Roundup: Ukraine, Roe v. Wade, Art …

How does Ukraine’s geography impact its history? What about its natural resources? Why is it fighting so fiercely for its independence, and why does Russia covet it so?

In other words: What do we need to know about Ukraine’s past, to understand what’s happening there today and tomorrow?

This Monday (May 9, 7 p.m., in-person and Zoom), we can all learn together.

The Westport Library hosts “Understanding Ukraine: Past, Present and Future.” Professor Walter Zaryckyj — director of the Center for US-Ukrainian Relations — will provide insights into this fascinating and important country that most of us know only through recent news reports and images.

It’s a great way to learn about the geography and history — long-ago and just-before-February — that most of us never learned or knew.

“06880” is a co-sponsor of the event. I’ll moderate the discussion, and lead a question-and-answer period at the end with Professor Zaryckyj.

Click here to register for a spot in the Library Forum. Click here for a Zoom link. Click here to learn more about Professor Zaryckyj.


Spring is the perfect time for ice cream.

Actually, any time is the perfect time for ice cream.

But the coming of spring also heralds the arrival of Gofer Ice Cream. Westport’s newest shop opens soon at 1240 Post Road East. It takes over the former Silver Ribbon location, near (among others) Fortuna’s, Greens Farms Spirit Shop, a vape store and COVID testing center.

Inklings — the Staples High School newspaper, which first reported the story — says that when Gofer opens this spring, it will feature premium hard and soft serve ice cream, plant-based and fat-free options, smoothies, cakes and more.

Gofer’s other locations include Darien, Greenwich, New Canaan, Ridgefield, Riverside, Stamford and Wilton.

What took Westport so long? What are we, chopped liver?


Yesterday’s “06880” story on Westport neighborhoods included this line about the “Private/Residents Only” sign on Saugatuck Island: “Fun fact: No other Westport neighborhood has an actual ‘entrance.'”

Ken Stamm sent along a photo showing another sign, a couple of miles away:

(Photo/Ken Stamm)

It’s not actually an “entrance” to Saugatuck — there’s no such thing — but it is certainly more welcoming than “Private/Residents Only.”

There’s only one problem: As Ken notes, the sign faces the I-95 on-ramp.

It should say, he writes, “Thanks for visiting Saugatuck!” Drivers who see it are those coming from Saugatuck, on their way out of the neighborhood.

On the other hand, it is a very handsome sign.


Just a few hours after news leaked of a draft of the Supreme Court’s decision in a case challenging Roe v. Wade, several protestors headed to Westport’s political town square: the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge. A number of passing drivers honked horns in support.

‘Deb Noonan and Nancy Aldrich were among the protestors yesterday on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.(Photo/Bobbi Essagof)

Last week, Connecticut’s General Assembly passed a first-in-the-nation bill. It will protect medical providers and patients seeking abortion care here, who may travel from states that have outlawed abortion. It also expands the type of practitioners eligible to perform certain abortion-related care in Connecticut. Governor Lamont has said he will sign the bill.


Our town has plenty of art shows. One of the best is at the Westport Woman’s Club

This year’s event is May 21 and 22 (2 to 6 p.m.), at their 44 Imperial Avenue clubhouse.

Among the local artists there with their works: Ola Bossio, Trace Burroughs, Ann Chernow, Susan Fehlinger, Larry Gordon, Tom Kretsch, Arpad Krizsan, Paul Larson, Erzsebet Laurinyecz, Jena Maric, Jon Puzzuoli, Peter Savarine, Gay Schempp, Oksana Tanasiv and Larry Untermeyer.

There’s music by a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee (guess who!), and refreshments too. Proceeds support the Woman’s Club’s charitable work — now in its 115th year.

The Westport Woman’s Club opens its doors on May 21-22 for their annual art show.


Boys lacrosse gets plenty of press (and the Staples High School team is one of the best in the state). But what about girls lax?

Last Saturday was PAL Appreciation Night. Families of young players tailgated, then supported the high school varsity  and JV girls teams against Trumbull, under the Paul Lane Stadium lights.

The PAL program’s mission is to create a fun, safe and respectful environment for girls to learn skills. The goal is to instill in players of all abilities a for the game, respect for teammates, personal responsibility, a healthy competitive spirit, an understanding of good sportsmanship and fun for everyone.

Teams are open to girls who live in or attend school in Westport. New players are welcome. No one is cut.

For information on summer clinics and the fall program, email or click here.

Westport PAL lacrosse players, at Paul Lane Stadium.


MyTeamTriumph — the great organization that pairs children, teens and adults with disabilities (“captains”) with volunteers (“angels”) who help them participate in triathlons and road races — invites everyone to a jewelry party fundraiser.

Allison Daniel/UpNorth CT hosts the social event-and-more on June 8 (4 to 7 p.m., Sconset Square). There are great designs, in a tremendous variety, at many price points, plus snacks, wine and fun.

Attendees receive a 10% discount on jewelry. A percentage of sales goes to myTreamTriumph-CT. Click here for ideas.


Mark Mathias spotted today’s “Westport … Naturally” scene near downtown.

There will be baby cygnets soon. If you see the mom now — or her and her babies later — please keep your distance!

(Photo/Mark Mathias)


And finally … on this day in 1953, Ernest Hemingway won a Pulitzer Prize for The Old Man and the Sea.

Who of course was a completely different guy from …


19 responses to “Roundup: Ukraine, Roe v. Wade, Art …

  1. Roy Miller

    Oh the irony of leftists chanting “my body my choice” who could not have cared less about other people’s body choices for the past 2 years of vaccine mandates. Many rejoiced at the prospect of people who didn’t want to get vaxxed losing their jobs because of it.

    • David Schaffer

      Difference being of course, lack of vaccination affects the whole society, not just the individual. Reproductive functions of one’s own body affects only oneself or maybe one’s family. Pathetic argument, and shameful!

    • And regarding people “losing their jobs” over lack of vax: The people who they are exposing themselves to could end up losing THEIR LIVES! So yes, it is warranted and utterly correct to make vaccination status a criteria for continued employment.

      • Roy Miller

        Reply to David (((Schaffer))). So a flu like virus with a 98% survival rate is enough to get an experimental, untested injection?

    • Russell Gontar

      Nobody in the United States was forced to get vaccinated against their will. Nobody. If your job required vaccination, then it was your choice to comply or not.

      But do tell us more about the many who “rejoiced” when people who CHOSE not to get vaccinated as their employer required and lost their jobs as a result. Were these the same people Dim Don alleged “rejoiced” when the twin towers came down?

  2. David J. Loffredo

    Lighten up Francis.

    For almost all of us out there in the actual workforce, COVID is no more deadly than the Flu, which has been around since, well, a long time. Most of us get on that MNR train in way worse condition, as have our peers. For decades.

    And it’s ok to be Pro Life. I realize maybe people here aren’t that intellectual and enjoy screaming into an echo chamber, but having an alternative view or a different opinion, or perhaps something based on your Faith, is ok.

    Social media will be the death of civil society.


    • Russell Gontar

      Sorry David, but you have crossed the line into misinformation. Especially appalling given that the USA reached one million covid deaths yesterday. That’s roughly 500,000 deaths/year which nearly incapacitated our health care system.

      And flu? Estimated annual deaths in the US for flu is…52,000/year.( So do share with us how you conclude that “covid is no more deadly than the flu”.

      We’re waiting.

      • David J. Loffredo

        Don’t say your sorry when you don’t mean it.

        My next door neighbors are leaders at both the Columbia and Yale health systems – which is a myriad of hospitals. Any they were never at risk.

        You need to google the Javits Center. Or Central Park. So much worry, no patients.

        Take off your helmet, stop watching CNN, see that the State of Florida out performed most States, and move forward my friend.

        And I use “friend” in the same way you use “sorry”.

        • Russell Gontar

          Yes, let’s see how Florida has done. Looks like they’ve performed 42nd best in cases/100,000. That’s a swing and a miss. How about deaths/100,000? 37th best. Strike two. That leaves % fully vaccinated. 31st best. Strike three.

          I will say that Ron DeSantis is a good candidate for worst governor/ human being but it’s going a photo finish with Gregg Abbott.

  3. Dermot Meuchner

    Pro-Life until they’re born then it’s Fu, you’re on your own. America is so puritanical that your body isn’t your own it belongs to the government. And why is it that Christian’s need to push this agenda? Jews don’t, Muslims don’t , the majority of people don’t believe a zygote is more important than a human being.

  4. John D McCarthy

    just stop

  5. Chris Washington

    Two perspectives for you:

    God Is Pro-Life:

    Life Begins at Fertilization with the Embryo’s Conception

    • God may or may not be for or against abortion. God may or may not exist. But whether he or she does has nothing to do with federal law. In this country, everyone is free to worship any god or gods, or none at all. They are not free to impose their religious views on everyone else.

    • Russell Gontar

      Ah yes, “God is Pro LIfe:. Let’s take a closer look at their founder and “bible code decoder”, Arnold Beizer, shall we?

      “God Is Pro Life” is part of Sword of the Lord Messianic Ministry and was founded by author Arnold Beizer.

      Arnold Beizer, educated and trained as an attorney is an author, Bible Research Specialist, and Bible Code Decoder. He has accumulated over a lifetime a wealth of information and received Divine Revelation knowledge shared by The Lord. His newest e-book “God Is Pro Life” proves with irrefutable Biblical and medical evidence that a baby’s life begins at conception. Pro-Choice advocates are proven wrong on Abortion. God is the Creator of all Life.

      The Author’s Book “If You Don’t Ask You Will Never Know” contains a compendium of knowledge and wisdom of the ages and provides answers to your most important questions. Arnold Beizer prophesied and warned America in April 1990, Eleven (11) years in advance of the 9/11 disastrous terror attack on the World Trade Center. His prophecy was contained in the first issue of the Sword of the Lord Messianic Ministry Newsletter and was registered as copyrighted on May 2, 1990 by the U.S. Copyright Office of the Library of Congress. The prophecy is included in the Sword of the Lord web site with appropriate authentication.

      • Bobbie Herman

        Is that the God who loves babies so much that He/She has let millions of them die of malnutrition?

        • Russell Gontar

          That’s on us, not God. But I gotta say, not too many resumes out there include a claim to have received “divine revelation knowledge shared by the Lord”. Talk about name dropping. Jeesh.

  6. Chris Washington


    Life Begins at Fertilization with the Embryo’s Conception

    • Russell Gontar

      You know who also like to impose their views on women? The taliban. What’s next, mandatory burkas?