Amy Scarella is a 1994 Staples High School graduate. Many Westporters know her as the passionate power behind Little Black Dog Rescue.
She was the woman driving around town with an SUV full of howling canines. She fundraised tirelessly to rescue dogs from kill shelters (usually down South), transport them to Connecticut, and address each dog’s many health problems. Then she matched each dog to a loving family. It’s estimated she and her team have saved over 1,000 animals.
A former teacher in the Bronx, Amy also tutored kids.
Her longtime friend Meghan Bell calls her “the friend who showed up at my house to watch my newborn twins so I could take a shower and a nap. And the friend who drove in a snowstorm to Westchester County Medical Center to pick me up when my father had a stroke and I couldn’t put a sentence together, let alone navigate I-95 in the snow.”
Amy moved to Charleston, South Carolina a few years ago to be closer to her family. Recently, she was diagnosed with a benign brain tumor. Due to its size and location, there was no more room to grow. She needed immediate surgery.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by her friends, to help with medical and rehabilitation expenses. Anyone who knows Amy’s Little Black Dog Rescue work — and those who don’t, but wishes they did — is invited to contribute.
The next step in the handling of a resident’s complaint about material displayed in the Staples High School library is a special meeting on Monday, April 3 (3:30 p.m., Staples library).
An ad hoc committee, appointed by Superintendent of School Thomas Scarice, will follow up on last week’s session. Westport resident Tara McLaughlin seeks the removal of 3 books — sought the removal of “Gender Queer,” “This Book is Gay” and “Flamer” — from the collection.
Monday’s meeting is the next, in a 9-step process. The committee will discuss previous hearings, and “develop an evaluative judgment and recommendation for consideration by the Superintendent of Schools.”
Public comment will not be allowed. It may be permitted at a later meeting.
Want input into Westport’s Historic Preservation Plan?
The Historic District Commission is conducting a survey, to guide them as they adopt one. The goal is to “establish a long-term vision for historic preservation in the community, and create a set of achievable goals and strategies for strengthening the town’s historic preservation program.”
Click here for the survey. To learn more about the Historic District Commission, click here.
Speaking of the Historic District Commission:
The agenda for their April 11 Zoom meeting includes 6 homes “to take such action as the meeting may determine to oppose the issuance of the demolition permit … and require the full 180-day delay.”
Among those on the chopping block: 45 Compo Beach Road.
Located across from Ned Dimes Marina, on the way to the beach entrance and just north of Roosevelt Road, it’s one of the most recognizable houses in town:
Eleven Westport organizations have received arts grants. They come from 3 state sources: General Operation Support, the Connecticut Arts Endowment, and Supporting Arts.
Westport’s total of $183,647 is distributed this way:
American Chamber Orchestra – $5,764
Beechwood Arts, Inc. – $10,000
Fairfield County Chorale – $12,987
JIB Productions (Play With Your Food) – $2,371
Levitt Pavilion, Friends of Westport – $54,909
MoCA Westport, Inc. – $60,782
Music for Youth Westport – $5,954
Suzuki Music School of Westport & Orange – $3,128
Westport Community Theatre – $9,417
Westport Country Playhouse – $12,959
Westport School of Music – $5,376.
Check out this photo:
What is it?
You’ll find it in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum, now through Sunday. It’s part of Verso Fest — the 2nd annual music-and-media festival.
It’s a 1:4 scale model of the Grateful Dead’s Wall of Sound. It was created by former Westonite Anthony Coscia.
The “wall” is on display, and will crank tunes (intermittently) throughout VersoFest. There’s even a class about it (and PA systems): tomorrow (Saturday, April 1, 11 a.m.), open to all.
The aim of Coscia’s project is to preserve The Wall’s place in history, and allow people to hear, see, and feel what few were able to experience.
The model features over 500 functioning speakers divided into 8 channels, producing 100 decibels with little to no distortion.
VersoFest kicked off last night, with a concert by Sunflower Bean. A crowd of over 200 people enjoyed the show.
Tonight it’s the (sold-out) Smithereens. Saturday includes panels with Steve Lillywhite and Richard Butler. Among Sunday’s highlights: a vinyl swap, and the documentary “Live from the Astroturf.”
For a schedule and full details of concerts, workshops and more, click here. All concerts are co-produced by the Library and Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.
Matthew Balga — the Whelk chef killed by a car earlier this month, while walking across Riverside Avenue after work — will be remembered on Sunday.
CT Urbanists — a safe streets advocacy group — will place a pair of “ghost shoes” at the site where he was struck.
A group will walk from the Westport train station at 11:30 a.m. to the site. All are welcome.
Similar ceremonies will honor 3 other pedestrians killed this month, in Greenwich, New Haven and Cheshire.
For more information, email email@example.com.
Aspetuck’s next “Lunch and Learn” webinar is all about nighttime.
“Working the Night Shift: Pollination Happens after Dark Too!” (Wednesday, April 5, noon to 1 p.m.) explores how moths, flies, beetles and other dusk and after-dark pollinators play important roles pollinating wild and managed plants, along with the ecology, diversity and importance of these hidden pollinators, and how to support them.
The presenter is Emily May (pollinator conservation specialist, and agricultural lead with the Xerces Society’s Pesticide Program). Click here for more information, and to register.
This intriguing photo was recently found in an old barn — used for storage by many families — on Bayberry Lane.
Lloyd and Stacy Stableford think the girl (now woman) in the photo might like to have it back. If you know who she is, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Also found: something (possibly valuable), with a dedication. The recipient was “Gramp” referred to as “Tia’s 3rd husband”), who had been an attorney and judge in the early and mid 20th century. It hung in his law office and courtroom until he retired in 1961.
The item was embroidered in Japan in 1914 or 1915, and presented around 1920 by a Lt. Cmdr. R.S. Skelton, whose name appears in the 1883 Congressional Record.
The Stablefords’ research did not yield much. If you know anything more about “Gramp,” email email@example.com.
Seen on social media:
“I am absolutely heartbroken over the loss of an Orvis Recon Fly & Reel. It was my personal favorite and a gift from my wife.
It was accidently left on the right-side parking shoulder nearest the water of Ford Road in Westport Wednesday, between 2 and 6 p.m. Reward given to the kind soul who locates and returns it. Please call Mark at 475-731-7400.”
Let’s hope Mark gets his fly and reel back.
And that his wife doesn’t see this. (Hat tip: Mary Beth Murray)
It’s not Westport, but close enough:
With 136 new apartments planned for the Route 1 border in Norwalk — including Renzulli Road becoming a cul-de-sac, and the demolition of 7 houses, plus several businesses — decades-old Sanitary Cleaners is closing next month.
The final day to accept clothing is tomorrow. (Hat tip: Amy Schneider)
George Billis Gallery recently moved from Westport to Fairfield.
Their original New York location — 527 West 23rd Street — is still open.
That’s where Westport artist Sherri Wolfgang has her next exhibit.
The opening reception is Saturday, April 8 (4 to 7 p.m.). The show runs from April 4-29 (Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m.). For more information, call 917-273-8621.
Beginning tomorrow, dogs will begin their 6-month ban from Compo Beach.
That includes Lola — who lives on Soundview Drive, just yards from the shore.
She prepared for her new life by watching workers smooth the sand.
And by posing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.
And finally … if you want to weigh in on the Historic District Commission’s Preservation Plan (story above), do not listen to the first lines of this song (or watch the images):
(Don’t know much about Westport? Read “06880.” Learn. And then support our work. Please click here. Thank you!)
The Martino family got to know Amy scarella even better when she moved to Isle of Palms, SC, a little island off the coast of Charleston. When Covid closed the schools, she started “Garage School” in Mia Martino Howe’s garage for 4, sometimes 5, students. The setup was professional and the kids loved it, especially the field trips on the Sunshine Bus (yellow golf cart) to explore the island. This went on for the entire summer – heat, mosquitos and all, and the parents were able to go to work. When anyone had a problem, Amy was there to help in any way she could – bring food, keep dogs, check on unlocked doors, organize kitchen drawers, help move furniture. She never asked for anything in return. Her friends have been wonderful to attend to her needs via texts, emails, fundraising. The biggest hurdle is having someone on site to manage her difficult road to recovery. The only recourse right now is private funds.Please help in any small way you can. We miss you, Westport. Marianne Martino
Regarding the book controversy, it is astonishing and frightening that books which have already been vetted and approved for inclusion in the staples library by professional educators and experts in adolescent psychology, can force a 9 step review process to unfold after the submission of a single individual’s complaint. Make no mistake, the long term intent of this complaint is to chill the library’s future acquisition of any materials discussing LGBTQ+ matters. I’m sorry the complainant had a difficult time in school but that doesn’t justify her attempt to censor approved materials others are using.
For those interested in the history of 45 Compo Beach Road, the house was built in 1922 by Edith P. Kellogg. She and her husband, William B. Kellogg, owned the house, probably with other family members then owning it, until it was sold in 1970.
How bout the porn star president ? Melania has posed nude. We heard his grab woman by the P. The porn star is in every news cycle and newspaper. How do you protect your children from such a lewd leader ? Many of our neighbors who want specific books banned support the lewd leader. They also support A R 15. And assault rifles. I think the guns and the lewd conduct by our elected leaders are far more threatening then a library book.
Thanks, Richard for the important post.
Perhaps those who want to ban books, any books, should move to Florida where book, movie and recordings are easily and legislatively banned.
Guns kill kids, not books! Pearl clutching Trump supporters screaming about books and not guns have become a total joke and a circus act. It needs to end. I am glad to live in a town that will not tolerate this. We are too educated to be fooled by anyone who supports a party that tolerates a man who pays off a porn star to shut up.
It would not surprise me, Stephanie, if 25-30% of Westporters are
Trump suporters…just sayin’.
Shocking. Honestly. Scary actually.
They woukd not attend a Trump rally if their life depended on it!