Roundup: NASA, WFD, GOAT …

Compo Beach-goers got more than the usual evening delights — a beautiful sky and welcoming breeze — yesterday.

Even if they weren’t aware of it.

A few minutes after 8:30, a NASA rocket with supplies for the International Space Station took off from Virginia.

Its contrails were clear to anyone who looked.

A few minutes later, the rocket ignition itself was visible.

(Photos/Jennifer Kobetitsch)

Another view of the rocket launch. (Photo/Marjolijn Baxendale)

Soon came a full moon rise — the “sturgeon moon” — over the cannons…

(Photo/Michelle Harmon)

,,, and another view, slightly higher …

(Photo/Mary Robertshaw)

… and then, this timeless image ….

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

… and another:

(Photo/Richard Abramowitz)


Beth Keane lives off South Compo Road, not far from the fire and police stations, and EMS headquarters.

Lately, she’s heard an increased number of sirens all day long.

I live near her. I’ve noticed it too.

She notes, “This absolutely is not the fault of our wonderful emergency services.” 

Beth wonders if there are more emergencies overall. More likely, she thinks, sirens are used more frequently “due to the increasingly horrible traffic congestion. That may be the only way to clear a path.

“It is not so routine these days to maneuver a police vehicle, fire truck or ambulance given the current congested traffic situation in good weather — let alone through snow and ice.

“At high speed it is dicey at best, probably hair-raising, and a testament to the skill of our protectors.”

I thought about this on Monday, when a fire truck raced west on the Post Road.

The 2 lanes (plus turning lanes) were stopped for a red light at Imperial and Myrtle Avenues. With no traffic coming toward it, the vehicle maneuvered into the eastbound lane, slowed at the light, then continued toward the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge, as cars slowly moved right in front of Bank of America.

It’s a scene repeated several times a day. Those sirens are definitely needed.

Drive carefully, so you won’t need emergency vehicles.

But if you see one coming — ahead of you, or behind — pull over. Give it room. To help us, they need our help.


You’d expect a goat at Wakeman Town Farm.

But at The Porch at Christie’s?

Sure! The farm, and the restaurant just a few yards east on Cross Highway, teamed up to create the “WTF G.O.A.T. Bowl.”*  It includes strawberries, blueberries, cranberries, bananas, Arethusa Farm yogurt and quinoa — topped with Wakeman Town Farm honey.

It’s $12, and is available through September 30.

Also new at The Porch: animal sugar cookies of sheep, alpacas and goats. Made by their nonprofit Sweet P Bakery, they’re $3 each. 10 % of the proceeds are donated to WTF.

The animal cookies are also available at the Town Farm’s Saturday farm stand.

* The letters stand for “Greatest Of All Time.”

Wakeman Town Farm’s GOAT Salad at The Porch.


The Westport Library board of trustees has a new president.

Barrie Rosen takes over for Jeremy Price. He remains on the board, as immediate past president.

Rosen — a longtime Library advocate — has served on the board since 2020. She leads marketing communications at Consumer Reports after earlier stints at YP (formerly, Fox News, News 12 Connecticut, and several public relations agencies. She also serves on the board of Staples Tuition Grants.

Joining the board as new members are Bob Boroujerdi, a former partner at Goldman Sachs who most recently served as a managing director at Third Point LLC; Mark Silverstein, an internet technology and media executive who has worked at Spotify, Luminary, and HuffPost; and Martina Sze, chief development officer at HealthVest.

Of the 20 Library board members, 10 are selected by the board itself. The other 10 are chosen by the Representative Town Meeting.

Top row (from left): Immediate past president Jeremy Price, president Barrie Rosen, secretary Melissa Banks. Bottom: new board members Mark Silverstein, Bob Boroujerdi and Martina Sze.


Lou Weinberg was the Westport Rotary Club’s guest speaker yesterday.

The Westport Community Gardens director described the tight community of avid, organic gardeners that has evolved over their 20 years at the current site, just south of Long Lots Elementary School.

He also talked about the Long Lots Preserve, the project that has reclaimed overgrown town land surrounding the garden. It’s filled now with native plants, birds and insects (particularly bees).

Lou Weinberg, at the Westport Rotary Club. His slide show highlighted the Westport Community Gardens — and the gardeners who make up the community.


Paul von Schmidt died on July 23, at 67. He was born in Westport to Peter and Annie von Schmidt, and lived in Collinsville, Connecticut.

Music was one of Paul’s greatest passions. After graduating from Staples High School, he studied  in Vermont to be a luthier. He opened a successful business in Barkhamsted, Connecticut, making and fixing stringed instruments.

He worked with Ovation Guitars. He also repaired guitars for music stores throughout the state, supporting and advocating for local musicians. He was a talented guitar player in his own right, too,

Paul was a talented chef (known for his homegrown, homemade hot sauces), artist and avid learner.

He is survived by his daughters Tara von Schmidt and Alissa Savage-Paul (Chris); grandchildren Alexandria Savage, Ariana Savage and Finn Paul; brother Christian, extended family, and countless friends.

His family says, “Paul’s life was defined by music, storytelling and good friendships. In his honor we encourage you to raise a glass, strum a guitar string, or plan your next adventure, just as he would have wanted.”

A celebration of his life will be held in Westport on August 22. Click here for more information. To plant a tree in Paul’s memory, click here(Hat tip: JD Dworkow) 

Paul von Schmidt


There are tons of beautiful waterfront gardens.

At the top of any list: Martin Greenberg and Becky Keeler’s, on the Saugatuck River.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature includes one small section of their gorgeous — and very green — property.

(Photo/Becky Keeler)


And finally … Happy International Clown Week!

(“Isn’t it rich …?” Sure! Please click here to support “06880,” your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

2 responses to “Roundup: NASA, WFD, GOAT …

  1. Sorry, “GOAT” as an acronym is typically used in the context of sports heroes and other beloved celebs, e.g., Muhammad Ali. In the world of food, however, it’s a kind of soft, crumbly white cheese, or more specifically, the type of milk used to make it..

  2. It’s been well documented that driving roads “hot” (i.e.with lights and sirens) saves little time and RARELY has a beneficial impact on outcome, BUT it significantly contributes to “wave effect” (from people slamming their brakes) and other accidents that result in needless injuries and even tragic deaths – including to the EMS personnel involved. It should be INFREQUENT that any priority dispatch EMS system calls for EMS response to run “hot”.

    Emergency airway, defibrillation, exsanguination, drowning, are examples where running “hot” is indicated- NOT the 99+% of calls most EMS systems typically receive on a daily basis.

    I highly doubt that the multitude of sirens being utilized around Westport is necessary, and imagine if someone would audit, and then manage it, the absurd and potentially dangerous number of such incidents would decrease dramatically.

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