And the winner of “American Song Contest” on NBC is …
… not Michael Bolton.
Connecticut’s (and Westport’s) contestant finished 7th Monday night. After 8 weeks, the title went to AleXa of Oklahoma.
But our guy made the semifinals — the top 10 out of 55, in our national version of Eurovision. And our neighbor is still #1 in our hearts. Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)
The schedule for paving (and closing) Riverside Avenue from Charles Street to Railroad Place has changed again.
It’s now tomorrow and Friday (May 12 and 13), from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. If you’re dropping off or picking up at the New York-bound platform, take note!
There are agendas. And then there are agendas.
Here’s what the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee will discuss tomorrow, beginning at 8:30 a.m. (click here for the Zoom link).
I. Opening Remarks – Chair
A. Overall Meeting Goals
I. Approval of Minutes (4/2022 Meeting)
II. Strategic Priority Review
A. Parking Lots Reinvention
1. Downtown Lots Design Master Plan
a) June kickoff meeting with core steering team
b) Planning for public engagement and project timeline
2. Baldwin Lot – completion targeted for end of June
B. Pedestrian Access
1. Streetscape Improvements
a) Bench installs
b) Additional cans for high traffic locations
Strategic Priorities (cont)
Pedestrian Access (cont.)
2. Main Street Improvements
a) Status (bump out and re-pavement)
a) Initial meetings with consultant
2. Alternative Transportation
a) Bird proposal
1. Special Services District
a) Last Ordinance Draft
b) Cost development – RFQ
If you can’t make the 8:30 start, perhaps you can watch during dinner.
The Staples High School boys lacrosse program is adding 4 honorees to their Hall of Fame.
Bill Rexford (Class of 1986), Ryan Kubie (’96), Paul McNulty (Staples ’64, head coach 2009-18) and the 16-0, undefeated regular season 2010 team will be honored at halftime of Saturday’s game against New Canaan. The contest begins at 3 p.m. The Wreckers are currently ranked #2 in the state.
Rexford and Kubie starred in the early days of Staples lacrosse. The ’10 team made history.
McNulty, meanwhile, was one of the keys to the growth of Staples lacrosse into the powerhouse it is today.
He took over a program that had had 3 coaches in 4 years. Within a year, he coached that ’10 squad to its undefeated record. The Wreckers reached 2 state championship games during his tenure.
McNulty returned to his alma mater — where he starred with Laddie Lawrence on the track team — after a hugely successful career coaching Wilton High lacrosse: 3 state championships, 2 state runners-up, and 20 All-Americans, among other achievements.
McNulty is a member of both the US Lacrosse and FCIAC Halls of Fame, and has earned numerous other honors. During his 50-plus-year career, he also coached football, soccer, tennis and track, starting at a segregated Black school in Jacksonville, Florida.
Fun fact: He was a student teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Florida with Coach Leonard Skinner, who was notorious for sending home boys with long hair. A few of them wanted to form a band, and did not want to get their hair cut.
So they quit school, formed that band, and named it after their coach: Lynyrd Skynyrd.
The Cottage of Westport has named a new chef de cuisine: Danny Oddo.
He was previously executive sous chef at The Simone in New York City. He also worked for Marc Murphy’s restaurant group, which included Landmarc in Tribeca, and was part of the opening team at the Paloma in the Hotel Hendricks.
“Growing up in New Jersey, my love of cooking stemmed from visiting local farms and spending time in the kitchen with my mother and grandmother,” Oddo says.
“I am inspired to have the opportunity to work with Chef Brian Lewis and his entire team to bring my experience and background to our guests, and to work with local farmers and purveyors to offer new flavors, textures and colors on our menu.”
Its name is simple: Circle of Friends.
Its mission is clear: pairing local teens with special needs youngsters. They spend at least one weekend a month together, doing what friends do: bake cookies. Play games. Go bowling.
It’s a wonderful, low-key organization, loved by all who participate in it.
Their annual fundraiser and volunteer recognition is Sunday, May 22 (5:30 p.m., Beth Israel Synagogue, Norwalk). It’s always a warm, welcoming night. This year, special awards (courtesy of Senator Richard Blumenthal) will be presented to teens from Westport, Weston and surrounding towns. Despite the isolating effects of COVID, they’ve provided home visits and programs to their friends.
The evening promises good food, inspiring speeches, prizes and more. Click here for tickets and more information.
Beechwood Arts’ final event of “UpsideDown at The Westport Library” is this Friday (May 13, 7 p.m.).
There’s a reception for 15 artists (with wine and refreshments). Their art will be projected on the 19-foot screen, and they’ll share stories of reinvention and inspiration over the past couple of years, when “the world turned upside down.”
Click here to register for the free event.
The Westport Library middle school summer program includes math, literacy and STEAM activities. Each week the immersive experience covers a different topic, over 2 days.
Mondays center around a blend of inquiry, design, research, writing and the arts. The Tuesday class builds on the work from Monday, focusing on math, science and revision, testing and technology, with students creating a physical representation of their learning.
Students work together to solve challenging problems that are authentic, curriculum-based, and interdisciplinary. Click here for details.
Rach’s Hope is a special organization, with a special mission: It helps families address the many challenges of a child’s critical illness.
Named for Rachel Doran — a 2018 the Staples High School National Merit Commended Scholar, talented Players costume designer, and founder of her own pajama company — the annual fundraiser is special too: a “PJ Gala.”
This year’s event raised nearly $40,000. Donations are still being accepted. Click here to learn more.
In today’s “Westport … Naturally,” Canada goose parents teach their offspring to use the designated crosswalk.
Nice! Now if they could only teach it (and themselves) to not poop all over the beach …
And finally … based on the Paul McNulty story above, you’d have to be brain dead not to know what today’s featured band is, right?