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Roundup: Beach Weather, Hazardous Waste, Challenged Books …

Yesterday was a beautiful beach day.

The temperature soared to the mid-80s. Schools are on spring break, so nearly everyone who was not in St. Barts or Portugal headed to the beach.

Except employees of Hook’d.

Hook’d has not yet opened for the season. Don’t hold your breath. This photo was from last year, a few days before Memorial Day. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

I got several emails about the beach concessionaire. Amy Schneider’s was typical: “Too bad Joey’s is gone. It would have been open today, unlike the current one which is closed.”

Earlier this week, a reader asked when Hook’d would open. I relayed the question to Parks & Recreation director Jen Fava.

As of this morning, I have not heard back.

Compo Beach, April 13, 2023. (Photo/Dick Kalt)

There was this beach scene too:

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)

I didn’t make it to the beach yesterday.

But when I got in my car at 3:50 p.m.:

(Photo/Dan Woog)


It was not quite as warm Tuesday — just in the 70s — but that did not stop these youngsters from celebrating a week off from school.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

Do they know how good they have it?

When I was their age, I sure didn’t.


One of Westport’s most popular events — Household Hazardous Waste Day — falls on a propitious date this year: Earth Day.

The Department of Public Works’ annual collection is set for Saturday, April 22 (9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms railroad station).

There is no charge for residents of Westport, Norwalk, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich who wish to safely dispose of household hazardous wastes.

Among the wastes accepted at the station: gasoline, kerosene, spray paint, paint strippers, paint thinners, solvents, paints, stains, turpentine, varnishes, wood preservatives, degreasers, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, bleach, charcoal lighter, cleaning chemicals, drain cleaners, mercury thermometers, moth balls, pet flea shampoos, photo chemicals, rug shampoos, spot removers, art supplies and paints.

The following items are not acceptable: ammunition, flares and commercial hazardous waste.

Before bringing material to the collection site:

REMINDER: Westport residents may also recycle antifreeze, motor oil, batteries of any type, light bulbs and electronics at the transfer station on the Sherwood Island Connector, weekdays between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon.

Questions? Call 203-341-1793.


The next step in the long process following a resident’s complaint about 3 books in the Staples High School library takes place Monday (April 17, 3:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium).

At its last session, the superintendent’s ad hoc review committee took 3 votes. All were 10-0, in favor of retaining “Flamer,” “Gender Queer” and “This is So Gay.” Tara McLaughlin took issue with them, and had previously been given an hour to air her concerns.

On Monday, the committee will review a draft of their recommendation to superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice, and take a final vote on it.

The meeting is open, but residents cannot comment. Public comment may be allowed at a future meeting.

Committee members met at Town Hall, earlier this month. (Photo/Brian McGunigle)


Ain’t Misbehavin’” — the Broadway musical about jazz great Fats Waller — is drawing crowds at the Westport Country Playhouse. The show ends April 29.

Then, the historic theater will get ready for more — including 2 productions just for kids.

“The Pout Pout Fish” (Sunday, May 21, 1 and 4 p.m., grades pre-K through 2) features whimsical puppets and live performers, in an oceanic adventure.

“The Magic School Bus” (Sunday, June 4, 1 and 4 p.m., grades K through 5) is a musical adaptation based on the Scholastic book series.

All tickets are $25. Click here for more information.


Staples High School freshman midfielder Natalie Chudowsky — a star on the Wreckers’ state champion soccer team, and a New York SC club player — is one of 23 girls chosen to attend the US Under-15 national team’s training camp in Kansas City.

In February, she attended the training camp in West Palm Beach, Florida.

Congratulations, Natalie!


New Yorker staff writer — and 1985 Staples High School graduate — David Grann has a new book.

After six years of research into the wreck of a British warship off the coast of Chile in 1740 — including his own journey to the inhospitable island where the castaways washed up — “Grann has delivered what will likely endure as the definitive popular account of the demise of the H.M.S. Wager,” the New York Times says.

It adds:

An engrossing survival story, “The Wager” is a knotty tale of moral compromises and betrayal and a metaphysical inquiry into the elusive nature of truth and the power of stories to shape history and our perceptions of reality.

The book, which Doubleday will release on April 18, has drawn enthusiastic early reviews. It is being adapted into a feature film by the director Martin Scorsese and the actor Leonardo DiCaprio — who also teamed up on a forthcoming movie based on Grann’s book “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI.

To read the full Times story — headlined “A Swashbuckling Tale of Mutiny Took Him Where ‘The Soul of Man Dies'” — click here(Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

David Grann


Nine new members were sworn in Wednesday, as members of the Westport-Weston Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

All are clergy members in nearby towns. They completed a training course, learning how to render aid in a wide range of emergencies.

.New CERT members hold certificates. Fifth from the left is Sergio Roque, a team member and clergyman who encouraged new members to take the training. To his right is Mike Vincelli, president of Westport-Weston CERT. (Photo/Molly Alger)


Congratulations to the Weston History & Culture Center. They received the Connecticut League of History Organizations Award of Merit for their reinterpretation of the Coley House, the historic Weston Road farmhouse that is their headquarters.

The award calls the project “a true gem, reflecting excellent research, a wonderful balance of micro- and macro-histories, and a thoughtful and creative combination of exhibition and historic room interpretation …. (it) stands out as an example of interpretation of a period rarely covered by historic house museums in Connecticut.”

Rooms on the first floor have been interpreted in the 1941-45 period, when 3 generations of the Coley family occupied the home.

Beginning this Sunday (April 16), the Coley House will be open every Sunday and Thursday, with tours at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.


Former 2nd Selectman and Board of Finance chair Avi Kaner will be honored next month, by the Foundation Fighting Blindness.

Kaner — co-owner of New York’s Morton Williams Supermarkets — is set to be feted May 11 (6 p.m., Chelsea Piers). Click here for tickets and more information.

Avi Kaner


Johanna Keyser Rossi provides today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, and this background:

“I spotted this bird at the beach, called killdeer. I thought they ate fish, but I looked it up and found they eat bugs, and sometimes seeds. I was a able to zoom in and take pictures.”

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … summer’s here! And the time is right …

(“06880” has already started its Compo coverage. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)


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