Category Archives: Longshore

Roundup: Lunar Eclipse, Stamford Symphony,

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if the weather is clear tonight — well, early Friday morning, from 3 to 4:30 a.m. — a small crew of Westport Astronomical Society volunteers will have telescopes ready. The public can view one of the longest lunar eclipses in centuries, at the Bayberry Lane observatory.

Moon gazers will be treated to a “blood micro-moon” — the first of this length (3 hours, 28 minutes, 23 seconds) in 580 years. Nearly all of the moon’s surface will be covered in the Earth’s shadow.

The moon will be so close to opposite the sun that it will pass through the southern part of the shadow of the earth, making this a nearly total lunar eclipse.

WAS will open for the darkest portions of the eclipse (3 to 4:30 a.m.) — cloud cover permitting — as the moon enters and begins to exit earth’s umbra shadow.

Partial lunar eclipse from the Westport Observatory, September 2105, from the total lunar eclipse. (Photo courtesy of Westport Astronomical Society member Michael Southam)

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Have you gotten wind of what’s at the Westport Library at 2 p.m. on Sunday?

In partnership with Verso Studios, Stamford Symphony presents a Wind Quintet performance. It’s a follow-up to the Stamford Symphony Gala, streamed live from the Library last month.

Serving as the eastern hub for the Stamford Symphony, the Westport Library partnership strengthens its mission to serve many audiences in Fairfield County, and make music accessible for all-ages. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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The Trinity College field hockey teams plays in — and hosts — the NCAA Division III Final Four on Saturday. They face Johns Hopkins at 2 p.m.

The team features 3 former Staples stars: Christine Taylor, Elle Fair and Izzy Deveney. Go Bantams!  (Hat tip: Jesse Bauks)

Trinity College field hockey team.

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Sure, we ran a couple of Longshore fall foliage shots recently, as Pics of the Day.

But the view never gets old. We have to cherish the week or two every year that it looks this stunning. So here — thanks to recent Westport arrival Mona Patel — is today’s “Westport … Naturally” shot:

(Photo/Mona Patel)

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And finally … On this day in 1928, a mouse called Mickey debuted on film. “Steamboat Willie” — the first animation synchronized to music and sound — premiered in New York.

 

 

Roundup: Josh Koskoff, Free Coffee, WTF Tree, Millie Rae’s …

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Yesterday, a Connecticut Superior Court judge Barbara Bellis ruled in favor of 8 families of children killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. They sued conspiracy theorist Alex Jones — who called the massacre a government-led hoax to confiscate firearms, and called the families “actors” — for defamation.

It was a victory for the families — one of whom has had to move 10 times since the shooting, due to harassment from Jones’ followers — and for Josh Koskoff. The Westport-based attorney represented the Sandy Hook families.

After the ruling, he was interviewed by several major media outlets. Click here, then scroll down for the transcript of his appearance on MSNBC’s “All In With Chris Hayes.”

Josh Koskoff

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Steam Coffee Tea is new. The Westport Transit District’s Wheels2U service has been around awhile, but they recently added a few upgrades.

This Thursday and Friday (November 18 and 19), they team up to offer riders a freebie. Anyone using Wheels2U those mornings can show proof of their completed ride between 6 and 10 a.m., for a free coffee.

Wheels2U is the WTD’s on-demand group ride door-to -train platform shuttle service. Steam is the recently opened coffee shop on Railroad Place.

Westporters can use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup  between 5:45 and 9:45 a.m., and 4 and 8 p.m., to be taken to or from the Saugatuck or Greens Farms train platform and their front door. Pickups should be requested 20 minutes before normally leaving to drive to the station.  The fare is $2, paid via the Wheels2U app.  A Metro North Uniticket rail/bus pass can also be used.

For more information about Wheels2U, including how to download the Wheels2U app and book a ride, click here. For more information about the Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here.

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Everyone has their own idea of when the holiday season “really” starts.

If yours is the lighting of the Wakeman Town Farm tree, then get ready for Friday, December 3.

Musicians from Staples High, and Long Lots and Greens Farms Elementary School, will play Christmas and Hanukkah favorites at 4:30 p.m. The tree lighting is at 4:45 p.m.

Then comes marshmallows by the bonfire, treats from The Porch and Sweet P Bakery, and hot chocolate from The Granola Bar and Starbucks.

It’s festive and fun. It’s family friendly. And of course, it’s free.

Wakeman Town Farm tree lighting, in 2019. Last year’s event was canceled, due to COVID.

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Millie Rae’s is a favorite Westport shopping destination.

Here’s one more reason to love the Post Road East clothing store. Today (Tuesday, November 16), they’re donating 20% of all proceeds to A Better Chance of Westport. That’s the wonderful Westport program — and North Avenue home — that provides educational opportunities at Staples High School for students from underserved communities.

The event goes on all day. From 4 to 6 p.m., you can enjoy champagne and treats will you shop.

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The Greenwich Community Sailing program will not run at Tod’s Point next summer. The vendor — who also owns Longshore Sailing School — did not renew the lease. Construction in the area is forcing relocation.

Longshore Sailing School will operate as usual this summer. Greenwich Community Sailing gift cards will be eligible for use there. A program discount will be extended to Greenwich residents too. (Click here for the full story. Hat tip: Peter Gold)

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Westporter Denise Zack is a certified life coach, meditation instructor, yoga teacher and — as founder of Ripple Affect Life Coaching — a wellness-based consultant and educator for individuals and businesses.

Now she’s an author, too.

Zack just published “Ripple Affect: Change Your Mind, Change Your Life.” It offers 8 steps toward “reclaiming your happiness and living a balanced life.” Ripple effects begin within us, she says, and reach out to touch many others. (The books title is spelled with an “a” because an “affect” means touching one’s feelings, or moving emotionally.)

For more information, click here.

Denise Zack

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It’s November. Naturally, there’s frost in the morning.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows yesterday’s scene (in Weston, but still…). Button up!

(Photo/Regi Kendig)

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And finally … Graeme Edge, drummer and co-founder of the Moody Blues, died of complications from cancer on Thursday in Florida. He was 80 years old.

I was not a fan of the spoken word poems he wrote, which helped define the progressive rock era. But I know they were popular.

I’m more of a fan of their earlier and later works. Here are 3 of their biggest hits, from 3 different eras. (Click here for a full obituary.)

 

Photo Challenge #359

Not every “06880” reader will get every Photo Challenge.

You probably have to live here, for one. (Or have an elephant’s memory.)

For another, you must be familiar with many different parts of town. Last week, for instance: the Longshore golf course.

Richard Hyman’s image showed the 10th tee, near the halfway house. Nothing about the shot — a bench, a tree stump, a “Keep Off” sign — suggested golf. (Click here to see.)

So sue me. Mike Stuttman, Pete Powell, Ed Creevy, Jonathan McClure and Fred Rubin all correctly identified the site. Fore!

This week’s Photo Challenge does not require any golf clubs. It does, however, require knowledge of Westport.

If you know where in town you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

This Is Why We Live Here

The past couple of weeks have been spectacular.* This has been one of the most astonishing, longest-lasting autumns I can recall. Every day brings new beauty.

Soon, of course, all the leaves will be underfoot. That’s the way it happens. Trees will be bare, and before we know it the snow will fly.

Before that happens, here’s a special gallery: Fall in Westport and Weston, 2021.

Bookmark this page. You’ll want to see it in mid-February, 2022.

*Not counting yesterday afternoon.

Devil’s Den (Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

Whitney Street (Molly Alger)

Japanese maples, outside Jerry Kuyper’s office on Rayfield Road. (Photo/Jerry Kuyper)

Longshore (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Iris Lane, Greens Farms (Elena Nasereddin)

Joann Circle (Photo/Celia Campbell-Mohn)

Mayflower Parkway (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Finally, a rare fall rainbow over Dogwood Lane, yesterday. (Photo/Eric Roth)

Pics Of The Day #1670

Longshore entrance road, looking toward South Compo. Photographer Elisabeth Lewey says, “This is my 4th fall here since moving from South Africa. I still can’t quite process the beauty of fall colors.”

Same view, opposite direction. (Photo/Joe Massoud)

Pic Of The Day #1666

Longshore in November (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Candidates, Chores, Irene Backalenick …

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A sure sign of fall: Our yards and traffic islands sprout dozens of signs for political candidates.

If you’d like to base your chose on more than placards, pencil in next Tuesday (October 12, noon, Westport Library and streaming). The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and Library team up for a debate between the candidates vying for 1st selectman and 2nd selectmen: Jen Tooker and Andrea Moore (Republicans), Jonathan Steinberg and Candi Savin (Democrats), and TJ Elgin and Louis D’Onofrio (independents). Chamber director Matthew Mandell will moderate.

Click here for in-person tickets, and more information. It’s available on Cablevision Channel 79, and will also be archived.

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Another sign of autumn: As leaves fall and Westporters prepare for winter, many senior citizens need help.

The Department of Human Services hopes that seniors (in high school) — and juniors, sophomores and freshmen, plus middle schoolers — can help.

The DHS is compiling a list of students willing to help with outdoor chores. The suggested rate is $12 an hour.

Students interested in helping seniors (and earning money) should call 203-341-1050, or email humansrv@westportct.gov. Seniors needing assistance should also call 203-341-1050.

Need help bagging leaves? Human Services have kids for hire.

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Irene Backalenick turned 100 in August.

The former New York Times theater critic celebrated by publishing 143 of her reviews of Broadway and Off-Broadway productions.

The collection spans the last 11 years of her career (2004 to 2015). Her final Broadway review was “Hamilton.”

Click here to order “In the Theater World.”

Irene Backalenick

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Caryl Beatus is one of “06880”‘s most avid readers — and frequent, insightful contributors.

She’s also a longtime golfer. Yesterday the Longshore Women’s Golf Association honored the founding (and 61-year) member, at the annual event named for her.

Caryl hit the ceremonial first shot. Fore!

Caryl Beatus was — as the golf cart says — Longshore’s “Queen for a Day.” (Photo/Mark Farrell)

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Bill Taibe is CRAzy.

Or at least, the owner of The Whelk, Don Memo and Kawa Ni is the 2021 Restaurateur of the Year, according to the Connecticut Restaurant Association. The organization — “CRA” — will present it’s “CRAzy Award” on December 6.

Taibe was chosen by a panel of more than 2 dozen food writers, critics, social media influencers and bloggers.

Meanwhile, the public can vote for other honors. Among the nominees: Taibe’s own Don Memo (Newcomer of the Year), and OKO (Restaurant of the Year, Fairfield and Litchfield Counties). Click here to see all nominations, and cast a ballot.

Bill Taibe

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For the second time this year, a Staples High School swim and dive team record fell.

The meet with Westhill came down to the final event. The 400 meter freestyle relay would determine the outcome. The Wreckers won in 4:10.46, earning the very tight 93-92 win.

The record-setting swim came from freshman Annam Olasewere. Her 26.15 time in the 50 meter free beat her previous record of 26.48, set just last week. She also won the 100 meter free.

The Wreckers are now 3-2. They’re in action next on Friday, vs. Greenwich (4 p.m., Staples).

Annam Olasewere (far left) earlier this month, with her 400 meter freestyle relay team (from left): Ayaan Olasewere , Ella Alpert, Jessica Qi,

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Susan Fehlinger is the Westport Book Shop’s guest artist this month. She’s an oil painter. The exhibit includes 12 coastal paintings. It’s open during business hours, at the popular used bookstore on Jesup Green.

Susan Fehlinger, at the Westport Book Shop.

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Halloween comes a day early to the Westport Country Playhouse.

The historic theater presents “Spectres and Spirits” — an original, 30-minute radio play – on October 30 (12 p.m., WSHU-FM).

It’s the work of frequent Playhouse collaborator (and macabre-minded) Richard R. Henry. John Gromada contributes clever sound design. To learn more and listen, click here.

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The other day, “Westport … Naturally” featured a monarch butterfly being eaten by a praying mantis.

Here’s one that lived:

(Photo/Tammy Barry)

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And finally … Long before Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Jimmy Cliff, Millie Small put Jamaica on the musical map. She was born today in 1947. She died May 5, 2020, at 72.

Roundup: Pushups, Steffi Friedman, Roses …

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There was a lot going on this beautiful weekend.

A beautiful sight was Staples High School’s Jinny Parker Field, where hundreds of Westporters of all ages banged out pushups for a great cause.

The 12th annual Push Against Cancer is a fundraiser for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp — the wonderful respite for kids battling life-threatening diseases. It was developed by Westport’s beloved Paul Newman.

Participants solicited pledges, in return for pushups. The top 2 teams were Staples girls soccer ($24,178) and Staples boys soccer ($23.311).

It costs $2,500 to send one youngster to the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for a week. Those 2 soccer programs alone will send 18 children there.

Add in the $140,000-plus raised by everyone else, and that’s nearly 80 boys and girls. Well done, Westport!

The Staples High School girls soccer team at the Push Against Cancer … (Photo/Charlotte Strandell)

… and the boys.

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On Saturday, friends and family of Steffi Friedman honored the Westport artist who died 2 years ago at 94, and dedicated a new work.

Her bronze “Pas de Deux” (2002) is now part of the Westport Public Art Collections. Installed for years on her Yankee Hill Road lawn, it now sits proudly in the Staples High School courtyard. The work was donated by her family, in gratitude of Westport’s cultural legacy, and Staples’ commitment to the arts.

The event was organized by Steffi’s daughter Margie — a 1972 Staples graduate — and town arts curator Kathie Bennewitz.

Performances include poetry from town poet laureate Diane Meyer Lowman, and dance by Staples alum Grace Bergonzi.

Friends and family admire Steffi Friedman’s sculpture. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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The River of Roses is one of Westport’s best fundraisers.

It’s probably the most colorful too.

The Survive-OAR program provides mental, physical and emotional healing after traditional treatment ends. It’s an empowering, supportive community for women to heal.

During next Sunday’s celebration (October 10, 4 p.m.) — honoring the Saugatuck Rowing Club’s Survive-OARS crew, plus anyone who has battling breast cancer (or is now) — names are read aloud, as rose petals are scattered into the Saugatuck River at high tide. They’re then swept out to sea.

Survive-OAR’s Kimberly Wilson will sing. There’s live music by Fake ID, plus Copp’s Island Oysters, a raw bar from Pagano’s Seafood, drinks, Chef Jason’s clam chowder and lobster bisque, and Donut Crazy treats.

Click here for tickets, donations, positivity bracelets and more. Questions? Email president and head coach Diana Kuen: diana@survive-OARS.org.

PS: Throughout October, new members can buy a one-month membership to the Saugatuck Rowing Club. 100% of the dues goes toward Survive-OARS.

Strewing rose petals, in 2019.

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Yesterday’s Roundup gave an incorrect date for Westport Pride’s Zoom presentation: “When did you know?” (As in: When did you know you were LGBT?).

It’s tomorrow (Tuesday, October 5, 7 p.m.). Panelists include

  • John Dodig, former Staples High School principal
  • Zac Mathias, Weston High School senior and media influencer
  • Samantha Webster, Staples High graduate and former Staples Player
  • Luke Foreman, Staples grad and varsity tennis captain
  • Jen DeLoyd and Bethany Eppner, Westport parents
  • Kayla Iannetta, Staples teacher and founder of the Westport Public Schools’ Pride Coalition
  • Brian McGunagle, Westport parent and founder of Westport Pride.

Click here for the Zoom link.

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Westporter Lisa Seidenberg had a letter published in yesterday’s New York Times Book Review.

It was a response to a review by Simon Winchester that mentioned the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World’s Fair, and how General Motors drove many Americans into debt with the purchase of automobiles. That was a huge expense, in the post-Depression years.

Seidenberg knows the subject well. Her 2010 documentary on the Fair — “I Have Seen the Future” — premiered in Westport, before screenings at film festivals nationwide. It included commentary by the late Westport futurist Watts Wacker.

General Motors’ Futurama, at the 1939 World’s Fair.

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MoCA Westport has announced its fall music series. It includes:

  • Marielle Kraft (pop): Friday, October 8
  • The Figgs (rock): Friday, October 15
  • Priscilla Navarro (classical): Saturday, November 20
  • The Mark O’Connor Duo (violin/fiddle/bluegrass): Thursday, December 9.

Shows begin at 7 p.m. Click here for details and tickets.

The Figgs

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Congratulations to the Longshore Ladies 9 Holers. Their annual charity golf event at Longshore raised an enormous amount of food donations for the Westport Woman’s Club food closet, plus $1,175 in cash.

Longshore ladies who golf — and raise money for good causes. From left: M.J. Fusaro, Eileen Hart, Mandy Germishuys, Julie Gray.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is sweet!

Here’s a honeybee enjoying a dahlia:

(Photo/Nancy Diamond)

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And finally … I had never heard of the Figgs — the band that’s headlining at MoCA Westport next week.

Then again, there are lots of bands I’ve never heard of.

Now here they are:

Pic Of The Day #1623

Longshore entrance road, at night (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Photo Challenge #352

Our “06880” Photo Challenge is fun. The images are sometimes challenging, sometimes easy. I can’t recall any that were controversial.

Until last Sunday.

Jay Walshon’s shot showed an old car, covered in underbrush near a body of water.

Andrew Colabella was the first reader to answer correctly. He said: “Longshore, Lot F. Donated to the Fire Department for practicing on a submerged vehicle.”

Claire Elliot added that it was located near an osprey nest.

That did not sit well with a number of readers. They chastised local officials. “Is open land now a synonym for junk yard and toxic dump?” asked Werner Liepolt.

“So much for all that official talk about the environment and sustainability,” added Morley Boyd.

Fred Roberts wondered about liability.

But not everyone dumped on the town.

Wendy Cusick wrote: “I believe the fire department has the fluids (transmission fluid, motor oil, A/C freon, antifreeze, windshield wiper fluid) drained out of the training vehicles before having them toss in weeds and high tide.

“Westport lives in a flood zone between the shoreline, Deadman Brook, Muddy Brook, Saugatuck River and all the other little streams that became raging rivers in crazy weather. You’re going to want the rescuers to know how to get people out of their flooded vehicles.”

NOTE: I don’t usually run photos of the previous Challenge. But I’m showing this one …

… because, a few days after it was posted last Sunday, it was gone. Here was the same scene on Thursday:

(Photos/Jay Walshon)

Go figure.

This week’s Photo Challenge should be back to normal. In other words: fun.

If you know where in Westport you’d see this, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Seth Schachter)