Roundup: Comments, Ukraine, Cops …

A note about Comments:

Yesterday, a commenter calling himself “Ed Doucette” posted a swipe at the woman who had nominated dog owners as “06880”‘s  Unsung Heroes of the Week.

I asked him how many Unsung Heroes he had nominated. Remember the old ’60s saying? “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”

Turns out, he used an alias.

That makes him even more of a jerk. Coming on the heels of my discovery of a couple of other aliases — some plausible-sounding like “Will Leach,” others clearly fake — I feel like a jerk, too.

I trust “06880” readers. I do not require verification to post comments. I only ask that people use full, real names.

I spend a ton of time on all aspects of “06880.” Monitoring comments for civility and accuracy is one of them. Monitoring them for honesty should not be part of the deal.

I’ve asked before: Please be nice. Please don’t abuse the Comments section. If you have something to say, have the guts to say it publicly, under your real name.

That shouldn’t be too much to ask. Obviously though it is, because I just did.

“06880” welcomes your comments. Please have the courtesy — and guts — to use your real name.

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The New York Times’ “Morning” newsletter just published their most memorable photos of the year.

The very first one was taken by 1991 Staples High School graduate — and Pulitzer Prize/MacArthur “genius grant” award winner — Lynsey Addario.

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

The caption says:

“Millions of people fled Ukraine in the early weeks of Russia’s invasion, seeking refuge in other countries. Desperate families shoved their way onto a train leaving the capital, Kyiv, in early March.”

Click here for more of the Times’ top images. (Hat tip: Susan Leone)

Meanwhile, the Times’ other photo feature — the more extended “Year in Pictures” — includes more than half a dozen images from Addario and Tyler Hicks, her colleague who is also a Pulitzer winner and Staples grad (Class of 1988).

The first in the chronological list is from January 19. It’s a shot by Hicks of a Ukrainian soldier at a frontline position. “The world watched nervously as Western countries warned that Russia was preparing to attack Ukraine at any moment,” the caption says.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for the New York Times)

There was also this harrowing photo of a dead Russian soldier near Kharkiv, as Ukrainian troops defender their land in the first days of the invasion.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for The New York Times)

“The Year in Pictures” includes this explanatory quote from Hicks:

There was no way to know if you would run into Russian soldiers. I decided to get out of the car and walk to make sure we weren’t going to drive up to any surprises. There was snow on the ground and I wasn’t sure what I was going to find, but I eventually came upon several Russian soldiers who had been killed. I took the photos as quickly as I could because the area where I was working was exposed, and then I got back to cover.

There’s also this iconic shot by Addario, immediately after Russian mortar fire killed a family trying to flee Irpin, near Kyiv. The photo drew worldwide attention to the horrors of Russia’s invasion:

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)

Addario explains:

I was photographing along a civilian evacuation route and was in the actual attack. The shell landed between us. The woman and her two children and the church volunteer were killed. I was just lucky the blast went the other direction and not toward me.

Click here and scroll down, for many more photos by Hicks and Addario (and others). (Hat tip: Evan Stein)

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Speaking of Ukraine: It’s now a few days after Christmas. But the good feelings from Westport’s holiday gift to our sister city of Lyman, Ukraine still linger.

Click below for a brief video — just posted to YouTube’s “Sister Cities Westport Lyman Marigny” channel:

The total amount raised now by our town (and friends and relatives of Westporters) is $209,300. We are closing in on our goal of $250,000.

Tax-deductible donations can be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International. Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here).

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Crime took a holiday last week.

Westport Police report no custodial arrests between December 21 and 28. With the cold weather, traffic was light too. These were the only citations issued:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 2
  • Following too closely: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Evading responsibility: 1
  • Traveling too fast for conditions: 1
  • Failure to drive in proper lane: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension: 1
  • Failure to carry certificate of registration/insurance: 1
  • Failure to obey control signal: 1
  • Violation of any traffic commission regulation: 1.

Required by law

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The end of the year is the perfect time for Westport Town Farm to announce programs for the new year.

“Parent and Me” returns, from January through March. Classes include outdoor time for feeding animals, followed by age-appropriate crafts, games or stories inside the Farmhouse.

Families transitioning out of “Parent and Me” enjoy “Toddler Sprouts” (ages 3-5,  Tuesdays at 1:30 p.m.).

A new program — “Tiny Farmers Playdate” — begins in January (Wednesdays, 9 a.m.). Taking place in the Farmhouse, it’s geared toward ages of 0 -18 months.

A new “Rugged Bear Wilderness Club” runs after school. Youngsters ages 11-14 will develop outdoors skills like fire-making, orienteering, using basic hand tools, simple first aid, pitching a tent and being challenged in nature. The club begins February 9.

Spots are also available in the “Fantastic Farmhands” elementary school program.

WTF also runs an MLK Jr. Vacation Day Camp on January 16.

Click here for more information, or email education.wakemantownfarm.org.

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The Appalachian Mountain Club’s Westport Fairfield County Group will “Skate Through New Zealand.”

That’s the topic of their January 10 meeting (Saugatuck Congregational Church; appetizers, wine, dinner at 6:15 p.m.; presentation 7:30 p.m.; members $10, non-members $15).

Speaker Geoffrey Saunders has been skateboarding since he was 10. He lived in New Zealand for a year as an exchange student, and has returned 4 times. He skateboarded 400 miles through North Island, raising funds for Wildlife in Crisis, and will discuss his many adventures.

Reservations not required, but please RSVP: easasso7@icloud.com.

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Several “06880” readers sent photos of last night’s crazy cloud, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

This Compo Beach view was the most colorful:

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … in honor of Geoffrey Saunders’ talk next month to the Appalachian Mountain Club (story above):

(If you’re a skater — or a commenter — or anyone else who reads “06880,” please consider a year-end contribution. Just click here — and thank you!)

17 responses to “Roundup: Comments, Ukraine, Cops …

  1. Dan, thank you as always for all that you do. Add emphasis for weeding out cowards who don’t use their real name. It sounds minor, but many of our remaining local “newspapers” do not do this and the comments are simply a cesspool of nonsense and vitriol. Thank you.

    • There’s no other site or blog I know whose comments are as well managed as yours, Dan. None. Not even close. Thank you.

  2. 😂😂🇺🇸

  3. “Evading Responsibility” – only 1 citation?
    Clearly they were not hanging out with my kids.

  4. We appreciate you Dan. A lot.

  5. Andrew Colabella

    The keyboard warriors, reminds me of the same behaviors as carried out in The Great Gatsby.

    “They were careless people…they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.”

    On the flip side, some make comments on here and then receive weird, threatening, harassing, concerning, eerie messages attacking or condemning one’s opinion on a certain subject matter.

    My advice to everyone, think before you speak, and if you say it, can you take it back? Will respect or character be lost?

    Nothing nice to say? Stop yourself. Practice what you preach or teach to your kids. “Hate has no home here,” right?

    06880 is the place for great public comment compared to the other outlets in town, but is also PRIMARY factual journalism at its finest.

    • As long as people are not criticized or booted off for not conforming to the view of the author.

    • To be clear, friends from Westport who used to follow this blog became tired of backlash, even from Mr. Woog, and quit. I can already see what they mean, so I will quit also.

  6. Barbara Sherburne '67

    I appreciate you, Dan, and all the very hard work you put into this blog each.and.every.single.day, and I am sure everyone else appreciates what you do as well. We are blessed to have you and this blog. I wish everyone a wonderful new year!

  7. Gee Dan, I see user abuser names all the times here. If you need help pointing them out I have free time and a good eye. YOU are busy and I get you can’t sift through them but really, on here on comments there are many “no real names”. PM if you want an assistant editor for real names only and randomly because you aren’t catching 1/2….love😘

  8. David J. Loffredo

    Westport has a bit of a “rep” for being mean, so the comments on Dan’s blog never surprise me. Long time resident (26 years across two stints), but once you get a bit of separation, you see it…

  9. I agree with Mr. Woog wholeheartedly. It’s cowardice using a false moniker. BTW, mine isn’t made up!

  10. I think it’s wonderful the way Westport and Marigny have joined forces to help Lyman. I hope they’re totally successful, and, yes, I made a contribution to help.

    But I am fearful that once Lyman is rebuilt, the Russians will destroy it again The NYTimes had a section last week called “Putin’s War,” showing many cities and towns that had been horribly destroyed, some several times after being rebuilt.

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