Roundup: Interim Fire Chief, Lobster Fest Tickets, Long Lots Meeting …

Westport has a new interim fire chief.

Mark Amatrudo takes over, effective Monday. Deputy Chief Nicholas Marsan, recently named town emergency management director, will continue in his dual role as deputy chief.

Amatrudo is a third generation chief fire officer. He has served as a career and volunteer assistant chief, deputy chief and acting chief for almost 25 years, including as Westport’s interim deputy chief from 2005-07. 

Amatrudo is an Emergency Medical Technician. He also holds the highest level of fire service certifications in various areas, including fire officer, fire service instructor and safety officer.

He served as a Connecticut Fire Academy Instructor for almost 30 years. He developed a course for the National Fire Academy Executive Fire Officer Program, and spent years instructing at the National Fire Academy campus in Emmitsburg, Maryland.

Among his awards are FEMA National Outstanding Citizen Corps Council Award, Connecticut Emergency Manager of the Year, Connecticut Fire Instructor of the Year, Connecticut Exchange Club Hero Award and Holmatro Rescue Award.

Amatrudo holds a BS degree from Stonehill College, and an Executive MBA from the University of New Haven. 

Mark Armatrudo


It’s mid-July. Time to get tickets for the fall LobsterFest!

In fact, it may soon be too late. The Westport Rotary Club’s mega-fundraiser sells out very quickly.

This year’s event is September 23 (3 to 7 p.m., Compo Beach). As usual always, Rotary offers 2 1.25-pound lobsters or a 14-ounce New York strip steak; corn, cole slaw, potato salad and bread.

Plus of course live music; kids’ games and activities; unlimited beer, wine and soft drinks, and a cash raw bar.

It’s one of Westport’s best parties. The timing is perfect, at the start of a new school year. The weather is wonderful. The food and entertainment are plentiful.

And the money raised helps Rotary support a wide array of great causes.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

A small part of the large LobsterFest.


The Long Lots School Building Committee holds a special meeting next Tuesday, (July 25, 6 p.m., Town Hall Room 309).

The session begins with public comment and/or questions about the project.

A work session follows with the design team, for updates and review. The public can attend the work session, but not participate.

If time permits, public input will be allowed at the end of the meeting.

Long Lots Elementary School is 70 years old.


This is the weekend for the always-anticipated, very giant Pequot Library Book Sale.

Over 100,000 items in 50-plus categories are on sale.

Hours are:

  • Today (Friday, July 21): 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Saturday, Sunday and Monday (July 22-24): 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday (July 25): 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pequot Library


Paddle is coming to Westport.

That’s “Paddle for the Sound” — not (this time) paddleball.

For 9 days (July 29 to August 6), the 8th annual Save the Sound fundraiser draws people of all ages for a leisure paddle — or a kayak, stand up paddle board (SUP) and canoe competition.

Participants track their distances paddled, while raising funds to protect Long Island Sound and its rivers, restore local ecosystems, fight climate change, and save endangered lands.

They’ll take screenshots of the distance on each excursion, and send it to the Paddle for the Sound team to compile results. Prizes are awarded for total distance paddled, and most funds raised.

Click here for more information, and to sign up.

Enjoy a paddle. Save the Sound! (Photo/Lisa Price)


Fig Linens & Home is moving.

A fixture on Post Road East near Main Street since 2004, their lease is up at the end of August.

They’re not sure where they’ll go. But they are not closing.

A “Moving Sale” is underway. As the sign says: Everything must go.

(Photo/Patti Brill)


In the 5 years she has hosted matchmaking events for singles, Jill Dunn has connected thousands of people.

Her next event — and your next chance at relationship bliss — is July 30 (4:30 p.m., Gabriele’s Steakhouse).

For tickets, click here. For more information on Jill’s events, click here.

Jill Dunn


Most of the time, action at the Westport Astronomical Society’s observatory is in the sky.

On Wednesday, the action shifted to the ground. A family of 4 bobcats visited.

They seemed more interested in looking down than up.

Then again, this was their land long before we humans arrived.


Longtime Westporter Stewart Greenfield died peacefully at Bridgeport Hospital on Wednesday.

A service is set for Sunday (July 23, 12:30 p.m., Abraham Green & Son Funeral Home, 88 Beach Rd, Fairfield. Visitation begins at 11:30 a.m.

Interment is at Temple Israel Cemetery (225 Richards Avenue). The family will then host mourners at their Westport home.

The family will sit Shiva tonight through July 26 (6 to 8 p.m., 279 Sturges Highway and 49 East 86th Street, Apt 11B/C, New York).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Nature Conservancy or St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland.


This frog looks huge.

It’s really just an inch long. But Molly Alger captured it perfectly — on the outside of her kitchen window — for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Molly Alger)


And finally … Tony Bennett died this morning in New York. He was 96.

The New York Times called him “a singer whose melodic clarity, jazz-influenced phrasing, audience-embracing persona and warm, deceptively simple interpretations of musical standards helped spread the American songbook around the world and won him generations of fans.”

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016. He continued to perform and record, however. His last public performance was in August that year, with Lady Gaga at Radio City Music Hall. Click here for a full obituary.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog — and a non-profit. Please click here to make a tax-deductible contribution. Thank you!)

3 responses to “Roundup: Interim Fire Chief, Lobster Fest Tickets, Long Lots Meeting …

  1. I certainly hope that Nick Marsan is being considered for Fire Chief. We are lucky to have him..

  2. Andrew Colabella

    The temporary hiring of Mark Armatrudo is to help Nick Marsan in his path to assuming Chief.

    Nick Marsan is a born leader, and the Town of Westport is going to bat for Nick to learn the entirety of being a Chief. Only being a Deputy Chief for less than two years, Nick will be guided by an administrative expert to assume the top quality skills of human management, budgeting, policy, analysis and his already top skill, leadership.

    I can say with certainty based on comments from other employees, moral and faith in the FD has never been this high since Chief Ackley some have said.

    I am excited to see Nick Marsan grow and learn to one day becoming chief of this fire department.

  3. The hiring of Mark Amatrudo has come as a complete shock to the members of the Local 1081 and the entirety of the Fire Department. Deputy Chief Marsan not only has the full support of the department but also already possesses the knowledge, skills, and abilities to fulfill the role as Chief of Department. The idea that he needed to guided further to succeed is not only demeaning to his abilities, but is laughable from anyone who has worked with or served under him.

    Morale was at an all-time high when the anticipation was that Deputy Chief Marsan would be named Chief, and subsequent promotions would occur. However, when news broke that this would not be the case, morale has now sunk to an absolute all time low, and any hope to right the wrongs of the past have vanished. This can be evidenced by the thirty or so letters and emails sent to the First Selectwoman by the membership of Local 1081 expressing their frustration and dismay with her decision.

    The residents of Westport deserve the best, and this decision falls far short of what is best.

    Matt Wille
    Westport Uniformed Firefighters Association, Local 1081

What do you think? Please comment! Remember: All commenters must use full, real names!