Everyone in Westport knows how great Mimi Greenlee is.
Now the rest of the state will too.
The veteran (decades!), superbly organized, always energetic, constantly encouraging, ever smiling Westport Library Book Sale volunteer will be honored by the Friends of Connecticut Libraries June 10. She’ll receive their Individual Achievement Award, for her lifetime of work.
Over the years, Mimi has co-chaired book sales; trained and supervised scores of volunteers, and managed inventory. These days, she manages the flow of donations to the Westport Book Shop.
Congratulations, Mimi, on this latest “chapter” in your life!
Mimi Greenlee, surrounded by donations.
Speaking of books: Tommy Greenwald’s “Game Changer” has just won a 2023 Nutmeg Award, in the Middle School division.
The 1979 Staples High School graduate’s novel about the aftermath of a hard hit on the football field was selected for the Connecticut Library Association and Connecticut Association of School Librarians honor by a committee of children’s librarians and school library media specialists.
Westport Police made 1 custodial arrest between May 10 and 17.
A man was charged with reckless endangerment and breach of peace, following a report that a passenger in a vehicle on Post Road East was pointing a gun at another vehicle.
Police also issued the following citations:
- Traveling unreasonably fast: 12 citations
- Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 9
- Improper use of markers: 8
- Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 6
- Failure to comply with traffic control signals: 4
- Distracted driving, not cell phone: 3
- Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 3
- Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 3
- Failure to register a commercial vehicle: 2
- Unreadable plates: 2
- Failure to renew registration: 2
- Traveling too fast for conditions: 1
- No passing zone: 1
- Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
- School zone violation: 1
- Following too closely: 1
- Improper turn: 1
- Theft of plates: 1
- Failure to display plates: 1
Drive safely everywhere — especially in school zones.
When Clark Thiemann’s 6-year-old daughter took a tumble on the pock-marked, dangerous track at PJ Romano Field, behind Saugatuck Elementary School, she told her father: “You need to tell someone to fix this!”
Clark sent this photo to “06880”:
He’s not the first to do so.
On March 19, I ran a similar photo. Another reader had also written, noting “at least 19 cracks” in the surface.
She said she had been told a year and a half ago that it would be an easy repair, and that funds were already in the budget. The facility is managed by Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department.
We’re still waiting.
The Westport Public Schools search for a new Greens Farms Elementary School principal took them — literally — around the world.
On July 1, Brian Byrne takes over from Kevin Cazzetta, who will retire.
Byrne is currently serves as the elementary principal at South Korea’s Seoul International School. Previously, he was elementary school assistant principal at the International School of Beijing and the Shanghai Community International School.
His career began closer to home. He taught 4th grade at Toquam Magnet School in Stamford, then served as the district’s curriculum associate for elementary mathematics.
Byrne earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business marketing from Indiana University, and a Master of Science in elementary education from the University of Bridgeport.
Remarkable progress has been made in treating heart valve disease.
Breakthroughs in non-surgical technology means open heart surgery is no longer required.
Next Tuesday, at the 3rd “Andrew Wilk Presents: The Westport Library Medical Series,” Dr. Robert Altbaum provides an overview of the anatomy of heart valves. Dr. Chirag Shah discusses aortic stenosis and mitral regurgitation. Attendees will learn about the newest treatment options. Click here for more information.
Steely Dan is not coming to the Weston History & Culture Center.
But Logical Pretzel — a Steely Dan cover band — is.
They’ll open the 8th annual outdoor summer concert series, “Music at the Barn,” on Sunday, June 4. Doors open at 5 p.m. for food, history, crafts and fun; the music begins at 5:30.
Tony’s Pizza Napolitano truck provides food. Concert-goers should bring a lawn chair and beverages. Click here for tickets and more information.
Last year’s “Music at the Barn”
Giovanna “Jennie” Caiati– part of the Nistico family that opened Saugatuck’s beloved Arrow restaurant — died peacefully Tuesday, surrounded by family. She was 94.
Born to Frank and Giovanna Nistico, originally from of Reggio Calabria, Italy, she was just 13 when she and her mother opened the first Arrow.
Their tiny space at the “arrow” point of Saugatuck Avenue and Franklin Street quickly became a community staple. In a short time, their business grew into a 180-seat “home away from home” for generations of Westporters.
Later, Jennie’s love of flowers led her to open Blossoms Plus, a florist and event planning company. Her creative flair and passion for design caught the eye of Westport residents like Martha Steward, Joanne Woodward, Donna Summer and Rodney Dangerfield, who became loyal clients.
Jennie loved to travel. She was an avid cruise enthusiast, going anywhere with her sister-in-law Helene Nistico and best friend Lorraine. She also enjoyed casinos, and dining out.
Her family says, “Her door was always open, and she frequently said, ‘You don’t need an invitation’ to stop by for coffee. She playing word searches and gin rummy, and spent time in the garden.
“But more than anything, ‘Granny’ valued family. She was the consummate ‘giving tree.'”
Jennie was predeceased by her husband Dominick Caiati, and 6 siblings: Pauline Bottone, Lily Bottone, Rose Pascarelli, and Joseph, Louis and Frank Nistico. She is survived by her children Darlene Pianka (Stephen), Dominick (Erin) and Lorenzo; grandchildren Milissa Malloy (Matthew), Lauren Flory (Richard), Lorenzo Caiati Jr.; Kayla, Nicole and Victoria Caiati, and Jack McElreath, and great-grandchildren Connor, Bryce, Parker, Brynn, and Luke.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held tomorrow (Friday May 19, 10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery. Click here to leave online condolences.
Linda Doyle shares these stunning azaleas, lilacs, clematis and red honeysuckle plants “coexisting and enticing pollinators up on Rocky Ridge.” They’re perfect for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.
And finally … in honor of Steely Dan, who are not coming to Weston (story above):
(Do it again! That is: Help support “06880.” Please click here. And thank you.)
Kudos to Mimi! This recognition is a long time coming. She has been indefatigable in her support of our treasure for decades. Well done!
Our condolences to the Nistico family. My father graduated from Staples in 1936 with Frank. We loved the Arrow Restaurant, especially their salad dressing. The good old days in Westport….
The hazardous conditions on the school track is just another failure of the Parks and Rec to maintain areas of reported concern. Think it’s long overdue that the head of this important town department be replaced with a person who is competent and forward thinking,
Well done Mimi and so glad you are being honored for your time and service. Mimi was also a very active participant in the Westport Soccer Association back in the days when life was a little simpler and dads and moms were doing most of the coaching. A great lady, wonderful. husband and fine family.
Congrats to my friend Mimi! Well deserved…Good work by the WPD…Condolences to the Caiati/Nistico/Pianka family..She was a wonderful lady…Regarding the new principal at GF El. I’m kind of surprised that there is nobody within the school system qualified??
Re: PJ Romano, I’m told that P&R is targeting the end of summer/early fall for reconstructing the track, rather than just repairing cracks – design and bid specs are underway. We’ll be watching for progress on this!
Track is on schedule for replacement near end of June. I have confirmed with Carmen Roda & Public Works who are contracting out the paving project.
Complete resurfacing with lines being painted in and drainage pitching corrected.
Feel free to reach out anytime Clark Thiemann!
Thank you Andrew! My daughter called me earlier and said she had reached out to you by e-mail for this. Much appreciated!!
Tommy, what a cool award. Kudos!
Warmest congratulations Mimi on this well deserved honor! You set the volunteer bar very high- we are all so blessed to have you in our town.