The Post Road East improvement project has begun.
The first step — long before installing turn lanes, crosswalks, shoulders and sidewalks on the stretch between Volvo of Westport and New Country Toyota — was the removal of a dozen or so trees.
They stood for decades in front of Linxweiler House — the former blacksmith shop between Fresh Market and McDonald’s, now owned and operate by Homes with Hope.
That property looks a lot different today, than it did last weekend:
The good news: The 2 cherry blossom trees in front of Sakura still stand.
On your mark … get set … and get ready for the 44th annual Minute Man Races
The popular Westport Young Woman’s League — set for Sunday, April 30 at Compo Beach — includes a 10K run, 5K run/walk, and kids’ fun runs (from 50 yards to 1 mile).
For professionals, it’s a USA Track and Field-certified event. For kids, family-friendly activities will take place during and after the races.
As always, there will be music, food trucks and more.
Student and first responder discounts are offered for the adult races. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a discount code. Click here to register, and for more information. Proceeds benefit local non-profits.
Registration is open for the 5th annual Day of Champions.
The event — family-friendly fun (and fierce competition) that raises funds for Experience Camps, the Westport-based network of activities for children who have lost parents or siblings — is May 21 (8:30 to 11:30 a.m., PJ Romano Field).
To create or join a team — or donate — click here.
To get psyched for the event, click the video below.
Ukrainian Easter Sunday is not until April 16.
But Westport artist Mark Yurkiw — who has Ukrainian heritage, and is a member of the group that raised $252,000 for our sister city, Lyman — is celebrating early.
Throughout his career, he’s been decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs. He sent “06880” a sample of his work:
In 2001, he created this 5-foot “egg” for the White House.
It was signed by 256 members of Congress.
More progress on the house at 233 Hillspoint Road. Town officials halted construction there in 2019, after finding violations of the building permit.
Workers yesterday removed several feet from the top of the chimney. It had been built higher than its legal height.
In 2020, COVID forced Saugatuck Elementary School to cancel “The Little Mermaid” at the final dress rehearsal — before the opening curtain.
A new cast of 125 students in grades 3-5 act, sing and dance — and run the lights and sound, help construct and decorate sets and props, and operate special effects.
Saugatuck alums from 2020 (and even some of their parents) have helped with the show! Set designer Julie Colotti, costume designer Miriam Young, and prop managers Alexandra Dodwell and Amy Kopisz incorporated many original pieces, along with new additions.
After his daughter Phoebe returned as a student acting coach, John Nunziato jumped in as artistic designer and special effects consultant.
Shows are Friday, March 31 (7 p.m.) and Saturday, April 1 (1 and 6:30 p.m.). Click here for tickets, and more information.
You can’t autograph an Mp3 download.
But you sure can sign a vinyl album.
VersoFest’s headliners and guests, including producer Steve Lillywhite, Psychedelic Furs front man Richard Butler, and Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth, will autograph copies of their records, for giveaways and auction items during next weekend’s VersoFest.
Festivalgoers can submit their entries for the giveaway starting with the March 30 kickoff concert featuring rising American rock band Sunflower Bean.
Submissions are open through Sunday, April 2. That final day features a record fair (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and a vinyl record panel brunch with WPKN DJ Alec Cumming, producer Dooley-O, Kraftjerkz Records’ Kid Ginseng, WFUV DJ and House of Wax host Eric Holland, New Haven Independent arts reporter Karen Ponzio, and moderated by the Zambonis’ Dave Schneider.
The silent auction (April 1-2) offers a chance to bid on a variety of signed albums associated with the festival’s speakers and guests. All proceeds support future VersoFests.
For more information, including concert tickets and workshops registration, click here.
Speaking of music: The Grammy for Best Children’s Album went to Kaitlin McGaw, and her group Alphabet Rockers. (Sure, it was in February. But I just found out. It’s still worth sharing!)
And it’s “06880”-worthy because she’s the granddaughter of longtime Westporters Ed and Kay See.
Ed — an attorney — was longtime town counsel. He played a key role in Westport’s purchase of Longshore, in 1959.
Kay supported many local causes. She was on the Westport Library board, when the new building was built.
The See family’s stained glass window hangs over the altar of Assumption Church, near the Josê Feliciano window.
Eloise See — Ed and Kay’s daughter — is Kaitlin’s proud mother. Sandy is her equally proud uncle.
The award was even more special, because the presenter was presidential inaugural poet — and Kaitlin’s fellow Harvard graduate — Amanda Gorman.
Alphabet Rockers produces and performs music and dance that promotes racial and gender awareness.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport is a beautiful building.
On April 1 (8 p.m.), its the site too of Damn Tall Buildings.
That’s the hot bluegrass/indie/roots/old-time/vintage swing/Americana band from Brooklyn. The trio will headline the UU’s Voices Café.
There’s table or individual seating. Bring your own beverages and snacks, or buy at the sweet treats table. General admission: $25 per person. A portion of the proceeds support the congregation’s Social Justice Council. Click here for tickets (live and livestream), and more information.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo proves: There’s nothing like a nice early spring day to put the top down, and enjoy the sun.
And finally … on this date in 1721, – Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated 6 concertos to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Today we know them as the Brandenburg Concertos.
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The cutting of the trees is outrageous. I and a number of RTM members and tree board members were on site last Friday and were told by the lead DOT engineer that no decision on tree cutting had been made. Then on Wednesday trees were coming down. Thankfully the Cherry trees by Sakura were not part of this destruction. But the loss of these trees without a full vetting of the situation is exceedingly problematic.
Jonathan Steinberg and Ceci Maher met with the DOT commissioner after hearing about this from us. There is now to be a “legislative review” of this and at a minimum the Cherries have a stay of execution.
The goal of DOT is to widen the Post Road and to create turning lanes for safety reasons. This is a worthy goal due to our traffic woes, but an alternative to wholesale destruction of trees and especially the wonderful cherry trees must be found.
Matthew Mandell – RTM D1
Great to read a post that harkens back to Westport icon Ed See. A good friend of Chan Moffat, Ed and I kept an eye on another Westport icon, long time YMCA employee Charlie Moffat, Chan’s son during his final years. Ed was kind and generous and loved wearing his Wesleyan baseball cap. He pitched for the Cardinal’s baseball team during his four years in Middletown.
I just reread a letter written to my parents from Joanna Linxweiler. It is dated March 22 and from the contents the year seems to be 1975. In it she tells them that she has decided to leave her property to the town of Westport for a park because, and I quote,”I hate to think of all these trees being bulldozed down”. I am very saddened by the pictures of her property and I hate to think how Joanna would feel.
Karlene Linxweiler Crowley
A “legislative review” after the tree’s have already been cut down! Classic!!!
Console yourselves thusly: Trees have a lifecycle.
One of the primary multi-year projects of the Westport Beautification Committee was the Re-greening of the Post Road from the Fairfield border to Norwalk. Funding was raised, merchants’ approval was obtained, and the requirements of the Town and the State Dept of Transportation were addressed. Daybreak Nursery, Geiger’s Nursery and Kowalski Construction helped with the project, to name just a few. Ninety trees were planted, nineteen of which were on the median between Toyota and Calises. Several of those trees were disease resistant American Elms donated and planted by Lowrie Gibb. Several were flowering Cherry and Kousa dogwood trees.
A great deal of time and thought were given to providing Westport with a welcoming “Green” as people approached the Town. As a former committee member and a forty-seven year resident of Westport, it is so disheartening to learn that our work was of little value and the much needed “green” that cleans our air, softens sounds, cools the road, and adds some semblance of serenity to miles of commerce and asphalt will be removed. I guess this is progress.
Although the Brandenburg concertos immortalized the Margrave, Bach was never paid for them.
That scaffolding at 233 Hillspoint Road is an OSHA violation nightmare. Worker’s were also not properly tied off with appropriate fall protection in place. That structure just has a lot a
of bad juju going on.
Is that a Matt Murray selfie or is Matt posing as how kewl he is with his convertible and dog?