Roundup: Smoky Skies, Staples Baseball, Startup Westport …

As predicted, the Singapore-style haze that smothered Westport yesterday has started to lift.

But Paul Delano was out early this morning. He reports: “It was a hazy red sunrise — although you couldn’t even see the sun until about half an hour after it rose.”

Here’s some of what he saw, at Compo Beach …

… and Sherwood Mill Pond:

(Photos/Paul Delano)


Play ball!

The Staples High School baseball team shoots for their 3rd state championship in 7 years this Saturday. (And one year was lost to COVID).

The 21-5 Wreckers — seeded #3 in the “LL” (extra large schools) division — face next-door foes, and close rivals, 4th-ranked Fairfield Warde.

The first pitch on June 10 is 12 noon, at Palmer Field in Middletown.

Staples is 21-5 this year. But two of those losses came to the Mustangs. After a 5-4 win in April, the Wreckers fell to Warde 7-0 in their second regular season meeting in May. The Fairfielders took the FCIAC semifinal too, by a razor-thin 3-2 score, en route to a 6-1 championship victory over Westhill.

Can’t make it to Middletown? Click here for the livestream.

Fans of all ages will be cheering for the Staples baseball team — in person, and virtually — on Saturday.


A crowd of 150 theaded to La Plage Tuesday evening, for the first big Startup Westport meeting.

The public/private partnership hopes to make our town Westport a special suburban center of an ecosystem of tech people and investors.

Attendees called the networking meeting “energetic, creative and productive.”

Plans are underway for a special event September 14, at the Westport Library. Dan Bikel — tech lead at Meta — will take about AI.


From left: Startup Westport board members: Peter Propp, Cliff Sirlin, Jay Norris; 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker; board member Sam Hendel; Police Chief Foti Koskinas; board member Dan Bikel.


Westport Police report 2 custodial arrests, for the period of May 31-June 7.

One man was arrested for larceny and credit card fraud. An Instacart delivery person became suspicious after receiving several orders from BevMax, for a person sitting in a car in front of a house under construction very close to the store. Several high-order deliveries had been requested, using different credit cards.

Another man was arrested for larceny, identity theft and forgery, after a resident’s check was stolen, altered and deposited.

Police also issued these citations:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 4 citations
  • Failure to comply with state traffic regulations: 4
  • Failure to renew registration: 2
  • Following too closely: 1
  • Failure to yield right of way: 1
  • Failure to drive in the proper lane: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 1.

Frequent orders from one liquor store led to an arrest.


Recent “06880” stories about the Westport Country Playhouse have elicited plenty of ideas for the future — and memories of the past. Nearly everyone in Westport has opinions about what’s right, and/or wrong, with one of our town’s artistic jewels.

But no matter where you stand, here’s a question: Who (or what) is that figure standing at the upper left, on the top of the Playhouse in the photo below?

Peter Hirst — a member of Staples Players back in the 1960s — noticed it. He assumes it was photoshopped in. But by whom? When? And why?

If you know, please click “Comments” below.

PS: I never noticed it before. Did you?


Club 203’s first year will end with a bang.

Westport’s social organization for adults with disabilities celebrates June 15 (6:30 to 8 p.m., Westport Library), with an end-of-year karaoke bash.

Along with singing and dancing, there’s dessert, and party art with MoCA.

The cost is $10 per person. Newcomers should click here, and follow the prompts.

Next on the Club 203 calendar: summer meet-ups. Details coming soon!


Two great kids’ activities are among the events this Sunday (June 11) at Blau House & Gardens’ “Last Lollapaloosa”:

Book reading and signing of “Pinkalicious: Fairy House” by author/ illustrator Victoria Kann: 11 a.m.; $15 per child (maximum 25 children). Each child received 2 Pinkalicious books; other activities include coloring, plant a bean to take home and watch grow; find the fairy houses in the garden.

Book reading and signing of “The Frog Who Wanted to See the Sea” by author/illustrator Guy Billout: 2:30 p.m.; $20 per child (maximum 20 children). Also: find a frog along the stream; plant a bean to take home and watch grow.

Blau House & Gardens is located at the end of Bayberry Ridge — a narrow, rutted road off Bayberry. The home — designed by theatrical stage set designer Ralph Alswang — is set between towering great oaks.

The grand gardens — by advertising executive Barry Blau — were created in response to the house. They incorporate native plants interspersed with a blend of exotics.

Other events on Saturday include:

Planting ceremony: Native rosebud trees; 9 a.m.; free (maximum 40 people)

Tour of Blau Gardens: 10 a.m.; $20 per person (maximum 36 people)

Gentle yoga with Millie: 1 p.m.; $20 per person (maximum 20 people)

Tour of Blau Gardens: 4:30 p.m.; $20 per person (maximum 36 people)

Garden reception: 6 to 8 p.m.; $75 per person (maximum 50 people). Help create a Blau House & Garden future.

Click here to register (deadline: June 5), and for information on payment and shuttle transportation from Coleytown Elementary School.

Just one part of Blau Gardens.


Friends of Sherwood Island State Park hold its annual meeting this Sunday (June 11, 4 p.m., main pavilion.

It’s a chance to meet our board, learn more about the non-profit, discuss plans to support the park, and say hello to new Supervisor Jeff Dery, his staff and interns.

Everyone is welcome, including prospective members. Entrance to the park is free for vehicles with Connecticut license plates.


James Naughton is a man of many talents, and passions.

The Tony Award-winning actor and Weston resident is finishing his run in “On Golden Pond” at the Ivoryton Playhouse. Ge’s very involved with Wildlife in Crisis.

And next Thursday (June 15, 11:30 a.m., Waveny Park main house, New Canaan) he will address the League of Voters there about his 6-year effort to get a Medical Aid in Dying law passed in Connecticut.

It’s come close — and approximately 75% of state residents support it. But it has still not been enacted.

Naughton’s advocacy honors the legacy of his wife Pamela. She died in 2013, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.

James Naughton


Even the most passionate Westport sports fans probably did not notice that Luca Koleosho scored his first professional goal for Espanyol on Sunday, in their 3-3 draw with Almeria. At 18 years old, he’s the 3rd youngest player ever to score in La Liga, the Spanish soccer league that is one of the best in the world.

But Melissa Vallera sure did.

A former All-Region and Academic All-America soccer player at the University of Bridgeport, she’s Luca’s mom. She is also a physical therapist, who has spent many years working with Westport student-athletes, in a variety of sports. Her clients rave about her.

Luca was born in Trumbull. His family now lives in Greenwich. But he’s been playing in Europe since he was 11.

Luca’s father was a football running back at the University of Oklahoma.

Great genes — and a great accomplishment! (Hat tip: Vince Kelly)

Luca Koleosho


Former CBS radio and TV producer Tom Curley addressed the Westport Rotary Club at its Tuesday meeting. He discussed his sometimes chaotic personal experiences working with Lesley Stahl and Dan Rather (“a really nice guy” he said).

Now, after 10 years in retirement, he has created a TV studio in his basement. He produces humorous video programs called “Get Off My Lawn!” and “Media War Stories.”


Frederic Chiu is an internationally known pianist, and co-founder of Beechwood’s innovative Arts & Innovation series.

Turns out he’s also a superb nature photographer.

Here’s his submission for our daily “Westport … Naturally” series:

(Photo/Frederic Chiu)


And finally … Astrud Gilberto died on Monday. She was 83.

The first song she ever recorded — “The Girl From Ipanema” — was an international hit. It introduced Brazilian bossa nova to the US. And though she never replicated that success, she was a successful recording artist for decades. Click here for a full obituary.

(Sports, shows, gardens, cops — “06880” delivers it all, every day. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

5 responses to “Roundup: Smoky Skies, Staples Baseball, Startup Westport …

  1. The guy on the Playhouse roof looks kind of like a refugee from a Magritte painting, probably Golconda. No idea how he got up there, though.

  2. Mark Bachmann

    Was there a Westport connection to the Astrud Gilberto story? I can remember being riveted by the song back in the day.

  3. Mark Bachmann

    Was there a Westport connection to the Astrud Gilberto story. I can remember being riveted by the song back in the day.

    • No. The songs each day are just entertainment. I started them during COVID to give people something to click on and enjoy. Readers liked them, so I continued the tradition. Occasionally I’ll connect them to a story in the Roundup, but otherwise no Westport connection.

  4. Cristina Negrin

    The guy on the roof (obviously a spoof and shopped in later) I give credit to Miggs or Duane