Roundup: DATTCO Buses, Capt. Nash’s House, AAPI Month …

Westport’s school buses may look different next fall.

They’ll still be yellow. But “Dattco” may not be on the sides.

The New Britain-based company’s contract is up for renewal this year. When the Board of Education meets Monday (May 1, 7 p.m., Staples High School), Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice will recommend that the 5-year contract beginning July 1 be awarded to First Student. They’re a national company, with a strong presence in this area.

They were the only 2 providers to bid. Scarice and Westport Public Schools CFO Elio Longo found that:

  • Over 5 years, the district will save $126,011 for the base transportation services provided by First Student.
  • Dattco offered $6 million in coverage for sexual misconduct insurance, but the RFP required $11 million. First Student provided the required amount.
  • Dattco failed to submit a letter from its insurance carrier stating that the minimal insurance limits required in the RFP will be met.
  • Dattco gave a “0” credit for use of a bus lot provided by the district. First Student provided a credit of $1,529,031 over 5 years for use of the lot.

The Board of Ed will have a busy agenda, beyond the bus contract. They’ll also discuss the Staples High School roof project, an equity action plan, and policies on weighted grading and calculation of grade point averages, credit for online courses, graduating requirements, and enrollment in advanced courses and programs.

For full details on the bus contract and other agenda items, click here.

A familiar sight. (Photo/Joyce Joiner)


“06880” doesn’t usually promote real estate open houses.

But we also don’t usually get a chance to see a 1740 home.

18 West Parish Road is the house; today (Sunday, 1 to 4 p.m.) is the date.

18 West Parish Road

Built nearly 300 years ago by Captain Thomas Nash for Zachariah Burr — Aaron’s brother — it was an inn during the Revolutionary War.

It’s filled with history. For instance, the Delft blue tile fireplace is original

And — allegedly — Captain Nash galloped up the steep, original stairs on his horse, as he chased his wife in anger.

Captain Nash’s stairs.

In the 1930s another famous owner — Edward T. Bedford — maintained stables and a trotting track just north of the residence.

A 20th century bonus: The kitchen in the attached cottage was a bomb shelter in the 1950s.

Toni Horton Mickiewicz (Staples High School class of 1978) is the realtor.

It sounds like an extremely interesting home. But if you plan to buy it to tear it down: Please, please, PLEASE: Find yourself another open house to go to. (Hat tip: Pam Docters)


Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month begins tomorrow.

AAPI Westport celebrates with a variety of events. They include:

The Story and Legacy of Vincent and Lily Chin (May 1-31, New Canaan Library). Learn more about Vincent and Lily Chin. His racially motivated murder more than 40 years ago galvanized the Asian American community.

Healing Asian Hate Since Vincent Chin (May 8, 6:30 p.m., New Canaan Library):  Panel discussion, including Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, and Stamford DEI officer Carmen Hughes.  Click here for more information. and to register.

AAPI Westport Book Club reads “From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: the Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement,” by Paula Yoo.” This young adult book is suggested for ages 13 and up. Book discussion date and location TBD.

Meet children’s book author Karina Yan Glaser (May 13, 1 to 3 p.m., Westport Library). She will discuss “What Do You Need to be a Writer?,” and talk about how being an Asian American author has influenced her work. A book signing follows. This is an all ages event; best for grades 1-6. Click here for more information.

AAPI Happy Hour at MoCA (May 18, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.).

To learn more about AAPI Westport, click on the video below.


Pamela Turnure Timmins — Jacqueline Kennedy press secretary (and the first ever hired by a first lady), and who may or may not have had an affair with her husband, President Kennedy — died Tuesday in Colorado. She was 85, and had  lung cancer.

What makes her death “06880”-worthy is that she graduated in the mid-1950s from the Bolton School for girls in Westport.

Her Washington Post obituary does not explain what she was doing in this area as a teenager. But she certainly led an interesting life. (Hat tip: Allen Siegert)

Pamela Turnure Timmins


The Connecticut Appalachian Mountain Club brings one of their most popular speakers to Saugatuck Congregational Church.

David Pressler will discuss “Exploring the Californian Anza — Borrego Desert and Beyond.” The event is May 9.

From snow-covered landscapes, high mountains, lakes and the Salton Sea, to dry desert vistas and unusual lava-formed rock landscapes (that were the “American West” of movies from the 1930s to the ’50s) — home once to dinosaurs, mammoths, giant turtles and other animals — it’s a vast, beautiful place.

Wine, dinner and dessert begins at 6:15 p.m. Pressler’s presentation is at 7:30. The cost is $10 for members, $15 for non-members (pay at the door). For more information, email

California’s Borrego Desert. (Photo/David Pressler)


Westport’s ospreys continue to fascinate us — and there are more than the most famous (and visible) pair, at Fresh Market.

Daniel Johnson captured (on film) one of the Burying Hill Beach pair. It’s a natural for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Daniel Johnson)


And finally … in honor of the soon-to-come (and likely little-mourned) end of the DATTCO era:

(School buses? Ospreys? Jackie Kennedy’s press secretary? If there’s a Westport connection, “06880” covers it. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

9 responses to “Roundup: DATTCO Buses, Capt. Nash’s House, AAPI Month …

  1. Please make sure that First Student company and drivers are made aware that they are not to use Thomas Rd unless picking up or dropping students at designated stops. This has been verified by the Westport PD.

  2. Whatever happened to local ownership. When I was a kid, the busses were owned by the Lockwoods and the Cuseos. Mr. Lockwood (and I believed the Cuseos) personally drove the busses. Some of Mr. Lockwood busses were antiques, and he parked them on his lawn by Greens Farms School. But each bus had its own individuality which the students got to know. And they had single digit numbers.

    • I’m guessing it’s economics. I can’t imagine a small company being able to pay for all the buses used today, plus salaries, insurance, training, etc., etc., etc. Economies of scale.

    • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

      Are there any locally owned and operated businesses left in Westport? If there were, would any local Westporters be interested in working for them?

      • Carl Addison Swanson, Wrecker, '66.

        Where did all the Mom and Pop stores go? Asks the landlords. We found out “Ann Taylor” was paying 25K$ a month rent downtown.

        • Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

          I wonder if there’s a shoplifting problem downtown and if there is do Westport’s Finest pursue the perpetrators with the same zeal that they enforce traffic laws on North Avenue.

          • Carl Addison Swanson, Wrecker, '66.

            Considering they don’t use any zeal on speeders on North Avenue, false negative. That said, in Old Westport where Mom/Pop did run their store, you BEST not get caught shop lifting or your Mama would get a call from the owner. And that was far worse than any cop.

  3. Gloria Gouveia

    If the current owners of the Nash House are truly committed to preventing the historic home from becoming the tear down du jour, they can add a deed restriction to the property to preserve it.

    As a result of British General Tryon’s Revolutionary War decimation of almost every home, barn, outbuilding and field in the lower Fairfield-Greens Farms area, little remains from the pre-Revolutionary War Era. A home from the 1740’s is notably rare.

  4. bob penderson

    who came up with $11m in insurance? that is far fetched. surgeons carry a fraction of that.

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