Category Archives: Police

Roundup: Arrests, Susie’s House, Garden Cinema …

The Westport Police Department arrested 4 people between October 19 and 26 on the following charges:

  • Reckless driving; operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol; failure to drive in the proper lane; failure to wear a safety belt.
  • Criminal mischief (2 arrests)
  • Violation of probation (2 counts); failure to appear.

In addition, the WPD issued the following summonses:

  • Cell phone use, 1st offense (17 people)
  • Traveling unreasonably fast (5 people)
  • Speeding (2 people)
  • Operating a motor vehicle under suspension (2 people)
  • Failure to obey traffic control signal
  • Violation of Traffic Commission regulation
  • Failure to grant right of way
  • Insurance coverage fails minimum requirement.

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There will be new life for the old “poor farm” on Compo Road North.

First a farmhouse, then a home for needy Westporters, and most recently the site of “Susie’s House” for Project Return, the property between the Little League fields and town tennis courts will be renovated into 6 residential units for homeless women.

The agreement with Homes with Hope was ratified this week by the Board of Selectwomen. The non-profit agency will provide 24-hour supervision and counseling to the residents.

Homes with Hope has already raised most of the $900,000 needed for renovations, says CEO Helen McAlinden.

Project Return’s “Susie’s House,” on North Compo Road.

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The long saga of Garden Cinemas ended yesterday.

Demolition began on the Norwalk art house, beloved for many years by countless Westporters and other area residents.

Attempts to turn the theater into a non-profit, with film-related after-school activities, failed. The site will now be developed for the Wall Street Place condominiums. (Hat tip: Matt Murray)

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Tomorrow (Friday, October 28), Westport celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month. First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and the town’s Commission on People with Disabilities invite residents, businesses, employment services agencies and disability advocates to a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Senior Center.

The event includes coffee and donuts thanks to the Friends of the Senior Center, baked goods from Sweet P Bakery and the Porch, and a “network of employment champions.”

For more information about the Commission on People with Disabilities or the Employment is for Everyone initiative, click here, call Westport Human Services at 203 341-1050, or email humansrv@westportct.gov.

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One of the town’s most anticipated clothing tag sales takes place this weekend.

The Westport Woman’s Club holds its annual event tomorrow and Saturday (October 28 and 29, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and Sunday (October 30, noon to 3 p.m.). The site is the WWC clubhouse at 44 Imperial Avenue.

Gently used women’s, men’s and children’s clothing and accessories are back, with a wide array of suits, dresses, pants, jackets, blouses, gowns, coats, scarves, shoes, jewelry, handbags and hats.

Funds raised from the clothing tag sale support the Westport Food Closet, many local charities, and need-based student scholarships.

Preparing for the Westport Woman’s Club clothing tag sale.

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On November 12, Sustainable Westport sponsors 2 important — and very “green” — events.

Free mattress and box spring recycling runs from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m., at Earthplace (10 Woodside Lane). They must be dry and unsoiled.

Up to 90% of the 55,000 old mattresses disposed of every day by Americans can be recycled into new products like carpet pads, cushioning for exercise equipment and bike seats, insulation, air filters, and steel materials.

Boy Scout Troop 36 provides pickup service, for a small donation. Click here for details, and to sign up.

Then head to the Staples High School fieldhouse, for the first-ever Westport Holiday Green Festival (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.).

The joint effort of Sustainable Westport and Staples’ Zero Waste Committee includes crafters, artists, local resources and businesses, presenters, food, and the Staples Zero Waste Committee thrift store.

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Westporters love to speculate about Bridgewater. The nation’s largest hedge fund is headquartered here, but keeps a very low profile.

Part of the curtain may be pulled back next fall. An “unauthorized, unvarnished” biography of its billionaire manager, Ray Dalio will be published then.

“The Fund: Ray Dalio, Bridgewater Associates and the Unraveling of a Wall Street Legend,” will be written by Wall Street Journal investigative reporter Rob Copeland. He’s conducting hundreds of interviews for the book.

“’The Fund’ peels back the curtain to reveal a rarified world of wealth and power, where former FBI director Jim Comey kisses Dalio’s ring, recent Pennsylvania Senate candidate David McCormick sells out, and countless Bridgewater acolytes describe what it’s like to work at this fascinating firm,” publisher St. Martin’s Press says.

While working for Bridgewater — and later, as head of the FBI — Comey had a Westport home.

Click here for more, from the Washington Post(Hat tip: Bill Dedman)

Ray Dallio

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Jeera Thai has expanded its hours. The great, very authentic and much-loved Thai downtown restaurant is now open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner, either in-person or takeout.

Click here for the menu, and more information.

Two Westport gems: Jeera Thai owner Luna (seated) and Savvy + Grace owner Annette Norton.

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La Plage’s special Halloween party begins this Sunday (October 30) from 5 to 8 p.m. It’s also a way to say goodbye to the patio bar (for the season).

There’s a DJ on the patio, complimentary bites, Belvedere shots — and a costume contest.

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Speaking of Halloween: Creative decorations are seen all over town. This is on Plunkett Place, off North Avenue:

(Photo/Baxter Urist)

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One of the stranger casualties of COVID was the “I Voted!” stickers. Handing them out to voters was deemed a health risk, I guess.

Just in time for the 2022 election, they’re back. The town registrars’ office has given permission to poll workers to hand out the civic souvenirs.

They expect a heavy turnout, and have ordered 15,000 ballots. The League of Women Voters has several thousand stickers on hand, and ordered 12,000 more.

Support democracy. Vote on November 8. Then — for the first time in 3 years — wear your sticker with pride.

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Salon Nash is one of the Westport’s most popular hair styling salons.

Now boys and girls of all ages can have their hair styled  in a grown-up salon — while enjoying an afternoon of fun friends.

Salon Nash is available for kids’ parties. There is plenty of room inside, plus an outdoor patio. Owner Felicia Catale, and her entertainment, can also come to you.

Salon Nash provides a 45-minute magic show, with balloon sculpting or face painting. Candy cups are also available. Meanwhile, Felicia will style hair for adults and children

Email catalefelicia@icloud.com, or call or text 203-747-9753 for details.

Party balloons, at a Nash Salon event.

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The Camp Gallery’s new solo exhibition for Westport artist Liz Leggett opens tomorrow (October 28, 5 to 8 p.m., 190 Main Street). She’s an abstract expressionist, working on canvas and panel.

Leggett will be at the opening. Wine and cheese will be served.

Liz Leggett’s solo show at the Camp Gallery.

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Sure, and Stephen Fogerty has been named one of the Irish Legal 100 for 2022 by the Irish Voice. The honor goes to 100 attorneys in the US who share pride in their Irish roots. Fogerty — whose roots are in county Tipperary and Sligo — practices with FLB Law in Westport.

Stephen Fogerty

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Longtime Weston resident Stephen Steinbrecher died October 18. He was 88.

In 1949 the graduate of the Walden School and Clark University met Phyllis Schwartz at the University Settlement camp in Beacon, New York, They were married 6 years later.

Steve served on the New York Hotel Trades council, where he bridged industry divides, and on the Clark University board of trustees, where he founded the David Steinbrecher Fellowship Program. For more on Steve Steinbrecher’s impact on Clark University, click here.

Steve also sat on the University Settlement board, and helped create the Phyllis Steinbrecher Fellowship program.

He is survived by daughters Marcy Steinbrecher Puklin of Norwalk and Laura Steinbrecher of Weston; grandchildren Rachel Johnson, Sarah Livingston, Matthew LiVigni and Mikaela LiVigni, and his beloved dog Brooklyn. He was predeceased by his wife Steinbrecher in 2009, and son David Steinbrecher in 2004.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Phyllis Steinbrecher Scholarship at University Settlement and the David Steinbrecher Fellowship Program at Clark University

Stephen Steinbrecher

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There must be a back story to this tree on Fairport Road.

Whatever it is, it makes an intriguing “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Tom Lowrie)

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And finally … I never cared for Roger Miller’s “King of the Road.” I cared even less for Jody Miller’s reply song, “Queen of the House.” But both Millers (no relation) won Grammys for their work.

I never heard (or can’t remember) her biggest hit, “Home of the Brave,” about a boy bullied and barred from school for being different.

But Jody Miller died earlier this month in Oklahoma, at 80. Today’s songs are hers. (And Roger’s.) Click here for Jody Miller’s obituary.

(There’s a lot to love — or at least read — in today’s Roundup. To help keep information like this coming, please click here to support “06880.”)

 

 

Unsung Heroes #260

Last Friday was tough.

Phone calls from a demented human being to police departments around the state — while many were honoring 2 slain officers at a Rentschler Field ceremony — forced high-level security measures.

At Staples High School, nearly 2,000 students and scores of staff members went into lockdown. At nearby Bedford Middle School, a “shelter in place” order was given.

Nearly an hour after Staples High School went into lockdown Friday morning, an ambulance and police car sat outside the building. (Photo/Jim Honeycutt)

Officials — rightly — erred on the side of caution. Before the lockdown was lifted, armed officers checked every room.

With police weapons visible to students and staff, superintendent of school Thomas Scarice asked teachers were to focus the rest of the day on the social/emotional needs of students. Emotional support was available for anyone who needed it.

Welcome to America, 2022.

That afternoon, longtime Westporter (and Staples High School graduate) Stacie Curran wrote:

“Once again (and sadly), please publicly recognize all of our teachers, staff, administrators, and our incredible police force for their attention, their dedication, their care and brave protection our children through this lockdown.”

Stacie is right. Scarice, his staff, and administrators at Staples and Bedford acted swiftly and decisively. Police officers were on the scene quickly. Working with Staples’ school resource officer, they believed soon that the call was a hoax.

Still, they made absolutely certain that the school was safe. Meanwhile, Westport’s Emergency Medical Services were on hand, standing by if needed.

The response and collaboration of all involved was impressive. As Stacie notes, we owe thanks to all of Friday’s Unsung Heroes, for keeping our community secure.

(To nominate an Unsung Hero, email 06880blog@gmail.com)

(“06880 celebrates an Unsung Hero every Wednesday. To help support this and all other featus, please click here.)

 

Roundup: Saugatuck Provisions, Real Housewives, Drugs …

Coming soon to Saugatuck: Original Craft Butchery co-owner Paul Nessel will reopen — with a new business — in the former Fleishers Craft Butchery space on Riverside Avenue, across from Saugatuck Sweets.

The target date for “Saugatuck Provisions” is a few weeks. (Hat tip: JD Dworkow)

Paul Nessel (Photo courtesy of Modern Farmer magazine)

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Somehow I missed last week’s Bravocon video of Christian Siriano judging the looks of “Real Housewives” cast members.

But Stephanie Ostroff caught it.

She sent a link to “06880.” Click below to watch — particularly at the 4:30 mark, when he talks about Westport, his new store here, and the possibility of a “Real Housewives of Westport.”

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Yesterday was a big day for Rick Benson

The longtime Westporter and always-eager civic volunteer celebrated his 75th birthday. It was also the 77th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations Charter — an organization supported from the start by Rotary International, of which Benson is a proud, active and long-serving member.

Throughout his 33 years in Rotary, he has taken on many roles. He and his wife Totney have also given generously.

So generously, that they are one of only 3 couples from Connecticut to achieve membership in Rotary’s Arch Klumph Society. They’re in the Trustee’s Circle, for gifts of $250,000 to $499,999.

Oh, yeah: yesterday was also the 34th anniversary of a promise Rotary made to the children of the world: to eradicate wild polio. In that time, the disease has gone from 350,000 cases globally to only 29 cases this year, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Happy birthday, Rick. And thanks, Rick and Totney, for all you do, in Westport and around the planet. (Hat tip: Mark Mathias)

Rick and Totney Benson, with Rotary officials in Kampala, Uganda.

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For more than 2 decades, the US Drug Enforcement Administration has run a  “Drug Take Back Day” program. Over 16 million pounds of prescription medicines have been removed from circulation.

This Saturday (October 29, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), Westport Police Department again partners in this effort. Medications can be dropped off at the Senior Center, on Imperial Avenue. The event is free, and anonymous; no questions are asked.

Liquids or needles cannot be accepted; only pills or patches. Vape pens are accepted if the batteries are removed.

A year-round collection bin is available in the lobby of police headquarters on Jesup Road. For more information, click here.

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This week’s “Jazz at the Post” features guitarist Bob DeVos. He’s joined by Dan Kostelnik on bass, drummer Steve Johns, and of course Greg Wall, Westport’s own “Jazz Rabbi” saxophonist.

There are 2 sets on Thursday (October 27, VFW Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue): 7:30 and 8:40 p.m. Dinner is available from 7 p.m. on. For reservations, email jazzatthepost@gmail.com.

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This past weekend’s Staples High School boys basketball fundraiser was a great success. Kids of all ages participated, helping raise funds for a players’ lounge, video equipment and pre-season camp.

The second part of the fundraiser — a virtual silent auction — runs through this coming Friday (October 28). Items include Knicks, Broadway and Stephen Colbert tickets; autographed basketballs; a lesson with a varsity player, and more. Click here for details, and bids.

Taking a break during the Staples basketball fundraiser: Nicholas Fey, Jackson Shapiro and Ryder Shapiro,

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Speaking of hoops: 2015 Staples graduate Bailey Claffey sang the national anthem before last night’s Knicks game, at Madison Square Garden.

She earned the honor by sending in a demo tape. (Hat tip: Julie Whamond)

Bailey Claffin, at Madison Square Garden.

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Former Westporter John Preston died earlier this month, at 75.

The Michigan native met his future wife Janet at the University of Michigan. They married in 1970. 

He attended the Department of Defense Language Institute, and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1975.

He and his family lived in Westport for nearly 2 decades. They raised 3 children and had many friends here.

John spent 21 years at The Seagram Company, rising to senior vice president and treasurer. In 2004 he and Janet moved to Miami where he spent 14 years at Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits as vice president of finance and administration. She died in 2016.

He moved in 2020 to Portland, Oregon to be closer to his son and daughter, and their families. He moved to Wilmette, Illinois, shortly before his death.

John was an avid golfer, voracious reader and lifelong lover of speaking Spanish..

John is survived by his three children Regan, Lilly and Wells; their spouses Jordan, Nik, and Chrissy; granddaughters, Maylin, Marlowe, Daphne, Oona and June; and siblings Susan Root, Thomas Preston and Sarah Linthicum. 

A memorial will be held December 3 in Wilmette, Illinois. Click here for details. 

John Preston

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A little kid, a large tree and fall foliage highlight today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

It’s from Blind Brook Road. But colors like this can be seen — for a few more days, anyway — all over town.

(Photo/Ellie Magnuson)

And finally … this may be offensive to some people. So if you don’t like the word “a–hole,” stop reading.

If you think there are a lot of a–holes on I-95 though*, click on August Campbell’s video below. It’s 7 years old, but I’d never heard of it (or him).

At any rate: Enjoy!

*There are.

(Don’t be an a–hole. Contribute to “06880.” Please click here!)

“What’s Happening, Westport?” Jen Tooker & Foti Koskinas

In the aftermath of last Friday’s lockdown at Staples, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston’s podcast with Jen Tooker takes a different approach.

This week, the 1st selectwoman interviews Police Chief Foti Koskinas. He talks candidly about that day, including the importance of Staples’ school resource officer, and the emotional and psychological toll on staff, students and his officers.

Koskinas praises Staples principal Stafford Thomas and everyone at the school, while acknowledging how tough it was for all. It’s an inside look into a day that anyone who was there will not soon forget.

Tooker also asks Koskinas about Westport policing in general.

Click below for a very intriguing 9 minutes.

[OPINION] Lawn Sign Vandalism Attacks Civility, Civics

A longtime — and saddened — Westporter writes:

On Wednesday, my family and I discovered an offensive sticker placed on our “Black Lives Matter” sign. Someone came onto our property, and placed it there.

The sticker placed on a Westporter’s sign, on their property.

Whatever happened to civility? Difference of opinions? Discussion?

The values I was taught decades ago here in Westport, by family, church and school, are under assault, right here in “River City”!

I would happily sit and converse about our differences. We are proud to display our concern for civil rights, social justice, and defeating racism.

Our first BLM lawn sign was stolen. We reported it. The police came.

We replaced it immediately with a hand-painted sign, right after George Floyd was killed. It has stood on our front lawn since spring of 2020.

It’s our right to display our support of factual history, all people’s history being taught, and our concern over voter suppression, and violence.

The lawn sign, with its sticker.

I grew up in this town. The progress of civil rights has been my concern for decades, as it was and is for many Westporters.

What shocked me about this sticker assault was the personalized insult of the attack: “F—k you for voting for Biden.”

Really? I am a product of the Westport school system. I grew up in a time of stellar history and English teachers. We were taught to verify opinion with facts, support our statements with outside resources, discuss our differences and listen to one another — to speak our minds with passion, but also to respect differences.

Civility and civics were taught, along with the fundamental agreement that elections are decided by our democratic participation and voting.

My family moved to Westport in the 1940’s. As a long-time Westporter, I’m upset that someone came into our yard, defaced our sign and attacked our opinion.

I respect their right to vote the way they choose. But civil rights, expanding rather than shrinking voter registration, respecting proven vote results, and improving law enforcement training with sensitivity to racism and tactics to defuse conflicts are issues we care about deeply.

Want to have coffee and chat about those ideas? I do!

But this was a crude act of censorship, bullying and cowardice.

I remember when conservatives were not so fragile. This sticker is an attempt to erase our large message with a small and petty one.

Our hearts, minds, ideas and signs are bigger than this. We will continue to display our sign proudly, despite this act of shameless vandalism.

Due to the current climate, I have asked Dan to withhold my name.

(“06880” is proud to provide a forum for debating ideas like these. Please click here to support our work.)

Westport Lockdown: Part Of Nationwide Rise In Fake Threats

In the aftermath of this morning’s lockdown at Staples High School, and a “shelter in place” order at Bedford Middle School, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice provided this information:

This morning the Westport Police received a phone call indicating a potential threat at Staples High School. Although we have since learned that multiple schools across the state received the same threat, at the time, the response protocol warranted a thorough onsite evaluation of Staples, including an armed room by room threat assessment.

The incident began at 9:10 a.m. Westport’s Emergency Communications Center received a call from a person reporting an active shooter inside Staples High School.

The patrol and detective divisions as well as officers in administrative rolls immediately went to the school. As officers were responding they contacted the School Resource Officer, who said there was no indication of a problem at the location.

Despite the possibility of a hoax, the high school was placed on lockdown. Police proceeded as if there was an active threat.

Because police weapons were visible to students and staff, teachers were asked to focus on the social/emotional needs of students for the rest of the day. Emotional support was available for anyone who needed it.

Scarice added, “While this evaluation was conducted, all of the other schools in Westport were supported with an onsite police presence and put into place appropriate safety protocols.

“We are grateful for the swift response of our police department and the communication between the schools and WPD in handling this matter.

Nearly an hour after Staples High School went into lockdown this morning, an ambulance and police car sat outside the building. (Photo/Jim Honeycutt)

Connecticut is not the only state targeted for fake threats.

According to a Washington Post article last month — sent today to “06880” by reader Tracy Porosoff — “a troubling scenario” is happening in schools across the country. The story begins:

A call comes in about a shooting at the school. Someone has a gun. Police respond, only to discover the report was a hoax.

More than a dozen schools in Minnesota were targeted with “swatting” incidents, reports of a false shooter or mass-casualty event. Threats in Denver forced the city to shut down all 25 of its public library branches, and an area high school to cancel classes Wednesday amid a surge of hoaxes reported at schools across the state. A Texas teen was arrested for calling in a fake threat to a campus as a “joke,” prompting a warning from Fort Worth police against school hoaxes.

The calls are part of a trend that is disrupting school days, prompting lockdowns and further traumatizing communities already on edge. Although these threats are fake, the menace of real violence looms just months after a gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at a Uvalde, Tex., elementary school…

Schools in 14 states — Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia — have reported swatting incidents since Sept. 13, according to the national group of school resource officers.

Click here for the full Washington Post story.

Update: Threatening Call To Schools Believed To Be “False Alarm”

“06880” has learned that Westport police have every reason to believe the lockdown at Staples High School is a false alarm.

Multiple schools across the state received the same threat. As a precaution, police are conducting a room by room search. 

A source told “06880” that SWAT teams had been sent to schools in Stamford and Bridgeport earlier today.

Lockdown At Staples; “Shelter In Place” At Bedford

Westport superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice says:

“This morning, a call was made to the Westport Police Department that warranted a lockdown at Staples High School.

“As a precaution, Bedford Middle School was placed in a ‘shelter in place.; The WPD is on scene at this moment investigating and the building is secure.

“When a school is in a lockdown or ‘shelter in place,’ no visitors are allowed on campus. All district schools have implemented safety procedures until this matter is resolved.”

Roundup: Comedy, MoCA, Thief …

A sold-out crowd filled Fairfield University’s Quick Center for last night’s “Stand Up for Comedy.”

The benefit — the 15th annual for Homes with Hope, but the first in-person comedy show for them since COVID struck — featured comedian Pat McGann. He knew his audience, and deftly straddled the line between humor and awareness of the the crucial work HwH does to ease homelessness and food insecurity in Westport.

A “paddle raise” pledge drive before McGann took the stage marked a milestone: Over 15 years, “Stand Up for Comedy” has now raised over $3 million.

Pat McGann, on stage at the Quick Center. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Also last night: MoCA Westport’s opening reception for “From the Pen to the Knife.” The exhibit features watercolors by Marian Christy. Now 90 years old, she invented Knifed Watercolors — using only palette knives and puddles of paint (no drawing, no brushes).

Christy was a Pulitzer-Prize nominated journalist for the first chapter of her life, when women had limited journalistic opportunities. During this second chapter, she pivoted from “the pen to the knife.”

The exhibition is on view through November 27. Docent-led tours are available on Thursday afternoons (advance registration requested). Admission is complimentary on Thursdays after 4 p.m. For more information, visit click here,

Marian Christy at MoCA. (Photo/Leslie LaSala)

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Also yesterday: Westoberfest — sponsored by the Downtown Merchants Association — and the Fall Fete, showcasing Sconset Square. It was a full day in Westport, for sure.

Selfie at Sconset Square.

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Westport Police are attempting to identify a woman who stole $14,000 worth of jewelry from a Main Street business last week.

Anyone with information about the woman — seen in surveillance photos below — should call the Detective Bureau: 203-341-6017.

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It’s autumn in Westport — a time when everyone has a “favorite” tree.

I have several. They’re at Staples High School’s Loeffler Field — the long-time home of the soccer teams. They hold a special place in my heart, because I had them planted there 16 years ago, when we built a terrace at the top of the hill.

Shira Honigstein loves them too. She sent this photo, for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Shira Honigstein)

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And finally … today is National Boss’ Day.

No, it doesn’t mean a song from Bruce Springsteen. Instead:

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New Police Traffic Unit Targets Aggressive, Distracted Drivers

When Jen Tooker ran for 1st Selectman last fall, one main issues was traffic.

This spring, she organized 9 meetings — one for each Representative Town Meeting — with high-level Police Department officials. Residents shared their biggest traffic concerns.

Tooker and Police leader separated the issues into 3 buckets: relatively simple fixes; those needing longer-term attention, and “sorry, unfortunately impossible.”

Starting soon, the Westport Police will have a tool for addressing one complaint they heard at every meeting: aggressive and distracted drivers.

A new Traffic Safety Unit will target “motor vehicle enforcement on area roadways.” Two officers — Scott Thompson and Dominique Carr — will devote all their time to traffic issues.

“Traffic safety has always been one of our top priorities,” says Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

“But our officers are very busy. They spend a lot of their time answering calls. We don’t want to assign someone to an hour at a particular location, then all of a sudden they have to respond to a call.

“So we’re re-allocating our resources. The Traffic Safety Unit officers will work strictly on this.”

AFter the 9 RTM meetings, Koskinas’ department identified 55 Westport sites where targeted enforcement could help. Some might be where drivers routinely plow through lights or stop signs; others might attract particularly aggressive or fast (even for Westport) drivers.

Rush hour — with commuter and school traffic — will be one of the highest priorities.

The traffic agent at Bedford Middle School may get some help from the new Traffic Safety Unit. (Photo/Adam Vengrow)

Officers Thompson and Carr will work regular shifts: 5 days on, 2 off. But those shifts will be staggered, so the Traffic Unit will operate 7 days a week. The officers will sometimes work alone, sometimes with other patrol cars.

“We realize traffic can be frustrating,” Koskinas says. “And coming out of COVID, we know that driving habits have changed.

“We think this Traffic Safety Unit will address what we’ve heard. And we continue to encourage feedback from residents about traffic, and how we address it.”

The new unit begins this week.