Roundup: Porch Party, Post Road Fawns, Bicycle For 2 …

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In less than 2 months of operation, The Porch @ Christie’s has become an iconic part of Westport.

Besides a great breakfast-lunch-and-dinner menu, excellent coffee and a popular ice cream stand, there are sweeeeet baked goods from Sweet P Bakery.

That’s the business that Porch owners Bill and Andrea Pecoriello started 2 years ago. They instruct and employ 6 bakers — all with disabilities — along with 3 professional chefs.

Yesterday, the Pecoriellos hosted a party (appropriately, on the Porch’s porch) for the Sweet P staff. Some had never seen the place where so many customers love the products they make.

Hetty Marion said “I love this! It’s such a nice atmosphere.” Autumn Perry looked forward to watching people try her creations.

In case you’re wondering what to order: Autumn’s favorite is chocolate chip cookies. Hetty favors Whoopie Pies.

Autumn Perry (left) and Hetty Marion, at yesterday’s party with Porch owners Bill and Andrea Pecoriello.

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Tomorrow (Sunday, July 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.) marks Wakeman Town Farm’s first Sustainable Goods Eco Market.

Local vendors and artisans will be selling handwoven baskets and housewares; honey; handmade soaps, body butter and essential oils; skin and hair products for teens; candles; bags; clothing; honey and more.

There’s breakfast from The Granola Bar truck, and ice cream cones from Saugatuck Sweets too.

While adults shop green, youngsters can work on fun projects with WTF director of education Chryse Terrill, or visit with the animals. Expert Judy Panzer will answer animal questions for curious young minds.

Everyone can enjoy music by saxophonist Bobby Master, classical guitarist Jesse Balcom, steel pan and marimba player, and string quartet Vision Academy.

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Westport Animal Control and the Westport Police Department want you to know: 2 fawns have hunkered down in the grassy Post Road median in front of Splash Car Wash.

The mother thinks this is a safe spot for her little ones. Animal Control Officer Peter Reid asks people to not approach them — and when driving by, slow down!

Fawns in the median.

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SA couple considering a moving to Westport from New York would love to take the train here, and explore our town by bike.

They asked “06880” about rentals near the station. I don’t think there’s any such thing (though it might not be a bad sideline for a nearby business).

So how about it, “06880” readers: If there are no bike rentals around, does someone have a pair to lend? Maybe meet them at the station, give some tips (or even ride with them)? Or drop bikes off there, with combination locks?

Sure, it’s a long shot. But it’s also one way to help show off our amazing town — and the great people who live here.

I don’t think this is the type of bike ride our guests are looking for.

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The Hamptons? Cape Cod? LA?

Nope. The too-familiar scene yesterday afternoon, on Bridge Street:

(Photo/Patricia McMahon)

And, reports Patricia McMahon, it took her 20 minutes on South Compo to get to this mess. And a total of 64 minutes to get from the beach to the light by Bridge Square.

Part of the reason may have been an accident south of I-95 exit 19, which shut all 3 lanes for an hour. But that was a few miles away.

Yikes.

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On Thursday, State Senators Will Haskell and Tony Hwang were recognized for their bipartisan effort to pass SB 954. The bill will improve college safety, and is seen as a template for federal legislation, sponsored by Congressman Jim Himes. The goal is to increase transparency around college accidents and deaths in all US colleges.

The initiative comes from College911.net, an all-volunteer organization founded in the memory of Corey Hausman. The 2018 Staples High School graduate died from what started as a preventable accident on his college campus just 15 days into his freshman year. Corey’s was the third student death since the start of that semester.

Senators Will Haskell and Tony Hwang hold certificates presented by College 911.net. Also pictured: members of the 911 Young Adult Advisory Board (Brendan Carney, Rushil Marallapu, Kate Smith and William Bean), members of Corey Hausman’s family (Joel, Nanette and Lucas), and Jeff Mitchell, an ardent supporter.

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Blood donations are still down, compared to pre-COVID times.

The Red Cross is holding a blood drive this Thursday (July 29, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 (465 Riverside Avenue).

The VFW is holding an open house the same day, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

VFW Joseph Clinton Post 399.

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A large crowd filled Bedford Hall last night, for the Westport Woman’s Club annual “Sip and Savor” fundraiser.

Proceeds from ticket and wine sales benefit the organization’s many philanthropic and scholarship initiatives.

“It’s so nice to go out again,” one attendee said.

“Especially where there’s wine,” her friend agreed.

One of the 4 tasting stations at the Westport Woman’s Club “Sip & Savor” event. Wines came from around the world.

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The grounds of the Westport Weston Family YMCA always look gorgeous, thanks to Tony Palmer Landscaping.

Yesterday they were especially attractive. The Westport Garden Club chose the Mahackeno site for its annual #FridayFlowers display. They were created by Janet Wolgast, with help from new Y CEO Anjali McCormick.

One more reason to smile before — and after — your workout.

(Photo/Ed Simek)

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Andrew O’Brien spotted this recently at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Andrew O’Brien)

“We have many different points of view here in Westport,” he says. “But I can’t figure out where this individual stands.”

I don’t know either. But it’s clear where he sits: In the driver’s seat, without a real good look through his rear view mirror.

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Longtime Westport resident Vivian Doak of Spring, Texas, died peacefully at home, surrounded by her immediate family, last Saturday. She was 91 years.

The oldest of 5 children, Vivian graduated from high school in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey. After secretarial school in New York, she held various positions. In 1952 she married Malcolm Robert Doak, an Air Force pilot. Following stints in Memphis, Japan, Long Island and Poughkeepsie, the couple settled in Westport in 1964, where they raised their family. In 2009 Vivian and her husband retired to Lake Conroe, Texas, and finally settled in Spring, Texas, at The Village at Gleannloch Farms.

While in Westport Vivian was a mother, housewife, business professional and real estate agent. She served many roles, from Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader to PTA organizer; from church deacon to leading the local Women’s Council of Realtors.

Vivian enjoyed traveling the world with her corporate pilot husband, as well as cultural jaunts with her children. The Doak home was a welcoming place for neighborhood kids, and a great environment for their children’s friends to hang out, be fed delicious meals, and be appreciated. Many still recall her warm smile and generous laugh.

Vivian possessed an ambitious, artistic talent that influenced everything she did. She was an excellent cook and skilled seamstress, skills she passed on to her children, grandchildren and beyond.

She enjoyed dancing, and studied tap and other forms. A painter from early on, she later enjoyed the hands-on hard work of building, refinishing and reupholstering furniture. She brought a creative eye to numerous heirloom quilts made for family members.

Vivian reveled in leading her grandchildren in holiday crafts, and created hand-painted curios for her children and their families. She also mastered a host of magic tricks, and juggled to entertain her grandchildren.

In retirement Doak mastered the art of theorem painting, studying at the Fletcher Farm School for the Arts in Vermont. While a member of the Wilton Presbyterian Church, Vivian designed and oversaw the construction of their on-site Memorial Garden.

Vivian will be remembered for her kindness, patience, loving manner, infectious laugh and bright smile, and as the matriarch of a strong, loving vital family.

Vivian is survived by her husband Malcolm and their 5 children: Kathi Doak of New York City; Lisa Lyne (James) of Spring, Texas; Ivy Doak (Timothy Montler) of Denton, Texas; Robin Neyrey of Spring TX, and Malcolm (Carole Ann) of Kirby, Vermont; 7 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins, and sister Marjorie Schoneboom of Long Island.

A memorial service was held at The Village at Gleannloch Farms. The family is appreciative of everyone there.

Vivian Doak

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Great blue herons are skittish — and very hard to photograph. Yet John Kantor captured this “Westport … Naturally” scene beautifully, at Sherwood Mill Pond.

(Photo/John Kantor)

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And finally … our “06880” plea for bicycle help (above) led of course to this song. I bet the couple wants to explore Westport on individual bikes. But just in case they don’t …

 

13 responses to “Roundup: Porch Party, Post Road Fawns, Bicycle For 2 …

  1. Does anyone else find the traffic in and around Westport at all times of the day just nearly non-negotiable? Is it that we have hundreds of new residents, or is it the summer, or construction or all of these and more?

    • Bill Strittmatter

      I find that congestion in Westport seems pretty random. Probably 75% of the time I’m driving in Westport, traffic is reasonable with the biggest problems being inattentive/texting drivers and poorly timed/synchronized traffic lights. I assume the latter is by design as a “traffic quieting” measure. And, obviously, summer results in more traffic to/from the beach.

      However, if there is the least bit of extra traffic (whether due to normal rush hour or diversion from I-95), congestion develops rather rapidly. Then the inattentive drivers and poorly timed traffic lights, coupled with lack of left and/or right turn lanes and the bottlenecks crossing the Saugatuck, turn traffic into a nightmare. It doesn’t seem like it takes much to reach the tipping point.

      Limited road rights of way probably prevent fixing some of those issues. However, as with, for example, the rejection of David Waldman’s Post Road/Rte 33 fix and the desire to keep the “traffic quieting” Cribari Bridge, it seems like most Westport voters would prefer periodic traffic nightmares in order to more generally discourage traffic through town.

      Not unreasonable desire, by the way, but one that has consequences.

      • Werner Liepolt

        Replacing the Cribari Bridge would create an unimaginably worse nightmare than what the nightmare we are currently in. CTDOT’s estimated calendar to replace the Cribari Bridge was three years… Three years of a detour that is mapped on the following site.

        https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/DOT/documents/dbridgepubs/20160519Bridge01349RSRGCTFinal01580212pdf.pdf

        CTDOT also includes a study of anticipated queue length at all the many intersections on this detour route… they are about four times the current length.

        Given the CTDOT’s ability to hit the mark in project completion (NB: the King’s Highway Bridge project) Westport’s traffic nightmare could be four times worse than it is now for 3++++ years.

        • Bill Strittmatter

          Looks like that section of the study was to justify the construction of a temporary bridge during construction. Presumably it would be quite less disruptive assuming a temporary span was put in place. Seemed to work pretty well the last time the bridge was worked on. No question though that there would be some disruption in the process.

          Personally, I don’t really care one way or the other. Being retired, I can generally avoid traveling at high traffic times.

          However, choosing to do nothing also has consequences. That’s the fun thing about life – you get to live with the consequences of the choices you (or we collectively) make.

  2. The Porch is a very welcome addition to our town. Had an amazingly sweet lunch with a friend the other day. Felt so good to sit on the porch. And I even got a hug from owner Tim Purcell.

  3. Traffic in Westport is horrible. We are overbuilding. everywhere you look new homes, condos, and apartments. Enough is enough. Now Hiawatha 157 units and the Old Mill 37 units etc. What happened to this beautiful, peaceful town????

  4. René Fontaine

    East Norwalk, right on the Saugatauck border, has a wonderful electric “Pedego Bike Rental” shop. A short walk from the train station and a great place to start exploring the southernmost part of town from! Enjoy!

  5. I’m really happy to see Bill and Andrea succeeding with The Porch after the recent misfires we’ve seen at that location. The place is doing so well now that it’s hard to find parking during prime hours!

    Another apparently big success story in town is Hudson Malone, which seems already to have purged the stain on Westport’s reputation left by the owner of the old 323.

    The new operators of both these restaurants are disproving the adage that retail is about location location location – it’s actually about smart management and attention to detail.

  6. Danielle Dobin

    Dan – I’m happy to lend my bike which is the right size for a woman under 5’6. We are actually a nice walk from the train. Maybe one of my neighbors has a men’s bike too.

  7. Bobbie Herman

    “Daisy, Daisy” was the first song I ever learned. Daisy was my mother’s name.

  8. Metro North permits bicycles on non-rush hor trains. All you need is a pass easily obtainable at Grand Central Station. Given the lack of bike rentals in Westport and the numerous places to rent a bike in NYC, that may be a better option. Once in Westport I’d be happy to provide them with a guided bike tour of some of the safer streets for bike riding.

  9. The couple interested in cycling around Westport may have luck by by posting their request on the Sound Cyclist Bike Club FB page. (SCBC) . Many of our members live in or close to Westport.

  10. Kathryn Coster

    Love the great blue heron pic JK…they frequent the lake in our backyard in SC and I love watching them fish !!

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