Category Archives: Library

Roundup: Clarendon Fine Art, Blues, Jazz …

Clarendon Fine Art has over 80 galleries across the UK.

But none in the US.

Until next month.

Clarendon’s very first American gallery opens at 22 Main Street. That’s the new construction on the right side, just north of Post Road East.

The world’s largest gallery group wants to make art “accessible to all.” They boast an eclectic portfolio of artists, across a broad range of genres. 

The new 3,200-square foot building will showcase an international portfolio of originals, collector’s editions, and sculpture from famous names, alongside emerging talents.

Works from artists like Picasso, Miro, Warhol and Hockney; cutting edge pop, street, and contemporary art; more traditional work including landscape, wildlife, still life, figurative and abstract art, is all on sale at Clarendon.

CEO Helen Swaby calls Westport “a thriving cultural and creative center (which), like Clarendon, has a strong commitment to the preservation of community, traditions and quality of life.”

A British Clarendon gallery.

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Yesterday was special not only because America voted.

There was also a lunar eclipse.

Maggie Dobbins was up early, to capture both it and the sunrise.

(Photos/Maggie Dobbins)

But wait … there’s more!

Twelve hours later, a full beaver moon rose over Compo. Seth Goltzer was there.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

And Rick Benson was at Sherwood Mill Pond …

(Photo/Rick Benson)

… while not far away was Seth Goltzer:

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

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Mark Naftalin’s 3rd “Blue Sunday” rocks the Westport Library on November 20.

The keyboardist/producer/radio host/Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has curated a great set of blues musicians, for the latest in the monthly series.

The November Blue Sunday features “Beehive Queen” and “Saturday Night Live” chanteuse Christine Ohlman, blues and soul man Willie J. Laws, plus Naftalin’s already legendary Blue Sunday Band, with Crispin Cioe, Paul Gabriel and JD Seem.

The first 2 Blue Sundays drew packed houses to the Library’s Trefz Forum. The November 20 concert begins at 2:30 p.m.

You won’t be wailing over the admission price. Unbelievably, it’s free.

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On Friday, the Westport Police Department’s 3rd annual Officer Awards ceremony recognized outstanding from 2021.

Among the honorees were 2 civilians: “06880” Unsung Hero Tucker Peters, for saving a friend from drowning after their boat tipped over last summer, and Jose Rodriguez, who helped a woman climb to safety after falling onto the train tracks.

Also recognized: Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Cohen and firefighter Michael Durette who assisted officers in locating a dangerous felon.

Westport Police Department officers were of course recognized for their success in a variety of incidents involving armed suspects, barricaded subjects, the mentally ill, and time consuming, in-depth investigations.

Detectives Ashley Delvecchio and Marc Heinmiller were co-recipients of the 2021 Officer of the Year Award, for their consistent and innate ability to solve investigative cases.

In all, 40 officers received awards. Many were multiple recipients.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas, with Marc Heinmiller and Ashley Delvecchio, co-Officers of the Year.

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The Westport Library’s Book Sale is (almost) here.

The upcoming event (Friday through Monday) features thousands of gently used books in more than 50 categories, including children’s, classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi/fantasy, art, photography, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language — to name just a few.

Items of special interest: leather-bound vintage book sets; extensive collections of history books and cookbooks; a new “Fiction for $1” room; from the personal library of Joseph Califano, former US Secretary of HEW, books signed to him by their authors, including one by Dr. Seuss. and a card from the Broadway show “In the Heights” signed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other cast members.

Also on sale: a broad array of DVDs and CDs, and a limited selection of collectibles and artwork.

The book sale benefits both the Library and Westport Book Shop, the used bookstore on Jesup Green that provides employment for people with disabilities.

Volunteers are still needed. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Admission to the book sale is free (except early access Friday morning. Click here for more information, including times and daily specials.

The Westport Library Book Sale.(Photo/Dan Woog)

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It’s become a tradition: Because the Westport Rotary Club meets each Tuesday at noon, the 1st selectperson now address addresses the group every Election Day.

Westport First Selectwoman Jen Tooker did the honors yesterday, at Green’s Farms Congregational Church. She talked about traffic congestion, Longshore and downtown.

She also expressed concern about the state of public discourse in the US, and how it impacts who chooses to serve in positions like hers.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker at yesterday’s Rotary Club. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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Westport Country Playhouse is going mobile.

The 91-year-old institution now brings live theater to schools, parks, community centers and other gathering spots.

They supply the fully staged play. Your group supplies the audience.

The first production –“Scaredy Kat Presents” — is designed for grades 5 through 9. But it entertains audiences of all ages, while fostering an understanding of social/emotional wellness.

The tour begins in January, with dates available for booking. School, religious institution, library and community space administrators can click here for more details, and booking information.

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Congratulations to Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

The Staples High School musicians participated in the National Association for Music Education conference, as part of the All-National Honor Ensembles. They were selected by video audition, from the top music students in the country.

Delaney played trumpet in the All-National Orchestra, while Witt Lindau was a drummer with the All National Modern Band) (aka known as a “rock band”).

Congratulations too (of course!) to Staples band director Phil Giampietro.

Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

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The recent HBO special on Paul Newman, and publication of his memoir, has brought Paul Newman back in the spotlight.

Nearly everyone in Westport has a story about our down-to-earth neighbor. Gil Ghitelman shares his:

“Kenyon College — Newman’s alma mater — is mentioned frequently in his new book.

“My son Nick (Kenyon ’94) gave me a hoodie I occasionally wear on spirited walks to town. Recently several Westporters asked if I knew Paul.

Gil Ghitelman, in his Kenyon hoodie.

“I never met him. But my wife had an encounter that is worth telling.

“They both were in the checkout line at Organic Market in Playhouse Square. Paul was buying, of all things, a couple of Newman’s Own peanut butter cups.

“Dispensing with the unwritten protocol to ignore local celebrities — let alone initiate a conversation — she said, ‘Excuse me. Are those any good?’

“Newman smiled and replied, ‘They better be.  I’m paying full retail for them.’”

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When Marisa Zer arrived home the other night, she could not get in her Greens Farms area driveway.

Two bucks fighting for supremacy blocked her way.

She did not get involved. Instead, she took a photo for “06880,” Day or night, anything can happen in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Melissa Zer)

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And finally … the day after Americans voted, all the results are not yet in. Some may take days to tabulate.

While the count goes on, let’s all heed Jackson Browne’s words:

We may lose, and we may win …
Take it easy.

Talia And Tessa: Signs Of The Times

When Talia Moskowitz was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with apraxia — a neurological disability that prevented her from speaking.

To compensate, she learned American Sign Language.

The diagnosis was wrong. When she began talking, she had no need for ASL.

But she never forgot it. Two years ago, Talia and her good friend Tessa Cassell realized they both were fascinated watching speeches and other event being signed on TV. Tessa, in fact, had been teaching herself to sign at home.

They wondered why ASL is not taught at Staples. (A lack of certified teachers, and difficulty in grading, they learned.)

Then they had another idea: start a club.

Tessa Cassell (left) and Talia Moskowitz: friends and co-signers.

They researched ASL. They took an online course. They found an advisor: English teacher Danielle Spies.

The club fair in the fall of 2021 connected them with interested students. About 20 came regularly to meetings. The group learned the basics of sign language — and its culture too.

Tessa and Talia’s next idea was to expand to younger grades. Westport Library children’s reference librarian Di Conroy was very helpful.

A pilot program — taught by the 2 teenagers — was successful. Youngsters learned quickly, and made new friends while signing.

A new Library class started last Wednesday, and runs for 2 more sessions. “Introduction to American Sign Language, Grades 5-7” teaches the alphabet, basic words and phrases, numbers, family members, emotions, and hobbies.

“Kids love having a skill like this, that they can practice and develop,” say Talia and Tessa, who are as excited as their students.

They take the youngsters’ enthusiasm as a “sign” to keep the club, and their courses, going.

Photo Challenge #410

Several “06880” readers quickly nailed last week’s Photo Challenge.

Phil Kann’s image showed the soundproofing — aka “baffles” — on the Westport Library’s south wall, near the Trefz Forum stage and Verso Studios.

But they didn’t get the whole story.

As Phil notes, the acoustic foam actually includes certain letters. And the letters spell out a phrase.

His photo showed the letters “ET.” (Click here to see.) They’re part of the words “MAKE – MEET –WORK –REA D.”

“Brilliant crypto messaging,” Phil says.

And that’s just part of a number of hidden designs incorporated into the Westport Library’s Transformation Project. As is true with so much about one of our town’s favorite places: There’s far more there than meets the eye.

Seth Schachter, Martin Gitlin, Ken Kantor, Scott Brodie, Clark Thiemann, Will Gibson and Paul Cahill all identified the baffling. Next time they — and you — are there, “check out” the entire wall.

This week’s Photo Challenge takes us back outside. If you know where in Westport you would see this ineffective and abandoned-looking gate, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)

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Roundup: Staples Sports, Craft Fair, Black Holes …

Two Staples High School sports teams fell in their quests for FCIAC (league) championships last night.

Both were seeded #3. Both lost to the #1 seeds.

The field hockey team dropped a 3-0 decision to Darien, at Brien McMahon High School. The Blue Wave earned their 5th consecutive title.

The girls soccer squad lost 3-1 to St. Joseph. Evelyn Chudowsky scored the Wreckers’ goal, assisted by her sister Natalie.

Both teams — along with boys soccer — start state tournament play next week. The football team, meanwhile, is still in contention for a state playoff berth.

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Meanwhile, the Staples fieldhouse shifts from sports to crafts this weekend.

CraftWestport — a favorite Westport Young Woman’s League fundraiser for over 45 years — returns Saturday and Sunday (November 5-6). Like so many other events, it’s been a COVID-induced hiatus for 2 years.

Over 175 contemporary crafters and makers from across the country will exhibit at what has become Connecticut’s largest indoor crafts festival.

Ticket sales sales fund the WYWL’s community grants to are charities like Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Homes with Hope, Westport Emergency Medical Services and many others.

CraftWestport includes original fashions, accessories, jewelry, home décor, furniture, photography, and artwork like ceramic, glass, metal, wood and mixed media.  Food items including honey, maples syrup, cheese and more are also for sale.

Show hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ticket s are $11 adults, $10 seniors, $5 ages 12-18; children under 12 are free; click here to buy.

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I was a (very) occasional patron of Freshii.

The oddly named fast-casual bowl-and-a-bit-more restaurant next to the downtown Starbucks opened 9 years ago.

Now it’s closed. I’m not sure how long ago it left, but it looks like a while.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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I’m guessing I wasn’t the only one who didn’t go there much.

Black holes: fact or fiction?

Defy the gravitational pull of Netflix. On November 15 (8 p.m.), open your laptop to the Westport Astronomical Society’s free online science lecture series. Dr. Jeremy Schnittman — a NASA research astrophysicist — highlights the most interesting and exciting aspects of black holes, explores recent discoveries, and notes some science fiction hits and misses.

Click here for the YouTube livestream.

Jeremy Schnittman

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Chris Frantz — of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club fame — returns to the Westport Library.

On November 19 (7:30 p.m.), he brings his Emerging Musicians series back to the Trefz Forum. He’ll spotlight 2 Fairfield County acts: Residual Groove (a funk-fusion, improv-heavy dance band) and contemporary singer-songwriter Brian Dolzani.

The Emerging Musicians series features up-and-coming regional, national, and international music, hand-picked by Frantz. The goal is to bring new music to new ears, and incubate rising talent. The concert is a collaboration and production of Verso Studios at The Library, and the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce.

Tickets are $10; there’s also a cash bar. Click here for more information.

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Mike Evans is a Westport Weston Family YMCA basketball coach. The Weston native is also the founder of Full Court Peace, a non-profit that repairs basketball courts in underserved communities, then uses the sport to bring people together.

Now he’s written a book about his time in Belfast, where he brought rival Protestant and Catholic teenagers together to play as one team

In “The Belfast Blazers,” Evans dives into the Irish city’s dark history. He describes meeting members of the Irish Republican Army (and the Dalai Lama). Click here for more information.

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TAP Strength is well known for its comprehensive, personalized approach to wellness.

On November 16 (6 to 8 p.m., 180 Post Road East), the fitness studio turns into an art studio. Miggs Burroughs, Bonnie Edelman and Alex Silver will show their work. 2 Roads Brewery will provide libations.

Can there be a better way to work out?!

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For more than 100 years, Save the Children has been saving children.

On November 14 (11:30 a.m., Green’s Farms Congregational Church), Ann Marie and miles and Kim Kilroy — high-ranking members of the non-profit’s leadership ship —  will tell the Y’s Women how Save the Children does it. The public is invited.

For decades, Save the Children was headquartered on Wilton Road. The main office is now in Fairfield.

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Lauren Tarshis — a Staples High School graduate, longtime Westporter and author of the wildly popular “I Survived” children’s book series — will read from her latest book and answer  children’s questions at the Westport Library.

The event is this Saturday (November 5, 3:30 p.m.).

We’ve got a question: Will Lauren survive all those kids?!

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Meanwhile, across Jesup Green from the library, there’s Julie Leff: Westport Book Shop’s Artist of the Month.

A member of the Artists’ Collective of Westport, WestonArts and Art/Place, she exhibits 4 vibrant photorealistic oil paintings, with a floral motif.

All work is available for purchase. On sale too: note cards with 12 images of Leff’s paintings.

 

Julie Leff at the Westport Book Shop.

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Everybody — including Wilbur, Rady and Diane Johnson’s Jack Russell — enjoys our fall foliage.

Now everyone who follows our “Westport … Naturally” feature can admire it too.

(Photo/Diane Johnson)

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And finally … on this day in 1783, Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 was performed for the first time in Linz, Austria. It is also known as (surprise!) the Linz Symphony.

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“American Conversation”: Vaccines, Pedophilia, Tyranny And More

Residents from across Connecticut filled the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum last night. They were there for “An American  Conversation: How Public Policy is Putting Our Children at Risk.”

Moderated by Christine Dolan, chief investigative correspondent for CD [Creative Destruction] Media, it promised to be an “in-depth analysis of critical issues about ‘the story behind the headlines.'”

Though promotional material included topics like “exponential increase in youth deaths from fentanyl,” and “alarming increase in suicides of young people,” Dolan and the 5 panelists spent nearly all their time speaking about COVID, vaccines, big pharmaceutical companies and governmental tyranny.

Dolan opened by discussing organ trafficking. Then — after sharply warning against any use of cell phones for photos, or videotaping — she showed a hidden camera video from a meeting of the North American Man Boy Love Association.

“At the end of the day,” she warned, “the goal is to decriminalize pedophilia. This is a political agenda” through which the government wants children to learn about sex.

Dolan noted that she had been called a racist, by someone in Westport. She countered, “I was a spokesperson for Nelson Mandela’s 1990 United States tour.”

Christine Dolan welcomes the audience, before introducing panelists.

Panelists were Mary Holland, chief counsel of Children’s Health Defense; Kevin Jenkin,s, CEO of Urban Global Health Alliance; Elana Fishbein, founder of No Left Turn; Bob Hamer, a retired FBI agent who infiltrated NAMBLA, and Dr. Peter McCullough (no affiliation listed).

McCullough — a cardiologist — slammed the medical profession for its reaction to COVID. “You all can play a role in the resolution of this issue,” he told the audience, urging them to tell their doctors that they oppose vaccines.

The “pain scale” used in hospitals — which nurses utilize — has caused opiod problems, he said.

“Something in the minds of people causes them to think irrationally. And doctors are the heart of the problem.” He likened the “relentless advancement” of vaccines on patients to issues of “gender confusion and pornography.”

This is not just an American problem. “It’s global.”

McCullough continued, “Our government agencies have turned against our population.” He said that the Department of Defense and defense contractors are prominent booster of vaccines.

Holland said, “We are sprinting toward the apocalypse. You, not doctors, can turn this around. I will not be putting my child through this indoctrination.”

Westport Library audience for last night’s “American Conversation.”

Dolan blamed the loss of investigative journalism for a lack of media attention to the issues she and the panel highlighted. She cited Phil Donahue — apparently not knowing he is a former Westporter — as a former investigative journalist she admired.

She did note another prominent local resident: former US Food & Drug Administration commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. “He’s not a good guy,: she said, without elaboration.

Noting that Fairfield County is an affluent area, she said that anyone owning stock in Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson or Glaxo Wellcome was also “part of the problem….A very dark, very black cloud, is putting humanity at risk, for money.”

Fishbein said that children in kindergarten are being taught how to masturbate, and that schools are expanding their services to students — including mental health — without parental consent.

Jenkins — who earlier stated, “All of us on stage are taking a stand against tyranny” — earned strong applause when he told the crowd: “You have no friends. Agencies have abandoned you. if you talk about believing in the flag or our country, they’ve criminalized you.

“And you allow them to do it. You fall back in line. That’s why tyranny keeps coming around.

“I’m stunned that half of this audience is waiting for someone to come rescue you. You must stand in the public square, and raise your voices. They’re coming at you. What are you going to do about it?”

At the end of the day, Dolan added, “God wil judge you.”

“06880” Podcast: Jeff Wieser

Jeff Wiese is now on his third career.

For many years, he was an international banker. Then came his non-profit work, as CEO of Homes with Hopes and Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut.

Now he’s moderator of the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) — our non-partisan legislative body he has served on since 2007. That’s in addition to all his other volunteer efforts (Positive Directions, Christ & Holy Trinity Church, and much more).

It’s hard to condense that all into half an hour, but Jeff and I had an informative, intriguing conversation the other day at the Westport Library. Why does he do it? How does he do it? What’s it all mean for our town, today and tomorrow?

Click below for some fascinating insights on the RTM, and all of us who live here.

(Podcasts are just a part of “06880.” Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

“Short Cuts” At The Library

You can see some of the best short films of the year at the Tribeca Film Festival.

But you don’t have to.

Beginning October 27, you can take the much shorter trip to the Westport Library.

The “Short Cuts” Film Festival returns that day to the Trefz Forum. It’s as entertaining as its clever name.

Tribeca screens about 3,000 international short films each year. They choose 90 for their festival, says Short Cuts producer Nancy Diamond.

She and her crew preview most of them. They choose 12 to 15 films for the Westport event.

Diamond launched Short Cuts in 2010, after realizing there were few venues where the public could see short films.   

In Norway’s “Night Ride” — winner of Tribeca’s Best Narrative Short Award — Ebba assists a fellow tram rider with surprising results.

A scene from “Night Ride.”

The Best LGBTQ short at the Cleveland International Film Festival, “Coming Out With the Help of a Time Machine” blends science fiction with contemporary social issues.

Pete” — an animated selection — follows a young girl who wants to play baseball with the boys.

“Five-O” was directed by 7 French film students. It explores whether a street drug lookout can escape his world and become an opera singer.

“Sparring Partner”written by Tony Award winner Neil LaBute — offers strong verbal bantering, and features “Saturday Night Live” cast member Cecily Strong.

“Sparring Partner” director J.J. Kandling will appear at Short Cuts in person after the films, for a conversation with Diamond and to answer questions from the audience.

 Short Cuts Film Festival continues November 17, with an evening of documentary shorts.

The 2022 season ends December 8, with a second program of narrative shorts.

All programs run from 7 to 9 pm. Tickets are $25; refreshments and popcorn will be served. Click here for tickets, and more information.

 

Roundup: Oysters, Coming Out, Chris Coogan …

The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston took a tasty tour yesterday.

They headed to Copps Island Oysters, the 4th- generation shellfish farm in Norwalk.

Don Bell — the environmental health director who led the tour — said that Copps Island’s oyster farming, harvesting, processing, sorting and packaging business is Connecticut’s largest fishery.

Don Bell leads the oyster museum tour. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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If you missed last week’s Coming Out Day panel at the Westport Library — titled “When Did You Know,” and featuring several members of the LGBTQ community discussing their coming out stories — click below. The event was sponsored by Westport Pride.

(NOTE: The program begins at the 4:30 mark — skip ahead to that point.)

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A local favorite — the Chris Coogan Trio, featuring bassist John Mobilio and drummer Jim Royle — headline this Thursday’s “Jazz at the Post.”

Of course, Greg Wall — the “Jazz Rabbi” — will bring his saxophone too.

Pianist Coogan grew up here. He travels the world, but still calls this area home. He is a sensitive, in-demand accompanist for singers, a powerhouse gospel pianist, choir director and bandleader, a highly effective and inspiring educator, and an all-around good guy.

There are 2 sets October 20: 7:30 and 8:45 p.m (VFW Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue). Dinner begins at 7 p.m. There’s a $10 cover; reservations are strongly suggested: JazzatThePost@gmail.com.

Chris Coogan

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Staples High School’s October Students of the Month are senior Jeffrey Pogue, juniors Nina Lauterbach and Morgan Tamm, sophomores Samantha Henske and Logan Noorily, and Eleni Bragi.

Students of the Month are those who help make Staples a welcoming place for peers and teachers. Principal Stafford Thomas says, “they are the ‘glue’ of the community — the type of kind, cheerful, hard-working, trustworthy students who keep the high school together. They are friendly to the staff and fellow students, and make positive contributions in class as well as to the Staples community.”

Staples’ October Students of the Month (from left): Eleni Braga, Nina Lauterbach, Logan Noorily, Samantha Henske, Jeffrey Pogue, Morgan Tamm.

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“Westport … Naturally” once again goes to the dogs.

Our own “Scooter” Swanson was recently designated as a Marine Corps Service dog, by the Commandant. Congratulations!

(Photo courtesy of Carl Addison Swanson)

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And finally … Chuck Berry would have been 96 years old today. The great rock ‘n’ roller died in 2017.

(Don’t forget Chuck Berry — or “06880.” Please click here to help support this blog.)

Roundup: Paul Newman, Free Money, Brooks Corner …

The Paul Newman story continues.

In the aftermath of a 6-part television series on the legendary actor/race car driver/philanthropist, attention is now focused on a posthumous memoir.

“The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man” — set for official publication tomorrow — has an extraordinary back story. Melissa Newman — one of his and Joanne Woodward’s daughters — spoke about it, in a long story in yesterday’s New York Times.

His long life in Westport is mentioned, of course — and there’s a photo from inside his North Avenue home.

Click here for the full, fascinating story. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

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A recent “06880” Roundup story on free money — well, money that’s yours, but is being held unbeknownst to you by the Connecticut state treasurer — intrigued Ken Stamm. (Click here and stop reading immediately, to go to the website.)

In August, he had already gone hunting for hidden treasure. When he returned to the site following the “06880 notice, he found good news: Notarization is no longer required.

The bad news: Despite the website’s promise that you will be “reunited with your money as quickly as possible,” Ken says “it appears nobody’s home.”

Despite duly filing a valid claim with all evidence online (and keepin records of everything), he has yet to receive a response.

“Apparently,” Ken says, “this issue is enough of a problem to rise to one of the top 6 on which one of the state treasurer candidates is running.”

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COVID is still with us.

Curbside pick-up — not so much.

Except at Brooks Corner.

In the small shopping plaza on Main and Elm Streets, the first three parking spots are reserved for store employees to scurry out and — with the windows down or trunks popped — deliver goods to well-protected customers/drivers.

But not all retailers.

You can’t drive up and pick up your Brooks Brothers suit (or even a tie). Before New England Hemp Shop Farm opened, you had to park and walk inside for your CBD oil, topicals and edibles.

Nope. The 3 spots are for Lux, Bond & Green only.

I’m not sure how that little perk came about — or why it continues. But it sure seems like those are 3 parking spots everyone in Brooks Corner would like back.

Including — probably — Lux Bond & Green.

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Yesterday — for the 12th year in a row — the Westport Woman’s Club team took part in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk at Sherwood Island State Park. Team members posed below:

From left: Vivien Rosenberg, Audrey Rabinowitz, Barbara Raffel, Arlene Johnson, Kate Weber, Toni Donahue, Leah Scherzer.

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Also yesterday: a Westport Library’s free concert.

Andrew Wilk produced the event, featuring American String Quartet violinist Peter Winograd and famed pianist Rohan De Silva. They met at Juilliard.

Peter Winograd and Rohan De Silva. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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“Busy as a bee” is not hyperbole.

Werner Liepolt captured a swarm recently. They gathered pollen from English ivy and delivered it to their hive. It’s one more piece — though often unseen — of “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Werner Liepolt)

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And finally … Jeanne-Paule Marie “Jeannine” Deckers  — aka The Singing Nun– was born today in 1933, in Brussels. The singer-songwriter/guitarist (and nun) reached the top of the charts with her upbeat tune “Dominique” in late 1963. A few weeks later the Beatles arrived in the US, and changed the music industry forever.

She and her close friend Annie Pécher died by suicide in 1985. They took overdoses of barbiturates and alcohol. In a note, they wrote that they wished to be buried together with the funeral rite of the Catholic Church.

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Roundup: Cumby’s Gas, Main Street Paving, FEMA Grants …

On Wednesday, “06880” reported that the Cumberland Farms at Bulkley Avenue South near Stop & Shop — formerly Mercury — was charging customers Super Premium prices for Unleaded gas.

Yesterday at 2 p.m., an “06880” reader was getting gas (hopefully for the correct price). In mid-pump, a woman emerged from the mini-mart and told her — and 4 other customers — that the station was short-staffed, and had to close.

Then the pumps were immediately shut off. The customers could not even finish filling their tanks.

The lights were turned off inside. No gas, no Ring Dings, no processed pizza. Nothing.

“Very strange,” the reader notes.

Yesterday’s sign at Cumberland Farms.

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Earlier this week, parts of Westport were affected by paving projects. Traffic backed up near Saugatuck and Jesup Road.

Here’s the next site. Main Street between Post Road East and Avery Place, plus Avery Place itself, will be milled beginning Monday (October 17.

Main Street will be closed to through traffic and parking starting at 5 a.m. Monday. Avery Place will be closed to through traffic beginning around 10 a.m.

Once milling is done, both roads will be re-opened to traffic until paving begins. It is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, and follow the same schedule as milling. However,  a weather system may postpone paving until Wednesday, October 19.

You won’t see this early next week. Paving and milling will close Main Street.

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One of the the Westport Library’s most popular technology events — the “Anyone Can Use…” series — returns next month.

The classes offer live tech instruction, for all users. They include:

The sessions run from 11 am to noon, near the checkout desk.

Use your library card to download stuff!

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FEMA grants help property owners make homes and businesses resilient against future floods, or relocate to safer locations.

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments’ Regional Flood Mitigation Assistance Program helps educate property owners about opportunities, determine if they qualify, and aid in applications.

An informational session is set for October 27 (6:30 p.m., Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Boulevard). The public is welcome. It will be recorded, and available at www.westcog.org afterward.

Questions? Call or email Todd Fontanella: 475-323-2070;  tfontanella@westcog.org(Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

Flood-proofing, at Old Mill Beach. (Photo/John Videler, Videler Photography)

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The winds picked up yesterday. Not enough for a flood (see story above) — but enough to draw at least one man to Compo Beach:

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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The first public reading of “The Incubators” — a new comedy by Madison Fiedler — is set for the Westport Country Playhouse (November 7, 7 p.m.).

It’s an absurdist dark comedy, as the “Pro-Life Generation” is just getting started.

On the first day of California Right To Life Leadership Camp Age Division 15-17, everyone is nervous. But they’re excited to be surrounded by what they believe in, with new strategies of warfare.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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A few days ago, our “06880” Roundup included a photo of pink ribbons on several trees in Grace Salmon Park.

We figured they honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Nope.

Nathalie Fonteyne writes: “They were placed there by Monica Buesser (conservation chair of the Westport Garden Club and chair of the Westport Tree Board) and myself (civics chair of the Westport Garden Club).

“They highlight the prevalence of the invasive Ailanthus altissima — also known as tree of heaven — at the park. We tagged 20 trees there.

“The Westport Garden Club is working with Mike West of Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department to get the trees removed. Removing invasive species can be an arduous process because of their extensive root system, and their ability to re-sprout. The fact that the trees are in a wetland complicates the process.

“However, the Westport Garden Club and the town are committed to removing the invasive species at the park and planting new native species in their place, hopefully very soon.”

Pink ribbons on trees of heaven.

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Just in time — well, a bit ahead of — the shopping season, the “Ugly Westport Holiday” collection has landed in Finding Westport’s e-store.

The design is available as a sweatshirt, bodysuit, fleece, hoodie or blanket. Click here for more information, and to order.

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Speaking of Grace Salmon Park (see story above), Peggy O’Halloran says of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: “It looks like this poor tree already has a headstone.”

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)

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And finally … speaking of Cumberland Farms (story above):