Roundup: Israel Talk, Beach Sign Gone, Rugby Hosts …

With tensions high in Israel, Westport is hosting an important Zoom conversation.

“Israel’s Gravest Crisis Ever: How We Got Here and Can We Get Out?” is set for this Sunday (April 16, 5 p.m.).

Dr. Daniel Gordis — a National Jewish Book Award-winning author, podcaster, and a Jerusalem Post pick as one of the world’s 50 most influential Jews — is the guest.

He recently co-wrote an “Open Letter to Israel’s Friends in North America.”

Rabbis Jeremy Wiederhorn and Michael Friedman will facilitate the discussion.

Their Conservative Synagogue and Temple Israel congregations, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County, are sponsoring the event.

Click here to register.

Daniel Gordis


The Westport Garden Club did its usual bang-up job recently, cleaning the “beach bud” entrance to Compo.

(Photo/Nathalie Fonteyne)

As they worked, they noticed something: the much-reviled and very large electronic sign detailing the status of parking spaces was missing.

The sign, last year. (Photo/Matt Murray)

There is an electronic sign, noting that dogs are not allowed on the beach.

But it’s portable.

It’s far less intrusive.

And it does not sit plumb in the middle of a gorgeous, well-maintained garden.

(Photo and hat tip/Nathalie Fonteyne)


The Staples rugby team makes history this Saturday,

The Wreckers host St. Andrew’s, of Grahamstown, South Africa. They’re the first high school from that country to tour the US — and they’ve chosen Staples as an opponent.

St. Andrew’s has played rugby for nearly 150 years — about as long as Staples has been a school.

St. Andrew’s rugby team.

The sport has a much younger history here. But the Wreckers are one of the top squads in the country, so the match should be a great one. Match time on Saturday is noon, at Paul Lane Field (football stadium).

It’s the first time Staples rugby has hosted an international squad. In true rugby spirit, St. Andrew’s players are hosted by local families. 

Staples High School rugby team.


Take heart:

Part 2 of the Westport Library’s important cardiac education series is this Monday (April 17, 7 p.m.). The topic is atrial fibrillation.

What is this rhythmic disturbance? Why is it so important?

Dr. Robert Altbaum explains. Dr. Murali Chiravuri discusses the causes, complications, treatments and therapies. Dr. Mitchell Driesman adds insights too.

Afterwards, attendees can be tested quickly for heartbeat irregularities. Sm

Dr. Robert Altbaum


Johnny Cash is coming to Westport.

Well, not exactly. The Man in Black has been dead nearly 20 years.

But Johnny Folsom 4 — a great tribute band — headlines the next “Supper & Soul” concert. It’s Saturday, May 13, at the Westport Library.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce-sponsored event is tons of fun.  For $85 a ticket, you get a 3-course dinner at one of 11 downtown restaurants, plus the show.

After the concert, show your ticket at any of the restaurants, and get happy hour pricing on drinks.

Participating restaurants include 190 Main, Arezzo, Basso, Capuli, Casa Me, De Tapas, Don Memo, Nômade, Spotted Horse, Goji and Walrus Alley.

Click here for tickets, and more information. (Concert-only tickets are available too — they’re $35.

Johnny Cash was famous for playing in prisons. This may be his — well, his tribute band’s — first library gig.



The state Department of Transportation is providing Connecticut residents with a free subscription to Transit Royale, an upgrade to the mobile app Transit.

Transit helps public transportation users plan and track their bus and train trips, using schedule information and real-time vehicle location. It is available on iOS and Android.

Connecticut riders can access routes outside of their immediate area without encountering a paywall, and schedule trips in advance

Riders wishing to use the Westport Transit District’s Wheels2U on-demand, door-to-train station service should continue to use the Wheels2UWestport app for that purpose.

However, the Coastal Link service through Westport on the Post Road, all Norwalk Transit District and Greater Bridgeport Transit District fixed route services, CT Transit services in Stamford, and Metro-North New Haven Line services are available in the Transit app.


Any way you spell it, the Westport Police Department keeps us “saf.”

Two Westport youngsters — Owen and Georgia — thanked our officers yesterday, with some healthy snacks, and handwritten notes.

Both were greatly appreciated.


State Senator Ceci Maher, and State Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Dominique Johnson, invite their Westport constituents for “coffee and conversation” next Tuesday morning (April 18, 7:30 to 9 a.m.).

They’ve picked a great spot: Mrs. London’s Bakery.

Senator Ceci Maher, Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Dominique Johnson.


Alison Patton took an Easter walk. She reports: “The buffleheads appear to have moved north; the swans have a nest, and the great egrets have arrived. This morning we saw a bald eagle and 2 osprey fishing over the Saugatuck River.”

She sends today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: a very close-up shot of one of the great egrets.

(Photo/Alison Patton)


And finally … ABBA guitarist Lasse Wellander died Friday, at 70. He played on many of their studio albums beginning in 1974, and toured frequently with them.

He was recently diagnosed with cancer. Click here for more details.

(From Compo Beach to Israel, “06880” brings you information you need. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

3 responses to “Roundup: Israel Talk, Beach Sign Gone, Rugby Hosts …

  1. John D McCarthy

    Glad to see that sign gone.

  2. Dan, Are those women in your picture really Garden Club volunteers, or Hollywood models visiting Westport?

  3. Michael Calise

    It’s great that that ugly and useless sign has been removed. The pole and electrical hookup remain and need to be removed as well. The Westport Garden Club has beautifully maintained the island for years. As important the sign was a gross impediment to the Flagpole which is the centerpiece of the island. Hopefully the Recreation Department will not forget the error of their ways and respect the beauty of what we are fortunate to have

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