Roundup: Fox News, Teardowns, THC …

Yesterday’s historic $787.5 million settlement by Fox News in its defamation lawsuit was huge news, all over the country. (Except on Fox).

And a big part of that news was due to the work of Dominion Voting Systems’ co-lead attorney, Stephen Shackelford.

The Harvard Law School graduate and former Justice Stephen Breyer’s clerk’s already high reputation in the legal community has skyrocketed.

But in Westport we know him, his wife Stefanie and 4 kids as our neighbors. And in District 8, residents know him as their RTM representative.

On behalf of American democracy: Thank you, Steve!


Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup included 2 homes that fell to the wrecking ball. One was on Roseville Road; the other on South Compo.

Today, Carl Addison Swanson sends a photo of one that has been lovingly restored.

39 Cross Highway — just west of Weston Road — is a house we all pass by often. After years of neglect, it’s gotten a ton of TLC. Today, it looks great.

Known as the Charles Chapman House, this is one of 10 homes that will be honored by 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Westport’s Historic District Commission on May 4 (7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium). It’s one of 4 earning a Preservation Award.

Old Mill Grocery & Deli will receive a Legacy Business Prevention citation. A year ago, a small group of neighbors organized an effort to save the former Elvira’s/Joey’s by the Shore market from probable sale to a develop.

Old Mill Grocery & Deli. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Green’s Farms Church will be cited too, for its extensive renovation.

Green’s Farms Church (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

The other 7 Historic District Commission honorees:

• 35 Post Road West –Davis Taylor House – Preservation
• 276 Main Street – Patrick Rice House – Helen Muller Preservation Award
• 8 Mayflower Parkway – Preservation
• 19 Soundview Drive – Stevens Cottage – Preservation
• 161 Cross Highway – Legacy Business Preservation
• 163 Cross Highway – Excellence in Ongoing Care and Maintenance
• 21 Danbury Avenue – Preservation

19 Soundview Drive – before (left) and after.


Last week, the Westport Police Department conducted unannounced compliance inspections of 12 establishments that sell tobacco products and/or e-cigarettes.

All 12 were found “compliant” with laws regarding sales to anyone under 21.

However, WP Convenience at 1761 Post Road East — in the Westfair Shopping Center, opposite Stop & Shop — was found to have “a large number of illegal vape and THC products for sale,” police say.

“Many of these items did not display the required QR codes and/or were packaged to look like candy. These colorful packages resemble popular candy and snack foods, but their contents often contain high doses of THC, which can cause marijuana toxicity, especially in unsuspecting children.”

Police confiscated the items, along with “a number of canisters of suspected marijuana.” WP Convenience does not have a dispensary license.

Police note: “Westport zoning regulation prohibits all sales of retail (non-medical) cannabis products, including Delta-9 THC and Delta-8.”

Besides WP Convenience, the 12 retailers found compliant with laws about selling tobacco and e-cigarettes to anyone under 21:

  • Merritt Country Store – 337 Main Street
  • Country Deli Store – 332 Wilton Road
  • Sunoco Food Mart – 240 Riverside Avenue
  • Westport Shell – 322 Post Road East
  • Cumberland Farms – 690 Post Road East
  • Wheels – 786 Post Road East
  • Westport Cigar & Vape – 1248 Post Road East
  • Exxon Tiger Mart – 1510 Post Road East
  • Shell Food Mart – 1530 Post Road East
  • Mohegan Smoke Shop – 1803 Post Road East
  • Mercury – 1830 Post Road East

items sold illegally at WP Convenience. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)


Savvy Kings Highway Elementary School parents (and nannies and other caregivers) know that there’s a way to beat the afternoon car pickup line, which can stretch along Post Road West almost to Norwalk:

Just park in Nash’s Plaza, the small shopping center between the school and the animal hospital.

Make your kid a “walker.” He or she walks a few yards to your car, and you’re outta there.

That does not sit well with the merchants there, who see their patrons’ parking spots taken up every afternoon by non-patrons.

Which is why this sign has appeared there:

What’s next? Carvana, across the very dangerous street?

It would be nice if kids could, um, take the bus.

But with the current school day, some of them get home around midnight.


Westport Community Gardens is accepting applications for membership. Limited space is available for new members. It is distributed on a first come, first served basis.

The site, adjacent to Long Lots Elementary School, is a community of people who grow flowers, herbs and vegetables in a sunny, fenced-in (deer-proof) location. Members range age from 5 to 95,

To learn more about the Community Gardens, click here and here. If you’re interested in a plot, click here.

Westport Community Gardens is a true community.


Here’s a sure sign of spring: the 44th annual Minute Man Race is set for Sunday, April 30.

As usual, Compo Beach will hum with family activity for the Westport Young Woman’s League event. 100% of the net profits benefit charities in Westport and Fairfield County.

Since 1956 — even before the long-running (ho ho) event began — the WYWL has distributed over $4 million in grants.

The main events are certified USA Track and Field runs of 10K and 5K, and a 5K walk.

A Kids Fun Run includes a 50 yard dash (ages 3-5), 100 yard dash (6-7), 1/2 mile run (8-9) and mile run (10-12).

The event also features a Kids Zone with fun activities — and for the first time, food trucks during and after the race.

Click here to register, and for more information.


The Westport Weston Family YMCA joins in 5 Days of Action (April 24-28), a campaign that equips and empowers organizations to protect children from sexual abuse.

The Y encourages all adults and organizations to help make the community a safer place. For more information and resources, click here.


There were smiles all around yesterday, as the Westport Rotary Club received the Charles Pettengill Award as “The Best Club in Rotary District 7980.” For non-Rotarians, that’s the 4 coastal counties of Connecticut — 57 clubs in all.

The award recognizes excellence in all 5 areas of service: community, international, youth, vocational and club.

The last 3 COVID years were difficult on all community organizations, but Westport Rotary responded creatively. They held LobsterFest virtually in 2020 — and raised a record amount. The 2021 and ’22 LobsterFests built on that.

More than $250,000 will be distributed to local, regional and international projects from LobsterFest 2022.

So make plans for LobsterFest ’23. Save the date: September 23. Tickets go on sale in July.

From left: Selectwomen Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore present the “Best Rotary Club” citation to Westport Rotary Club president Karl Merganthaller and past president Leslie Robert.


Sprite Island — looking west from Canal Road on Saugatuck Shores — is the misty subject of today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Nancy Axthelm)


And finally … thanks again, Steve Shackelford:

(Another day with tons of Westport-related news, all covered by “06880.” Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

14 responses to “Roundup: Fox News, Teardowns, THC …

  1. Andrew Colabella

    Good job Shack! 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼What a win 🇺🇸

  2. Dick Lowenstein

    Re: Kings Highway School car pickup line. Maybe someday, Wheels2U can help reduce the problem. And it’s not just in Westport; I was driving past a Rockland County school yesterday afternoon and saw similar lines.

  3. 39 Cross Hwy was the Aders’ house when I lived at # 33 from
    1958 – 1965. And… their attic apartment was the original home of the Westport Weston Co-op Nursery School, where I went when I was 4.

  4. Nice to see 8 Mayflower among the saved. Home of the Berniers 50+ years ago: I remember Jo and Buddy, and sisters Robin, Tina Cindy, Heidi and Lacey fondly.

    Can’t say I think much of the latest remodel, but at least this grand old house has been preserved.

  5. The words for 4/18/23 were and still are: consequences and accountability.

  6. Mary Palmieri Gai

    So happy about the Chapman house…that was a big project! We are neighbors..I Live at Daybreak Lane. The Chapman house (I have always thought) was more recently a Harding house. Evan Harding was so nice to me when I was a child, that I think of him when I go by. He owned up to Main St and Daybreak Lane once upon a time. The Harding family changed the Landscape of Westport. To the owners of Chapman house..what a great vibe to live there.

    • Carl Addison Swanson, Wrecker, '66.

      During my Wonder Years here, ’58-’66, the Hardings lived next door to the Chapman house to the west. Ann (’66) sold it a decade ago and it is also a nice renovation. Interesting as well in the fact my mother and Mrs. Budner (Pam ’68) ran Hitichcock Nursery School just down Cross Highway which must have competed with the above mentioned school. I guess no Nannies then?

  7. A School Bus System that runs empty buses, lines of idling cars at every school throughout town, a defunct minibus system all with everyone thinking they are doing absolutely the right thing????? The excess pollution aside it looks like some hard decisions and serious changes need to take hold.

  8. How do you tow someone that is in their vehicle? Dont think you can. You can have them trespassed though. Either way, rude to use someone’s lot if you arent doing business there.

  9. The law group representing Dominion including Mr. Shackelford did a great job for Dominion and the American people in making a media company like Fox pay dearly for their particular lies, misinformation and liabelest actions regarding aspects of portion of the 2020 election as it relates to electronic voting systems.
    My concern on over dramatising the outcome of this civil lawsuit is that none of the other large news media outlets like CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, NEW YORK TIMES AND WASHINGTON POST have many times been guilty of some also incredibly damaging broadcast and printed misrepresentstions, lies, and distortions which they have not been civilably sued for (YET).
    Let’ s remember these fair and honest protections under the liable laws should and must apply equally and fairly to all in the “MEDIA”!!

    • Dermot Meuchner

      All corporate media is useless, two sides of the same coin. You can just look at the headlines in the NYT, LAT,WP they are almost word for word identical. As far as democracy goes , that’s a good one lol.

    • Mary Palmieri Gai

      Yup.Allsides dot com at least gives you a heads up on bias.

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