served on the Advisory Council of the Cornell Engineering School, on which he was the first undergraduate faculty member. He was founder, chairman, chief executive and chief financial officer of Alcide Corporation. Elliott also was chairman and president of Belmar Corporation, a real estate holding company.

In 1962 he founded and ran VI Products, Inc., an aerospace company involved in the development and manufacture of gyroscopes and stabilization systems.  His gyroscope, the smallest in the world, was used in the Apollo spacecraft landing on the moon, and in Israeli torpedoes during the 6-Day War.

In 1975 Elliott created the Ladder Works, which developed, manufactured and distributed his invention: the stowaway step stool. He also founded Meditec Systems, a company based on an ambulatory intravenous system he invented.

He held 22 patents on electromechanical devices, gyroscopes, housewares, medical devices, and chemical and pharmaceutical products. His publications in the aerospace field include a reference textbook, An Engineering Approach to Gyroscopic Instruments.

His obituary calls him an “entrepreneur, inventor, author, poet, champion tennis player, Renaissance man,” who was “elegant, highly intelligent, with a wonderful sense of humor, strong, gentle, and totally devoted to his family.”

He is survived by his wife Marlene; sons, Brad (Meryl) and Brian (Michelle), and grandsons Jordan, Jackson, and Adam. He was predeceased by a grandson, Noah.

Contributions in Elliott’s name can be made to Cornell Engineering.

Elliott Siff

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Tom Lowrie spotted this intriguing tree at Baron’s South. We usually feature animals — or at least flowers — in “Westport … Naturally.” But this is one more wonderful bit of nature.

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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And finally … on this day in 1999, Lou Bega released “Mambo No. 5 (A Little Bit of …).”

Bar mitzvahs and weddings have never been the same.

One response to “Roundup: Cannabis, Weston Fine Arts Festival, Drew Angus …

  1. Barbara Sherburne '67

    Here is a bit of trivia I’ll bet you didn’t know: Frank Mastrone was a student of mine at Masuk High School in Monroe for three years. He was a standout singer when I taught music there and played the lead in Carousel, Billy, a very tough role. He also sang in all the other productions we did, Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, and others I can’t recall right now. I knew he definitely had a future in acting and singing.