Roundup: BOE Conversation, WDA Instagram, I-95 Bridge …

One final reminder (it never hurts): Today is Election Day. Polls are open from now through 8 p.m.

Westport’s 5 polling locations are:

  • Districts 1 & 2: Saugatuck Elementary School
  • Districts 3 & 8: Coleytown Middle School
  • District 4 & 5: Greens Farms Elementary School
  • Districts 6 & 7: Long Lots Elementary School
  • District 9: Westport Library

Unsure of your voting district?  Click here.

Election officials will answer all your questions — at the Westport Library, and our 4 other polling places. (Photo/Dan Woog)


All residents are invited to a Westport Board of Education “community conversation” (Tuesday, November 14, noon to 1:30 p.m., Westport Library Komasky Room).

Any topics related to the schools can be raised. Former RTM moderator and educator Velma Heller will facilitate the discussion.


Adam Vengrow writes:

“Each year after our Veterans Day Town Hall service, VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 hosts all local veterans and supporters for food and drinks.

“It costs about $25 per veteran. We hope to have 100 people this year.

“We want our great men and women who have served to enjoy the day. Anything ‘06880’ readers can donate is appreciated — via Paypal @vfw399ct, or email me ( for Venmo and other options. The VFW is a 501(c)3.”

To learn more about VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399, click here.


The Westport Downtown Association’s Instagram was hacked.

To follow them — and get information about upcoming events, promotions, and everything else downtown-related — click on their new Insta: @WestportDowntownOfficial.


Hard to envision this past weekend’s bridge slide?

Check out Sunday’s great drone video from Rick Giunta (sent by Andrew Colabella):

(Drone photo/Rick Giunta)

The view — looking west — shows traffic squeezed into 2 lanes. The bridge has been slid into place on the southbound side, with that entrance/exit ramp closed.


John Richers writes:

“There are 2 days each year — one in spring, one in fall – when the sun sets directly down the Longshore entrance road.

“I was lucky enough to catch it this afternoon, as I biked through Longshore. Call it ‘LongshoreHenge.'”

(Photo/John Richers)


DNR — Westport’s favorite almost-all-physician rock band — takes the stage on Saturday, November 18 (7 p.m., Westport Library).

Of course, there’s a medical hook: “Rocking for the Cure” is a benefit for pancreatic cancer research at Nuvance Health. Dr. Richard Frank is chief of cancer research there — and DNR’s sax player.

Tony Award-winning actor and great local friend James Naughton will emcee.

Tickets are $35 each, and include wine, beer, soda and snacks. Click here to reserve, and for more information.

Oh, doctor! The DNR band.


More entertainment: “Rock, religion and Westport’s homeless shelter” may never have appeared n the same sentence.

But they all come together this Saturday (November 11, 3 p.m.,) when the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport welcomes the Fairfield School of Rock House Band for a family-friendly concert.

It’s free — but donations to Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center are welcomed. Concert-goers are asked to bring food and toiletries for the Homes with Hope pantry too.

Complimentary refreshments will be available, thanks to merchants like Trader Joe’s.


Also on stage: Jaden Myles Waldman — one of Westport’s most gifted young performers — plays one of his most important roles this Sunday (November 12, 7 p.m., Symphony Space, New York City).

The Bedford Middle School 8th grader is part of “Lyrics for Life.” The goal is to break the stigma surrounding mental health through the power of music.

Jaden will sing with a star-filled lineup of performers from Broadway, TV and fil. All are between 6 and 25 years old. Hosts are Swayam Bhatia (The Mighty Ducks and Succession) and Devin Trey Campbell (MJ The Musical, Kinky Boots, Single Parents).

Jaden was on Broadway in Caroline, or Change. He recently performed a solo at Carnegie Hall’s “We are Here” concert, honoring Holocaust victims and celebrating Jewish history.

He was the voice of Peter in Pinkalicious and Peteriffic, Kun in Mirai, and TO-B1 Star Wars: Visions. his film and TV credits include The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Give or Take.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Jaden Myles Waldman


Jazz at the Post celebrates Veterans Day 2 days early.

This Thursday (November 9; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 7 p.m.; VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399), the popular series welcomes Tower of Power’s trumpeter Michael Bogart (a 20-year veteran of the US Navy Band), and drummer and US Army Band veteran Joe Corsello.

Also sitting in:pianist Mitch Schecter, bassist Brian Glassman and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.

There is special Veterans Day pricing. Suggested minimums are $55 for the performance with dinner, $30 for music only. Funds raised will support VFW post 399, the longtime Jazz at the Post host (and a mainstay of the area’s veterans community).

Reservations are highly recommended:


Speaking of jazz:

Roger Kafuman’s “Speaking of Music” series returns to the Westport Library with a special program. Speaking of Jazz: What It Is, is set for this Saturday (November 11; doors open at 7 p.m., show at 7:30 p.m.)

Performers include the Brian Torff Group, the Jones Factor Lite, and the Tim DeHuff Quartet.

A discussion panel includes includes author Bill Milkowski, saxophonist Rabbi Greg Wall; bassist Dave Anderson, and bassist, author and music educator Torff. Kaufman will moderate the discussion, which will include the long evolution of jazz, through multiple genres.

The grandson of ragtime songwriter Mel B. Kaufman, Roger — a 1966 graduate of Staples High School — has spent a lengthy career as a bandleader, bass player, producer, moderator and historian. He founded Old School Music Productions, which puts on the Speaking of Music series as a “cornerstone of musical education” combining narration, expert discussions and live performances.

In 2016 he helped the Smithsonian acquire, archive and exhibit donations by guitarist/composer/producer Steve Cropper (“Midnight Hour,” “Knock on Wood,” “Dock of the Bay”). He has worked closely with Smithsonian curators to archive musicians’ work, including Weston resident Jose Feliciano.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased here.


It takes a rare Staples High School athlete to play Big 10 football.

Jake Thaw is that rare Wrecker.

The 2020 graduate was an All-State football and basketball player here — and an FCIAC and NFL Foundation Exemplary Scholar Athlete.

At the University of Michigan, he’s a 2-time Academic All-Big 10 honoree.

On Saturday, Thaw’s great punt return helped the Wolverines to a 41-13 victory over Purdue. (Hat tip: Pete Wolgast)

(Photo/David Guralnick for Detroit News)


The shape of this tree at Haskins Preserve — and its heart-shaped leaves — caught Johanna Keyser Rossi’s eye.

It caught ours too. It’s exactly the right image for “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … because we’re previewing so many musical performances today, including rock and jazz:

(“06880” is many things, to many people. Today it’s (mostly) music. If you appreciate these daily Roundups, please support your hyper-local blog. Click here — and thank you!)

2 responses to “Roundup: BOE Conversation, WDA Instagram, I-95 Bridge …

  1. I wish the BOE community conversation was not being held or only held during the day. also with pick ups at school a 1:30 start means it will be short?

  2. As a longtime Ohio State fan, I will put aside the current controversy involving the Michigan program (which I naturally have strong feelings about) and say kudos to Jake on a) twice earning All-Academic conference honors and b) earning playing time at that level of college football. I wonder how many in the history of Staples football have achieved that. Both are terrific accomplishments.

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