Roundup: Affordable Housing Survey, Porch @ Christie’s, Chocolate …

The Planning & Zoning Commission is creating Westport’s first 5-year Affordable Housing Plan — a state mandate.

To ensure that the plan represents town values, the P&Z is conducting a community survey. Click here to begin.

Meanwhile, a draft of the Affordable Housing Plan has been posted to the Town’s website. Click here to see; click here for the “06880” back story.

The survey will be available until June 23.

Among the Planning & Zoning Commission ideas for affordable housing: this  “model pocket neighborhood/cottage commons” design, courtesy of Ross Chapin AIA.

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The Porch @ Christie’s opened in the middle of COVID. It’s been a great success, and a worthy addition to all of northern Westport.

But because the pandemic, there was never an official ribbon-cutting.

Finally, there will be. It’s tomorrow o(Wednesday, May 23, 11:30 a.m.), on (I’m guessing) the Porch’s Cross Highway porch.

Everyone is invited. And — this is really sweet — there are free cookies too, courtesy of Sweet P Bakery, for the first 150 guests.

The Porch @ Christie’s co-owner Bill Pecoriello, on the porch.

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Speaking of food: The Chocolatieree just opened on Church Lane, near Myrtle Avenue. Owner Laureen Haynes — a former laboratory diagnostics worker, who traveled to South America to learn the chocolate business — makes all the treats herself.

The name is a combination of “chocolatier” and “Ree,” Haynes’ nickname. Click here for the full story, in Westport Journal.

“Chef’s Selection,” at The Chocolatieree.

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Speaking of downtown: In years past, Bridgeport artist Linda Colletta was a popular exhibitor at the Westport Fine Arts Festival.

In April she opened her own gallery on Elm Street, in the new building near Brooks Corner.

This weekend, the 49th annual Fine Arts Festival takes place all around her new space.

That’s one of the many intriguing stories surrounding the long-running event. It’s set for Saturday and Sunday (May 28-29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

The juried show features national and international fine artists exhibiting in a variety of categories, from painting, photography, sculpture, fiber and  printmaking to mixed media, glass, ceramics, jewelry, wood and graphics. All artwork is for sale in a wide variety of price ranges

The Fine Arts Festival includes food, live music and children’s activities. Click here for details.

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Staples has a new national team athlete.

Freshman Sofia Fidalgo debuted for the U-16 national field hockey team this past weekend, in a series against Canada in Vancouver.

Congratulations, Sofia, on this great accomplishment — and on helping the US sweep all 4 games!

Sofia Fidalgo, representing the US in Canada.

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I know, I know: The universe of “06880” readers interested in this item is astonishingly small.

But I’m posting it as an example of the kinds of things for sale on eBay — and the kinds of things anyone can (apparently) sell, if you 1) keep it in the first place, and 2) hold on to it for decades.

So here it is: The 1966 Staples High School Homecoming Queen Candidates’ ballot.

It’s “used,” and has “various creases.” So it can be yours for the bargain price of $9.99. Click here to buy! (Hat tip: Robert Gerrity)

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Susan Iseman writes:

“This sign was recently installed at Haskins Preserve. Some smart alec  left their poop bag on the ground next to it. I walk my dog there, as well as around town, and am mystified why folks bag the stuff and leave it about.

“Grrrr. Such a sh$&#y situation!”

(Photo/Susan Iseman)

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Longtime Westporter Crescienzo (Christy) John Boccanfuso of Saugatuck Shores died peacefully May 20, surrounded by loved ones.

Christy was born in New York City but moved to Saugatuck Shores in 1948 with his family. He was a life member of Saint Ann’s Club in Norwalk, and a former Engine 4 volunteer firefighter. He took pride in his work, and built his life with his own two hands.

The former owner of Boccanfuso Brothers, Christy lived for fixing, building and improving things around him. For the last 18 years he helped his 2 sons run their auto repair shop.

He loved spending his time with his children and grandchildren, making (and drinking) wine with his brother, and cooking.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years Judith Capossela Boccanfuso; sons Giuseppe (Olivia) Boccanfuso of Easton and Crescienzo (Andrea) Boccanfuso of Fairfield, and daughter Anna Maria (Steven) Angelo of Chesapeake, Virginiia; his twin brother Dominic Boccanfuso and sister Sophia Freitag; 9 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters Mary DiMeglio and Carmella Oboy, and brother Joseph Boccanfuso.

Visitation will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, May 25, 4 to 8 p.m., Harding Funeral Home), with a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday (10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms. Click here to leave online condolences.

Christy Boccanfuso

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Longtime Westporter Francine Gram died last year, at 100 years old.

We just saw her obituary. It is impressive — and timeless. It reads:

“Francine was born on April 23, 1920 in her grandmother’s house in the medieval walled town of Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy, France.

“She grew up in Paris, and lived under Nazi occupation. When the US entered World War II, she and her family fled the country because her father was a former US Army officer and expatriate American citizen working for the Paris Herald Tribune.

“Francine and her family traveled through southern France to Spain. She crossed the last Nazi checkpoint at Irun in Basque country, carrying photos of British pilots shot down over France hidden in her undergarments.

“They made it to Sintra, Portugal, where they lived for a year before obtaining passage to the United States on the USS Excalibur.

Once in this country, our mother went to work for the Office of War Information’s Voice of America in the French department, as a broadcaster and feature writer. She sent messages of hope to Nazi-occupied France.

“At the VOA she also worked on the radio adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Rue Sans Issue” (“No Exit”), and with André Breton, the father of surrealism. She was a frequent visitor to the White House; her godfather, Dr. George Fox, was President Roosevelt’s personal physician.

“In 1946 she met naval oficer and PT boat commander Albert Whitworth Gram, at an Officers’ Club dance at the Delmonico in New York. They married the next year.

“Our parents eventually settled in Westport, where they raised their family. Francine was active in the Alliance Française, the Officer’s Club of Fairfield County, St. Luke’s Parish Church, and the Westport Dance Cotillion.

“She is survived by her daughters Nathalie Emerson and Christine Croarkin; 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.”

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Mark LaClair spotted a loon fishing off Harbor Road. One or two frequent the area every spring and fall, he says.

He sends along the “looniest” “Westport … Naturally” photo ever.

(Photo/Mark LaClair)

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And finally … it’s hard to believe, but Bob Dylan turns 81 years old today.

I could pick dozens of songs. Instead I’ll just give you this bang for your buck: 5 of his best — and longest. (Hat tip: John Richers)

10 responses to “Roundup: Affordable Housing Survey, Porch @ Christie’s, Chocolate …

  1. i’m voting for Gail Grunewald… you know, just coz.

  2. Today is the 24th. Christie’s ribbon cutting tomorrow, Wed., 25th?

  3. Helen Ranholm

    I agree about the Poop bags. I walk my dog and all along our walk there will be Poop bags left and they remain there until someone other than the depositor removes them. What do they think that the bags are going to magically disappear? Once again, people never surprise me in with their reasoning.

    • And, there are now more bags piling up near this sign. Why is it so hard to throw the bag in your trunk and dispose of it elsewhere?

  4. ‘66 Homecoming was my brother’s senior year. I don’t know who won but I can say that Kimi and Dick Sandhaus were voted “Favorite Undergraduates” either their junior or senior year (or perhaps even both years).

    I vaguely recall that there were six candidates for Homecoming Queen by the time our senior year rolled around (and I definitely remember that my top choice failed to prevail).

  5. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    Kimi Hoelter was chosen as Homecoming Queen that year (I just checked my yearbook). Sadly, I believe she passed away within the last year or tow.

  6. Gail Grunewald Arrowsmith

    Yes, Kimi did win and she did pass away not long after our 50th reunion. We
    didn’t see each other often but remained friends. Though they didn’t know it, she and Jaycee lived a few miles apart for decades in CA. Jaycee and I saw each other for the first time since we graduated from Staples at Kimi’s celebration of life service.

  7. Larry+Weisman

    I just completed the survey and found 2 of the questions to be poorly worded:
    #7 suggests that there is only a binary (i.e. either-or) choice between more market rate and more affordable housing, whereas some of us favor more of both
    #11 presumes that everyone favors more control over the location and design of affordable housing, whereas some of us think that relaxation of regulations would be preferable.

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