Roundup: Neighborhood Meetings, Beach And Housing Bills, Ukraine Help

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For a small town, we’ve got plenty of neighborhoods.

And 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker is focusing on all of them.

In coordination with the Public Works, Planning & Zoning and Public Safety Departments, she’s organized meetings with residents of all 9 RTM districts. The focus is on traffic, pedestrian and bicycle safety concerns, and how town officials are reacting to them.

Meetings will include officials and employees with knowledge of traffic management, roadway conditions, engineering and speed calming solutions, as well as the regulations and oversight authority of the town.

The meetings are set for Thursdays at 7 p.m., in the Town Hall auditorium. Click here for a map of all RTM districts.

Date District
Thursday, March 17, 2022 District 1
Thursday, March 24, 2022 District 4
Thursday, April 7, 2022 District 6
Thursday, April 14, 2022 District 7
Thursday, April 21, 2022 District 8
Thursday, April 28, 2022 District 9
Thursday, May 5, 2022 District 2
Thursday, May 12, 2022 District 3
Thursday, May 19, 2022 District 5
Thursday, May 26, 2022 Make Up

Concerned about traffic in your neighborhood? Go to a meeting!

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Recently, “06880” posted stories about a pair of bills working their way through the state legislature. One would prohibit towns from imposing different access fees for beaches on residents and non-residents; the other would permit up to 15 housing units per acre within half a mile of train stations.

Both will be up for discussion via Zoom this Monday (March 14, 10 a.m.).

State Senator Tony Hwang says that residents wishing to testify must register by 3 p.m. Sunday. They should send a brief email to PDtestimony@cga.ct.gov. They should reference the bill number (HB 5361 for beaches; HB 5429 for housing), and include your name and town.

Click here on Monday, to watch the hearing live.


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Like many local institutions, Wakeman Town Farm is thinking about Ukraine — and wondering how to help.

The sustainability center says:

Our friends in Ukraine are moms and dads just like us. They love their families, nature, animals, local farms and community. During this time of great need, we have put together a grassroots collection effort that will allow you to drop off or send select medical supplies to any of 3 local sites: Wakeman Town Farm in Westport, Lachat Town Farm in Weston, and Ambler Farm in Wilton.

Click here for a list of medical supplies needed. You can order from Amazon, and have them shipped to you (to bring to one of the collection sites), or shipped directly to Wakeman Town Farm (134 Cross Highway, Westport, CT 06880; Lachat Town Farm, 106 Godfrey Road West, Weston, CT 06883; Ambler Farm, 257 Hurlbutt Street, Wilton, CT 06897). The deadline is 1 p.m., March 18.

We will collect from each farm, and bring them to a site where they will be  shipped to Ukraine.

Wakeman Town Farm will accept either mail deliveries at 134 Cross Highway, Westport, CT 06680, or unboxed drop-offs up at the farm’s plastic bins at the Wakeman Drive entrance off Cross Highway. Items must arrive by 1 p.m. on March 18 to be included.

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How else to help? Ukrainian-Westporter Stephan Taranko says:

“A number of Ukrainians have formed groups to collect needed items and send them to Ukraine. My cousin Victoria joined such a group. They started an Amazon Gift List, listing the items currently needed. They also chipped in to pay the freight, but I suggested to add another line in the gift list if people want to defray some of the shipping cost.

Click here for a link we created with my cousin Natalia. Everything is being delivered to her office, where she packs it and sends to Ukraine.”

Stephan adds that his cousin Victoria’s father is a teacher in Ivano-Frankivsk. Although he has a green card and can evacuate to the US any time, he has taken up arms to fight the Russians.

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St. Luke Church is mourning the sudden death of Monsignor Andrew Varga. He was 69 years old.

A wake is set for Thursday, March 17 (3 to 6:45 p.m.), followed by a Vigil Mass at 7 p.m.

Visiting hours are Friday, March 18 (9:30 to 10:30 a.m.), followed by a funeral mass at 11 a.m.

The parish has set up a memorial with candles in the sanctuary, and a web page honoring Monsignor Andy.

Monsignor Andrew Varga

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Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch & Learn” is called “Native Plant Guilds: What Grows Together, Grows Together.”

It’s Wednesday, March 16 (noon to 1:15 p.m., Zoom). Anna Failkoff, ecological programs manager of Wild Seed Project, will talk about native plant guilds. Those are groupings that make it easier to design a landscape with appealing texture, color and wildlife value.

Click here to learn more, and register.

Anna Fialkoff

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Among the many casualties of COVID: Elementary school plays.

It’s a big deal for youngsters to work their way up the casting ladder, from 3rd grade extras to 5th grade stars. But with stages dark, one more rite of passage was halted.

Now Greens Farms School is back. Their production of “Willy Wonka Kids” is gleefully anticipated by all the boys and girls — and not just because the curtain will once again rise.

Directors Suzanne Sherman Propp and Ellen Hardy opened every role to any gender. Willy Wonka will be played by Leanne Mitev.

The show is set for next Friday and Saturday (March 18. 7 p.m. and 19, noon and 1:45 p.m.). Click here for tickets, and more information.

Greens Farms Elementary School rehearses “Willy Wonka Kids.”

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Jo Shields Sherman describes today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo as the struggle of 3 seasons. She writes:

“Winter’s snowfall has trouble sticking and icy water drips from the ivy; fall’s leaves and the indomitable remnants of a Halloween pumpkin improbably remain, and spring’s snowdrop flowers (crowned by the indignity of a fallen raft of lichen) seem to be growing out of the rock. Summer can’t be that far off!

“Buggy, our doggie, looks intrigued by the confusing display of our New England seasons. But I think she’s caught the scent of her favorite wildlife: chipmunk!”

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)

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And finally … as the situation in Ukraine continues to transfix the world, Mark Yurkiw — whose parents emigrated from there in 1949 — sends a YouTube link to “A Moonlight Night:  The Most Beautiful Ukrainian Song(Dedicated to All Brave Ukrainian People).”

It’s a song he grew up with. Now as the bombs fall, he says, it brings tears to his eyes.

4 responses to “Roundup: Neighborhood Meetings, Beach And Housing Bills, Ukraine Help

  1. Dan, I don’t see a link to the medical supplies list for the three farms. Could you send check on this right away? Deirdre Doran. Lachat Town Farm.

  2. Donald Bergmann

    This effort by First Selectwoman Tooker to generate public input on traffic and related issues is one of the undertakings to which Jen committed during her campaign to become our First Selectwoman. I hope huge numbers of people participate and that much more than simply griping is expressed.. Thanks, Jen.

  3. Wendy Goldwyn Batteau

    As the District 8 meeting is scheduled during a school vacation, we have asked for a date change. More info to come. (Thanks, Lisa Newman.)

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