Category Archives: Obituaries

Roundup: Lyman Delivery, Sherwood Island Plantings, Psychic Show …

It’s much colder in Lyman, Ukraine than Westport, Connecticut.

But hearts in our sister city have been warmed by gifts this winter. The latest delivery is good news for hundreds of freezing bodies.

A 20-ton truck headed out yesterday to the town in the Donbas. It was filled with construction material, to shore up 6 apartment blocks devastated during 5 months of Russian occupation.

Residents have been living in basements. Soon, the rebuilding of those apartments can begin.

Ukraine Aid International and Alex21 — Westport’s partners on the ground — also delivered armored vests for utility workers. That will enable them to work more safely, restoring power in areas still under attack by the invaders.

The construction material and armored vests were paid for by Westporters. During the holiday season, our town raised $252,000 to aid our sister city. More projects are in the works.

Click below for a video showing delivery of the building materials and armored gear.

Tax-deductible donations can still be made to Lyman through Ukraine Aid International — the non-profit co-founded by Westporters Brian and Marshall Mayer. Please click here. Click the “I want to support” box; then select “Support for the City of Lyman.” Scroll down on that page for other tax-deductible donation options (mail, wire transfer and Venmo). You can also donate directly, via Stripe (click here). 


Tomorrow (Thursday, February 23) is Fairfield County Giving Day.

Friends of Sherwood Island State Park is raising funds for their garden team. They’ll plant natives in their Pollinator Garden, and the East Beach dunes. Among them: seaside goldenrod, switchgrass, rose mallow, maritime marsh elder, Virginia rose, blue-flowered spiderwort, yarrow, white heath aster, pink-flowered showy tick-trefoil (pea family), thin-leaved sunflower, boneset, New England blazing star and marsh fleabane.

The dune restoration will be extended with 150 feet of American beach grass, 12 feet wide. They’ll add 12 red maple, white oak and pitch pine trees in the picnic area.

The goal is $1,700. To donate, click here, or send a check to: Friends of Sherwood Island State Park, PO Box 544, Westport, CT 06881. Memo line: “Giving Day 0- Garden Team.”

Westporters Orna Stern and Debbie Ritter — members of the Friends of Sherwood Island State Park garden team — planting a red maple tree. It will one day shade East Beach picnic areas.


This event happens on April Fools’ Day.

But I am not making this up. I’m just paraphrasing (and quoting) a press release.

“Celebrity psychic medium Karyn Reece” comes to Child’s Pose Yoga (8 Church Street, April 1 7:30 p.m.) for “the most coveted event this spring that has everyone talking.”

During the “intimate VIP evening (guests will) be given the opportunity to connect with their past loved ones and hear about their future through live audience-style readings with Reece. She will allow ‘the other side’ to guide her around the room as she gives inspiring and specifically detailed personalized messages of healing and hope to some lucky winners in attendance.”

But wait! There’s more! Attendees will enjoy “exceptional food and spirits” (ho ho), “delectable desserts,” and gift bags too.

Reece “has been featured on TLC, Discovery, Lifetime, The CW, FYI, Travel Channel and A&E. She is also the go-to psychic medium for celebrities on BravoShe has worked with some of the world’s most A-list celebrities and brands including Deux Moi, Reebok, Kyle Richards, Leah Remini, Margaret Josephs, entrepreneurs, and media who featured her as one of the most accurate psychics with over 98% accuracy per reading (average psychics being only 50%).”

Tickets are just $200 per person (non-refundable or transferable). For reservations, call 716-580-2520 or email

The press release concludes: “Reece is ready, spirit is ready, but the real question is, are you ready for a spring night like none other?”

No foolin’!

Karyn Reece


Noya — the fine jewelry design store on Riverside Avenue, just off Post Road West — is helping victims of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

100% of proceeds of their “friendship bracelet” will aid those devastated by the disaster. Click here to purchase, and for more information.


If you’ve never been to an Artists Collective of Westport pop-up exhibit: What a shame.

If you have, you’ll know to mark March 1 (6 to 8 p.m., Westport Country Playhouse barn) for hors d’oeuvres, wine, great conversation, and of course a diverse array of art by talented Collective members.

Then on March 5 (5 p.m.), several artists will talk about their process and answer questions about their work and careers.

The show runs March 2-5 (2 to 6 p.m.). Artists exhibiting include Nina Bentley, Suzanne Benton, Eric Chiang, Lynne Knobel, Joanie Landau, Susan Murray, Dale Najarian, Judy Noel, Julie O’Connor, Eileen Panepinto, Gay Schempp, Renee Santhouse, Joan Wheeler and Marc Zaref.


Choral Chameleon’s previous 2 appearances at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport were great success.

The New York-based group returns this Saturday (February 25, 7:30 p.m.). Their “Music for Chameleons” concert — part of their 15th anniversary tour — is a “thought-provoking narrative on the ever-changing landscape for the world, and the power of human beings to have meaningful discourse and invoke transformation.”

They’ll include music by di Lasso, Pulenc, Nobuaki, Rimmer, Trmbore, Jamiroquai and Janet Jackson, plus premiers from Choral Chameleon Institute composers inspired by a Truman Capote short story.

Tickets are available online and at the door ($20 each). To learn more about Choral Chameleon, click here.

Choral Chameleons


Dr. Arthur Brovender, a longtime Westporter, died peacefully at his Boca Raton, Florida home on Saturday. He was 92 years old.

The Bronx native earned a BA with Phi Beta Kappa honors from New York University in 1952. He received a medical degree with distinction from L’Université Libre de Bruxelles 6 years later.

He completed his internship in general surgery at Norwalk Hospital. Arthur then specialized in orthopedic surgery, finishing his surgical residency in New York.

In 1962, during his children’s surgical residency at The House of St. Giles the Cripple in Brooklyn, he met his future wife, Paula on a blind date. They were married for 59 years.

Throughout his medical career, he held many memberships as a Fellow in medical societies (International College of Surgeons, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, New York Academy of Medicine, American College of Surgeons and the American Geriatrics Society) and was a Charter Member of the Eastern Orthopaedic Association. He was a regent in the State of Connecticut International College of Surgeons, and president of the Norwalk Medical Society. He taught at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and the Police and Fire Departments in Westport and Norwalk.

In 1963 Arthur opened a private practice and joined the medical staff at Norwalk Hospital. At the same time proudly served in the Army Reserves, rising to captain. He served as the chief of orthopaedics at Norwalk Hospital from 1981-1985.

He enjoyed playing golf and tennis, skiing, hunting and fishing. He was an avid photographer and history buff, and enjoyed traveling with family and friends. Arthur took classes throughout his life.

His religious observance was important. Heserved as president of Temple Shalom in Norwalk from 1976-1979.

After retiring from his private practice of 37 years in 2000, he continued to provide medical service to the Social Security Administration as an independent medical expert on orthopedic cases throughout the United States.

For the last 20 years he enjoyed retirement at Boca West Country Club, where he served on the Board of Governors and numerous committees. He made many wonderful new friends in Florida.

Arthur was predeceased by his brother, Dr. Stanley (Patricia) Brovender. In addition to his wife, Arthur is survived by his children Leslie Serena and Lisa (Arthur) Hayes; grandchildren and step-grandchildren Max, Malisia, Rebecca, Olivia, William and James; niece, Dana Parillo, and nephews Matthew and David Brovender.

Funeral services will be held this Friday (February 24, 1 p.m., Temple Shalom, Norwalk). Burial will follow at the Temple Israel Cemetery behind Beth Israel Cemetery in Norwalk. The family will sit shiva on Saturday (6 to 8 p.m.) and Sunday (1 to 4 p.m.)

Donations in Arthur’s name can be made to Temple Shalom or the Anti-Defamation League.

Dr. Arthur Brovender


A flock of turkeys lives in the woods behind St Vincent’s Behavioral Health Services on Long Lots Road.

They’re a relatively new addition to local wildlife — and an interesting subject for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … in honor of celebrity medium Karyn Reece’s April 1 appearance here:

(You don’t need a crystal ball to know that a non-profit like “06880” relies on support from readers. Please click here to help us continue our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Lynsey Addario’s Ukraine, Mrs. London’s Credit Cards …

Yesterday’s New York Times featured a Page 1, top-of-the-fold story about a female Ukrainian soldier. It begins:

Just over a year ago, Yulia Bondarenko’s days were full of lesson plans, grading and her students’ seventh-grade hormones.

When Russian missiles shattered that routine and Russian troops threatened her home in Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, Ms. Bondarenko, 30, volunteered to fight back, despite her lack of experience, the grave risk to her life and Ukraine’s apparently impossible odds.

“I never held a rifle in my hands and never even saw one up close,” Ms. Bondarenko said. “In the first two weeks, I felt like I was in a fog. It was just a constant nightmare.”

The harrowing text is accompanied by Lynsey Addario’s haunting photos. The 1991 Staples High School graduate — a Pulitzer Prize and MacArthur fellowship grant winner — made 5 trips to Ukraine last year.

She followed Bondarenko’s journey on four4 of them, reporting from the Kyiv, Kharkiv and Cherkasy regions.

Click here for the full story, and Lynsey’s powerful photographs.

Yulia Bondarenko learns how to use a rifle. (Photo/Lynsey Addario for the New York Times)


Alert “06880” reader Gil Ghitelman is a fan of Mrs. London’s Bakery — to a limit. He writes:

“Mrs. London’s is a welcome addition to the Westport dining experience. While I miss the vibe engendered by Java at the same Church Lane location several years ago, their pastries, albeit pricey, are quite delicious.

“What I find disturbing is their 3.5% surcharge for credit card use. The only outfits (other than gas stations) that I’m aware of using this ploy are online gun dealers.

“Mrs. London’s is only shooting itself in the foot if they continue this practice.”


Longtime Westporter Phyllis Makovsky died in her home, surrounded by her family, following an inspiring fight against leukemia. She was 80 years old.

The Queens native graduated from Barnard College with honors, and earned a master’s degree in teaching from Harvard University.

She was passionate in the classroom. She taught advanced math at the Brearley School in Manhattan and Great Neck South High School on Long Island, before turning her skills and compassion to her family, and through prominent roles in the community.

In 1972 Phyllis met Kenneth Makovsky. They married within months, and shared a partnership of 50 years. The couple enabled each other’s successes in business, at home and in their social and philanthropic lives. She served as a crucial strategic advisor to Ken as he built the public relations agency Makovsky & Company.

Phyllis was a doer. Her work came in many forms. She served Temple Israel as a board member for 10 years. She established a scholarship at Washington University in St. Louis dedicated to music. After her second diagnosis with breast cancer, she returned to Norwalk Hospital as a volunteer in the chemo-infusion center. She spent 20 years there — and returned to the same room for her final leukemia treatments. She was greeted with big hugs.

Phyllis used her talents as a teacher, and her combination of grace, grit and empathy, to make sure that her family could shine. As a friend and a sister she did the same. Phyllis was present, kind and insightful, and her love and good energy was returned to her by many.

Phyllis is survived by her husband Kenneth, sons Matt and Evan, and brother Stephen.

Funeral services will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, February 21, 1 p.m., Temple Israel). Burial will follow at 225 Richards Ave in Norwalk. Shiva will be observed at her Westport home tomorrow (Tuesday, February 21, post-service until 8 p.m.), and Wednesday and Thursday from 1 to 7 p.m..

To livestream the funeral service, please click here. Go to the YouTube page; it will be the first “live” video listing for the day. To share a condolence message, click here. Memorial contributions may be made to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

(Phyllis Makovsky was the subject of a song written by her son Matt. Click here for that story, posted last Friday on “06880.”)

Phyllis Makovsky


We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: There’s nature all over Westport, including the heart of downtown.

Claudia Sherwood Servidio captured this “Westport … Naturally” scene, just a few feet from the Parker Harding Plaza pavement.

(Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)


And finally … speaking of Mrs. London’s pie’s: Does she know Mrs. Wagner?

(“06880” is “where Westport meets the world (including America).” Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Driscolls, Beach Fees, Wildlife …

Chuck Haberstroh writes:

“If you lived in Westport between 1990 and 2010 and had kids, you knew the Driscolls.

“Frank coached football at the youth and high school levels. Pam raised their 3 kids: Tara (Staples High School Class of 1998), Brienne (SHS ’00) and Frisk (’05).

“Pam’s house was open not just to her kids’ close friends, but the entire community. She always treated each guest like they were family.

“Tara, Brienne and Frisk were all stellar athletes. They also volunteered their time coaching and working in the community.

“Tara worked at Staples High School as a teacher (she is now at Stamford High School). Brie mentored dozens of young men and women through some of their toughest times. Frisk coached the Staples swim team to some of their most successful season.

“They’ve given so much to our community. They were, are, and always will be what makes Westport, Westport.

“Like so many others, I would not be who I am without the care and guidance of the entire Driscoll family.

“Now it’s our turn to support them.

“Tara (last name now Karlson) lives in Redding with her husband Scott and children, Brien (11) and Kelly (9).

“In the middle of the night on Valentine’s Day, a fire ripped through their home as they slept. All 4 were hospitalized.

“Brien — the strong-willed fighter of the family, a lover of people and animals — suffered life-threatening injuries. After giving all he had, he died February 15.

“Tara and Scott are now experiencing every parent’s worst nightmare. Kelly lost a best friend and only sibling.

“While they work to recover from this unimaginable tragedy, they will need our help.

“We ask everyone to lift them in thoughts and prayers. We also hope people consider donating to the family’s recovery fund. Please click here for the GoFundMe link.

“For questions, or donations of larger physical items, email”

Brien Karlson


Westporters and Westonites will pay slightly more for summer-long access to Westport beaches — and residents outside of those towns substantially less — if a decision by the Parks & Recreation Commission is approved by the Board of Selectwomen.

On Wednesday night, the board voted 4-0 to:

  • Raise the fee for an annual beach sticker for Westport residents from $50 to $60 ($30 for seniors and disabled residents, up from $25).
  • Raise the fee for Weston residents to $415 from $375 ($220 for Weston seniors, up from $200).
  • Lower the fee for “non-residents” to $545, from $775. The number of those stickers sold will rise to 450, from the current limit of 350.

Debate over the new fee structure did not include any references to a proposal in the Connecticut General Assembly to limit the fees any municipality can charge for town-owned beach parking to not more than twice the fees charged to residents.

Parks & Rec director Jennifer Fava said this would be the first change to the fee structure in 6 years.

Beach stickers are cheaper for Westporters than non-residents. (Photo/Mark Marcus)


Peter Reid plays 2 important roles: Westport animal control officer, and intake director for Weston’s Wildlife in Crisis.

On Monday — in his WIC role — he freed a buck from climbing netting draped between trees in a Weston back yard.

On Wednesday, wearing his Westport animal control cap, he was called by a Long Lots area resident about a vulture ensnared in soccer netting.

With a vulture clan circled overhead, Reid cut him free and brought him to Wildlife in Crisis. The raptor suffered severe talon abrasions, but will be okay.   He is resting with skilled caretakers, and will be released when fully recovered.

These are the most recent incidents demonstrating the hazards that netting-type structures in yards and around town present to wildlife.

Julie Loparo — president of Westport Animal Shelter Advocates, who passed along these stories — says, “residents should be aware of such hazards and, whenever possible, remove them or flatten them when not in use.”

Vulture trapped in soccer netting.


School buses — and drivers attempting to pass them — are a long-running Westport issue. “06880” posts frequent items about it.

On Wednesday, Bob Weingarten was driving in the Old Hill neighborhood. He saw one bus driver’s creative solution.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

It was not a mistake. The driver made the same maneuver later.

A smart safety move? Or a bit too smart-ass? Click “Comments” below.


February 23 is Fairfield County Giving Day.

Friends of Sherwood Island State Park seek donations to buy beach grass, native plants and trees. They will:

  • Build and stabilize dunes by trapping wind-blown sand
  • Help the beach resist erosion during coastal storms and full moon high tides
  • Provide habitat for migrating birds, butterflies and dragonflies
  • Offer meeting places to resident birds like killdeer and mockingbirds
  • Provide visitors with shaded picnic areas along the beach,

Click here for the link for Giving Day on February 23.

Sherwood Island State Park dune. (Photo/Neal Radding)


Presented without any commentary, political or otherwise: a photo of a balloon, floating yesterday in Long Island Sound off Compo Beach.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)


Bruce Salvo died last fall. But there was no obituary for the longtime Westport resident, noted architect and avid Westport Weston Family YMCA member.

Vanessa Costanzo offers this remembrance:

Bruce Salvo was a longtime family friend.

He was so kind to my kids and animals. Bruce often dog sat or cat sat for me. and for friends as well. He always sent pictures to us to let us know how they were.

Bruce spent several holidays with our family. He was always gracious and kind. He valued those close friendships, and went out of his way to help in any way.

A few times a year, Bruce dropped off flowers from his beautiful garden in a bud vase. He was an incredible gardener, and took great pride in his garden (which was absolute perfection).

As an architect, Bruce helped us with work we were doing on our house any time we asked. He would come by, and we would talk at length about the highs and lows of life.

The last time I saw him he was struggling with illness, but he always inspired me by his strength, sensitivity and value of life. I am a better person, and my family and friends are better people for having him in our lives.

Bruce and his life here should be honored now and forever.

Bruce Salvo


Every day, we’re seeing fresh signs of a “Westport … Naturally” spring.

Johanna Keyser Rossi spotted these flowers along the Library Riverwalk yesterday morning. She didn’t see any others — but we all will, soon.

(Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


And finally … speaking of that balloon in Long Island Sound (and others around North America):


(From the woods to the beaches, “06880” covers the entire Zip Code. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)

Roundup: Dream Event, Women’s History, Fashionably Westport …

Westporters have plenty of fundraising galas to choose from.

All are worthy. Nearly all are well-organized, and fun.

But for inspiration and impact, few compare with A Better Chance of Westport’s Dream Event.

ABC — the program that provides both a home and an educational opportunity for up to 8 outstanding and academically-gifted young men of color each year — celebrates its 20th year on April 1 (7 p.m., Pinstripes at the SoNo Collection, Norwalk).

There are cocktails, dinner, entertainment, a silent auction — all important elements at many fundraisers — plus bowling at Pinstripes’ 12 lanes.

But what sets the Dream Event apart from many other galas are the speeches. Hearing about A Better Chance’s life-changing power — directly from those involved — is well worth the ticket price.

Funds are used for housing, tutoring, transportation and other expenses that getting the ABC scholars through Staples High School, and on to college.

Tickets available for cocktail/dinner only or cocktails/dinner and bowling. Click here for details.



The Westport Police Department made 2 custodial arrests between February 9 and 15.

One — for 3rd-degree larceny — stemmed from the theft of tools from a van.

The other was for 2nd-degree larceny threatening. It was related to text messages in a long-standing feud between 2 families.

The WPD’s new reporting system does not yet allow for reporting citation arrests.

Unwanted text messages resulted in an arrest.


Are you ready for Women’s History Month?

The Weston History & Culture Center (aka Weston Historical Society) celebrates by co-hosting a lecture. “Powerful Voices: Connecticut Women Changing Democracy,” with Sarah Lubarsky, director of the Connecticut Women’s Hall of  Fame.

The free event is is set for March 15 (7 p.m., Weston Public Library).

Among Connecticut’s most powerful women: suffrage advocates Alice Paul and Isabella Beecher Hooker, prominent firsts like Ella Grasso and Denise Nappier, and social activists like Helen Keller, Anne Stanback and Estelle Griswold.

Helen Keller lived for many years on the Westport/Easton border.


A celebration of life service honoring Peter Nathan is set for March 12 (11 a.m., Fairfield County Hunt Club). The former Representative Town Meeting member and longtime civic volunteer died last month.

Peter’s friends and family will share memories, and celebrate his impact on everyone he met. Attendees should wear bright colors, to contribute to the spirit.

Contributions in Peter’s honor can be made to the Westport LibrarySenior Center or Westport Country Playhouse.

Peter Nathan


Fashionably Westport is nearly sold out.

The raised runway event — held in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum on March 4 (7 p.m.) —  showcases the town’s fashion and beauty merchants. The Westport Downtown Association-sponsored event also raises important funds for Homes with Hope.

Click here for more information. VIP tickets include light bites, DJ and gifts.


Carl Addison Swanson reports that the electronic speed limit sign on North Avenue opposite Bedford Middle School is once again operational.

He also notes that at least one speeding driver was pulled over.

Solar-powered speed monitor on North Avenue. (Photo/Carl Addison Swanson)


Westport Country Playhouse’s Family Festivities continue Sunday, February 26 (1 and 4 p.m.) with “Pete’s Big Hollywood Adventure.”

The hour-long show is appropriate for grades pre-K through 3. For tickets and more information, click here.

Gabbie Pisapia and Dan Zimberg in “Pete’s Big Hollywood Adventure.” (Photo/Jeremy Daniel)


Though smack in the middle of our town beaches, Sherwood Island State Park is quite different.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image shows a scene you won’t find at Compo, Old Mill or Burying Hill.

(Photo/Susan Leone)


And finally … in honor of the A Better Chance (ABC) Dream Event coming soon (story above):

(Supporting “06880” is as easy as 1-2-3. Just click here — and thank you!)

Roundup: Valentine’s Sand, MoCA Music, Aspetuck’s Digital Hike …

Some folks expressed their Valentine’s love yesterday with flowers. Others used chocolate.

One intrepid person took to the sand:

(Photo/Rachel Rothman-Cohen)

So the very romantic (and real) question remains: Which of these 3 expressions of love — flowers, chocolate or a heart in the sand — lasts longest?


MoCA Westport’s 2023 Music at MoCA Concert Series features a diverse line-up: 10 jazz, world music, folk and classical performances.

Collaborations include Jazz at Lincoln Center, East Coast Contemporary Ballet and the Charles Ives Music Festival.

The schedule  (all concerts begin at 7 p.m.):

  • Saturday, February 18: Talisk (Scottish folk)
  • Friday, April 21, 2023: Eddie Barbash (jazz)
  • Friday, April 28: Cuatro Puntos: Contemporary Ukrainian Composers (classical)
  • Friday, May 12: Ameen Mokdad’s “The Curve” with Cuatro Puntos (classical)
  • Saturday, May 20: A Tribute to Joni Mitchell by Michelle Pauker
  • Saturday, June 10: Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist: Vanisha Gould Quartet (jazz)
  • Saturday, July 8, 2023: Jazz at Lincoln Center Emerging Artist: Summer Carmargo (jazz)
  • Tuesday, August 8, 2023: Charles Ives Music Festival: “(Re)Imagine, an Evening of Engaging Chamber Music: (Classical)
  • Saturday, October 14: “Desde Adentro – From Within” by East Coast Contemporary Ballet, Alturas Duo and Callisto Quartet (dance)
  • Saturday, November 18: Artem Kuznetsov – 2022 Heida Laureate (classical)

Click here for tickets and more information, or call  203-222-7070.

Michelle Pauker — a star last year — returns in 2023 to MoCA. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The Westport Fire Department is always training.

Yesterday’s session: positioning the ladder truck, and rescuing someone from a window.

Firefighters did not have to go far. They did it right outside headquarters, on the Post Road.

(Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)


A “digital hike” seems oxymoronic (and not particularly daunting, or fun).

But Aspetuck Land Trust is offering one on March 15 (noon), and it’s both educational and, yes, fun.

Land protection specialist Adam Goodwin will help attendees learn about open space, land in our region, and the green space that is the “lungs of Fairfield County.” The focus will be on Aspetuck’s preserves and trails, and how they connect the region.

Click here to register for the “Lunch & Learn” websinar.


In 1929, the Westport Garden Club was among 31 charter members of the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut in April 1929.

Beginning in 1982, the Federation has hosted a flower and garden show in Hartford. For this year’s event (February 23-26, Connecticut Convention Center), club members Kara McKenna Wong and Kelle Ruden will enter floral designs as novice designers.

They’ll also be preparing for the Westport Garden Club’s 100th anniversary show next year. Kara and Kelle will work at the Hartford show as horticulture volunteers, learning the flower show ropes. Club members will travel to Hartford, to cheer them on.

At the show, they can also visit Kerstin Rao. The Westport artist/ calligrapher/former Bedford Middle School teacher will exhibit her Vivid Cottage stationery.

The Connecticut Flower & Garden Show includes 23 live gardens and landscape exhibits; over 12,000 square feet of design, horticulture, botanical arts and a photography competition; over 80 hours of seminars and demonstrations, and hundreds of booths.

Click here for more details on the show.

A few of Kerstin Warner Rao’s flower-themed greeting cards.


The Westport Transit District celebrates Presidents Day with free Wheels2U on-demand, group ride, door-to-train platform shuttle service this Friday and next (February 17 and 24).

The normal fee to and from the Westport and Greens Farms stations is $2.

WTD director Peter Gold hopes riders will take advantage of the free service to head to New York for a staycation, shopping, museum or Broadway visit — or traveling between Westport and the city for work.

Riders use the Wheels2U Westport app to request a pickup  between 5:45 and 10 a.m., and 4 and 9:30 p.m., for rides between either train platform and their front door. Pickups for trips to the stations should be requested 20 minutes before normally leaving to drive to the station.

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



Westport Country Playhouse’s Script in Hand reading of Theresa Rebeck’s thriller “Mauritius” (March 13, 7 p.m.) has a special twist.

It’s directed by the playwright herself.

Rebeck has written for stage, film, TV and novels. Her 4 Broadway plays make her the most Broadway-produced female playwright in recent years.

“Mauritius” is a thriller. It’s also infused with wicked humor.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

Theresa Rebeck


Westport resident Dr. John J. Williams died peacefully last week.

A graduate of St. Peter’s College, Georgetown Medical School and Fordham Law School. he was a decorated combat veteran who served in Vietnam as a surgeon.

He trained as a urologist, and was on the faculty at Cornell. He was also a member of the Connecticut Bar. John and his family split their time between New York City and Westport.

He is survived by his children John (Chie), Paul (Leslie) and Valerie (Gary); grandchildren Owen, Sachi, Charlie, Harry, Luke and Johnny; brother Robert and sister Kathy Dalton. He was predeceased by his wife Jean.

Visitation is today (Wednesday, February 15, 4 to 8 p.m., Harding Funeral Home). A funeral mass will be held tomorrow (Thursday, February 16, 10 a.m., St Luke Church).

Dr. John Williams


Nothing says “Westport … Naturally” more than an early sign of spring.

Bob Weingarten spotted these optimistic shoots, on Hillandale Road.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)


And finally … on this day in 1764, what became the city of St. Louis was established in what was then Spanish Louisiana.

(From here to St. Louis — and far beyond — “06880” is “where Westport meets the world.” Please click here, to help us continue our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: Valentine’s Candy, Collective’s Art, Spirit Shop’s Whiskey Barrels …

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Today’s sweet Westport connection comes from reader Deb Rosenfield. She writes:

“Did you ever wonder where all those heart boxes for candy came from?

“My grandfather, Louis Rosenfield, developed the manufacturing process for them. He first made them for Barracini and Loft’s.

“He, his brother and cousin started a paper box/container company called Miro Container in the 1920s in Brooklyn. They were known for their high-end set-up boxes (not folding), such as the outer ones that hold large portfolios of prints by artists like Edward Hopper and Andrew Wyeth, candy boxes, etc.

“They also designed and made the boxes for Ideal Toys (I had the original prototype for the game Mouse Trap as a kid, and one of the original Betsy Wetsy dolls). They also made Dixie cups for the US military during World War II.”

“One more Westport connection: Miro Container made the boxes for Evyan — the perfume company owned by Walter Langer von Langendorff.” (He’s the “baron” who owned the property now named “Baron’s South.”)

Louis Rosenfield’s 1952 patent for a heart-shaped candy box.


The Westport Artists’ Collective has a collection of upcoming events.

A members’ exhibit reception at Gordon Fine Arts Gallery, 1701 Post Road East (this Saturday, February 18, 4 p.m.; show runs through March 19) will be followed by:

  • A pop-up show (Westport Playhouse barn, reception March 1, 6 to 8 p.m.; show runs through March 5, 2 to 6 p.m.)
  • A “Music to our Eyes” show at the Westport Library (March 8, 6 to 8 p.m.), with  a “Piece by Piece” reveal March 8 (6:30 p.m.).

Click here for more information.


Seen around Redcoat Road yesterday:

(Photo/D. Sweet)

Be careful out there! (Hat tip: Nancy Beard)


Greens Farms Spirit Shop is auctioning off 20 whiskey barrels.

Unfortunately, they’re empty. Fortunately, they’re great for indoor or outdoor decor — or for aging beer or other spirits.

Even more fortunately, all proceeds benefit Connecticut Greyhound Adoption. They’re a nonprofit organization that finds loving homes for retired racing greyhounds, while offering pre- and post-adoption support to facilitate the transition from track to home.

Click here for details, and to bid. The auction ends this Thursday, at 9 p.m.


The relatively warm, very snowless winter continues to draw swimmers to Compo Beach.

Six women waded into the water yesterday — joining a steady stream of fearless, cold-but-not-frozen folks over the past few weeks.

Today’s forecast calls for sun, a high of 52, and winds of 5-10 mph. Everyone down to the shore!

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Last September, “06880” reported on Mark Perlman.

The longtime Westporter had just published his first historical novel — in French.

No US publisher was interested in his story weaving together the Jazz Age, romance, murder, World Wars I and II and the rise of fascism.

Perlman persevered. He found a French company that bought the rights, translated it, and published “Le Soldat Involontaire” in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada.

The other day, “The Reluctant Soldier” was finally published in English.

Alert “06880” reader Tom Carey calls it “compelling. While there are a slew of novels about World War II, Mark’s book spans a longer time frame and is told from the point of view of an African American.”

Tom knew Mark from their previous service together, on Westport’s Conservation Commission. “In addition to his writing skills, he has a fantastic sense of humor,” Tom says.

But, he adds, he was halfway through the book before he realized he knew the author.

Click here to order, and for more information.


Thursday’s Jazz at the Post features pianist Janice Friedman.

She tours internationally, is in demand at the best New York venues, and is very popular around here too.

Friedman has played with Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” wall — founder of the weekly series, at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 — since the 1980s.

They will be joined by Boots Maleson and Tim Horner. The duo first played with Wall in the 1970s, in Boston.

This Thursday’s (February 16) sets begin at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. Dinner service starts at 7. Reservations are highly recommended:


Victoria Cerra Vebell — an illustrator, author, art professor and former Westport resident — died peacefully on January 29 in Hamden, after a brief illness. She was 70.

The daughter of Edward and Elsa Vebell, the New York City native grew up in Westport. She lived in New York, Austin, Tucson, Washington, Connecticut and — for 22 years — New Haven, where she was very involved in the community. She helping save her local park from developers, while also organizing holiday art projects and games inside the park for neighborhood families.

Vicki was a widely admired illustrator who worked in publishing, editorial and advertising art for 38 years. She worked in a variety of formats but specialized in paperback book covers. Her work won awards from the Society of Illustrators.

Vicki was also an assistant professor of art at Pratt Institute for 22 years, and taught online for the Academy Art Institute University in California. She had a vibrant, passionate personality and was loved and respected by her students. She was known and appreciated for her teaching skills that enabled students to “learn to see,” and create quality art.

Vicki was classically trained in both drawing and painting, earning a B.F.A. from Philadelphia College of Art, and M.F.A. from the Art Institute of Boston at Lesley University.

Vicki wrote illustrated the best-selling textbook “Exploring the Basics of Drawing” (2004).

Vicki was an accomplished fencer; a lover of classical music, good wine, food, and her cats Stella and Freddie.

She  is survived by her sisters Renee Vebell (Jeff Cohen) of New Hampshire, Andra Vebell (Larry Hoy) of Westport, cousin Elsa Calderon Thomas, and nephews Jason Cohen, Dylan Hoy and Colin Hoy.

Vicki Vebell


Compo Beach’s Ned Dimes Marina gets a lot of “06880” photographic love.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature takes a different perspective: the one at Owenoke Park.

(Photo/Laurie Sorensen)


And finally … I could only find 4,285,996,018 songs about love, to celebrate Valentine’s Day today.

Here are 3 of my favorites. What are yours? Click “Comments” below.

Roundup: Lyman Update, Superman & Marilyn Monroe …

With reports of Russian troops advancing in the Donbas region, Westporters have been worried about residents in our sister city: Lyman, Ukraine.

The front line is 20 kilometers away.

Brian Mayer — a Westport native, and co-founder of Ukraine Aid International — is texting with Alexander Victoravich Zuravlov. He reports that the town is hunkered down, hoping for the best and in good spirits.

Meanwhile, Brian and his colleagues have used some of the $252,000 donated by Westporters and friends to purchase all kinds of building supplies: drywall, concrete, glass, plywood, pipes and more.

It’s all in a warehouse, ready to be delivered to Lyman. Officials have identified 3 large apartment buildings where local contractors (already hired) can make repairs.

“That’s 1,00o people who will be directly impacted by Westport’s generosity,” Brian says.

One more bit of sister city news: the Lyman town flag has arrived, and been delivered to town officials.

Marshall Mayer — Brian’s brother, a Staples High School graduate and co-founder of UAI — made the presentation Friday at Compo Beach. 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, 2nd Selectwoman Andrea Moore, Police Chief Foti Koskinas, and UAI director of development Katya Wauchope — a member of the working group that helped raise funds earlier this winter — joined in the ceremony. Click below to see:


Westporter Bonnie Siegler’s new book will be published Tuesday.

“The American Way: A True Story of Nazi Escape, Superman and Marilyn Monroe” is the story of 2 men who never met. One was her grandfather.

The other who signed for her family to come to the US in 1938. His name was Harry Donenfeld. He founded DC Comics — Superman, and all that.

His son Irwin worked for DC too. But he left the company, moved to Westport, and with his wife Carole had children who went to Staples High School.

Irwin owned the marina next to the Black Duck. He served on the RTM for 2 decades.

The book is also a love story: her grandparents’.

Click here for more details, and links to order.


Attention, young filmmakers in the area (or anywhere, really): MoCA Westport wants your submission.

Short films (no more than 5 minutes long) will be considered for a Teen Film Showcase at the museum on March 10. The deadline is March 1.

The event is created, and run, by teenagers.

PS: The event is open to the public; tickets are $5 in advance, $10 at the door. Snacks/light bites will be served.

Click here for submissions. Click here for tickets. Follow @teensatmocawestport on Instagram. to stay in the loop!


Since it was built, the cell tower behind the bank by Walgreens has blended into the landscape. We hardly notice it anymore.

But Yulee Aaronson does. And he’s worried.

Yulee thinks it’s leaning. He sent this photo as proof:

(Photo/Yulee Aaronson)

It didn’t look much like Pisa to me. But readers: What do you think? Should we be concerned? Click “Comment” below.


Westport resident Joan Litsky Rosenblatt Wetzler died Friday in Bridgeport. She was 87.

A competitive swimmer at Crosby High School in her native Waterbury, she earned a BS in mathematics from Clark University, and a master’s in social work from the University of Connecticut.

Joan had a career as a social worker at JCCs in Norfolk, Savannah, Troy, New York and Englewood, New Jersey.

Two years after her husband Herbert Rosenblatt died of a heart attack at 38 in 1971, Joan married Fred Wetzler and moved to Westport. She was a social worker at Family & Children’s Aid in Norwalk, then in the inpatient psychiatry department at Norwalk Hospital. and later in private practiceyty.

Joan is survived by her sisters Helen Goldberg of Bethany and Paulette Feinberg of Virginia; daughters Amy (Charles) Rosoff, Jodi (Scott) Galin and Lisa (Marc) Krigsman; grandchildren Heather and Ben Rosoff, Hannah Galin (Michael Katz) and Rebecca Galin (Sam Epstein), and Jamie and Em-J Krigsman, and great grandchild Sophia Katz. She was predeceased by her husband Fred Wetzler in 2010.

Funeral services were held today (Sunday, February 12 at Temple Israel. Shiva will follow this afternoon at the home of Amy and Charles Rosoff in Westport until 6 p.m., and February 13 and 14, from 4 to 8 p.m.

Click here to leave online condolences. Memorial contributions may be made to Temple Israel, 14 Coleytown Road, Westport, CT.

Joan Wetzler


Winslow Park — without dogs or people — is the subject of today’s misty “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/MaryLou Roels)


And finally … once upon a time, Americans celebrated Abraham Lincoln’s birthday (February 12). Ten days later, it was George Washington’s turn.

In 1971, both were subsumed into Presidents Day. So while it’s nice we now have a federal holiday to honor greats like Franklin D. Roosevelt, Theodore Roosevelt and Thomas Jefferson, we also include schlemiels like Warren Harding, James Buchanan, and “others.”

Honest Abe was born 214 years ago today, in — yes, it’s true — a log cabin. A deep — well, first page — dive into Google brings up this interesting list of favorite songs.

The first is a no-brainer. It was the unofficial anthem of the Civil War.

Another was a famous Scottish love ballad:

The third may be a surprise.

“Dixie” was popular before the Civil War. When a band serenaded him at the White House after the end of the war, he asked for it.

“I have always thought ‘Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard,” he said.

‘That tune is now federal property, and it is good to show the rebels that, with us in power, they will be free to hear it again.”


Roundup: Snow Day (!), Energy Rates, Real Estate …

No snow this winter means no snow days.

Unless you’re at private school.

Heads there have far greater leeway than public school principals to make unilateral decisions like hey, in the middle of a snowless winter, their students (and staffs) still need an unexpected break.

Greens Farms Academy head Bob Whelan has set the gold standard with his snow day videos.

This year he prepared another classic. But with no snow — and none in the forecast — it looked like he’d never get to post it.

Boarding schools have a tradition of “head of school day.” GFA is a day school, but the idea sounded great.


Click below to see how GFA students and parents got the news that this coming Monday is a “Snowless Snow Day.”

Public school students: See you in class.


Monday’s “Energy Rates Town Hall” at the Westport Library included State Senator Ceci Maher, and State Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Anne Hughes. The meeting covered price hikes from Eversource and United Illuminating.

Missed the meeting? Click below to see:


Every few months since 2017, alert “06880” reader Bob Weingarten counts the number of “For rent/lease” or “For sale” properties on Post Road East and West.  He does not survey Main Street, Riverside Avenue or other commercial parts of town.

His most recent count includes 2 bank buildings, another former bank that was rented last year as a health facility, an entire office complex, rentals within other office buildings, small retail stores, a gas station and more.

The count usually varies between 50 and 72 properties. The current count: 56.

(Photos/Bob Weingarten)

(Graph courtesy of Bob Weingarten)


The Westport Police Department reports 3 custodial arrests for the February 2-8 period.

One person was charged with larceny, credit card theft and identity theft, after a purse was stolen.

The other two people were charged with failure to appeaar.

Due to a change in the department’s reporting system, citations were not available for this reporting period.


Justin Paul is heading back to Broadway.

The 2003 Staples High School graduate — who, with his songwriting partner Benj Pasek won a Tony Award in 2017 for “Dear Evan Hansen,” and another last year as producers for “A Strange Love” — will see their Oscar-winning film “La La Land” adapted for the stage. An opening date has not been announced.

The 2016 movie starred Emma Sone and Ryan Gosling, as they pursued their dreams in Los Angeles. Click here for the full story.

Justin Paul (left) and Benj Pasek, moments after learning they’d won a Golden Globe for writing the lyrics to “La La Land.”


A reminder: Materials are being collected for Ukraine at today’s Farmers’ Market (Thursday, February 9, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane).

Items needed include gently used winter coats, mittens, hats, gloves and rain gear. Cash contributions to help with shipping costs are welcome too.



Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch and Learn” webinar is called “Advancing the Habitat Gardening Movement, One Yard at a Time.”

It’s Friday, February 17 (noon to 1 p.m.). Missy Fabel and Dave Baker of Plan it Wild, a sustainable landscaping and design company specializing in ecological design, will share new trends in native landscaping that can transform a yard into a beautiful native habitat that increases biodiversity, captures carbon and absorbs storm water.

Click here to register.


Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities’ Parent Conference this Saturday (February 11, Winston Preparatory School, 57 West Rocks Road, Norwalk, 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.)  goes to the heart of that great organization’s work: providing resources parents need to help their children succeed in school and beyond. 

Eleven presentations cover a variety of topics, plus a special webinar: “Making Math Accessible for Students with Learning Disabilities” by Randy Ewart, The “CT SPED Math Dude.”

The day ends with a youth panel. “LD and ADHD from the Student’s Perspective” features 6 students, from 7th grade to post-college. They’ll describe how they learned to cope with their challenges. It’s inspiring — and meaningful to parents who have trouble imagining futures for their kids. 

Catering will be done by The Porch at Christie’s and Sweet P Bakery. Both offer training and employment to adults with disabilities.

Click here for more information, and registration. Financial assistance is available; email


The Representative Town Meeting seeks candidates for a District 8 representative, to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Lisa Newman.

It must be filled by a registered voter residing in RTM District 8. No party affiliation is required, as Westport’s RTM is non-partisan. The term expires November 21, 2023.

Residents of RTM District 8 interested in being considered should send a resume by February 22 to town Clerk Jeffrey Dunkerton:


50-year YMCA veteran, avid Y’s Men member and former popular Staples High School substitute teacher Marvin Goldstein died Tuesday, from complications after open heart surgery in September. He was 88 years old.

Born on New York’s Lower East Side, he grew up in Brooklyn. He was a lifelong member of the Brownsville Boys Club, where he created friendships lasting more than 7 decades.

Marvin was a dedicated runner, with Pequot Running Club. His joys were his family and friends, music, theater, and traveling the world. He felt blessed in having a life filled with love and connection.

He lost his wife Chic Goldstein of 43 years, but lived with his daughter and family in Westport for the past 10 years.

Marvin is survived by his daughters Lee Goldstein (Charlie Dockter) and Beth Muller (Kurt), 3 granddaughters and 3 great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends and family at Lee’s house (31 Greenlea Lane) this Saturday and Sunday (February 11-12, noon to 4 p.m.). A celebration of Marv’s life will be held this spring. In lieu of flowers, people consider a contribution to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America.

Marvin Goldstein


Peter McCann — leader of the popular 1960’s local band Repairs, who went on to become a successful singer, songwriter and activist for songwriters’ rights — died on January 26.

Former Staples High School media instructor Mike Zito offers a radio tribute to Peter today (Thursday, February 9) on WPKN (89.5 FM, 2 p.m.). It includes interviews with former band members, including longtime Staples media instructor Jim Honeycutt.

A Bridgeport native, Peter and Repairs recorded 3 records on Motown with Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham. Peter went on to write songs like “Right Time of the Night” and “Do You Want To Make Love.” Whitney Houston, Isaac Hayes, KT Oslin, Buck Owens, Mickey Gilley, Michael McDonald and Jennifer Warnes were some of the performers who covered Peter’s songs.

Peter McCann


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo brings a bit of optimism to anyone tired (okay, exhausted) of winter.

Rick Benson spotted these sprouts at Winslow Park.

(Photo/Rick Benson)


And finally … if you’re an old fan of the band Repairs (see Peter McCann’s obituary above), click below for a great trip down memory lane.

If you never heard of them, click below to see what you missed.

(If you enjoy the “06880” daily Roundup — an ever-changing smorgasbord of stuff — please consider a donation. Click here to help — and thank you!)

Roundup: Lomito, Shirah Sklar, North Avenue …

Lomito — Westport’s first-ever Peruvian restaurant — is open. It replaces the Chinese Takeout place (yes, that was it’s name) where Franklin Street meets Saugatuck Avenue.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

Lomito is bright, fresh, and the menu — including saltados (stir-fry), chaufas (fried rice), bowls and more — is mouth-watering. Click here to see.

Two of Lomito’s many dishes. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

Welcome to Westport!


This will be a big weekend at Temple Shalom.

The Norwalk synagogue — which includes many Westporters — celebrates the installation of Rabbi Cantor Shirah Lipson Sklar to Senior Rabbi. She succeeds her father, Rabbi Cantor Mark Lipson, and is Temple Shalom’s first female spiritual leader.

Sklar — a Staples High School graduate — has served Temple Shalom as cantor since her ordination in 2005. At Staples she sang in the elite Orphenians under the direction of her mother, Alice Lipson.

She and her husband, Rabbi Cantor Dan Sklar, live in Westport with their 3 sons.

The installation takes place at Friday evening services (February 10, 7 p.m.). Special musical guests include the folk/Americana/bluegrass band Nefesh Mountain.

The celebration continue on Saturday (February 11, 5 p.m.), with a special wine and cheese reception, followed by a concert by Nefesh Mountain.

The Friday night installation service is free and open to the public (RSVP: 203- 866-0148). Tickets to Saturday’s Nefesh Mountain concert are $36 (children 12 and under free). Click here to purchase. (Hat tip: Martin Gitlin)

Rabbi Cantor Shirah Sklar


On Friday, “06880” posted Carl Swanson’s plea to drivers to slow down on North Avenue.

The next morning — 8 a.m. on Saturday — a college student driving an SUV southbound on that road plowed onto the sidewalk and obliterated 3 mailboxes anchored next to each other, just south of Cross Highway.

Neighbor Ed Paul notes: “The accident occurred about 50 yards from a stop sign. The car had to accelerate very quickly to cause such destruction.

North Avenue mailboxes before (courtesy of Google Earth) and afterward (photo/Ed Paul).

“North Avenue is frequently used by bikers, joggers, walkers with strollers, students, dog walkers and more, on the shoulders and sidewalk.

“If you’re out enjoying the day on one of our beautiful streets, don’t get so absorbed in your phone call, music or podcast to not be aware of what’s going on around you. Unfortunately, going out for a walk is not a guaranteed safe activity.”


On a more positive note: Site by site, citizens are cleaning up Westport.

The almost-weekly pick-ups — organized by RTM member Andrew Colabella, and open to everyone — continued this weekend, at the Imperial Avenue parking lot.

Interested in helping? Email

Cleaning up on Imperial Avenue (from left): Diane Wildman, Mayo and Karin Smith, Julie Whamond, Alice Stratton, Rob Grodman. Not pictured: Tracy Carothers, Nancy Kail, Paul Conti. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Nile Rodgers has won 4 Grammy awards.

Our longtime (though soon-to-be-former) neighbor was on stage in Los Angeles again last night — but as a stand-in, to accept Beyoncé’s 29th.

The singer/songwriter had not yet arrived, 40 minutes into the event, when she was announced as the winner for Best R&B Song.

Her longtime collaborator, The-Dream, stepped in, and gave a brief speech that included the n-word (though it was censored by CBS).

Let Yahoo take it from there:

Fortunately, the legendary Nile Rodgers — a joint winner for “Cuff It,” due to his additional writing credit on the song — was on hand, and (host Trevor) Noah practically begged the renowned musician and producer to emerge from the stage wings and give a more eloquent speech. “Nile, please say something before we go. Please say something. The legend, ladies and gentlemen!”

While Rodgers presumably didn’t have any speech prepared, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award-winner was as articulate as ever. And the anecdote he shared demonstrated that he is always skilled when it comes to reacting in the moment, on the spot.

Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Patti Brill)


Native Westporter — and former owner of the Arrow and Red Barn restaurants — Virginia Pianka Nistico died Saturday at Bridgeport Hospital, following a brief illness. She was 95.

As an owner of 2 of Westport’s most popular restaurants, she dedicated her life to working with her family, children and grandchildren. She spending time with patrons, and the young employees who passed through over many years.

In her free time Virginia enjoyed vacationing in Florida, first in Hollywood and then Naples. having great times with her brother Ben.

She is survived by her children Frank Nistico, Thomas Nistico, Sr. (Joan), Louis Nistico (Dee), Pamela Nistico, Richard Nistico (Cindy), and daughter-in-law Sue Nistico; 17 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren. and many nieces and nephews.

Virginia was predeceased by her son John Nistico, brother Bernard Pianka, sister Philomena Bachman and daughter-in-law Janet Nistico.

The family will receive friends and family at Collins Funeral Home (92 East Avenue, Norwalk) on Wednesday (February 8, 4 to 7 p.m.). The funeral Mass will be held Thursday (February 9, 10 a.m., Church of the Assumption). Burial will follow at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery.

Virginia Nistico


On Saturday — the coldest day of the year — Wendy Levy’s first indoor passionfruit flower bloomed.

Her photo is a very colorful and truly inspiring way to start our “Westport … Naturally” week!

(Photo/Wendy Levy)


And finally … in honor of Lomito, Westport’s newest restaurant, here is the only Peruvian song I know:

 (From the newest restaurants, to mentions of old favorites like the Arrow and Red Barn [see stories above], “06880” has Westport covered. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog. Thank you!)


Roundup: S&S Dugout, Warming Stations, Miami Dolphins …

It’s a few yards over the Westport line in Southport. Most folks don’t give it a second glance.

But the S&S Dugout — a scruffy diner on the right side of the Post Road — has been a favorite go-to, for no-nonsense food, for many regulars since 1950.

No more. No more roast beef, hot sausage, home fries, omelets, burgers, dogs, shakes, or bacon egg and cheeses. It wasn’t healthy, but it was good.

The door to the old place is now closed. A “For Lease” sign hangs in the window. Let the memories begin.

Here’s mine: One day when I was a student at Staples High School, and “Ed’s Dugout” was (my friends and I thought) a secret hangout, we walked in and saw Haystacks Calhoun.

The wrestler was 6-4. He weighed over 600 pounds.

And — to our awe — he took up 2 stools. Plus all the space in between.

RIP, the Dugout. You were one of a kind.

S&S Dugout in Southport.


Baby, it’s (gonna be) cold outside.

Below-zero wind chills are forecast through tomorrow morning. (It warms up quickly after that.)

Westport will open these warming centers today:

  • Senior Center (until 4:30 p.m. today)
  • Library (until 6 p.m.).
  • Westport Museum for History & Culture (Until 5 p.m.).
  • Westport Weston Family YMCA (until 6 p.m.). 
  • MoCA (until 4 p.m.).

Westport residents facing hardships due to the cold weather should contact Human Services (203-341-1050, until 4:30 p.m.).

PS: It’s a good idea to keep your faucets dripping tonight, to prevent frozen pipes. See below for tips:


When the temperature rises on Sunday, residents are invited to the next trash pick-upu.

It’s 11 a.m. (February 5), at the Imperial Avenue parking lot. Volunteers should bring gloves, garbage bags and boots — and dress warmly.

Questions? Email

A recent trash pick-up on Greens Farms Road. This Sunday, the site is the Imperial Avenue parking lot.


The Miami Dolphins are not playing in this year’s Super Bowl.

But in 1972, they did something the Kansas City Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles can never match (at least this season): go undefeated all year.

This Thursday (February 9, 7 p.m., Westport Library) longtime ESPN reporter/”E:60″ host/1988 Staples High School graduate/current Westporter hosts a screening of his new film, “The Perfect Machine.”

The documentary includes interviews with 16 members of that history-making team, including Paul Warfield, Larry Csonka, Larry Little, Bob Griese and Joe Namath.

Afterward, the 11-time Emmy Award winner will answer questions.

Jeremy Schaap


Also ahead at the Library:

  • The “State of the Town” meeting, with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein this Sunday (February 5, 2 p.m.; Trefz Forum and livestream).
  • “Energy Rates”: State Senator Ceci Maher, and State Representatives Jonathan Steinberg and Anne Hughes, host a meeting about rising energy prices (Monday, February 6, 7 p.m., Trefz Forum).

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein, at last year’s “State of the Town” meeting.


For 14 years, Earth Animal — the great Post Road store for our 4-legged friends — has supported those of us in need, with only 2.

Their holiday “Mitten Project” raises funds to address food insecurity. For $5, customers buy “mittens,” which they sign to be hung in the shop windows. Holiday items and donation boxes add to the haul.

And Earth Animal matches every penny donated.

Last year’s fundraising was impressive: $38,000.

This year’s was spectacular. Yesterday, Earth Animal owners and employees presented a check for $53,000 to CT Foodshare.

That funds an astonishing 106,000 meals. Thank you, Earth Animal — and all who helped! (Hat tip: Betsy Pollak)

Earth Animal and CT Foodshare officials, at yesterday’s ceremony.


Ten Staples High School student-athletes have signed letters of intent to play NCAA Division I sports.

The list includes:

  • Tyler Clark (lacrosse; United States Military Academy)
  • Mia Guster (swimming and diving; Lafayette College)
  • Parker Lenoce (swimming and diving; Princeton University)
  • Emma Nahon (field hockey; University of Pennsylvania)
  • Leo Sequenzia (lacrosse; Providence College)
  • Francine Stevens (track and field; Cornell University)
  • Riley Twiss (swimming and diving; Bucknell University)
  • Kate Whitaker (swimming and diving; Lehigh University)
  • Hiro Wyatt (baseball; University of Southern California)
  • Chris Zajac (baseball; Indiana University).

A special signing ceremony was held Wednesday, at Staples. Click here to see.


Bingo is back!

The Westport Young Woman’s League’s “Galentine’s Day” fundraiser returns, for the first time since pre-COVID 2019.

The event is set for February 9 (7 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church). The evening includes prizes and treats. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Proceeds benefit WYWL grants programs. After the previous Galentine’s Day Bing, the organization distributed $80,000 to 18 area charities. Click here for the list.


The Greens Farms Garden Club is a new beneficiary of Stop & Shop’s Community Bag Program.

Throughout February, whenever a $2.50 reusable Community Bag is purchased at the Westport supermarket, $1 will be donated to the club.

Funds will go to projects like the Atrium at Earthplace, Growing For Good vegetable gardens at  Wakeman Town Farm, and Prospect Gardens.


Longtime Westporter, former RTM member and civic volunteer Peter Nathan died on Saturday. He was 89.

After graduating from the University of Connecticut, Peter served as a captain in the Marine Corps.

He spent his business career of nearly 60 years in the exhibition, conference and event industry. He and his company, Clapp & Poliak, are credited with organizing the first US events in the former Soviet Union and China.

After his company was acquired by Reed Exhibitions, he became the senior staff member at the Javits Convention Center. In 1996 he formed his own firm, PWN Exhibicon, and produced the only 2 exhibitions sanctioned by the American government in Cuba.

Peter helped transform a primarily domestic exhibition industry into a global one. He served on every major board and commission, and received numerous awards. He was a frequent guest speaker at conferences. Videos of him are on display at the Washington Convention Center and McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

He was elected 4 times as a member of the Westport Representative Town Meeting. He also served as an officer and club chairman of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston; a governor-appointed member of the Connecticut Judicial Review Council, and an advisory member of the Mid-Fairfield County Child Guidance Center and Domestic Violence Crisis Center.

He is survived by his wife of 68 years, Lois (Sandy) Nathan; children Tamara, Corynne, Mark and Leslie, and their spouses Gary, Dina and Bryan; 9 grandchildren and their spouses, and 1 great grandchild.

A date for a celebration of life will be forthcoming. Contributions can be made to the Westport Library, Senior Center or Westport Country Playhouse.

Peter Nathan


The other day, Deanna Forman sat in her car at Staples High School, waiting for her daughter to finish Players rehearsal. The “face” on this tree caught her eye — and made her think of our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Deanna Forman)


And finally … in honor of tonight’s weather:


(On the coldest day of the year, please warm the “06880” coffers with a contribution. Just click here — and thank you!).