Roundup: Hiawatha Lane, Abortion Ban, Salsa Fresca …

Though Superior Court Judge Marshall Berger dismissed a suit by Hiawatha Lane residents against Summit Saugatuck — developer of the 157-unit apartment complex by I-95 Exit 17 — the neighbors vow to fight on.

Carolanne Curry writes: “A close analysis by (our) attorney of the findings in Judge Berger’s decision, would show the Judge’s decision to be weak enough, flawed enough, and sufficient enough to warrant an immediate and vigorous appeal. During a conversation on Friday our attorney relayed that the merits of an appeal were convincing and justifiable. (Read the decision dated May 31, 2022  here.)

“We have come too far to simply relinquish our sincere efforts and the many successes we have achieved, especially while there are viable pathways to further success that are still within our reach. Our chances of success today are like all the chances we’ve continuously embraced for nearly 20 years. We’ve gone ahead each time and achieved many wins. We still remain an affordable working class neighborhood. We still remain a community with history… and hope. We still remain committed to stopping something so very wrong.”

An appeal would take 12 to 18 months, Curry says. That would put a hold on construction.

The biggest challenge, she says, is funding. Her email included a goal of $50,000 to cover the current balance owed, and legal fees going forward. Click here for details, and more information.

One of the Hiawatha Lane homes on the demolition list.

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With 23 sponsors, it was already clear that a “sense of the meeting” resolution supporting a woman’s right to abortion would pass the 36-member Representative Town Meeting.

But — after impassioned debate — the non-partisan legislative body enacted the member without dissent from the 29 members still on the Zoom call.

The RTM has weighed in on national issues before. In 1969, they voted 17-15 to oppose the Vietnam War. After the Sandy Hook massacre, they resoundingly called for an end to gun violence.

District 4 representative Andrew Colabella told “06880” after last night’s vote:

“Tonight the RTM, men and women, stood together and in unison, eloquently and passionately to adopt a resolution asserting that Westport supports the constitutional rights and principles established in Roe v. Wade, and opposes the elimination of those rights by any subsequent Supreme Court decision.

“Putting aside individual beliefs and political affiliations, this nonpartisan body, like always, setting precedent by discussing and taking action voiced, loud and clear with great enthusiasm while holding back tears.

“The future is terrifying. We are fortunate and lucky  to live in such an educated and strongly passionate diverse and inclusive town that, like our state, goes above and beyond to protect women’s rights.

“Furthermore, the best health care is provided free of political interference in the patient-physician relationship. Personal decision-making by women and their doctors should not be replaced by political ideology. This was affirmed in our unanimous vote.

“And like the people that we are in this town, ready to give a helping hand, will take pride in helping those beyond our borders whatever decision is rendered.”

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No such thing as a free lunch?

Don’t tell that to the crowd at Salsa Fresca yesterday.

The Post Road healthy Mexican spot gave away free lunches — and dinners — all day long. It was “Customer Appreciation Day.”

Lines were long, but they moved fast. No one worried about swiping credit cards, or fumbling for cash. Customers definitely appreciated that.

Gracias, Salsa Fresca!

A small part of Salsa Fresca’s long line.

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When newly minted teacher Haleigh Donovan put out a plea for books for her underserved 4th grade classroom, “06880” readers came through.

Dozens of Westporters donated hundreds of books. Others sent gift cards, for the 2014 Staples High School and College of Charleston master’s graduate to purchase too.

Soon, she and her parents — Staples grads Dan and Nicole Donovan — will pack up a car, and head south. Haleigh will spend the summer setting up her classroom.

With each book, she’ll be reminded of the generosity of hometown friends and strangers.

Haleigh Donovan, with a small portion of Westporters’ large donations.

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Former 2nd Selectman and Board of Finance chair Avi Kaner — named last year one of the “Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life” — just returned from a B’nai B’rith trip — to the Vatican.

He and his wife Liz were part of a private audience with Pope Francis.

The pontiff said: “The promotion and deepening of Jewish-Christian dialogue has been something close to my heart since I was a young boy, because at school I had Jewish classmates; it is a dialogue made up of encounter and concrete gestures of fraternity.

“It is good that we should help one another, because in each one of us, in every religious tradition and in every human society, there is always a risk that we can hold grudges and foster disputes against others, and at times do so in the name of absolute and even sacred principles.”

The delegation responded: “Your Holiness, we hope that all people will stand together against antisemitism, against anti-Christian discrimination and against intolerance directed at Muslims. In recognition of our common home and common destiny, let us protect the environment, care for the most vulnerable and promote mutual understanding rather than mutual recrimination. Thank you, Your Holiness, and may God bless all people everywhere with shalom, with peace.”

Pope Francis shook Kaner’s hand, looked him in the eye and said, “Pray for Peace.”

Pope Francis and Avi Kaner.

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It’s been a while since we checked in with the Fresh Market ospreys.

Carolyn Doan reports: “There is at least one chick in the nest. There are probably more, but this was the most visible, sitting right up front with mom. Dad brought in a fish. All is well.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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It could take years — if ever — for the improvement project at the Main Street/ Weston Road/Easton Road intersection near Merritt Parkway Exit 42 (first reported yesterday on “06880”) to be completed.

Let’s hope there’s some routine maintenance done of the traffic island there before then.

If it looks like this today, just imagine a few years from now.

(Photo/Terry Brannigan)

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On the other hand … there are plenty of handsome entrances to private Westport roads.

But can any of them beat today’s “Westport … Naturally” beauty?

(Photo/Valerie Szeto)

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And finally … Jim Seals — half of the ’70s soft-rock duo Seals & Crofts — died Monday in Nashville. He was 79.

I knew (but never really cared for) the group’s hits like “Summer Breeze” and “Diamond Girl.”

But I did not know — until I read his obituary — that Jim Seals and Dash Crofts were part of the Champs, who had a 1958 hit with “Tequila,” another song that did nothing for me. (They joined after it was a hit.)

Nor did I know that Seals’ brother Dan was a member of England Dan & John Ford Coley (“I’d Really Love to See You Tonight”). You guessed it …

(“06880” runs entirely on donations. Please click here to contribute!)

13 responses to “Roundup: Hiawatha Lane, Abortion Ban, Salsa Fresca …

  1. brooks sumberg

    dan if this is your fund raising time I would like to send you a check. I need your mailing address. Brooks Sumberg

    • Thanks, Brooks. Mailing address is PO Box 744, Westport, CT 06881.

      Apparently the “Donate” button no longer appears on some emails from “06880.” So I’m adding that info at the bottom of some stories.

      • Diane Johnson

        A very worthy enterprise to support, indeed! We are grateful to you, Dan, for providing such great content and a wonderful forum to exchange ideas and opinions. Well done, you 👍🏼🎯👍🏼

  2. If I lived on or adjacent to Hiawatha, I’d oppose the development too…but from an impartial standpoint, Saugatuck’s probably better off with it. Hemmed in as it is by I95 and the railroad, this is not exactly unspoiled wilderness. Having a greater population density that’s walkable to the train and shops increases the chance that retail businesses could thrive, without as much auto traffic as with customers driving in from elsewhere in town,.

  3. Celeste Champagne

    Sad news about Jim Seals (among many leaving us of late), but I did love all their songs & they were a hit for me. Sorry they didn’t affect you that way, Dan:)

  4. Isabelle Breen

    In regards to the Abortion Ban – I find that those who are quite vocal about being Pro-Life seem awfully quiet regarding gun violence….where are all the placards professing protection of innocent lives now (insert chirping cricket sound). Just wondering.

    • Hypocrisy is the engine that drives the Republican jalopy. Voters need to be the spike strip that stops the clown car.

    • Carl Addison Swanson

      A vast generalization. Ban the assault weapons and life begins with diapers.

  5. Patricia McMahon

    The Fresh Market Ospreys…
    My favorite locals .
    Outstanding capture Joan👏🏻

  6. I just drove thru the Main St/Rt 57 intersection. The median is in the process of being manicured this afternoon. Appears to be a horrendous job that would be much easier with some regular maintenance.

  7. I liked Seals & Crofts songs “Hummingbird” and “We May Never Pass This Way Again.” They were lesser known than the songs Dan cited, but they were hits. I only heard them on the radio, so they must have been hits in at least some formats.

  8. What a great edition of 06880. Kudos Dan and hats off to Carolann, the RTM and Avi Kaner!

  9. Thank you our RTM!

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