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- Alan Hodge on It’s Official: State OKs Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Westport
- Taylor Sasloe on It’s Official: State OKs Medical Marijuana Dispensary In Westport
- Joël Hoff on Remembering Brian Gordon
- Ellen Wentworth on Pic Of The Day #609
- Tom Feeley Sr on No Holiday Card? It’s A Holiday For Heroes Instead.
- Westport Arts Center Eyes Martha Stewart Move
- No Holiday Card? It’s A Holiday For Heroes Instead.
- Pic Of The Day #609
- “If These Walls Could Talk…” For Drew Coyne, They Do.
- Pic Of The Day #608
- Photo Challenge #207
- Katelyn And Solenne: Now Hear This!
- Pic Of The Day #607
- Jack’s Last Day
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DISCLAIMERThis blog is personal opinion, and is not representative of the views of the Westport School District or Board of Education.
Category Archives: Politics
No matter what your political views, it can feel as if there are no words to describe America’s current situation.
But all you need are 6.
Ernest Hemingway wrote the most famous 6-word story: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”
Since then, writers of all types have tried their hand at the 6-word exercise.
Karin Kessler wants to hear yours.
She’s the upbeat, indefatigable owner of Backspace, the typewriter shop/writing space on Church Street South, behind Little Barn.
Customers always talk about the political climate, Karin says. They usually throw their hands in the air, and say they have no voice.
So this month, she invites everyone to come to Backspace and write their own 6-word story on any typewriter. There’s no charge.
(You can also write at home, and drop it off at Backspace. You can email it in too — email@example.com — or post it on a special Facebook page. But if you haven’t seen the shop, you really should.)
Any and every viewpoint is welcome (except hate-mongering).
The 6 words should have something to do with the political atmosphere — and be a thought-provoking reflection of the times.
This is not a competition between parties, she notes. She’s looking for “a description, statement or feeling about politics today.”
Karin offers her own suggestion: “United we stand. Divided we fall.”
She hopes to compile the stories, to promote both thought and conversation.
December can be a stressful month. She hopes this can be a fun exercise, done during downtime on the train, while stuck in traffic, or anywhere else. (Except, I guess, watching Fox or MSNBC.)
“Let’s start a wave from Westport, using our right of freedom of speech,” Karin says. “Let’s all hear what everyone says.”
In exactly 6 words.
Bruce Nemirow writes:
Staples High School lost one of its most prominent alums this week, with the passing of Daryl Libow (Class of 1977) at age 59 after a battle with cancer.
Daryl was captain of Staples’ tennis team. He was also a highly accomplished debater, which no doubt led to his success as a litigator. He headed the prestigious law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Washington D.C. office, as managing partner.
After Staples, Daryl graduated from Harvard University, the London School of Economics, and Cornell Law School. .
Beyond the law and fighting for human rights wherever they were challenged, Daryl was an avid lover of jazz. He particularly appreciated its inspirational value for young people.
His love of jazz can be traced to Westport’s long-gone Players Tavern — where he saw his first live performances in the mid-1970s — along with constant visits to Sally’s Place with his dad, Sanford.
Daryl’s passion led to action. He served on the board of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem, and The Ellington Fund of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts.
Daryl was a wonderful son, husband, father, brother, colleague and friend. He will be missed by all those whose lives he touched.
Westport backed all 4 Democratic candidates in yesterday’s state Senate and House races. That helped deliver 2 of those districts to the Democratic Party.
In a race that drew statewide — even national — attention, 22-year-old Staples High School graduate Will Haskell thrashed longtime incumbent Toni Boucher, for the State Senate 26th district seat.
Haskell’s 64-36% winning margin — against a politician who was in office as long as he’d been alive — was helped by a strong base of active volunteers. The recent Georgetown University graduate galvanized many young voters, and women.
Staples grad Jonathan Steinberg returns to Hartford, representing House district 136. He beat back a challenge from Republican Greg Kraut, a newcomer to politics and a 2-year Westporter. The unofficial margin was 61-39%.
In races that involved small portions of Westport, Republican incumbents Tony Hwang (State Senate district 28) and Gail Lavielle (State House district 143) retained their seats. However, both lost Westport to their Democratic challengers, Michelle Lapine McCabe and Stephanie Thomas, respectively.
Many people have many reasons to vote today.
But as I drove to my polling place this morning, I realized there is one that unites every American.
I vote at Town Hall. It sits handsomely on a hill, directly across from Veterans Green.
That small park is filled with statues and plaques honoring men and women killed in war.
They fought — and died — for our right to do what we’re doing today.
Let’s make sure their sacrifices were not in vain.
(If you’re a Connecticut resident, click here for your polling place.)
The Anti-Defamation League is always busy.
But in the wake of last month’s horrific shooting at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue, the anti-hate organization’s Connecticut office went into overdrive.
Statewide director Steve Ginsburg — a Westport resident — spoke to a crowd of 1,000 at an interfaith vigil at the Conservative Synagogue here. He also addressed a Stamford vigil, and attended events in Bridgeport and Hartford. Other ADL officials talked elsewhere around the state.
Ginsburg met with Senator Richard Blumenthal, and spoke by phone with politicians and candidates across the political spectrum. When an anti-Semitic campaign mailer went viral, the organization responded.
ADL also worked with law enforcement officials across Connecticut.
All of that takes time, effort — and money. The Pittsburgh murders came just as the ADL was ramping up publicity for its major fundraiser of the year.
“Voices: A Show of Unity” is also an ADL community-builder. They give free tickets to many local organizations, including CONECT, CIRI, NAACP, IRIS, The Urban League, GLSEN, Greater Bridgeport Latino Network and Voices of Hope.
The event is this Sunday (November 11, 5 p.m., Klein Auditorium in Bridgeport).
The headliner is a perfect fit for these times. Trevor Noah was born in South Africa to a black mother who converted to Judaism, and white father. His parents could not be seen in public together.
The “Daily Show” host will be funny, of course. But he won’t do stand-up. He’ll offer attendees his take on the world.
The world is a dangerous place. There’s more than enough hate to go around.
The ADL does what it can to combat bigotry and evil. On Sunday, they ask our help so they can keep doing it.
(For more information and tickets, click here.)
The Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Memorial Bridge has been the scene of much political activism over the years.
Last night, someone sent a message that every American — regardless of party — should agree with.
Election Day is Tuesday (November 6). Polls open at 6 a.m., and close at 8 p.m.
Westport voters who previously voted at the library have a new location: Town Hall. Those who voted at Coleytown Middle School will vote at Coleytown Elementary.
All voters should be sure to check their polling place. If you’re a Connecticut resident, click here.
Stressed out by all the rhetoric leading up to Election Day? Bombarded by mailings, assaulted by robocalls?
The Westport Unitarian Church invites residents of all political persuasions — and none — to an Election Day labyrinth.
Open from 12 noon to 8 p.m. this Tuesday (November 6) at the handsome sanctuary on 10 Lyons Plains Road, the Blue Lotus Peace Labyrinth experience also includes contemplative music.
According to the church, labyrinth walking is deeply calming. It challenges and shifts walkers’ perspectives.
Labyrinths are ancient and ubiquitous. They’re part of cultures and faith traditions from the early Americas to pre-Christian Europe, from Africa to India and ancient Greece.
NOTE: Labyrinths are not mazes — which are designed to get lost in. Labyrinths have only one path in to the center.
For more information, call 203-227-7205, ext. 14.
Alert — and concerned — “06880” reader Dr. Edward Paul’s daughter Rachel Paul is a 2014 Staples High School graduate. She went to UCLA, then stayed after graduation for a job in Santa Monica.
The other night, she received what she and her father hope was a Halloween prank. But, he says, in light of last weekend’s Pittsburgh murders, she viewed what happened with extreme caution.
“Aside from the act,” he says, “it raised the concept that many of us can have enemies that we don’t know, and who don’t know us. But they hate us for no apparent reason except for who we are.”
He wants her story to speak for itself.
“Do you have any enemies?” I heard the officer ask through the phone. “Anyone you know who would want to do this?”
“No,” I thought. “Of course not.”
This is the conversation that has played over and over in my head since the evening of October 28.
My boyfriend and I were walking to my car after a relaxing weekend of watching movies, baking brownies and going to Halloween parties. My Honda Accord had been parallel parked on the corner of Whitworth Avenue and Almont Drive, in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood in Beverly Hills.
When we got to my car, I mindlessly went to open the back right door to toss in my backpack. As my hand reached for the handle, however, I noticed something.
I jumped back and gasped as I realized what was before me: the back right portion of my car was covered in streaks of what appears to be blood. Because it was a misty night, it seemed that some of the liquid was still wet. Other parts had coagulated.
Is this what blood looks like when it dries on a car? Is this what it streaks like when it rolls down a door? Those questions flooded through my brain, as I frantically looked around the car to see if there was a body.
While searching the area for some clue as to what happened, I noticed a hair tangled in the blood on the car. My stomach dropped as I thought about what had occurred just 2 days prior: a mass shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh that left 11 innocent people dead.
Here I stood, in the middle of a predominantly Jewish community, staring at my car, with streaks of dark red liquid running down the sides.
After 3 1/2 hours the police arrived. They relieved me of my worst fear: It was not real blood. It appeared to be either a Halloween prank or some type of act of retaliation, which is why the officer asked if I had any enemies. Relieved and exhausted, I drove home at 1:30 in the morning.
As I stood in my parking garage scrubbing the fake blood off my car, something occurred to me: Simply by existing, by being who I am, I have made enemies.
I am a young Jewish woman with liberal political views and a fierce belief in social equality. As the events of this past weekend so clearly pointed out, these qualities alone are enough to provoke violence, even from strangers.
To whoever decided to paint my car with fake blood: Did you know that you were in a Jewish neighborhood? Did you think about the innocent lives that were taken a mere 2 days earlier, simply due to their religious beliefs?
Ignorance is a form of privilege. It is a luxury we cannot afford. You do not have to be old enough to vote in order to take a stand or have your own beliefs. If you are old enough to paint fake blood on a car, then you are old enough to know what is going on in our world.
Our society is filled with a level of hatred beyond anything I could have dreamed of as a child. We are not free to be who we are without judgment and violence from those around us. We must educate ourselves about the realities of our cultural and political climate, and we must truly think of the repercussions of our actions before we act upon them.
Parents: Please take time to talk to your children about values such as understanding, tolerance and acceptance. What may have seemed like a simple Halloween prank to those individuals that night carries so much more weight.
If anything I’ve said has resonated with you, please share my story. We need to work together to change our culture. If we all merely shake our heads and gasp at the horrors that occur around us, we will do nothing but watch passively as the moral fabric of our community disintegrates.
Listen to others even if they have different beliefs than you. Accept members of your community even if they have a different faith than you.
Live a life that will leave a legacy.