Roundup: Lynsey Addario’s Ukraine, Mrs. London’s Credit Cards …

Yesterday’s New York Times featured a Page 1, top-of-the-fold story about a female Ukrainian soldier. It begins:

Just over a year ago, Yulia Bondarenko’s days were full of lesson plans, grading and her students’ seventh-grade hormones.

When Russian missiles shattered that routine and Russian troops threatened her home in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, Ms. Bondarenko, 30, volunteered to fight back, despite her lack of experience, the grave risk to her life and Ukraine’s apparently impossible odds.

“I never held a rifle in my hands and never even saw one up close,” Ms. Bondarenko said. “In the first two weeks, I felt like I was in a fog. It was just a constant nightmare.”

The harrowing text is accompanied by Lynsey Addario’s haunting photos. The 1991 Staples High School graduate — a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur fellowship grant winner — made 5 trips to Ukraine last year.

She followed Bondarenko’s journey on four4 of them, reporting from the Kyiv, Kharkiv and Cherkasy regions.

Click here for the full story, and Lynsey’s powerful photographs.

Yulia Bondarenko learns how to use a rifle. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)


Alert “06880” reader Gil Ghitelman is a fan of Mrs. London’s Bakery — to a limit. He writes:

“Mrs. London’s is a welcome addition to the Westport dining experience. While I miss the vibe engendered by Java at the same Church Lane location several years ago, their pastries, albeit pricey, are quite delicious.

“What I find disturbing is their 3.5% surcharge for credit card use. The only outfits (other than gas stations) that I’m aware of using this ploy are online gun dealers.

“Mrs. London’s is only shooting itself in the foot if they continue this practice.”


Longtime Westporter Phyllis Makovsky died in her home, surrounded by her family, following an inspiring fight against leukemia. She was 80 years old.

The Queens native graduated from Barnard College with honors, and earned a master’s degree in teaching from Harvard University.

She was passionate in the classroom. She taught advanced math at the Brearley School in Manhattan and Great Neck South High School on Long Island, before turning her skills and compassion to her family, and through prominent roles in the community.

In 1972 Phyllis met Kenneth Makovsky. They married within months, and shared a partnership of 50 years. The couple enabled each other’s successes in business, at home and in their social and philanthropic lives. She served as a crucial strategic advisor to Ken as he built the public relations agency Makovsky & Company.

Phyllis was a doer. Her work came in many forms. She served Temple Israel as a board member for 10 years. She established a scholarship at Washington University in St. Louis dedicated to music. After her second diagnosis with breast cancer, she returned to Norwalk Hospital as a volunteer in the chemo-infusion center. She spent 20 years there — and returned to the same room for her final leukemia treatments. She was greeted with big hugs.

Phyllis used her talents as a teacher, and her combination of grace, grit and empathy, to make sure that her family could shine. As a friend and a sister she did the same. Phyllis was present, kind and insightful, and her love and good energy was returned to her by many.

Phyllis is survived by her husband Kenneth, sons Matt and Evan, and brother Stephen.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, February 21, 1 p.m., Temple Israel). Burial will follow at 225 Richards Ave in Norwalk. Shiva will be observed at her Westport home tomorrow (Tuesday, February 21, post-service until 8 p.m.), and Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m..

To livestream the funeral service, please click here. Go to the YouTube page; it will be the first “live” video listing for the day. To share a condolence message, click here. Memorial contributions may be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

(Phyllis Makovsky was the subject of a song written by her son Matt. Click here for that story, posted last Friday on “06880.”)

Phyllis Makovsky


We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: There’s nature all over Westport, including the heart of downtown.

Claudia Sherwood Servidio captured this “Westport … Naturally” scene, just a few feet from the Parker Harding Plaza pavement.

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … speaking of Mrs. London’s pie’s: Does she know Mrs. Wagner?

(“06880” is “where Westport meets the world (including America).” Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

18 responses to “Roundup: Lynsey Addario’s Ukraine, Mrs. London’s Credit Cards …

  1. So sorry to hear about Phyllis. She was a lovely lady. Our condolences to Ken and her family. ~ Geoff and Kristan

  2. Re: credit card surcharge at Mrs L. I thought there was CT law that prevented vendors charging customers CC surcharges? (the workaround seems to be instead to offer a discount for paying cash)

  3. Interesting comment about Credit Card surcharge. The town of Westport as well as many Government. portals charge a surcharge for the use of credit cards. The cashless movement has increased the cost of doing business dramatically. Where do you think the 1.5% credit card payback comes from? The merchants of course. I applaud Mrs. London’s for making a statement for cash. Funny how no one complains about the 7.35% surcharge.our State of Connecticut charges on prepared foods. A coffee and a pastry at Mrs. London’s or anywhere else will cost you another half a buck or more curtesy of the State of Connecticut. Ask your state rep. what they think of that the next time he tells you all the good things he is doing for you. (Not being sexist our State Rep. is a male).

    • It’s very difficult for small business to be profitable. Expenses are very high The merchant has every right to run their business as they see fit. No one is being coerced to eat great food and pastries. The world has changed. Inflation is here. Please consider the difficulty of staying business. Look around town. There are many examples of difficulties. Have consideration.

  4. champ43optonlinenet

    The Southport Diner also charges a surcharge for credit card use to encourage cash payment. Don’t know how effective this is in payments being made in cash, but likely has some effect.

  5. With the prices Mrs. London’s already charges, the additional credit card surcharge is a slap in the face.

    The location is convenient for everyone who works downtown, but not everybody is willing or able to pay $5 for a cup of coffee or $3 for a single cookie.

    Mr. Fogel is correct, they may run their business how they see fit, but, when downtown has mostly establishments like this, it’s easy to see why there is so much transience.

    • Agree!! Since credit cards are the defacto method of payment let them dare raise their prices further to cover the expense.

    • Read this explanation. According to law, a discount can be given for cash transactions, but surcharges are illegal. Thank you Dick.

  6. As a retired CPA, I see a different (possible) view of the Mrs. London situation. By encouraging cash transactions, businesses have much more “flexibility” when deciding how much income they want to report to IRS and DRS. And who will end up paying for that “short fall”? Those taxpayers who don’t have (or choose not to take advantage of) that “flexibility”. I don’t mean to imply that the owners of Mrs. London would take advantage of that flexibility, but many cash businesses do.

  7. Credit Card Surcharge: A number of years ago, I was Treasurer and Credit Manager for an industrial firm and we decided to accept credit card payments for parts sales. In opening a merchant account required to process credit card payments, one of the terms of the merchant contract stipulated that we were prohibited from charging customers a premium for use of a credit card. I don’t know if that clause is still in merchants’ contracts, but it is a principle I believe in! Customers should not be charged a premium for the (now ubiquitous) use of credit cards!

  8. …and in reply to Mr. Foley’s comment, I believe that “failure to report revenue/income” is blatant tax fraud. Businesses have no legal “flexibility” to decide how much revenue to report. Failure to report revenue is a crime. I was not a CPA, but I believe that all revenue must be reported.

    • My use of the term “flexibility” was with TFIC (tongue firmly in cheek). As an auditor for over 40 years I’m well aware that failure to report income is a crime, but I still ran across it quite often in businesses that deal in cash, although most of the time it does not rise to the level at which the government would seek criminal prosecution, but instead would assess stiff civil penalties and interest, and the details would not be public record.

  9. Miss Londons is very pushy, especially with their mimosa brunch party specials. The owner, came to our table twice asking if we would like to try a mimosa, saying no. The third time, she asked are you sure? I said ok fine my wife will try one.

    They drop the mimosa on the table and then a receipt and walk away fast. Odd sales approach.

  10. Small businesses struggle…the merchant fees assessed to these businesses are exorbitant and onerous. The customer chooses to use credit cards, NOT the business; therefore the customer should pay for the privilege, not the business. This is an outdated way of doing business and must/will transition into the current environment. Put yourself in the shoes of a small business owner…paying rent/payroll/utilities/taxes etc IS the cost of “doing business”. Paying merchant fees on behalf of the customer should not be.

  11. I had no idea that CT General Statutes Section 42-133ff prohibits a business from charging a surcharge based on the method of payment. A business can offer a discount for paying with cash but the price list must reflect the price with the surcharge added in. A pizza parlor in Norwalk was mentioned in this WFSB iTeam segment from October:

    Here is the link to file a complaint with CT Dept of Consumer Protection:

    Thanks, Dan, for sharing the note about Mrs. London’s. It prompted me to google whether Maine prohibits surcharging for payment by credit card;(the answer is yes). However, both Connecticut and Maine allow exceptions to the surcharge prohibition for government entities such as municipalities.

  12. Angelina’s does it as well.

  13. Susan Gold Falkenstein

    Phyllis will always be remembered as a special soul whose smile radiated warmth and understanding. She was working in the Infusion room when I went through cancer treatment and her sweet smile and soft caring words were what I will remember. But mostly I’ll think about a very passionate and soft-spoken person who made people feel like they mattered and that is a wonderful trait to possess. She leaves the world a better place because she was in it.

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