Roundup: 2023 — In Westport And Lyman

Levon celebrates at Compo Beach (Photo montage/Patricia McMahon)


As the New Year begins with bang here, we think of our friends in Westport’s sister city of Lyman.

They greet 2023 in homes without heat — in some cases, even roofs and walls.

They lack electricity and running water. Their police and fire departments have no vehicles.

Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of “06880” readers, they’ve gotten some help. They had homemade meals on Christmas, and all 491 children left in Lyman got gifts.

They need much more. We set an audacious goal of $250,000. In just 13 days, we’ve raised $227,700.

How’s this for our New Year’s resolution: We’ll raise that final $22,300 today.

If every Westport resident gave $1, that would get us over the top. That’s right: With just $1 from every Westporter, we’d reach and pass our target for Lyman.

Come on, Westport! Take 2 minutes from watching football, getting ready for a party or beach walk, or whatever else makes life here so good.

There’s no better way to ring in 2023 than with $1 for our sister city.

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).

PS: Our partners on the ground, Ukraine Aid International — co-founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer — are purchasing building supplies right now for Lyman. They will be shipped soon to the town.


Barbara Walters — the pioneering newscaster and interviewer who died Friday at 93 — inspired countless aspiring journalists. Many were girls.

Alisyn Camerota was one. The author, “CNN Newsroom” anchor and Westport resident described Walters’ early influence, in an opinion pieces posted on CNN+ yesterday.

“Whenever people ask me about the moment I decided to become a broadcast journalist, I explain that it happened in utero,” Camerota begins.

How did that happen? Click here to read the full piece.

Alisyn Camerota


Howard Simon, a longtime resident of Weston, died Friday after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was 90 years old.

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Howard studied business administration at the University of Minnesota, and was a member of Phi Epsilon fraternity.

He joined his family’s manufacturing business, Simon and Mogilner, in Birmingham, Alabama where he directed sales and marketing before becoming CEO. Howard then worked as an early pioneer in financing for cellular communications and independent TV stations, before representing Major League Baseball players as an agent.

Howard was an avid tennis player and sports fan, and loved his monthly poker game. He followed politics and current events with keen interest. He was a mentor and advisor who was always happy to provide advice and business guidance. Above all, his family says, “he was known for his affable personality, engaging everyone he met with Midwestern charm.”

He is survived by his wife Amy Simon; daughters Katherine McCarty (Matthew) and Lisa Simon Bailey (Jeff); sons Matthew, David (Andrea) and James, and grandchildren Ross and Evan Simon, Marshall Bailey, and Reed and Kira McCarty. Howard was predeceased by his brothers Jerrold and Ronald, and his son Bruce.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday (January 4, 11 a.m., Abraham Green & Son, Fairfield). Memorial contributions may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Howard’s family is grateful to the staff at Jewish Senior Services of Bridgeport, who cared for him with great compassion and kindness.

Howard Simon


Sure, it was New Year’s Eve.

But Bob Weingarten wondered about a utility pole.

He sent a photo from Turkey Hill South …

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

… and wrote: “For all the money we pay to Eversource, you would think they would not include a 5-6-foot extra pole about 2/3 up an existing one pole.”

I’ve learned not to fire first and ask questions later. So I forwarded this to my utility “source” — er, expert.

He replied:

Poles in Westport are 95+% owned and installed by Eversource as the custodian utility. Across Connecticut the ratio is 50/50. Eversource has half and Frontier half, as owners and custodians.

There is no joint agreement on attaching or shifting wires and equipment on and off of poles. The company that owns them installs, maintains and removes the attachments’to each overhead wood pole.

Now comes the tricky/frustrating part. When a pole is damaged or replaced, the custodian does the pole setting/replacement, but each “owner” of the attachments (wires, transformers, streetlights, etc.) does the work to shift their equipment onto the new pole,

In this photo, the top primary voltage electric wire (sitting on the gray transformer) belongs to Eversource, so they set them onto the new pole. The bottom of the transformer has secondary (120 volt) wires running to the left and right from the transformer — owned and installed by Eversource as well.

The next wire down just below is a telecom (Optimum’s?) wire with a roundish spreader (left side of pole), but attached to the new pole. Now come the last 2 wires going down the photo, both telecom wires, likely owned by Frontier … and still attached to that 3-foot long piece of the old pole, dangling in the air!

From my experience it’s likely to remain like that for months, because it’s low (very low!) priority for the company that owns those telecom wires.

So advise your reader that it’s not Eversource’s problem!

Then he added a PS:

Look at every pole you pass by just in this town alone.  Count how many “double” poles there are — not just a piece of a pole dangling 15 feet up, but the entire old pole, from the ground up to the top telecom wires.

I’d guess something around 1 in 20 or 30 poles will have one of these hideous double poles. And some lean out from the new straight (and usually sturdier pole), looking a bit precarious.

Take a look. You’ll be amazed!


Westporters don’t always get along.

Nor do other animals.

Perhaps — as the new year begins — we should take a page from today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Jamie Walsh)

Well, at least for a day …


And finally … in the spirit of the photo above, as we welcome 2023:

4 responses to “Roundup: 2023 — In Westport And Lyman

  1. Telephone Poles?- why are we even still looking at them?
    ….and paying for them again and again with every storm.
    Nuf Said

  2. Just to clarify, the transformer sends 240 to your house. Not 120. At your house your box divides into two branches. One leg to neutral and you get 120 volts AC. Also most homes have a 200 amp service.

  3. Just to clarify the line from the utility pole transformer to your house is 240 volts not 120. And most homes have a 200 amp service. Your 120 is derived from one leg of the 240 and the neutral.

  4. Shocking

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