Category Archives: Environment

0*6*Art*Art*0 — Week 85 Gallery

We’re still in autumn mode this week. Let’s keep it going as long as we can!

Whatever your age and level of experience — professional or amateur, young or old — this feature is open to everyone.

All genres and styles are encouraged. Watercolors, oils, charcoal, pen-and-ink, acrylics, lithographs, macramé, jewelry, sculpture, decoupage (and now needlepoint) — whatever you’ve got, email it to dwoog@optonline.net. Share your work with the world.

Untitled. Photographer Werner Liepolt says, “This has been a phenomenal year for those of us with fall blooming gardens. This is one of 7 fabulous spoon/spider chrysanthemums that made it to November.”

“Autumn Reflection” (Kathryn O’Reardon)

“Turning Over the Garden” (Lawrence Weisman)

 

Pic Of The Day #1667

Sherwood Island tree (Photo/Rowene Weems Photography)

Roundup: Christmas Music, Veterans Day, Pints For Players …

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Yesterday was November 9. Christmas is December 25. That’s 45 days away.

Which means 45 days of Christmas carols. Because I heard my first one of the season yesterday, at Fresh Market.

Guys … it’s not even Veterans Day yet!

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Speaking of Veterans Day: It’s tomorrow.

Joseph J. Clinton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 399 hosts Westport’s Veterans ceremony in their Riverside Avenue parking lot.

The Westport Community Band plays patriotic music at 10:30 a.m., honoring all those who have served in the US military.

The 11 a.m. program includes posting the colors, remarks from State Senator Tony Hwang and 1st Selectman Jim Marpe, an address by Staples High School senior Pierre Briand, and a firing salute by the Westport Police Department.

A special tribute honors World War II and Korean War veterans for their service. The public is invited to the outdoor event.

VFW on Riverside Avenue: site of tomorrow’s Veterans Day ceremony.

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A few spots remain for this Saturday’s free mattress and box spring recycling program (November 13 at Earthplace, 10 Woodside Lane, 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.). The project is sponsored by Sustainable Westport.

The project is run through the Mattress Recycling Council’s Connecticut Bye Bye Mattress program.

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Staples Players’ “Grease” is a hot ticket. And Cold Fusion is adding to the heat.

Owners (and Players superfans) Kelly and Eric Emmert have created a special “Pints for Players” promotion.

They renamed 3 flavors, to honor the show. Through closing night (November 20), customers can purchase pints of Pink Lady (strawberry stracciatella), Burger Boys (blood orange sorbet) and Ode to Olivia Newton-John (peanut butter Xanadu).

For more information on “Grease,” click here.

Rydell High cheerleaders enjoy some Cold Fusion gelato.

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Speaking of high school: MoCA Westport has put out a call for submissions from artists in grades 9-12. They’ll be part of an exhibition focusing on the theme of identity, to run concurrently with a show featuring works from the Westport Permanent Art Collections in January.

MoCA officials were impressed with the diversity and talent of last year’s submissions. This year, they hope to surpass those nearly 200 entries. Teachers from across Connecticut and New York played a huge role in bringing that exhibition to fruition. They’re engaged again this year.

The submission deadline is December 19. For details, click here.

A student work from last year’s “Hindsight is 2020” show.

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Jillian Elder — the creative force behind the “Finding Westport” information and merchandise site — checks in with more swag.

Her “Westport Love & Life” collection of t-shirts, mugs, blankets, tote bags and more includes our beloved Minute Man, in various forms of the words “Love” and “Life.” Click here to see the wide variety of products.

And Jillian hopes to post a list of Etsy shops based in Westport, for holiday readers. If you’ve got — or know of — one, email jillian@findingfairfieldcounty.com.

The Minute Man on a “Love & Life” hoodie.

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Time to network!

Local business professionals are invited to a “Virtual Visitors Day” on Thursday, November 18 (7:30 to 9 a.m. Zoom). The event is sponsored by Westport’s Business Networking International chapter.

BNI meetings are open to only one business per category.

They’re on the lookout for new members. People working in hospitality — event planners, florists, caterers, bakers, DJs and bands, liquor stores, limousine services and gift novelty shop owners — are particularly welcome

Other open categories include home inspectors, veterinary services, dentists, dermatologists, commercial sign companies, martial artists, trade schools, physical therapists, orthopedists, delicatessen owners and tutors.

Email curtis@health-directions.com or billhall747@gmail.com to sign up for the Virtual Vistors Day.

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The Westport Police Department and TEAM Westport are sponsoring a Thanksgiving food drive this Saturday (November 13, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). All donations support Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center and food pantry, and Westports Human Services Department.

Westport Police officers and volunteers will collect non-perishable food items and cash. Suggested items include canned meats, tuna, salmon, Spam, canned cranberries, boxed stuffing, canned yams, canned corn, canned gravy, pasta, and sauces, chili, hot and cold cereal, canned fruit, canned and dry soups, peanut butter, jelly, mac and cheese, rice, granola bars, pancake mix, syrup and mayonnaise.

Earlier this year, after another drive, Westport Police and Homes with Hope volunteers delivered food to the Gillespie Center, across from police headquarters.

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Lauri Weiser calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” image “The Last Rose of Summer.”

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … as noted above, yesterday was waaaaaay too early for Christmas music.

Two can plan that game. Take this, Fresh Market!

 

 

 

Roundup: Kristallnacht Observance, Water Rescue, Riverside Avenue …

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Tonight marks the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht — the night the Nazis’ repressive policies toward Jews turned violent. At least 91 men, women and children were murdered; 1,000 synagogues were attacked and vandalized, with over 300 demolished, and at least 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed.

The number of eyewitnesses to those horrors is rapidly fading. But tonight, a special commemoration (Tuesday, Saugatuck Congregational Church, 7 p.m., in person and livestream) includes Ruth Zimbler. As a child, she watched her synagogue in Vienna burn.

Two days later, she and her 6-year-old brother escaped on the Kindertransport to the Netherlands. Her story — filled with love, hope and optimism — is a chance to hear from a survivor who was old enough to remember, and at 93 still young enough to tell her story.

The event will be moderated by Dr. Gavriel Rosenfeld, professor of Germanic Studies at Fairfield University. Click here for the YouTube livestream link; click here for the Facebook link.

Co-sponsors include The Conservative Synagogue, Temple Israel, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy, and Merkaz Community High School for Judaic Studies.

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At 5:55 a.m. this morning, Westport Police officers responded to Saugatuck Shores on a report of an elderly male who was missing.

Officers immediately searched the area, and saw the man partially submerged in the water. Working quickly in the cold, they deployed a canoe located nearby.

One officer held the man’s head above the water, while others lifted him into the canoe. Once ashore, the Westport Fire Department helped bring him to waiting EMS personnel.

They evaluated the man, and transported him to the hospital for further treatment.

While his condition is unknown, any injuries did not appear life=threatening.

Police, Fire Department and EMS personnel work together during this morning’s water rescue. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)

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If it’s mid-November, it must be time for … the indoor Westport Farmers’ Market.

Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center once again hosts the long-running institution. The winter market opens Thursday, November 18. It runs every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) through March 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It’s open-air, throughout 3 greenhouses. Favorite summer vendors return, with high-quality locally grown or raised fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, milk, baked and prepared foods, plus handmade items.

WFM kicks off the season with a celebration. Bubble and Brew, and Parlor Pizza, will set up trucks outside the greenhouses. Staples graduate Luke Molina will play music. while Mae Farrell entertains youngsters in the Get Growing program with a nature-inspired craft.

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A Riverside Avenue improvement project — involving demolition of the concrete roadwaym and reconstruction of the pavement — begins today.

Traffic on Riverside Avenue between Bridge Street and Saugatuck Avenue (the area of Viva Zapata and the Saugatuck Rowing Club) will be restricted to northbound (headed toward the Post Road) vehicles only. All southbound traffic will detour down Saugatuck Avenue to Charles Street.

During paving — planned for this Thursday and Friday — the road section will be closed to all but local traffic. All other traffic will be detoured around Charles Street and Saugatuck Avenue.

Riverside Avenue area slated for reconstruction.

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“Doubt: A Parable” — the thought-provoking play running now at the Westport Country Playhouse — has earned great praise.

But no one has mentioned that Kerstin Anderson — the woman playing the young nun — has a Westport connection. She’s the daughter of 1976 Staples High School graduate Ted Anderson, and the niece of longtime “06880” reader Britt Anderson.

Neither Ted nor Britt live in Westport now. But both were on hand opening night. They were proud of Kerstin — no “doubt”!

Kerstin Anderson and her aunt Britt Anderson, at the Westport Country Playhouse.

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Westport artist Steven Parton’s oil painting, “Anticipation,” is being shown at the 93rd Grand National Exhibit of the American Artists Professional League, in New York’s  Salmagundi Club.

“Anticipation” (Steven Parton)

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Today’s amazing “Westport … Naturally” fall foliage shot shows a Jennie Lane/Mayflower Parkway scene, off South Compo. Enjoy it while it lasts!

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … on this day in 1967, Rolling Stone magazine published its first issue. You know what song that means:

 

[OPINION] The Great Unmasking

Allegra Gatti Zemel is a Westport resident of 8 years, and mother of 3. She works in healthcare. In her spare time, she writes about real life.

Real life includes the pandemic. Allegra says:

1st Selecctman Jim Marpe and the Westport Weston Health District lifted the indoor mask mandate on Thursday. That means if you’re vaccinated you don’t have to wear a mask at Trader Joe’s, CVS or any other place you frequent on regular (in my case, daily!?) basis.

(There are exceptions. Check local and individual policies.)

Alas, gone are the days of picking up a cantaloupe and trying to assess its ripeness without the telltale aroma at the stem. Pineapples, tomatoes, peaches — I rely on my nose for selecting all of them. Without my sense of smell, over the last 20 months, I’ve arrived home with a handful of duds.  

The blast of coffee aroma that greeted me at Starbucks has been reduced to a mere hint seeping through my mask.

Allegra Gatti Zemel

And remember when you didn’t touch your face or mask without hand sanitizing first? You certainly didn’t lower it. My mask ensured my bubble of safety, for a long time.

But Friday, with the indoor mask mandate just lifted, I liberated the lower half of my face. Here’s what happened.

I toured a friend’s new space, partially renovated for sale but being renovated further, and was overwhelmed by the dampness. My nose smelled wet wood, wet plaster. Not wet paint. I wonder how many new homeowners took their masks off to smell their potential new home.

I got my hair cut in a salon with a hairdresser I’ve seen 3 times in the past 20 months. Any adult with hair remembers the urgency of that first time back in the chair, and the ability to subsequently maintain what just felt like self-care,

Despite our hours together, she had never seen me without a mask. As I sat in front of the mirror she looked at me, really saw me, and said “Oh my goodness – I’ve never seen your whole face. You’re so pretty!”

I blushed, said thank you, and panicked.  Did I have anything in my teeth!? I haven’t worried about that in a while. But as we talked, she got to see my expressions – my reactions, my smiles, my thinking face.

While she painted rows of hair and sculpted an impressive tin foil head piece, my eyes watered from the smell of ammonia. As she masterfully unwrapped my hair and washed it all out, my head tilted back in the sink, sniffer straight up to the air,

I was overwhelmed by the chemicals – familiar, but daunting. Is this the best thing to be putting on my head? My nose was looking out for me again.

I headed to Sono Fieldhouse for pick up (my daughter is playing on a new team in another town this year so I hadn’t spent much time in the field house before masking.

Ripe is not the word. Hordes of sweaty (masked) children and teenagers, hour after hour, increasing with age. They ran, trapped and passed the ball on artificial turf that doesn’t aerate or circulate air under a dome, with not enough windows to open to purge this intense use of space (and the smell that accompanies it(.

It was rank. Musty. Foul.  Dare I say putrid?  Let’s just say very, very smelly.

Lots of bodies. Not a lot of air circulation.

Then Friday night, as I walked from my car to the sliding door entrance to Trader Joe’s under a dark cold sky, I saw my breath in front of me. I wished I had a face covering for warmth.  

When I got home I called the second person I’d heard that day who had a terrible stomach bug. Isn’t it flu season now?

I remembered my masked hair dresser, who is in nursing school. She said she’ll continue to wear her mask; she lives with her mom, and doesn’t want to bring anything home to her.

I realized: I too will probably continue to wear my mask, for at least a bit longer.  It’s gotten so wonderfully commonplace. Safe.

My nose had a day out, indoors. That was enough for now.

Still, maybe I’ll start lowering my mask from time to time. I’ll smell the good stuff — and the bad — now that I can.

Pic Of The Day #1663

The bridge is at the Newman Poses Preserve off Bayberry Lane. Both the bridge and sign can also be seen from Coleytown Road. (Photo/Kate Morrison)

Roundup: Change Clocks, Diwali, Veterans Day …

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Tonight — well, actually tomorrow morning — is our reward for last March.

Set your clocks back before bed. Bingo! You get an extra hour of sleep. It’s the “fall back” part of the “spring forward…” saying.

But here’s the thing: Why are we now on “Standard Time”?

It’s only from tomorrow through early March. That’s 4 months.

The other 8 months are “Daylight Savings Time.” Shouldn’t that be the standard? And maybe call these next 4 months “Nighttime Darkness Time”?

I’m just sayin’…

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Over 100 people — Hindus and others — headed to MoCA yesterday. They celebrated Diwali, the festival honoring the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and wisdom over ignorance. It is an auspicious day, for new beginnings.

And an auspicious start for — we hope — one of Westport’s newest traditions.

For more information, including upcoming events, email aapiwestport@gmail.com. You can follow AAPI Westport — our local Asian American and Pacific Islander organization — on Instagram (@aapiwestport),

One of the many children’s activities at yesterday’s Diwali celebration. (Photo/Sarin Cheung)

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One of our nation’s most meaningful — and too often overlooked — holidays is Veterans Day.

Westport’s observance is always impactful. And seen by too few people.

This year it’s set for Thursday, November 11, outdoors in the  parking lot of VFW Joseph Clinton Post 399 (465 Riverside Avenue).

The program begins at 10:30 a.m., with patriotic music by the Westport Community Band.  The services begin at the traditional armistice hour: 11 a.m.

The program includes remarks by 1st Selectman Jim Marpe; placing of a memorial wreath by members of VFW Post 399, and “Taps.”

The public is invited. And “06880” encourages the best attendance ever.

Former Bedford Middle School teacher Kerstin Rao always planned extensive Veterans Day celebrations.

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Like many pediatricians, Village Pediatrics has begun vaccinating 5-to-11-year-olds.

One of the first to receive the COVID shot yesterday was Dr. Robin Abramowicz’s son, Gabriel Sergi. He’s shown (happily) below with Drs. Jennifer Gruen and Nikki Gorman.

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As NBC Sports’ contract ends, broadcasters around the world are battling for rights to the Premier League: world soccer’s biggest yearly showcase. The deal may reach $3 billion over 9 years.

That’s a far cry from what Westporters Joe Pierce and Norm Bierman paid a couple of decades ago. As partners in rights to the first season in the USA, they paid $45,000 — and that included all languages.

Matches were shown on Prime Network, and on closed circuit to bars.

So — in a sense — perhaps there would be no US bidding war for the English league, were it not for a couple of Westport fans who only wanted to watch their favorite teams, back in the day.

Joe Pierce

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The Camp Gallery has an opening reception today (Saturday, November 6, 4 to 8 p.m., 190 Main Street), for its new exhibit: “An Autumnal Ode to Seasons Past.”

The featured artist if Franck de las Mercedes. A portion of sales proceeds will benefit Fashion Fights Cancer. Chris Coogan and Linda Couturas play jazz, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Regina Pape died last month in Paoli, Pennsylvania, surrounded by her family. She was 79.

The Philadelphia native graduated from Manor College. She worked as a medical secretary at Pennsylvania Hospital. Reggie lived in Westport from 1976 to 2006.

While raising her children here, Reggie volunteered with their schools and other activities. She also worked as a freelance typist and editor. She had a close-knit circle of friends here, and loved to entertain and spend time at the beach. Reggie was an avid reader and traveler.

Reggie is survived by her husband of 57 years, Morgan Pape Sr.; sons Morgan Jr. (Christine) and Timothy; daughter Regina Carron (Thomas); 5 grandchildren; sisters Judith Riley and Mary Clare Hogan, and brothers Charles Jr. and Daniel. She was predeceased by siblings John T. Sweeney and Jean Cummins.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution in Reggie’s memory to The Paoli Hospital Foundation or the charity of your choice.

Reggie Pape

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is as autumn-y as it gets.

You’ve gotta love fall leaves. Now go rake them!

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … on this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected our 16th President. He got only 40% of the popular vote though, defeating John Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas in a 4-way race.

 

Roundup: Staples Girls Soccer, Holiday Shopping, Earth Animal …

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The Staples High School girls soccer team has done it again!

Madison Sansone’s goal in the 5th minute was the difference — along with stout defense from, among others, central defenders Samantha DeWitt and Gaby Gonzalez, plus keeper Camille Kolek — as the #4 Wreckers shut out #6 Wilton 1-0 last night at Fairfield Warde High School.

It’s the 2nd league title in a row for Staples. They won it in 2019. There was no championship game last year due to COVID, but the Wreckers won their 5-team division then too.

Congratulations to coaches Barry Beattie, Mackenzie Pretty, the rest of his staff, and of course this remarkable group of young women.

The state tournament begins next week for girls and boys soccer, and field hockey. Pairings will be announced today.

The Staples High School girls soccer team at the Push Against Cancer …

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Get your holiday shopping done early — like, today!

WestportMoms’ Holiday Boutique Bash runs today (Friday, November 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m) in the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot.

The 5th annual event features over 30 vendors. It’s free, open to all — and there will be a food truck with coffee and warm food right there.

In return, WestportMoms asks for contributions of coats for adults and children. They’ll be donated to Homes with Hope, for our neighbors in need.

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Long before the pandemic, Earth Animal was helping Westport’s four-legged creatures.

And those with only 2.

 The 14th annual Mitten Project is the Post Road store’s fall initiative to support the Connecticut Food Bank. Last year’s effort raised over $38,000. This year’s goal is even higher.

It runs now through December 31. For $5, people can buy “mittens” at Earth Animal, to sign and hang in the store windows.

There are also holiday items for sale. All proceeds go to the Mitten Project total.

And donation boxes will be placed at area stores during the holiday season.

Earth Animal does even more: They’ll match every penny donated. 

 For more information on how to donate, email merritt@earthanimal.com.

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Wakeman Town Farm serves Westporters of all ages.

Including the very youngest.

Its “Little Farmer: Mommy & Me” program — for infants through age 3 — offers an hour of quality time each week. Developmentally appropriate experiences foster social skills and independence.

“Creative Nature Sprouts” is for 3-to-5-year-olds. It’s largely outdoors, exploring the wonders of WTF’s farm and barns.

“Fantastic Farmhands” (kindergarten through 5th grade) offers care and education about animals, pollinators, compost and more, through hands-on activities. Youngsters also enjoy farm crafts and games.

The “Farm Apprentice Program” (grades 6-8) concentrates on organic farming and gardening.

Click here for more information.

Learning about life at Wakeman Town Farm.

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Following 1st Selectman Jim Marpe’s announcement yesterday that the indoor mask mandate is lifted for most locations, the Westport Library has followed suit.

Masks are no longer required in the building — except for people who are unvaccinated.

Masks continue to be required in the Children’s Library, and for indoor children’s programs for everyone over 24 months old.

One step closer to normal at the Westport Library. (Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

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Nikki Gorman is more than a beloved Village Pediatrics doctor.

She’s on the board of the Unite the World With Africa Foundation. Next Thursday (November 11, 5 to 9 p.m.), she’s opening her home for a cocktails and open house “Heal the World” awareness-raising event.

All are welcome. Click here for details, and to RSVP.

Speaking of pediatrics: Dr. Nikki’s practice is holding COVID vaccine clinics today and tomorrow. They’ll be inoculating as many newly eligible 5-to-11-year-olds as they can.

Slots are all filled. But it’s good news indeed, on the continuing fight against the pandemic.

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Last night’s freezing temperatures did not keep sunset lovers away from Old Mill Beach.

Photos like this never get old.

(Photo/Rick Benson)

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A few hours earlier — not far away, on Sherwood Mill Pond — Peter Swift snapped this blue heron, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Peter Swift)

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And finally … happy 80th birthday to Art Garfunkel!

Pics Of The Day #1661

Woodside Lane, near Earthplace …

… and nearby …

… and the Earthplace sculpture “The Couple,” by William King. Installed in the tall pines in 2016, it was donated by the late Susan Malloy, a longtime Earthplace supporter and daughter of founding trustee Aaron Rabinowitz. (Photos/Rowene Weems Photography)

Meanwhile, this morning brought the first frost of fall to Coleytown Cemetery on Weston Road (Photo/Larry Perlstein)

We’re Sustainable!

Westport is an environmentally conscious community for the right reasons: It’s the best thing for us. And the planet.

Still, it’s nice to get props for our efforts.

Sustainable CT has just named Westport one of 23 municipalities to achieve silver (the highest) level of certification.

Last year, we won a bronze.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe praised the “tireless and ongoing support from Sustainable Westport and Earthplace. With their focus on programs and forums on sustainability, such as the Zero Food Waste Challenge and home efficiency audits, these organizations are pivotal in the movement towards achieving our goal of Net Zero by 2050. “

He also lauded “the residents of Westport, who have taken on the challenges, great and small, to become involved in the growing movement to protect our environment for future generations. With increased local engagement and impact, it will be possible to make our planet healthier and more sustainable.”

In its application for Sustainable CT certification, Westport demonstrated significant achievements in actions in areas like inclusive community building, thriving local economies, clean and efficient energy use, vibrant arts and culture, clean transportation and diverse housing.