Category Archives: Media

Roundup: Tennis Courts, Stephen Wilkes, Monarchs …

A reader writes:

I am infuriated by this community.

My daughter and I played tennis Wednesday at Staples High School. I was disgusted to see all of the trash left on the court. The same trash I saw 2 days prior had grown in volume.

In addition to empty water bottles and tennis cans, there were about 8 of those sharp and dangerous metal seals. My daughter and I cleaned up the mess.

I don’t understand why people can’t clean up after themselves. They think it’s ok to leave their trash behind. There is a green receptacle on the court, and a garbage can just outside the fence.

Why is it so hard? Come on, people. Let’s all enjoy this public space together!

Mess at the Staples tennis courts.

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World-renowned (and Westport) photographer Stephen Wilkes is featured in a new Westport Library exhibit.

Encompassing all 3 galleries, the show will explore how his visualization of the concept of time has evolved from the earlier days of his career, on through his latest series “Day to Night” and “Tapestries.”

The exhibition opens September 8.

The program will be preceded by a reception with the photographer at 6:15, followed by a Q&A in the Forum, with Stacy Bass.

The show runs through November 29.

“Flatiron 2010” (Photo/Stephen Wilkes)

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Longtime Weston resident Bill Rother — a well-known musician and travel company executive — died August 1, at his beloved Kettle Creek Camp in the Pennsylvania mountains, surrounded by family. He was 89.

A strong athlete, Bill was captain of his high school swimming and crew teams. He continued to swim throughout his life, winning dozens of medals in the senior Olympics. Bill swam his age in laps on his birthday – hitting 89 this year.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in forestry in 1955, and remained a lifelong Nittany Lion supporter. Although he never worked in the field, Bill loved to quiz his grandkids on the Latin names of trees in the woods.

He served as an Army second lieutenant in the Reserve Officer Training Corps at Penn State, then first lieutenant and platoon leader with the combat engineers at Fort Bragg, North Carolina with the 82nd Airborne Division.

He was a musician from his earliest days, working his way through college playing banjo with a Dixieland band, The Sadistic Six. This led to work as a professional musician with Fred Waring & the Pennsylvanians. He traveled the world with the group, performing on live television with stars like Perry Como, Jackie Gleason and Garry Moore, and appearing on “The Ed Sullivan Show” right before the Beatles.

Highlights for Bill were playing at the White House and meeting a President (Eisenhower), a Queen (Elizabeth), and a King (Elvis).

Bill’s next foray into Hollywood was an attempt to produce his own TV show in London about a race car driver called “Knights of the Road.” Despite a year of work, even hiring a down and out actor who went on to future success (Peter O’Toole), they ran out of money and Bill returned to Los Angeles penniless.

He saw an ad in the L.A. Times: “Tour Director to lead deluxe groups to Hawaii.” He was quickly hired by the company, Ask Mr. Foster. Within days they bought Bill a tuxedo and sent him to work on the SS Lurline cruise ship, chatting with the likes of Lloyd Bridges on his way to run tours in Hawaii.

After several years in the travel industry Bill connected with his close friend, Arthur Tauck, who hired him as a tour director with his premier tour company, Tauck Tours. It was a career he enjoyed for over 30 years.

His most proud accomplishment was setting up Tauck’s first itinerary in Hawaii, fulfilling a lifelong dream of living in the islands. Bill couldn’t believe he got paid to travel the world, and live at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel.

Bill married the love of his life, Bonnie Marie Orton, in 1969 on Kauai. Their honeymoon included adventures in Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti and Bora Bora. Bill and Bonnie raised one daughter, Samantha Carrie Maile Lou Li’i Li’i Rother Nagy, who Bill called “the light of my life.”

In Weston, Bill became friendly with José Feliciano. He became the singer’s tour manager, and performed with him locally.

Bill was preceded in death by his brother Bobby. He is survived by his wife Bonnie, daughter Samantha, son-in-law Christopher, and grandsons William James and Luke Robert Nagy.

A celebration of life service will be held in September at the Unitarian Church in Westport, at a date to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, his fmaily says: :be kind, laugh, play music, love big, drink the good beer, and live a great life.”

Bill Rother

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Longtime Westporter Jo Ann Miller has a question: Should children and teenagers call adults by their first names?

She comes from a military family, where that was a no-no. But she’s seen and heard it around Westport.

Jo Ann wonders: Does the trend show a lack of respect? Or is it simply a new way of raising kids?

She’d love to hear readers’ thoughts. Click “Comments” below.

Back in the day, kids did not call parents — or their parents’ friends — by first names.

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Wakeman Town Farm’s lecture garden series continues August 29 (6:30 p.m.). Master gardener Alice Ely talks on Milkwood Growing and Monarch Raising.”

Monarchs have suffered tremendous habitat loss recently. Alice will describe ways to attract egg-laying monarchs to gardens, raising eggs into hungry caterpillars, and tips on growing a variety of milkweed species to help them thrive.

Click here for more information, and tickets.

Monarch butterfly and milkweed.

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Season 2 of “Kids are Talking” has been a great success.

Producer Michael Bud of Weston brought in new moderators for each episode. Among them: State Senator Will Haskell, who inspired teenager to get involved in politics; a “conspiracy rhetoric” professor who talked about the JFK assassination and lizard people; a Yale professor who discussed sleep habits and moods; an expert on boundaries, and last night, teen leaders of a suicide prevention organization.

Click here for past episodes, and more information.

Last night’s “Kids are Talking” episode.

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The Westport Library has added a noir film to Miggs Burroughs and Ann Chernow’s exhibition, “Double Indemnity.”

“Mildred Pierce” will be shown on the Trefz Forum big screen on August 25 (7 p.m.).

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” features some luscious tomatoes from Tom Cook’s Community Garden plot.

(Photo/Tom Cook)

Your bounty may not look like this. But there’s plenty of produce available today at the Westport Farmers’ Market. It’s runs through 2 p.m., at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

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And finally … Judith Durham, whose beautiful voice helped make The Seekers the first Australian pop group a success during the British Invasion — died today in Melbourne. She was 79, and suffered from a lifelong lung disease.

“Georgy Girl” was the Seekers’ biggest hit. I didn’t care for that one, but I loved many of their other songs — those well known, and others less famous. Australians considered them a treasure, and they were right. Click here for a full obituary.

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Roundup: Barak, Broadband, Bees …

Today is Primary Day in Connecticut.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties are fielding candidates, for a variety of statewide offices.

Polls close at 8 p.m. Click here to find your polling place.

Turnout was very light early this morning, at the Greens Farms Elementary School polling place. (Photo/John Karrel)

 

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It’s a beautiful day — if a tad bit hot and humid.

There’s no wind. No storm.

Yet this morning, for no reason other than (probably) old age, a large tree toppled onto Punch Bowl Drive.

Be careful out there!

Tree down on Punch Bowl. (Photo/Tommy Greenwald)

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In 1964, Martin Luther King spoke at Temple Israel.

Nearly 60 years later, the synagogue prepares to host another internationally known guest.

Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak will speak on September 20 (7:30 p.m.). He will discuss current events, including Israel’s coming election and the war in Ukraine.

Click here for details, including in-person and livestream registration.

Ehud Barak

Barak, who became the most decorated soldier in the history of the Israel Defense Forces over a 36-year career, served as the nation’s prime minister from 1999 to 2001.

He also has held other prominent posts in Israel’s government, including as defense minister and as minister of internal and foreign affairs.

For more information, contact Temple Israel at 203-227-1293.

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“06880” has been buzzing recently with stories (and comments) about broadband (and prices).

Western Connecticut Council of Governments — a planning organization for 18 area town, including Westport — is conducting a quick survey on internet service and pricing.

Residential and business customers can complete the survey. Click here for the link.

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Speaking of buzzing … Hans Wilhelm writes:

“In our Weston garden stands a majestic old Japanese pagoda tree (also called scholar tree).

In summertime when it is in full bloom, you can ‘hear’ the tree from far away. It is the happy humming sound of thousands of busy bees. They are not only in the tree but also on the ground, which is covered with blossoms. It’s not a good idea to walk under the tree at that time.

“But during the last years we noticed a sharp drop in the bee population.

“This summer the tree is again in full bloom –- but completely silent. Hardly any bees at all. Sadly, the prophecy made by Rachel Carson in her 1962 book ‘Silent Spring’ has come true — right here in our garden, where we never use insecticides or herbicides.

The usual swarms of bees are gone from Hans Wilhelm’s garden.

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For nearly 75 years, Westport PAL has served youngsters with sports programs and scholarships. That’s impressive.

And for 60 years, they’ve raised funds through the Chief Samuel Luciano Golf Tournament. That’s impressive too.

This year’s event is September 12. The day includes continental breakfast, lunch, morning and afternoon shotgun starts, cocktails, dinner, a raffle and prizes.

Single, twosome and foursome spots are available. Click here for more information, including registration and sponsorships.

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Sunday’s New York Times included a great review of Mary Rodgers’ new memoir, “SHY: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers.” Jesse Green continued working on it for years, after her death in 2014.

Mary Rodgers Guettel is Richard Rodgers’ daughter. They lived in Fairfield, just over the Westport line. She became an apprentice at the Westport Country Playhouse in 1950.  She later earned fame writing the music for “Once Upon a Mattress.”

In 2009, the Playhouse honored Rodgers Guettel, at their annual gala. Among the celebrants: Stephen Sondheim, a fellow 1950 apprentice.

Also on hand that night: Weston’s Jim Naughton, and Westporter Kelli O’Hara.

Rodgers’ son, Adam Guettel, wrote “Light in the Piazza.” The musical starred O’Hara — whose father-in-law is Naughton.

The memoir includes references to Rodgers’ internship. She describes their intense work schedule (which she enjoyed), and that afterwards they wanted to go drinking.

However, she wrote, “In Westport, everything closed up tight as a drum at one in the morning.” So the interns frequently  “ran our own bar at Frank Perry’s house at night, often accompanied by a low-stakes poker game.”

Yes, that Frank Perry. The future film director (“David and Lisa,” “The Swimmer,” “Diary of a Mad Housewife”) was another member of that amazing Class of 1950 Westport Country Playhouse apprentices. (Hat tip: Fred Cantor)

Richard Rodgers’ daughter (2nd row, 4th from left) posed with other Westport Country Playhouse apprentices in 1950, at the Jolly Fisherman restaurant. Other notables in the photo: Stephen Sondheim (crouching, top of photo) and Frank Perry (front row, left).

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Today’s stunning “Westport … Naturally” egret Sherwood Island Mill pond photo comes courtesy of Dan Johnson:

(Photo/Dan Johnson)

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And finally … Olivia Newton-John died yesterday, after battling breast cancer. The versatile singer was 73. Click here for a full obituary.

(“06880” is fully reader-supported. Please click here to contribute.)

“06880” Podcast: Liz Milwe

Westport began as a farming community. We’ve moved from onions to everything under the sun.

Along the way we added manufacturing, then arts, marketing and hedge funds.

But we always go back to our roots.

The other day, I sat at the Westport Library with Liz Milwe. A native Westporter and active volunteer who served on the RTM for over 10 years, she’s best known now for her work as co-chair of Wakeman Town Farm.

We talked about WTF’s growth over the past decade; its role in Westport; our town’s commitment to sustainability, and much more.

Click here, for a very informative half hour.

Screen shot of Liz Milwe, on “06880: The Podcast.”

(Like Wakeman Town Farm, “06880” relies on community support. Please click here to contribute to this blog; click here to help WTF.)

Roundup: Bike Giveaway, Adoptable Dogs, Outdoor Art …

In conjunction with its next production — “4000 Miles” — the Westport Country Playhouse will give away a Cannondale Adventure 1 Bike (valued at $960).

It’s a donation from Cycleology Bike & Ski of Westport. The store also donated an RBX classic SS cycling jersey and Cycleology water bottle ($97).

The tie-in? “4000 Miles” (August 23 through September 4) is about a young cyclist. His cross-country trip from the West Coast ends at the Greenwich Village apartment of his feisty 91-year-old grandmother. Their generational divide creates conflict over age, family, love, sex and politics — until they discover an emotional connection that gives each a purpose.

To be eligible to win, submit your name, phone number and email either by purchasing a ticket online, by phone (203-227-4177), or in person for “4000 Miles,” or by filling out an entry form here.

Tickets are not necessary to win. All tickets purchased to “4000 Miles” at any time, including subscription packages, are automatically entered into the giveaway, as long as name, phone number and email were given at the time of purchase. One entry per person; must be age 18 or older.

Westport Country Playhouse bike giveaway.

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As reported earlier this week on “06880,” Lily’s Weston Market now features a Returnable Bin. It’s a hassle-free way to return items bought online

Staff will be on hand today, giving out t-shirts and answering questions about the subscription service.

Lily’s Weston Market’s Returnable Bin.

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Julie Loparo is the proud, pet-friendly president of Westport Animal Shelter Advocates.

Every morning at 8, volunteers and Westport Animal Control officers walk, socialize, feed and medicate the “guests” at Westport Animal Control.

Yesterday morning, after completing their chores early, they decided to treat themselves to the newly opened Old Mill Grocery.

They brought along Brutus and Gaga — 2 dogs available for adoption. Both needed extensive vet care, but thanks to WASA are now healthy.

The dogs enjoyed Old Mill Grocery’s Earth Animal display.

“We at WASA, both canine and human, thank all those involved for saving this gem in Westport,” Julie says.

“We will add it to our other favorite place — The Porch @ Christie’s — for enjoying time with friends. Especially when they are 4-legged and furry.”

Animal control officer Peter Reid, WASA president Julie Loparo, Brutus and Gaga.

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The 2nd annual Outdoor Art Gallery is set for September 10, at the Leonard Schine Natural Playground on Weston Road.

But Aspetuck Land Trust — sponsors of the “art in the woods” event — need art to show.

Any form of art or writing is welcome — so long as it responds to the theme: “What about the birds?”

“Let’s celebrate these small, intelligent creatures that are vital contributors in the preservation of our earth,” the ALT says.

Artists of any type should submit a .jpg of their work (and any other information) to woodlandartexpo@gmail.com. The deadline is September 1.

And don’t worry: All submissions are accepted!

A possible submission for the September Outdoor Art Gallery. (Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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John Richers writes: “On a recent vacation, my wife Valerie Leff and I visited the Nobel Peace Prize Museum in Oslo.

“It featured an exhibit about both courageous journalism and the global plight of refugees. Among only 3 books displayed, one (below) was on photojournalism — by a very familiar name.

“We felt proud of our Westport connection to this courageous photographer!”

Author Lynsey Addario is a 1991 Staples High School graduate — and Pulitzer Prize winner.

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To plan ahead:

Next week’s Remarkable Theater drive-in features are “Paddington 2” and “Goodbye, Columbus.”

The canine film — a 2017 live-action animated comedy — screens on Monday (August 8, 8 p.m.).

The rom-com/drama about a recent college graduate and working-class Army veteran who has an affair with a nouveau riche woman is set for Wednesday (August 10, 8:15 p.m.).

Gates open one hour before both days, for tailgating and socializing. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Sure, it’s easy to ignore Spooky Town — the Halloween store that has opened already across from Stop & Shop. Even the most ultra-organized mother does not think about her kid’s costume in early August.

And the Christmas music already wafting in the Bridge Square Dunkin’ Donuts — that’s a joke, right?

But check out this flyer that landed in yesterday’s mail:

“happy Labor Day!!” — Planet Pizza is serious.

Start planning that picnic already. Only 30 days left to order!

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The gulls were here first. And ever since the brick pavilion was built at Compo Beach, they’ve made it their home.

It’s a classic “Westport … Naturally” scene. And it will be, for decades to come.

(Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

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And finally … in honor of the Westport Country Playhouse’s bike giveaway (story above), let’s start working our way up to that 4,000-mile ride.

Ta-da! We did it! We even went 78 miles over!

 

(“06880” is supported entirely by readers. Please click here to contribute.)

Roundup: Lynsey Addario, Lunch And Learn, Co-Working …

This fall, New York’s School of Visual arts honors Lynsey Addario.

The New York Times photojournalist, MacArthur genius grant and Pulitzer Prize recipient — and 1991 Staples High School graduate —  takes part in the 32nd annual Masters Series Award and Exhibition.

“The Masters Series: Lynsey Addario” will be a comprehensive retrospective of her fearless, 2-decade journey documenting humanitarian issues around the globe.

The free exhibition runs from September 2 through October 29. Addario gives a special talk on September 9.

The exhibit showcases the photographers’ career, from Afghanistan and Iraq to Congo, Libya, Somalia, Syria, South Sudan, and most recently, Ukraine. She brings a strong focus on women’s issues to her work, including gender-based violence and rape as a weapon of war.

Addario is the author of Of Love and War, a solo collection of photography, and the best-selling memoir It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War.

Click here for the CVA website on the exhibition.

in the early days after the Russian invasion, Lynsey Addario’s photo of this bombed-out apartment building in Kyiv brought the war’s reality to people around the globe. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for The New York Times)

Screenshot of Lynsey Addario from “Firing Line.”

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You’re never too old to “lunch and learn.” Even in August.

Aspetuck Land Trust announces 2 upcoming sessions.

“Green Corridor: From Vision to Reality” (Wednesday, August 10, noon to 1 p.m.). features director of landowner engagement. Mary Ellen Lemay. She’ll explain why the Green Corridor initiative helps heal the fragmented and toxic landscape that surrounds us.

Using simple eco-friendly steps in yards and other private properties, the Green Corridor allows species to move across the landscape, improving biodiversity. Click here to register.

At “Think Like a Forest” (Friday, August 26, noon to 1 p.m.), Anna Fialkoff explains how planting native trees supports local food webs. Benefits include
purifying air, shading and cooling in hot weather, storing atmospheric carbon, minimizing flooding and storm water runoff, and helping sustain vital pollinators, birds and other wildlife. Click here to register.

And you thought there were no holidays in August!

This coming Tuesday (August 9) is International Co-Working Day.

To celebrate, Office Evolution — the great, airy, flexible and filled-with-all-you-need space at 500 Post Road East (opposite Westport Fire Department headquarters) offers free one-day passes to anyone looking for a new work environment.

The holiday is Tuesday, but the offer is good all next week (August 8-12).

For more information, email Westport.CT@officeevolution.com, or call 203-635-8770. Click here for the Westport website.

Westport Office Evolution owner Laura Kaufman (left) and business center manager Lindy Steinorth, when Office Evolution opened in 2019.

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The eagle landed yesterday at Compo Beach — and posted majestically for its “Westport … Naturally” shot.

(Photo/David Anastasia)

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And finally … in honor of International Co-Working Day (story above):

Cutting Cable: The Decision Tree

Last week’s post on Optimum drew plenty of comments.

Some “06880” readers recounted their own experiences. Others offered alternatives.

But none went into as much depth as this one, who requested anonymity (to avoid being barraged by questions). He writes:

We are probably one of the last in Westport. But we finally converted from Optimum Cable to streaming. We will save about $150+ per month.

We now use Hulu to get all live national and local channels. We still use Optimum internet and home phone service. We also subscribe to a range of streaming services, but this is a separate decision.

Here is why we made the change:.  

  1. The $320+ monthly bill
  2. The complicated need for multiple controllers for regular TV, cable, and streaming programs. Only one controller per television is required for Hulu.
  3. After comparing other internet services, we chose to keep the Optimum 300 mps service, which right now is by far the best in the area. Optimum also offers a 400 mps or 500 mps service for an additional charge. You must have a good, strong internet signal to use this streaming option (and other streaming services).
  4. We also have Eero Pro 6 network mesh installed to improve internet signals throughout our 3-story home. You can buy Eero at Best Buy. The system is easy to install; modules plug into regular electric wall outlets on each floor. We have 3 modules, and it does improve reception.
  5. Using consumer and certain technical reports, etc., we evaluated various streaming services (YouTube, Sling, etc.). We chose Hulu as the best with the live national and local networks, the common cable CNN, MSNBC, Fox, CNBC, local) channels, and other stations in place.
  6. In addition, the Hulu service has all the record, playback capabilities, and back episodes of television like Dateline, American Greed, CNN specials, unique programming, etc.
  7. The streaming services you choose are a separate decision. Most people will be okay with Amazon and Netflix. We have a lot of interest in others: HBOMax, Apple, Disney+, etc.

Here’s our decision process:

  1. I called Optimum. They sent me to the group responsible for those people that want to cut off cable service.
  2. Within a few minutes I was given an offer to reduce my BASEB $285 per month to $185 for one year. During my second call, they offered another $30 reduction in price. Discounts were all for just one year?  Some people may just want to stop here, and not go through with the total conversion. The decision to switch to digital here does not save you that much money. But what happens after one year? And we would still have 3 cable boxes and 2 controllers per television.
  3.  We asked about just retaining the 300 mps Optimum internet and landline only (my wife wants a landline), and received a $99 per month offer. In this case, we wanted to shut off the cable and return the 3 cable boxes ($11 each per month). An internet connection is needed to run the streaming services. After doing my research I discovered that Optimum is by far the best Internet service in our area. Yes, you would get to retain your Optimum e-mail.
  4. I changed over to Hulu, and worked with Hulu to make sure I understood exactly how to operate the Hulu service. It is very easy to use for live services, and offers many great streaming features including original programming.
  5. I left both Optimum and Hulu in place for 2 weeks while we tested the new Hulu service, and made sure we could operate all 3 TVs.  Hulu customer service is outstanding (and 24/7).
  6. We now need only 1 controller per TV. Digital operation is easy.
  7. I returned all cable boxes and controllers to the Norwalk store.

The financial decision is basically a wash; each service costs about the same.  But we decided to change because of the digital ease of use, one controller, removal of the cable boxes for every television, and Hulu’s much greater versatility in terms of live and streaming services and unique content…..

Other considerations: If you have televisions over 5 years old, you will have to add the Roku or Apple TV accessory to your set to adopt Hulu streaming. We bought a new digital Samsung 50-inch 8000 series television for $464 on Amazon. We put the Apple TV accessory on our older 50-inch Samsung. This Apple accessory also improves image quality.

The selection of streaming options like Amazon, Netflix, Disney+, HBOMax, AppleTV, etc. does not change this decision analysis. The selection of streaming services is a different part of your own financial decision.

(Here’s a decision that’s not hard: Support “06880.” We rely completely on reader donations. Please click here to help.)

“06880” Podcast: Jen Tooker

It’s been 8 months since Jen Tooker took over the 1st Selectwoman’s office at Town Hall.

She’s spent that time settling in, setting priorities, and putting them in motion.

Now it’s time to reflect on it all.

The other day, 1st Selectwoman Tooker and I sat on the Westport Library Trefz Forum stage. We chatted about those first months: what she’s done, what she’s learned, what’s her style, and what compels her to serve.

It was a fascinating, draw-back-the-curtain half hour. It’s an instructive podcast too, for every Westporter — and those who once called this place home. Click here for the link to view.

Screenshot of Jen Tooker on “06880: The Podcast.”

“06880” Blog Party: The Best Of Westport

The idea is simple: I pick a date. I get a permit from the Parks & Recreation Department. I announce it a few times on the blog

And our “06880” community does the rest.

It’s an organic event. Everyone brings food, drinks and beach chairs.

A small part of the 150 or so guests. The table on the right held swag for the guests (with thanks to Savvy + Grace, the Main Street gift shop).

Folks who have lived here for 70 years, and others who have been here for 7 weeks (literally), mix and mingle. (Special shout-out to 93-year-old Tom Lowrie!)

A small part of the large crowd. (Photo/Dennis Jackson)

Politicians (of both parties) chat with people who want to tell them a thing or two — and others with no idea who they are.

Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler live much of the year in California and New York. But they came to the “06880” party too. And yes, that’s 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker on the left, photobombing the shot.

The police chief talks with an old friend from Staples.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas (right) and Staples High School Class of ’79 classmate Terry Brannigan.

Party-goers introduce themselves to strangers, then recognize the names of frequent commenters and frequent photographers. Jack Backiel — one of the most frequent commenters of all — made a special trip up from Maryland, just to see the town he lived in decades ago (and still feels connected to).

Jack Backiel (right) and his longtime friend Dennis Jackson.

It was the 9th annual “06880” blog party. If you were there last night, you know all that already.

If you  missed it: See you in 2023!

Staples High School 2020 graduate Dylan Curran.

PS: A tip of the “06880” hat to Parks & Rec for helping the event run so smoothly. Particular thanks to Luke in Guest Services, for toting tables and going out of his way to help. 

Westport Downtown Association president Maxx Crowley.

PPS: And thanks too to the weather gods. The predicted thunderstorms never came. In

It was not even as hot as predicted, and a soft breeze helped. Go figure.

Nicole Klein and Jerry Kuyper take a selfie with some random dude. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Dorothy and Jon Fox. Love her hat!

Warren Bloom entertains.

Michael Calise

The women of Westport. (Photo/Tom Lowrie)

From left: Judy and Jack Backiel, and Gloria Gouveia, enjoy some shade.

Mark Yurkiw has not forgotten his native Ukraine. (All photos/ Dan Woog, unless otherwise noted)

An added bonus: a spectacular sunset. (Photo/John Dodig)

Roundup: Hartford HealthCare, Rachel Robinson, Pequot Library …

Hartford Healthcare recently opened a new Post Road location, opposite the Exxon station at Maple Avenue North.

I hope it’s a good addition to Westport.

I also hope it’s a lot more efficient than their eldercare division.

For over a month I’ve received several dozen calls, texts and voicemails from them, all asking me to set up a consultation for “Chante.”

I have explained to several phone center operators that they have the wrong number. I am not Chante’s caregiver. I don’t know Chante. I ask for my number to be removed from the list.

Each caller promises to do it, immediately. But the calls keep coming.

They’re from a variety of area codes. I don’t want to block them, because — like so many people nowadays — one of my real doctors is, or may at some point be, part of Hartford Healthcare.

Meanwhile, my opinion of the health network keeps plummeting.

PS: If you know Chante, please have her call Hartford HealthCare ASAP. They’re looking for her.

 

 

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On Tuesday, Rachel Robinson turned 100

In 1999, Westport photographer Larry Silver took a series of images of her. The founder of  the Jackie Robinson Foundation — a non-profit  providing educational and leadership opportunities for minority students, named after her late husband — was featured in an American Express ad, as a woman of color who made great contributions to society.

Rachel Robinson (Photo/Larry Silver)

Happy 100th, Rachel!

And thanks, Larry, for sharing.

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I don’t usually link to Channel 12 news reports. They’re great. But “06880” and News12 are usually on different wavelengths.

Tuesday’s feature on Jazz at the Post was outstanding.

In just 3 minutes they covered every aspect of the weekly series at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399: the venue, the music, interviews with key people — especially the famed piano that was once the pride of the Village Gate club in New York.

The series continues tonight (Thursday, July 21, 7 and 8:30 p.m.; dinner service at 6:30 p.m.; $10 cover). Meanwhile, click here for the news clip.

Screenshot from the Cablevision News12 story.

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Sure it’s over the border (barely). But many Westporters know and love the Pequot Library’s summer book sale.

So here’s the scoop on the Southport institution’s 61st annual event: It runs from tomorrow (Friday, July 22) through Tuesday (July 26).

The squintillion items include over 250 “collectibles” (online). Click here to see.

Click here for hours, pricing, special events and more information.

The Pequot Library — without the book sale crowd.

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David Dear has a trail cam at the edge of his Westport yard.

At 6:30 a.m. recently, it captured this bobcat with kittens. Showing the wildlife around us — much of which we seldom see — it’s a perfect image for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Dave Dear)

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And finally … despite Hartford Healthcare’s continuing and annoying calls, there is one Chante I don’t mind hearing about:

 

We’re On! “06880” Blog Party Is Tonight

Scattered thunderstorms are forecast for early this afternoon.

But the evening looks great. The temperature will start cooling off.

Which means: We’re on for our 9th annual “06880” blog party!

We’re still set for 6 p.m. at South Beach — the alcohol-is-fine-except-no-glass-bottles end, furthest from the cannons.

If it rains earlier, we’ll clear off the tables and benches. (If you’ve got an extra folding table, please bring one!)

This is a bring-your-own-food-and-beverages event. If you’ve got something extra to share, feel free!

“06880” provides the rest: a chance to meet commenters and lurkers. Each year we welcome old-timers, newcomers, politicians and normal human beings. It’s a chance to talk, laugh and trade stories about this wild, wacky and only slightly dysfunctional town we share and love.

See you tonight!

We’ll be just to the left of this jetty (near the boat and kayak launch). Without the car, though, (Photo/Linda Gramatky Smith)