Category Archives: religion

Roundup: Hideaway Trees, Snow, Greens Farms Church …

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SIR Development’s Rob Haroun responds to yesterday’s photo of trees that were recently cut on Hideaway Lane, off Hillspoint Road. He says:

“The 7 or 8 trees, most of which are on town property as shown in the Google Earth photo and acknowledged by the Westport tree warden, were all posted for removal. No one objected.

“After the requisite period of time and with permission from the tree warden, the trees were removed, some by the town. This was due to the extreme hazard to walkers and vehicles and the lack of maintenance over many years both by the town and the prior owner of 149 Hillspoint.

“The Google Earth photo (below) shows how the trees in the background leaned perilously over Hillspoint Road. Even though most of them were town trees, the tree warden requires replacement trees, from the town-approved list, which will be planted in the fall.

“Additionally, the ‘after’ photo (below) was not taken from the same vantage point as the Google Earth photo, as it does not show the remaining trees on both the left and right sides of Hideaway Lane.”

(Photo courtesy of Google Earth)

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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It was just a dusting. But this morning’s early, gentle snowfall gave a bit of a boost to the feeling of Christmas.

With so many Westporters hunkered down — quarantining, awaiting test results, anxious — this wintry weather may not be all that we asked for.

But it’s just what we need.

Harvest Commons, earlier today. (Photo/Peter Swift)

Meanwhile, look closely at Pam Kesselman’s photo:

(Photo/Pam Kessselman)

There are 2 hearts.

Coincidence? Or the magic of Christmas?

Who cares?! Enjoy!

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It’s hardly a surprise that Tyler Hicks and Lynsey Addario — Staples High School’s 2 Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers — have images in this year’s “Year in Pictures” supplement.

Tyler’s was taken on July 12 in Herat, Afghanistan.

(Photo/Tyler Hicks for New York Times)

Tyler says: “This photograph was taken at a checkpoint where Afghan police were inspecting vehicles arriving from nearby Taliban controlled villages. As cars were stopped and checked I turned and saw that a family who was fleeing that area was packed into a car with a girl looking out the back window, back toward where they had come from. I could see the concern in her face and to me that’s what stood out about this moment.

“Although only one person is seen in this photograph, her face says everything about what was soon to come. You can always tell what’s coming by the mood of the population. There was an urgency among the people that was obvious. This is when it became clear to me that there would be no turning back the events that followed.”

Lynsey’s photo was shot on October 26 in Paliau, South Sudan.

(Photo/Lynsey Addario for New York times)

She says: “I was traveling with UNICEF through this very flooded area of South Sudan. It was the first time people had been given masks and they were trying them on. There is so much flooding, malaria, hunger. Covid is not first and foremost on peoples’ minds.”

Congratulations to Tyler and Lynsey, on their superb images. Let’s hope they’ll be able to capture more pleasant and peaceful scenes for the 2022 Year in Pictures.

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If you’re heading to tonight’s Christmas Eve services at Greens Farms Church: you’ll need to register in advance (click here). COVID restrictions will keep each service — at 4:30, 6 and 9 p.m. — below the 180-seat meetinghouse capacity.

Each service will last about 30 minutes, and include opportunities for participation by children. All services feature candlelight, too.

Masks are required in the meetinghouse. Congregants are asked to arrive early, for check-in.

Greens Farms Congregational Church (Photo/Candace Dohn Banks)

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Dozens of Westporters took time from hectic last-minute shopping yesterday, to contribute toys, books, coats and fundsto OneWestport’s collection. All donations will be given to Person to Person, the Fairfield County organization serving needing families.

James Dobin-Smith — founder of Staples High School’s OneWestport Club — says, “We were overwhelmed by how many people showed up. A 1st grader named George Gitto used the allowance he had saved up for months to buy picture books to donate from Barnes & Noble. We even got a cash donation from England!

“Thank you, everyone. We can’t wait to deliver the gifts on Christmas Eve!”

Congratulations to club members Dobin Smith, Caroline Caggiano, Isabelle Ormsby, Ian Patton, Cooper Sadler and Melanie Stanger.

OneWestport Club members with donations (from left): Melanie Stanger (with the two stuffed animals) and Ian Patton, Isabelle Ormsby, Cooper Sadler & me. Caroline Caggiano also volunteered but isn’t pictured.

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Remember Carlson & Gailmor?

Probably not. But read on.

More than 55 years after graduating from Staples, Rob Carlson still writes and records music. He’s better than ever. And he’s doing it with great local talent.

His latest effort was assembled over the last 3 years. With some new and some new recordings of older songs, it’s called simply “Rob Carlson.” It’s typically eclectic: folk, rock, jazz, pop, Americana, R&B, comedy and reggae.

COVID enabled Rob to record with other non-gigging greats like Westport session guitarist Jeff Southworth, jazz keyboardist Chris Coogan, and old friends like Jon Gailmor.

Yes — the legendary Carlson & Gailmor duo, whose long-out-of-print Polydor record is one of the all-time, hard-to-believe-it-never-made-it great records — is back together for a bit.

“Rob Carlson” is on Spotify, YouTube and other streaming services. The CD or tracks can be bought at Rob’s Online Store, or downloaded from Bandcamp.com. Find out more about the songs and artists by clicking here.

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This month, the Greens Farms Garden Club’s annual wreath-making workshop and lunch was special. They surprised long-time member Mary Lou McGuire with a Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut life membership.

She was cited for her many years of service, depth of experience, and breadth of talents in chairing and serving on almost all positions in the club.

All wreaths made by club members were donated to local non-profit groups.

Greens Farms Garden Club past [resident Ann Watkins, current president Kathy Mitchell, and Mary Lou McGuire

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Friends and relatives of Kuti Zeeva gathered last Sunday for a memorial soccer game, at PJ Romano Field.

Zeevi — a stalwart member of the Late Knights men’s soccer team, and a popular jeweler in town — was killed 10 years ago this month, in a robbery at his Compo Shopping Center store.

Regular and former players joined younger ones — including Kuti’s 10-year-old grandson — for soccer and stories. He lives on in the hearts of many. (Hat tip: Alex Anvari)

Celebrating Kuti Zeevi’s life last Sunday.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo offers a bit of needed whimsy. It’s on Ferry Lane East, off South Compo.

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … if you never heard Carlson & Gailmor sing together in their all-too-brief heyday time together after Staples, you missed some beautiful music.

Here — thanks to the magic of the interwebs — they live again.

Roundup: Candlelight Concert, Carol Sing, Chess …

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My bad.

I was so excited to announce yesterday that Staples High School’s Candlelight Concert will be streamed, that I gave the wrong date.

It’s not Christmas Day. The correct date for the streaming is Thursday, December 23, (8 p.m.). To access the stream that day of the concert (recorded earlier), just go to www.StaplesMusic.org.

Then sit back and enjoy.

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Speaking of holiday music:

The Unitarian Church of Westport’s Community Carol Sing is set for this Sunday (December 19, 4 to 5 p.m.).

It’s COVID safe: outdoors in the large parking lot (10 Lyons Plains Road).

A French horn will accompany songs (words provided), with everything from classic carols and fun favorites to Hanukkah songs. Hey — it’s the Unitarians!

Everyone is invited.

PS: There’s hot chocolate too.

There’s no need to dress up to join the Unitarian Church carol sing. But you can.

=======================================================There’s no better new activity for young kids than chess. It teaches a variety of skills, in a social environment.

And what better way for youngsters to learn than from others just a few years older?

Westport Continuing Education introduces a new after-school program for 1st through 5th grades. “Chess Buddies” pairs students from the Staples Chess Club with aspiring grandmasters (or anyone else who wants to learn).

The program begins next month, in all 5 elementary schools.

Stapleites will be paired with adult teachers, who assist. The cost is $169, for 8 sessions. Click here to register. For more information, email conted@westportps.org, or call 203-341-1209.

Staples Chess Club members Oscar Scher, Oliver Saitz and Jordan Chiu-Skow.

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Here’s just one of 6 turkey vultures that stopped this week at Elmwood Road.

Photographer Franco Fellah — who snapped this amazing “Westport .. Naturally” shot — says, “They are magnificent, a bit spooky, but certainly majestic.” He estimates their wingspan at about 7 feet.

(Photo/Franco Fellah)

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And finally … this week marks the 100th anniversary of the Bloody Mary.

Who knew?

Well, USA Today did. They say the never-out-of-style drink was invented at Harry’s Bar in Paris a century ago.

Fix yourself a cocktail, and read the full story here.

FUN WESTPORT FACTWestport’s own Kelli O’Hara starred in the 2008 Broadway revival of “South Pacific.” (She was Nellie Forbush, however — not Bloody Mary.)

Roundup: More Mitzvahs, Heating Help, Gaby Gonzalez …

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Yesterday’s “06880” lead story yesterday celebrated the works of members of 4 Westport synagogues. They’ll be honored December 12 by the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County, as part of their annual “Mitzvah Heroes” celebration.

But there’s a 5th Westporter too — from Congregation Beth El in Norwalk.

Stephanie Gordon has been a shul leader since 2007.  A lawyer professionally, she focuses her volunteerism in 2 areas: working toward “tikkun olam” (repairing the world), and improving her congregation

Committee work at Beth El includes Membership, vice president for Education and Fundraising, and the Board of Trustees and Executive Committee. But she’s hands-on too, from decorating the sukkah to greeting congregants on Shabbat.

For years Stephanie was part of Norwalk Open Doors’ shelter and kitchen crew. She then stepped up to lead. The pandemic notwithstanding, Stephanie continues to plan healthy menus, shops, recruits volunteers, and leads meal prep and service. 

Stephanie Gordon

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This winter could be one of the most expensive on record. That’s scary news for neighbors who already have trouble heating their homes.

The Westport Warm-Up Fund can help.

The initiative helps hundreds of Westporters with home heating expenses — thanks to others who donate.

Tax-deductible contributions can be made online (click here) or by mail:  Westport Warm-Up Fund, Department of Human Services, Westport Town Hall, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport CT 06880.

For more information — or to request help — call 203-341-1050, or email humansrv@westportct.gov.

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Gaby Gonzalez — the state champion Staples High School girls soccer star — has been named to the All-New England team.

Next fall, Gaby will play at Cornell University. It’s familiar territory: both her older sister Mia and father Jack played for the Big Red.

Congratulations, Gaby!

Gaby Gonzalez

 

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Human beings are not the only living things in Westport enjoying holiday decorations.

Chickens in this Hillspoint Road coop do too.

They also are happy that chicken is not a traditional Christmas meal.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

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Late-autumn Compo Beach reeds frame today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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And finally … on this day in 1988, Roy Orbison played his final concert. The country singer with an astonishing, angelic, operatic voice — who had a 2nd career with the Traveling Wilburys — died of heart failure 2 days later, at 52.

Meet Westport’s Mitzvah Heroes

Our cup runneth over.

On Sunday, December 12 (4 p.m., virtual), the Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County honors 14 men and women as “Mitzvah Heroes.” Four are from Westport.

The literal meaning of the Hebrew word mitzvah is “commandment.” But it has come to mean “doing a good deed, with empathy and kindness.” Here’s what our mitzvah heroes have done, to make enormous differences in the lives of many.

Alan Benjamin (nominated by Beit Chaverim Synagogue) is a past president of both the Federation and his congregation (where he serves on the board, building committee and more).

Alan Benjamin

When Beit Chaverim started hosting the Westport community minyan in 2017, Alan was a 2-day-a-week regular. By 2020 he was at minyan all 7 days, including a 3-mile walk on Shabbat.

He started leading parts of the service. He is a serious Torah student, taking regular classes and engaging in one-on-one sessions.

When COVID struck, Beit Chaverim shut for a while. When it reopened as a parking lot minyan, Alan ensured there were volunteers to lead. He’s still at it.

Alan is always one of the first to offer funds to help someone in need, or sponsor an event. He and his wife Amy have been strong supporters of Beit Chaverim for years. He is a prime force behind both the dedicated congregation, and the new building rapidly taking shape.

Nancy Cohen (The Conservative Synagogue) died in August. she is being honored posthumously.

Nancy Cohen

For years, Nancy cooked meals for people needing lifts. She set up tables for Shabbat dinner and break-fasts on Yom Kippur. She made sure shivas went smoothly, and helped make minyans.

She contributed to and raised money for charity and other projects — including lung cancer research — and helped strategize ways to make funds even more impactful.

A longtime champion of the underdog — even during her illness — Nancy lived the saying “say little, do much, greet every person with a cheerful face.”

Rochelle Green (Congregation for Humanistic Judaism of Fairfield County) helps people find meaning through connections with Jewish values, traditions and heritage.

Rochelle Green

As Ritual Committee chair, she oversees the content and co-leads High Holiday services. During the pandemic, she moved those services online. Members and guests joined in, observing the holidays from across the US.

As coordinator helping boys and girls prepare for bar and bat mitzvahs, Rochelle has helped younger members understand Jewish values, traditions and heritage. She reached an even younger audience as co-coordinator of CHJ’s Sunday school.

Rochelle’s many years as a board member has been marked by steady, thoughtful leadership and wise counsel. She provides support and helps with new initiatives, such as a recent oral history project.

Jennifer Rubin (Temple Israel) chairs the synagogue’s Caring Committee. She provides care and outreach to members who are sick or in mourning, with calls and visits.

Jennifer Rubin

She makes sure the clergy knows who needs particular attention and care, carrying out her role with diligence, dedication, compassion, sensitivity, insight and partnership.

Jennifer’s commitment has not wavered during COVID. She constantly seeks new ways to support members of her congregation.

The December 12 ceremony will be livestreamed, and is open to the entire community. Click here to register.

“06880” Podcast: Rev. Alison Patton

Whenever a minister moves to a new church, there’s a story.

The story was particularly intriguing when Rev. Alison Patton came to Saugatuck Congregational Church.

It’s one of our oldest congregations. In fact, the meetinghouse was where Westport was founded — from parts of Norwalk, Fairfield and Weston — in 1835.

Even more intriguing: The new pastor did not actually have a church to preach and work in. It was closed for rebuilding, after a Thanksgiving fire that nearly burned it to the ground.

What impelled her to take on that challenge? What has she learned about Westport in the years since? Why is social justice so important to her church, and to her personally? What drives her interfaith work in Westport?

Those are some of the topics Rev. Patton and I discussed in the latest “06880” podcast. Now — thanks to the Westport Library– you can hear our conversation. Just click below.

Friday Flashback #272

Yesterday marked the second straight Thanksgiving without a traditional community feast.

The decades-long event has had bumps before. When Saugatuck Congregational Church was recovering from a fire, Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church stepped up to host.

Some years there were more than enough volunteers to cook, serve and clean up. Other times, folks did double or triple duty.

But the feast was always there: an in-person affirmation that our town is truly a “community.”

COVID changed the event. This year dinners were delivered to recipients.

They were grateful (and well fed). They gave thanks.

But fingers are crossed that next year, the Thanksgiving Community Feast will be in person once again. Our town would be truly thankful.

A small part of the 2014 Thanksgiving Community Feast. Gatherings like this seem like a page out of the past.

Roundup: Leaf Pickup, Riverside Avenue Closure, Charlie Karp …

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From now through December 6, Westport’s Public Works Department is collecting leaves placed in biodegradable paper bags on the curbside.

All leaves must be placed safely near the curb of a town street (not private roads to guarantee pickup. Leaves placed in plastic bags will not be picked up (the composting process cannot handle plastic).

For further information, call Public Works office at 203-341-1120.

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Saugatuck drivers beware!

From today through Tuesday (November 23), a road improvement project will close Riverside Avenue between Bridge Street and Saugatuck Avenue to all but local businesses and residents. All other traffic must use Saugatuck Avenue and Charles Street.

Closed for renovation.

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Charlie Karp was a Westport musical legend.

The Staples High Class of 1971 member dropped out of school to play guitar and tour with Buddy Miles. He later played with Jimi Hendrix, then returned to the area and front numerous bands. He inspired countless young musicians. His death from liver cancer in 2019 was followed by an all-star memorial concert at the Levitt Pavilion.

Yesterday, friends and classmates unveiled a memorial plaque at Staples. It’s part of the music department’s showcase, and highlights his career and influence.

Among the attendees: Mark Soboslai, Rafe Klein, Walter Panek, Bruce Carter, Brian Keane, Bonnie Erickson and Lynn Untermeyer Miller.

Westport Public Schools’ music and visual arts coordinator Steve Zimmerman (left) and Walter Panek, plaque and logo designer. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Karp’s death also spawned 2 documentary films. The second — just released to the public — was created by his friends and fans. It tells the story of his life, and the tribute concert. To view this gift to the community, click here.

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Westport Country Playhouse’s popular script-in-hand reading series is back — live!

“A Merry Little Christmas Carol” — written and directed by Script in Hand curator Mark Shanahan — combines magic, holiday cheer and the magic of the holiday.

It’s in person on December 13 (7 p.m.).

For theater-goers not ready, or unable, to return to the theater, an on-demand livestream is also available (December 16-19).

Click here for tickets and more information.

The Script in Hand series returns to the Westport Country Playhouse. (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

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Assumption Church has embarked on a culturally diverse music program.

This Sunday (November 21), the Filipino Community Choir sings at 5 p.m. mass.  The Hispanic Community Choir follows December 12 (9 a.m.), with the Vietnamese Community Choir on January 3.

Still to be scheduled: the Haitian Community Choir and Regina Pacis School Children’s Choir.

Filipino Community Choir

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Congratulations to the Westport Soccer Association’s U-12 white travel team, coached by Alyson Panaro: league champions!

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One more “Westport … Naturally” gorgeous view, before the leaves fade:

Saugatuck River view. (Photo/Claudia Sherwood Servidio)

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And finally … if you’ve never heard Charlie Karp play guitar (see story above), check out his work with Buddy Miles …

… and solo:

Pic Of The Day #1672

Assumption Church and Saugatuck River (Photo/Tatyana Hixon)

Roundup: Kristallnacht Observance, Water Rescue, Riverside Avenue …

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Tonight marks the 83rd anniversary of Kristallnacht — the night the Nazis’ repressive policies toward Jews turned violent. At least 91 men, women and children were murdered; 1,000 synagogues were attacked and vandalized, with over 300 demolished, and at least 7,500 Jewish-owned businesses were destroyed.

The number of eyewitnesses to those horrors is rapidly fading. But tonight, a special commemoration (Tuesday, Saugatuck Congregational Church, 7 p.m., in person and livestream) includes Ruth Zimbler. As a child, she watched her synagogue in Vienna burn.

Two days later, she and her 6-year-old brother escaped on the Kindertransport to the Netherlands. Her story — filled with love, hope and optimism — is a chance to hear from a survivor who was old enough to remember, and at 93 still young enough to tell her story.

The event will be moderated by Dr. Gavriel Rosenfeld, professor of Germanic Studies at Fairfield University. Click here for the YouTube livestream link; click here for the Facebook link.

Co-sponsors include The Conservative Synagogue, Temple Israel, Federation for Jewish Philanthropy, and Merkaz Community High School for Judaic Studies.

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At 5:55 a.m. this morning, Westport Police officers responded to Saugatuck Shores on a report of an elderly male who was missing.

Officers immediately searched the area, and saw the man partially submerged in the water. Working quickly in the cold, they deployed a canoe located nearby.

One officer held the man’s head above the water, while others lifted him into the canoe. Once ashore, the Westport Fire Department helped bring him to waiting EMS personnel.

They evaluated the man, and transported him to the hospital for further treatment.

While his condition is unknown, any injuries did not appear life=threatening.

Police, Fire Department and EMS personnel work together during this morning’s water rescue. (Photo courtesy of Westport Police Department)

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If it’s mid-November, it must be time for … the indoor Westport Farmers’ Market.

Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center once again hosts the long-running institution. The winter market opens Thursday, November 18. It runs every Thursday (except Thanksgiving) through March 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It’s open-air, throughout 3 greenhouses. Favorite summer vendors return, with high-quality locally grown or raised fruits, vegetables, meats, cheeses, milk, baked and prepared foods, plus handmade items.

WFM kicks off the season with a celebration. Bubble and Brew, and Parlor Pizza, will set up trucks outside the greenhouses. Staples graduate Luke Molina will play music. while Mae Farrell entertains youngsters in the Get Growing program with a nature-inspired craft.

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A Riverside Avenue improvement project — involving demolition of the concrete roadwaym and reconstruction of the pavement — begins today.

Traffic on Riverside Avenue between Bridge Street and Saugatuck Avenue (the area of Viva Zapata and the Saugatuck Rowing Club) will be restricted to northbound (headed toward the Post Road) vehicles only. All southbound traffic will detour down Saugatuck Avenue to Charles Street.

During paving — planned for this Thursday and Friday — the road section will be closed to all but local traffic. All other traffic will be detoured around Charles Street and Saugatuck Avenue.

Riverside Avenue area slated for reconstruction.

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“Doubt: A Parable” — the thought-provoking play running now at the Westport Country Playhouse — has earned great praise.

But no one has mentioned that Kerstin Anderson — the woman playing the young nun — has a Westport connection. She’s the daughter of 1976 Staples High School graduate Ted Anderson, and the niece of longtime “06880” reader Britt Anderson.

Neither Ted nor Britt live in Westport now. But both were on hand opening night. They were proud of Kerstin — no “doubt”!

Kerstin Anderson and her aunt Britt Anderson, at the Westport Country Playhouse.

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Westport artist Steven Parton’s oil painting, “Anticipation,” is being shown at the 93rd Grand National Exhibit of the American Artists Professional League, in New York’s  Salmagundi Club.

“Anticipation” (Steven Parton)

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Today’s amazing “Westport … Naturally” fall foliage shot shows a Jennie Lane/Mayflower Parkway scene, off South Compo. Enjoy it while it lasts!

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … on this day in 1967, Rolling Stone magazine published its first issue. You know what song that means:

 

Roundup: Rev. Patton, AAPI Westport, Staples Sports …

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Saugatuck Congregational Church has been awarded a $50,000 Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program grant. Funds allow congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.

Rev. Alison Patton will begin her 3-month sabbatical in June. She will volunteer with a marine conservation program in the Maldives, and spend time with her family on a regenerative farm in Costa Rica.

Patton says, “I used to think I wanted to be a marine biologist. I now know I’m not a scientist; I am an admirer of the natural world in all its rich biodiversity. In the face of a worsening climate crisis and multiplying threats to biodiversity, I believe we are called to help craft a sustainable future for our planet. I am excited to use this time to take a deep dive into 2 biodiverse environments, to witness the impact of climate change, explore what’s being done to combat it and share some of that adventure with my family.”

Kim Mathias — moderator of Saugatuck’s Church Council — says the congregation will also benefit from this time of rest and renewal.

“Spending time outdoors during the pandemic and working on this grant application have fueled SCC’s interest in environmental issues,” she notes. “While Patton is away, the congregation will deepen its connection with our local ecosystem, exploring the beautiful coastal community of Westport and surrounding towns and digging deeper into the issues surrounding climate change. They look forward to renewing relationships with one another while learning how to better protect our coastal environment.”

Rev. Alison Patton

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AAPI Westport was created in March 2021, following a rise in violence and racism against the Asian community. The mission of the group — which stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — is to foster a sense of belonging within the community, while increasing AAPI visibility and awareness throughout Westport and beyond.

The organizers — all mothers — hope to create an environment where their children feel proud of their heritage.

Today they launched a website. Their Instagram is @aapiwestport.

Anyone interested in helping further their mission, through financial support or volunteering time, should email aapiwestport@gmail.com.

At an AAPI rally on Jesup Green last March, a flag flew at half staff in memory of Asian-Americans killed last week in Atlanta.

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It seems like every week, the Staples High School girls swim and dive team sets new records.

The latest came at the FCIAC championships last week. And not 1, but 3 records fell.

In a big way.

Freshman Annam Olasewere set a state and FCIAC record in the 50 yard free, with a time of 22.77. Her 50.18 in the 100 yard free also set a new FCIAC record.

Senior Jessica Qi finished second in that event, with a season best 52.21. Qi also took second in the 200 free with a time of 1:56.05

The relay team of freshman Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere and seniors Ella Alpert and Jessica Qi set a new FCIAC record in the 200 free relay (1:36.27) and also won the 400 free relay (3:31.87)

Staples moves on to compete in the Class LL and state open championships. More record-setting performances may be in the works.

Winning 400 meter free relay: From left to right Ella Alpert, Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere and Jessica Qi

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Speaking of sports: The Staples High School boys soccer team raised thousands of dollars for their program — and several thousand more for Bridgeport Central High School’s soccer team — at last night’s annual Quiz Night.

The winning trivia team — Jacob Greenberger, Jackson Hochhauser Spencer Levine, Murilo Moreno, Jaden Mueller and Caleb Tobias. plus Oliver Clachko, wrestler/lacrosse player Nick Augeri and lacrosse player/WWPT-FM sports director Max Udell — answered questions like “What was the first word spoken on the moon?” (“Houston”), what is the only mammal that can fly (bats), and what is the first game played in “Squid Game” (Red Light Green Light).

They also took first place last year during COVID, when Quiz Night was virtual. This year’s event — which drew about 150 participants — returned again to the Staples cafeteria.

Quiz Night winners!

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As the weather turns cool, some equally cool classic cars turn up at Compo Beach.

Andrew Colabella spotted several — including this one, with a classic pose — over the weekend.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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“Westport … Naturally” never gets tired of autumn leaf pictures.

Of course, before we know it they’ll be done. And we’ll move on to snowscapes.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … on this day in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt was elected 32nd president of the United States.