Category Archives: Children

COVID Roundup: No Camp Compo Or RECing Crew; Antibodies And Masks; More


One more casualty of COVID-19: Westport Parks & Recreation’s long-running, popular Camp Compo and RECing Crew programs.

Parks & Rec director Jen Fava says:

“Due to the many restrictions placed upon camps by the state, the limited number of children that could be served, limitations of our facilities, the challenge of social distancing, and the new unknowns related to Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, we are concerned about our ability to provide these programs in a safe manner. Additionally, they would not be the camp experiences that our campers and parents have come to expect.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe adds, “This was not an easy decision to make, but after consulting with staff and the Westport Weston Health District, we believe this is the right decision for our specific programs.  The health and safety of our participants and staff, and the larger community, is our foremost concern. In light of that and the uncertainties related to the Pediatric Inflammatory Multisystem Syndrome, there was too much health risk as it pertains to these programs.”

Other Parks & Rec summer programs are being evaluated and restructured to meet requirements. Information will be provided as soon as they are finalized.


This weekend on Hillspoint Road, Peter Maloney asked a 40-something woman to please use a mask as she walked near him.

“Not a problem! I have the antibodies,” she chirped.

Of course, Peter — and most Westporters — don’t have “the antibodies.”

Earth to woman: It’s not always about you.


And finally … the holiday’s over. Back to work (from home)!

COVID Roundup: Winged Monkey; Thermometers; Playhouse; MTC’s Voice; More


New York’s WABC-TV sent an Eyewitness News team to Westport yesterday, to preview today’s retail reopening.

The report showed empty downtown streets, but offered an upbeat message from Winged Monkey’s Jenny Vogel.

“We’re very excited excited to see our customers,” she said. “Don’t know how it’s going to go. Customers that we talk to all the time, they’re really looking forward to getting out of the house, shopping, going into stores again.

“We do a huge prom, graduation, so obviously we lost a lot of that. Hopefully, even though summer is usually our slowest time, this year maybe it will be a little busier since people haven’t been shopping the last couple of months.”

Jenny was excited to be on the tri-state news. As for Channel 7: They’re not yet back to pre-COVID mode.

They called 1st Selectman Jim Marpe our “mayor.” And they misspelled “Winged Monkey” in the chyron (below). Click here for the full report.


First came toilet paper. Then masks.

The next hot item: infrared thermometers.

Small businesses (between 2 and 100 employees), non-profits and places of worship can request 1 thermometer per physical address. The state will deliver them to Westport; town officials will let recipients know when and where they can be picked up. The deadline for submission is “early afternoon” tomorrow (Thursday, May 21).

To request an infrared thermometer: Small businesses should click here. Non-profits, click here. (Social services and direct care nonprofits should click on this memo). Places of worship should click here.


This distribution will continue while supplies last.

The Westport Country Playhouse doors are closed this summer. But their online presence is as robust as ever. And anyone, anywhere, can join in.

In an effort to “share experiences, exchange ideas, entertain each other, and engage our hearts, minds and souls from our own homes,” they offer “Coffee Breaks” on Thursdays at 4 p.m. Th0se 30-minute conversations begin tomorrow (May 21) with Paola Hernandez of “Man of La Mancha.” Next Thursday (May 28): Rodolfo Soto from “In the Heights.” Click here for details.

There are “Post-Watch Dialogues” too — panels with artists, scholars and community members discussing films that can be streamed at home. This Saturday (May 23, 7 p.m.), Mina Hartong hosts a panel exploring “A Secret Love.” Click here for details.


Music Theatre of Connecticut’s kids’ Voice competition is tomorrow (Thursday, May 21, 7 p.m.). It’s a fundraiser for their scholarship and programming efforts — but they give 10% of each contestant’s proceeds to a charity of their choice.

Bedford Middle School 7th grader Ryan Ryan has selected RoomToRead. An avid reader, she credits books with propelling her into theater. She wants girls around the world to experience the joy of stories, and believes that education can propel them to success.

A dancer who has performed in several Westport Country Playhouse “Nutcracker”s, with the Westport Community Theatre and at Art About Town and the Westport Library rededication, she has studied voice and acting at MTC since 2017.

To sponsor Ryan — and vote for her in the Voice competition tomorrow – click here.

Ryan Ryan


And finally … who doesn’t love a little Melissa Ehteridge?!

Managing Emotions As The Pandemic Continues

Dr. Joshua Eudowe is a clinical and forensic psychologist in Westport specializing in child, adolescent and adult trauma, and high-risk patients. A threat assessment and crisis consultant to schools and businesses, and a first responder for more than 30 years, he serves as clinical director of the Connecticut Critical Incident Stress Management Team, and the COVID-19 Special Response Team. He writes:

Over a month into the pandemic, and for most of us, our emotions are changing.  The initial wave of anxiety is transforming into perhaps fear, anger, loneliness or sadness.

Managing these ever-changing emotions can be difficult. We spend a lot of time waiting and wondering what may come next. Protests are fueling some, while others struggle with increased fear.

While this happens, it’s natural for people to need to displace what’s building inside. For example, we may be more likely to argue with a spouse or child for something small. We may need time alone but can’t find “our” space in a house filled with others. Coping with isolation is grueling.

Dr. Joshua Eudowe

At the risk of sounding like every other monotonous self-help article, I’ll say it anyway. Two incredibly important aspects of managing our mood are diet and exercise. Eat healthy and exercise. Find an empty room and create your routine.  When we exercise, our body releases chemicals that can ease anxiety and depression.

Of course, you already know this. So what else can be done?

It is important to know is that these feelings are normal during traumatic times.  Whether you’re worried about a loved one, your family’s health, your job or business, financial instability or all of the above, those feelings are normal.

Go easy on yourself, and on others. Understand that while one person’s experience may be frightening, someone else’s may be intolerance or anger.

When trauma enters our lives our perceptions change. This can have tremendous influence over our ability to regulate our emotions.

For example, if a month ago we noticed rubber gloves on the ground, we’d shake our head and wonder why people aren’t more caring about the environment.

Today we see a pair of gloves on the ground and are filled with rage and anger. We think about the risks and the deplorable carelessness of others. The stress of these times can cause us to lash out in ways that are not normally part of our personality. This is something to be mindful of when interacting with others – especially children.

Traumatic experiences cause us to feel out of control. The more control we can create for ourselves, the more grounding it will have on our emotional state.  Although it may feel as if we have little control at the moment, we do. If you’re stuck, search for ways to have more control.

As adults and parents, we frequently need to set aside our emotions and help our children cope with growing uncertainty. Interestingly enough, during this time (on the surface) children may appear calmer. The anxieties or depression once prevalent most days may appear to have dissipated. They may be less argumentative and less “teenage” (insert laugh here).

It’s highly likely that some of their symptoms have eased due to a dramatic change in their environment. Social pressures have been nearly removed; parents are less concerned about behavioral issues, and therefore less strict.  Distance learning, while challenging, is also manageable, and without face to face contact with teachers, children are typically less anxious about the work.  Sports are canceled, and nearly all activities rescheduled. The number of “unknowns” have been removed. Therefore, many children are able to let go of some of their anxiety.

Anxiety is caused by a lack of control. In our lives, we use boundaries to create structure. We have expectations at work, school and home. We rely on our significant others to be consistent and predictable.

All of these create invisible structure, allowing our children to freely operate with the understanding of what’s expected (consistency) and what will happen (predictability).

Over the past month, our environments have been far more consistent and predictable in our day to day lives. What’s happened? Anxiety has decreased.  This is why parents may be seeing quasi-improvements in their children’s mental health.

Sheltering in place with a friend. (Photo/Nicole Klein)

However, don’t be fooled. When life returns to normal, so will expectations, fewer boundaries, less consistency and far less predictability.  Self-esteem issues will return — and could be worse.  Social anxieties could become more exaggerated, and pressure to succeed may become overwhelming.

Spend time talking to your children about this. Illustrate for them how their own feelings have changed during this time. Ask them to reflect on their anxieties as compared to several months ago.

It’s a helpful tool in building insight and self-reflection, as well as helping children recognize empathy when discussing those less fortunate during these times.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Be consistent. Be predictable.

Pediatrician: Kids “Resilient” In COVID Crisis

Overall, Jonathan Sollinger says, kids are responding well to the COVID-19 crisis.

“They’re resilient and capable. They’re rising to the occasion.”

He should know. One of 6 physicians at Willows Pediatrics, Dr. Sollinger is closely attuned to the health — physical and emotional — of infants, toddlers, children, tweens and teens. Overall, he is heartened by what he sees.

Dr. Jonathan Sollinger

He knows anxiety levels are up. Pre-existing issues have been “illuminated.” The news is frightening. But youngsters understand what’s going on. They are processing the information, adapting, and reacting in generally appropriate ways.

Willows’ practice is adapting too. There are fewer calls to the office. Most injuries are down (through trampoline mishaps and bike scrapes are up). So are contagious diseases kids pass along in school: colds, strep throat, late-season flu. They still get rashes and appendicitis.

A young patient reacts appropriately — wearing a mask, and putting one on her doll.

Some also get the coronavirus.

Dr. Sollinger sees cases. Primarily they are students back from college, though some younger teenagers have it as well.

“They’ve done very well,” he says. “But there’s a lot of coughing, and long bouts of fever — 8, 10, 12 days. And of course there’s always fear.”

“But these kids are generally healthy. A teenager without asthma or an autoimmune disease can get through this.”

He knows that others besides those who have been diagnosed have had the virus. “Testing is so inadequate,” Dr. Sollinger laments.

His office is a different place than it was 2 months ago. Doctors still see children under 2, to keep up their immunizations. But they see them only in the early morning. Then come regular pediatric visits.

When a patient comes in that the staff has concerns about, everyone wears full PPE. They’re seen in a remote part of the office, at a special time.

Of course, the entire office is cleaned regularly, and thoroughly.

Dr. Sollinger and his colleagues treat most patients — including those with COVID-19 — out of the office, via tele-medicine. They can do many tasks, from inspecting rashes to watching the way a toddler walks, using FaceTime and other apps.

Willows’ staff takes all precautions.

It’s challenging, but prudent. And, the pediatrician says, it is probably a change that will remain even after the virus passes.

He sees some bright spots in the calamity. Parents are spending more time with their children (“that’s also a challenge,” he laughs). People of all ages seem “more willing to ride out difficulties than they were.”

The physician also sees “a lot of ingenuity and kindness. Kids are sewing and 3D-printing masks. They’re cooking for the Gillespie Center.”

Kids are getting creative, making and decorating their own masks.

Dr. Sollinger — who grew up in Westport, and graduated from Staples High School in 1986 — has great praise for his colleagues, all around town.

“It’s not just Willows. All the pediatric offices in Westport are doing a great job.

“We try to be there for the families, do what we can, be voices of reason. This is something we haven’t seen before. But we’re all getting through it.”

Especially the “resilient, capable” kids these pediatricians care for and love.

Remembering Laura Lee Simon

For more than 50 years, Laura Lee Simon played a pivotal role in Westport life. She was a leader in a wide range of public and private local, state and national organizations, from human services to public broadcasting.

Her lifelong passion was advocating for children, and providing opportunities for them — particularly those who were underserved. One example: In the 1960s, she was a key organizer of Project Concern. The program — controversial at first, then recognized by all for its great value — brought students from Bridgeport into the Westport schools. 

She lived in Westport from 1956 to 2016. Her husband of 65 years, John Simon, was a Westport civic and cultural leader until his death in 2015.

Laura Lee and John Simon

Laura Lee Simon died yesterday in White Plains, New York. She was 90 years old. Her family says she had been in ill health for a long while. Here is a bit of her inspiring life.

She was a founding member of the Connecticut Commission on Children, and served as its chair for 10 years. She was the first woman to chair Connecticut Public Broadcasting, and was  vice president of the Connecticut Child Welfare Association and the Connecticut Association for Human Services.

She was a founder of the Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition, an adviser to the Stepping Stones Museum for Children, and chair of the Museum’s Community Partners Council.She was involved with numerous other state and national organizations, including serving as Connecticut chair of a 6-state National Crime Prevention Council initiative to develop policies that promote healthy, safe, smart caring communities for children to grow.

She was responsible for the first Harris Poll to ascertain Connecticut citizens’ view of prevention; organized the first media roundtable of its kind in Connecticut to bring media, policymakers and practitioners together to determine how best to tell the story of Connecticut’s children; and helped generate support for the creation of the executive branch’s Prevention Council.

She forged a coalition between the Commission on Children, Connecticut Public Broadcasting, the Committee on Economic Development and the National League of Cities to mount a public education campaign, “Kids for Connecticut,” to promote policies to assure children’s health, safety and learning.

She chaired the Committee on Public Expenditures for Connecticut’s Children to develop the first state children’s budget in the country as a trustee of the Southport Institute for Policy Analysis, and as state chair of the White House Conference on Families and its follow-up National Task Force.

She spent 15 years as a board member of the National Social Welfare Conference, a member of the National Advisory panel of the Child Care Action Campaign, chair for 15 years of the Stauffer Westport Fund, and a member of the Children’s Committee of the Council on Foundations.

In 1992, the New York Times interviewed Laura Lee Simon about her child advocacy work.

Laura Lee Simon earned numerous awards and citations, including the June Goodman Award from the Connecticut Association for Human Services, the Connecticut Psychological Association Award for Service to Children, the Women Who Dare to Make a Difference Award from the National Council of Jewish Women, the Community Leadership Award from the Junior League, the United Nations Association Award to Outstanding Women in Connecticut, the Connecticut Secretary of State’s Public Service award, and the Stepping Up for Children Award from the Stepping Stones Museum for Children.

She was honored by Connecticut Public Broadcasting at its Founders Celebration, by the United Way for a lifetime of excellence in community engagement work, and by 2 gubernatorial proclamations of “Laura Lee Simon Day” in 2001 and 2003.

Laura Lee Simon was born in Syracuse, New York in 1929. Her family moved in 1939 to New York City, where Laura Lee attended Julia Richman High School. She held a B.A. in psychology and political science from Syracuse University, and an M.A. in guidance from Teachers College, Columbia University.

She is survived by her daughter Terri Simon of Scarsdale, New York; her sons Andrew Simon of Manhattan and James Simon of Connecticut; 7 grandchildren;  a great-granddaughter, and her brother, Michael Reeder, of Boynton Beach, Florida.

Contributions in her memory may be made to Stepping Stones Museum in Norwalk.

Westport Kids Say “Thanks, Scientists!”

When Westporter Ellie Magunson learned that her friend Jacqueline Fabius — COO of the Quantitative Biosciences Institute at the University of California, San Francisco — was part of a group on the front lines of COVID-19 research, she told her family.

Her son Gavin — a 3rd grader at Kings Highway Elementary School — is very interested in science. Her daughter Hanna is part of the “Kindness Squad” there.

So when — as part of the Westport schools’ distance learning program — students were encouraged to spread kindness, Ellie and her children decided to thank Jacqueline’s team of scientists.

They wrote messages of encouragement on a postcard, then texted it to her.

The COO was thrilled. She asked for the actual card, to hang in the UCSF office.

Then — just before QBI director Dr. Nevan Krogan’s 4:30 a.m. live interview with “Good Morning America” — Jacqueline texted it to him. He said it gave him “a total boost.”

Ellie was surprised that one postcard from a couple of kids was valued so highly by scientists working on the most important project in the world.

Then she realized, they probably don’t get thanked much — or even recognized for the work they do.

So, Ellie thought, why not gather more words of gratitude?

She looked online for a free, easy way of collecting video messages. She found Tribute, shared it with friends all around town, and euraka! The tribute was made.

It’s genuine, cute, and truly heartwarming. (Click here to view.)

A screenshot from the Magnusons’ video.

USCF shared it with their collaborative partners: Mt. Sinai in New York, and Paris’ Pasteur Institute.

The scientists — some of the most respected and important researchers in the world loved it.

They responded with their own thanks:

  • “That is so adorable, and just what I needed as I struggle to keep my energy up. My lab is going to love this!”
  • “Ok, well this is the best thing I have ever seen — hands down!”
  • “Remarkable and heart warming.”
  • “I am trembling and of course crying. It’s wonderful!”
  • “Love. Love. Love. Thank you for sharing! Watched it with my kids!”

“So many first responders and vital workers deserve our thanks these days,” Ellie says. “Let’s not forget the unseen scientists who are doing so much to actually bring this virus to its knees.”

To learn more about QBI’s work, or donate to their research efforts, click here.

Then go thank every scientist you know!

Work at the QBI lab.

Unsung Heroes #141

As “home schooling” parents all across the country have found out these past few weeks, teachers are heroes. Suddenly, everyone who hasn’t been inside a classroom for years realizes how many moving parts make up just one class. And how many classes make up just one day.

But it’s one thing to teach English or physics to teenagers, or even reading or math to elementary schoolers.

What about kids who are much younger — who need constant, immediate attention that childcare providers have offered so amazingly for so long?

Alert — and hugely grateful — “06880” reader Keri Stedman admires Eileen Ward. For 39 years, she’s served as director of  the Children’s Community Development Center, on Hilllspoint Road.

“There’s no one I’d rather see at the helm during this crisis,” Keri says.

Eileen Ward

Though the school has closed, Eileen encourages teachers of all age levels to find ways to stay connected. There are emails, texts, Facebook groups, livestreams and Zoom calls (“yes, even for my 2-year-old’s class!”).

The music teacher has weekly online sessions. The art teacher shares creative ideas for the kids. The phys. ed. coach posts workouts.

“It was all put together so quickly,” Keri says. “And it has been so incredibly impressive and useful.”

“As a mom juggling homeschool for 1st and 2nd graders, plus my toddler, CCDC’s support has been invaluable. Eileen and her staff truly are my heroes.”

In fact, just minutes before writing this, one of the teachers FaceTimed Keri to make sure she was doing okay (and to see how all her children were doing).

Noelle, talking to Keri’s 2-year-old.

“Noelle talked to my 2-year-old as the little one ran all over the house with the phone,” Keri reports. “She offered to read to my elementary school girls, and engage them in any way she could.

“She even offered to put together work packets for them. Then she sent me art ideas for outside projects, like puff paint for the driveway.

“We are so lucky to have this center in Westport, and Eileen’s leadership. She truly leads by example. She has kept everyone connected to CCDC steady, calm and positive.”

In fact, Keri says, “I believe Eileen is at the school today, working.”

Thanks, Eileen — and your entire staff — for your care, concern and compassion for all your kids (and their families). Keri is right: You are our Unsung Heroes!

(Do you know an Unsung Hero? Email dwoog@optonline.net)

COVID-19 Roundup: Daffodils; Pink Moon; Earthplace; Easter Egg Tree; Augmented Reality; More

Thanks to the wonderful, multi-talented Miggs Burroughs for the new “06880” logo above. It will grace every Roundup from here until there’s no more COVID news to report. Fingers crossed …

Speaking of masks, here’s what the well-dressed blogger should wear. Apparently I can now look like this even at the bank.


Eileen Ward — director of the Children’s Community Development Center — writes:

“A long long time ago, as children would say (but really only last fall), we planted 1,000 daffodil bulbs in the beds along Hillspoint Road, and our entrance in back.

“Our volunteers — along with hundreds of other people Westporters — decided to ‘paint the town yellow’ in memory of people we love, and to brighten our passings all over town.

“Now, in the most bittersweet of ways, they are blooming en masse. As I come and go, to and from an empty CCDC, I remember the families and children who helped make this beautiful scene possible — and I hope and hope some more.”

The project was conceived by Debra Kandrak. Other daffodil gardens can be seen by the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge downtown, the Sherwood Island Connector, Beachside Avenue, and Project Return.

Daffodils around town.


Rindy Higgins writes: “Calling all Westporters to go outside tonight at 8 p.m. and howl at the pink moon! If the Italians can sing from their balconies to connect during social distancing, we can howl to the moon as a way to reconnect with the human pack.

“Even if it’s cloudy, there’s still the biggest and brightest supermoon of 2020 in the sky. So let’s connect to nature and each other by howling tonight at 8!”


Lisa Power provides this update on the Norwalk Hospital meal train:

The goal is to get daily meals to every unit at Norwalk Hospital (20 people each), delivered by a restaurant. It’s a win-win: feeding hard-working medical personnel, while supporting local businesses.

Many restaurants are even providing discounts for donors. Click here for a list of participating restaurants (scroll down to “General Instructions,” and to donate. Restaurants interested in being listed should email lapower2014@gmail.com.


A special shout out to Food for the Front Line who have been amazing and feeding all units at Norwalk Hosptial on Mondays. I’m hoping this Meal Train will help fill the gap on those other days.

Earthplace now has its own YouTube channel. Features include animal videos, activities to do at home, and story time. Click here to see.


The coronavirus is taking a toll even on Stew Leonard’s. Departments are shutting early — the butchers now leave at 5 p.m. weekdays — and the entire store will be closed this Easter. That’s a first in the store’s history.


Easter services may be canceled, but one tradition lives on: Jalna Jaeger’s Easter Egg tree!

For the 13th year, the 1971 Staples High School graduate has decorated a large tree on her 3 East Avenue property in Norwalk (just down the hill from Stew Leonard’s) with hundreds of eggs.

Kids (of all ages) enjoy it. “We all need something cheerful these days,” Jalna says. She provides it!


Here’s a novel way to amuse yourself (and others), during the pandemic.

Westporter Steven Kranz is a founder of Strax Networks. The new company just launched “StraxAR.” It’s “augmented reality” — and all you need is a smartphone.

Take a video. Then digitally “stick it” to any item: a logo, a painting, a stop sign…

Take a look at this video:

Strax is offering any “06880” reader the chance to submit a video (45 seconds or less). It could be a special recipe, a do-it-yourself project, even a singing dog. They’ll “stick it” to the target of your choice. Your content will be available worldwide, to anyone who “Straxes” that target.

Send your video to support@straxnetworks.com. Their crew will turn it into an augmented reality experience. And — completing the circle — “06880” will feature some submissions here. (The Strax app is available through the App Store and Google Play.)

PS: If you’d like, your augmented reality experience can lead to the home page of a charity of your choice.


And finally, this one might be a springtime cliché. But — as Jalna says above — “we all need something cheerful these days.” We can always count on the Beatles for that.

 

Kids’ Art Contest Honors Earth Day

With all the excitement over Easter and Passover, we may forget that Earth Day is coming.

And not just any ol’ Earth Day. This is the 50th anniversary! It could not have come at a more appropriate time.

To celebrate, the United Nations Association’s local chapter invites students throughout the area to submit art work — all kinds, in any media. There are 3 prizes — $300, $150 and $75 — and the first 50 submissions will be posted on Instagram.

Winners will also be invited to the UN.

Winners can choose to have part or all of their prize money donated to UN agency working with at-risk populations. Donations will be matched by an anonymous donor.

Unsure of what to do, or how to do it? Beloved Westport artist Miggs Burroughs will tell you everything you need to know — and offer suggestions.

Just click here this Thursday (April 9, 3 p.m.).

Entries are due April 16. Include name, age, school and grade, and make the submission via a parent or guardian’s email address. For submissions and questions, email UNASWCTIG@gmail.com.

COVID-19 Roundup: Student Theater And Art; Medical Heroes; Baseball, Masks, More

The Westport Country Playhouse is dark. But it lights up on both Facebook and the Playhouse’s own YouTube channel on Friday, April 17 (7 p.m.).

It shines with Westport’s own Kelli O’Hara, and 10 randomly selected Fairfield County High School students. They’ll chat with the Broadway star, and perform musical theater selections.

Students can click here between tomorrow (Sunday, April 5, 10 a.m.) and Wednesday (April 8, 10 a.m.). Upload a video of yourself performing any musical theater song.

In addition to the 10 students chosen, 10 “understudies” will be selected to submit a question for Kelli to answer during the show.

“I’m a firm believer in the healing magic of the arts,” the Tony Award-winning (“The King and I”) actor says. Most recently, she earned a Tony nomination for “Kiss Me, Kate.”

All videos submitted will be featured in a compilation, released on Playhouse social media channels. For more information, email education@westportplayhouse.org.

(Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)


First “06880” encouraged Westport students to do artwork while they’re home from school.

Now Friends of Westport Public Art Collections is doing the same. Here’s the hook: If your work is accepted by Friends, it will be featured in the public schools’ 2020-21 calendar.

Submissions can be new — or something already painted, drawn, photographed or digitally created. Click here for details.


Many people have seen this photo from Yale New Haven Health. Front line personnel are pleading with everyone to keep physical distance.

But you may not know that the nurse in the far left of the front row is Nick Kiedaisch. The 2012 Staples High School graduate — and varsity baseball star — is among the medical heroes. Let’s do all we can to make his and his colleagues’ jobs easier. (Hat tip: Jeff Mitchell)


Lifelong Westporter Deborah Johnson is a well-known designer and decorator, with her own drapery business.

Over the years she has assembled plenty of extra fabric. Now she’s using it to make face masks. If you’d like to help, or know someone in great need, email wsptgirl@yahoo.com(Hat tip: Steve Crowley)


Speaking of masks: Yesterday’s Roundup story on Virginia Jaffe’s project raised immediate funds, delivered 4 sewing helpers — and brought a request from the director of STAR Lighting the Way. Today, Virginia and her crew are donating 80 masks for their staff. Well done!

Virginia Jaffe, in her workroom


It’s looking increasingly unlikely that the spring high school sports season will happen.

That’s devastating news to hundreds of Staples athletes — and hundreds of thousands more across the country.

Which brings up this local/national news: In a just-released preseason poll, the National High School Baseball Coaches Association ranked the Wreckers 31st, in the entire country.

They’re defending state champions. But they may never get their chance to defend their title.

They might also lose the opportunity to see how much further they’d climb in the rankings. Normally at this time of year, anticipation and excitement would be high.

Opening day was supposed to have been today.

Instead of “Play ball!” it’s “Keep away!”

So right now, guys, we’re sorry. Congratulations on being #31 in the nation will have to suffice. (Hat tip: Vince Kelly)


And finally, what’s Saturday without a dance party?

C’mon! It’s time to throw down. Nobody’s watching! And even if they are …