Roundup: New Trash Pickup Site, Starbucks Garbage, Sabrina & Senator Murphy …

There’s a new site for today’s weekly volunteer trash pick-up.

It’s now set for 11 a.m. at the Westport Animal Control building (6 Elaine Road, off Compo Road South between I-95 and railroad overpasses). It’s near the Saugatuck River public boat launch.

Organizer Andrew Colabella says that the previous scheduled site — the Saugatuck train station — is almost free of trash.

All volunteers are welcome. They’re advised to dress warmly, and bring garbage bags.

Questions: Email

Westport Animal Control building, on Elaine Road.


Andrew Colabella and his band of civic volunteers do a great job every week, cleaning up public spaces.

They shouldn’t have to, but there’s enough trash to keep them busy.

They should definitely not have to pick up private property. That’s the job of owners and tenants.

For example: Here’s the area around the drive-through Starbucks:

(Hat tip and photo/Scott Singer)

Pretty gross. In addition to tons of garbage, there are knocked-over stanchions. How hard is it to send someone out from the frappuccino machine, to fix this mess?

And while they’re at it, maybe the manager could help move the concrete parking slab back to where it belongs, so vehicles won’t have to poke their tails out even more into the already dangerously narrow parking lot.


Last week, “06880” reported on Sabrina Guerra.

The non-speaking autistic 10-year-old Weston girl was one of 15 winners statewide, in Senator Chris Murphy’s 7th annual MLK Day essay challenge. She wrote eloquently of her life in “a marginalized group fighting for our right to be heard, the right to define ourselves, and the right to belong.” (Click here, then scroll down for her superb insights.)

Last week, she attended an award ceremony with Senator Murphy. He cited her out by name during his speech, then sat with her for 10 minutes as she presented to him.

It was a great day for her — and the senator. Click here for the inspiring video.

Screenshot of Senator Chirs Murphy and Sabrina Guerra.


There is a time for taking … and a time for giving.

The Remarkable Bookcycle — Jane Green’s creative free library that’s parked for the winter on Main Street — is wildly popular with readers.

That’s a problem.

Annette Norton owns Savvy + Grace, a few feet away from the Bookcycle. The other day, she added some books to the nearly bare shelves.

It looks fuller. But there is still plenty of room for more.

Any and all books are welcome. To contradict William Shakespeare, both a borrower and a lender be.

Remarkable Bookcycle (Photo/Annette Norton)


The other day, “06880” reported that Bed Bath & Beyond’s Norwalk store would close in March.

Judging by this photo, they may not make it to next month:

(Photo/John Karrel)

Reader John Karrel asked one of the very helpful employees whether he’d be moving to another BB&B location. His response: “They’re all closing.”


It may be a while before orchids bloom outdoors.

But these flowers — a gift to Matt Murray’s wife — give all “Westport … Naturally” readers hope that spring is just around the corner.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … on this day in 1940, Smokey Robinson was born.

The very prolific and hugely talented singer/songwriter/Rock & Roll Hall of Famer/Library of Congress Gershwin Prize winner performed at a Levitt Pavilion benefit concert, more than 2 decades ago. He also was a guest at Ashford & Simpson’s annual 4th of July party, back when they lived on Cross Highway near Bayberry Lane.

Happy 83rd birthday, Smokey! I know all “06880” readers second that emotion.





8 responses to “Roundup: New Trash Pickup Site, Starbucks Garbage, Sabrina & Senator Murphy …

  1. Lynda Kommel-Browne

    Love to see that Sabrina if fighting for better inclusion in our schools

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Sabrina is absolutely wonderful source of joy all by herself. As the parent of a 33 year old highly fulfilled and contributing autistic child I humbly claim standing to offer that assessment. I hope the good Senator’s involvement with Sabrina is more substantial than just for her to provide him with the second photo-op in two weeks on Dan’s blog. I know this is sticking my neck out a mile but I’d love to hear more about his substantive contribution to her journey. I’ll take all the success stories of the less fortunate I can get but OD’d on political photo ops a long time ago regardless of anybody’s political persuasion or party affiliation.

      • Hi Eric-
        Thank you for your comment. I appreciate where you are coming from. If I may offer a bit of context. Sabrina spent 9 years being unable to communicate in any reliable way. Once she started typing, and her true intellect started pouring out, she was very hopeful that her standing in the school community would change and she’d be given the opportunity to be a full, contributing member of her class. It did not turn out that way (that is a long story of its own). To make a long story longer, she entered Sen. Murphy’s essay contest hoping to make a statement on disability rights and to be heard all in the spirit of MLK, Jr Day. She achieved BOTH of those things. While you may recoil at the political optics, I can assure you that it meant a great deal to Sabrina to have the opportunity to be heard. If you watch that video again, you’ll see Sen. Murphy transform during Sabrina’s presentation. Though he was not really expecting such a “heavy” chat, he gave it his full and undivided attention, followed by acknowledgment of her gift and encouragement for her future. For someone in Sabrina’s position that is of incalculable value, and for that we (her parents) thank the senator and we thank him for the mile wide grin she had on her face for the rest of the day. The senator did not make this video, I did. He in no way exploited her. Please think less of what Sabrina provided for him than what he provided for her!
        Thanks again for your comment.
        Gavin Guerra

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

          Yes Gavin,
          All that matters is that Samantha and those in similar positions get the help and support they need. You have certainly provided valuable context which places the whole situation in clearer perspective for me.

  2. Gloria Gouveia

    Apropos of the litter situation at Starbuck’s —- when Arby’s, McDonald’s and other national fast food chains appeared before the P&ZC for approvals in the past, all assured that company policy mandated periodic employee inspections of the environs on and off site and the prompt removal of trash & litter generated by customers or spread by wind and weather.
    I imagine that Starbuck’s has a similar protocol in place. Perhaps a few Westport patrons could make the management and/or employees aware of the matter when they stop to get coffee.

  3. With affluence comes garbage. Shouldn’t the affluent be responsible for their own garbage? (I can’t believe I had to ask that question). Go to Tokyo, to name just one affluent city in the entire world, and you will not see a shred of litter. Why is this a problem common only to the “affluent” USA? (yes, a rhetorical question)

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      YAY DAWNA!!!!!
      A rhetorical question definitely deserves a rhetorical answer:
      YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT!!!! Littering/Container waste is a one size fits all environmental hate crime. Affluent/Shmaffluent. I don’t care who/what you are or how much you make or how many terms in Congress you have served. Failure to manage your own waste is the ultimate in self-loathing!!! Make all “disposable” utensils out of rice paper and make everybody eat them. It CAN be done. Anything you can do consistently for a week becomes a habit.

  4. Andrew Colabella

    I would like to personally thank everyone who showed up today and to Dan for publicizing these clean ups. The usuals to the newcomers have been tremendously helpful and caring and the team of people are what make it!!!

    This current site, on Elaine Road, I urge everyone and anyone with free time to go there and pick what you can.

    All the trash comes off the highway from loose loads on trucks and careless individuals with no respect.

    This will be a hot spot for trash picks. There will be no trash pick next weekend because of school vacation.