Save the date: Sunday, July 9.
The Ukrainian American Club of Southport — adjacent to the I-95 northbound entrance ramp — is the site of a “thank you” party for Westport’s help with our new sister city of Lyman, Ukraine.
In 3 weeks, we raised $252,000. Funds have paid for building materials, communication equipment, trash and police trucks, meals, holiday gifts and more.
The July 9 event will be a day of music, food and fellowship. There will be plenty of opportunities to donate too — the need in Lyman is ongoing — but all are welcome.
More details coming soon.
The New York Times marked today’s 1-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s war in Ukraine with a retrospective of photos — and the memories of the men and women who took them.
Two Staples High School graduates — both Pulitzer Prize winners — are included.
Lynsey Addario (Staples ’91) stunned the world with this photo, in March:
In war, anything can change in a moment. Leading up to this photograph, mothers were running with their children from the Irpin bridge across my viewfinder toward the relative safety of Kyiv. Mortar rounds were coming in, urgency was in everyone’s step. Pink and blue puffy coats passed with rolling luggage. Surely the Russians wouldn’t target a civilian evacuation route?
But each round came a little closer, bracketing onto desperate people fleeing for their lives. And then I saw a flash, heard the crash and felt the impact from a wave of air being compressed in an explosion that smashed into our bodies as we dived for cover.
The aftermath will stay with me forever. When we stood up, my neck was sprayed with gravel. I asked my colleague Andriy if I was bleeding. “No,” he said. It was dusty and chaotic. We couldn’t see across to the other side of the street, so we didn’t know that a mother, her two children and a church volunteer had been killed. Somehow, we had been spared.
Tyler Hicks (Staples ’88) took this image in November:
Bakhmut, in the eastern Donbas region, began last year as the home of about 70,000 people. Over the year of war, I’ve watched the fighting chew this city apart, as both sides have thrown masses of troops and weaponry into desperate attempts to control it.
In the earlier months it was always tense, but there were still civilians on the streets; Ukrainians, particularly in the east, have learned to live in the shadow of war. On this visit, it had reached a clear turning point in its militarization.
This armored vehicle passed me as I was leaving a military hospital, and the faces of the soldiers seemed to represent what has taken shape in the city’s shell: a relentless determination to fight.
Click here for all the Times photos, and photographers’ comments.
Want to sound off on sound barriers?
This Monday, (February 27, 11 a.m.), the Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee holds a public hearing on Bill #6745. The proposed legislation addresses a statewide plan for the installation of sound barriers. (Click here for the full bill.)
To register to speak about the proposal, click click here. To submit written testimony about it, click here. To watch the hearing, click here. (Hat tip: State Senator Tony Hwang)
Last week’s trash pick-up at Westport Animal Control was successful.
But there’s still more to do be done on Elaine Road (Compo Road South, between I-95 and the train tracks).
Elaine Road serves as the entrance to the water sewage treatment plant, and public access for boat and kayak launches, along with Animal Control. It attracts plenty of I-95 trash too, from vehicles and their irresponsible drivers and passengers.
All volunteers are welcome on March 5 (11 a.m.). Bring garbage bags, and dress appropriately.
Questions? Email email@example.com.
Speaking of pitching in: Yesterday was Police Chief Foti Koskinas’ birthday.
Westport’s top cop leads a department of 64 uniformed officers. In his spare time, he pitches in wherever he can around town.
The Y’s Women had a 2-fer yesterday. They enjoyed a pair of Westport treasures: the Westport Public Art Collections and MoCA.
The women enjoyed a private tour of the museum’s current exhibition, “Paul Camacho: El Ritmo y La Unidad” (which closes Sunday). Camacho was active in Westport’s art life in the 1960s and ’70s.
MoCA also shows 20 other abstractionists, including Alexander Calder and Robert Motherwell. All are from WestPAC’s holdings of more than 1,800 works.
Because most of their art is in schools and town buildings — not always available to the public — the Y’s Women were thrilled to see so many outstanding works. (Hat tip: Jilda Manikas)
Also yesterday: Dr. Winston Allen drew a large crowd to the Westport Museum for History & Culture.
The longtime Westport resident spoke about — and signed — his new book, “I Pried Open Wall Street in 1962.”
Sorelle Gallery’s first “On View” feature of the year opens March 3. Artists Ned Martin and Pete Sack will be showcased on the main wall of the Church Lane gallery, through March 25.
Both artists create abstracted work with an emphasis on color and geometric design elements.
To learn more about the artists and the show, click here.
Speaking of art: George Billis Gallery may have moved to Fairfield (1700 Post Road). B
But the upcoming spring show is true to its Westport roots.
Local resident Dala Najarian is one of the 8 featured artists — and it was curated by fellow Westporter Amy Zoller.
Najarian works in a variety of mediums, including watercolor, acrylics, mixed media and oils. A passionate photographer, her Shadow Series merges the realistic quality of a photo with the abstract translation of a scene, to depict a dreamlike painting.
The opening is March 2 (5 to 8 p.m.). It runs through April 16.
It may not have been a long, brutal winter. (Sorry, Buffalo and Minnesota.)
But, like clockwork, we’re headed toward that ugliest time of the year: the not-quite-end-of-winter-but-not-yet-start-of-spring.
Still, there’s a certain kind of stark beauty to the season. Frank Sisson captured this “Westport … Naturally” scene at Winslow Park:
And finally … today is both Rupert Holmes’ 76th birthday, and World Bartender Day. So of course:
(If you like pina coladas — drink up! If you like “06880” — please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)
Is that “Westport’s Fake Museum for History and Culture?” You know. The one that has NO connection to Westport!
That Westport is uniquely unprotected among Fairfield County towns from I-95 construction and traffic noise is deplorable. As the current overnight work continues to disrupt the sleep of Westporters, thoughts wander to how unhealthy CTDOT has made our lives, how much more our houses would be worth, how difficult it has become to hear ourselves think, and how fortunate our friends in Fairfield, Norwalk, Darien, and Greenwich are to have the protection of sound barriers.
FINALLY!!!! Somebody just saying NO to litter. This Chief of Police (who I’ve never met but greatly respect – after all he’s the CHIEF – no slight to native Americans intended I can’t help that it’s in his title) gets my vote for world’s nicest law enforcement officer. Also world’s tidiest. I wish the litterbugs he’s picking up after were as kind and considerate (not to mention generous with their free time). But as VP Harris always likes to say: “You have to focus like a laser on the root cause.” Maybe writing a few tickets might be a step in the right direction. I think in the state of CT the penalty for littering is from $150-$500 depending on severity. (I know because in ‘68 I got a littering ticket from Chief of Police Sam Luciano himself – he always drove an unmarked car (I didn’t see the stakeout until after I chucked the Snickers wrapper out the window of my Mom’s car – she wasn’t there) You could put all the month’s littering fines in the Lyman donation fund. That should get some press in 06880 (that’s where Westport meets the world). Word could even get around town that littering has consequences. And when Putin hears that he faces the full force and fury of Westport’s litterbugs turned on him he’ll withdraw from Ukraine faster than President Biden left Afghanistan.
Yes, “a department of 64 uniformed officers” is just the ticket vis-a-vis litterbugs, and speeders, too! Then, the Chief could enjoy a day off of work? Great optics.
Optics? You mean like photo op tics? Maybe a few photo ops of photogenic cops writing tickets.
Think of all the calendars they could sell. Wow.