Category Archives: Police

Roundup: Cross Highway Crash, Used Sports Equipment, Terry Brannigan …

Another accident at the crash-prone Cross Highway/Bayberry Lane intersection sent one person to the hospital just before noon on Monday.

The collision — which closed Bayberry for a while — began when a driver headed toward Fairfield on Cross Highway ran the stop sign. The vehicle slammed into a car headed south on Bayberry. That automobile then hit the front of a car stopped at the northbound Bayberry stop sign.

The motorist who went through the stop sign was treated by EMS and transported to Norwalk Hospital for minor injuries.

The 3-car accident at the intersection of Cross Highway and Bayberry Lane. (Photo/Westport Fire Department)

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Back in 2020, the Hackett family wanted to do something meaningful to give back to those in need.

All avid athletes, they chose a project that connects with them, and their Westport community. (It also helps clear out clutter.)

Working with Leveling the Playing Field — a non-profit organization helps underprivileged youngsters who need sports equipment — they’ll collect new and gently used sports and playground equipment.

They’ll be at the Granola Bar this Saturday and Sunday (December 10 and 11), from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Hackett family, with just a few of their many donations.

You must have stuff lying around: cleats, field hockey sticks, lacrosse equipment, bats, ice hockey skates, footballs, softball gloves, soccer shin guards, etc. Click here for a full list of items — you’ll be amazed at what you forgot you have.

So clean out your garages, sheds and basements. It’s time to level the playing field for everyone!

For more information about this amazing organization, click below:

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One of the most important holiday collections is going on right now.

The Westport Domestic Violence Task Force is collecting gift cards for residents of 2 Domestic Violence Crisis Center safe houses.

Gift cards allow survivors the dignity to purchase what they most need or want for their families. Suggested retailers include Stop & Shop, ShopRite, Amazon, Target and Walmart.

Gift cards can be left with the dispatch center in the lobby of the Westport Police Department (50 Jesup Road), between now and December 13.

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Staples High School Class of 2020 graduate Terry Brannigan has many talents.

He’s double majoring in physics and music at Wesleyan University. He’s minoring in IDEAS (Integrated Design, Engineering and Applied Science). He’s a varsity wrestler.

And now — as wrestling season is just ramping up — he’s released a new song.

“Sunshine Serenade” is a blend of musical styles, from metal to R&B. Terry has been working on it — evolving and growing — the song for years.

“It finally bloomed into this rollercoaster that it is now,” he says.

Click here to stream “Sunshine Serenade,” on your favorite platform.

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Amy Schneider snapped today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo behind the Levitt Pavilion.

“What is it?” she wonders.

All I know is: It died long ago.

If you’re more of a naturalist than Amy or I, please click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … Kirstie Alley — Rebecca on “Cheers,” among many other acting credits — died Monday. She was 71, and had suffered from cancer.

She had quite a full career (click here for her obituary). And when she died, everyone knew her name.

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Roundup: Wreaths, War, WPD Toys …

Each Christmas season, the Wreaths Across America program honors fallen servicemembers, and all who serve. Over 2 million volunteers take part, in all 50 states and overseas.

This year, for the first time, Westport joins in.

The date is December 17. The time is noon. The cemetery is Assumption, on Greens Farms Road.

It wouldn’t have happened without Patty Kondub. The popular Westport Family YMCA and Senior Center (and Staples High School girls golf coach) is the local coordinator.

As part of her many other Westport activities, she’s also vice president of the VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 Auxiliary.

Click here to sponsor a wreath (the deadline is November 29). To designate a wreath for a specific veteran at the Assumption cemetery, email Patty: nortonpk@aol.com. You can also email her to volunteer to mark graves before December 17, and place them on that date

For Patty, the project is personal. Her father — John Kondub — was a World War II Marine, and VFW Post 399 member. He earned a Purple Heart, for hand-to-hand combat in the Japanese Islands.

He is buried at Assumption Greens Farms Cemetery — almost across from the farm where he was born, before I-95 was built.

“There are over 200 veterans buried in this cemetery,” Patty says. “I hope they all get wreaths.”

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Liz and Richard are true heroes.

She’s from Florida, and speaks 5 languages. He’s a German attorney. They met and formed a group that braves drones and missiles to drive desperately needed supplies to the front lines in Ukraine. Their supplies include water filtration systems and wood burning stoves for civilians, who are starving and bracing for a cold winter.

In Ukraine they met Brian Mayer. The Westporter spent several months helping coordinate relief efforts. He also helped fund Liz and Richard’s work.

After several months of non-stop work, the pair needed a rest. Brian invited them to Westport, for a few days of R&R.

On Monday they met with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Ken Bernhard, another Westporter deeply involved in humanitarian aid.

Liz and Richard were taking a breather. But they did not stop working. The group discussed how Westport can be even more helpful in the global fight against Russian aggression.

(From left): Richard, Brian Mayer, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Liz and Ken Bernhard discuss how Westport can aid Ukraine.

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One of Westport’s favorite toy drives takes place soon.

The Police Department Benevolent Association and Westport Police Athletic League will again collect gifts for underprivileged children in Fairfield County.

Officers will accept new, unopened and unwrapped toys — plus cash donations — in the ASF Sports & Outdoors parking lot (1560 Post Road East), on Saturday and Sunday, December 3-4 and 10-11, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Toy collection boxes will also be available at:

  • Westport Police Department, 50 Jesup Road
  • ASF Sports & Outdoors, 1560 Post Road East
  • PAL ice rink, Longshore
  • Awesome Toys & Gifts, 429 Post Road East
  • The Toy Post, 180 Post Road East.

Questions? Contact Officer Craig Bergamo: 203-341-6000; cbergamo@Westportct.gov.

Westport Police accept toy donations at ASF.

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Speaking of police: As they do every year just before Thanksgiving, dozens of Staples High School students dodged cops.

The teenagers and officers had a ball.

The event was the annual Dodge-a-Cop dodgeball tournament. Each team of students included at least one member of the Westport force.

They hurled dodgeballs at each other. They protected their teammates.

The event — sponsored by the Westport Youth Commission and Staples’ Teen Awareness Group — was for a great cause. Entry fees supported the Toys for Tots holiday drive.

Staples school resource officer Ed Woolridge (back row, white shirt, blue headband) was on the winning Dodge-a-Cop team. The winners posed with Andrew Colabella — longtime Dodge-a-Cop referee, former Youth Commission member, and current RTM member. (far right).

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The poster evokes the Roaring ’20s:

That’s appropriate. Longshore — the site of this Saturday night’s first-ever Café Noir — is said to have been the setting for nearby resident (okay, renter) F. Scott Fitzgerald) when he later wrote “The Great Gatsby.”

But the music and vibe will be “classic house, funk and disco” at 9 p.m., when a pair of Westport DJs (self-described “middle-aged British dudes, aka “Bangers and Mash”) host the event at Longshore’s La Plage restaurant.

“We’re looking to introduce a bit of suave and sophistication to the evening,” says Phil White, who is Banger.

Tom Fielding is Mash. He’s also an accomplished house DJ. He founded London’s famed dance club The End back in the late 90s.

White DJed in college, then toured Europe putting on raves. before getting sucked into “the big bad world of global advertising.” (Hey, at least he’s advertising Café Noir well.)

The pair will run their Saturday night events at La Plage through Christmas. In the spring, they’ll take their act out on the terrace.

“So get out,” White urges. “Get your groove on. And dress to impress!”

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Westporter Jen Dennison and her colleague Kelly Gipson (who grew up here) are teachers at the Learning Community Day School on Hillspoint Road.

Recently, their class read “Pearl and Squirrel Give Thanks.” (The plot, if you don’t have a preschooler, is about 2 homeless pets.)

The class talked about people who have no homes, or money for food. They decided to help.

The children took home a letter about donations. In 3 days, they collected a truck full.

“They were so proud,” Kelly reports.

On Tuesday, they brought their donations to Operation Hope in Fairfield.

It’s never too early to learn about giving. Thanks and congratulations — you are a true Learning “Community.”

Giving back, at the Learning Community.

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Given the alleged nature of La Plage at Longshore ( the original millionaires party venue for the Great Gatsby?)…we’re looking to introduce a bit of swarve and sophicats to the evening proceeding and get 06680’s well healed and otherwise housebound cognoscenti to get out and get their groove on!

No shoe? No problem!

Ryan Smith — Bates College’s men’s cross country captain, and a Staples High School running star with the Class of 2019 — lost a shoe in the first mile of the 8K NCAA East Regional Championship, at Bowdoin College.

When his shoe was stepped on, there were 100 runners behind Smith. He could not slow down to fix it, so he kicked it into the woods and kept going.

He finished 11th out of more than 200 runners, helping the Bobcats to 2nd place overall. That helped them qualify for the NCAA Championships, (Hat tip: Brian Strong)

Ryan Smith

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Westport’s founding fathers did not wear t-shirts. And they sure didn’t have mouse pads.

But you can sport a tee (or tank top, sweatshirt or hoodie), wrap yourself in a fleece blanket, drink from a mug or use a mouse pad that commemorates 1835 — the year Westport became its own town.

Those items are part of Finding Westport’s newest offerings. There are 2 lines: the 1835 Collection, and one called Westport Est.

Daniel Nash would be proud.

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The Y’s Men of Westport and Weston took a brisk 5-mile walk Monday — in Manhattan.

The group headed out from Grand Central to the United Nations, Sutton Place, Rockefeller University, Carl Shurz Park and Gracie Mansion.

It was the 7th in their series of New York City explorations. Many Y’s Men spent their careers working there. They seldom had a chance to be tourists, though.

Y’sMen at the New York Daily News building. (Hat tip and photo/Dave Matlow)

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It’s not even Thanksgiving, but the raccoons are scavenging.

Jill Grayson went to fill the back yard bird feeder, and found a skunk. A short time later, these 2 guys appeared.

All creatures, great and small — and smelly — are part of our “Westport … Naturally” world. Happy Thanksgiving1

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … Michael Butler, the wealthy financier and producer who brought “Hair” to Broadway in 1968, died earlier this month in a nursing home in California. He was 95.

He was hardly a hippie. But he made his mark on American theater with the “tribal love-rock musical.” Click here for a full obituary.

(“Easy to be hard …” — and easy to support “06880.” Just click here. And thank you!)

Roundup: Post-Election, Police Reports, NY Post …

The League of Women Voters welcomed Westport’s registrars of voters — Democrat Deb Greenberg and Republican Marie Signore — for post-election coffee yesterday, at VFW Post 399.

The registrars said that nearly 65% of eligible Westporters voted in last week’s election The statewide average was 57%.

They noted an increase in young voters, and hailed the efforts of Staples High School students — many of them not yet eligible to cast ballots — for their work at the polls.

“We have amazing poll workers,” Greenberg said. “The first things we do after an election are thank them, and pay them.”

Connecticut LWV president Laura Smith said that for registrars everywhere, Election Day is long, but satisfying and worthwhile.

Smith also hailed the voting process in Connecticut. “It’s safe and secure,” she said. “There are so many checks and balances.”

Though it may mean more work for registrars, there was praise that a ballot measure to allow the General Assembly to provide for early voting passed, by about a 60-40 margin.

If legislators approve, details like where exactly to vote, and for how long, would be ironed on. Connecticut is one of only 4 states — with Alabama, Mississippi and New Hampshire — to not provide early voting.

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The Westport Police have released arrest reports for November 9-16.

Six people were detained in custody.

One had many counts: larceny, 1st degree; conspiracy to commit larceny; forgery; conspiracy to commit forgery; telephone fraud; conspiracy to commit telephone fraud; criminal impersonation; conspiracy to commit criminal impersonation; illegal use of credit card; conspiracy to commit illegal use of credit card; fraudulent use of automated teller machine; conspiracy to commit fraudulent use of automated teller machine; identity theft; conspiracy to commit identity theft. and failure to appear.

An accomplice was charged with larceny 4th degree; forgery; telephone fraud; illegal use of credit card; criminal impersonation; fraudulent use of automated teller machine; identity theft — and conspiracy to commit all those acts.

There was one arrest for identity theft; receipt of money, goods, services by illegal credit card use; larceny, 2nd degree; forgery, and criminal impersonation.

One person was arrested for possession of controlled substance (narcotics); drug paraphernalia; tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and interfering with an officer/simple assault.

One person was charged with 2 counts of both larceny, 6th degree, and conspiracy to commit a crime.

One person was charged with violation of a restraining order (threatening).

The following citations were issued:

  • Traveling unreasonably fast: 9 citations
  • Operating an unregistered motor vehicle: 4
  • Stop signal violation: 2
  • Insurance fails to meet minimum requirements: 2
  • Failure to grant right of way; 1
  • Stop sign violation: 1
  • Failure to obey control signal: 1
  • Failure to keep plates readable: 1
  • Improper passing: 1
  • Simple trespass: 1
  • Public disturbance: 1
  • Breach of peace: 1.

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Arline Gertzoff was a proud 1964 Staples High School graduate. After her death this fall, Staples Tuition Grants has created an award in her honor.

STG encourages Arline’s many friends — from her work with the jUNe Day United Nations hospitality committee, to the Representative Town Meeting and local politics — to donate in Arline’s honor. Click here for that link; click here to learn more about Arline.

Staples Tuition Grants provides over $400,000 a year, to over 100 graduating seniors and alumni already in college. Click here to learn more about STG.

Arline Gertzoff

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The long Thanksgiving weekend will be filled with activities at Earthplace. They’re perfect for visiting relatives and friends (and everyone else).

Two miles of trails are open from dawn to dusk. Walk off your Thanksgiving turkey — or see one in the wild. The 62-acre wildlife sanctuary includes fields, forests, ponds and a stream. Some trails are accessible for wheelchairs and strollers. Click here for a trail map.

“Saturdays at Earthplace”: Explore the sanctuary, create art, climb trees, identify flora and fauna, get dirty, catch bugs and enjoy the great outdoors. All ages. Click here for details.

Family campfire (Saturday, November 26, 1:30 to 3 p.m.). A guided activity with s’mores and animals. Click here for details.

“Story and Animal Program” runs Mondays through Saturdays, 10:30 a.m. For children 5 and under. Click here for details.

Birds of prey feeding takes place daily at 11 a.m. Learn about diets, behavior and care.  Click here for details.

Earthplace also offers holiday shopping (reusable water bottles and travel straws, t-shirts, hoodies, hats, stuffed animals, books, honey and more), and science box kits with themes like acids and bases, birds, ecosystems, plants, pollution and polymer ($35 per box; call 203-557-4400 or email info@earthplace.org).

One of Earthplace’s many trails. (Photo/Rowene Weems)

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The New York Post does not often cover high culture.

But the tabloid takes note of Beechwood’s Arts & Innovation Series — as well as Beechwood itself.

The Weston Road home of internationally renowned pianist Frederic Chiu and his wife, artist Jeanine Esposito, is on the market for $2.59 million. Built in 1806, the magnificent 7-bedroom home on 2.63 acres has been the site of a decades-long series of events, bringing together creative people from the worlds of music, art, dance, design, food and more.

The Post recounts some of Beechwood’s history too, from visits by Abraham Lincoln, George Washington and Frederick Law Olmsted (and possibly Buffalo Bill and Rock Hudson).

Click here for the full New York Post story. Click here for the real estate listing.

Beechwood

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The Staples High School girls soccer team is getting ready to defend their state championship.

The Wreckers got 3 goals from the Chudowsky sisters — 2 by Natalie, 1 from Evelyn — to shut out Glastonbury 3-0 last night, at Naugatuck High. Staples was ranked 3rd in the state “LL” (extra large school) tournament. The Titans were 2nd.

This Saturday or Sunday (day and time TBD) at Trinity Health (formerly Dillon) Stadium in Hartford, coach Barry Beattie’s squad will face top-rated Cheshire. They edged Ridgefield 2-1 in the other semifinal.

Last year the Wreckers and Ridgefield shared the title, after tying 0-0 through 80 minutes of regulation play, and 30 minutes of overtime.

This year, one team will definitely win. State tourney rules have been changed, adding penalty kicks to decide a winner instead of co-champions.

The Staples girls soccer team. (Photo/JC Martin courtesy of Westport Local Press)

In other Staples sports news, sophomore Annam Olasewere broke 2 state records in the girls swimming state meet.

Her 1:47.86 finish at 200 meters smashed a 17-year-old mark. Annam then busted her own record by .26 seconds in the 100 freestyle with a 49.88 time.

Overall, the Wreckers finished 5th, with 431 points. Ridgefield won the team title, with 761.

Annam Olasawere

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Greens Farms Academy’s new theater director Kellie Comer is getting ready for her first musical there.

The Upper School’s “The Lightning Thief” opens tonight (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.). Shows continue tomorrow and Sunday at 7:30, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $5 at the door. Click here to read more about the show, and its director.

Kellie Comer (Photo courtesy of GFA Dragon Digest)

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Fitness studios are not often known for the art on their walls. But TAP Strength is not your average health-and-wellness spot.

The downtown space was filled last night for an art show. Miggs Burroughs, Bonnie Edelman and Alex Silver displayed their work.

Today at TAP, it’s back to working out.

Ola Bassio (left) ws the model for artist Miggs’ Burroughs sign-language work. (Photo/dan Woog)

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Also last night: The Conservative Synagogue‘s Rabbi Jeremy Wiederhorn and his wife Riki were feted by the New York Board of Rabbis. The couple received a 2022 Humanitarian of the Year Award, at the Pierre Hotel.

A former president of the board, Rabbi Wiederhorn’s most recent humanitarian effort was delivering clothing, food and other aid to Ukrainian refugees in Poland, in the early days of Ukraine’s war with Russia.

The rabbi and his wife were in good company last night. Former US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer received the same Humanitarian of the Year honor.

Rabbi Jeremy and Riki Wiederhorn, at last night’s awards ceremony. (Photo/Avi Kaner)

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Neither Matt Murray nor I know what kind of bird this is.

But we’re sure “06880” readers can identify today’s “Westport … Naturally” image, taken on Hillspoint Road.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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And finally … in honor of today’s Great American Smokeout:

(If you enjoy our daily Roundup, please consider contributing to “06880.” Click here to help.)

 

 

Roundup: Veterans, Board Of Ed, Farmers’ Market …

Veterans Day was special for Christine Quinn Antal.

The 1994 Staples High School graduate and former Army lawyer, and her husband Mark, a former decorated Green Beret, formed an organization — Task Force Antal — that has helped Afghanistan allies escape the Taliban, and provided humanitarian aid to soldiers in Ukraine.

Dozens of veterans help, knowing the couple cuts through red tape and delivers what they promise quickly and efficiently.

For Veterans Day, the “Today” show produced a live segment with the couple, their daughters, and a veterans organization that honored them. Click here for that inspiring story.

Christine and Mark also participated in Bedford Middlel School’s 8th grade Veterans Day event. They spoke powerfully about their work, and inspired the youngsters in Christine’s hometown. (Hat tipis: Kerry Long, Kate Tarrant)

Christine Quinn and Mark Antal, in a screenshot from yesterday’s “Today” show.

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Everyone talks about Westport’s schools.

Here’s a chance to do so with Board of Education members.

A community forum is set for November 15 (noon to 1:30 p.m., Westport Library).

Former RTM moderator Velma Heller will facilitate a conversation, on any topics related to our local schools. It should be a very interesting dialogue.

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Just in time for the holidays, the Westport Farmers’ Market moves indoors.

Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center once again hosts the winter market. It opens November 17 and runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) through March 9.

Vendors will fill 3 heated greenhouses with high-quality locally grown or raised fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, milk, baked and prepared foods, and handmade items,

The Farmers’ Market kicks off the season with a celebration. Bubble & Brew and Parlor Pizza will set up their trucks outside the greenhouses. Luke Molina will play music and Mae Farrell will entertain the kids with a nature-inspired theme.

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As Batman fans around the world mourn the death of Kevin Conroy — the character’s distinctive voice on television, in movies and video games — Staples High School graduates remember him as a classmate and friend.

The 1973 alum starred in several Staples Players productions, including “Romeo and Juliet” and “The Crucible.”

He was Sky Masterson too in “Guys and Dolls.” Opening night  was 50 years ago yesterday — the same date as last night’s premiere of the same show.

Eric Bosch sent along these photos of Kevin Conroy, from the Staples yearbook:

Kevin Conroy in “The Crucible.”

Kevin Conroy in “Romeo and Juliet.”

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Election Day was Tuesday. Votes have been cast and counted. Time for the political signs to vanish.

Most are already gone. Some still remain, though.

Westport regulations say signs must be removed within 48 hours of an event.

Today is a gorgeous day. Here’s a gentle reminder: If you put up a sign for a candidate, please head outside and take it down.

Let’s enjoy the still-lovely fall scenery without thinking of politics.

Beachside Avenue at Greens Farms Road. The Westport Library Book Sale sign is fine — it runs today through Monday.

Imperial Avenue (Photos and hat tip: John Karrel)

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Can we desegregate the suburbs?

That’s the provocative subtitle of a Zoom discussion set for Monday (November 14, 7:30 p.m.).

Sponsored by the Democratic Women of Westport, with the title “Who is My Neighbor?,” the event features Nancy Gagnier. She’s part of the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race, a non-profit with the goal of building a suburban community free of racial segregation in housing and community involvement.

For more information, and to access the link, email dww06880@gmail.com.

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Three years ago, “06880” honored Charlotte — the longtime Balducci’s cashier known as “Charle” — as an Unsung Hero.

The “Comments” page quickly filled with more praise for her.

Now, Susan Weingarten reports, she was recently in a very bad automobile accident. Her car was totaled.

The good news: After recuperating at her Orange home, she is back at the store. Susan encourages all Charle’s friends to stay by and say “welcome back!”

Charle, at Balducci’s.

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The Weston Police Commission’s choice of Citizen of the Year is a no-brainer.

For more than 30 years, Mark Blake served the Weston Volunteer Fire Department and Weston Volunteer Emergency Medical Services. He was also a Westport EMS supervisor. Mark died in September, after a long battle with COVID.

A ceremony is set for Monday (November 14, 6 p.m., Weston Town Hall).

Among Mark’s many contributions to public safety: Weston’s Child Passenger Safety program. It offered training on the proper use of child car seats, and seats to those who needed them.

The public — including all of Mark’s friends and admirers — are invited to the event.

Mark Blake

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Ukraine has moved off the front pages.

But the war is very real to tens of millions of people who live there. And to friends and relatives, like Tatyana Hisxon of Westport.

She’s helping organize a fundraiser (December 2, 3 p.m. Carriage Barn Arts Centr, New Canaan).

The non-political event — called “Ukraine Fast Forward” — will showcase the country’s culture, arts and sciences.

All proceeds benefit Big Dreams Children’s Foundation. Long active with orphans and youngsters with disabilities, it now is helping kids and women affected by the fighting.

Raffle prizes include a private tour of the United Nations, and works by exhibiting artists.

For more information, email Tatyanahixon@gmail.com or call 646)872-9799.

One of the raffle prizes.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” actually comes from Weston.

There’s plenty of beauty there too, as Richard Ellis’ Japanese red maple leaves shwo.

(Photo/Richard Ellis)

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And finally … in honor of Kevin Conroy (see story above):

 

 

 

Roundup: Holiday Stroll, Veterans Day, Old Dominion …

Mark your calendars for the 2nd annual Holiday Stroll. It’s Saturday, December 3  (5 to 7 p.m.).

Last year’s first-ever event was sponsored by “06880.” This year, we’re teaming up with the Westport Downtown Association, for an extra-special event.

It’s family friendly, with a visit from Santa, special activities for kids, and songs from the Orphenians and more. There will be a tent outside Cold Fusion.

Downtown merchants — including some across the river — will offer promotions. For example:

  • Walrus Alley: Happy hour prices for food and drinks
  • Bridgewater Chocolates: complimentary chocolate tastings
  • Noya Jewelry: hot holiday drinks
  • The Toy Post: free small toy
  • Lift Wellness Group: discount on bundled psychotherapy and nutrition services, gift cards with 10% discount applied for virtual and in person psychotherapy and nutrition services.
  • Upnorth: 10% off, and a giveaway.

Merchants and restaurants wishing to participate can click here for more information.

See you at the Stroll!

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Before the holidays, there’s Veterans Day.

Westport honors its vets tomorrow (Friday, November 11), with a ceremony at Town Hall.

The Community Band welcomes visitors with patriotic tunes, at 10:30 a.m.

At 11 a.m. — the hour the armistice ending World War I took effect — the program begins.

First Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Staples High School senior Tyler Clark will speak. The Westport Police Department will fire a salute. The Community Band will play the “Armed Forces Salute.”

The public is invited.

The doughboy statue on Veterans Green. Tomorrow’s ceremony takes place in nearby Town Hall.  (Photo/Ted Horowitz)

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Carnivores: read on.

Saugatuck Provisions opened yesterday.

The new shop in the former Fleishers Craft Butchery is the creation of  chef (and Staples High School graduate) Matt Storch and Susan McConnell — both of Burger Lobster and  Match — plus Jimmy Bloom (Copps Island Oysters) and butcher Paul Nessel (well known from his Craft Butchery days across Riverside Avenue).

Stephanie Webster of CTBites calls Saugatuck Provisions “a new concept offering customers a curated selection of the very best ingredients from the land, sea and grocery, enabling guests to create beautiful restaurant quality meals at home.”

Saugatuck Provisions (Photo and hat tip/JD Dworkow)

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For Old Dominion, winning “Vocal Group of the Year” at the CMA Awards never gets old.

The country band — whose lead guitarist is 1997 Staples High School graduate Brad Tursi — took top honors for the 5th time, at last night’s 56th annual event.

Tursi was best known at Staples as a star soccer player. Now he’s scoring on a much bigger stage.  (Hat tip: Jeff Lea)

 

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The first evening of the Westport Library’s Short Cuts Film Festival earned rave reviews.

The second night is Thursday, November 17 (7 p.m., Trefz Forum).

Four short documentaries — all from the Tribeca Film Festival — will be shown.

  • “More Than I Want to Remember,” by Amy Bench. Winner, Best Animated Short, Tribeca. In the Congo, 14-year-old Mugeni runs to the forest, escaping bombs and surviving without her family.
  • “Beirut Dreams in Color,” by Michael Collins. This heart-rending story follows an openly gay Arab rock star and his activist fan. Tragedy results “in Cairo.
  • “Kylie” by Sterling Hampton. A Black ballerina tries to make it in the traditionally white ballet world?
  • “John Leguizamo Live at Rikers Island,” by Elena Francesa. The actor performs and spends time at the prison, inspiring justice-involved young men to reflect about their lives and the challenges of incarceration.

After the screenings, Kevin Wilson Jr. — an Oscar-nominated filmmaker, and member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, chats with Short Cuts producer Nancy Diamond.

The festival continues December 8, with an evening of narrative shorts.

Tickets are $25. Refreshments and popcorn will be served. For more information and tickets, click here.

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Deej Webb writes:

“I always thought of ‘Compo’ as coming from the Native American ‘Compaug.’ So I was surprised to see this clock at The Castle Museum in York, England.

“I looked it up and found: ‘Original Metal Front/Vanner & Prest’s Molliscorium Compo Embrocation Trade Mark/Advertising Clock with Restored Paint, circa 1905 to 1910.

“Etc., etc. — but with no explanation of ‘Compo.'”

Deej hopes the “06880” crowd can crowdsource this mystery. If you have any idea where “Compo” fits in all this, click “Comments” below.

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The Westport Police have released arrest reports for November 2-9.

Three people were detained in custody. One was charged with identity theft and larceny, 3rd degree.

One was arrested for sale of hallucinogenics, drug paraphernalia, weapons in  a motor vehicle, carrying a pistol or revolver without a permit, misuse of plates, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, operating a motor vehicle under suspension, insurance coverage fails minimum requirements, failure to wear safety belt

One was detained for for violation of parole and narcotics possession.

The following citations were issued:

  • Violation of any traffic commission regulation (11)
  • Traveling unreasonably fast (7)
  • Misuse of plates (3)
  • Operating an unregistered vehicle (3)
  • Speeding (2)
  • Failure to  obey control signal (2)
  • Insurance coverage fails to meet minimum requirement (2)
  • Larceny, 6th degree (2)
  • Stop sign violation (1)
  • Operating vehicle without proper load cover (1)
  • Failure to have stop lamps/turn signals (1)
  • Failure to display plates (1)

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Readings of the new musical “Psyche,” starring Jay Armstrong Johnson and Johanna Moise, are set for today and tomorrow (November 10 and 11 at New York’s DiMenna Center .

But you can be forgiven if you think it’s a Staples Players’ Class of 2017 reunion.

The musical’s book and lyrics are by Emily Garber. The score is from Jake Landau.

Rounding out the production team are developmental producer Lauren Weinberger, dramaturg Phoebe Corde, and gender and sexuality consultant Shira Helena Gitlin. All collaborated on many Players productions.

“Psyche” was featured in Broadway World (click here). Click here for the website, with a full synopsis and link to demos.

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Speaking of performances: “Cheese Fries & Froot Loops” — the funny, poignant solo show written and performed by Weston’s Chris Fuller, about this lifelong dream to play on the PGA Tour while living with bipolar manic disorder — returns to the Fairfield Theater Company November 30 (6:30 p.m.).

His brothers Jeff and Judd Fuller (both professional musicians) and Chris’ step-sister Vicky — all raised in Westport — offer a special musical performance prior to the show. The theme is mental health awareness.

Chris was recently invited to join the United Solo Festival on New York’s Theater Row.

Click here for more information about the FTC show, including tickets.

Chris Fuller, in “Cheese Fries & Froot Loops.”

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Art of Everyone is launching Connecticut’s first Hybrid NFT & Traditional Art Exhibition.

The 2 mediums will be merged under one roof. The exploration of the convergence of traditional visual arts and NFTs puts artists back in control of their careers.

Set for this Saturday (November 12, 4 to 9 p.m.), it’s part of the Bridgeport Arts Trail. The Knowlton (305 Knowlton Street) has donated their entire 10,000-square foot space, audiovisual resources, staging and technology for the event.

Among the participants: Westport artists James Chantler Brown (Art of Everyone co-founder), Linda Colletta and Alison James.

Westporter Herm Freeman is showing too. He helped curate and hang the entire exhibit.

The Knowlton: a bird’s-eye view.

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“06880” readers sent plenty of beaver moon photos. But only one — today’s “Westport … Naturally” image — included a dog.

Tessie and the beaver moon. (Photo/Richard Abramowitz)

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And finally … on this date in 1775, the US Marine Corps was founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia. Happy 247th birthday — and thanks for your service!

 

 

 

 

Roundup: Clarendon Fine Art, Blues, Jazz …

Clarendon Fine Art has over 80 galleries across the UK.

But none in the US.

Until next month.

Clarendon’s very first American gallery opens at 22 Main Street. That’s the new construction on the right side, just north of Post Road East.

The world’s largest gallery group wants to make art “accessible to all.” They boast an eclectic portfolio of artists, across a broad range of genres. 

The new 3,200-square foot building will showcase an international portfolio of originals, collector’s editions, and sculpture from famous names, alongside emerging talents.

Works from artists like Picasso, Miro, Warhol and Hockney; cutting edge pop, street, and contemporary art; more traditional work including landscape, wildlife, still life, figurative and abstract art, is all on sale at Clarendon.

CEO Helen Swaby calls Westport “a thriving cultural and creative center (which), like Clarendon, has a strong commitment to the preservation of community, traditions and quality of life.”

A British Clarendon gallery.

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Yesterday was special not only because America voted.

There was also a lunar eclipse.

Maggie Dobbins was up early, to capture both it and the sunrise.

(Photos/Maggie Dobbins)

But wait … there’s more!

Twelve hours later, a full beaver moon rose over Compo. Seth Goltzer was there.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

And Rick Benson was at Sherwood Mill Pond …

(Photo/Rick Benson)

… while not far away was Seth Goltzer:

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

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Mark Naftalin’s 3rd “Blue Sunday” rocks the Westport Library on November 20.

The keyboardist/producer/radio host/Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has curated a great set of blues musicians, for the latest in the monthly series.

The November Blue Sunday features “Beehive Queen” and “Saturday Night Live” chanteuse Christine Ohlman, blues and soul man Willie J. Laws, plus Naftalin’s already legendary Blue Sunday Band, with Crispin Cioe, Paul Gabriel and JD Seem.

The first 2 Blue Sundays drew packed houses to the Library’s Trefz Forum. The November 20 concert begins at 2:30 p.m.

You won’t be wailing over the admission price. Unbelievably, it’s free.

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On Friday, the Westport Police Department’s 3rd annual Officer Awards ceremony recognized outstanding from 2021.

Among the honorees were 2 civilians: “06880” Unsung Hero Tucker Peters, for saving a friend from drowning after their boat tipped over last summer, and Jose Rodriguez, who helped a woman climb to safety after falling onto the train tracks.

Also recognized: Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Cohen and firefighter Michael Durette who assisted officers in locating a dangerous felon.

Westport Police Department officers were of course recognized for their success in a variety of incidents involving armed suspects, barricaded subjects, the mentally ill, and time consuming, in-depth investigations.

Detectives Ashley Delvecchio and Marc Heinmiller were co-recipients of the 2021 Officer of the Year Award, for their consistent and innate ability to solve investigative cases.

In all, 40 officers received awards. Many were multiple recipients.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas, with Marc Heinmiller and Ashley Delvecchio, co-Officers of the Year.

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The Westport Library’s Book Sale is (almost) here.

The upcoming event (Friday through Monday) features thousands of gently used books in more than 50 categories, including children’s, classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi/fantasy, art, photography, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language — to name just a few.

Items of special interest: leather-bound vintage book sets; extensive collections of history books and cookbooks; a new “Fiction for $1” room; from the personal library of Joseph Califano, former US Secretary of HEW, books signed to him by their authors, including one by Dr. Seuss. and a card from the Broadway show “In the Heights” signed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other cast members.

Also on sale: a broad array of DVDs and CDs, and a limited selection of collectibles and artwork.

The book sale benefits both the Library and Westport Book Shop, the used bookstore on Jesup Green that provides employment for people with disabilities.

Volunteers are still needed. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Admission to the book sale is free (except early access Friday morning. Click here for more information, including times and daily specials.

The Westport Library Book Sale.(Photo/Dan Woog)

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It’s become a tradition: Because the Westport Rotary Club meets each Tuesday at noon, the 1st selectperson now address addresses the group every Election Day.

Westport First Selectwoman Jen Tooker did the honors yesterday, at Green’s Farms Congregational Church. She talked about traffic congestion, Longshore and downtown.

She also expressed concern about the state of public discourse in the US, and how it impacts who chooses to serve in positions like hers.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker at yesterday’s Rotary Club. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

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Westport Country Playhouse is going mobile.

The 91-year-old institution now brings live theater to schools, parks, community centers and other gathering spots.

They supply the fully staged play. Your group supplies the audience.

The first production –“Scaredy Kat Presents” — is designed for grades 5 through 9. But it entertains audiences of all ages, while fostering an understanding of social/emotional wellness.

The tour begins in January, with dates available for booking. School, religious institution, library and community space administrators can click here for more details, and booking information.

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Congratulations to Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

The Staples High School musicians participated in the National Association for Music Education conference, as part of the All-National Honor Ensembles. They were selected by video audition, from the top music students in the country.

Delaney played trumpet in the All-National Orchestra, while Witt Lindau was a drummer with the All National Modern Band) (aka known as a “rock band”).

Congratulations too (of course!) to Staples band director Phil Giampietro.

Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

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The recent HBO special on Paul Newman, and publication of his memoir, has brought Paul Newman back in the spotlight.

Nearly everyone in Westport has a story about our down-to-earth neighbor. Gil Ghitelman shares his:

“Kenyon College — Newman’s alma mater — is mentioned frequently in his new book.

“My son Nick (Kenyon ’94) gave me a hoodie I occasionally wear on spirited walks to town. Recently several Westporters asked if I knew Paul.

Gil Ghitelman, in his Kenyon hoodie.

“I never met him. But my wife had an encounter that is worth telling.

“They both were in the checkout line at Organic Market in Playhouse Square. Paul was buying, of all things, a couple of Newman’s Own peanut butter cups.

“Dispensing with the unwritten protocol to ignore local celebrities — let alone initiate a conversation — she said, ‘Excuse me. Are those any good?’

“Newman smiled and replied, ‘They better be.  I’m paying full retail for them.’”

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When Marisa Zer arrived home the other night, she could not get in her Greens Farms area driveway.

Two bucks fighting for supremacy blocked her way.

She did not get involved. Instead, she took a photo for “06880,” Day or night, anything can happen in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Melissa Zer)

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And finally … the day after Americans voted, all the results are not yet in. Some may take days to tabulate.

While the count goes on, let’s all heed Jackson Browne’s words:

We may lose, and we may win …
Take it easy.

Meet Tom Kiely: Westport’s New Operations Director

A few weeks after popular Westport jeweler Kuti Zeevi was murdered in a 2011 robbery at his Compo Shopping Center store, the hunt for his killer grew cold.

But State Police detective Tom Kiely had a hunch. What if the murderer was not from the area?

Using only records from a burner phone — whose number Zeevi had written on a blotter, when he received calls from it — Kiely worked doggedly to detect patterns.

There were weeks when the phone was unused. He traced activity right before and after that time to airports. Working with US Customs and Border Protection officials, Kiely narrowed a list of possible suspects from 170 to just a few — and then to only Andrew Levene.

Sure enough, he was in Spain. Three days later Levene was arrested, and charged with murder and the theft of $300,000 in diamonds from Zeevi’s jewelry store.

Soon after — while awaiting extradition to the US — he killed himself in prison.

Kiely’s detective work earned him awards from the Connecticut State Police and US Department of Justice.

That was just one of countless cases — including Sandy Hook Elementary School — that Kiely handled during his 21 years with the State Police.

Now he’s a month into his new challenge: operations director for the town of Westport.

After 2 decades of dealing with people in the worst moments of their lives, he’s eager to help them handle less crucial issues, in a supportive and well-run community.

Tom Kiely, in his Town Hall office. On the wall: a State Police memento, and a painting of the construction of the I-95 Saugatuck River bridge. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Kiely retired in 2021, and “pumped the brakes.” When his first daughter was born, he enjoyed being a stay-at-home dad. (His wife works in brand management, for skincare products.)

Now — after the birth of their second child 2 months ago — it’s time to get back to a paying job.

A friend told Kiely that Westport was looking for an operations director. After three rounds of interviews, he was hired this fall.

“It’s a natural progression,” he says of his new position. “I spent 21 years in public service, at the state level. Now I’m more localized. It’s hands-on work. I can really get things done.”

Growing up in Shelton, and attending St. Joseph High School, Kiely spent time in Westport. “We’d put the top of the Jeep Wrangler down, and head to Compo,” he says. “It was great.”

He attended Plymouth State University expecting to be a meteorologist. But physics and calculus were not his strong suit. He switched majors, to public management.

After graduation, Kiely nearly accepted a sales job with Pfizer. Yet — with a father who was a retired Trumbull police chief, and a grandfather who’d been a Bridgeport police captain — he also applied to the State Police Academy.

That acceptance came through. Kiely began on patrol with Troop G in Bridgeport, made detective at 26, spent most of his career with the Western District Major Crimes Unit, then finished in a supervisory role.

His first month in Town Hall has been “drinking from a fire hose,” Kiely says. He’s met with department heads and directors, learning who does what here (and how).

Now he’s ready for specific assignments from 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker. He looks forward to working with, for example, the Downtown Improvement Plan Committee, Transit District and Sustainable Westport.

Tom Kiely is learning all about Westport — and quickly.

“I didn’t know what to expect,” Kiely admits. “But town employees, residents –everyone — has been fantastic, and very welcoming.”

The resident issues he’s dealt with so far — paving, lawn damages and the like — are minor, compared to murders and robberies. But, Kiely knows, they’re important to people when they happen.

“This job is results-driven,” he says. “I think I have the ability to communicate with people, and help them talk and work together to solve problems.”

Part of the operations director’s job is to solve big problems — say, the aftermaths of hurricanes and blizzards.

With the State Police, Kiely constantly dealt with crises. That experience should serve him will whenever he needs it. Of course, he hopes those events are few and far between.

Meanwhile, he is settling easily in to his new role. Already, he’s discovered the double espressos at GG & Joe’s.

(“06880” keeps an eye on town happenings — and the folks who make them happen. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

“Westport … What’s Happening?” Jen Tooker & Foti Koskinas, Part 2

The previous “Westport … What’s Happening?” podcast — with 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker interviewing Police Chief Foti Koskinas — came on the heels of a Staples High School lockdown.

In this second part of the series, Chief Foti talks about the Westport Police Department’s neighborhood meetings, traffic (reasons and resources) and manpower.

“Westport … What’s Happening?” is a service of the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston. Click below to listen.

Roundup: Vote, Vets, Arline Gertzoff …

For the past 2 elections, Mark Yurkiw’s artwork (below) offered a reminder on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge of upcoming votes.

Tomorrow is Election Day. Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. To find out where you vote, click here.

Connecticut voters will cast ballots for state legislators, governor and US senator. There’s also a referendum question: Should the state constitution be amended, to give the General Assembly the option to allow early voting?

A “yes” vote on this one seems like a non-partisan no-brainer. Right now, only 4 states — Connecticut, New Hampshire, Alabama and Mississippi — do not permit voting before Election Day.

(Photo/Mark Yurkiw)

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Veterans Day is a quasi-holiday. There are a few official closures, but mostly it’s business as usual. Veterans Day.

But if you can, make time this Friday (November 11) for the annual Town Hall ceremony.

The Community Band plays patriotic songs at 10:30 a.m. At 11 a.m. — the time the armistice ending World War I took effect — the program honoring all veterans begins.

Veterans of Foreign War Post 399, American Legion Post 63, town officials, veterans and a Staples High School student speaker will all take part.

Proud veterans at the 2018 ceremony. (Photo copyright/Ted Horowitz)

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Four Westport Police Department members were promoted last week to new ranks.

Congratulations to Sergeants Daniel Paz and Howard Simpson, Lieutenant Serenity Dobson and Captain David Wolf.

And thanks, of course, for your service.

The Westport Police Department promotion ceremony. From left: Sgt. Daniel Paz, Sgt. Howard Simpson, Lt. Serenity Dobson, Capt. David Wolf, Deputy Chief Samuel Arciola, First Selectwoman Jen Tooker, Chief Foti Koskinas, Captain Eric Woods. (Photo and hat tip: Andrew Colabella)

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Friends and admirers of Arline Gertzoff are invited to a ceremony honoring her life this Saturday (November 12, 2:30 p.m., Town Hall).

The longtime jUNe Day hospitality chair, poll worker, RTM member, Democratic Town Committee activist and proud Staples High School graduate died in September, of esophageal cancer. She was 76.

Arline Gertzoff, at the Grand Canyon.

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William “Willie P.” Patterson died last month.

He was well-known in the Westport hospitality family, and a consummate professional. He served for many years at Mario’s, DeRosa’s, Viva Zapata and the Inn at Longshore, among others.

A friend says: “His wry sense of humor, kindness and cheeky smile were just a few of the things we loved about him. Many were lucky enough to know him well and call him a dear friend, but Willie was really a friend to all  he met.”

At his request, there will be no funeral. Instead, friends are invited to celebrate his life on Sunday (November 13, Black Duck Café, noon to 4 p.m.).

Light food will be served, with a cash bar. Friends can bring pictures or stories to share.Digital photos for a slide show can be emailed to williepics2022@gmail.com.

“Willie P” Patterson

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Westporters know her as Julie DeLoyd. To her music fans, she is simply Julie Loyd.

By either name, she’s ready to record her 7th album — the first full-length one since 2008.

A lot has happened in that time, and she has 10 songs to share about it. The album goes back to her acoustic roots, with guitar, banjo, cello, upright bass, accordion and more.

“It’s earthy and honest,” Julie says. “I’m sharing stories from own family, about my friends, about love, about ambition.  It’s an album that I couldn’t have written 15 years ago.

She’s funding much of it herself. But she’s started a $10,000 Kickstarter project to help cover studio and producer time, musicians, traveling to Nashville, graphic design and manufacture, and publicity.

Click here for more information, and to contribute.

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Ann Chernow has been an important part of Westport’s arts scene for decades.

But she’s not just ours. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, DeJong Musem, National University of Taiwan, el Aviv Museum  Coupozoulos Museum in Athens and many others.

Now she’s got a new website. Click here to see her work. Click below for an intriguing interview, with Miggs Burroughs.

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Felice Pagliuso — well known to generations of Compo Barber Shop customers — died Thursday, surrounded by hsis family. The Norwalk resident was 73.

He was born in Calabria, and emigrated from Italy in 1971 with his wife. They began their new life in the US, and started a family.

Felice spent 47 years at Compo Barber Shop. When it closed, he moved nearby to Westport Hair &Co. He took great pride in his work, and earned rewards for his men’s hair styling.

Felice’s happiest role in life was being a grandfather. He found joy in family dinners, walks by the beach and playing Italian cards. He loved classical music and enjoyed going to Italian concerts.

Felice is survived by his wife of 52 years, Palma Torcasio Pagliuso; daughter Giovanna Pagliuso (Alex) Apazidis and son Antonio Pagliuso (fiancée Chrisavgi Sourgoutsis); grandsons Nikolaos and Anthony Felice Apazidis; brother Francesco Pagliuso, and several nieces and nephews. Felice was pre-deceased by his brother Antonio, sister Caterina and nephew Gianfranco Pagliuso.  

Calling hours are today (Monday, November 7, 4 to 8 p.m., Raymond Funeral Home. 5 East Wall Street, Norwalk). A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated tomorrow (Tuesday, November 8, 10 a.m. at St. Philip Church, 1 Father Conlin Place Norwalk. Entombment will follow in St. John’s Cemetery.

Felice Pagliuso

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The Westport Library is a hive of activity.

It’s also a literal hive — well, right near it, anyway.

Anne Pfeiffer spotted this the other day. It’s just right for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Anne Pfeiffer)

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And finally … happy 79th birthday to Joni Mitchell!

Roundup: Rob Simmelkjaer, Paul Newman, President Kennedy …

On the even of today’s New York City Marathon — and a couple of weeks before Roh Simmelkjaer takes over as CEO of its organizer, New York Road Runners — the New York Times sat down for a chat with the Westport resident.

Simmelkjaer is familiar to local residents. He’s a former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Democratic Town Committee.

Persona — the interview and conversation-focused social media startup he founded — had a heavy local presence.

Simmelkjaer has also been a top manager at ESPN, an on-air Olympics personality for NBC, and — most recently — director of the Connecticut State Lottery.

He calls the Road Runners gig his “dream job.” (He comes prepared: He’s finished the New York Marathon twice.)

Click here to learn about Simmelkjaer’s plans — including a greater focus on the mental health aspect of running, and expanding the organization’s reach — in the Times’ Q-and-A. (Hat tip: John Suggs)

Rob Simmelkjaer

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Also in today’s New York Times: a review of Paul Newman’s new posthumous memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.”

It’s by Richard Russo, who has some skin in the Westport actor’s game. Newman’s portrayal of Sully in the film adaptation of Russo’s novel changed the author’s life, opening doors to a screenwriting career.

Click here for the full Times piece.

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CraftWestport — the Young Woman’s League’s mega-pre-holiday fair — returns to the Staples High School fieldhouse today, after 2 COVID years off.

Among the 175-plus exhibitors: Aiden Schachter.

The Staples High School student is selling his LED lightclouds. That may be a first for the event — and he may be the youngest vendor ever.

The show runs until 6 p.m. today. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Aiden Schachter, and his lightcloud booth.

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As the political season heats up, so does the work of Marc Selverstone.

The 1980 Staples High School graduate — An associate professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia, and chair of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs there — is about to publish “The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment in Vietnam.”

It’s called “a major revision of our understanding of JFK’s commitment to Vietnam, revealing that his administration’s plan to withdraw was a political device, the effect of which was to manage public opinion while preserving United States military assistance.”

Selverstone is an expert on the subject. At the Miller Center he edits the secret tapes of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

Click here for more information, and to purchase.

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How do stress levels affect children’s brain development?

That’s the topic of the next Positive Directions “Lunch and Learn” series.

Frank Castorina, PD clinical supervisor, provides insights on November 16 (noon to 1:30 p.m., Westport Weston Family YMCA0.

It’s an important and timely topic. And lunch is provided! Click here to RSVP.

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Speaking of stress: Relax with some wine! (Adults, not kids …)

Westport Sunrise Rotary has just the ticket. Their “Westport Uncorked” wine tasting fundraiser is set for The Inn at Longshore (Friday, November 18. 6:30 p.m.).

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, along with dozens of fine wines provided by The Fine Wine Company of Westport. (All wines are available for purchase).

Every dollar raised goes directly to charities supported by Westport Sunrise Rotary. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Good times at the 2019 Uncorked wine tasting, at the Inn at Longshore.

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In advance of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ November 25 release of “Live at the Fillmore 1997” — their first live record in over a decade — Emmy-winning Westport animator Jeff Scher has created a great video.

Viewers will recognize plenty of local scenes, including Compo Beach, North Avenue and Cross Highway. There’s also the “Heroes Tunnel” through West Rock Ridge near Wilbur Cross Parkway Exit 59 in New Haven.

Click below to see:

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Westporters turned out in force yesterday, to help the Westport police force — and folks in need.

The Police Department and Stop & Shop sponsored their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. All donations — 436 bags, filled to the brim — support Homes with Hope’s Food Pantry at the Gillespie Center. and Westport Human Services’ Food Pantry.

Some residents went out of their way to bring food. Others spotted the food drive, and added non-perishable items to their shopping lists.

At the end of the day, an entire (and enormous) truck was filled with much-needed goods. Thanks to all who contributed — and of course to the WPD, and Stop & Shop.

RTM member Jimmy Izzo, former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe (with his wife Mary Ellen and grandson Charlie), and Police Chief Foti Koskinas (center), with volunteers and Westport Police Department officers at the Thanksgiving food drive by Stop & Shop.

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“Script in Hand” — the Westport Country Playhouse’s very popular series of staged readings — returns November 14 (7 p.m.). The show is “Ripcord.”

Click here for details (including a plot summary) and tickets.

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If you’ve eaten at La Plage, you know there’s fine dining by the water.

If you’re a bald eagle, you agree. Seth Goltzer spotted this bird enjoying a tasty meal of squirrel at Longshore.

It’s the real world. And it fits perfectly with our “Westport … Naturally” concept.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

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And finally … Aaron Carter, the singer and actor (and brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter) was found dead yesterday at his California home. He was 34.

(Your clock should have been set back an hour last night. And don’t forget to support “06880” either! Please click here to contribute.)