Roundup: Long Lots Meeting, Political Signs, RTM Candidates …

The Long Lots School Building Committee will hold a special meeting tomorrow (Thursday, September 14, 6 p.m., Town Hall Room 201/201A).

The agenda includes a work session with the design team for project status updates, review and discussion. The public is welcome to attend the work session but may not participate.

The work session will be followed by public comment and questions regarding the feasibility study project.

Drone view of the current Long Lots Elementary School.


Mimi Greenlee saw yesterday’s Roundup story on the do’s and don’ts of yard signs, and noted that non-profits are restricted to signs no earlier than 2 weeks before an event. She wondered if the same rule applied to political signs.

I asked Mary Young, Westport’s Planning & Zoning Department director. She says: “Free speech is protected and is not regulated by zoning, including political signs, distinct from signs advertising special events which are regulated as they must be removed after the advertised event is over.”

She sent over Section 33-5.1 of the Zoning Regulations, last revised in 2012:

“The following signs are permitted without a Zoning Permit in all districts, herein.

“One temporary free standing sign not over 2 square feet per side for a residential property or 9 square feet per side for a non-residential property set back from any property line at least 5 feet, advertising the sale or lease of the premises.

“One temporary construction sign not over 24 square feet in aggregate area
identifying the designers and/or builders for a lot on which a building is under construction or reconstruction. Any such temporary sign shall be removed from the premises within 10 days after the rental of the space, sale of the premises or completion of the construction.

“Temporary signs for public and charitable events which shall be removed after the publicized event.

“Signs for political purpose.”

Political signs are treated differently than those for non-profits.


Speaking of local politics: The deadline has passed to declare candidacy for the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

Four of the 36 incumbents are not running: Liz Milwe (District 1), James Bairaktaris (4), Stephen Shackelford (8) and Lori Church (9).

Four candidates are elected from each district. There will be contested races in 5 of the 9 districts. They are:

District 1: Incumbents Matthew Mandell, Kristin Mott Purcell, Chris Tait; petitioning candidates Richard Jaffe, Andrew Bloom.

District 2: Incumbents Harris Falk, Jay Keenan, Louis Mall, Mike Perry; petitioning candidate Melissa Levy.

District 5: Incumbents Peter Gold, Karen Kramer, Dick Lowenstein, Claudia Shaum; petitioning candidates Katherina Palmer, James Mather.

District 6: Incumbents Candace Banks, Jessica Bram, Seth Braunstein, Brien Buckman; petitioning candidates Alma Sarelli, David Rosenwaks, Louis D’Onofrio.

District 9: Incumbers Nancy Kail, Sal Liccione, Kristen Schneeman; petitioning candidates Douglas Enslin, Jennifer Johnson, John Suggs, Rachel Halperin.

Districts without contested races:

District 3: Incumbents Ross Burkhardt, Lyn Hogan, Jimmy Izzo, Don O’Day.

District 4: Incumbents Andrew Colabella, Noah Hammond, Jeffrey Wieser; petitioning candidate Clarence Hayes.

District 7: Incumbents Brandi Briggs, Lauren Karpf, Jack Klinge, Ellen Lautenberg Hendel.

District 8: Incumbents Wendy Batteau, Rachel Steel Cohn, Julie Uman Whamond; petitioning candidate Ari Benmosche.


The town is seeking proposals for sailing school and boat rental operator services at Longshore.

The deadline for RFPs is October 18. Copies of the RFP documents are available here.

The current Longshore Sailing School. (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)


Ms President US — a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers young girls through leadership development and civic education — has opened a new chapter in Westport.

Girls in grades 4-8 can join. Meetings begin September 29, and are held monthly from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. The program includes a field trip to the state Capitol, and a campaign and election for “Ms. President US.”

Participants develop public speaking skills; gain confidence; meet with local, state and federal leaders and role models, and work with high school mentors.

For information on becoming a member or mentor, email


Calling all grant writers!

A local journalistic non-profit — okay, it’s “06880” — is looking for an experienced grant writer, for an upcoming project.

If you’re interested and available, please email Thank you!


Staples boys soccer was in the house last night — in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kyle Martino — the 1999 graduate who was Gatorade National Player of the Year, and went on to become MLS Rookie of the Year, then played for the US national team — called the USA-Oman game for TNT. Bruno Guiduli — a student at nearby Macalaster College was in the stands, and got his fellow Wrecker’s attention.

PS: The US won the “friendly,” 4-0.

Kyle Martino and Bruno Guiduli.


Speaking of soccer: Marisa Shorrock — a 3-sport athlete in Staples’ Class of 2020 — has been named to College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week. The Yale University All-Ivy selection was also named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week, for the second time in 3 weeks.

The senior goalkeeper made 13 saves as the Bulldogs beat Seton Hall 2-1 and the University of Connecticut 1-0.

Shorrock — who began her college career as a 3-sport (soccer, basketball, lacrosse) walk-on at Bowdoin College, before transferring to Yale — will play an additional year of soccer next season as a grad transfer at the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels have won 21 NCAA Division I national championships.

Marisa Shorrock


Last year, a Westport Rotary Club grant helped clients of Bridgeport’s Burroughs Community Center do their taxes for free. Volunteers with the VITA national program helped over 1,600 people save money in refunds, deductions and tax credits.

Yesterday, at their weekly meeting, Rotary Club members learned more about the program, from Burroughs officials.

Burroughs Community Center executive director Michael Quon addresses the Westport Rotary Club. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Longtime Westport resident and former Representative Town Meeting member Jane Young died September 6 in Washington, with her family offering love and comfort. She was 91 years old.

The Detroit native attended Indiana University, where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She and her husband James Edward Young lived in the then-territory of Hawaii, Cleveland and Chicago, before settling in Westport in 1971. Jane worked for MetLife until her retirement.

She was elected to the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission, before serving two terms on the RTM for District 4. Jane was passionate about historic preservation, at a time when Westport was undergoing pressure for new development. A founding member of Save Westport Now, she worked tirelessly to preserve the Baron’s parkland on the Post Road, the William F. Cribari Bridge, and National Hall. She also lobbied to extend the borders of the historic downtown district, to anticipate expansion in the years to come.

Jane was an active member of Assumption Church, and she and Ed were founders of a longstanding social and play reading club called the Turkeys. They traveled extensively throughout the world, including China and the former Soviet Union before they were open to Western tourism.

Jane moved to Iowa City in 2001 to be near family, and spent her final years in the Washington area.

Ed Young died in 2008. Jane is survived by her son Mark (Vicki Grassian) of La Jolla, California; daughter Gayle Young (Thomas Carroll of Washington); brother David Koval, and granddaughters Alexandra Jordan and Samantha Young.

Her ashes will be interred at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery at a later date.


Few Westporters enjoying seeing snakes in their yard.

But on Monday, Gianni Lorenzato was fascinated by a pair of them, tanning for a couple of hours atop a boxwood shrub.

“Trusting Google (they are non-venomous Eastern garter snakes),” he says, “I let them enjoy the sun undisturbed.”

Then he sent the photo to “06880,” for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Gianni Lorenzato)


And finally … Ray Charles was born today, in 1918.

No, not that Ray Charles.

This one — a white guy — was a musician/singer/songwriter/arranger/ conductor. He led the Ray Charles Singers (not the Raelettes) on Perry Como’s records and TV shows for 35, and made 30 albums in the 1950s and ’60s.

His biggest hit was:

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11 responses to “Roundup: Long Lots Meeting, Political Signs, RTM Candidates …

  1. Melissa Alexander

    This is scheduled over the long lots back to school night which precludes interested families from attending the meeting.

  2. Better get a bigger room 🇺🇸

  3. Why is there an RFP for a sailing school and boat rental operator? What is happening to Longshore Sailing School?

    • Without any more context, this seems ominous. And that’s a shame. A big part of Transparency and Trust in any organization is to minimize surprises by making sure that people understand the context of what may seem like out of the blue notices, like this RFP. Would be great to have Jen Fava give context here on 06880 or in an email as to why there’s an RFP at this time.

      Instead of investing in more lawyers and legal fees to create legal driven notices, and manage potential lawsuits, the town should communicate directly with town residents on what is going on and why every time a legal notice is put out. Imagine the impact on the Long Lots/Community Gardens situation had there been better and more frequent communication from the administration before the LLSBC was appointed and given its mandate.

      The Town of Fairfield’s First Selectwoman sends out an amazingly detailed email each week which discusses the who, what, why, and when of town notices and happenings. Not saying that it is a perfect solution,
      but the weekly email is evidence of a high level of respect for all residents.

      • I wouldnt give Brenda any kudos, she has so many staff doing her work, she doesn’t seem to get much done, likes blaming others, and would rather be attending photo ops then rolling up her sleeves.

      • I agree, John. I lived in Fairfield for years, and Brenda runs a very transparent ship and took over the helm at a very difficult time in Fairfield (fill pile nonsense and Covid). I am still STUNNED at the total lack of transparency in the government workings of Westport. NIGHT and DAY.

        • Sorry can’t help but laugh. What did Brenda actually accomplish in terms of Covid? Or are we actually just giving her a free pass because it was Covid? Her first week on the job she called an emergency meeting to hire staff to do the job that she was hired to do before even proving herself. She also asked for emergency funding to redecorate her office during this meeting. Her priorities were clear and they were not good for the town or tax payers..

          • Focus here isn’t on the Fairfield FS. But rather a simple tool which she uses to communicate with town residents, which to an outsider from Westport looks pretty good, compared with what we get in Westport

    • Hi Merri-

      Our (Longshore Sailing School) lease expires at the end of this month. An RFP is standard practice for any “outside” vendor. We certainly hope to be around for decades to come!

  4. Celeste Champagne

    Thanks for the “Love Me With All Your Heart”, Ray Charles hit remembrance. That song has resonated with me for a lifetime.

  5. Glad to see James Mather is a petitioning candidate for District 5 RTM. Greens Farms has a long history of outstanding RTM
    Members and James would be a solid addition to that list. Smart guy, reasonable and long time Westporter

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