Roundup: David Pogue & Titanic, SHS Grad Video, Wrong Way Entrance Ramps …

As the search continues for the submersible, lost in the Atlantic Ocean during a dive to the wreck of Titanic, media outlets cite David Pogue’s report on the company catering to the ultra-rich.

Last November, the Westporter and “CBS Sunday Morning” correspondent described his own dive — and the warnings that preceded it. “06880” wrote about that now-noteworthy segment.

Our piece included a link to his broadcast:

There was a link to his “Unsung Science” podcast too. Click here, then scroll down for his 2-part series on his experience with the vessel.

This week, Pogue has been quoted in print and broadcast media outlets around the world. He has become the world’s go-to expert, both from personal and professional experience.

Here’s his report, from CBS:


Missed the Staples High School Class of 2023 graduation last week?

Maybe you were there, and want to see it not from behind your cellphone camera lens?

Or perhaps you’d like to show it off to grandparents, siblings or anyone else who could not make it to Paul Lane Field?

Jim Honeycutt did his usual spectacular job of recording the event, then turning it into a video for the whole world to see.

Click below to see it all: processional, recessional, and everything in between.


Large red and technologically advanced “Wrong Way” signs will be installed soon at the northbound and southbound I-95 Exit 17 entrances.

They’re part of a statewide program to cut down on head-on collisions — often fatal — resulting from drivers entering highway exits.

The state Department of Transportation has identified 236 high-risk ramps. Many are like Exit 17, where the on- and off-ramps are in close proximity. The highest priority goes to ramps that are near to places that serve alcohol.

The new signs will include cameras that identify when cars drive the wrong way. When that happens, lights flash.

The signs will also notify the closest state police barracks, and DOT Highway Operations Center.

I-95 Exit 17 on- and off-ramps are right next to each other.


Speaking of traffic: The Westport Sunrise Rotary’s annual Great Duck Race is this Saturday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). The Taylor parking lot (between Jesup Green and the Saugatuck River) will be closed beginning Friday evening.

Also this weekend: the downtown Sidewalk Sale (Friday through Sunday). Expect extra traffic — both vehicular and pedestrian.

Oblivious to the upcoming closing of the Taylor parking lot. (Photo/Mary Sikorski)


Since 2019, Wakeman Town Farm, Earthplace and the Westport Garden Club have promoted Westport’s “Pollinator Pathway.” It’s part of an area-wide effort to restore and connect habitats for ecologically crucial pollinators.

This Saturday (June 24, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the group has organized a second annual Pollinator Pathway tour. It features 2 private and 4 public gardens. Other Fairfield and Westchester County towns are also involved.

Westport locations include:

  • 4 Deepwood Lane
  • Earthplace
  • Prospect Gardens (13 Prospect Road)
  • Sherwood Island State Park Nature Center
  • Smith Richardson Wildlife Preserve
  • Wakeman Town Farm

All sites except Earthplace will have guides and/or gardeners on hand to answer questions, and provide information about plant choice and best practices to support biodiversity using earth-friendly practices for healthier lawns and gardens.

Earthplace will be a self-directed tour.

Click here for more information on participating gardens, and an interactive map with descriptions, photographs, and directions. Click here for a list of Northeast native pollinator plants.

Part of the Sherwood Island State Park Pollinator Pathway. (Photo/Kelle Ruden)


A few days after the end of the legislative session, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg addressed the Westport Rotary Club at yesterday’s weekly meeting.

“We hope Connecticut can get back to where it was pre-pandemic,” Steinberg said, referring to the local economy. Election initiatives such as early voting and new election technology, and sensible gun reform, are other priorities for Governor Lamong.

The legislator also discussed Westport’s crippling traffic. He said, “We need to do more work on improving traffic in Westport, We have no choice not to.”

Though a proposal to levy highway tolls failed in the past few years, Steinberg hopes to keep the issue alive. He says it could help alleviate congestion.

State Representative Jonathan Steinberg, at the Westport Rotary Club. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)


At 57 Diane Meyer Lowman set off on a life-changing adventure: a “senior year abroad” studying in the MA program at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-upon-Avon.

She learned a lot.

She wrote a lot too.

Her memoir –“The Undiscovered Country: Seeing Myself Through Shakespeare’s Eyes” — will be published in September.

Diane details her “transformative experiences, both personal and academic,” as she immerses herself in the world of Shakespeare. She learns as much about herself as she does about the Bard.

“Undiscovered Country” is available for pre-order. Click here for details.


Former Westport resident Patricia Lane Willett died unexpectedly on June 8. She was 83, and lived in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Her family calls her “a devoted wife for nearly 6 decades to William H. Willett, a loving mother of 5, a loyal friend, an active philanthropist, and an extraordinary hostess. Pat embraced life with boundless energy, a competitive spirit, and a knack for timely humor.

“Her infectious smile, unwavering desire to please, and unmatched passion for entertaining ensured that every gathering she hosted was unforgettable and filled with laughter.

“She possessed a remarkable ability to spoil her cherished grandchildren, showering them with affection, Nana kisses, and indulgences that will forever hold a special place in their hearts. Pat’s dedication to philanthropy revealed her depth of competitive spirit as she tirelessly pursued charitable goals, all the while expressing immense gratitude for those who supported and shared in her endeavors.”

Patricia was preceded in death by her siblings Mary, Judy, Linda, Joe, Paul, Chubby, Greg, and daughter-in-law Shannon Willett. She is survived by her husband; children Wendy Sellers (Rick), Chris Willett, Jeff Willett (Lisa), Brad Willett (Jennifer) and Elizabeth Johnson; sister Joanne Lane; 16 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests considering donations in Pat’s memory to Autism Speaks, a cause close to her heart.


In our never-ending quest to bring unusual flora and fauna to “Westport … Naturally,” we offer this cactus:

(Photo/Ken Yormark)

It’s courtesy of Ken Yormark’s garden, on Saugatuck Shores.


And finally … summer arrives soon (at 10:57 a.m., to be exact). So shouldn’t it be warmer?

I had thousands of songs to choose from today. This tiny smattering popped into my head.

 (You can have fun all summer long with “06880.” But please don’t forget to support us with a contribution. Just click here. Thank you!)

7 responses to “Roundup: David Pogue & Titanic, SHS Grad Video, Wrong Way Entrance Ramps …

  1. Tammy J Barry

    Dan and/or Ken, those flowering cactus are so pretty. I am amazed that they winter and come back every summer here in CT. Do you know what they are called??

  2. Good comments by Pogue. He suspects the sub experienced catastrophe on the way down when communications stopped. Otherwise a timer system would automatically have released ballast and caused the ship to rise to the surface. Hopefully death would be very swift in such an occurrence.

  3. Dan- what a great column! Pogue on the submersible, the Valedictory and Salutatory speeches, helping butterflies, recognizing Westport has a traffic problem, finding Shakespeare, a life well lived, a good looking cactus and two out of three songs I will play again later today! What a way to start the day!! Thank you!

  4. I can’t believe it but I know one of the five people aboard the sub, PH Nargeolet. He was married to one of my closest friends ever, Michele Marsh, until she passed away in 2017. I visited them often at their gorgeous home in Kent, CT. She was a NYC broadcasting legend. I guess we’ll soon see what happens. Ugh.

  5. Dan, So many important and noteworthy updates this morning. I’m sorry for the passing of Pat Willett.

    I’m particularly glad you highlighted the efforts of the Wakeman Town Farm, Earthplace and the Westport Garden Club to promote Westport’s “Pollinator Pathway.” They are aligned to similar efforts by Plan it Wild, the Aspetuck Land Trust, the Vermont Center for Ecostudies and iNaturalist too, who are promoting pollinator pathways too and measuring such things as the number of pollinator species. We are fortunate to have these initiatives, and to learn about environmental impact.

    I hope Westport families consider aligning their gardening efforts to recommendations of such organizations as Aspetuck Land Trust and Plan it Wild.

    I hope efforts continue to support the Westport Country Playhouse as well, another crown jewel in the town.

  6. Clark Thiemann

    While I respect Rep Steinberg, the idea that the best solution to fixing our local traffic issues is adding highway tolls seems pretty tenuous. I don’t even disagree with highway tolls! But the issues seem to much more relate to 1.) too many cars driving through Westport and 2.) chokepoints across town (especially near the river).

    Everyone in this town knows that the state roads are the worse offenders of our problems (1&33? the triangle of doom near the Merritt?) Any chance you can work to improve the state DOT?