Category Archives: Saugatuck

Pics Of The Day #2356

Today’s weather sliced into the Slice of Saugatuck attendance.

But plenty of people of all ages still headed to the triangle formed by Riverside Avenue, Railroad Place and Saugatuck Avenue, for the 11th annual food tasting, retail experience and fundraiser for the Homes with Hope pantry.

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce event included bouncy houses, a face painter, balloon bender, firehouse tours, beer and wine gardens, and 7 bands.

Any way you slice it, it was a great Saugatuck day.

Pasta, meatballs — and dog treats — at Tutti’s …

… Tuck Gin on Railroad Place …

… kids’ fun by the train station …

… tickets sold by RTM moderator (and former Homes with Hope CEO) Jeff Wieser …

… one of 7 bands …

… Deputy Fire Chief Nick Marsan at the Saugatuck stationhouse, where the Fire Department raised awareness of breast cancer …

… and let little kids drive a fire truck …

… treats at Saugatuck Sweets …

… and cheeseburger meatball at Match Burger Lobster (All photos/Dan Woog)

Roundup: Slice Is On, Dogs Are Out, Bitcoin Is Back …

Forget yesterday’s weather. And this morning’s.

Today’s Slice of Saugatuck is on! The weather prediction is for clearing this afternoon:

Come out from indoors! Enjoy the rest of the day in Saugatuck. There’s food, fun, kids’ activities, and 7 bands.

It’s starts at 2 p.m., and runs until 5. Click here for more information.


Members of Staples’ Service League of Boys (SLOBs) braved the rain to help set up for the Slice of Saugatuck.


Tomorrow is October 1. Which means that from Sunday through March 31:

  • Dogs are prohibited from the Compo Beach Pavilion, playground and walkways.
  • All dogs must be leashed in all areas, except the designated off-leash area south of the Pavilion, including South Beach.
  • You are required by law to pick up your dog’s feces.

Violators will be fined $77.

In addition, Westport Parks & Recreation director Jen Fava notes that animals are prohibited from all athletic fields and playgrounds at all times.

As of October 1, dogs are allowed back on Compo Beach. It’s okay, Yogi – you can go in! (Photo/Cathy Malkin)


Tomorrow’s New York Times Magazine includes a long story on Josh Koskoff. The 3rd-generation lawyer — and longtime Westporter — is profiled for his lawsuits against companies that make assault rifles.

Author Michael Steinberger notes that he grew up a year behind Koskoff here, though they cannot recall ever talking.

Click here for the full, fascinating piece.

Josh Koskoff


In May, the Westport Police Detective Bureau initiated an investigation after a victim reported they had fallen for an elaborate financial scam.

In January, the victim was convinced to move money from a retirement account into a “Kraken” cryptocurrency account. Between January and March, over $3 million worth of Bitcoin was withdrawn and transferred to cryptocurrency wallets the victim did not control.

Working with the State Police Organized Crime Task Force, Westport detectives tracked the transactions and froze all accounts associated with the scam.

The investigation led to individuals in Pakistan. Although arrests are highly unlikely, Westport detectives recovered $3.2 million, which was returned to the victim.


Last weekend, Peter Swift wrote an “06880 Opinion” piece about the wetlands, watershed and retention pond near Muddy Brook, by Long Lots Elementary School.

This was the scene yesterday in back of the school, by Bauer Place Extension. The retention pond overflowed, in the heavy rain.

(Photo/Peter Swift)


The other day, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston hosted legendary University of Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma.

On Monday (October 2), their guest will discuss a different kind of “court.”

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong comes to the Westport Library at 7 p.m.

His talk is called

“From Bierbaum to the Sacklers: How Connecticut Attorney General William Tong Looks Out for Connecticut Citizens.” Just this week, Connecticut joined federal regulators and 16 other states in suing Amazon over allegations that the e-commerce giant took advantage of its market dominance to inflate prices, overcharge sellers and suppress competition.

Tong will talk about the collapse of Joseph Bierbaum’s for-profit colleges, Stone Academy and Paier School of Art, as well as the cooperative, multi-state effort to hold the Sacklers and Purdue Pharma accountable for their actions.

The event is open to the public.

Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.


The next Friday the 13th comes just weeks before Halloween. The best way to celebrate? With Fireside Mystery Theatre at the Westport Library.

At 6:30 p.m., the award-winning audio theater production company premiers “Nightfall on the Nutmeg State.” The 4 pieces were written especially for the Library.

The troupe’s actors will read live on stage, in full costume, each in front of a mic with script in hand.

The live performance will be recorded and later featured on Fireside Mystery Theatre’s podcast feed, which has reached millions of listeners around the world. It bridges the gap between the Golden Age of Radio and the podcast era.

Tickets are $20. The event is a warmup to StoryFest, the annual literary festival. It runs October 20-22, featuring Neil Gaiman, Angie Kim, Gabino Iglesias, Caroline Kepnes, Eric LaRocca, Josh Malerman and many more.

Click here for tickets, and more information.


The other day, Carolyn Wilkinson noticed something was wrong.

The iconic sign — “Bridge Square, Saugatuck, Conn.”  is gone.

It hung there for over 50 years, Carolyn said.

Hey, it was nice while it lasted.

(Photo/Izzy Sareen for Inklings)


Each year around this time, Green’s Farms Church members fan out in Westport, Norwalk and Bridgeport, to work on Service Day projects with partners.

Last Sunday they did landscaping, kitchen clean-up, carpentry, community closet organization, and many other tasks, alongside Homes with Hope’s Gillespie Center, Open Doors Shelter, Pivot Ministries, Recovery Community Development and Bridgeport Rescue Mission.

As the photo below shows, there were plenty of them. And they spanned all ages.

Green’s Farms Church Service Day volunteers.


Mark Shanahan does not take over as Westport Country Playhouse artistic director until next year.

But he’s written, and will direct, “A Sherlock Carol,” Set for December 19-23, it brings characters from Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle together in a story of intrigue and suspense (plus holiday cheer).

Click here for tickets, and more information.


The Longshore Ladies 9 Holers held their annual charity event Thursday, in support of the Westport Woman’s Club food closet.

They collected a trunk full of food items — and collected $1,200 in donations.

That’s quite a day. Hardly “par for the course.”

Longshore ladies golf food for the pantry.


Boygenius — a hot band on a nationwide tour — played at New Haven’s Westville Music Bowl on Thursday.

The opening act was Palehound. Guitarist/vocalist El Kempner graduated from Staples High School in 2010.

Palehound at Westville Music Bowl. (Photo and hat tip/Larry Perlstein)


Larry Kastriner died September 14. He was 92, and lived in Westport for 52 years. a

He was born in what was Czechoslovakia to Hungarian parents. He emigrated with them in 1940 to Bridgeport, where where he excelled in academics and competed for the high school swim team.

Larry received a full scholarship to Columbia University. He majored in chemical engineering and was a varsity swimmer. He then earned a master’s degree, and pivoted to patent law.

Newly married to Mary Tydor, Larry attended George Washington University Law School evenings while working full time at the US Patent and Trademark Office. He also clerked at the Court of Customs & Patent Appeals.

Following the birth of their daughter, Marianne, he and Mary moved to Yonkers. He began his career at Union Carbide as a patent attorney.  A second daughter, Susan was born. The family moved to Westport in 1965, where they had their third daughter, Cathryn.

Larry enjoyed a long and successful career with Union Carbide (later Praxair) as chief patent counsel.

The family was very involved in the Unitarian Universalist Church of Westport. He served on the Board of Tax Review and was a dedicated member of the YMCA, where he swam and played volleyball. He was a regular attendee at Y’s Men events.

He and Mary spent many evenings walking on the beach or watching the sunset, socializing with friends, and swimming, sailing and playing tennis at Longshore.

While working full time, Larry also taught patent law at the Pace University Law School, as an adjunct professor.  In retirement Larry enjoyed gardening, sculpting, and spending winters at the condo that he and Mary owned in Longboat Key, FL.

Larry and Mary moved to Rockville, Maryland in 2017, to be closer to their children and grandchildren.

Larry is survived by his wife of nearly 66 years, Mary; daughters Marianne (Dean) Schwanke, Susan (Andrew) Lawrence, and Cathy Kastriner, and grandchildren Billy and Matthew Schwanke, Anna Lawrence, and Sophie and Kel Kastriner.

A celebration of life will be held October 14 in Rockville. Larry’s ashes will be interred at the Unitarian Church in Westport in connection with a service in the spring. In lieu of flowers, anyone wishing to contribute to Larry’s memory may donate to the organization of their choice, or plant a tree in his memory.

Larry Kastriner


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows the force of nature.

It’s Deadman Brook, yesterday:

(Photo/Sal Liccione)


And finally … today is the birthday of Frankie Lymon.

The soprano lead singer of the Teenagers was born in Washington Heights in 1942. He died 25 years later, of a heroin overdose.

In between, he made this masterpiece:

(Don’t be a fool! Please help support “06880”: your hyper-local blog. Just click here. Thank you!)

Charrette Moves Hamlet Forward

Eight months after the RTM voted 33-1 to uphold a Planning & Zoning Commission decision to allow new development in Saugatuck, preparations for The Hamlet are moving along.

The developers are leaving nothing to chance.

This month, architects and others from DPZ — a firm specializing in pedestrian-oriented neighborhood planning — came to Westport, from offices in Washington, Miami, Portland and Puerto Rico, to see Saugatuck first-hand.

And to listen.

Working in the Riverside Avenue office of ROAN Venture, they invited town officials and others to a charrette, to view plans and offer feedback. The goal is to hear concerns about traffic, zoning, the marina and other elements while the process is still in the design phase.

Conversations result in changes “in real time,” said DPZ partner Marina Khoury.

Renderings of waterside elements of The Hamlet at Saugatuck.

The first official on Monday was Conservation Department director Colin Kelly. He offered insights into Westport’s Waterway Protection Line Ordinance, setbacks, seawalls, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, and more.

Representatives from the Police Department, Selectwoman’s office and others were invited this week too.

Some attendees criticized the proposal when it was announced last year. “We want input from everyone,” says Pete Romano, whose LandTech environmental engineering firm is working with ROAN Ventures, DPZ and noted architect Bill Bensley on the project.

DPZ’s Marina Khoury and LandTech’s Pete Romano, with The Hamlet at Saugatuck drawings in ROAN Ventures’ office.

The Hamlet at Saugatuck encompasses the rectangle between Riverside Avenue, Railroad Place, Franklin Street and Charles Street, plus land on Riverside Avenue from Tutti’s to Railroad Place, and the private parking lot above Luciano Park now used for boat storage.

Plans include retail, restaurants, residences, a hotel, marina, a gourmet market and kids’ club near Luciano Park, a boardwalk, underground parking — and a total renovation of the 21 Charles Street office building.

Artist’s rendering of the re-skinning of 21 Charles Street …

… and the view from the Saugatuck River.

(“06880” broke the story of The Hamlet at Saugatuck last year. If you appreciate local journalism, please click here to upport our work. Thank you!)

Pic Of The Day #2349

I-95 bridge project, at Exit 17 (Photo/Whitmal Cooper)

Slice Of Saugatuck Postponed To September 30

The Slice of Saugatuck — originally scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday) — will be postponed to September 30 (2 to 5 p.m.).

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce says: “After consulting with the Westport Fire and Police Departments and looking at multiple weather forecasts, the risk and threat of thunderstorms during the event was too clear to run the festival tomorrow.

“The large footprint of the event coupled with many exposed vendors, bands and residents at the festival, means considering safety beyond just hoping people don’t get wet. A rain date was always built into the planning. All the bands, vendors and the bouncy house supplier have confirmed they will attend on the 30th.”

“We ran 10 Slices in a row without any modification. I guess we were due, especially with how the weather has changed recently,” says Matthew Mandell, founder of the event. “Saugatuck will be here in 3 weeks for everyone to come out and enjoy.”

With Rosh Hashanah next week and the Lobster Fest the week after, the 30th was set for the alternate date when the event was planned.

For information about the Slice of Saugatuck, click here.

Pic Of The Day #2324

Seen on the Saugatuck:

(Photo/Ted Horowitz)

(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)


Pic Of The Day #2316

Franklin Street I-95 underpass (Photo/JD Dworkow)

Photo Challenge #451

Last week’s Photo Challenge was interesting — both the image, and the answers.

Nearly a dozen readers quickly checked in with the correct response: Bruce McFadden’s shot of big beams and heavy machinery indeed showed the swing turntable underneath the William F. Cribari Bridge over the Saugatuck River, connecting Bridge Street and Saugatuck Avenue. (Click here to see.)

But then several others all said it was the underside of the I-95 Saugatuck River bridge, or perhaps another on the same highway.

Fortunately, the I-95 span does not swing open. Imagine the traffic jams if it did!

Congratulations to Morley Boyd, Alfred Herman, Jonathan McClure, Tom Risch, Jim McKay, Diane Silfen, Ken Runkel, Abby Gordon-Tolan, Seth Schachter, Craig Clark, Ann Bacharach, Micheal Simso, Ralph Balducci, Andrew Colabella, Matt McGrath and Howard Potter. You know your undersides of bridge machinery!

Here’s a nice late-summer one challenge. If you know where in Westport you’d see this peaceful scene, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Patti Brill)

(Here’s a challenge: Please support your hyper-local blog. Click here to donate. And thank you!)

Pic Of The Day #2314

It’s massive. It’s disruptive. But this shot makes the I-95 Saugatuck Avenue Bridge renovation project look almost majestic. (Photo/Dave Stone)

Roundup: I-95, Tacombi, Music …

The new and massive I-beams at northbound I-95 Exit 17 have residents wondering: Is there really going to be a new bridge there?

New construction on Saugatuck Avenue, at I-95. (Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

Not exactly.

Sometime this fall, the Saugatuck Avenue bridge will be replaced, using “accelerated bridge construction.”

A new bridge will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge. That’s what the new I-beams will support.

Over a single weekend (Friday evening to Monday morning), the current bridge will be demolished. The new structure will be installed in its place.

The date for that complicated (but quick) work has not been set. The entire State Department of Transportation project — which extends south to Norwalk’s Exit 16 — is projected to run through November 1, 2024. (Hat tip: Andrew Colabella)


Speaking of I-95: Traffic is a mess this morning, throughout Westport.

A major accident on the highway northbound between Exits 17 and 18 caused collateral damage everywhere, as drivers sought alternate routes.

Stay off the roads for a while, if you can.

If you can’t: Leave early!

Saturday morning traffic on Post Road West, in front of Kings Highway Elementary School. (Photo/Susan Garment)


The soft opening — and much-anticipated run-up to Tacombi’s opening — continued last night.

Realtor Judy Michaelis and Hightower Financial Group hosted a special party. All ticket sales supported Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service.

An enormous crowd enjoyed margaritas, special watermelon drinks, and the New York-based taqueria’s signature dishes.

The official opening is Monday (August 7). Click here for more Tacombi info.

Enjoying Tacombi last night (from left): Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Service president Mike Burns; 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker; hosts Hightower Financial Group and Judy Michaelis; Tacombi manager; Police Chief Foti Koskinas; WVEMS vice president Larry Kleinman. (Photo/Dan Woog)


Also last night: The Soul Drivers rocked the Levitt Pavilion, with their Memphis Soul sound. Tonight (Saturday) it’s Theo Kandel; tomorrow, Quadrature. Click here for (free) tickets, and more information.

Soul Drivers (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

Not far away last night, Massive Diva entertained diners at Walrus Alley. They’re there — right next to Don Memo — every Friday night. Tonight (7:30 to 11) it’s the always-popular Zambonis.

Massive Diva (Photo/MaryLou Roels)


Also last night: approximately 20 clammers in Sherwood Mill Pond.

Each white light is the LED headlamp of a Sherwood Mill Pond clammer. (Photo/Matt Murray)


One more event last night:

Westport firefighters responded to a house fire on Warnock Drive, off Easton Road.

Most damage was limited to the exterior and front attic space. There were no injuries. Westport Emergency Medical Service and Westport Police assisted.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Warnock Drive fire. (Photo courtesy of Westport Fire Department)


The Y’s Women meet every Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Compo. They enjoy late-day sun, interesting conversations and good laughs.

They extend an invitation to all: “Bring your own food, drinks and chair, and come say hello!”

Y’s Women at Compo Beach.


Is there anything more natural in Westport than water, sun and clouds?

Jason Pike captured this scene perfectly, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature:

(Photo/Jason Pike)


And finally …  on this day in 1957, Dick Clark’s “American Bandstand” debuted on ABC. Televised entertainment was never the same.

(“06880” has your weekend covered. And every other day too. Please support your hyper-local blog. Click here — and thank you!)