Roundup: Cribari Bridge Lighting Tonight; EMS Raises All Their $$$ …

If you needed any more proof that Westport is racing headlong into the holiday season: Tonight (Saturday) at 5 p.m., the William F. Cribari Bridge gets lit.

As always, Al’s Angels do the honors. Also as always, everyone is invited

Sure, it’s a few days early. But, Al DiGuido says, “we believe that our world needs a beacon of hope and love right now (as always). We are called to be a light in the world!”

Al’s Angels does so much for Westport — from providing the inspirational Saugatuck bridge lights, to giving holiday meals  and gifts to children (and their families) battling cancer, rare blood diseases, natural disasters and severe financial hardship. Click here to give back to this great organization.

The Cribari Bridge over the river in Saugatuck will be lit at 5 p.m. tonight. (Photo/January Stewart)


Westport’s $217 million budget pays for a lot — everything from Public Works trucks, to Band-Aids at the Aspetuck Health District.

But one big item is missing: the Volunteer Emergency Medical Service.

Astonishingly. from the ambulance that helps save your life, to the Band-Aids they offer, they raise all their own funds.

Now that you’ve picked yourself up off the floor (and hopefully, don’t need medical attention for it), read on.

Our wonderful WVEMS recently kicked off their annual fundraising drive with letters to everyone in town.

It might be easy to overlook it, in the rush of year-end pleas by many very worthy organizations (and, um, others).


The request comes with a new option: to donate on a recurring (weekly, monthly or yearly) basis. That’s the lifeblood (ho ho) of many groups.

Right now, they’re fund raising for a crucial need: 3 new ambulances. They have life cycles of their own, and (like many of us) they’re headed toward their expiration date.

Two of the 3 have been paid for, by very generous donors. Residents need to pitch in for the third — and for everything inside.

Including Band-Aids.

Click here to contribute.

And give till it, uh, hurts.


Westport artist Elaine Clayton writes:

“Ever since October 7 — when I woke up to an email from a friend in Jerusalem saying “I am safe, but war has begun” — I have felt a sense of shock and sorrow as probably you have, too.

“This has been made worse by my astonishment that so many, while protesting for peace and justice for the innocent people of Gaza, did not first condemn the slaughter, rape, torture and kidnapping of innocent people on that day.

“I also want a safe, peaceful resolution for Gaza. But I do not want to live in a world where the slaughter of innocents for any cause is contextualized as reasonable, or even as ‘glorious.’

“I realized I could do something to help myself cope with the grief and to hopefully let art do the talking.”

Elaine made 4 “prayer drawing videos,” with 7 hostage children. One is below; click on, to view.

“My hope is to keep all our hearts open to our shared humanity, through the eyes of these children. B’ Shalom and with love,” she adds.


“Below Surface” — the award-winning 19-minute documentary about the Westport Weston Family Y’s AquaFitness program — is going national.

Its TV debut is tomorrow (Sunday, November 19, 10 a.m., Lifetime Channel).

It’s inspiring, powerful — and filled with Westporters you’ll recognize.

Connecticut viewers got a sneak peek this week. AquaFit instructor (and star of the film) Patty Kondub, and producer (and AquaFitter) Mary Lake Polan were interviewed on NBC’s CTLive.

Everyone into the pool. And then out, to watch tomorrow!


“A Father’s Promise” is a powerful story about the aftermath of Sandy Hook, and the mission to end gun violence in America.

It tells the story of musician Mark Barden. After his son Daniel was murdered 11 years ago, he became an activist. Along the way, he rediscovered his lost passion for music.

It’s appropriate that on December 7 — the night before the world premiere — a multi-artist benefit concert at New York University will raise funds (and be filmed for a documentary).

Among the performers: Sheryl Crow, Peter Frampton, Bernie Williams — and Aztec Two-Step 2.0, featuring Westporters Rex Fowler and Dodie Pettit.

Click here for tickets, and more information. Click below for the movie trailer:


Ever wonder what Christmas was like during World War II?

The Weston History & Culture Center’s Coley House is decorated like 80 years ago. It shows what life was like when 3 generations of one family occupied the home.

Guided tours are December 7 (2 and 3 p.m.); December 9, 10, 16, 17, 21 and January 4, 6 and 7 (1, 2 and 3 p.m.).

Tickets are $5 for Weston History & Culture Center members, $10 for non-members. Click here to purchase.


The Levitt Pavilion is headed to Stamford.

Westport’s outdoor entertainment venue has teamed up with the Palace Theatre. Together they present DakhaBrakha — a world music quintet from Kyiv, Ukraine — this Sunday (November 19, 7 p.m., Palace Theatre, Stamford).

The group embraces folk, indie rock, pop, hip hop and avant-garde styles. Theie show includes global orchestrations and Ukrainian traditional instrumentation.

Click here for more information, including tickets.


Two former 1st selectpersons joined the town’s current chief executive at Christ & Holy Trinity Church, at a memorial service for longtime town volunteer Paul Hammond. Martha Hauhuth served from 1985-89; Jim Marpe served 2 terms prior to Jen Tooker.


From left: Jim Marpe, Martha Hauhuth, Jen Tooker. (Photo/Andrea Moore)


Westport resident John Murphy died Monday. He was 85.

A graduate of the College of the Holy Cross, he had a long career as a sales and marketing executive at the American Can Company.

His obituary says: “John was an eternal optimist, with a kind heart and open mind. His spirit was indomitable, and he was a prodigious hiker and reader, especially history. He was a people person, keenly interested in making connections and naturally curious about everyone he met. John sidestepped small talk, instead, he was out to disarm you, with charm and a wicked sense of humor….

“He was an avid newspaper reader, often found behind a copy of the Wall Street Journal (though an ardent, active Democrat), and always curious and engaged in the world around him. He loved to travel to the European countryside, especially Italy, taking in the history, people, and wonderful food. He loved the Yankees, and the Giants, and accepted his sons’ betrayal with the Patriots.

His and his college sweetheart, Connie Dixon, raised 3 children. He coached them in sports, and was president of the Redding Boys & Girls Club.

In his later years, John found a dear companion in Marleen Salko. They spent years enjoying yoga, walks on Westport’s beaches, and time with good friends. He made great friendships through the Y’s Men of Westport & Weston, especially the hiking group. He also volunteered driving people to medical appointments.

John is survived by his children Mark (Katya), Chris (Jennifer) and Kirsten Hedberg (Eric), and grandchildren Megan, Christopher and Valerie Murphy, abd Finn, Tess and Ingrid Hedberg; Diana and Charlie Healy; his longtime companion Marleen Salko, and sisters Mary and Annie Murphy. He was predeceased by his wife Connie.

A celebration of John’s life will be held at the Westport Library on Saturday, November 25 (2 to 4 p.m.). Family and friends are invited to gather and share memories. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Nature Conservancy.

John Murphy


The weather was great yesterday for fishing, at Burying Hill Beach. Let’s hope the fish were biting for the stars of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Ed Simek)


And finally … it’s hard for a cartoon character to have a birthday.

But today is considered the official birthday for Mickey Mouse. On this day in 1928 — 95 years ago — he first debuted in the short film “Steamboat Willy.”

(If you found something to do this weekend — or any other day — on “06880,” please consider supporting your hyper-local blog. Just click here. Thank you!)




5 responses to “Roundup: Cribari Bridge Lighting Tonight; EMS Raises All Their $$$ …

  1. Thanks Dan….for your amazing support always ! Appreciate your very kind words…You too are a light in our world….love Al – Al’s Angels !

  2. Having dinner at Rainbow Thai is always good- but it’s even nicer when you can sit by the window and see the bridge this time of year!

  3. It’s shocking that Westport has no budget for Emergency Medical Services…Plenty of dough for some f…… soccer fields but nothing for the service that will tend to the kid who gets injured playing the game…what’s wrong with this picture? It really is a staggering and unforgivable omission.

    • It’s appalling that we don’t have a paid/salaried EMS service, with all the equipment they could ever wish for, that’s paid for with our taxes. It’s just crazy.

      I won’t donate, caring for our society is not a pick and choose thing – it should be paid for by all and accessible to all, bring it into the town budget and increase our taxes.

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