Spring must be close. Summer too!
Registration for Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department’s spring and summer program offerings begins online on March 10 (9 a.m.). Offerings will be viewable soon, at www.westportrecreation.com.
Department officials urge residents to log into their online account now, to verify family information. Once logged in, click “Manage Family Member” on the bottom right. Check that contact information is accurate. (In the personal information box, it is important to make sure that children’s grades reflect the current school year). Cell phone information will be used for class cancellations or location changes.
Address changes should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional proof of Westport residency may be required.
Problems? Do not create another profile. Email email@example.com or call 203-341-5152.
Single-family real estate figures for January 2023 are down, compared to January ’22:
- Unit sales: 19 (down 34.5%)
- Median sales price: $1.65 million (down 25%)
- Inventory: 82 (down 7.9%)
- Days on market: 54 (down 33.3%)
(Hat tip: Meredith Cohen)
Think your lost keys are gone for good?
Residents who find keys often bring them to Westport Police Department headquarters. A plastic bin near the front desk currently holds several dozen keys.
And — this being Westport — plenty of them are for some very nice vehicles.
The health of the Compo Acres Shopping Center sycamore, at Post Road East and Compo Road South, is a constant concern to Westporters.
This morning, Bartlett Tree Experts provided some maintenance and love.
Carl Addison Swanson continues his crusade for traffic safety. He writes:
“Due to a 53% increase in pedestrian deaths from 2009 to 2018 with 6,283 total nationally, Connecticut passed a new ‘crosswalk law’ which went into effect on October 1, 2021.
“Now, unless there is a traffic signal directing otherwise, a pedestrian always has the right of way at a crosswalk throughout the state. A pedestrian may merely raise their hand to signal any oncoming traffic that he or she is intending to cross the street. Drivers must yield.
“Thanks to the recent passage of SS4A Infrastructure bill and Representative Jim Himes, our Congressional 4th District will receive $450,000 to implement safety measures to insure, among other things, pedestrian safety. We are the only district in the state to receive such funds.
“That said, a tour of the town shows little implementation of any safety measures. While yellow pedestrian warning signs are in place, they are often concealed by untrimmed tree branches.
“Recently a female driver yelled at a runner crossing North Avenue at Bedford Middle School, ‘There is no crossing guard at the crosswalk, so get out of my way!” She sped away, nearly hitting the runner.
“Westport has chosen to spend $200,000 on a study of 2 Cross Highway intersections, at North Avenue and Bayberry Lane. Where and when is our taxpayer money going to be utilized to insure our safety before someone is killed?
“We know stop signs and worthless solar speed limit monitors do not work, at least on North Avenue. So what is next? Little green men? We might start by educating the public, strict law enforcement and some real traffic lights.”
Brien Buckman is the newest member of Westport’s Representative Town Meeting. The 33-year-old fills a vacancy in District 6, caused by the death of Cathy Talmadge.
He has lived in Westport since 2020. (Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)
If you’re an X Games fan, you know that Mac Forehand — a member of the 2022 Olympic US ski team — just won gold in big air at the competition in Aspen.
He did it in a big way: with a perfect 50 score, landing a 2160 Cuban that wowed the crowd. He also won silver for slopestyle.
But you may not know that Mac is the son of 1976 Staples High School graduate Ray Forehand.
Mac also made history in 2019, winning the overall World Cup title in slopestyle at just 17 years old. It was his first full season on the World Cup circuit.
Mac grew up in Fairfield, and attended the Stratton Mountain Ski School.
If you knew Ray Forehand, you’ll notice the great resemblance in the video below. (Hat tip: Sam Febbraio)
11-year-old Kathryn is paralyzed by social anxiety. She spends all her time in her basement with her 2 passions: Alfred Hitchcock and stop-motion animation. When a new neighbor moves in, will she be able to share her dream and make a new friend?
That’s the first offering of Westport Country Playhouse’s mobile unit — though this one will be the main stage. “Scaredy Kat Presents” runs for 1 performance only: Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.
It may be February, but the defending state champion Staples High School rugby team is heading outdoors.
They host their 3rd annual College Showcase & Combine this Saturday (February 11, noon to 4 p.m.). They expect 150 high school players — boys and girls — from the tri-state area, and representatives from over 50 college.
The 2-hour combine will be run by the 2 Major League Rugby teams in the area: the New England Free Jacks and reigning champs Rugby United New York.
The “showcase” portion takes place in the school cafeteria. Each college has a table; players and their parents can learn more about their academics and rugby programs.
Meanwhile, the Staples Rugby Club announces Little Barn as their “preferred restaurant partner.” They’ll hold several events there, beginning the weekend of March 11 (a viewing party for the Six Nations matches).
Little Barn will also be the site of post-match celebration, after Staples hosts a top-ranked club from Texas (March 11) and their first international friendly (vs. St. Andrews College of South Africa, April 15).
Westport Pride joins with the Department of Justice, FBI and Connecticut US Attorney’s office to explore hate crimes at the federal, state and local levels.
“United Against Hate” — a free training to inform LGBTQ+ community members and allies about those crimes, and how to respond, is set for March 28 (6 p.m., Westport Library; in-person and virtual).
The interactive program also involves the Westport and Norwalk police chiefs, and the Connecticut State Police’s Hate Crimes Unit.
The meeting is part of a national initiative, by all 94 US Attorneys offices. Click here for details on that program. Click here for details of the March 28 event.
Native Westporter Scott Brodie sends along this striking image of his mother’s back yard on Burr Farms Road, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature:
“My father built his house on a wooded lot at the north end of Burr Farms Road in 1954. The lots on the southern end of the road had been a working apple orchard and were mostly cleared, but the northern end had been allowed to return to woodlands, interspersed with the remains of low stone walls.
“My parents loved the idea of living ‘in the woods,’ and cut down as few trees as possible. Many decades later, the aerial images of the site on Google Maps and Google Earth show the house and garage nearly obscured by the foliage.
“But looking up at the sky through the treetops in winter, it is striking how the trees seem to ‘respect’ each other, with their elaborate branching patterns carefully avoiding contact with each other.
“This phenomenon, known as ‘crown shyness,’ is frequently observed in hardwood forests, but is not well understood. The trees seem to skillfully avoid encroaching on their neighbors’ space, but the mechanisms which mediate this avoidance remain unclear.”
And finally … Charlie Thomas, a longtime member of the Drifters (and the Rock & Roll Hall Fame), died January 31 in Maryland. He was 85, and suffered from liver cancer.
Thomas was part of the group for over 60 years, from its hit-making time in the late 1950s to the version that toured until COVID struck.
Thomas mainly sang backup. But he took the lead on “Sweets for My Sweet” and “When My Little Girl Is Smiling.” Click here for a full obituary.
(Whatever your musical tastes, if you enjoy our daily musical offering, please click here to contribute to “06880.” Thank you!)
Congrats to Mac Forehand! I was at X Games with my daughter Julia (she suffered a mild concussion during practice and did not compete) and watched Mac’s performance. What a thrill!
Ray Forehand was a year behind me at Staples but I was friends with his older brother Bill. Mac is definitely a chip off the Forehand family tree in looks and athletic ability. Congrats Mac.
I was fascinated by what Scott Brodie wrote about the trees and crown shyness. Very interesting.
I wonder if the folks who buy the 8 million dollar house at 2 Owenoke will be a stupid and “showoffy” as the ones who will tear down the wonderful 6.2 million dollar # 34. What a private property travesty!
As far as crosswalks go, there needs to be a concerted effort to paint the pavement in a way that will be noticeable and different from crosswalks at traffic lights. Maybe a flashing light on a pole (like a barber’s pole) on either side could be an additional way to bring attention to the crosswalk. If crosswalks are placed intelligently, people will be more apt to use them rather than crossing at random. And a PR campaign would be helpful, too.
What about pedestrians who cross against a light?
Then they are jaywalking and subject to citation. The state mandates apply to cross walks which do not have a traffic light and/or crossing guard.
If they’re over 65 and have no health insurance turn ‘em into Soylent Green.
If they had just left Staples on Riverside Avenue…..:North Avenue was a very successful cow path and then those NY’ers moved in.