Roundup: College Choices, Hillspoint Teardown, Lyman Party …

The Staples High School Class of 2023 graduated Tuesday.

This fall, they’ll head out across the country — and beyond.

Here are the top college choices for the 430 graduating seniors:

  • University of Connecticut (includes Storrs, Stamford and Waterbury campuses): 19 students
  • Indiana University-Bloomington: 15
  • Pennsylvania State University-main campus, and Syracuse University: 11 each
  • University of Colorado-Boulder: 10
  • Northeastern University: 9
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison and Virginia Tech: 8 each
  • Tulane University: 7
  • American University, Lehigh University, Miami University, Norwalk Community College, the University of Texas-Austin and University of Miami: 6 each
  • Boston University, Elon University, Fordham University, New York University, University of Vermont and Vanderbilt University: 5 each.

Twelve students are attending universities outside the US. The furthest is the American College of Greece. All told, they will attend 179 different post-secondary institutions.

The #1 intended major is business/accounting/finance. Second is “undecided,” followed by political science/international relations.

Four are joining the military, or attending a military academy.

In addition, 20 graduates have these plans:

  • 2-year college: 7 students
  • Vocational/trade school: 6
  • Employment: 4
  • Post-graduate year: 3,

(Hat tip: Staples High School counseling department; Inklings)

The most popular school for Staples graduates.


The wrecking ball came today for 254 Hillspoint Road.

The 3-bedroom, 2 1/2-bathroom, 2,866-square foot home on .54 acre, with 120 linear feet of waterfront, was built in 1952. It’s a familiar sight to the many people who walk between Compo Beach and Old Mill.

It sold recently for $5 million.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


When Westporters gather July 9 to celebrate our new sister city — Lyman, Ukraine — we’ll do so with a boost from our long-time and first sister city, Marigny-le-Lozon, France.

The ties forged nearly 80 years ago still endure. Our French friends — who first came up with the idea of joining to help a Ukrainian town, just as Westport did for Marigny after World War II.

Marigny is sending:

  • 3 special sweatshirts, which say “Westport/Marigny-le-Lozon/Lyman”
  • 3 copies of the 700-page book “601 Towns & Villages in La Manche,” with a special bi-lingual, handwritten dedication
  • 1 bottle of “hors d’âge” calvados. It’s a drink that American GIs enjoyed in 1944.

Attendees will get a chance to win the books — and much, much more — at the LymanAID event July 9 (1 p.m. to 7 p.m., Ukrainian-American Club, Southport).

It’s a chance for the community to come together, as thanks for raising $252,000 last winter for Lyman (pronounced LEE-mon).

It’s a free family-friendly day filled with food, fun and music.

There is no admission. You don’t have to pay anything for snacks, drinks and entertainment.

But there will be plenty of opportunities to help Lyman too — including raffles, a treasure sale, Yankee auction, coffee table book pull, plant sale, “LymanADE” stand and more.

There are two tiers of VIP tickets, too. $350 include reserved seating, a commemorative gift, open bar, homemade Ukrainian-inspired meal and more.

VIP Plus tickets ($1,000) receive all those benefits , plus signage with your family name or company logo, a message for the Ukrainian people, and a Ukraine flag signed by Mayor Alexander Zhuravlov.

To RSVP, purchase VIP tickets and for more information, click here. To make a direction directly now, click here; under “Designation,” click on “Westport-Lyman Sister City” in the dropdown menu.

NOTE: The entire event has been privately underwritten. No Ukrainian Aid International funds will be used. All money raised will go directly to Westport’s sister city. 

The Marigny book and dedication flank a bottle of calvados. All are gifts from our sister city of Marigny, as prizes at the July 9 LymanAID event for other city in Ukraine.


Welcome to the Westport Police Department’s newest officer: Melissa Bike.

The 24-year-old graduate of St. Joseph High School earned a BA in criminal justice investigative services, and a master’s in emergency management from the University of New Haven (where she also starred in softball). After college, she interned with Stamford Superior Court.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas and new police officer Melissa Bike.


Yesterday’s Pics of the Day carried an incorrect photo credit.

The beautiful shot of a rainbow over Staples High School should have been credited to Jen Kobetitsch. Apologies for the editing error!

(Photo/Jen Kobetitsch)


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport celebrates the summer solstice with a labyrinth walk.

Sure, it’s a bit early: this Saturday (June 17, 2 to 4 p.m.).

But there will be talks by applied mathematician Dr. Bart Stuck, and Jungian astrologer Rev. Marjorie Partch, plus sacred music; a mandala coloring meditation, and a chance to “sync up with ongoing lunar cycles to re-focus your intention to manifest your unique potential ~ as revealed in your birth chart ~ with ongoing New & Full Moon Manifestation Circles at Yoga Shala.”

The congregation adds: “Labyrinths have been used for millennia for inner peace, contemplation, walking meditation, spiritual healing, and prayer. The circular paths are a spiritual technology designed to facilitate insight, transformation, and awakening.”


Our Minute Man looks better than ever.

But — like all of us — the town symbol needs care and attention. He got it this week.

Photographer Jamie Klein did not get the worker’s name. But we thank him for his attention to the Minute Man — and his plaque.

(Photo/Jamie Klein)


All is set for today’s Bedford Middle School moving up ceremony, at Wakeman Field.

Congratulations, 8th graders! Enjoy the next 4 years. They will pass very, very quickly.

(Photo/Robert Augustyn)


La Batalla del Vino — the “Battle of Wine” — takes place every June 29 in Haro, a town in the Rioja Alta region of Spain that is home to nearly half of the area’s vineyyards.

DeTAPAS celebrates the annual tradition this year. They won’t be spraying each other with wine from bottles and water guns, the way they’ve done in Haro since the 10th century.

But owner Carlos Pia promises a 6-course tapas and wine pairing, with 6 wines from Rioja.

The cost is $75 per person. Reservations are required: 203-557-0257;


MoCA Westport’s summer exhibitions feature contemporary artists Richard Tsao and Sao.

Tsao was born in Thailand, and lives in New York. Sao — a native of Portugal — now lives in Southport. Both work with color. Tsao uses accumulative, and Sao layered, washes.

An opening reception is June 28 (6 to 8 p.m.). The event is free for MoCA members, $10 for non-members. Click here to reister.

“Moon Dust” (Richard Tsao)


Singer/songwriter PJ Pacifico kicks off the Weston History & Culture Center’s 8th annual “Music at the Barn” series on June 25 (5:30 p.m.).

Bring a picnic dinner, BYOB and lawn char. Tickets ($15 members, $20 non-members; children under 12 free) are available at the door (gate?) or in advance. WHCC Members: $15 per person; General admission: $20 per person; Children

In addition to the music there is a kids crafting table, lawn games, and a walk through the  sculpture garden.

PJ’s band’s debut single “Coming Up For Air” debuted on “Grey’s Anatomy.” It shot to #1 on the iTunes singer/songwriter chart, and was featured on Spotify’s New Music Friday playlist.

PJ Pacifico


Edward L. “Ted” Garrity died peacefully at home on June 4. He was 98.

He was a Michigan native, but grew up in Missouri. After high school he enlisted in the US Army Air Corps, where he earned his wings. He became a B-24 and B-25 instructor at the age of 19.

In 1951, after completing his education at the University of Arizona he was hired as a pilot for United Airlines. He met his wife Cathym who was working in the Denver pilot office. In 1963 they moved to Westport, where they raised 5 children.

During his 34year career at United he flew over a dozen types of aircraft. He began on a Douglas DC-3, then turboprop aircraft, advancing to United’s first jets, before finishing on the Boeing 747.

He quickly rose through the ranks to become an instructor, flight manager and a chief pilot. He continued to fly smaller airplanes for fun after he retired from United in 1984.

During his free time he loved taking his family on ski vacations, sailing, collecting model trains, and staying active around the house. He could fix almost anything, and always lent a helping hand.  He also enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren.

Ted was also active in the community as a member of The Westport Y’s Men.

Ted was predeceased by his daughter Deborah. He is survived by his wife Catherine of 70 years, and their children Michael, David, Linda, Thomas, and 8 grandchildren.

A celebration of Ted’s life will be held at the Saugatuck Congregational Church on June 24 (2 p.m.).

Ted Garrity


A gull enjoys a crabby Burying Hill Beach breakfast, in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … in honor of the popular college for the Staples High School Class of 2023:

 (Click here to honor a graduate, through a donation to “06880.” Make sure to let us know who your grad is. Thank you!)

5 responses to “Roundup: College Choices, Hillspoint Teardown, Lyman Party …

  1. John Kelley

    Some colleges make special pitches to guidance departments–I wonder if that’s how Indiana University got so many Staples students.

  2. Dick Lowenstein

    And not a single Ivy among the destination colleges.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      Not surprising given that Dan only listed names of schools with 5 or more acceptees. Probably only a handful of schools that would have 5 kids accepted at any given Ivy. Pretty sure there is at least 1 Yale and 1 Harvard admit though I could be wrong.

      • Eric William Buchroeder SHS 70

        Westporters know value when they see it. The Ivies ain’t worth it. You can buy better but you can’t pay more.

  3. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    You two guys took the words right out of my comment. IU’s a great place and Bloomington’s a great town but I never knew it to be a preferred venue for Staples grads. Tell the freshman Staples grads if they get homesick we’re only 100 miles away.