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Roundup: Affordable Housing, Ukraine Help, Punk …


Affordable housing is an important topic in Westport. What’s Westport’s plan for it?

Tomorrow (March 16, 7 p.m. Town Hall),First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin kick off the planning process for our town’s “Five Year Affordability Plan.” The public is invited.

For those who can’t attend, the event will be livestreamed at

In other housing news, both Tooker and Dobin testified yesterday before the Connecticut General Assembly’s Planning & Development Committee. They spoke against House Bill 5429, which would permit up to 15 housing units per acre within a one-half mile radius of any train station in Connecticut.

For decades, Hales Court has offered affordable housing in Westport.


Buck Rosenfield is one of those people who always lends Westporters a helping hand.

Now the 1976 Staples High School graduate is doing it for Ukrainian refugees — overseas.

He posted on Facebook:

“Tonight I worked at a cluster of medical tents. About 2,000 to 3,000 people have passed down this makeshift tent corridor from the Polish checkpoint at the border. There is everything here from pampers to candy, kids’ toys, gloves, clothing, and a human warmth that betrays the long lines and long waits to enter.

“I took a night shift so doctors could sleep. Unknown to me, the border stayed open to the checkpoint. Usually it closes around midnight. There were donated blankets in front of the med tents. I tried to cover children and babies as they passed our way. Their eyes and smiles needed no translation, at the the entrance of Poland from Ukraine.

“Mostly girls, women and children. Men between 16 and 60 must stay in Ukraine.

“Tomorrow will be different. We heard the sounds of a few explosions earlier. Two too many.” (Hat tip: Chip Stephens)

The scene at the Poland border. The 3 smaller lights are in Ukraine. (Photo/Buck Rosenfield)


Here’s word of a Ukraine Relief Supply Drive nearby.

Medicine, warm clothes, toiletries, hygiene items, blanks, sleeping bags, sleeping mats, batteries, flashlights and baby items can be dropped off today and tomorrow (March 15-16), from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the POTOO garage lobby, 40 Richards Avenue in Norwalk. (Hat tip: Bob Weingarten)


“Hey, punk!”

Yeah, you — punk fans.

MoCA Westport next exhibit is “Punk is Coming.” The group show features over 50 photographers, filmmakers and artists whose work defined the punk era in 1970s New York, London, Los Angeles and other cities around the world.

The exhibition includes never-before-seen videos and photographs, artworks created by the punk era’s musicians, and contemporary works heavily influenced by the movement.

An opening reception for the exhibition is set for Saturday, March 26 (6-8 p.m., MoCA Westport, 19 Newtown Turnpike). The public is invited. Click here for details.

Patti Smith and Fred Sonic Smith, in 1980. (Photo/Sue Rynski)


Replacement of the Burying Hill Beach jetty is moving ahead rapidly.

Yesterday (below) equipment moved into place:

(Photo/William Weiss)

This morning, it was already at work:

(Photo/Art Schoeller, president, Greens Farms Association)

The site is set up to allow pedestrian access to the beach — and the ability to view construction, as it occurs.


Some good news about David Hidalgo, the beloved local carpenter, handyman, home improvement guy extraordinaire from Costa Rica with 2 young kids, who has battled leukemia.

While he continues treatment, and prepares for a bone marrow transplant, he is working on a new business.

David’s sister and brother-in-law moved from New Jersey to Connecticut to be closer to David and his family. Ariel is a gardener and landscaper, who is eager to find new clients around here. He can do spring clean-ups, plantings, yard maintenance, weekly or biweekly mowing – whatever you need.

He will be guided closely by David, who understands the service level of people around here, and will ensure that clients are as happy with Ariel’s service as they have been with David’s work for many years.

Contact David Hidalgo (203 919-3321) or Ariel Blanco (732 288-3453) for details. (Hat tip: Jennifer Zorek-Pressman)

David Hidalgo and family.


Staples High School sent one gymnast to the New England championship last weekend.

Mia Guster made the most of her chance. Placing 8th in the vault (9.45 score), 12th in the floor competiton (9.15) and in the top 30 for beam (8.9), she qualified for the high school national meet in Florida this June.

Congratulations, Mia! (Hat tip: Nancy Lally)

Mia Guster


Speaking of sports: The Westport Weston Family YMCA hosted the Connecticut State Short Course 10/Under Age Group Championship last weekend. The host Water Rat swim team placed 1st place, out of 43 teams.

All 6 relay teams claimed spots on the podium. Individual results were strong too, with every swimmer recording a personal best in at least one event.

Next up: state championship for age groups 11-12 and 13-14 this weekend.

1st place in the 400 yard medley relay: Zadie Schatz, Avery Mihelic, Valentina Belyaev, Drew McInerney. (Photo/Christine Schatz)

Finishing 2nd in the 400 yard free relay, front row (from left): Lewis Meyers, Spencer Cheung. Top row: Miles Pearson, Luke McGuinn. (Photo/Sarin Cheung).


Who doesn’t love alpacas. They — and sheep, chickens and many more animals — have a home at Wakeman Town Farm. And they’re the stars of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Cathy Malkin)


And finally … today is the Ides of March. So of course:

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