Roundup: Wynston Browne, Traffic, Hook’d …

If you want an inspiring way to start the week, keep reading.

Then click the video below.

“06880” has highlighted the story of Wynston Browne. For 14 of his 15 years, the non-speaking, autistic Staples High School sophomore was thought by everyone — educators, doctors, even family members — as having a profound intellectual disability. It was believed he could barely learn or communicate.

That was far from the truth. He had learned on his own, all his life.

Two years ago, Wynston began communicating through a spelling device. His vast knowledge and intelligence were unlocked.

The weekend before last, at a Circle of Friends ceremony — where local teens were honored for their work with people with disabilities — Wynston shared insights into his journey.

And into his future, as a neuroscientist and advocate for people with autism and other disabilities.

It was a remarkable afternoon. His standing ovations were well-earned.

Thank you, Wynston, for inspiring us all!

PS: To learn more about the remarkable first generation of “spellers” that Wynston is part of, click here.


Alert — and frustrated — “06880” reader Ray Broady writes:

This issue gets worse by the day.

My evening commute back to Westport takes me off I-95 at exit 17 daily, usually between 4:30 and 6 p.m. This route is getting so bad, it sometimes adds 45 minutes to my time.

Friday evening, it took an extra half hour just to exit I-95 and sit in traffic through Saugatuck, to the right turn at the Cribari Bridge.

One issue is that Westport stations a police officer across from the bridge to help keep the intersection moving. This really helps, but this person is nor in place until 5:30 or 6 p.m. I have called the police, and requested the lieutenant in charge of traffic and safety issues to try to have that person on duty from 4:30 to 6:30,  when the problem is at its worst.

This problem is amplified when Waze reroutes thousands of I-95 commuters onto Bridge Street and Greens Farms Road.

I realize that this section of streets is a state route (136), and possibly only the state Transportation Department and engineers can affect changes. But there must be something Westport can do to improve this horrible situation.

I have not heard of any change on the Cribari Bridge status, so I don’t know what is happening there. It may even worsen this, for so many Westporters.

I am more than willing to donate some of my time and energy to address this disaster. But I need help from others to make this a Westport priority. How can we get this ball rolling?

I feel we should get a group of volunteers together, to start a positive effort to work on interfacing with town, state, police and the impacted Saugatuck community to help find a permanent solution, and not a bucket list future dream.

Charles Street traffic. (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


A steady crowd braved yesterday’s rain, for a book signing at Savvy + Grace.

Spoiler alert: It was mine.

Thanks to all who came to pick up “Pick of the Pics”: the best-of-“06880” photos compilation.

Lyah Muktavaram — my Staples High intern last spring, who did all the hard work on the book — and I had a great time greeting the 100 or so folks at Main Street’s favorite gift-and-more store.

Couldn’t make it? Click here to order!

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Ted Horowitz — whose photos are in the book — joined Lyah Muktavaram and Dan Woog at the Savvy + Grace launch party. (Photo/JC Martin)


Sure, Hook’d opened 2 weeks after their contract said they would.

But hey — the retro video games are free!

(Photo and hat tip/Johanna Rossi)


“Westport … Naturally” starts the week with this gorgeous photo from Imperial Avenue.

Scenes like this are as fleeting as they are welcome. Enjoy them while you can!

(Photo/Fred Cantor)


And finally … hard to believe, but I missed Willie Nelson’s birthday.

It was Saturday.

So: Happy birthday, to one of my favorite all-time musicians. One of the highlights of my life was being up front at his Levitt Pavilion performance a decade or so ago.

It’s also hard to believe he is 90 years young.

Here’s to another 90 great ones. Don’t bet against him.

Unbelievably, it’s his 88th. He will outlive us all.

(Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be people who don’t support the blog they read. Please click here to contribute to “06880.” Thank you!)

20 responses to “Roundup: Wynston Browne, Traffic, Hook’d …

  1. Regarding the Saugatuck traffic, back in the day (I know I’m a fossil..) that post began at 4pm. We put the light on flash, put a whistle in our mouth and donned a pair of white gloves. If you know what you are doing you can get traffic flowing in three directions simultaneously..That is how you move traffic. There were posts at Bridge and Riverside, Charles and Riverside and Charles and Franklin. Also a post at Rt.1 and 33..That is how you move traffic.

  2. Why does the town put up with Hook’ breach of contract. At longshore last year they were hardly ever opened and when they were their food was terrible. Come on Jen Fava you can do better!!

  3. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Hang in there Westport…..AI and advanced robotics are coming to save you.

  4. Rindy Higgins

    Ray is right! Traffic is a nightmare. I recall an officer at the bridge even earlier like 4p. Also the Charles St lights are poorly synced. And cars that circle behind the train station move forward from their stop line and block the intersection so the Charles St cars are blocked from moving. I think I recall an officer being there as well in the old days.

  5. John D McCarthy

    Hard to make this up….the Hook’d lease specifically prohibits “pinball machines, arcade games or gambling devices of any nature.” Are the video games in violation of this clause? They sure seem like Arcade Games to me.
    I have nothing against video games and I don’t care at all if they are installed at the beach. But did anyone at Hook’d actually read the lease they signed? Did Parks & Rec? It might explain why both parties are so lax about ensuring the more important terms of the lease are adhered to.

  6. Mr. Broady we all feel your pain. It is mind boggling that the town doesn’t appear to manage this nightmare many experience daily.

  7. Sam Febbraio

    Yes, last week it took 40 minutes to get from Wright Street to Coleytown – without road work or an accident. Unfortunately, the traffic can only get yet more congested with all of the construction currently scheduled. It’s futile to long for the Westport of the 50’s or the 60’s – or even the 90’s – but I fear that at some point the State will have no choice but to invite the ghost of Robert Moses upon us —— Hey children, what’s that sound…

    • They knew in the 50’s and 60’s.
      The 1959 Town Plan of Development recommended replacing all three bridges and putting in an additional bridge spanning from Sylvan to Imperial.
      A most of the transportation section is about being in between 95 and the Merritt and traffic is going to suck. (We should also build sidewalks and keep Main Street safe for pedestrians.)
      They also wanted two heliports.

  8. Cristina Negrin

    Congrats on your book, Dan!

  9. Great book Dan beautiful layout

  10. Jack Whittle

    The traffic being diverted off of I95 by Waze / Google that congests the Saugatuck area does not (now) include tracks – just imagine if it did. And note that the Bridge itself is not the cause of the congestion (cars move once on the bridge) but rather the intersection itself. Same thing at the Charles St – Riverside intersection, esp. when a train has just dropped off passengers.

    I can’t imagine the recently-approved and [very] dense Hamlet project will make this any better.

  11. Yes, Willie is a phenom, for sure…all that drinking, drugging, smoking and carousing and he’s still going strong….but his latest CD sucks and should never have been made…he’s flat, off key and speaks some of his lyrics…oh, and BTW, his best known song, Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Be Cowboys, was written by Ed Bruce and and his wife and, sadly, is sung even better by Ed; one of country music’s best and underplayed voices.

    • Russell Gontar

      The only thing I can think of more ill advised than taking pot shots at Willie Nelson is the governor of Florida attacking Disney and the mouse, you know, that state’s largest employer and tourist attraction.

      In the meantime, we’ll all stand by to hear what you sound like at 90.

  12. Alex Wennberg

    The traffic needs to be managed by the police. Not only is the officer there too late on a daily basis (I would argue 4-6:30 is the required window), half the time they just operate the light. They need to actively direct the northbound traffic on riverside onto bridge st with a right turn on the red light. Too often the officer there does not direct the right lane traffic to turn right on red over the bridge, they just stand at the box and operate the light. They should be in the middle of the intersection directing traffic, otherwise useless and the money for the officer is better spent elsewhere. A right hand green arrow would work too, but that involves the state DOT so not as easy as a traffic officer.

  13. Michael Elliot

    You think Saugatuck traffic is bad now…..wait till the developers add what 147 condos and another estimated 600 cars a day to this tiny slice of Westport at exit-17. It will be the BQU at rush hour, and all the time. Ya gotta love progress.

  14. Eric Buchroeder

    What year did Willie graduate Staples? Install moving sidewalks in all major thoroughfares. Use the ones recycled from the airport terminals because air travel is bad for the environment.

  15. Sad, but glad that there are other Westporters who are so disgusted with the lack of any real efforts being taken in Saugatuck and Westport by the the police department, Westport departments and the State of Connecticut to make any start or meaningful progress to solve this terrible situation.
    This traffic nightmare in Westport is a BLACKMARK on our wonderful community and deserves serious and more immediate attention. I still suggest that a group of concerned individuals form in Westport as a means of providing a strong voice and help with a motivation to cure the TRAFFIC DISEASE spreading unchecked in Westport.
    I as others know there are to many public officials whose responsibilities and actions on these problems are not being fufilled. They will say it CAN’T ( God I hate that word!) fix the problem and We know that really means Won’t!
    There are many Westport groups here that participate in forms of town management effectively and help with real achievements. These traffic problems are going to get worse as new development and new residents move
    In to the Westport area.
    The time is now to start some form of public voice and pressure to get the EAR of those in goverment to make sure the problems with traffic are brought to timely solutions with necessary funding and resources are put into place. Westport is Burning with a traffic fire and Nero is fiddling! Lets get this done for the town and all our futures!
    I raise my hand and will contribute some of my time to work on this. Please for those who hope for some solutions and realize how important this is to the well being of Westport, join me and email me at and we can meet and start an action group and start pushing this big ball up the hill! We need to do this!

  16. Not Saugautuck, but Post Road West rush hour traffic heading towards Ruth steinkraus Bridge, we all wait in right lane to head straight to cross over, but there are constantly and many drivers who shoot down the left lane, passing 15 to 20 cars, then cut into the right lane. Those cars should be fined, a police officer pulling them over, or force them to turn left onto wilton road. Clearly these drivers are cutting in line and delaying our approach to the Bridge, and it’s just not right. Happens every day!

    • Yep. So rude and entitled. I always wonder what those drivers are like once they get home — and what their kids are like.

      Here’s another, which I had never seen in my life, but now have seen twice in two days: Drivers headed from the train station toward the Cribari Bridge on Riverside get in the left lane, then cut directly in front of the cars turning right onto the bridge so they can avoid that back-up by Bridge Square.

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