“Patriot Front” stickers — advertising what the ADL calls “a white supremacist group whose members maintain that their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else” — were found on signs in Saugatuck Wednesday.
They were small, and in some cases old and tattered. The Westport Police Department contacted the Connecticut State Police Hate Crimes Unit.
According to the ADL, Patriot Front “justifies its ideology of hate and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ethnic and cultural origins of its members’ European ancestors.”
1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker said, “I am grateful to the police for managing the issue with expediency and professionalism. This does not represent Westport and is unacceptable. Nor does it diminish the qualities of our community that focus on volunteerism, neighborly engagement, and civil discourse. We are proud of our residents and business and civic leaders who work tirelessly to make Westport a better place.”
Tooker asked community members to report any suspicious activity to Westport Police. Anyone with information or evidence of those responsible for placing the stickers in Saugatuck should call the Detective Bureau: 203-341-6080.
The closure of Church Lane — begun during COVID, and continued in following years thanks to the popularity of outdoor dining and leisurely strolling — has been approved for 2023.
The Board of Selectwomen gave their consent this week. The short stretch of road between Elm Street and Post Road East will be closed to traffic beginning April 1, through November 6.
Kids helping kids:
Staples High School students are on hand at the Westport Library now through April 27 for drop-in tutoring in a range of subjects, for children in grades 2-8.
Sessions take place in the Children’s Library. The schedule:
- Mondays: History and math (4- to 6 p.m.); Language arts (6 to 8 p.m., beginning March 20)
- Tuesdays: Language arts (4 to 5 p.m.,), math (5 to 6 p.m.)
- Thursdays: Language arts and math (4 to 6 p.m.).
The tutors are all Library volunteers, looking for more ways to give back.
Youngsters should bring homework and workbooks for which they need help. Adults with students under age 12 must stay in the Children’s Library while their children are being tutored.
Tickets went on sale today for CLASP Homes’ 17th annual Taste of Westport benefit.
This year’s event (May 10, 6 p.m., the Inn at Longshore) features over 2 dozen restaurants and beverage suppliers, live music by the Bar Car Band, and a very cool silent auction.
Food and drink — as much as you want! — comes from:
- Bridgewater Chocolate
- Fifth State Distillery
- Grumpy Dumpling
- Little Pub
- Mrs. London’s Bakery
- Nordic Fish
- Black Bear Wine & Spirits
- Cold Fusion Gelato
- Gabriele’s of Westport
- Isla & Co.
- NewSylum Brewing
- Post Oak Barbecue
- Boathouse at Saugatuck
- Gruel Britannia
- La Plage
- Magic 5 Pie Co.
- Rive Bistro
- SoNo 1420
- Walrus Alley.
Click here for tickets, and more information.
Speaking of food (and Taste of Westport’s Walrus Alley):
The downtown Southern-inspired restaurant is now open for lunch on Fridays.
On the menu, in addition to their fried chicken sandwich: lighter options like salads, vegetarian jackfruit tacos, tofu stir-fry, and an Impossible McWalrus Burger.
Walrus Alley serves Friday lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Happy Hour is available Wednesday through Friday (3 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Dinner starts at 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, while brunch is available Saturday and Sunday, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Still speaking of food:
In January, Spiga — a popular New Canaan Italian restaurant — announced they’d add a second location. They would replace Tarry Lodge on Charles Street. The target for opening was late March.
Not so fast.
A sign in Mario Batali’s former restaurant identifies the new place as Zucca Gastrobar, opening in April.
The website says that it is currently hiring, for front and back of the house. (Hat tip: Les Dinkin)
Middle school students identify with Percy Jackson. That makes “The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical” a great choice for Coleytown Middle School’s next musical.
The curtain rises March 31 (7 p.m.), April 1 (1 and 7 p.m.), and April 2 (1 p.m.).
Based on a best-selling book series by Rick Riordan, “Percy Jackson” explores themes of friendship, betrayal, self-discovery and parent-child relationships (complicated by parents who are immortal and have superpowers).
Coleytown Company vocal director Clay Zambo calls the show “a great choice for middle school students, because it’s about the issues kids this age are facing. The ‘magical powers’ and family issues are a metaphor for what they may be discovering in their own lives.”
Click here for tickets, and more information.
In a town filled with volunteer opportunities, myTeamTriumph stands out.
The program pairs children, teens and adults with disabilities (“captains”) with volunteers (“angels”) who help them participate in triathlons and road races. In those events, everyone truly is a winner.
The next big event is the Westport Young Woman’s League’s Minute Man 10K and 5K Runs, and 5K Walk, on April 23.
MyTeamTriumph always looks for more captains (special needs athletes). They’re also short of angels (volunteer runners). This is their first time participating in the Minute Man.
They’re excited to provide an opportunity for people with special needs (and their families) to have increased visibility, and be involved in a great community event.
There is no cost. Angels can be any ability of runner or jogger.
Captains and angels can click here to sign up. MyTeamTriumph will take care of race registration.
Questions? Email email@example.com. For more information on myTeamTriumph, click here.
Longtime friends and Staples High School classmates Mark Mollica, Dan Asher and Joe Izzo join Mark’s college roommate Dylan Connor — the headliner — tomorrow (Saturday, March 11) at Fairfield Theatre Company.
Doors open at 7 p.m.; the show begins at 7:45. Click here for tickets, and more information.
William (Bill) Barron — a Weston resident since 1954 — died last week. He was 77.
The Detroit native earned a BA degree from Yale University in 1967, and a JD from Cornell University Law School in 1970.
Barron worked with several law firms before joining Alston and Bird in 1977 as a partner. He later became a partner at Franzino and Schur.
He was a member of the Art Law Committee of the International Bar Association, the Yale Russian Chorus Alumni, Kiwanis International, and a longtime member of Norfield Church in Weston.
Barron joined the Y’s Men of Westport/Weston in 2017. He participated in the Book Club, bridge, the Classical Music Society and the Global Issues discussion group.
He is survived by his wife Jennifer, sons David and Will, 6 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, March 18, 11 a.m. at Norfield Congregational Church in Weston.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows what Molly Alger calls “1/3 of the Whitney Street” deer herd.
They blend in well with their surroundings.
And finally … Topol, the Israeli actor who took played Tevye on stage and screen all over the world for decades, died yesterday at his home in Tel Aviv. He was 87, and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease. Click here for a full obituary.
(From local politics to restaurant and arts news to obituaries, “06880” is your source for whatever is happening in Westport [and Weston]. Please click here to support this hyper-local blog. Thank you!)
I hate antisemitic and racist organizations of all kinds, but it is not appropriate to involve the police in responding to political speech, as it’s protected by the 1st Amendment. I am surprised someone as knowledgable as the First Selectwoman of Westport would not be aware of this.
Absurd “their ancestors conquered America and bequeathed it to them, and no one else.” What about the native Americans who were here first? Now I’ll probably get shot for saying this.
This isn’t the first time a Westport official called in the police in a way oblivious to the FIrst Amendment. In Sept 2021, school superintendent Thomas Scarice called police to investigate an allegedly antisemitic display of an Israeli flag by Cheshire high school football fans.
Scarice is said to believe it was an insult directed against Westport as a heavily Jewish town by folks in Cheshire whom he believed to be a heavily Christian town. It turns out the fans displaying the flag were Jewish, and Cheshire has a significant Jewish community.
And, again, addressing political speech is not a police matter even if one suspects there is a bigoted motive. Westport officials should know better than to call in the police in these instances.
Re Church Lane, why not make it (between Elm and Post Rd) a pedestrian mall year-round? There would be minimal traffic disruption and hardly any loss of retail parking spaces because there are hardly any there.
The only challenge is to provide an outlet for the rabbit-warren of driveways serving the handful of office tenant parking spaces behind the buildings on the south side of the street.
So, the basic inference being made (not by me) is that neither the current First Selectperson or the Chief (forgive the insensitive term that disparages indigenous peoples but I am vocabularily challenged) of Police fully understand where the scope of their jobs begin and where it ends? I wonder why hate crimes like the one by “Patriot Front” are becoming more prevalent locally. I don’t remember anything like this happening under Sam Luciano or Herb Baldwin. Maybe I’m just getting old.
To add to this:
A Greenwhich Republican group is telling parents in Greenwhich Public Schools to pull their kids out of the annual ADL anti- bullying assembly! They do not like the ADL. Go figure!
I guess I would wonder why the school administrators in Greenwich lack the self-confidence to create and conduct their own “anti-bullying assembly” without outsourcing the task to an outside party. Nothing against the ADL but school administrators are paid to administrate. Instructing students in acceptable/unacceptable conduct and then holding miscreants accountable should be right up their alley. But, that’s Greenwich which as I remember it was orbiting so high up on the financial food chain that the lack of oxygen affected their cognitive abilities.
Schools outsource the DARE program.
I’m not against outsourcing per se. As a supplementary resource it can be a valuable “force multiplier” when you seek to get things done quickly. As a primary strategy nothing beats hands-on when you’re looking for accountability. It’s easy for Republicans to shit on the ADL and then the meltdown starts. It’s not as easy to dismiss the same educators that you put on the payroll.
Bill Barron will be missed by his fellow AquaFitness participants and the instructors at the Y. He always had a big smile and the most cheerful greeting before plunging into the pool!