Roundup: $10,000, Logging Truck, VersoFest …

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Earthplace updated maps of their 74-acre sanctuary. Project Return repainted their North Compo Road home. The Westport Astronomical Society got a new solar telescope. Wakeman Town Farm bought a mobile chicken coop.

All of that money came from “Ruegg Grants” — courtesy of the Westport Woman’s Club. Established in 1995 by former member Lea Ruegg, they’re given each spring to a local non-profit with a project that makes a meaningful difference in social services, health, safety, the arts or education.

Previous recipients include, CLASP Homes, the Westport Police Department, Interfaith Housing, Mercy Learning Center, Toquet Hall, the Westport Rotary Club, Staples Players and the Westport Library.

Your organization could be next. The Woman’s Club is accepting submissions now through April 25, for up to $10,000 for a 2022 project. Click here for the application form.

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Bert Porzio is one of Westport’s real good guys. The tree service owner would do anything for anyone (and often has: Check out his Unsung Hero honors from 2018).

But his rental of the small lot on the corner of Post Road and Roseville to store logs has worried some residents.

They’re concerned about one of his trucks parked at the lot, blocking visibility of drivers coming down the Roseville hill.

Now, for the past few days, a logging truck has been parked across from McDonald’s. It’s on the sidewalk, just a few yards from Route 1.

Is it legal? Is it safe? “06880” readers have asked both questions.

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Al’s Angels is sponsoring a Fairfield rally, in support of Ukraine.

The event is tonight — Wednesday, March 30 — from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at Penfield Pavilion. 100% of all proceeds will go to 2 charities, working for the war-torn nation.

The $50 ticket price includes Ukrainian and “local” food, live music, a silent auction and raffle prizes. Scan the QR code below for tickets. (Hat tip: JC Martin)

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Verso Fest continues to get bigger.

The Westport Library has just added an intriguing panel to its 1st-ever media and music festival.

On Saturday, April 9 (1 p.m.), Dick Wingate — a Westporter at the forefront of music marketing, A&R and interactive technology for over 40 years — will moderate a panel on audio production.

Dick launched or developed the careers of Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Aimee Mann, Peter Tosh, Eddy Grant, Pink Floyd, Sarah McLachlan and Garland Jeffreys while at Columbia, Epic, PolyGram and Arista Records. He then pioneered the digital music business with Liquid Audio, as chief content officer. He now operates DEV Advisors, a media and entertainment consultancy.

Panelists include:

Datwon Thomas: editor-in-chief of Vibe magazine, and vice president of cultural media for MRC. He was founder and editorial director of men’s lifestyle guide King magazine, the urban car enthusiast’s favorite Rides Magazine, and editor-in-chief of hip-hop’s street authority, XXL Magazine.

Stephen Webber: Emmy-winning composer, musician, author, producer, engineer, and a leading innovator in music and the performing arts. He founded the Music Production, Technology, and Innovation master’s program at Berklee College of Music’s Spain campus. He’s Berklee’s dean of strategic initiatives, working on domestic and international projects in Los Angeles and China. A former A&R consultant for Universal Music Group, Webber has produced and engineered albums for a wide range of artists.

Travis Bell: audio studios Manager and in-house producer and engineer for Verso Studios. As owner/operator of Hamden’s Adorea Studios for 10 years, he earned acclaim from NPR and Rolling Stone for an array of different projects.

For more information on VersoFest, click here.

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This is a tough time of year for Homes with Hope’s food pantry.

The Gillespie Center program always sees a dip in donations between the holidays, and its spring food drive.

Rising food prices have proved a double whammy. More families are in need, while donors are also feeling the pinch.

Donations can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Gillespie Center. It’s behind Barnes & Noble, next to Don Memo and Walrus Alley off Jesup Road. Click here for a list of most-needed non-perishable items.

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Michael Bolton moves on!

Not from Westport — he’s staying here. But the New Haven native advances to the next round of NBC’s “American Song Contest.”

Bolton sang “Beautiful World,” in the Eurovision knockoff that includes artists from all 50 states, 5 US territories and Washington DC.

The jury ranked him 5th, but votes by fans propelled him into the semifinals. He joins representatives from Rhode Island, Oklahoma and Puerto Rico. His video from the show is below. (Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)

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Julian Lamb Orgel — the lively and musically talented cellist son of 1971 Staples High School graduate Paul Orgel — died in 2018. He was 26.

A fundraising concert in Colchester, Vermont on May 21 will endow a scholarship in Julian’s honor for the Vermont Youth Orchestra — a place, his family says, that “nurtured him and provided him with years of support, friendship and music-making pleasure.”

The program features the world premiere of “Songs With and Without Words,” composed in Julian’s honor by Curt Cacioppo, with his father on piano. There are also classical and jazz performances.

Click here for tickets and more information. Click here for more on Julian Orgel. (Hat tip: Diane Sherman)

Julian Orgel

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Jonathan Alloy submits today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. He also sends this question: “Is your bird feeder deer-proof?”

(Photo/Jonathan Alloy)

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And finally … it was great seeing Peter Tosh’s name among the artists Dick Wingate has worked with (in the story above, on VersoFest).

He’s one of my favorite artists. And, like so many, gone way too soon.

5 responses to “Roundup: $10,000, Logging Truck, VersoFest …

  1. I drove past the “big pile of logs” (I don’t know what else to call it) on the corner of Roseville and the Post Road yesterday. Apparently they have moved many of the logs so that there’s a big open space at the front of the pile. It’s still not beautiful, but it’s safer — logs won’t roll into the road.

  2. Richard Johnson

    Would do anything for anyone (other than operate a logging facility safely and legally, in an appropriate location).

  3. Burt’s operation and the many commercial vehicles and equipment parked in places not intended for them is evidence of a Zoning policy that ignores the need for light industrial areas where business can function in a legally accepted manner. Westport homeowners want comprehensive service without evidence of the existence of these trades. This is not any different than the ongoing loss of affordable properties as is occurring in the Hiawatha area of Saugatuck with the destruction of a B Zone in favor of high end condo’s

  4. As people attend the Verso Fest I hope they realize that they have an opportunity to buy vinyl and CDs at the Westport Library Book Shop on Jesup Green. As volunteers we have appreciated being able to process the many vinyl that our community has donated and place them for sale at the shop. Please keep those vinyl donations coming to bring such enjoyment to those still collecting vinyl!

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