Category Archives: Obituaries

Roundup: Long Lots Meeting, Political Signs, RTM Candidates …

The Long Lots School Building Committee will hold a special meeting tomorrow (Thursday, September 14, 6 p.m., Town Hall Room 201/201A).

The agenda includes a work session with the design team for project status updates, review and discussion. The public is welcome to attend the work session but may not participate.

The work session will be followed by public comment and questions regarding the feasibility study project.

Drone view of the current Long Lots Elementary School.


Mimi Greenlee saw yesterday’s Roundup story on the do’s and don’ts of yard signs, and noted that non-profits are restricted to signs no earlier than 2 weeks before an event. She wondered if the same rule applied to political signs.

I asked Mary Young, Westport’s Planning & Zoning Department director. She says: “Free speech is protected and is not regulated by zoning, including political signs, distinct from signs advertising special events which are regulated as they must be removed after the advertised event is over.”

She sent over Section 33-5.1 of the Zoning Regulations, last revised in 2012:

“The following signs are permitted without a Zoning Permit in all districts, herein.

“One temporary free standing sign not over 2 square feet per side for a residential property or 9 square feet per side for a non-residential property set back from any property line at least 5 feet, advertising the sale or lease of the premises.

“One temporary construction sign not over 24 square feet in aggregate area
identifying the designers and/or builders for a lot on which a building is under construction or reconstruction. Any such temporary sign shall be removed from the premises within 10 days after the rental of the space, sale of the premises or completion of the construction.

“Temporary signs for public and charitable events which shall be removed after the publicized event.

“Signs for political purpose.”

Political signs are treated differently than those for non-profits.


Speaking of local politics: The deadline has passed to declare candidacy for the Representative Town Meeting (RTM).

Four of the 36 incumbents are not running: Liz Milwe (District 1), James Bairaktaris (4), Stephen Shackelford (8) and Lori Church (9).

Four candidates are elected from each district. There will be contested races in 5 of the 9 districts. They are:

District 1: Incumbents Matthew Mandell, Kristin Mott Purcell, Chris Tait; petitioning candidates Richard Jaffe, Andrew Bloom.

District 2: Incumbents Harris Falk, Jay Keenan, Louis Mall, Mike Perry; petitioning candidate Melissa Levy.

District 5: Incumbents Peter Gold, Karen Kramer, Dick Lowenstein, Claudia Shaum; petitioning candidates Katherina Palmer, James Mather.

District 6: Incumbents Candace Banks, Jessica Bram, Seth Braunstein, Brien Buckman; petitioning candidates Alma Sarelli, David Rosenwaks, Louis D’Onofrio.

District 9: Incumbers Nancy Kail, Sal Liccione, Kristen Schneeman; petitioning candidates Douglas Enslin, Jennifer Johnson, John Suggs, Rachel Halperin.

Districts without contested races:

District 3: Incumbents Ross Burkhardt, Lyn Hogan, Jimmy Izzo, Don O’Day.

District 4: Incumbents Andrew Colabella, Noah Hammond, Jeffrey Wieser; petitioning candidate Clarence Hayes.

District 7: Incumbents Brandi Briggs, Lauren Karpf, Jack Klinge, Ellen Lautenberg Hendel.

District 8: Incumbents Wendy Batteau, Rachel Steel Cohn, Julie Uman Whamond; petitioning candidate Ari Benmosche.


The town is seeking proposals for sailing school and boat rental operator services at Longshore.

The deadline for RFPs is October 18. Copies of the RFP documents are available here.

The current Longshore Sailing School. (Drone photo/Brandon Malin)


Ms President US — a non-profit, non-partisan organization that empowers young girls through leadership development and civic education — has opened a new chapter in Westport.

Girls in grades 4-8 can join. Meetings begin September 29, and are held monthly from 4:15 to 5:45 p.m. The program includes a field trip to the state Capitol, and a campaign and election for “Ms. President US.”

Participants develop public speaking skills; gain confidence; meet with local, state and federal leaders and role models, and work with high school mentors.

For information on becoming a member or mentor, email


Calling all grant writers!

A local journalistic non-profit — okay, it’s “06880” — is looking for an experienced grant writer, for an upcoming project.

If you’re interested and available, please email Thank you!


Staples boys soccer was in the house last night — in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kyle Martino — the 1999 graduate who was Gatorade National Player of the Year, and went on to become MLS Rookie of the Year, then played for the US national team — called the USA-Oman game for TNT. Bruno Guiduli — a student at nearby Macalaster College was in the stands, and got his fellow Wrecker’s attention.

PS: The US won the “friendly,” 4-0.

Kyle Martino and Bruno Guiduli.


Speaking of soccer: Marisa Shorrock — a 3-sport athlete in Staples’ Class of 2020 — has been named to College Soccer News’ National Team of the Week. The Yale University All-Ivy selection was also named Ivy League Defensive Player of the Week, for the second time in 3 weeks.

The senior goalkeeper made 13 saves as the Bulldogs beat Seton Hall 2-1 and the University of Connecticut 1-0.

Shorrock — who began her college career as a 3-sport (soccer, basketball, lacrosse) walk-on at Bowdoin College, before transferring to Yale — will play an additional year of soccer next season as a grad transfer at the University of North Carolina. The Tar Heels have won 21 NCAA Division I national championships.

Marisa Shorrock


Last year, a Westport Rotary Club grant helped clients of Bridgeport’s Burroughs Community Center do their taxes for free. Volunteers with the VITA national program helped over 1,600 people save money in refunds, deductions and tax credits.

Yesterday, at their weekly meeting, Rotary Club members learned more about the program, from Burroughs officials.

Burroughs Community Center executive director Michael Quon addresses the Westport Rotary Club. (Photo/Dave Matlow)


Longtime Westport resident and former Representative Town Meeting member Jane Young died September 6 in Washington, with her family offering love and comfort. She was 91 years old.

The Detroit native attended Indiana University, where she was a member of Alpha Omicron Pi sorority. She and her husband James Edward Young lived in the then-territory of Hawaii, Cleveland and Chicago, before settling in Westport in 1971. Jane worked for MetLife until her retirement.

She was elected to the Westport Planning & Zoning Commission, before serving two terms on the RTM for District 4. Jane was passionate about historic preservation, at a time when Westport was undergoing pressure for new development. A founding member of Save Westport Now, she worked tirelessly to preserve the Baron’s parkland on the Post Road, the William F. Cribari Bridge, and National Hall. She also lobbied to extend the borders of the historic downtown district, to anticipate expansion in the years to come.

Jane was an active member of Assumption Church, and she and Ed were founders of a longstanding social and play reading club called the Turkeys. They traveled extensively throughout the world, including China and the former Soviet Union before they were open to Western tourism.

Jane moved to Iowa City in 2001 to be near family, and spent her final years in the Washington area.

Ed Young died in 2008. Jane is survived by her son Mark (Vicki Grassian) of La Jolla, California; daughter Gayle Young (Thomas Carroll of Washington); brother David Koval, and granddaughters Alexandra Jordan and Samantha Young.

Her ashes will be interred at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery at a later date.


Few Westporters enjoying seeing snakes in their yard.

But on Monday, Gianni Lorenzato was fascinated by a pair of them, tanning for a couple of hours atop a boxwood shrub.

“Trusting Google (they are non-venomous Eastern garter snakes),” he says, “I let them enjoy the sun undisturbed.”

Then he sent the photo to “06880,” for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Gianni Lorenzato)


And finally … Ray Charles was born today, in 1918.

No, not that Ray Charles.

This one — a white guy — was a musician/singer/songwriter/arranger/ conductor. He led the Ray Charles Singers (not the Raelettes) on Perry Como’s records and TV shows for 35, and made 30 albums in the 1950s and ’60s.

His biggest hit was:

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Roundup: 9/11 Ride, Annam Olasewere, Geno Auriemma …

NOTE TO READERS WHO RECEIVE “06880” BY EMAIL: WordPress appears to now be sending emails with just the heading of stories — not the full story. Hopefully this is a glitch, not a permanent change.

In any event, please pass the word to anyone who asks — though you already know, because you are reading this: Just click on the headline in the email. That will bring up the entire story!


A forecast of severe weather has forced organizers to cancel Sunday’s CT United Ride.

It’s the first cancelation ever for the event, which draws up to 1,000 motorcyclists honoring 9/11 victims and first responders.

Bikers assemble at Sherwood Island State Park, then ride down I-95 to Exit 17, where they follow Riverside Avenue and Wilton Road into Wilton, and 8 towns beyond.

Police shut down all roads, to let the motorcyclists pass. So although the tribute to 9/11 victims is off, Westporters will not be impacted by traffic detours. (Hat tip: Stacie Curran)


Staples High School junior Annam Olasewere has missed the start of the Wreckers’ swim and dive season.

There’s a good reason: She’s representing the US at the World Aquatics Junior Championships in Netanya, Israel. Over 600 young swimmers from more than 100 nationals are participating. Annam is the only one from Connecticut.

She’s in the finals today, the finale of the 6-day event.

Annam’s 50-meter fredstyle final heat will be shown on the big screen in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum today (Saturday), at 12:06 p.m. She is 3rd currently, with a time of 24.95.

Annam has already swum in 2 Olympic trial cuts, in the 50- and 100-meter free. This June, she’ll attend the US Olympic Trials.


Annam Olasewere


Speaking of sports at the Library: With insight, humor and plenty of stories, Geno Auriemma kicked off the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston’s 2023-2024 speaker program on Thursday.

The hugely successful University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach did not disappoint the capacity crowd of 200 Y’s Men and their spouses.

Interviewer Jeremy Schaap — a Westporter, and Emmy Award-winning ESPN journalist — drew revealing answers from the coach.

Auriemma called the keys to his success “knowing what you’re good at, and getting the right people.” He noted, “trying to build a team from nothing and seeing it develop was a lot of fun. Every day was an opportunity to do better.”

The discussion also covered the new challenges contemporary college athletes face today.

The Y’s Men thank Pete Wolgast for helping arrange Geno’s appearance.

Geno Auriemma (with mic) answers questions from Jeremy Schaap.




Looking for help, information and support around behavioral, mental health and parenting issues?

Several interesting events are on tap this month, sponsored by Westport Together:

September 12 (3 p.m.): Join the Westport Prevention Coalition’s monthly meetings. The community-based group of parents, students and local stakeholders offer prevention education and programs to combat substance misuse and related behavioral health problems. For more information, email

September 26 (6:30 p.m.): “The Most Vital School Supply for Parents: Learn the Signs of Adolescent Mental Health Issues and How to get Help.” An expert panel discusses mental health resources available to area students and families. Register at

September 27 (noon): “Body Positivity in the Digital Age.” Social media has profoundly impacted teenagers, particularly concerning their body image and susceptibility to eating disorders. This virtual program covers warning signs and strategies to promote healthy habits. Click here to register.

September 30 (8 a.m.): “Fathers’ Forum.” An informal opportunity for fathers to talk about parenting challenges and strategies. Click here for more information, and to register.


No resuscitation was needed for fans of DNR Friday night at the Levitt Pavilion.

The rock band of (mostly) retired doctors performs annually there. Last night’s event was — appropriately — a fundraiser for Westport Emergency Medical Services.

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)


The Westport Country Playhouse presents “I’ll Drink to That! A Broadway Cocktail Hour” — with a chaser.

Tickets to the September 22 (6 p.m.; Playhouse courtyard and Lucille Lortel White Barn Center, adjacent to the theater) event — featuring Laurence Maslon, author of “I’ll Drink to That!,” recounting magic moments on stage, and a guide to making cocktails inspired by legendary stars and classic shows, and actors incorporating his stories with songs and scenes from Broadway productions — include 2 specialty cocktails.

Attendees will enjoy the first as Maslon details the history of cocktails on Broadway. The 70-minute program concludes with a second drink, and book signing.

Click here for more information, and tickets.

Laurence Maslon


What’s it like when a town goes to war?

Tony Pavia answers that question on September 30 (3 p.m.). It’s part of the Weston History & Culture Center’s World War II lecture series.

“An American Town Goes to War” focuses on a group of men from one town — Stamford — but their stories are universal.

Pavia — a former US history teacher, and principal of New Canaan, Stamford and Trinity Catholic High Schools — will discuss their experiences, and tell stories of them and their loved ones.

Guided tours of the Coley House, which shows life on the home front during World War II, will begiven after the lecture.


Congratulations to Lila Manimala Doromal earned honorable mention in NPR’s recent Student Podcast Challenge.

The Pierrepont School 8th grader and Paul Taylor Ensemble dancer wrote and narrated “I Am American.” She spoke about her Indian, Filipino and Caucasian backgrounds — and what they mean to hear.

Click here to listen.


Lila Manimala Doromal


Mary Gardner Stephenson of Westport, and Estero, Florida, died on August 16. She was 96.

Born in London, she was among the first graduates of the Royal Cancer Hospital’s program for X-ray technology.

Five years after marrying her late husband, John Mitchell Stephenson in 1948, they emigrated with their eldest daughter to Providence. They settled in Westport in 1963.

She was a nuclear medicine technologist at Bridgeport’s Park City Hospital.

Mary was as a member of the Daughters of the British Empire, League of Women Voters, Sierra Club and Audubon Society. She was also involved in the Westport-Weston Community Theatre and Wilton Playshop.

In retirement Mary dedicated herself to her lush garden, birding, listening to opera and traveling internationally. She was a devoted grandmother, sharing her love of the arts, animals and history.

She is survived by her daughters Wendy Winkler of Beaver Creek, Ohio; Jennifer Stephenson of Bonita Springs, Forida and Julia Thompson of Naples, Florida, 7 grandchildren and 8 great-grandchildren.

Mary Stephenson


This egret made quite a splash the other day, at Grace Salmon Park.

Dan Johnson captured it nicely, for our “Westport … Naturally” daily feature.


And finally … today is September 9. Whether you use the American or European way of writing dates, it still comes out as 9/9. So …

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Roundup: Bridgewater Home, Volunteer Fair, Motorcycle Fire …

The former home of the world’s largest hedge fund may become home to 14 residential homes. Four would be deemed “affordable,” according to state guidelines.

As first reported by Westport Journal, the houses — built by an LLC that includes David Waldman, the developer of projects like Bedford Square and the Bankside condos — would be constructed on 3.7 acres in the northwest part of the 16-acre property, off Weston Road.

The proposed homes are shown at the top of the Glendinning property.

The homes at “Cottage Village at Glendinning Place” would be 3 bedrooms. The “affordable” homes (for buyers who make 80 percent of state median income) would be half the size of the market-rate houses.

The land — named for Ralph Glendinning, who built a 48,000-square foot modern office park there for his marketing firm in the 1960s — includes a pond and pathways. It is at the confluence of the Saugatuck and Aspetuck Rivers, and abuts Aspetuck Land Trust’s Leonard Schine Preserve and Children’s Natural Playground.

Bridgewater Associates moved out earlier this year. They consolidated their hedge fund operations at the Nyala Farm office complex, off I-95 exit 18.


New to town? Newly retired? New empty nester? Inspired by the new year (school and/or Jewish) to do something new?

If you are interested in volunteering — but don’t know where to start — the Westport Library, Town of Westport and League of Women Voters of Westport can help.

On Saturday, September 23 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), the 3 organizations are teaming up to host an adult volunteer fair in the Library’s Trefz Forum.

Over 2 dozen community organizations will be represented. Each will have a staff member to provide information and answer questions.

The Library will also host a volunteer expo for teens on Wednesday, October 4 (4:30 to 6 p.m.), featuring local youth organizations with volunteer opportunities.

Organizations participating in the September 23 adult volunteer fair include: A Better Chance of Westport; AWARE; Center for Senior Activities; Club 203; Earthplace; FCJazz; Food Rescue; Friends of Sherwood Island; Guiding Eyes for the Blind; Levitt Pavilion; Staples Tuition Grants; Sunrise Rotary Club; TEAM Westport; Town of Westport; Verso Studios; Veterans of Foreign Wars; Wakeman Town Farm; Westport Book Shop; Westport Community Theatre; Westport Country Playhouse; Westport Emergency Medical Services; Westport League of Women Voters; Westport Library; Westport Permanent Art Collections; Westport Sunrise Rotary; Westport Woman’s Club; Westport Young Woman’s League; Westport-Weston CERT; Westport Weston Family YMCA.

There are countless ways to volunteer here. Food Rescue — picking up excess food, and delivering it where it’s needed — is just one.


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport has a new transitional minister.

Rev. Alan Taylor will serve the congregation both from Westport and Oak Park, Illinois, where he and his family live permanently. He will preach 3 Sundays out of 4 — 2 in person, and 1 via virtual broadcast.

Rev. Alan will carry out his duties both in person in Westport, and virtually via email, Zoom and phone from his home office in Oak Park. He is serving in partnered ministry with UU Westport’s longtime minister of music, Rev. Ed Thompson.

Rev. Alan will first preach from the pulpit in Westport at this Sunday’s service (September 10, 10 a.m.). All are welcome to join in person or via livestream.

UU Westport’s previous senior minister, Rev. Dr. John Morehouse, has moved to a developmental minister role in a church outside of Philadelphia.

Rev. Alan Taylor


The Westport Rotary Club hosted a board member of another outstanding group, at Tuesday’s meeting.

Ed Spilka of Wheel It Forward described their “lending library.” People who need durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, and related products can borrow them at no cost.

People with “lightly used” equipment can donate them too — helping others, and keeping what’s no longer needed out of landfills.

Ed Spilka of Wheel It Forward.


Westport Police made 2 custodial arrests between August 30 and September 6.

One man was arrested after a resident reported that several checks worth $30,000 were returned due to insufficient funds, or account closed. The checks had been stolen, and attempted to be used to pay rent.

A man was arrested and charged with illegal possession of personal identity information, identity theft, and illegal trafficking in personal identity information. The incident began after a May 31 arrest at BevMax. A warrant was then obtained for a cell phone search. Evidence implicated the man in a larger, more complex fraud involving the purchase and sale of “high-end” liquor, using fraudulent credit cards. The scheme took place in many East Coast states.

Police also issued these citations:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 11 citations
  • Failure to obey traffic control signals: 3
  • Operating a motor vehicle without a license: 2
  • Failure to comply with state traffic commission regulations: 2
  • Failure to carry registration or insurance card: 2
  • Speeding: 1
  • Failure to obey a stop sign: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle while under suspension: 1
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 1
  • Failure to carry a license: 1
  • Operating a motor vehicle without minimum insurance: 1


The Westport Country Playhouse “script in hand” season continues Monday, September (18, 7 p.m.). with “100 Saints You Should Know.”

Theresa (played by Tony Award winner Celia Keenan-Bolger) is a single mother with a rebellious teenage daughter. Working as a cleaner in a church rectory, she rekindles her religious beliefs and searches for validation from the priest.

But the troubled pastor, questioning his own faith, suddenly leaves the church and returns home to his protective mother. Theresa tracks him down, ultimately changing both of their lives.

All tickets are $25. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

Celia Keenan-Bolger


A recent “06880” Roundup photo featured a series of holes dug next to the pedestrian path, leading from Old Mill to Compo Cove.

Property owner Jeff Northrop Sr. reports they’re for a new fence, identical to the one on the other side of the walkway.

A sign will say “Children and fishermen welcome.”

Northrop learned to fish there, as a child. “I want to keep it open access,” he says.


Henry Wynne is one of 20 elite runners participating in Sunday’s 42nd annual Fifth Avenue Mile race.

The 2013 Staples High School and 2017 University of Virginia graduate — one of the greatest runners in Connecticut history — will cover the 20-block stretch of New York City far quicker than nearly anyone else can.

Of course, it helps that all the traffic lights will be green. (Hat tip: John Nathan)


A motorcycle blaze sent the Westport Fire Department to the Westport Weston Family YMCA parking lot Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday morning, this was all that remained:

(Photo/Dan Woog)


Rock music, photography, art and fashion combine soon at WEST.

The Post Road East boutique hosts Michael Friedman for a discussion and signing of his very cool book “Exposed: The Lost Negatives and Untold Stories” (September 21, 6 p.m.).

The book is a treasure trove of up-close, personal — and excellent — photos of the musical icons the 1961 Staples High School graduate worked and hung out with, more than half a century ago.

You know: Janis Joplin, The Band, Kris Kristofferson, Rita Coolidge, Todd Rundgren, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, James Cotton, the Rolling Stones ….

Many were part of a 2019 exhibit at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

A portion of the proceeds from the “Sound Exposed” WEST event, including 20% of limited edition print sales, will benefit Neighborhood Studio. The non-profit provides after-school arts education for Bridgeport youngsters.

WEST will also offer 20% off all clothing and merchandise at the event, plus giveaways like signed copies of Friedman’s book, and tickets to the Bridgeport “Sound on Sound” music festival.

“Sound Exposed” is free, but registration is required — click here.


Kerri Rosenthal hosts an “Art of Beauty” event next Wednesday (September 13, 5 to 7 p..).

The Art of Beauty event on Wednesday September 13th 5pm-7pm.

Her favorite esthetic, Erin Meyers-Albaridi from New Beauty & Wellness, will discuss art, fashion and (of course) beauty. There’s a raffle and swag bag too.

It’s free, but RSVPs are requested here.


The New York Times reports the August 17 death of Sarah Wunsch, at her Massachusetts home. She was 75, and suffered a stroke 3 years ago.

The 1965 Staples High School graduate “championed citizen protections on issues of race, gender and free speech and helped persuade New York’s highest court to declare that men could be prosecuted for raping their wives,” the Times says.

“As deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts for almost three decades, Ms. Wunsch brought innovative challenges before the courts, aimed at safeguarding a wide range of public behavior, including panhandling for small amounts of change, tattooing, wearing certain hairstyles in school and videotaping on-duty police activity.”

Click here for a full obituary.

Sarah Wunsch (Photo/Kathleen Dooher)


Our “Westport … Naturally” feature celebrates all kinds of living things. We’ve run photos of deer (plenty), eagles (handsome), lanternflies (ugh) … you name it.

Today we feature a first: an orb-weaver spider, from Elisabeth Levery’s patio near Longshore.

It may not be particularly good-looking when you see it around your home. But Elizabeth sure makes it look interesting here.

(Photo/Elisabeth Levey)


And finally … Gary Wright, the singer-songwriter with a couple of synthesizer-infused hits, died Monday in California. He was 80, and suffered from Parkinson’s disease and Lewy body dementia.

Another day, another Roundup, another “06880” post filled with all kinds of Westport (and Westport-ish) news. Please support our work. Click here to contribute. Thank you!


Rev. Ted Hoskins: Long Life Of A Remarkable Man

Rev. Ted Hoskins — the beloved former minister of Saugatuck Congregational Church, and a longtime force in Westport’s interfaith and social justice communities — died earlier this month. “06880” paid tribute with this story.

His family has now released his obituary, describing his full, impactful life. They say: 

Theodore Gardner Hoskins, longtime Congregational minister and ardent advocate for social justice and for the sustainability of Maine’s fishing communities, died August 5 at his home in Portland, Maine, where he and wife Linda moved a few years ago, from Blue Hill, Maine.

Rev. Ted Hoskins

“Ted” was born on August 4, 1933, to Rev. Fred and Alice Hoskins, in Bridgeport, where his father was a minister. Ted attended Mt. Hermon Academy, Oberlin, and Illinois College and the Yale Divinity School. While a student at Yale Divinity School, he worked with youth at Saugatuck Congregational Church.

After ordination in 1959, Ted became associate minister to youth at Saugatuck. He served as senior minister to the South Glastonbury Congregational Church from 1962 to 1971.

In 1971, he returned to Westport as senior minister at Saugatuck until 1994, when he accepted an offer from the Maine Seacoast Mission) to be the boat minister to island communities. This included Isle au Haut, an island Ted had known and loved since age 9 where his father was the summer minister starting in the 1940s.

Local clergymen, including Rev. Ted Hoskins (Saugatuck Congregational Church) and Rabbi Byron T. Rubenstein (Temple Israel) march in front of a banner urging peace.

Ted became summer minister on Isle au Haut in the 1970s and kept the position until 2013. For many years, Ted also preached yearly at the Chapel at Ocean Reef in Key Largo, lured by the promise of a deep-sea expedition.

Ted’s ministry at Saugatuck Congregational Church — as well as his fairmindedness and diplomatic, yet tenacious, activism and advocacy in the Westport community — was legendary. He came to be known as “the conscience of Westport.”

He possessed a determined desire for social justice and fairness, as well as an inestimable capacity to lead and to galvanize people of often extremely opposed viewpoints. Through his steady and unerring moral leadership, some of the many programs that he founded or was instrumental in founding include a town shelter for unhoused men, followed eventually by an emergency shelter for women, named Hoskins Place; affordable elderly housing; countless recovery programs at the church at a time when social stigma around alcohol and substance addiction was widespread; a vibrant, town-wide, interfaith council; a program to address prison recidivism; the first satellite day care program in Connecticut, and a safe place at the church, including housing and family counseling, for runaway youths.

Hoskins Place is Westport’s shelter for homeless women.

Ted influenced the lives of many youths in Westport for the better. As he put it in a newspaper interview from the 1970s, “for some of these kids, life at home had gotten to the point where they felt the only options they had left was suicide or running away. We’re providing a third option.”

The local Thanksgiving community meal he started in the 1970s remains a town institution to this day, feeding hundreds. During the days of his ministry, Ted could always be found on feast day in the church kitchen starting at 2 or 3 a.m., prepping turkeys, and not stopping until late into the day, always with a warm smile and optimistic words to greet everyone.

Ted was a tireless moral compass for Westport and beyond. It would be impossible to quantify how many people Ted baptized and married, counseled and buried over the course of his life. Just like the doors to the church that Ted asserted must always be open, Ted’s phone was never off, day or night. As one parishioner put it when Ted and Linda moved from Westport to Maine, “There are probably 3 or 4 generations of Westporters who think that God looks like Ted Hoskins.”

Ted possessed a deep and deeply-personal understanding of coastal Maine and especially of those who make their hardscrabble livelihoods from its waters. Ted even worked as a commercial sternman in his youth and often could be seen throughout his life fishing off the docks of Isle au Haut or off his boat or teaching his children, Dan and Robin, to do the same when they were young.

Rev Ted Hoskins (Photo courtesy of Penobscot Bay Press)

On Isle au Haut, Ted was “summer minister” in name only, for he was an integral part of the community, winter and summer. In truth, Ted needed little excuse to find himself on Isle au Haut, including for a year in the 1970s when he took a leave of absence from Westport and taught at the island’s 1-room schoolhouse.

No place captured his heart like Isle au Haut. As a young man, he hauled traps, tended weir, and netted herring alongside those born there, and going back generations. There, Ted was both loved and accepted as an “islander” — no mean feat.

Aside from Sunday mornings at the church, Ted could equally be found calling square dances at the Town Hall, skillfully moderating occasionally fractious annual town meetings, hauling heavy steaming pots of water at Isle au Haut clam bakes, or rowing his skiff like a native in the island’s thoroughfare.

Above all, Ted made himself unsparingly available to share the joys and heartaches of the people around him, in Maine as in Connecticut before. As Ted put it, “People are people. A divorce or business failure in Connecticut hurts just as much as it does on a Maine island.”

Upon Ted and Linda’s move to Maine in 1994, Ted became extensively involved in issues around coastal fisheries’ sustainability. He understood innately the anxieties and precarious nature of a fishing life. This “semi-retirement” job as boat minister seemingly only served to increase the unfathomable number of endeavors that Ted met head on. “Slowing down” was not a comfortable concept to Ted; nor was ignoring injustice and need.

The island ministry led Ted to the conviction that he could better advocate for the island and coastal fishing communities from a new position he created within the Mission in 2002: minister to coastal communities. For this work, Ted studied at the Cody Institute in Nova Scotia in Community Resource Management and started or joined fishery-related organizations that have become pivotal in discussions in the Gulf of Maine over coastal and island sustainability and livelihood.

When in 2007 his role could no longer be funded through the Mission, Ted — as always — was not stopped; he continued apace with the same determination and, arguably, even more work.

He served on the boards of the Penobscot East Resource Center; Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance; Cobscook Bay Resource Center; and the Saltwater Network. He was a fellow at the Quebec-Labrador Foundation; a Founder of Stonington Fisheries Alliance; a member of the Maine DMR Lobster Advisory Council; a founder and co-chair of the Downeast Initiative; moderator for several Canadian/American Lobster Town Meetings; co-founder and facilitator of Community Fisheries Action Roundtable.

Ted also led post-hurricane work groups to Honduras and for many years to Belize, to the river/oceanfront town of Monkey River. There, local fishermen asked Ted to help them organize as he had in Maine. This led to the creation of the Belize Federation of Fishers, with Ted traveling monthly to villages along the coast for several years to galvanize and help coordinate the fishing communities, along with input from scientists and policymakers, at a national level.

Ted was a gifted leader who gained the trust of almost everyone he met through his lack of pretense, matter-of-fact nature, and quiet dignity — and a wicked laugh and cracking sense of humor. Ted also possessed a deep baritone voice that could command attention in a chapel of just about any size, often without an organ to accompany Sunday service.

He had a steadfast and lifelong sense of service to others, and many have noted his “strong and even unwavering moral compass.” He inspired others to the same, but never in a way that felt pressured. Ted had a commanding knowledge of Scripture but was much more likely to have a cribbage board than a Bible tucked under his arm.

A big, bearded bear of a man, it is not too much to say that his blue eyes twinkled both lovingly and mischievously, and his ready and charismatic smile betrayed his hefty frame. His ever-present bushy beard has been described as “Lincolnesque,” or “that of a sea captain,” and his gentle ways as “a quiet steadiness that inspires confidence.” Ted liked to wear a colorful t-shirt that his family had given him, which said, “Fish Worship? Is It Wrong?” It represented the twin themes of his life: service to God and love of the sea.

In the last several years, as Alzheimer’s more firmly gripped Ted, his family and close friends remained deeply grateful that Ted’s limitless kindness, humor, humility, and magnanimity never left him. And, in perhaps the greatest of gifts that this terrible disease usually steals, Ted never lost the ability to recall his family and others in close contact with him.

In his final weeks and months, as his limitations grew more sizeable and his dependency greater, Ted would often raise his shoulders, sigh in gentle acceptance, and declare to Linda, “well, shit.” For the countless people who knew Ted, who deeply admired him, who were moved by him and helped by him, who were inspired by him, for those many, many who loved him deeply, we could not agree more.

Ted leaves behind his wife of 35 years, Linda; his daughter Robin; stepdaughter Whitney (Paul Ovigele) and their children Sebastian and Sloane; stepson Fenner Ball (partner Maria Spencer); brother Bob Hoskins (Carol), and nephews and nieces. Ted was predeceased by his son Dan, who died young in a boating accident; sister Mary Ellen Lazakis, and his faithful lap dachshund Henry, who, by near-universal accounts, was grouchy to everyone except Ted.

In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcomed by the Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries, PO Box 27, Stonington, ME 04681, or the Maine Seacoast Mission, PO Box 699, Northeast Harbor, ME 04662.

A memorial service will be held September 10 (2 p.m.).  at the Blue Hill Congregational Church. The service will also be available online through the church website.

Roundup: Small Plane, Car Thefts …

One of the highlights of my summer was a Saturday morning flight over Westport, with 17-year-old pilot Aiden Schachter.

The Staples High School rising (in more ways than one) senior has been very busy, since earning his (flying) license in June.

The other day, he took his father Seth on a tour of New York City.

This young man is clearly going places.

Aiden and Seth Schachter.


Hard to believe, but we still have to repeat this.

An “06880” reader writes: “I have heard of 3 instances in the last day of Westporters having their cars stolen from out of their garages during the day, or while on vacation, with keys or credit cards left in the car.

“Readers should take care and lock their cars.”

Absolutely. Whether you’re parked at home or somewhere else, do not leave valuables in your car. Take your keys and/or fob with you. 

Don’t say we didn’t warn you.

Again. And again. And again.

Take it with you!


The Artists’ Collective of Westport sponsors regular pop-up exhibits.

Each includes a variety of artists, genres and styles. Each is special.

The next one is September 7-10 (2 to 6 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse barn). An opening reception (with food, wine, conversations with artists, and Chris Coogan on piano) is September 6 (6 to 8 p.m.).

There’s an artists’ talk on September 10 (5 p.m.).

Participating artists include Ann Brecher-Bogart, Janine Brown, Randijane Davis, Susan Fehlinger, Susanne Keany, Emily Laux, Mary Jo McGonagle, Toby Michaels, Jay Petrow, Diane Pollack, Kim Porio, Mark Schiff, Kris Toohey  and Cynthia Whalen.


Betty Dorfman died peacefully at Meadow Ridge in Redding on Tuesday. She was 101 years old.

Westporters with long memories remember her as part of the family that owned the Connecticut Yankee — a clothing store where ASF Sports is now. But there’s much more to her life.

The Brooklyn native was raised by a father who was left an invalid after World War I, and a strong mother who ensured her children the finest educational opportunities.

Betty graduated from City College of New York with a BA in business administration in 1941. She added an MS in 1945.

She married college sweetheart Arnold Dorfman in 1942. While Arnold served in the US Army during World War II, Betty taught high school. After the war they moved around for Arnold’s retail business, and began to raise daughters Merle and Wendy.

The family moved to Westport in 1955, where they opened their Connecticut Yankee store. Betty worked alongside Arnold there. So did her mother Estelle, who had then moved to Westport as well.

Betty became active in the Temple Israel Sisterhood, and served as president of the Fairfield County chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women.

After the Connecticut Yankee closed, she earned a 6th year professional diploma in education. She joined the University of Bridgeport as associate professor of secretarial studies in 1964.

Her career at UB was long and successful. Betty established and directed the nation’s first university-level word-processing major. She shared her expertise with educators, publishers, and executives from around the country.

Betty was a stickler for the English language. She insisted that all secretarial students learned traditional English grammar and punctuation, and later taught journalistic style and usage to students in the Mass Communications Department.

Upon retirement in 1985, Betty was named associate professor emeritus by the UB Board of Trustees. Arnold suffered a serious stroke the following year, and she spent the next 6 years as caregiver. He died in 1992.

During the next 2 decades Betty was an active member of Y’s Women, including co-chair of Trips and Travel for 10 years. She organized day trips and some European excursions with co-chair Dorothy Coen.

She enjoyed playing bridge and taking classes at the Senior Center. Betty also had a rewarding 10-year relationship with fellow Westporter Max Levinson. They had been couples friends for years. Max’s wife Eve had died a year after Arnold.

Betty moved to independent living at Meadow Ridge in 2012, where she remained active as chair of the Activities Committee. She moved into assisted living/memory care there in 2018.

Betty received wonderful care from Meadow Ridge and from her private part-time aide, Andrea Roudenis.

Betty is survived by daughters Merle Spiegel and Wendy Roberts; granddaughters Kate Rosewood (Rich), Jenn Roberts Ma (Roger), and Amanda Pierson (Gene), and great-grandchildren Vanessa and Fiona Rosewood, Owen Ma, and Robbie and Bennett Pierson.

Her family says, “Betty was beloved for her sharp wit, deep intellectual curiosity, kindness, fierce loyalty to friends and family, and impeccable elegance. She was a true force of nature.”


Betty Dorfman


Spotted lanternflies continue to be spotted in Westport.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature shows this one, at Jilda Manikas’ house.

Notifications of sightings should be emailed to Their website for more information is


(Photo/Jilda Manikas)


And finally … in honor of Aidan and Seth Schachter’s flight (story above):

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Roundup: Spotted Lanternfly, Playhouse Benefit, More Theater …

Spotted lanternflies are back.

At least one.

(Photo/Stephen Rothenberg)

Stephen Rothenberg reports from the Westport Community Gardens: “Spotted, and smushed.”

The SLF is a sap-feeding plant hopper native to China. It is believed to have entered this country as an egg mass stuck to a shipment of stone sent to Pennsylvania in 2012. Since then, that state’s agriculture, vineyards, forests, nurseries and residential areas have suffered serious damage.

The spotted lanternfly made its way into Connecticut in 2021. The state Agricultural Experiment Station issued a quarantine order. The hope is that the pest will be slowed long enough to find a treatment to control or eradicate it.

The beautiful-looking insect affects fruit trees, grapes, hops and ornamental trees. The nymphs (immature stage of the SLF) and adults feed on sap from trees and vines, causing them to weaken. Excretions from the SLF stick to the leaves; black sooty mold grows, reducing the plant’s ability to photosynthesize properly.  This reduce crop yields, and weaken trees and plants further, eventually destroying them.

It can also wreak havoc on lawn furniture, sidewalks, sides of buildings, car tires and everything else outside, making them a sticky mess.


More guest artists have been added to the Westport Country Playhouse’s benefit concert, “An Evening with Justin Paul & Friends, with Kelli O’Hara and James Naughton” (September 9, 8 p.m.).

Joining Tony, Oscar and Grammy Award-winning (and 2003 Staples High School graduate) Justin Paul are friends from his films, stage musicals, and other projects.

Two are from Westport: former Staples Player Jacob Heimer (Broadway’s “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical”), and Stacie Morgain Lewis (“Wicked,” “Sunday in the Park with George,” “Urinetown,” “Titanic”).

Other guests include Loren Allred (vocalist on “Never Enough” from “The Greatest Showman”), Andrew Barth Feldman (“Dear Evan Hansen”); Grammy nominee Mykal Kilgore (“Motown the Musical,” “Hair,” “The Book of Mormon”); Tony winner Aaron Tveit (“Moulin Rouge! The Musical!”), and Jessica Vosk (“Wicked”).

Headlining with Paul (“La La Land,” “Dear Evan Hansen,” “The Greatest Showman”) are Kelli O’Hara (Tony Award for “The King and I”), James Naughton (Tony Award for “City of Angels” and “Chicago”), and Greg Naughton (founding member of folk-rock group The Sweet Remains). 

Director Caley Baretta — another former Staples player — is senior manager of creative development at Disney Theatrical Group. Producer Ben Frimmer is well known as Coleytown Middle School’s longtime theater instructor.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Justin Paul


Speaking of the stage: The Westport Community Theatre’s 66th season begins September 8-24, with “A Picasso.”

It’s followed by “Time Stands Still” (November 10-26), “Love Letters “(February 2-18), “Switzerland” (April 5-21) and a final show, TBA (June 7-23).

Subscriptions are available for the theater, located in the lower level of Town Hall. Click here for information on tickets, and upcoming shows.


Gil Ghitelman writes:

“It’s been said boat owners enjoy 2 immeasurable highs: First when they buy it,  then when they sell it.

“Dog parents {please don’t call them ‘owners’) achieve nirvana only once. The loss is off the charts on the Richter scale of sadness. No one adopting a pup thinks about the dreaded end. The fact is, our pets just don’t live long enough.

“When word filtered down that we lost our beloved Oskar, we were embraced with tearful hugs from our friends and Oskar’s buddies’ parents. What was especially touching were the kind condolence notes left in our mailbox by our caring Westport neighbors whom we only have a nodding relationship with.  Mega-shoutouts are in order to these compassionate folks.

“When things settle down, we’ll look for another dog to join our family. The local  rabbits that Oskar chased (and never caught) are probably hoping we move slowly on this. I’m sure they think a little respite is in order.”



Arthur Lipner & the Caribbean Cruisers put on quite a show last night, at the Levitt Pavilion. Even the lighting was red-hot.

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

Tomorrow night’s show is one of the summer’s big ones: Daryl Hall, with special guest Todd Rundgren.

It sold out quickly. But a few tickets have been returned, by people who now cannot attend.

The gala and cocktail party tickets are for both the pre-concert cocktail party sponsored by Roz and Bud Siegel, at Don Memo and Walrus Alley.

Concert-only tickets are available too for the show made possible by the Arthur & Claudia Cohen Foundation. But everyone can enjoy the Levitt parking lot, as it becomes a plaza with food trucks from the Blind Rhino, Little Pub and College Creamery Ice Cream, plus a full bar operated and sponsored by Rizzuto’s.

Click here for tickets, and more information.


Every week, the Westport Rotary Club learns something new.

This week’s subject was Urban Impact of Black Rock.

Executive director Bob Niedermeyer described the organization’s mentorship support for kindergarten through 12th grade students living in Bridgeport’s PT Barnum Public Housing Complex.

100 volunteer mentors form long-term relationships with their students. and become involved in their lives beyond the classroom.

Bob Niedermeyer explains Urban Impact’s impact.


Staples’ Class of 1965 is one of the most legendary in the high school’s 139-year history. (No, I was not a member. But they blazed the way for us youngsters well.)

To prepare for their 60th reunion in 2 years, they’re scouring the globe for classmates.

Click here to add your name to the database. If you’re not on Facebook, or have questions, email

Members of Staples’ Class of 1965 remember when the school was 9 separate buildings. (This view is from 1959; an addition was finished in 1964).


Former Westporter Betty Lu Grune died peacefully last week in Florida, surrounded by her family. She was 93.

Her father was a US Navy chaplain. Betty Lu lived in many US and international locations. She met her husband, George Grune, at Duke University during the first weeks of college.

Betty Lu graduated from Duke in 1951, with a B.A. in English. She married George in 1952. They lived in Florida, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania before moving to Westport. They were here for 33 years.

Betty Lu was active in the Newcomers Club, PTA and Westport Garden Club. She also served as chapter president of the PEO philanthropic organization.

In 1988 the Grunes retired to Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, where they supported local organizations including the Jacksonville Symphony, Cummer Museum, Players by the Sea, and Boys & Girls Club of Northeast Florida.

Betty Lu was a vibrant participant in countless events in support of her husband, the former chairman and CEO of Reader’s Digest Association. She took great pride in her 3 sons.

Betty Lu was predeceased by her husband George, and siblings Virginia May (Achtmeyer) Adams, Fern Marie Atkin and Francis Lee Albert, Jr. She is survived by her sons George Jr. (Judy) of Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania, and their children Heather, Lindsey and George III; Robert (June) of Ponte Vedra Beach), and their children Alexandra, Robert Jr. and Jordan; and Steven (Nancy) of Darien, and their children Steven Jr, Natalie and Kevin.

A service to celebrate Betty Lu’s life will be held later at the Palms Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville Beach, Florida. Click here to leave an online tribute.

Betty Lu Grune


Today’s compelling “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from the Community Gardens.

Photographer Lou Weinberg explains: “Compared to other native North American birds, goldfinches are late breeders.

“They start building nests in late June and early July, when thistle and milkweed are going to seed. Goldfinches like to use the seeds in their nests, and also as food for their young.

“The Westport Community Gardens and Long Lots Preserve have ample quantities of thistle and milkweed growing, along with one of their favorites, the sunflower.”

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)


And finally … happy 74th birthday to Rick Springfield!

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Roundup: Untimely Death, Frazier Forman Peters, Pesto …

The on-scene investigation of the “untimely death” of a 56-year-old woman — found yesterday at 11 a.m. — was completed at 12:45 this morning by the Westport Police Detective Bureau, assisted by the Connecticut State Police Major Crime unit. The investigation remains active.

The woman was identified as Jennifer Lindstrom, of 3 Oak Ridge Park. Westport Police responded to the residence after a housekeeper found her unresponsive at the bottom of a staircase leading to the basement.


Among the hidden-in-plain-sight treasures of Westport: Frazier Forman Peters houses.

Between 1924 and 1936, the architect designed and built over 40 distinctive stone homes in Westport (and more in surrounding towns).

On November 5 Histoury — a non-profit dedicated to significant buildings — offers a bus tour of 20 Frazier Forman Peters houses. Experts will offer commentary on their designs and histories. Several interior tours will be included.

Tickets are $75 for adults, $49 for students. Click here to purchase. For more information on Frazier Forman Peters, click here.

A Frazier Forman Peters house on Riverview Road with fieldstone facades, slate roof and copper gutters.


There’s always something new at the Westport Farmers’ Market.

Yesterday, it was this hand-lettered sign from Fort Hill Farm, offering a simple recipe for basil pesto.

“Beautiful flowers and foods, live music, kid’s crafts — it was a great vibe,” says Jo Shields Sherman, who sent the sign shot to “06880.”

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)

The Farmers’ Market is halfway through its season. It runs every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.


Report from the transfer station:

The recycling section was roped off yesterday, for electrical work to install a dedicated cardboard compactor.

The new cardboard compactor will allow cardboard to leave in its own dedicated stream, like the glass dumpster currently does.

In the meantime, temporary bins were set up this morning to accept recyclables.

(Photo and hat tip/Ken Stamm)


Here’s our first Halloween-related story of the year. (No, it is not Dunkin’s pumpkin lineup — although it is already available.)

This is about CLASP‘s “Rockin’ Halloween Bash.” Set for October 20 (Fairfield Theatre Company), it features lite bits from Little Pub, and live music from Band Central — the popular group made up of clients at the organization providing group homes and other services for people with autism and intellectual disabilities.

Click here for tickets, and other information.


Also on October 20 (and 21 and 22): StoryFest.

The 6th annual Westport Library event — the largest literary event in Connecticut — has just secured Stephen Graham Jones as moderator for the keynote conversation with Neil Gaiman.

Tickets are available starting at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 22. Click here to order. The event is free, but seats are limited.

In addition, Eric LaRocca will cap a full day of Saturday events with a staged reading of his new play, “Gentle Hacksaw.”

Tickets for LaRocca are $20, and are available now. They include a reception with StoryFest authors, small bites and a cash bar.

From left: Stephen Graham Jones, Neil Gaiman, Eric LaRocca.


A bit earlier than October — Sunday, August 27 — MoCA sponsors “Kaleidoscope,” a 1-day exhibition featuring works from  MoCA Gives Back Healing Arts, as well as Camp MoCA Westport participants. Food trucks will be on site.

Click here for more information.


Oliver Bub is rowing his boat — all the way to Serbia.

Or at least, in the Balkan country.

The Staples High School 2014 Biology Student of the Year is part of the men’s eight team that will represent the US at the World Rowing Championships next month in Belgrade. He was an alternate on last year’s squad.

The 6-6, 205-pound Dartmouth College graduate was Saugatuck Rowing Club’s 2015 Most Valuable Oarsman. He lives now in Oakland, and rows for the California Rowing Club.  (Hat tip: Lisa Marriott)

Oliver Bub


“Monarchs in Motion” — a free September 7 (6 p.m.) event at Earthplace — does not refer to King Charles’ recent ascension to the throne.

It’s about “understanding how insect movement and dispersal ecology informs conservation planning.” Speaker Dr. Kelsey Fisher is an “insect movement ecologist.”

There is space for 100 people. Click here to register, and for more information.

Dr. Kelsey Fisher 


Earlier this month, the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club honored 34 members with Paul Harris Society awards.

They’re presented to Rotarians who give $1,000 to the Rotary Foundation. New fellows include Holly McCarthy, Mike Hibbard, Gail Lavielle, Jeff Cohen, Helen Garten, Anil Nair, Liz Wong, Tim Wetmore, Jacquie Masumian, Karen Klein, Jen Tooker, Bruce Paul, Ron Holtz, Yvonne Senturia and Barbara Levy.

Those honored for donating $2,000 were Tom Ayres, Jane Ross, Linda Bruce, Eileen Flug, George Masumian, Mark Mathias and Carole Rubenstein.

Donors at the $3,000 level were Bill Harmer, Ann Lloyd, Steve Violette, Joe Renzulli and Arnold K. Wolgast.

Sheilan Keenan contributed $4,000; Hal Levy and Rick Jaffe gave $5,000; Bob Galan, $6,000; Brian Strong and Arlo Ellison, $8,000, and — topping the Paul Harris Society list — Eric Zielinski and Martin Burger, at $9,000.


Tessie DeMattia — a chef who worked for over 40 years with her brother Frank DeMace, the founder of Mario’s Place — died Tuesday.

Tessie is survived by her daughter, Linda Voulgarakis (John) of West Haven; son James of Dummerston, Vermont; grandchildren Dawn Blinn, Libby Mazzella, David Aronson, Nikki Voulgarakis and Harry Voulgarakis, and 4 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband Liberty Michael DeMattia, she was predeceased by her daughter Sandra Blinn; siblings Dominick, Frank, Michael and Joseph DeMace and Marie Wallacem and granddaughter Jacqueline Perez.

A funeral service will be tomorrow (Friday, August 18, 11 a.m., Shaughnessey Banks Funeral Home, Fairfield). Friends may greet her family one hour prior to the service. Interment will follow in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Tessie DeMattia


Sunil Hirani calls today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo — shot at Compo Beach — “Leapfrog.”

Look closely to see why.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)


And finally … on this day in 1977, Elvis Presley’s funeral was held at Graceland.

The “King of Rock ‘n’ Roll” had several phases in his career. Among them:

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Roundup: Caroline House, YMCA Boxing, Greens Farms Train Station …

Karen La Costa — a Westport Community Gardens gardener — also volunteers at Caroline House in Bridgeport.

They help women and children “reach the fullness of their potential through education in English language and life skills.”

On Monday, Karen invited co-worker Francisca, her children and Caroline House students for an afternoon in the garden.

They enjoyed identifying squash, eggplant, watermelon, peppers and all types of flowers. They were amazed at the size of Karen’s soon-to-bloom giant sunflower.

Donations of potatoes and onions from a fellow gardener were turned into Welcome Home Soup for Francisca’s mom, who arrived that night from the Dominican Republic.

Caroline House visitors, with sunflowers.


A year ago, Bob Levy and his wife Doree joined the Westport Weston Family YMCA. They swim up to 5 times a week, and love it: the welcome at the front desk, the lifeguards, all the staff.

Six months ago, Bob noticed a woman teaching someone how to box. She introduced herself as Brenda Waldron,  the instructor for a class of people with Parkinson’s.

Despite never having hit anyone (or been hit) in his 77 years of life, he told her he’d love to volunteer.

“The class has a great group of people,” Bob says. “It’s filled with  positive energy and camaraderie. Boxing makes people stronger, gives them better balance, even helps with memory.” He has witnessed its benefits for people with Parkinson’s first hand.

A couple of weeks ago, he gave shirts to the group. He gave Chalk Talk Sports of Norwalk a slogan — “Knock Parkinson’s Out”; quickly, they provided a design.

On Monday, Bob handed out the shirts. Members were delighted.

“This class is a perfect example of of when one gives, they receive much more,” Bob says.

The “Knock Parkinson’s Out” class, and their classy shirts.


The Metro-North Transit Museum — next to the stationmaster’s office in Grand Central Terminal — has a new exhibit.

This one includes a photo and writeup about the Greens Farms station:

It’s guaranteed to stop local travelers in their, um, tracks. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)


Two officials from the Bridgeport Rescue Mission were guest speakers at the Westport Rotary Club’s lunch meeting yesterday.

The organization  provides meals, safe housing, clothing, free health care (including mental and dental), and access to other human services organizations.

Volunteer coordinator Sarah McDonagh was particularly impactful, as she discussed her personal experiences as a resident in the Addiction Recovery Program.

Bridgeport Rescue Mission development director Craig Adler and volunteer coordinator Sarah McDonagh at yesterday’s Rotary Club lunch.


Yesterday’s “06880” Roundup noted a potential new Bravo show, following “rich Connecticut families” and their children.

Among the potential stars: Westport’s actress/blogger Eva Amurri and comedian Courtney Davis.

We missed one other cast member from Westport: Kate Freeman.

Apologies for not being on top of all the local gossip!

The cast includes Westporters (center) Eva Amurri and (right) Kate Freeman. 


The Joggers Club is warming up for the fall season.

They start with (of course) a party on Saturday, September 2 (7 p.m.).

Then they’ll begin their fun runs (which, as always, end with coffee, bagels and muffins). The season “runs” every Saturday (8 a.m. at the Greens Farms train station — “all weather, all seasons, all good”).

Track Nights are held every Thursday (6:30 p.m., Staples High School). The season “runs” from September 9 through June 29.

The Joggers Club is for all paces, distances and levels. All are welcome. Their motto is: “If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right.”

The cost is $50 for the season. New members get a free custom Brooks racing shirt ($32 value).

For more information, including membership, click here.


“Quiet Places” — the new show at Amy Simon Fine Art — opens Saturday (August 19), and runs through September 23.

Featured artists are Barry Katz, Paul Shakespear and David Skillicorn.

“No. 6,” encaustic over plaster (Barry Katz)


Patricia Burrows died Monday, at her home Weston home. She was 77.

A psychotherapist for more than 50 years, she was very involved in her communities of  New York, Weston, Mendocino, California, and Mount Holly, Vermont. She was also a highly regarded “surrogate mother.”

She is survived by her husband of over 50 years, Milton Wolfson; children Jordan, Jessica, Jody Emmet and Tracy; brothers Jonathan (Annie) and Kenneth (Erica Jong), and grandchildren Maximiliana Warburg, Henri Emmet, Hana Zeramby, Dylan Zeramby, Lucas Lovelace and Naomi Lovelace, and puppy Lucy.

A memorial service will be held tomorrow (Thursday, August 17, noon, Abraham L. Green and& Son Funeral Home, Fairfield, CT). Visitation with the family begins at 11 a.m.

A reception will be held immediately following the service at the family home in Weston.

Shiva is planned for Weston (Friday and Saturday August 18-19, 2 to 6 p.m.) and New York (Sunday, August 20, 2 to 6 p.m.).

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Homes with Hope.

Patty Burrows


We sometimes think of May as “flower time” around here. That’s certainly a month of riotous colors.

But — as Susan Garment’s “Westport … Naturally” photo reminds us today, there’s plenty of vibrancy in mid-August too.

(Photo/Susan Garment)


And finally … in honor of Bob Levy’s gift to his YMCA class (story above):

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Remembering Nechama Tec

Nechama Tec — a longtime Westport resident and, the New York Times notes, “a Polish Jew who pretended to be Roman Catholic to survive the Holocaust and then became a Holocaust scholar, writing about Jews as heroic resisters and why certain people, even antisemites, became rescuers” — died August 3 in New York. She was 92.

“Defiance: The Bielski Partisans” — her best-known work, written in 1993 — was made into the movie “Defiance” 15 years later.

Her book “gave Dr. Tec a platform to show that Jews saved other Jews during the war and were more active in resisting the Nazis than some have commonly believed,” the Times said.

In “When Light Pierced the Darkness: Christian Rescue of Jews in Nazi-Occupied Poland,” Dr. Tec offered “a portrait of Christians who hid Jews, despite the likelihood of being imprisoned or killed for providing such aid. They were, she concluded, outsiders who were marginal in their communities; had a history of performing good deeds; did not view their actions as heroic; and did not agonize over being helpful.”

After World War II, her family moved from Poland to Berlin. In 1949 she immigrated to Israel, where she met her future husband Leon Tec, a Polish-born doctor who became a noted child psychiatrist. They moved to the US in 1952, and to Westport in 1960.

Nechama Tec (Photo courtesy of Tec family, via New York Times)

Nechama earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Columbia University. She taught sociology there, then at Rutgers University, Trinity College and — for 36 years — the University of Connecticut’s Stamford branch.

She received a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia in 1965. Her honors include a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Dr. Tec is survived by her son Roland, daughter Leora, 2 grandsons, 1 great-grandson, and a half-sister, Catharina Knoll. She was pre-deceased by her husband and sister, Giza Agmon.


A celebration of her life will be held October 1 (3 p.m., Plaza Jewish Community Chapel, New York City). Click here for the New York Times’ full obituary. 

Roundup: The Brain, Rachel Doran, Senior Center …

The Westport Library’s recent 3-part medical series — focusing on cardiac issues — really got to the, um, heart of things. Each session drew SRO crowds.

Next up: a 3-part series centering on the brain.

Once again, recently retired physician Dr. Robert Altbaum has curated a team of experts, and will moderate each evening.

September 7: Dr. Daryl Story will discuss strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs), along with how to maximize chances for recovery.

October 30: Dar. Dario Zagar on headaches and migraines, including new therapies.

November 21: Dr. Michael Fitzpatrick, on new research into dementia.

Dr. Robert Altbaum


Rachel Doran — the 2015 Staples High School graduate who died just before her senior year at Cornell University after a rare reaction to common medication — was honored yesterday in Ithaca.

Cornell Human Ecology remembered her contributions to the campus through her “intellect, creativity, warmth and sense of humor.”

Her legacy will now live on. An exhibit space in the Human Ecology Building — where she developed her talents as a curator — was named in her honor.

Rachel Doran, at Cornell University.


Friends of the Westport Center for Senior Activities — the non-profit that identifies, schedules, funds and runs an array of programs at the Senior Center — recently elected new board officers.

Pictured below (left to right): Sue Kane, secretary; Marsha Darmory, co-president; Wendy Petty, Senior Center executive director; Diane Bosch, co-president; Molly Alger, treasurer.


This photo at Old Mill can be captioned many ways.


(Photo/Pam Kesselman)

Photographer Pam Kesselman suggests: “Someone lost their drawers!”


Lifelong Westport resident Mary Q. Bulakites died peacefully on August 4 at her home. She was 95.

Mary worked as a clerk in the Assessor’s Office for the town of Westport for many years. She retired in 1980.

Mary was a member of Assumption Church, and the Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post Ladies Auxiliary.

Mary was predeceased by her husband George, her first husband Joseph McCaffrey, her sister Kathleen Quinn Marcroft and her daughter Kathi LeBlanc. She is survived by her grandson Ian LeBlanc (Ashley) of Norwalk, granddaughter Karis LeBlanc (Dmitry) of Brookly,, and great-grandchildren Aurora and Merida LeBlanc.

A graveside service will be held this Tuesday (August 15, Assumption Cemetery. Kings Highway North, 2 p.m.). Click here to leave online condolences.  In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services.


Deer are a common sight here . They appear frequently — like the one below — in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

We see them many places: darting across the road. Eating our plants. Hanging out in our woods.

One place we don’t see them — at least, we didn’t — is downtown.

John McKinney spotted this one the other day, smack in the middle of Main Street.

Obviously, looking for a parking spot.

(Photo/John McKinney)


And finally … Tom Jones died Friday, at his home in Sharon, Connecticut. He was 95.

Not the Welsh heartthrob. This Tom Jones wrote the book and lyrics for “The Fantasticks.” The show opened in 1960, and ran for an astonishing 42 years.

It all started with the memorable opening number. Click here for a full obituary.

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