Roundup: Last Push For Lyman, Eversource Slammed, Main Street Meathead …

Less than 24 hours remain, to reach our goal of $250,000!

That would help rebuild every home and apartment in Lyman — our Ukrainian sister city — that can be salvaged. It would give them each a generator. It would provide a water filtration system for the town. (Click here for the first story about Westport and Lyman, with important details.)

It would get them through a dark, dangerous winter. Those brave, embattled men, women and children need to know that they are not alone.

They already know that Westport has their back. They are very, very grateful for what we’ve done.

Westporter Brian Mayer (right) and his on-the-ground support team of Richard von Groeling and Liz Olegov flank Lyman Mayor Oleksandr Zhuravlyov. Brian, Richard and Liz wear protective equipment, because they’ve just been outside. The Ukrainian and Lyman flags will soon be joined by one from Westport.

Now, on Christmas Day, let’s give them everything they need.

$250,000 sounds like a lot. But it breaks down to just $10 for every resident of Westport.

Can you spare that? If not, no worries. Someone who can, will cover you. Right?

Just click here for the credit card “Donate” button. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” You can also scroll down on that page for other donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo.) Or you can donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 

Meanwhile, our online auction for an oil painting of Marigny — our other sister city in France, which joins us in helping Lyman — ends at 11:59 p.m. We began the bidding at $1,000. It is now up to $1,500. Email, or click “Comments” to bid; you don’t need to fill out your real (but please include your email).

This Marigny scene is being auctioned to the highest bidder.

Westporters have been supremely generous so far. We are nearing our audacious — but crucial — $250,000 goal. Every dollar helps our sister city of Lyman. Thank you, thank you, thank you!


Eversource earned props for putting crews on the road early during Friday’s wind and rain storm. The number of outages in Westport was halved throughout the day, from 700 or so to about 350.

Their performance since then has been less praise-worthy.

An “06880” reader wrote last night, just before midnight:

“I am spending the holidays with my 92-year-old homebound mom on Bayberry Ridge Road. Power has been out for the whole street since 4 a.m. Friday. Despite 40-plus hours elapsing, Eversource still has no projection for repair, citing ‘To Be Determined’ as the date when one inquires.

“They no longer even list Westport on the updated outage report, because over 99% of homes have power. This is cold comfort to residents on this street, who cannot get any information out of this vastly overpaid and underperforming public utility. With zero communication since the beginning, we worry that they’ve forgotten about us entirely.”

The reader responded at 1:04 a.m. that his power was back on. He doesn’t know if it was the result of his phone call, Tweet, or because they were about to do it anyway.

I’m keeping his complaint up though, because it’s not isolated. I’ve heard from other readers in the north end of Westport, who also had issues with Eversource.

Most seemed to understand the severity of the problem. What bothered them was Eversource’s lack of communication about when power was expected to return.

“We just want to be able to plan,” one reader said.


Compare the situation in Lyman (top story above) with the behavior of one Very Entitled Driver downtown yesterday.

He ignored several “One Way/Do Not Enter” signs. He headed past all the cars, on 2 sides of the street, facing toward him.

Drivers stopped. One rolled down his window, and explained the driver was going the wrong way.

He couldn’t be bothered. Perhaps backing up was too difficult or time-consuming. Maybe doing so would be admitting wrongdoing, or a blow to his masculinity.

So he got out of his car. He had angry words with one of the right-way drivers.

Then he got back in his vehicle, swerved around a couple of cars, and kept driving.

All the way to the Post Road.

Very Entitled Driver — after already being told he is going the wrong way on Main Street.


Also downtown: Our own Barnes & Noble was featured in the opening seconds of Yahoo News’ recent feature on the chain’s resurgence.

Young readers in particular have driven the opening of new (and newly designed) stores.

CEO James Daunt was interviewed by Dave Briggs. The Yahoo journalist knows what he’s talking about — he lives here in Westport, just a couple of miles from one of those slimmed-down, brighter, more open and less “library-looking” Barnes & Noble’s than the previous one.

Click here for the full Yahoo story.

Screenshot of the Yahoo story


The Burying Hill High Tide Club has earned an “06880” mention — and props — for weekly swims at that Greens Farms beach, all the way through fall.

Now another group is earning even more awe (and raised eyebrows).

Nico Eisenberger reports: “This year we spawned a crazy cousin of the High Tide Club. Inspired by some of the hardy originals, and carried forward with an unreasonable and illogical vigor, is Club Plunge.

“We’ve done it every week since early November. It’s amazing and wonderful — and makes you think that maybe the extremophiles one sees on YouTube are really on to something.”

The group includes 8 regulars.

“We try to stay in for at least 3 minutes,” Nico says. “The screaming subsides after 1 minute, then picks up again after 2.”

No word on “weather” they ventured in yesterday.

Club Plunge at Burying Hill Beach.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows how a gifted decorator can transform beautiful plants and flowers into something even more stunning.

This is the holiday table at the home of Elena and Richard Nasereddin. She’s Catholic. He’s Muslim.

Both wish everyone in the “0688o” community — in Westport, and cyberspace — “happy holidays, and many blessings in the new year.”

(Photo/Maria Elena Nasereddin)


And finally … Christmas music ends tonight. Whether that’s good or bad depends on your threshold for jinglyness.

But before we say goodbye (till next year) to Mariah Carey, Josh Groban, Michael Jackson, Bruce Springsteen, Bobby Helms, Bing Crosby and Gene Autry, let’s tip our Santa hat to Johnny Marks.

He lived for many years on Green Acre Lane, off South Compo. He died in 1985 from complications of diabetes. His son still lives here.

Who was Johnny Marks?

Just the guy who wrote “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

And “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” “Run, Rudolph, Run.” “Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.” And many others.

Not bad for a Jewish kid from Mount Vernon, New York.

Merry Christmas! Oy!


11 responses to “Roundup: Last Push For Lyman, Eversource Slammed, Main Street Meathead …

  1. I’m so tired of people complaining about Eversource. It’s not Eversource’s fault that we have way too many trees in our town. Every time there’s an inkling of bad weather, Westport turns into a third world country.

    The solution is to significantly reduce the number of trees, particularly around power lines. Furthermore, the overabundance of trees in this town is a huge safety hazard, with trees and branches sometimes falling on cars and people.

    • Yeah, Judy. Great idea…lets get rid of all those f…… trees! who the hell needs trees….I strongly suggest you seek shelter in NY or another city where trees are no bother.

      • Carl Addison Swanson '66

        Ms. Maisel is correct, a massive number of trees need to be trimmed and/or taken down to make a lot of our roads safe. And she is correct on the resultant chaos: when someone farts on North Avenue, we lose power for three days. As for Mr. Katz, is he an echo in the darkness all times on the blog?

  2. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Third world country? Westport will never have to worry about that. A lot of sanctipneumonia going around in Westport these days. Mostly emanating from the Avery Place area where culture is history.

  3. Thinking back to 1973: I hope those that left home after losing power remembered to turn off their water before they left.

  4. Karen Kristensen Wambach

    Our power went out at 5am on Friday, power was just restored now at 3:50 pm Sunday, Christmas Day….thank goodness for the wood stove in our kitchen which helped keep the house in the 40’s, 50’s and 60

  5. It seems that Run Rudolph Run was actually written by Chuck Berry, but credited to “Marks & Brodie” following some record industy finagling back in the old days when the record industry wasn’t, you know, as highly regarded as it is now (lol). Wiki states:

    Chuck Berry reported that he wrote the song himself, but then discovered that the name Rudolph was trademarked by Johnny Marks. Marks sued and consequently was given songwriting credit although he “had nothing to do with the song.” Berry also said that M. Brodie does not exist, but was a pseudonym created as “a scheme to make more money for Marks and his publisher.”[ Berry’s 1958 45-rpm single gives writing credits to “C. Berry Music – M. Brodie”. All subsequent cover versions of the song are credited to Marks and Brodie, as published by Marks’s St. Nicholas Music (ASCAP).

  6. We.looked at buying a house on bayberry ridge road. Wasn’t even a question that we would be taking a risk for utilities and road being passable during/after a storm. My wife who is on call would’ve likely had to ride out any storms in the hospital and we would’ve certainly needed a generator. You can’t blame utilities for not prioritizing a private street like that off the beaten path. You opt to live in a location like that.

  7. Current B&N is but a shadow of its former self; and not a nice, cooling shadow, but a light blocking, fun in the sun killing shadow.
    Amazon is more fun… a shame.

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