Roundup: Techno Claus, Ukraine Aid, Blue Sunday …

For the 14th year in a row yesterday, “CBS Sunday Morning” featured modern gift ideas from “Techno Claus.”

Each year, the clever, rhyming St. Nick bears a striking resemblance to David Pogue.

And, as often happens, some of the shots in the segment bear a striking resemblance to our Westport neighbor’s home and neighborhoood.

Click below to see if you agree. As a bonus you’ll get some great ideas, on everything from a Zoom meeting “mute alert” and rechargeable hand warmers to a “cable crud” organizer and automobile back window message system.

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It was not the usual collection request.

Rather than toys, food, books or cash, Mark Yurkiw asked for new generators, chainsaws, kerosene heaters, flashlights, sleeping bags, cellphone power banks — the kind of important, durable things Ukraine needs to withstand the continued bombardment by Russia.

A shipping container was headed overseas in a few days. Westporters responded to Mark’s request — quickly and generously.

He received at least one of everything he requested, in an “06880” post. This photo shows some of the donations (in the nation’s famous blue and yellow colors).

But, Mark, notes, “Ukraine is a large country. They can use everything.”

There is still a day before a truck will be loaded.

Donations can be brought to 190 Cross Highway and left by the barn. For questions or pickup arrangements, call Mark: 646-873-0050.

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The last concert of Mark Naftalin’s “Blue Sunday” jazz series filled the Westport Library yesterday with great music, and appreciative music fans.

James Montgomery headlined the finale. In a long career, he’s earned plenty of honors.

So has the series host. Naftalin — a Westport resident — is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, for his work with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band.

James Montgomery (center), Mark Naftalin (piano, far left) and friends, at yesterday’s Westport Library “Blue Sunday” show. (Photo/Dennis Jackson)

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As seniors race to finish their college applications before the January 1 deadline — and their parents worry about paying for the next 4 years — there’s help in sight.

Staples Tuition Grants is open for applications (click here). Seniors and current college students with demonstrated financial need have until April 9 to apply for STG aid.

Last year, the 81-year-old organization gave over $400,000 in grants, to more than 100 students.

STG could not do it without the help of donors. As they gear up for another season of high demand, the non-profit reminds “06880” readers of the importance of donations. Click here to help.

 

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Last week’s Greens Farms Garden Club annual wreath-making and holiday lunch was both festive and functional.

The group gathered at the Connecticut Audubon Society. Their work can now be seen throughout Westport, Fairfield and Bridgeport, at the Bigelow Center for Seniors, Earthplace, Gillespie Center, Greens Farms post office, Wakeman Town Farms, CT Audubon Society, Fairfield Historical Society, Victorian Cottage, St. John’s Family Center, Mercy Learning Center, St. Timothy’s, STAR Inc., Sturges Ridge, CLASP, nOURish Bridgeport, and the Greens Farms, Southport and Fairfield train stations.

Greens Farms Garden Club members, and their wreaths.

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Westport Community Gardens director — and nature photographer extraordinaire — Lou Weinberg explains today’s “Westport … Naturally” image:

“The winter plumage of the goldfinch is muted. They love when we leave the coneflower stalks standing. Coneflower is an important food source for the birds and the bees. Don’t cut it down!”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … today is National Ding-a-Ling Day. (Don’t believe me? Click here.)

We’re supposed to get in touch with (“ding-a-ling”) family and friends we’ve lost touch with.

Most of us are too busy today to do that. (Which is why we lost touch in the first place). But for a couple of minutes, we can listen to Chuck Berry’s only (somehow) #1 hit:

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(Where else but “06880” can you find David Pogue, the Greens Farms Garden Club and Chuck Berry on the same page? Please click here to support this blog. Thank you!)

 

 

 

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