Category Archives: Library

Roundup: Beach Dogs, Tyler Hicks, Clothing Swap …

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Friday is October 1. Which means that Fido — and all his 4-legged friends — will once again be allowed at Compo Beach.

For the next 6 months, they can enjoy the off-leash area (south of the pavilion, including South Beach), and the leashed area north of that. They’re prohibited from the pavilion, playground and walkways.

It goes without saying, but Parks & Rec says it anyway: Pick up all poop.

Violations will cost you $77.

Looking forward to Friday.

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Tyler Hicks is an internationally known New York Times photographer. Fittingly, he just won (another) international prize.

The Staples High School Class of 1988 graduate (and 2-time Pulitzer Prize winner) captured the 2021 Visa d’Or Award for Best Digital News Story. He won for his COVID coverage on the Amazon River.

Hicks spent over a month last summer traveling on a riverboat with health workers, entering villages where the dead were uncountable.

The Visa d’Or international news photography awards are presented in Perpignan, France, after a series of jury reviews.

This is Hicks’ second Visa d’Or News Award. He won in 2014 for his coverage of the Westgate Mall massacre in Nairobi, Kenya.

Click here to see his prize-winning Brazil photos.

COVID in the Amazon (Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

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The Westport Library’s Fall Book Sale returns — live and in person — Friday, October 8 through Monday, October 11.

Thousands of “gently used books” include dozens of categories. A few examples: children’s, literature and classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi, fantasy, art, photography, history, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language and antiquarian.  Tons of DVDs, CDs and vinyl records will be available too.

Everything Sunday (October 10) is half-price. On Monday (October 11), you can fill a bag for just $5.

Early bird admission on Friday (October 8, 8 a.m.) is through a pre-paid $15 ticket. It’s sold online only; click here. For more information about the Book Sale itself, click here. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

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“The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” was a 1962 film. The Joggers Club is anything but lonely.

It’s a great way to get outside, get exercise, meet people and have fun.

Need a push? This Saturday (October 2), the Joggers Club hosts a free “Welcome to Running” party.

Runners of all levels are invited to Compo Beach. The run begins at 8 a.m.; the party follows at 9 a.m.

Click here for more information, or follow on Instagram: @thejoggersclub.ct.

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After your jog, check out WestportMoms’ first-ever Fall Family Fun Festival (Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Greens Farms Academy).

The $20 per family ticket price includes music, sports, a ninja course, pumpkin decorating, crafts, tattoos, food trucks and more. Run on over!

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After that, you can cruise over to the Westport Police Benevolent Association’s 3rd annual Car Cruise (Saturday, October 2, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Westport train station Lot #1.

Cars of all years, makes and models are welcome. The fee to enter and display a car is $20. The first 100 cars to arrive will receive a gift bag.

The family-friendly event includes music, food, trophies and raffles.

Westport PBA car cruise.

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Carly Novick Ridloff’s 1st “Sip, Shop, Swap” clothing exchange was a hit.

So she’s doing it again. The socially conscious (and very social) way to get rid of (and find) gently used clothes takes place October 28 (12 to 4 p.m., 82 Roseville Road).

A portion of the proceeds goes to Sustainable Westport. For more information, email carlyridloff18@gmail.com or search on social media: @the.exchangeproject.

Come to the clothing exchange!

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There’s something for everyone at this Sunday’s “Smart Walk for Smart Kids with LD” (October 3, 12 p.m., Sherwood Island State Park).

In addition to crafts, games, ice cream, music and tai chi, Piglet — the blind, deaf, pink dog with the positive attitude — will make an appearance. And Stephanie Bass will sign copies of her book of pandemic signs, Driveway Showcase.

Click here for more information, and to register.

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Last week’s “Unsung Heroes” honored Rosie and Lou, 2 post office employees who always go above and beyond.

We should also note E.J Butner III. The long-time Westport USPS employee retires this week, after many years of loyal service

His family has a long postal history. His grandfather, Edward J. Butner, served as postmaster at the previous Post Road location (now Design Within Reach). (Hat tip: Pam Jones)

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Child’s Pose Yoga helps youngsters connect their bodies, minds and health. To help, they’re partnering with “mindful expert” Denise Zack on a workshop: “Setting Your Child up for Success with Mindful Skills.”

The goal is to help children develop emotional resilience. Parents will learn specific, useful strategies.

It’s October 8 (10 a.m., 8 Church Street South).

Tickets are $40 each. Registration is required; DM @childsposewestport.

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Meanwhile, look what crawled up Molly Alger’s window the other day. It posed long enough to be our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … on this day in 1836, Thomas Crapper was born. The English plumber held 9 patents, including the ballcock, leading to the invention of modern plumbing. [Insert your own juvenile joke here.]

 

 

Roundup: Thoreau, Yankee Doodle Fair, Politicians …

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The Yankee Doodle Fair ends its 4-day run today (Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.), at the Westport Woman’s Club and adjacent parking lot on Imperial Avenue.

Youngsters (and adults) have enjoyed the many rides, games, activities (and all the food). A raffle is set for this afternoon, with prizes including the furry friend below.

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Henry David Thoreau was a prophet of environmentalism and vegetarianism; an abolitionist, and a critic of materialism and technology — a century and a half before our time.

Westporter Andrew Blauner’s new book — “Now Comes Good Sailing” — will be published next month. It’s a compilation of original essays from 27 writers, exploring how this remarkable man influenced and inspired them.

On November 8 (7 p.m., Westport Library, in person and virtual), Blauner discusses all things Thoreau. Click here to register, and to buy his book.

Henry David Thoreau

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The Staples High School boys soccer team’s car wash was a rousing success yesterday. They blew the previous record profit out of the water.

The event drew scores of drivers — and a few politicians. The boys soccer program is scrupulously non-partisan.

1st Selectman Jim Marpe, and 2nd Selectman (and candidate for the top spot) Jen Tooker (center) stopped by …

… and so did State Representative (and 1st Selectman candidate) Jonathan Steinberg (far left) and his running mate, Board of Education chair Candice Savin (2nd from right).

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“Westport … Naturally” features all kinds of living things. We’ve highlighted hummingbirds, egrets, bears and more. Today we introduce our first snake.

This beauty was seen yesterday on Roseville Road.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … legendary farmer and environmentalist John Chapman “Johnny Appleseed” was born today, in 1774. He introduced apples to large portions of North America, as every schoolchild learns.

 

 

Roundup: ArtSmart, Smart Students, Horace Lewis …

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ArtSmart — a great community program — is back after COVID. It’s “reimagined,” and better than ever.

A joint program between the Westport PTA Council and Westport Library, the project bring arts education and creative arts programming in elementary schools.

The Library provides excellent resources to parents volunteers, to research a variety of artists and styles of expression. Parent volunteers go into classrooms to introduce works of individual artists or styles (street art, murals, cartooning, sculpture, etc.). Students then create their own art.

In the spring, each class exhibits their work. Every elementary school is transformed into an art museum for the night.

This year, 2 vaccinated parent volunteers will be in a class. Outdoor projects are strongly encouraged. Museum Night may have timed admission slots, or be virtual.

Interested elementary school parents can attend a kickoff event on the Library’s river steps this Tuesday (September 28, 10 a.m.). No experience as an artist or teacher is necessary.

A workshop for new volunteers will follow on October 13 (10 a.m.). For more information, email co-chair Danielle Dobin: danielle@apifeni.com.

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Help for Horace Lewis — the popular Staples and Coleytown Middle School head custodian who suffered a devastating stroke this summer — continues to pour in.

Tomorrow afternoon (Sunday, September 26, noon to 4 p.m.),OneWestport will hold a bake sale in front of Savvy + Grace on Main Street.

All contributions are welcome. To help without buying delicious baked goods, click here.

Horace Lewis, in a typical pose.

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Speaking of Staples: Congratulations to our high school’s 7 National Merit Semifinalists.

Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Zachary Bishop, Michael Brody, Chloe Nevas, Maxwell Tanksley and Julian Weng are part of the fewer than 1 percent of more than 1.5 million students who took the 2020 PSAT/NMSQT qualifying exam. They’re competing for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships, worth more than $30 million.

From left: Chloe Nevas, Emma Alcyone, Natalie Bandura, Maxwell Tanksley,
Zachary Bishop, Michael Brody, Julian Weng.

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The Yankee Doodle Fair — in its new September slot — continues to draw big crowds.

It continues at the Westport Woman’s Club and adjacent parking lot on Imperial Avenue today (Saturday) from 1 to 10 p.m. The annual event ends tomorrow (Sunday), 1 to 5 p.m.

Action at last night’s fair. (Photo/Joel Treisman)

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Who wants to be a victim?

Weston and Easton EMS host an “Active Threat Class” October 16-17. Volunteers at least 18 years old are needed to play “victims,” helping police, fire and EMS members — including those from Westport — train. Click here for details.

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Richard LoCascio died on Tuesday. His wife, Cynthia Ann Lozyniak, LoCascio was by his side. He was 80 years old.

The Bronx native earned a master’s degree in History from Fordham University, and a master’s in special education from New Rochelle Teachers College. He taught for 35 years in the Bronx, and also served as a substitute teacher in Fairfield.

Richard loved to paint and draw, write poetry and play the saxophone, flute and keyboard. He was a 2nd degree black belt in judo. He also loved nature, and carefully tended to his garden. He and Cynthia traveled the world and had many adventures together, especially on their annual trip to the Maine coast.

In addition to Cynthia, Richard is survived by his daughters Michelle LoCascio of the Bronx and Andrea LoCascio of Greenwich; sister Helen LoCascio of Stuart, Florida; nieces Nicole and Laura Augenti; nephews Casey, Jack and Peter Lozyniak, and many cousins.

A service will be held Tuesday (September 28, 11 a.m.) at St. Luke Church, with a Mass of Christian burial. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to any cancer organization of your choice. Click here to leave online condolences.

Richard LoCascio

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An early fall day brought Matthew Slossberg to the water. He captured today’s serene “Westport … Naturally” scene:

(Matthew Slossberg)

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And finally … today is National One-Hit Wonder Day.

Where would the world be without groups and solo artists who roared onto the music scene with huge smashes, then faded just as quickly into obscurity?

Here are 3 of my “favorites” from the 1960s. All — improbably — reached #1. Click “Comments” below to nominate your own, from whatever years you choose.

 

Roundup: Animal Blessing, Footloose, Fall …

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The Saugatuck Congregational Church’s front lawn — broad, green and very “New England” — has hosted social justice gatherings, plant sales and a labyrinth.

On October 3 (noon to 1:30 p.m.), it’s the site of a Blessing of the Animals.

The event will be led by Rev. Alison Buttrick Patton. Pets should be leashed or safely contained.

“At this time of environmental upheaval, pesticide use and habitat destruction, there will be blessings bestowed upon the wildlife that share our planet, as they struggle to survive,” says co-sponsor Westport Animal Shelter Advocates.

Attendees will also consider how to be a blessing to other creatures.

Peter Reid, outreach coordinator at Wildlife in Crisis, will speak about protecting habitat for wildlife, and provide tips for the peaceful co-existence between wild animals and pets.

Earth Animal will provide treats for dogs and cats.  Light refreshments will be served for humans.

To learn more, call 203-557-0361 or email wasa1@optonline.net

Blessing of the Animals at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

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Fall is here. But the Remarkable Theater is not about to fold its tent — er, screen — and go away.

The dance classic “Footloose” highlights the upcoming schedule. The October 1 showing benefits the Westport Rotary Club. The admission price includes snacks.

Other films include “Soul” (September 30), “On the Waterfront” (October 5) and “Clueless” (October 7). Click here for show times and tickets.

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“Night at the Museum” was a 2006 comedy film.

This Saturday’s MoCA Westport event by the same name is no laughing matter. But it will be tons of fun.

Parents are invited to drop off their pre-K through 2nd grade youngsters this Saturday (September 25), from 6 to 9 p.m. Staff members will lead them in art activities, a dance party and games. Pizza is provided; pack a water bottle. (You can provide your own, nut-free food in a labeled bag.)

Click here for details and registration.

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Fall arrives today, at 3:21 p.m.

A Wilton Road family offered this “Here Lies Summer” RIP tableau.

Perhaps it’s also the first Halloween lawn decoration in town.

(Photo/Karen Kosinski)

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Meanwhile, Harvest Moon photos keep on coming. This well-composed one is courtesy of David Loffredo.

(Photo/David Loffredo)

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NextStep is a non-profit offering rehabilitation and fitness services to paralyzed people — is sponsoring a fundraising ride, from Boston to Washington.

Yesterday afternoon, the group stopped in Westport. They ate, drank water, enjoyed Main Street hospitality — then headed off again on their long, important journey.

A brief respite in Westport. (Photo/Jerri Graham)

 

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Ten years later, the killing of Osama bin Laden still resonates.

Next Tuesday (September 28, 7 p.m.) Mary DeRosa — deputy assistant and deputy counsel to President Obama, and National Security Council legal adviser in his administration — discusses her role during the planning and execution of the Navy Seal raid.

She’ll be interviewed by Westporter Steve Parrish. The event will be held live (click here for a seat) and via Zoom (click here to watch).

Mary DeRosa

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Many Westporters support Neighborhood Studios. The Bridgeport non-profit transforms lives, through high quality art, music, theater and dance instruction to underserved children.

The latest addition: Yvette Trujillo Rose. The longtime resident is the organization’s new development director. She’ll be reaching out to Westport businesses and residents to get involved in Neighborhood Studios’ many programs. Click here for more information.

Yvette Trujillo Rose

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Pippa Bell Ader and Diane Yormark were kayaking near Saugatuck Shores’ Bermuda Lagoon yesterday morning. They stopped long enough for Pippa to snap this beautiful “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Pippa Bell Ader)

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And finally … as noted above, fall arrives this afternoon. John Coltrane says hello.

Roundup: Election Questions, Oka, Harvest Moon …

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This election season, the LWV Westport is sponsoring 2 candidate debates.

And they want your questions.

The 7 p.m. sessions — broadcast on Cablevision Channel 79 — are October 25 (Boards of Selectmen, Finance and Assessment Appeals) and October 26 (Planning & Zoning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Education).

Questions should be emailed to speechbyrachel@gmail.com.

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Oka is a posh British furnishing and home goods store, with 13 UK locations.

Its first US store opened earlier this year, in Houston. Coming soon: Dallas.

And this spring: Westport.

After extensive renovation, Oka moves into the former Banana Republic building on Main Street. (For years before that, it was Klein’s Department Store.)

New York Times readers throughout the region saw an advertising insert on Sunday. The Westport opening was featured on the cover, along with a 15% off offer. Just use the code “NYTIMES15.”

It’s good until October 22. Online, of course! (Hat tip: Jeff Jacobs)

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If you’re looking for a photo that encompasses nearly every aspect of life in Westport, this is it.

Paul Delano’s Imperial Avenue image from earlier this morning shows a school bus picking up one youngster, as a car waits. A jogger approaches. And — of course — a deer calmly crosses the road.

“The drivers were cautious,” Paul reports. “So everyone went safely on their way.”

(Photo/Paul Delano)

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Yesterday’s “06880” noted that Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s book about COVID-19 will be published today.

On October 4 (7 p.m.), the former FDA head — and our neighbor — will speak about it at the Westport Library. The event will also be livestreamed.

He’ll be interviewed by another familiar TV face (and Westporter): CNN’s Alisyn Camerota.

Click here for registration and more information.

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Seth Goltzer’s Harvest Moon shot was Sunday’s Pic of the Day.

He was back at Compo Beach last night, to photograph another moonrise. Other Westporters sent similar images. This was the most dramatic.

(Photo/seth Goltzer)

Meanwhile, Franco Fellah of the Westport Astronomical Society snapped this shot. I don’t know what kind of camera and/or telescope he used, but it sure feels like he was close.

(Photo/Franco Fellah)

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Did you know that the praying mantis is Connecticut’s official state insect?

Did you know that our state even has an official insect?

Or why?

Whatever. Here is a gorgeous “Westport … Naturally” shot, courtesy of Sharon Fiarman.

(Photo/Sharon Fiarman)

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And finally … on this date in 1981, Sandra Day O’Connor was unanimously approved (!) by the Senate as the nation’s first female Supreme Court justice.

Forty years later, that number has exploded to … three.

“06880” Podcast: Bill Taibe

Hungry to learn about Westport’s dining scene?

The other day, Bill Taibe sat down for our “06880” podcast, at the Westport Library’s Verso Studios.

The owner of The Whelk, Kawa Ni and Don Memo talked about his passion for food; how he opens a new restaurant; staffing and supply issues, and Westport’s dining scene.

So where does one of the town’s premier restaurateurs go when he eats out? Click here, for the full interview.

Bill Taibe

 

Roundup: Dr. Scott Gottlieb, Networking, No …

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Dr. Scott Gottlieb’s new book will not be released until tomorrow. But — based on pre-orders — Uncontrolled Spread: Why COVID-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic — is already a best-seller.

The book by the former FDA commissioner (and our Westport neighbor) describes how the coronavirus raced through our nation. Gottlieb had a front row seat: he was in regular contact with President Trump, key players in Congress, and the drug industry.

Meanwhile, new dangers lurk around every corner. Gottlieb addresses our preparations for the next virus. Are we ready?

Click here for more information, and to order his book.

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Connectalent is a Westport-founded firm that connects skilled employees with employers who value work/life balance.

They’re partnering with Indeed to sponsor a workshop and networking event for mothers — “Returning to Work with Confidence” — on October 5 (6:30 p.m., Westport Library).

Among the topics: positioning yourself for jobs, how to fill in any resume gaps, and helpful interviewing and networking tips.

There will be time to network — and enjoy light refreshments and cocktails. Click here to register.

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Miggs Burroughs spotted this sign in a car at the Trader Joe’s parking lot:

(Photo/Miggs Burroughs)

He adds one more “no”: “No education. Bidon?!”

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Speaking of cars: The longtime Sunoco station across from the Westport Country Playhouse is now a Shell.

Probably not much will change, besides the sign. Prices will no doubt be in line with every other gas station in town.

Except the Mobil next door. It’s one of the last actual “service” stations — as in, they do repairs too — in town.

But their prices are always $1 a gallon more than anywhere else.

The new Shell station. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. To raise awareness, Kings Highway Elementary School was filled recently with gold ribbons.Staff and students wore gold, and donated funds.

“KHS” means more than the school’s initials. You could also say: “Kind Hearts Shine.”

Staff members support Kings Highway School’s Childhood Cancer Awareness drive.

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Speaking of kids doing good: In August 2020, 10-year-old Suzuki violin students Isabella and Alexander Mariani — with help from their mom, Carole Chinn Mariani — created “Make Music Feed.” The small, socially distanced concert raised money for the Connecticut Food Bank. The young musicians are products of Westport’s Suzuki School of Music.

A year later — with food insecurity still rampant — Isabella and Alexander once again gathered friends. On Saturday, a second concert was held on the Marianis’ front lawn. The beneficiary was Connecticut Foodshare.

Joel Pitkin accompanied his children Mia and Noah Jung-Pitkin, and Grant Zimmerman.

A special guest was Staples High School sophomore Janna Moore. She was Alexander’s “Practice Buddies” partner. The program pairs Staples musicians with 5th grade orchestra students.

Contributions are still being accepted. Click here to help.

Suzuki concert musicians (from left): Alexander Mariani, Noah Jung-Pitkin, Isabella Mariani, Mia Jung-Pitkin, Grant Zimmerman, James McNamara, Julie McNamara and Janna Moore.(Photo: Carole Chinn Mariani)

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Quietly — just like an electric vehicle — the EV Club of CT is getting pumped for National Drive Electric Week. (It’s September 25 through October 3, if you’re celebrating.)

A Green Wheels EV Parade and Showcase is set for Saturday, October 2 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

The parade begins at the Westport train station, and ends at Bob’s plaza lot in Fairfield.

For details and registration, click here.

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When COVID canceled Emory University’s varsity soccer season last fall, former Staples High School captain Josh Berman decided to stay on for one more semester. He will graduate this winter.

His team is glad he did. Berman scored with just 14 seconds remaining Saturday night, lifting the Eagles to a 1- victory over the University of Lynchburg.

After playing a great match as a defender, Berman raced up the left side on the attack. then blasted a shot past the diving Hornet keeper. It was his first goal of the season.

It was as exciting as it sounds. Click here, then scroll down for the video.

Josh Berman

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They’re not quite Canada goose-level obnoxious. But — when they steal your food and poop on your head, seagulls can be pretty annoying.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows them in a different, um, light.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … the Harvest Moon rose last night. It’s called that because its bright early evening light was very helpful to farmers harvesting late summer crops.

Of course you know what that means for today’s song …

 

Roundup: Officer Honors, American Relay, Rach’s Hope …

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Congratulations to Mark Heinmiller: Westport Police Department’s Officer of the Year.

The detective received the honor last night, in a family ceremony at the Remarkable Theater.

A WPD press release called him “an incredibly accomplished and effective investigator who successfully closed a number of complicated cases over the last year. Heinmiller’s knowledge and dedication to his investigations has undoubtedly improved the safety and quality of life for all of Westport’s residents and visitors.”

Other awards included unit citations, certificates of recognition, meritorious service awards, investigator ribbons and life-saving awards.

Marc Heinmiller and K-9 dog Lola at work.

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Bacharach Community — Homes with Hope‘s supportive housing program for formerly homeless families — needs new roofs for its 3 homes.

They hope Westport has it covered.

“We’ve Got You Covered” — the clever name for the project — is reaching out to local businesses. They can redirect their 2021 state tax dollars for a 100% one-to-one tax credit, through the Neighborhood Assistance Act program.

“We’ve Got You Covered” is less than $25,000 away from its goal. To help sponsor the Bacharach Community roof project (minimum contribution: $250), click here.

The program deadline is October 1. However, payment is not due until December 31. For more information, email Janet Zamparo: jzamparo@hwhct.org

Homes in the Bacharach Community.

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When Nancy Wilson saw an “06880” post announcing the Great American Relay — a relay race fundraiser for first responders and military personnel, beginning September 11 in Boston and ending 38 days later in Santa Monica, California — she set out to find a team.

On Wednesday, her crew — Nancy, Jason Lucas, Kelly Konstanty, Lisa Goldstein, Karla Cohen, Lauren Leppla, Kenji Ogawa and Ken Gallagher — arrived in town. They handed their baton to Barbara Campbell, Elizabeth Hofmann and Jeffrey Wollman, who ran to Darien.

To learn more about the Great American Relay, click here.

Westport Fire Department personnel with runners (from left): Barb Campbell, Jeff Wollman, Ken Gallagher, Jason Lucas, Lauren Leppla, Nancy Wilson, Kelly Konstanty, Lisa Slow Goldstein, Karla Cohen Fisher.

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As Gold’s prepares for Yom Kippur, the longtime, always popular delicatessen wants its customers to know what’s going on.

Here are a few signs:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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One coming-of-age film, and another about what happens years later, highlight this weekend’s Remarkable Theater offerings.

The drive-in on Imperial Avenue screens “The Big Chill” — the still very relevant 1983 classic — on Friday, September 17 (7:30 p.m.).

The next night’s feature (Saturday, September 18, 6:45 p.m.) is “Luca,” a 2021 release about 2 boys experiencing an unforgettable summer.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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Three years ago, Rachel Doran — a rising senior at Cornell University, National Merit Commended Scholar, talented Players costume designer, and founder of “Rachel’s Rags,” a company that makes intricate cotton and fleece pajama tops and bottoms — died following a rare reaction to common medications.

Her family now has a mission: to support families with critically ill children. To help, they’ve organized an outdoor, family-friendly event for October 2 (4 p.m., Compo Beach).

Rachel’s grandfather “Pa” pledged to walk 1,000 miles in his 80th year to honor Rachel, and raise money for Rach’s Hope. He’s almost there. He plans to finish at the upcoming event — nicknamed “Walk the Extra Mile with Pa and Team Rach’s Hope.”

At the end of the mile walk, everyone will gather to celebrate Pa’s feat with a pizza truck, live music by Ellis Island, and beverages.

PJs are optional, but encouraged!

Click here for more information, and to register or donate.

Rachel Doran’s grandfather gets ready to walk. You can too!

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The Westport Tree Board in partnership with Earthplace present Call of the FOREST.

The science and enchantment of the global forest provides us with answers to modern dilemmas.

‘Call Of The Forest – The Forgotten Wisdom Of Trees’ is a documentary featuring scientist and acclaimed author Diana Beresford-Kroeger. The film follows Diana as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore, and restoration challenges of this essential eco-system.

Beresford-Kroeger explores the most beautiful forests in the Northern Hemisphere from the sacred sugi and cedar forests of Japan to the great boreal forest of Canada. She shares the amazing stories behind the history and legacy of these ancient forests while also explaining the science of trees and the irreplaceable roles they play in protecting and feeding the planet.

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You could call it a “rain forest.”

“Call of the Forest” — a movie co-sponsored by the Westport Tree Board and Earthplace — was rained out in July.

The new date is September 22 (6:30 p.m., Earthplace outdoor amphitheater; indoor if rain).

The coumentary features scientist/author Diana Beresford-Kroeger as she investigates our profound biological and spiritual connection to forests. Her global journey explores the science, folklore and restoration challenges of this essential ecosystem.

Click here for more information.

In other Tree Board news, they’re joining with the Westport Library for a children’s “Oaktober oaktivity on Jesup Green (October 23, 11 a.m.)

Oak seedlings — courtesy of Bartlett Tree — will be available at both events (while supplies last).

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Today’s very serene “Westport … Naturally” scene comes courtesy of Lauri Weiser:

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)

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And finally … Lauri Weiser’s image above leads (naturallyto:

 

Rush Of Events Fills Chamber’s Fall

The pandemic played havoc with our lives.

Not to mention the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce’s calendar of events.

A host of town activities — from Slice of Saugatuck and the Dog Festival to the Halloween Window Painting Contest — were postponed at least once.

Now they’re coming back. And the schedule is jam-packed.

On tap:

  • Slice of Saugatuck (Saturday, September 25): A walkable, eatable (tons of restaurant samples!), family-friendly and fun afternoon, in Westport’s funkiest neighborhood.
  • Westport Dog Festival (Sunday, October 10): Obstacle courses, K-9 demonstrations, vendors and more at Winslow Park. Make sure Fido brings you there!
  • First Selectman Candidates Forum – Tuesday, October 12: Get informed about the future of Westport, live at the Library.
  • Restaurant Week (October 19-31): So many great places to eat, we need more than an actual “week.”
  • Halloween Window Painting Contest (Saturday, October 23): Kids decorate downtown — and compete for prizes.

The Slice of Saugatuck will be back soon. (Photo/Terry Cosgrave)

While those events were put on hold the past 18 months, the Chamber helped the community cope in other ways.

“COVID hit our businesses hard, especially restaurants,” says director Matthew Mandell.

“The Chamber created a Take Out initiative, with a video and our BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket) campaign to promote outdoor dining. We also ran an hour-long livestream variety show in the middle of the lockdown, to support ur retail stores. We had to think totally out of the box, and I believe we did.

“People needed things to do that were safe, but still felt normal. We organized the first drive-in concert in the state, beating established music venues to the punch. We sold out all 10 of our concerts.

“When the time is right, we hope go back inside the Library for our Supper & Soul series.”

The beat goes on. And the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce seems to have hardly missed a beat.

 

Roundup: 9/11 And Westport, New Restaurant, Young Chefs …

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Peggy Lehn is a 1979 Staples grad. Her family has been in Westport for 11 generations (her grandmother was born on the property that is now Longshore).

She is also an American Airlines pilot.

She flew both of the airplanes that the carrier lost on September 11, 2001. For 2 decades, Peggy has kept the answering machine messages from family and friends, wondering if she was alive.

She was not on duty that morning, 20 years ago today. But her brother Tom — Staples Class of 1985, and also an American Airlines pilot — was.

Peggy sent along this message he received, from a dispatcher in Texas. It’s a chilling reminder of the terror that day — and how close to home it struck.

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One more 9/11 story, with a local connection:

On that day, Westporter and Vietnam veteran Tony Anthony was a marketer on an assignment for AmeriCares. He was at their office when the news came that the World Trade Center had been hit.

AmeriCares has a helicopter. Their pilot flew around the towers, but was unable to help. He had to leave the airspace.

Tony was on board, taking photos. Jack Farrell shared this one, with “06880”:

(Photo/Tony Anthony)

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There’s action at Railroad Place — specifically, the former Cocoa Michele, and the spot Romanacci recently moved from.

It looks like another eatery is moving in.

(Photo/Gary Nusbaum)

This “Allium Eatery” is not to be confused with Allium Pizza Co. & Mo’ in — of all places — Westport Island, Maine.

“06880” will pass along info when we get it.

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Farm to Local — the new food-crafts-and-more Main Street store opposite Colf Fusion — has a soft opening this weekend (12 to 5 p.m.).

New products and merchandise are added daily. Another new feature: the Westport Artists’ Collective has a mini-gallery inside the store.

Local to Market – the first stocked shelves.

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The Westport Library is b-a-a-a-c-k!

On Monday, full operating hours resume. That’s Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.

There’s another chapter: The Café opens weekdays (9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), Saturdays (9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), and Sundays (1 to 4:30 p.m.).

The Café has partnered with Gruel Brittania, in addition to existing vendors Sono Baking Company and Cloudy Lane Bakery. The menu includes salads, sandwiches, pastries, cookies and quiche.

Though the Westport Library reopens full-time on Monday, we still won’t see scenes like this for a while.

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Mark your calendars: Westoberfest returns on October 16 (1 to 5 p.m.).

The Craft Beer Festival on Elm Street also includes live music, classic car rally and exhibition, kids’ activities and — because Halloween will be right around the corner — a pumpkin giveaway.

Click the QR code below, or click here for more information.

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Forget Easy-Bake ovens. (Do they still make them anymore?)

Among the fall class offerings at Wakeman Town Farm: a new cooking class for youngsters in kindergarten through grade 3.

“Pint-Sized Cooking: Everything Mini” teaches cooking, baking and “food experimentation, while creating meals in miniature. Young chefs will be put on a path to understanding the appeal of delicious food.”

Popular favorites for older kids — including Cooking Around the Globe and Young Chef’s Club — continue too.

Click here for more information, and registration.

Eager students in Wakeman Town Farm’s “Cooking Around the Globe” class.

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Worried about heating bills?

Low-income residents can apply for Connecticut’s Energy Assistance Program through Westport’s Department of Human Services. Applications are available starting October 1, and run through April 30.

Individuals and families qualify for CEAP based on annual income and household size. Click on the state website for full details.

Households with previous CEAP applications on file will receive mailed application instructions in the coming weeks.  New residents can contact Human Services for application information (203-341-1050) or email humansrv@westportct.gov.

DHS also operates a separate Warm-Up Fund.

For more information, click on Westport Energy Assistance.

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Duncan Hurley — father of 3 children, and a longtime Westport Soccer Association volunteer coach — died this week.

A grateful parent remembers seeing him on many Saturday mornings, with a toddler on his hip coaching older players.

“They were the most jovial and effervescent family, even in the midst of health struggles they dealt with privately,” she says. “I reflect on this passage from The Little Prince in his honor: ‘In one of those stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And when your sorrow is comforted 9time soothes all sorrows), you will be content that you have known me. You will always be my friend. I shall not leave you.'”

She adds: “He was a king, raising princes and a princess in the best form. He was a gem, to any and all who had the pleasure of crossing his path.”

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When I was young, the only turkeys I saw were at Thanksgiving.

Now they’re all over town. This crew was “stuffing” itself at Earthplace — and posing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” shot.

(Photo/Abby Gordon-Tolan)

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And finally … there are 2 great songs that stood on their own for years. For the past 2 decades though — and for the rest of my life — I’ll always associate them with 9/11.

They were played often then, on the radio, funerals and memorial events. They became the deeply comforting soundtrack of those truly awful days.