Roundup: Barak, Broadband, Bees …

Today is Primary Day in Connecticut.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties are fielding candidates, for a variety of statewide offices.

Polls close at 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling place.

Turnout was very light early this morning, at the Greens Farms Elementary School polling place. (Photo/John Karrel)

 

=======================================================

It’s a beautiful day — if a tad bit hot and humid.

There’s no wind. No storm.

Yet this morning, for no reason other than (probably) old age, a large tree toppled onto Punch Bowl Drive.

Be careful out there!

Tree down on Punch Bowl. (Photo/Tommy Greenwald)

======================================================

In 1964, Martin Luther King spoke at Temple Israel.

Nearly 60 years later, the synagogue prepares to host another internationally known guest.

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak will speak on September 20 (7:30 p.m.). He will discuss current events, including Israel’s coming election and the war in Ukraine.

Click here for details, including in-person and livestream registration.

Ehud Barak

Barak, who became the most decorated soldier in the history of the Israel Defense Forces over a 36-year career, served as the nation’s prime minister from 1999 to 2001.

He also has held other prominent posts in Israel’s government, including as defense minister and as minister of internal and foreign affairs.

For more information, contact Temple Israel at 203-227-1293.

=======================================================

“06880” has been buzzing recently with stories (and comments) about broadband (and prices).

Western Connecticut Council of Governments — a planning organization for 18 area town, including Westport — is conducting a quick survey on internet service and pricing.

Residential and business customers can complete the survey. Click here for the link.

==================================================

Speaking of buzzing … Hans Wilhelm writes:

“In our Weston garden stands a majestic old Japanese pagoda tree (also called scholar tree).

In summertime when it is in full bloom, you can ‘hear’ the tree from far away. It is the happy humming sound of thousands of busy bees. They are not only in the tree but also on the ground, which is covered with blossoms. It’s not a good idea to walk under the tree at that time.

“But during the last years we noticed a sharp drop in the bee population.

“This summer the tree is again in full bloom –- but completely silent. Hardly any bees at all. Sadly, the prophecy made by Rachel Carson in her 1962 book ‘Silent Spring’ has come true — right here in our garden, where we never use insecticides or herbicides.

The usual swarms of bees are gone from Hans Wilhelm’s garden.

======================================================

For nearly 75 years, Westport PAL has served youngsters with sports programs and scholarships. That’s impressive.

And for 60 years, they’ve raised funds through the Chief Samuel Luciano Golf Tournament. That’s impressive too.

This year’s event is September 12. The day includes continental breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon shotgun starts, cocktails, dinner, a raffle and prizes.

Single, twosome and foursome spots are available. Click here for more information, including registration and sponsorships.

====================================================

Sunday’s New York Times included a great review of Mary Rodgers’ new memoir, “SHY: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers.” Jesse Green continued working on it for years, after her death in 2014.

Mary Rodgers Guettel is Richard Rodgers’ daughter. They lived in Fairfield, just over the Westport line. She became an apprentice at the Westport Country Playhouse in 1950.  She later earned fame writing the music for “Once Upon a Mattress.”

In 2009, the Playhouse honored Rodgers Guettel, at their annual gala. Among the celebrants: Stephen Sondheim, a fellow 1950 apprentice.

Also on hand that night: Weston’s Jim Naughton, and Westporter Kelli O’Hara.

Rodgers’ son, Adam Guettel, wrote “Light in the Piazza.” The musical starred O’Hara — whose father-in-law is Naughton.

The memoir includes references to Rodgers’ internship. She describes their intense work schedule (which she enjoyed), and that afterwards they wanted to go drinking.

However, she wrote, “In Westport, everything closed up tight as a drum at one in the morning.” So the interns frequently  “ran our own bar at Frank Perry’s house at night, often accompanied by a low-stakes poker game.”

Yes, that Frank Perry. The future film director (“David and Lisa,” “The Swimmer,” “Diary of a Mad Housewife”) was another member of that amazing Class of 1950 Westport Country Playhouse apprentices. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Richard Rodgers’ daughter (2nd row, 4th from left) posed with other Westport Country Playhouse apprentices in 1950, at the Jolly Fisherman restaurant. Other notables in the photo: Stephen Sondheim (crouching, top of photo) and Frank Perry (front row, left).

=======================================================

Today’s stunning “Westport … Naturally” egret Sherwood Island Mill pond photo comes courtesy of Dan Johnson:

(Photo/Dan Johnson)

======================================================

And finally … Olivia Newton-John died yesterday, after battling breast cancer. The versatile singer was 73. Click here for a full obituary.

(“06880” is fully reader-supported. Please click here to contribute.)

5 responses to “Roundup: Barak, Broadband, Bees …

  1. Herr Wilhelm is quite right, the declining bee population crisis is no joke. Four years ago I started a pollinator garden with perennials sedum, echinacea (purple coneflower) and milkweed, among others, and I encourage other gardeners to do the same. One excellent place to start is the Pollinator Pathway website for planting recommendations. Please consider this, for our pets our children and our planet. Thank you. https://www.pollinator-pathway.org/westport

  2. All sorts of bees on the monster Scholar Tree in front of the phone company building on Myrtle Ave. I’m going to, um, go out on a limb and speculate that a fair number are from my hives, but still…

  3. Mary Schmerker

    I am pleased to see Morley’s post. I have thought about his bees a lot this spring and summer. We do not have hives, but we do plant natives to our area and normally we have lots of bees, butterflies and hummingbirds. Between the plants and bushes that are still recovering from the deep freeze winter before last and our dry summer we do not have very much that is blooming to feed our “visitors”. It looks like the weather pattern may change and hopefully as blooms reappear the bee population will rebound.

  4. Dermot Meuchner

    I hope Barak speaks about the continuing ethnic cleansing in Palestine. But I sincerely doubt it.

    • No, I doubt he will focus on this clear distortion. Maybe he will instead speak about his role in wanting to resume peace negotiations with the PLO, leading to the Camp David summit where Arafat rejected any chance at peace and a two-state solution. Maybe he’ll actually focus on, you know, facts.

Leave a Reply