John McCarthy is trying again.
This morning, the former Representative Town Meeting member brings another petition to the RTM and town clerk.
This one — signed by more than 20 Westport electors — asks the RTM to vote on a resolution at its October 3 meeting, affirming that the word “shall” means “mandatory,” as already defined in the Town Charter and the RTM Rules of Procedure.
If passed, the resolution would “compel and require” the moderator to place on the RTM agenda any petition signed by at least 20 electors at least 14 days prior to a meeting.
The impetus for McCarthy’s petition is a previous attempt to add an agenda item to tonight’s meeting regarding a review of the Downtown Plan Implementation Committee’s goals, process and proposed plan for Parker Harding Plaza.
The request — signed by over 50 electors, and verified by the town clerk — was denied by RTM moderator Jeffrey Wieser. His decision was affirmed in an opinion by assistant town attorney (and former RTM moderator) Eileen Lavigne Flug.
In other RTM news, members Seth Braunstein and Matthew Mandell have proposed an ordinance to create an Affordable Housing Fund.
A first reading is on the agenda for tonight’s meeting (Tuesday, September 5, 7:30 p.m., Town Hall auditorium).
“Creating a fund to accrue monies for the purchase of land, construction of housing and/or the buydown of market rate housing both aids the establishment of such homes and gives the town greater control over its own destiny,” the 2 members say.
In 2022 the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission adopted an Affordable Housing Plan, under state statute 8-30j, which called for the creation of such a fund. This ordinance follows through on that request.
Following RTM committee discussions, Braunstein and Mandell hope for a full vote at next month’s meeting. The next step would be for the P&Z to create a regulation to fund the initiative.
Among Westport’s current affordable housing options: Sasco Creek Village.
Sunday’s Saugatuck Congregational Church service honored their late, longtime senior and youth minister Rev. Ted Hoskins.
Among those at the pulpit: Rev. Peter Powell. Forty years ago, he worked with Rev. Hoskins to establish a homeless shelter and food pantry here.
In a tribute to both Rev. Hoskins and the church, Rev. Powell said:
“In my experience Ted lived the charge given in Matthew 25. As you read his obituary you could not fail to see how he fed the hungry, gave drink to the thirsty, welcomed the stranger, clothed the naked, healed the sick and visited those in prison.
“Some examples from my experience. The Westport Emergency Shelter was a response to homeless, now better described as unhoused, men sleeping in a room in this church. The legacy lives on. The Gillespie Center has 15 beds because Saugatuck Church found 7 bunk beds and 1 cot for the men.
“These beds were moved over to the Vigilant Firehouse. The Westport/Weston Health Department came in, measured the space and determined the number of cubic feet each bed required. When I pointed out that they backed into that number they refused to change.
“The Linxweiler House was empty, and Ted established a program he called Operation Bootstraps there. Unfortunately that program didn’t work, but with the guidance of Jim Gillespie the program was transformed into a sober house requiring all residents to have a job and stay sober. It worked for many years. It was a Ted legacy.
“In my early years at the Interfaith Housing Association Ted visited the firehouse and gave $100 bills to the night staff on Christmas Eve, the anniversary of our opening. He was always involved.
“In the early ’90s when I needed a new office, he gave me and IHA space in this building. I was here for a few years.
“Ted was your pastor, but he was also pastor to the town of Westport…. A conversation with Ted could resolve difficult issues. He was our social conscience. You shared him with the town. His shoes have never been filled as the acknowledged religious leader and social action conscience of Westport.
“When the unhoused men moved to the firehouse with Ted’s leadership, you opened your building to 12-step programs, helping Westport become a center for recovery for the entire region.
“I believe Ted could do all of this because he was your pastor. Hhe loved you and you loved him, and you both knew you were in love. He was a very public figure and crucial to the development of social action in Westport, but first he loved and cared for you. He did not wag his finger at you; he taught you how to respond to the Gospel. He had the credibility to do that because he was first and foremost your pastor. He visited, counseled, baptized, worshiped, married, buried and preached to you with a deep understanding of who you are and together you and he transformed Westport. He could not have done it without you ,and you could only do it because it was intrinsic to his life with you.
“Thank you for sharing him with all of us.”
Rev. Ted Hoskins
Sunday’s Roundup noted a second epidemic of dozens of bagels spread around High Gate Road. This time there was a plastic bag, with many more bagels, nearby.
Last winter there was a similar scene at the same spot, off Maple Avenue South.
“Weird,” I wrote yesterday.
I soon received an email from “Peter T.” He said: “Regarding the Bagels on High Gate Road, they are there for the Deer to eat along with the cracked corn. Nothing weird about it!”
I asked who put them there, and whether he knew if deer liked bagels.
This time, “Nancy” responded (from the same email address). She wrote: “I live on the street and yes deer like the bagels and cracked corn that is out there.”
I asked about the unopened plastic bag. She said: “Why does it matter. The neighhood feeds the deer all year long”
Meanwhile, a reader points out, “deer around here eat everything that grows. They are hooved rats. And since it’s summer, they don’t lack in food sources.”
If last winter was any indication, those bagels will stay out on High Gate for weeks.
Unlike the mice and rats get them first.
Lachat Farms’ grand (re-)opening was this past weekend.
In today’s “What’s Next in Weston” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor and Carol Baldwin, president of the Friends of Lachat Town Farm, discuss funding of improvements, and programs coming soon.
Click below to listen. The podcast is a service of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston.
The big space recently vacated by Bed Bath & Beyond on US 1 — just over the border in Norwalk — will be filled in November.
The new tenant is a combination Bob’s/Eastern Mountain Sports store.
Bob’s Stores (sports clothing, shoes) is moving from Main Avenue to where Bed Bath and Beyond was on Westport Avenue in November. (Hat tip: Bruce Schneider)
This was a big weekend at Lime Rock — and not just for the 3 Westport race car drivers mentioned in Sunday’s Roundup.
Roger Kaufman writes: “I was stunned and honored to be given an award Sunday at the Lime Rock annual Labor Day weekend, festival and car show. It was Best in Class in the ‘Swedish category.'”
“My trusty 1963 Volvo 122S, which I’ve owned for 40 years, was a Westport car. It was sold by Lillian Oster and imported in 1963 via Larry Terrino on the Post Road. It’s my third one, and a tried and true companion for almost half a century.
“I had never been to Lime Rock or done many car shows until recently. But I decided to give it a whirl.
“It was of interest yesterday to the folks at Lime Rock that when Paul Newman saw the car in Weston around 2007), he came over to me at Peter’s Market, where he was bagging groceries with Joanne.
“He stuck his head in the driver’s side window and said, ‘what a great car !’ Cars were his hobby, and we had a great chat.
Roger Kaufman’s ’63 Volvo.
When most people rudely reserve picnic tables at Compo’s South Beach, they simply throw a tablecloth over the top, pretending not to see the “Picnic Tables May Not Be Reserved” sign.
Yesterday, the stakes got a little higher.
Here’s how one aggressive picnicker claimed his (or her) spot:
Meanwhile, Sunday was also a perfect late-summer day.
The kind of evening to head to the beach, and celebrate without a care in the world.
Reports are swarming in of spotted lanternfly sightings — and killings.
Ken Yormark squashed one inside Home Foods.
Mary Foss-Skiftesvik spotted the invasive species on her Saugatuck Island dock and garden:
And Dave Shea writes: “While kayaking Monday morning, I found this floating halfway between Compo and Cockenoe.
“While I gave the little bugger credit for being a good swimmer, I did my civic duty, then buried him at sea.”
Janine Scotti sends along today’s beautiful “Westport … Naturally” photo — and its back story:
“What do you give a chef who is also the salt of the earth for his 74th birthday (coming soon)?
“A plot at the magnificent Westport Community Gardens. My beloved husband Pietro [former owner of Da Pietro restaurant] was in awe of the gardens, He is thrilled to be a part of this thriving community.
“I just gave him a private dusk tour. He wanted to see all the beauty of every plot. Hats off to you all!”
Pietro Scotti, with a giant sunflower. (Photo/Janine Scotti)
And finally … on this day in 1836, Sam Houston was elected first president of the Republic of Texas.
(“06880” is where Westport meets Texas — and the world. If you’re from here, there or anywhere, and you like this blog, please support our work. Just click here. And thank y’all.)