Roundup: Israel, Civility, Il Pastaficio …

A wrong location was posted yesterday for this week’s candidate debates. Here’s the correct info:

Planning & Zoning Commission candidates take the Town Hall auditorium stage tomorrow (Wednesday, October 11, 7 p.m.). They’re followed by a double-header on Thursday, October 12: the Board of Education at 7 p.m., Board of Finance at 8:15.

Questions must be submitted in advance. They will not be taken from the floor. Email:

The debates are sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Westport.


An overflow crowd of 1,000 — including Governor Ned Lamont and Senator Richard Blumenthal, local officials and many clergy — packed Temple Israel last night, for a “We Stand With Israel” solidarity gathering.

Representatives from nearly 2 dozen area synagogues and other organizations hosted the event, which was organized in just 48 hours by the Jewish Federation of Greater Fairfield County.

Senator Richard Blumenthal (bottom center), at last night’s “We Stand With Israel” gathering.

Religious leaders and others, at Temple Israel. (Photos/Allison Wachstein)


Westporters Arthur and Lisa Hayes are in Paris this week.

On a boat in the Seine yesterday night, they saw from a distance that the Eiffel Tower was not lit in white, as usual. One half seemed to be dark; the other was very dark blue.

As they got closer, they all understood. The tour boat grew very quiet, as they passed by.

(Photo/Arthur Hayes)


In this week’s timely “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker discusses a recent study on the growing lack of civility in small towns, and her own public comments on the issue.

The podcasts are sponsored by the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen:


Il Pastaficio is Westport’s hottest new restaurant.

But it’s already drawing notice.

Owner/chef Federico Perandin will appear on Guy Fieri’s legendary “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” Food Network show. The episode airs this Friday (October 13, 9 p.m.).

The Black Duck was featured on the same show in 2009. People still talk about it.

Looks like that will be true too for our new Post Road authentic Italian place. Here’s to Il Pastaficio, and 2037!

Federico Perandin, at Il Pastaficio. (Photo/Dan Woog)


WestportMoms’ Fall Festival returns for a 3rd autumn — with a great new venue.

The Compo Beach fields (across from the playground) are the site for this year’s event. It’s this Saturday (October 14), from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The day includes

  • Crafty kids’ art projects
  • Hair tinsel
  • Face painting
  • DJ and photo booth
  • Jumbo balloon
  • Bounce house
  • Obstacle course
  • Pumpkin decorating
  • Pottery
  • Food trucks, candy truck, cotton candy
  • Mad science show
  • Bubble snow
  • Basketball games
  • A special character dressed up as Super Mario (based on a town  vote)
  • And more!

New this year: a Halloween costume swap. Bring an old costume; take a new or used one at no cost.

Leftovers will be donated to children in need.

The cost is $20 per family.


Today is World Mental Health Day.

Westport’s own David Briggs will conduct an Instagram interview tonight (Tuesday, October 10, 7:30 p.m., @westportlibrary) with Rhone co-founder and CEO Nate Checketts. They’ll talk about how the men’s wellness brand — which opened on Main Street this summer — is committed to men’s mental health issues.

From left: ESPN’s Dan Orlovsky and Nate Checketts at Rhone’s Westport store.


Longtime Westporter Marty Yellen offered a presentation on aging — and a cancer treatment update — at yesterday’s Y’s Women meeting.

Yellen was an engineer on the Hubble Space Telescope. He then earned a doctorate in medical biology engineering. He works now with Yale scientists, biologists and engineers on diseases that come with aging, researching techniques and treatments to alleviate them.

Yellen warned the large audience to stay away from beef (particularly grilling), processed meats that can stand at room temperature like salami, and animal fats. 

He suggested instead lamb, chicken, fish, plenty of fiber and vegetables, nuts, yogurt, beans — and most importantly, virgin olive oil rather than butter. 

Daily exercise daily — for example, 30 minutes of walking — is especially important. 

“You are your own doctor,” Yellen said. “Take care of your body, eat right, exercise daily — and don’t smoke!”

Marty Yellin at yesterday’s Y’s Women meeting.


Speaking of health: The 29th annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Fairfield County event is always a celebration of courage and hope

Over 5,000 participants will gather this Sunday (October 15, 9 a.m. to noon), at Sherwood Island State Park.

Over 3 decades, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer’s 3- to 5-mile walks have  provided a supportive community for survivors, caregivers and families. The event funds breast cancer research, programs and services.

For more details, click here.


From Azerbaijan to Westport: Amina Figarova has moved from her upbringing behind the Iron Curtain to become a celebrated jazz pianist and composer.

On Thursday (October 12, VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399) she makes her “Jazz at the Post” debut. Rudy Royston, Boots Maleson, Bart Platteau and Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall join her for two shows: 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Dinner starts at 7.

Reservations are highly recommended:


MoCA Westport is stepping into dance.

Their first-ever dance performance this Saturday (October 14, 7 p.m.) features the East Coast Contemporary Ballet Company, in collaboration with Alturas Duo and Yale University’s  Calllisto Quartet.

“Strings and Asymmetry” offers a fusion of styles, instruments and artistic

Tickets include admission to the current exhibit. For details and tickets, click here or call (203) 222-7070.

Dance and more at MoCA.


Fred Cantor and his wife Debbie Silberstein spotted these on Riverside Avenue, near the medical buildings.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

They’re perfect for “Westport … Naturally.” But Fred and Debbie don’t know what kind of berries they are.

“06880” readers: Chime in! Click “Comments” below.


And finally … on this day in 1845, the Naval School opened with 50 students in Annapolis, Maryland.

Today it’s known as the United States Naval Academy. Its enrollment is about 4,450.

(Another Roundup filled with political, entertainment, restaurant and health news — and another reminder that “06880” relies entirely on reader support. Please click here to help. Thank you!)

19 responses to “Roundup: Israel, Civility, Il Pastaficio …

  1. The shrub with purple berries is callicarpa, aka Beauty Berry. Callicarpa americana is native; there are also hybrids.

  2. Hi Fred and Debbie. The plant is called Beautyberry! We planted three of them in Phase 2 of the Long Lots Preserve adjacent to the Westport Community Gardens.,rheumatism%2C%20sour%20stomach%20and%20dysentery.

  3. Toni and Lou: thanks for your responses. They certainly live up to their name!

  4. The purple berries in Westport — Naturally are of the Purple Beautyberry bush. Latin name is Callicarpa and easy to grow.

  5. Snady Jones...Staples Class of '64

    In Florida the Beauty Berry is an invasive plant…before the berries the plant should have had flowers

  6. Robert Mitchell

    Re: Il Pastaficio: The Food Network website for Friday on D,D&D lists: “while in Greenwich, Conn., a real deal Italian spot is putting out homemade pasta for their next-level dishes.”

    • From Westport Journal “Perandin owns a pasta and food shop by the same name in Greenwich, where the program was filmed last spring. “

  7. so little coverage on the violence on Israel. I am disappointed.

  8. I don’t understand allowing a photo of ‘Blumenthal in a synagogue (esp a synagogue as political as this synagogue in WSPT is)’ to be published when … Didn’t Democratic National Party Senator Blumenthal recently vote to release $6B to Iran ? Am I wrong/right on that?

    Iran only subsequently and now funding Hamas to do This Atrocious Despicable Horrendousness (really no words in English language can adequately desc how horrendous what Is BEING done to those people in Israel is) ?

    And, while I’m not jewish, an attack on Israel is most certainly an attack on USA, esp when it comes to NYC where I am, i.e., posting this photo of Blumenthal = helping Blumenthal look like he didn’t enable this attack on Israel, is that right to do? It isn’t like use of the $6B by Iran for this sort of attack wasn’t foreseeable-forecast, i.e., there were plenty of questions asked on camera and off of Biden WH (and dismissed by Biden SpokesPerson KJeanPierre & Blinken as ‘hypotheticals’) WHEN Biden Govt announced they were “unfreezing USA $6B in Iran Assets back to Iran” that desc this near enough exact scenario to show that Iran was forecast to use the $6B this way.

    • the 6 billion has not been released. It is a right wing falsification Please go to a fact checking source. remember Fox lost a 900 million defamation case for broadcasting misleading information. I feel sorry for you because you have been mislead and fed infuriation that you believe is true. Please. go to fact checking sources and research. please.

  9. I am shocked how people do not recognize falsehoods versus facts. I this shameful.

  10. false.

  11. please go to fact check .org and ask if the 6 million billion Iran hostage money has been unfrozen. I am so surprised how many people have been fooled by Republican right wing propaganda.

  12. Do you know that there is a descant to Anchors Aweigh called Waves of the Navy?

  13. some people aren’t willing to accept how ‘fungible’ Every USA$ is (or they hope other people don’t know or care); and, then of course there’s that:

    Iran Leadership saying to USA Media it will certainly spend The Unfrozen $6B however It wants to and Biden Administration knowing this is true never contradicted Iran on That (now we know fatal) Point.

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