Roundup: River Dredging, Beach Cleanup, Ukraine …

The other day, 1st Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker, Congressman Jim Himes and Senator Richard Blumenthal took a boat tour of the Saugatuck River. They surveyed conditions, and announced $2.81 million in federal funding for proposed dredging.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas and Public Works director Peter Ratkiewich were on board too.

Tooker calls the river “one of Westport’s greatest assets. Westport is fortunate that this long-needed project is on the near horizon. For years, the sediment coming down the river has caused shoaling of the federal channel, and has diminished the multi-use capacity of the river.

“With funding now earmarked for this important dredging program, the outlook for downtown, the Saugatuck neighborhoods and the river shoreline is positive and vibrant for our businesses and our residents.“

Ratkiewich adds, “the dredging project will increase recreational opportunities on the river, allow for maritime connectivity between downtown and Saugatuck, and most importantly will enhance the ability of our emergency services to respond to emergencies that happen on or near the river.”

From left: Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Public Works director Pete Ratkiewich, 1st Selectman Jen Tooker and Congressman Jim Himes on the Saugatuck River. (Photo courtesy of Rep. Himes’ office)

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Sustainable Westport, the Zero Waste Committees of all Westport schools and ZenWTR join together to sponsor a community Compo Beach cleanup this Saturday (April 30, noon to 2 p.m.).

Everyone is invited to help. Meet at the pavilion by the volleyball court and playground.

Questions? Email zwcstapleshs@westportps.org.

Beach garbage, from a previous cleanup. (Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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As reported last week, Lynsey Addario is back in Ukraine.

The 1991 Staples High School graduate  — and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist, and MacArthur “genius grant” fellow — captured grim scenes of Orthodox Easter services yesterday along the frontline in the Zaporizhzhia region.

“Hopes for a cease-fire over the holiday weekend were quickly dashed,” the Times reported, “as Russian artillery fire and missiles continued to strike Ukrainian infrastructure, government buildings and residential homes.”

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Her fellow Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner — and Staples ’88 grad — Tyler Hicks has been in the embattled nation all along.

Today his photos illustrated a story about 12 people who have chosen to stay in the basement of a shattered school building. Click here for the piece.

The view from a bombed-out apartment in Saltivka, one of Kharkiv’s most brutalized neighborhoods. (Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

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“The Art of Nature” — Earthplace’s first benefit art show and sale — opens this Thursday (April 28, 5 to 9 p.m.).

Each artist has up to a dozen pieces. All are inspired by the natural world.

Westporters in the show include Jennifer Williams, Kris Toohey and Nancy Breakstone.

The opening reception includes wine, light bites donated by Rizutto’s, and a $15 donation to Earthplace. 35% of each piece sold is tax-deductible.

The show continues with free admission Friday (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and Saturday (9 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

Kris Toohey’s “Sunkissed Marsh” is one of dozens of works at Earthplace’s art show.

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It takes all kinds.

And all kinds were out in force the other day, posing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

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And finally … on this day in 1792, Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed “La Marseillaise.” It became the French national anthem.

Quelle coincidence! France is in the world headlines this morning, thanks to a very important election yesterday.

3 responses to “Roundup: River Dredging, Beach Cleanup, Ukraine …

  1. I’m wondering about something: where is all the toxic glop dredged from the Saugatuck River going? Last I heard it was possibly going to be dumped in Sherwood Island State Park.

  2. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    I’m wondering why the dredging is necessary in the first place. Maybe the “entitled ones” living along the river might consider scaling back on the amount of Scott’s Turf Builder they dump on the grounds of their oversized McMansions.

    • Define necessary. The Saugatuck River is one of the most important gems of Westport in my opinion. It is used by rowers, kayakers, powerboaters, and many people. There is even a state boat ramp and many public accessways to the water. I’ll ask a rhetorical question: why is it “necessary” to maintain Compo beach? A whole lot of time and money gets spent on the beach. Is Compo not also a gem of Westport? Why treat them differently? Both have a very long history dating back hundreds of years. IMO, we must preserve them.

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