Roundup: Clocks Ahead, CHEF Fund, Verso University …

Tonight is the night we love to hate.

We lose an hour’s sleep — but we gain an hour of sunlight for the next 8 months. Set your clocks ahead for Daylight Saving Time.*

If you’re one of those who forgets between now and bedtime: Stick a Post-It note on the clock by your bed.

Sweet (if shortened) dreams!

* Yes, it’s officially daylight “saving,” not “savings.” Who knew?


In the aftermath of the death of Matthew Balga — the chef killed on Riverside Avenue last Saturday night, after leaving work at The Whelk — his co-workers and family have organized a fundraiser. Money raised will support culinary education in Connecticut.

“Chef Matteo” had worked for For the Food restaurant owners Bill Taibe and Rachel Golan for over 18 years. Friends said he loved classic cars, played the guitar, had a sarcastic wit, and “most of all, was a loving man who loved to cook.”

The Connecticut Hospitality Educational Foundation (CHEF) is the non-profit philanthropic arm of the Connecticut Restaurant Association. It provides education for future restaurant industry professionals, workforce development opportunities and scholarships. Click here to contribute. (Hat tip: Westport Magazine)

Chef Matthew Balga


The Westport Library offers plenty of innovative spaces and technologies, aimed at 21st century models of literacy and learning.

This spring, there will be more.

The Library is launching “Verso University.” The year-round series of high-level classes, workshops and lectures will further education and “learning for a lifetime.”

Offerings include one-time lectures, ongoing courses, and classes that meet weekly or monthly. They cover a wide variety of topics, with appeal to all ages and interests.

“Spring semester” includes

Launch Lecture: Martin Yellin on Space (Monday, March 13, 1 to 2 p.m.): Longtime Westporter and scientist Martin Yellin will provide an overview of the fascinating and unexpected discoveries made in space, and how we’ve begun to understand where we are and how we got here. Click here for more information.

The Range of Literary Realism: 4 Masterpieces of 21st Century Fiction, with Dr. Mark Schenker (Tuesdays, April 4 & 18, May 2 & 16, 2 to 3 p.m.): The noted lecturer in English at Yale University examines novels that reflect the range of literary realism as portrayed in 21st century fiction:

  • April 4: Wolf Hall, by Hilary Mantel
  • April 18: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
  • May 2: Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson
  • May 16: Small Things Like These, by Claire Keegan

Got Problems? Think Them Through for Better Problem Solving! (May) Problem-solving coaches Mike Hibbard and Patricia Cyganovich will teach problem-solving processes to use in any area of life.

Fiction Writing Master Class, with Gabino Iglesias (May): Renowned noir writer and Westport Library StoryFest alum Gabino Iglesias teaches a master class-style writing workshop.

Crew Call (Rolling admission, spring through fall): Crew Call is a training program focused on live media production skills. Volunteers of all ages gain real-world experience in video recording and production. Crew Call participants support many Library productions.

Marty Yellin launches the Verso University series.


The walk from Schlaet’s Point to Old Mill will soon look different.

254 Hillspoint Road has been approved for demolition.

It sold in January for $5 million.

254 Hillspoint Road


Rowers love to hate the erg machine. That’s the fitness machine they use relentlessly on land.

But recently, junior members of Saugatuck Rowing Club eagerly jumped on board. The occasion: a “Row for Dough Erg-a-thon” fundraiser for Homes with Hope. The local non-profit provides supportive housing and a food pantry, in downtown Westport.

Both boys and girls teams participated in individual 10K races (over 6.2 miles), and raised over $6,500.

SRC junior rowers also volunteer at the Gillespie Center food pantry, and helping with other Homes with Hope projects.

Saugatuck Rowing Club captains (from left): Jack Kiely, Lauren Schramm, Hannah Clemens, Dylan Halky, Cooper Levinson, Janna Moore.


In 14 years of photos showing entitled parkers, “06880” has shown Range Rovers, BMWs, Jeeps, and just about every other make and model of car.

We’ve never called out a motorcycle, though.

There’s a reason: They can park just about anywhere.

Except like this:

Yesterday, at Wakeman Field. (Photo/Gery Grove)


Speaking of stuff that shouldn’t be there:

Sal Liccione sends along this picture …

… and a note: “It’s been there for 3 weeks.”

I assume he’s talking about the garbage, not the car. (Hat tip: Sal Liccione)


Over 200 fans filled the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum for last night’s Blue Coupe concert. The band includes former Alice Cooper guitarist Dennis Dunaway, and Joe and Albert Bouchard of Blue Öyster Cult.

The event — a benefit for VersoFest, the music and media festival that kicks off March 30 — was co-produced by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

They’re collaborating on upcoming shows too, including Verso Fest‘s Sunflower Bean (March 30), the Smithereens (March 31) and the Johnny Folsom 4 at “Supper & Soul” (May 13).

Blue Coupe, at the Westport Library. (Photo/Matthew Mandell)


Connecticut Attorney General William Tong got up early yesterday, for an important session: He addressed the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club’s meeting at Greens Farms Church.

Tong discussed his role as the chief civil attorney for the state, including notable litigation on tobacco, opioids and gun control.

Attorney General William Tong at Westport Sunrise Rotary. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Last night’s “Teens at MoCA” Film Showcase drew a good crowd to the Newtown Turnpike space.

More than a dozen teenagers screened films they made — each 5 minutes or less. The event — and a raffle — benefited the Teens at MoCA group.

Ava Waldman of Teens at MoCA introduces a film. (Photo/Cynthia Dempster)


Westport author Elaine Clayton’s “The Way of the Empath” was just named one of the Best Spiritual Books of 2022, by Spirituality & Practice.

A wide range of topics and religions make up the list. Click here to see.


Spotted at Compo Beach, and very appropriate for our “Westport … Naturally” feature: a “sea turtle.”

(Photo/Pam Kesselman)


And finally … in honor of the very entitled dude who doesn’t know how to park  his motorcycle (story above):

(Two important things to do before bed tonight: 1) Turn your clocks ahead; 2) Thank “06880” for reminding you. Please click here to make a contribution. Thank you!)

19 responses to “Roundup: Clocks Ahead, CHEF Fund, Verso University …

  1. Maybe all those concerned with the Compo Beach fiasco should read “The Way of the Empath”.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      I’ve read all of them and I encourage everyone to follow my example. There is strength in numbers and together we can achieve meaningful change.

      • I am serious. Anything to coax the “It’s all about me!” thinkers into realizing it’s not.

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

          I’m conflicted. In principle I’m totally with you. However, in practice, when my realtor friends from HS tell me that entry level housing in Westport now starts at a million plus it’s a very tough sell to get people not to pull the ladder up after themselves. My war widowed mother bought a house in 1947 for under $10K that was sold for $800K (not by my mother unfortunately) as a teardown and then turned around into a $2.5M McMansion. This in spitting distance from “The Hamlet in Saugatuck.” When you live with those kind of distorted values it’s pretty hard to get people to accept the concept of “Equity” when they’re not on the receiving end.

          • Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

            Our true Founding Father, Herb Baldwin, swore Westport “would not be a town just for the rich.” To insure this he allowed Nyala Farms complex to give the town some form of tax base other than the burdened Mom and Pop shop. Now the average home here in 1.1 million$ and my neighbor has a 3.1 million$ next door as his WEEKEND house. The town has become about money and as with such, the more you have, the more power you have. The wealthy in this town now feel that because they can afford a 2 million$ house, they are “entitled” to speed, be rude and under the belief that no rules apply to you. Welcome to Westport. Let’s make it cool again.

            • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

              There are many imitators but there is only one Carl Addison Swanson. I accept your challenge and we will make Westport cool again. I will advise the details of my return as they emerge from the mists of Ohio.

              • Carl Addison Swanson, SHS, 66

                Exit Stage Lert: NEW YORKERS. One small step for humanity, one large leap for returning Westport to what it once was? ANYBODY remember when there were things to do for kids? Ice Skating, Hockey rink, bowling alley, Staples. YMCA dances every Friday night, Portchester!!! And the mantra of the local yokels is that everything for our kids. LOL. Make Westport Cool again, not about money.

                • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

                  To mark this glorious occasion, today March 13, 2023 is officially proclaimed National Ridicule Day by the administration’s chief sarcasm czar, Secretary General U NO HOO. Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river. Bring your nose, your thumb and just look down (at them, not me) 06880 once again will meet the world and show them how it’s done.

  2. You had time to stop and take a photo of trash bags you’ve seen for three weeks but not to pick it up? Really? Great job Sal. Because picking it up and disposing it yourself is so difficult.

  3. I did not take the picture it was sent to me it was taken by someone else sorry I sent it along thanks and I don’t have a car if I was there I would pick the garbage up thanks and happy sat to everyone here

  4. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Westport. Where snark goes to die 😬👻😘

  5. Why doesn’t the town pick up the bags opened them up and have the police send a ticket to whoever’s name is on anything inside the bags. People think that there is always someone else to clean up after them, Pigs!

  6. Why doesn’t the town pick up the bags opened them up and have the police send a ticket to whoever’s name is on anything inside the bags. People think that there is always someone else to clean up after them, Pigs!

  7. People are pigs, always thinking someone else will take care of my mess. Why should I respect anything.

  8. Time to ditch the time change.
    But it takes the entire continent to agree to do so. Yawn.

  9. Not to be a Pollyanna, heaven forbid, I would posit that out of the 26,000 souls in town plus untold numbers of daily, visiting drivers, parkers, potential polluters and potential engagers in bad behavior, very, VERY few are, in fact, guilty of such…Mostly, I am astounded by the number of good, thoughtful drivers around town. Most folks park just fine and most folks don’t throw shit out their car windows, or leave bags and mattresses on the side of the road. Sure, some inconsiderate bastards, do; it is the infrequency of such practice that makes us so aware of it, and the fact that the incidence of bad citizenship is so infrequent, percentage wise, is what should be heralded…not the small amount of rule breakers.

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