Roundup: Staples AD, Coffee Mugs, De TAPAS …

Staples High School will soon have a new athletic director.

Vincent J. “VJ” Sarullo succeeds Marty Lisevick on February 1. 

Sarullo has spent the past 17 years as athletic director at Jonathan Law High School in Milford. Before that he was AD at Sheehan High-Wallingford and Notre Dame of Fairfield.

Sarullo currently serves as president of the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors.

Lisevick retires on January 31, after more than 2 decades in the post. The other finalist for the position, Colin Devine, spent 15 years as Staples’ boys basketball coach.

VJ Sarullo, iin 2014.


With 3 Starbuckses, 3 Dunkin’ Donuts, and many more places to buy coffee, Westporters use plenty of cups.

We don’t have to.

Sustainable Westport has just launched “Refill Not Landfill.”

The program encourages residents to use reusable cups and mugs at participating coffee shops to reduce waste, combat climate change, and help support small businesses.

Most paper cups used for hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate are coated with plastic to prevent leaks, so they can’t be recycled. Plastic cups used for iced coffee, tea and other drinks, often end up in the trash. It is estimated that only 5% of plastic is ever recycled.

By committing to bring their own reusable mug or cup to participating locations, residents can help reduce waste — and be entered to win monthly prizes.

Beginning this Sunday (January 15), bring a clean, reusable cup or mug to a participating location. (NOTE: They do not wash cups or mugs.)

Order a drink that’s eligible to be filled (some, like smoothies, are not).

At checkout, scan a QR code. Submit your name and email address for each drink you purchased using a reusable cup, to receive credit for your visit.

To be eligible for the monthly raffle, you must participate at least 5 times within a month.

Each month through July 15, Sustainable Westport will draw one winner, for a prize from a local business.

Participating locations include:

To add your business, email

Don’t have a mug?Purchase a Sustainable Westport “Refill Not Landfill” travel mug Thursdays at the Westport Farmers’ Market, or the Earthplace gift shop.

For more information, click here. Questions? Email

A familiar sight in Westport. But it doesn’t have to be.


Speaking of restaurants:

DeTAPAS celebrates its 1-year anniversary this weekend with a complimentary glass of Cava.

Carlos Pia’s Spanish gastrobar has become one of Westport’s hottest spots. A native of Barcelona, he’s brought the flavors of his native country here — and the culture and the colors too.

Pia’s Flamenco Nights, Jamon Jamoon Iberico and wine tasting, and other events have added to DeTAPAS’ allure.

Carlos Pia in his vibrantly decorated De Tapas.


Club 203 — Westport’s social group for adults with disabilities — held its January event at the Westport Weston Family YMCA on Saturday.

A huge turnout of enjoyed basketball, line dancing, stretching and yoga, crafts (hosted by MoCA Westport), a photo booth and snacks. Among the volunteers: Staples High School’s Service League of Boys (SLOBs).

The next event will is at the Westport Playhouse (February 2). It’s a Valentine’s dance — details soon.

Fun at Club 203.


Stressed-out parents, take note: S4 Study Skills is hosting a free webinar.

In “Why Course Selection is Important to the College Application Process” (January 17, 7 p.m.), college admissions counselor and Westport resident Amy Chatterjee explains what course selection reveals about motivation and focus, and how it impacts college admissions. Click here to register.


Jazz vespers comes to the United Methodist Church of Westport & Weston.

The service combines liturgical traditions with the soulful sounds of the John Collinge Quartet.

The worship — for all ages and denominations (and a great introduction to jazz for young audiences) is Sunday, January 22 (4 p.m., United Methodist Church sanctuary).

The United Methodist Church on Weston Road.


There weren’t many people the other day, at Compo Beach.

But the sun is there, regardless. Naturally.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image was captured by Bob Mitchell.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)


And finally … Jeff Beck died yesterday of bacterial meningitis, in England. He was 78.

Though never as flashy or well-known as Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, he was a member of the Yardbirds and other very important blues-based groups.

Westport has a couple of ties to the legendary guitarist. When the Yardbirds played at Staples High School in 1966, he was part of the band.

A young photographer in New York heard they would be in Westport. She came here, and photographed Beck and a very young Jimmy Page tuning up backstage, in the choral room.

The photographer’s name? Linda Eastman.

Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, in the Staples High School choral room. (Photo/Linda Eastman)

And the offices of Connoisseur Media in Westport — owner of some of the most successful radio stations in the area — contain plenty of music memorabilia.

One of the most prized possessions hangs on the wall by CEO Jeff Warshaw’s desk. It’s a guitar, signed by Beck.

On the wall in Jeff Warshaw’s office: a guitar signed by Jeff Beck. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Click here for a full obituary.


12 responses to “Roundup: Staples AD, Coffee Mugs, De TAPAS …

  1. The Five (Privileged) middle aged white guys who run the Westport school system @ Central Office on Myrtle Avenue refuted, ignored, dismissed and yesterday gave a double barrel F.U. to: the collective, recommendations of the Staples building Administration, many Staples Head Coaches who wrote to the Five Guys and expressed their support for & why Coach Devine should be the next Athletic Director, many (notable) & invested community members who reached out in writing and personally met with the Five Guys or Head Guy to support Coach Devine, & the overwhelming preponderance of Staples faculty members who supported Colin Devine.

    Yet instead; these Five Guys used their “infinite wisdom” to select an outside candidate who is/was employed in Milford, Ct. Unfortunately these decision maker “Five Guys” have NEVER attended a collective five Staples sporting events, couldn’t collectively name five Staples student-athletes, couldn’t name or recognize five Staples coaches, nor differentiate or show up to any five different Staples field locations. Important to note: These “Five Guys” didn’t / wouldn’t include a single student-athlete on their selection committee which they hand crafted, nor one Staples parent of a student-athlete? How’s that for process?

    Instead, these Five Guys (2 of them happen to be Milford residents) thought it would be in Staples best interest to hire a Milford employee in lieu of an individual who gave it his absolute all to Staples Athletics for 15 years as an educator and Head Coach. Staples new hire has never served as a head coach. We wish him well as this surely isn’t his doing, but this surely doesn’t pass the smell test on a myriad of fronts. Hopefully folks will inquire why the BOE Chairperson, who arguably knows even less about Staples athletics than these “Five privileged Guys”, was inserted on the AD selection committee? Multiple BOE members have children who participate in athletics and particularly Staples athletics, yet they weren’t cherry picked for the AD selection committee by our illustrious HR Director. Why? Odd.

    These “Five Guys” have run amok. In a budget year akin to this one, it might be a fine time to audit these Five Guys and their leader. Morally bankrupt for starters.

    This decision rested solely in the hands of the Superintendent, regardless of his BOE Chairs overt meddling. It is beyond disgusting how this all went down considering he fashions himself as a “sports” guy from Madison. Was he led astray by “his” advisors (minus the CFO) who are self-serving, self-aggrandizing buffoons, or did he simply capitulate to his boss, the BOE Chair, who clearly had an ax to grind or some odd personal agenda to drive. Regardless, this was a 100 % clown show. Insulting and embarrassing and Staples will now lose a special, talented employee where 15 years of investment, professional development, & growth was nurtured.

    Staples & Westport definitely deserve better. Please folks, dig in here.

  2. So they picked an out of towner. The reverse is true too. They have in the past picked a Townee instead of someone with professional experience.

  3. Charles: I was not connected to this process in any way. Just looking at this as an outsider (whose involvement with Staples sports over the years has been primarily as a follower of the soccer program): isn’t there some value—perhaps significant—that one of the two finalists has had quite a bit of experience as an athletic director while the other seemingly had none?

    Does the skill set of an athletic director differ at least somewhat from that of being a head coach?

    Look, I’m a firm believer of promoting from within and it seems like Coach Devine would obviously have far greater familiarity with our community. But, objectively, couldn’t that in theory be outweighed by the fact that the other finalist had extensive experience in the precise job for which there is an opening and who, at the very least, seems to be well-liked since he is president of the CT Assn of Athletic Directors?

    And, believe me, I do understand your disappointment as, during my college days, the athletic administration at my school rejected the recommendation by the players to hire the very talented and popular frosh coach as varsity coach when our coach left for the professional ranks. The administration ended up hiring a varsity head coach who had success elsewhere. (I still think they made the wrong choice but I understood the rationale behind their decision.)

  4. How could a place so good make a decision so bad? This isn’t a loss for Colin, this is a loss for every student athlete, coach, and staff member who won’t have the privilege to work with him at Staples High. First time in my 16 years being a Wrecker, that I’m embarrassed to wear their clothing. Terrible message being sent out to all aspiring in-house faculty members.

  5. Andrew Colabella

    Coach Colin Devine IS the only next and right replacement for Mr. Lisevick and even Marty said he was the next right choice and fit.

    Promoting from within not only retains talent, but helps that talent grow after all the growth that they have given in return.

    Colin was instrumental, understanding and supportive when I did my petitions to name the track after Laddie Lawrence and the football field after Paul Lane.

    I’m sure this new coach with his prestigious title is great, but Devine has a connection, impact and relationship with the entire student body and they all look up to him.

    • Westport’s version of an insurrection. Beware parents, this will be a RTM (Townie) led agenda item.

      Congrats Jonathan, we need new blood.

    • Surely the “entire student body” will be just fine. They may even gain an understanding of the outside world. Can’t stay cocooned in Westport forever.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Since we’re discussing naming today, how about “rebranding” Staples HS as follows: The Staples Institute For The Study of History And Culture?

  6. In case someone does not know, although I believe most do. Linda Eastman was her maiden name, her married name was McCartney, wife of Paul, who sadly died years ago.

  7. RIP Jeff Beck – whose smashed guitar during the scene with the Yardbirds (many to follow thereafter), was perhaps the best part of Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 now classic “Blow-Up”.

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