Matthew Balga — the 54-year-old Norwalk resident killed in a motor vehicle/pedestrian accident Saturday night on Riverside Avenue — worked at The Whelk, not far from where he was struck.
A small memorial honored his life yesterday, near the scene of his death.
This morning’s “06880” lead story described Bedford Middle School’s 7th grade project: sending letters and artwork to their counterparts in Westport’s sister city of Lyman, Ukraine.
But that’s not the only way BMS engages with the world outside Westport.
Yesterday, 6th graders capped off a 2-month “Walk for Water” fundraiser. It coincided with their social studies Africa unit, featuring the book “A Long Walk to Water” to Linda Sue Park.
Students learned that many people around the globe lack reliable access to clean, fresh water. They walk an average of 3.7 miles — sometimes several times a day — to access potable water.
Over the course of 2 months, each BMS 6th grader and member completed a 3.7- mile walk, to understand the struggles that come with fresh water insecurity, and raise awareness and funds for the cause.
Bedford’s 6th grade students and associated community raised over $10,000 to support the “Iron Giraffe Challenge 2023.” The non-profit organization provides safe, fresh water and hygiene to villages in South Sudan.
The cost to build a new well is $15,000. As thanks, a plaque will be placed next to a new well in the village when it is built.
Yesterday, BMS 6th graders participated in a virtual meeting with Elissa Rowley from the Water for South Sudan organization. She described their work, and answered questions.
Then the 6th graders, teachers and staff walked to the Staples High School track, to recreate their Walk for Water.
Contributions are still being accepted. To give, and learn more, click here.
It’s budget season. Buckle up!
Whether you’re an old-timer or newcomer; whether you know Westport’s budget process, or don’t have a clue, this week’s “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast is for you.
1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker explains the budget season, step by step. She also introduces the proposed 2023-24 budget, explaining how it was developed and where the money goes. (Or hopes to go.)
Click below, for this very informative Y’s Men of Westport and Weston feature:
Speaking of the budget (spoiler alert): The Board of Finance plays a crucial role.
Who are they? How do they operate?
The League of Women Voters pull back the curtain on March 15 (7 p.m., Westport Library). Chair Lee Caney and others will explain everything you need to know, at this free event.
“Free Renty” is a documentary about Tamara Lanier, an African American woman now living in Norwich, Connecticut, who was determined to force Harvard University to cede possession of daguerreotypes of her great-great-great grandfather, Renty Taylor — an enslaved man — and his daughter Delia.
The images were commissioned in 1850 by a Harvard professor to prove the superiority of the white race. The film tracks Lanier’s lawsuit against Harvard, and features attorney Benjamin Crump and author Ta-Nehisi Coates.
The documentary will be screen on March 18 (6 p.m.), at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport — followed by a discussion led by Lanier herself.
Admission is free. A potluck dinner is served before the viewing, at 5. For more information, email email@example.com.
VersoFest 2023’s concert pass is now on sale. It includes 3 shows at the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum:
- Friday, March 10 fundraiser with supergroup Blue Coupe (members of Alice Cooper and Blue Öyster Cult)
- Thursday, March 30: Sunflower Bean and DJ Hysterica
- Friday, March 31: The Smithereens, Amilia K. Spicer, DJ Miriam Linna.
The $90 pass is a 22% discount from the $115 face value. Only 150 are available; click here to purchase. For more information on VersoFest, click here.
Speaking of entertainment:
Brian Marsella headlines this week’s Jazz at the Post (Thursday, March 9, 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. shows; dinner at 7 p.m.; VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399).
Called “a psychedelic Art Tatum,” Marsella recently finished a world tour. He’s joined by bassist Reid Taylor and drummer Brian Floody — returning after a fall appearance at The Post — and series curator/saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.
Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.
New to Westport: Vanessa Lewis’ latest iteration of her Penfield Collective retail concept, in Sconset Square. She brings the physical store from Fairfield, and a customer base from far and wide.
Penfield Collective is a “highly edited collection of must-have apparel and accessories.” That fits in well, with many of its design and lifestyle neighbors in the recently renovated shopping center on Myrtle Avenue.
Click here to learn more.
Large houses now line the banks of Sherwood Mill Pond. But there is still room for nature, as shown in this “Westport … Naturally” photo by Rick Benson:
And finally … Gary Rossington, a founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd — and their last surviving original member — died Sunday at 71.
The guitarist survived both a bad car accident in 1976 (which inspired the song “That Smell”), and the 1977 plane crash that killed 3 band members. Rossington suffered 2 broken arms, a broken leg, and a punctured stomach and liver.
He had quintuple bypass surgery in 2003, suffered a heart attack in 2015, and underwent several heart surgeries later. Click here for a full obituary. (Hat tip: Amy Schneider)
(From Westport’s budget process to VersoFest — and on to Lynyrd Skynrd — the “06880” daily Roundup is your place for news and information. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)
I feel so sorry for the man who was killed this past Saturday. Prayers for him and his family. Honestly, I’m surprised that this doesn’t happen more often in Westport. This man died at one of the busiest places in Westport on Saturday evenings, where people pay little attention about pedestrian traffic- too busy racing to get some place or to grab a parking space. Everyone knows that the area between The Whelk and the DD parking lot, and the intersection is a nightmare. People drive too fast, recklessly, and often after drinking. But daytime is just as bad. Too many parents, nannies dropping off kids at schools, racing to pick them up or getting them to there activities also are a big problem, as I hear constant complains about. Almost every day I encounter parents pulling in and put of school lots right in front of me; people backing of of store lot parking spaces without looking where they are backing into. These are accident waiting to happen. Lets hope this man’s life will be a reminder for all of us to slow down and pay attention.