Roundup: Affordable Housing, Utility Poles, Pride …

A follow-up on the Representative Town Meeting’s recent “Community Conversation on Affordable Housing” promises to be as important and illuminating as the first.

“Our Town’s Affordable Housing Needs and Solutions: What Westporters Should Know and How They Can Help” will be held — virtually — on Wednesday (May 17, 7:30 p.m.).

RTM moderator Jeff Wieser will lead a panel of men and women who know the topic intimately: State Senator Ceci Maher, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg, Planning & Zoning Commission chair Danielle Dobin, RTM Planning & Zoning Committee chair Matthew Mandell, and Westport Housing Authority chair David Newberg.

As with the first session — which drew 200 people — there will be plenty of time for public questions.

Click here to join the Zoom meeting.


Paul Rohan writes:

Over the years, I have read many comments, complaints and suggestions about utility poles on “06880.”

I am reminded of them all each day on my morning walk, as I pass by this set of seemingly unstable utility poles on Hillspoint Road between Harding Lane and Valley Road.

For over 5 years, I wondered when the appropriate utilities will transfer all their lines to the newer replacement pole and remove the decayed one.

It seems it will never happen. But lately there has been some progress: a new black nylon band has been added to somehow supplement the existing the wooden brace clamp, the metal support arms, and bands of rope!


A crowd of nearly 300 “walked the line” to see Johnny Folsom 4’s tribute to Johnny Cash Saturday night, at the Westport Library.

A record 126 people had dinner at 10 downtown restaurants before the show, as part of “Supper & Soul.” The downtown dinner and concert series is produced by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

Johnny Folsom 4 (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


Just in time for Pride Month, Westport Pride has a new web presence.

The colorful, easy-to-navigate site ( builds on the non-profit’s mission to “elevate, educate and empower” the town about LGBTQ issues and community members.

Upcoming events include

  • Pride Celebration (Sunday, June 4, noon-4 p.m., Jesup Green)
  • “Light Up the Night” drag show (Saturday, June 17, 5 p.m., MoCA)

An oral history project — organized in conjunction with the Westport Museum for History & Culture — is looking for people to interview about their lives and times: in school, at the Brook Café, or anywhere else in the area. Email


The Westport Rotary Club recently joined Habitat for Humanity of Coastal Fairfield County, to rebuild a house in Bridgeport. The project helps residents  become homeowners.

This was the first time Westport Rotary volunteered at Habitat. It was so popular, a return visit has been scheduled for next year.


Saturday’s list of National Merit Scholar winners omitted one name: Liyana Asaria-Issa.

The Greens Farms Academy senior joins 3 other Westport residents as recipients of $2,500 scholarships. Congratulations, Liyana!

Liyana Asaria-Issa


Sholdr is a new clothing brand.

Co-founder Christian Montgomery — a 2018 Staples High School graduate — is creating quality, comfortable clothing, inspired by the oceans.

His goal is to build a community around the brand — and one that supports mental health awareness.

One of the founders lost a friend to suicide. He had recently joined the military. So Sholder is donating 5% of profits to the Headstrong Project. The non-profit provides mental health resources to active military members, and veterans.

This Saturday (May 20, noon to 4 p.m.) they’ll run their first pop-up event at the Two Roads Vendor Market (1700 Stratford Avenue, Stratford). Sholdr will be in the hopyard talking about their mission, and selling shirts and hoodies.


Between the trains, weather and riders, the Westport train station gets plenty of use.

It usually looks pretty good. But it doesn’t clean itself.

This weekend, Les Dinkin spotted a crew, working hard to make sure it’s ready for Monday.

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


“Westport … Naturally” begins the week with this colorful view from Ellen Wentworth’s window:

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)


And finally … Saturday’s “Supper & Soul” included a great concert by Johnny Folsom 4, a Johnny Cash tribute band (story above).

That’s a great segue into a song from the Man in Black himself:

(It’s a new week — and another reminder that “06880” relies on reader support. Please click here to donate. Thank you!) 

6 responses to “Roundup: Affordable Housing, Utility Poles, Pride …

  1. Larry Perlstein

    The state of utility poles in Westport is horrifying. Between the number of seemingly unstable & broken poles and the addition of multiple new fiber lines, the result is ugly, ugly, ugly. Couple that with the ugliness of the many rusted fire hydrants, road & traffic signs that looked battered or falling over, and the Easton/Weston Rd island that still hasn’t been planted, and the town is looking second rate. I’m not sure I’d want to buy here if I was looking. I understand that not all of this is under the town’s control but I’d like to know what pressure the town is exerting to ensure that the town maintains its attractiveness.

  2. Clark Thiemann

    I’m not opposed to affordable housing, but am opposed to poorly placed, shoddy condos getting built in the name of affordable housing (especially when they aren’t actually affordable). Are our state legislators in agreement that the current law is not actually achieving its goal in many cases? For instance, the Westport Inn site seems perfect for more affordable housing if we want that (lower traffic issues, close to shopping and public transport), but looks to be mostly market rate/luxury condos from my understanding. On the other hand, the new building at the corner across from Fort Apache is a disaster from an environmental and traffic perspective that got through on 8-30g grounds. How can the law be adjusted to better meet its goals?

    • Driving by that across-from-Fort-Apache site makes me so sad. It was such a shock the first time I saw the results of all those trees getting chopped down.

      It’s unfortunate that other parts of Westport have taken a NIMBY approach, like down in Saugatuck; Hiawatha is a far more appropriate spot than a postage stamp lot by wetlands.

      • Werner Liepolt

        The objection to the Hiawatha project is BECAUSE it destroys affordable housing. Labeling those who object NIMBY is sloppy at best and—depending what’s in your back yard—hypocritical at worst.

  3. Many years ago there were around 15 “Twin Poles” all around Compo Beach. I wrote down all the pole numbers, called the CT Utility department and soon the trucks came to remove the dead twin. Try it.

  4. Utility poles are (or, at least, were) treated with PCP, a toxin. The companies don’t want to remove them because they neither want to handle nor dispose of them, which is why they create these odd “twins” that you see everywhere.

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