Category Archives: Saugatuck

Roundup: Remarkable Films, Stop The Bleed, Marine Police …

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Doug Tirola — one of the founders of the Remarkable Theater — is a native Westporter, and father of a Staples High School student. He know we’ve got some remarkable members of the senior class — and that they had a remarkable year.

Tomorrow Doug — whose day job is filmmaking — wants to hear about their experiences. He’s making a short feature starring Staples seniors. It will play before (naturally) the drive-in screening of “The Breakfast Club” later this month.

High school seniors are invited to a quick interview tomorrow (Wednesday, June 16, 3 p.m.) at Staples’ front entrance.

NOTE: Seniors who are not yet 18 should email kate@4throwfilms.com for a release form, to be signed by a parent prior to film.

“The Breakfast Club”: Quite possibly the best high school movie ever made.

 

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The vibe at Westport Paddle Club is chill.

But the young staff — overseeing kayaks, paddleboards and the increasingly crowded Saugatuck River — has major responsibilities.

Yesterday, owners Taryn and Robbie Guimond brought Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services staff onto the Riverside Avenue site. EMTs ran everyone through every imaginable safety scenario and protocol.

The entire Westport Paddle Club staff is now certified in CPR, first aid and “stop the blood.” They’re ready for anything — and for you.

Safety first at Westport Paddle Club.

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Speaking of safety … Sandra Lefkowitz writes:

“With so much negativity about police in our country, we feel lucky we have a Police Department that responds quickly and professionally  to our needs, on many levels.

“On Sunday around 2:30 p.m., my husband Larry and I, 2 Westport friends and our puppy were stranded on our small boat in the Sound. It just stopped, and refused to start again no matter what we were tried.

“To our much appreciated rescue came 2 police officers: a man and a woman. With efficiency, respect and utmost professionalism, we were towed to our marina on Saugatuck shores.

“We are privileged to live in a town with such an incredible Police Department. Thank you!”

The Lefkowitzes’ boat, after being towed to safety.

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For weeks, Pequot Trail neighbors have been upset about the clear-cutting done in preparation for a teardown and new home.

Yesterday, News12 reported on the issue.

As noted in the report, owners can do whatever they want with their property. But, Tree Board chair Monica Buesser notes, trees play many roles beyond beauty — including noise abatement and reduced flood risk.

Click here for the News12 story.

Aerial view of clear cutting on Pequot Trail. (Screenshot courtesy of News 12

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Marketplace at Franny’s of Westport celebrates its first year as a local pop-up partner this Saturday (June 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.).

The Bedford Square shop will be filled with live music, free samples and giveaways. Tracey Medeiros will sign copies of “The Art of Cooking with Cannabis,” and Franny Tacy — founder of Franny’s Farmacy — will be on hand too, to say, um, “hi.”

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The world is opening up. But plenty of neighbors are still in dire straits.

To help fill Person 2 Person’s Norwalk food pantry, Westport Sunrise Rotary members will collect food donations in the rear of Saugatuck Congregational Church (Saturday, June 26, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

They urge folks to include these items on upcoming shopping trips: hearty soups, snack and granola bars, pasta and sauce, 1-pound rice boxes, peanut butter and jelly, mac and cheese, canned tuna and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables, dried and canned beans, pancake mix, cold cereal, oatmeal and shelf-stable milk.

Among the most needed household and personal items: laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner, dryer sheets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, disinfectant wipes, hand and body soap, kitchen sponges, deodorant, liquid dish detergent, diapers and wipes (especially sizes 5 and 6), tissues and Kleenex.

From left: Greg Dobbs (Person2Person food pantry site manger) with Westport Sunrise Rotarians Rob Hauck and president George Masumian.

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What would “Westport … Naturally” be without a very cool deer photo?

Well, a lot leafier, for one thing …

(Photo/Katherine Bruan)

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And finally … today is the birthday of Waylon Jennings. Born in 1937, he died in 2002. Along the way, he gave us classics like:

Paddle For Trash. Then Party On!

Free paddle boats. Free food. Free reggae.

And the river wins.

That’s the plan for next Saturday evening (June 19). Westport Paddle Club — the great kayak rental/lesson/tour place on Riverside Avenue — invites everyone to grab a kayak or paddleboard. The friendly young staff will help you launch (and provide bags and gloves, if needed).

Scour the Saugatuck River for trash and debris. It starts around 5 p.m. — an hour or so before high tide — so you can paddle up with the tide, then drift back with it too. Bring it back (or hand it off to a support skiff) to the Paddle Club-provided dumpster.

Everyone will be back before 8. It will still be light — and time to party. Jr’s Deli & Grille provides the grub.

Westport Paddle Club’s Taryn and Robbie Guimond organized the event. But they’re not doing it alone.

Longshore Sailing School has hopped on board. They’ll donate kayaks and a support boat to clean the south side of the river (below the bridge), and the harbor area. They’ll head to the Paddle Club when they’re done too.

PS: Neighbors can collect garbage along the shoreline too, then dispose of it in the club’s dumpster. Or just leave it on the curb; the club will haul it the rest of the way. But be sure to stay for the fun!

Launch from the dock. Scour the river. Then have fun!

 

Roundup: Flowers, Hiawatha, Yarn …

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Sure, the Town Hall steps and columns could use some refurbishing.

But they look better today, thanks to yesterday’s Westport Garden Club #FridayFlowers decorations. It doesn’t take much to help, that’s for sure.

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Speaking of politics: On Tuesday night, the Representative Town Meeting affirmed the Planning & Zoning Commission’s decision to allow 157 units of housing to be built on Hiawatha Lane.

The decision to settle with the developer — Summit Saugatuck — and put an end to 3 lawsuits seems to be final.

However, Carolanne Curry — a resident of the area, and founder of Save Old Saugatuck — vows to keep fighting.

“SOS will continue  efforts,” she says. “Neighbors will continue to meet and share ideas and concerns. We will continue to do our collective research and telephoning. Motivated more than ever to save this community and keep our homes, we will find other paths to victory.”

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Westport Yarns has plenty of colorful stock. In honor of rainbow month, they host their first Craft with Pride Day next Saturday (June 19).

The shop opposite Fresh Market will have kits for a Pride neckerchief, and a silent auction for a ceramic piece by Jon Puzzuoli.

Auction proceeds — and 10% of the day’s sales — will go to Westport Pride, the town’s LGBTQ organization.

 

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SoulCycle has reopened its indoor Westport studio, at 50% capacity. They’ve redesigned their space, emphasizing safety, comfort — and of course, the importance of cycling for physical and mental health.

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Congratulations to Luke Brodsky and Bradley Sheppard. The Staples High School tennis players completed an undefeated season by winning the state invitational doubles tournament yesterday.

Luke Brodsky and Bradley Sheppard. (Photo courtesy of The Ruden Report)

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The other day, “Westport … Naturally” — well, okay, I — misidentified a Canada goose as a mallard. Hey, it was a long day.

Here is an actual mallard. It’s everything it’s quacked up to be.

(Photo/JC Martin)

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And finally … in honor of the “Westport … Naturally” photo above, here’s proof that as bad a shape America may be in today, we’ve seen far worse before:

 

Pic Of The Day #1514

Boats and the I-95 bridge (Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

Friday Flashback #247

As traffic builds once again in Saugatuck, many drivers are stuck on Charles Street. They have time to look at Tarry Lodge, and wonder about its odd configuration on that tight lot.

Did it used to be something else?

Of course! Everything in Westport was once different.

Tarry Lodge — and before that, Abbondanza — was once Esposito’s service station.

In this 1929 photo — posted to social media by Deej Webb — it was the place to go for “No-Nox” Gulf gas, tires, ice cream, tobacco and “provisions.”

A taxi service operated there too. The phone number was 418.

As with many old photographs, there are questions. Are those the Espositos posing in front? If so, did they always dress that way? If not, who are those customers, and where were they going?

What about the little kid hiding shyly in the doorway? He (or she?) could still be alive today — though nearing 100.

Esposito’s was around for a long time. Here’s a view from the mid-1950s. Still a Gulf station, by then it offered storage, washing and lubrication.

You can really see the bones of Tarry Lodge in the photo above.

You can also see I-95 behind it — midway through construction that sliced through the neighborhood.

And contributes to the heavy traffic at this same spot today.

Roundup: RTM & Hiawatha, Mercury & Cumby’s, Coral & Ospreys …

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This week, the Representative Town Meeting’s Planning & Zoning Subcommittee voted 5-1 to uphold the P&Z’s agreement with Summit Saugatuck, to build 157 units of housing — some of it deemed “affordable” — on Hiawatha Lane, near I-95 Exit 17.

The debate now moves to the full RTM. That meeting is set for June 8 (7:30 p.m., Zoom).

It will be livestreamed on http://www.westportct.gov, and shown on Optimum channel 79 and Frontier channel 6020.

Members of the public may attend the meeting by video. Send an email before or during the session to RTMcomments@westportct.gov, with your name and address. Meeting details will be emailed to you. Registered electors attending by video can comment (3-minute time limit).

Emails to all members may also be sent before the meeting: RTMmailinglist@westportct.gov.

Artist’s rendering of one of the buildings at the Hiawatha Lane development.

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Mercury just spent a ton of money to upgrade their gas station on Post Road East, near the Southport border.

Cumberland Farms must have come in with a great offer. Soon, Mercury will turn into Cumby’s.

No word on whether it will replace the smaller store near Sakura, or if Westport is doubling its Cumberland Farms count. (Hat tip: Matt Murray)

Mercury, at Post Road East and Bulkley Avenue South. (Photo/Matt Murray)

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Around here, Jana Ireijo is known for her role in the vanishing murals project downtown. (She drew a koala.)

Now she’s earning renown clear across the country.

The Nature Conservancy Hawaii commissioned her to create a vanishing mural of a coral reef on Maui. Parts are done in chalk, and are already washing away.

The project was timed to coincide with Earth Day and World Ocean Day (June 8). Click here to learn more.’=

Jana Ireijo’s vanishing Maui mural.

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Charlie Capalbo’s battles with cancer have inspired people around the world.

The 23-year-old Fairfield native — and grandson of Westport writer Ina Chadwick — beat lymphoma and leukemia. Now he’s facing off against leukemia again.

It’s a costly fight. And the need is great. Charlie’s dad lost his job at the beginning of COVID, and is just getting his new real estate career off the ground. His mom, Jen, has been working per diem. That’s now on hold.

Fortunately, Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask and radio personality Greg Hill have pledged to match every $1 donated — up to $20,000 each. That could mean a total of $60,000 to support Charlie and his family.

Click here to help. Then watch your contribution triple.

Charlie Capalbo (Photo/Dave Gunn)

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This week’s #FridayFlowers bouquet decorates an appropriate site: the Doughboy statue on Veterans Green, opposite Town Hall.

Hundreds of Westporters will gather there Monday, for the post-Memorial Day parade ceremony. The moving tribute will be extra special, thanks to the Westport Garden Club.

(Photo/Topsy Siderowf)

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Osprey update!

Carolyn Doan reports: “All is well at the Fresh Market nest. The female is up and around more. She faces inward, meaning she’s tending to something in the middle.

“I think I heard faint peeps while standing below, so presumably there are chicks! If so they are very small. We’ll have to wait to see their little heads.

“Yesterday the male brought home a fish. He patiently waited on his favorite branch for the family to wake up. Once there was enough activity, he swooped in with breakfast.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)

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“Westport … Naturally”: Today Lori Levine shares a shot of found a little fellow she found sunbathing in her back yard, on an Adirondack chair.

(Photo/Jan van Arsdale)

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Seen at Sherwood Island: Yeah, this means you!

(Photo/JC Martin)

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And finally … John Davis died this week, of complications from COVID. He was 66.

You may not recognize his name. But he was one of the real singers for the fake duo Milli Vanilli. They won a Grammy for their debut album in 1990, but lost it when news broke that the singers had not actually sung. Click here for a full obituary.

 

Roundup: I-95 Bridge Work, “Different” Cook Book, Happy 90th! …

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Some big bridge projects are in the works.

The state Department of Transportation plans work on 2.5 miles of I-95, from the Yankee Doodle Bridge in Norwalk to the Saugatuck River bridge. It includes reconstruction of the center median and right shoulders, and resurfacing the ramps at Exits 16 and 17.

The bridge over Saugatuck Avenue will be totally replaced. The new superstructure will be constructed adjacent to the existing bridge, and slid into place.

The bridges over Franklin Street and the Saugatuck River will undergo concrete deck repairs, and replacement of expansion joints.

A virtual public information session is set for Thursday, June 3 (7 p.m.). To access the meeting, and for information about commenting or asking questions, click here.

The estimated cost is $90 million. Construction is planned to begin this fall. DOT did not provide an anticipated end date.

This work is substantially more complex than the Kings Highway replacement project currently underway near Canal Street. Fingers crossed …

Traffic will flow less smoothly on the I-95 bridge over Saugatuck Avenue when construction begins this fall. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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Work is moving ahead on Bankside House, the 12 units of luxury housing rising on the west bank of the Saugatuck River.

A large canvas banner hides construction from drivers passing by (or stopped in traffic) on Wilton Road. So here are 2 bird’s-eye views:

(Drone photos/David Waldman)

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Brette Warshaw’s love of food, food culture and food writing began in Westport.

In 3rd grade, she was reviewing local restaurants for the Long Lots Elementary School paper. (Angelina’s got a rave.)

At Staples High School, the 2009 graduate loved Alison Milwe Grace’s culinary classes. Brette wrote her college essay about working at the Weston Field Club snack shop.

After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, she worked at the Food52 website, moving up to managing editor. Brette the became CFO of Lucky Peach, David Chang’s quarterly food journal.

She works at Apple News now (no food jokes, please!). She writes the daily Newsletter. She also wrote “What’s the Difference” — answering questions we’ve all wondered about. (What’s the difference, for example, between a balcony and terrace? Latino and Hispanic? A dash and a hyphen?)

In Brette’s special area of expertise, what’s the difference between broth and stock? Jam and jelly (and preserves)? Barbecuing and grilling? Chef and cook? Sweet potato and yam? Maître d’ and host?

She’s turned those important questions (spoiler alert: I have no idea about any of the answers) into a new book. What’s the Difference? Recreational Culinary Reference for the Curious and Confused will be published June 8. (Click here for more information, and to order.)

It’s irreverent, informative — and when I get a copy, I’ll let you know the answers.

Brette Warshaw

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Longtime Westporter George Manchester turns 90 in June.

His son Jeff — now raising his own family, in his home town — has planned a special gift. He hopes at least 90 “06880” readers will send his father “Happy Birthday” cards.

George spends summers in Maine. This year, he’ll arrive June 5. Going to the post office is an important part of his day. Let’s inundate him (and the PO) with cards!

Send to: George Manchester, PO Box 202, South Bristol, ME 04568. And feel free to pass this on to others!

George Manchester in 2017, just before the old Saugatuck Island bridge was torn down after damage from Superstorm Sandy. Decades earlier he was involved in the construction of that bridge, as president of what was then called the Saugatuck Shores Island Association (now the Saugatuck Island Special Taxing District).

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The Westport Library’s Memorial Day Book Sale began at 9 this morning.

Forty minutes earlier, there was already a waiting line.

The sale is on today through 6 p.m. It continues tomorrow (Saturday, May 29) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday (May 30) from noon to 5.

Outside the Westport Library, 8:20 a.m. today … (Photo/Karen Como)

… and at 9:02 a.m. (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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For today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, Tina Green writes:

“Some time in the last several days, the American oystercatcher eggs hatched at Compo Beach. This year there are 2 very healthy chicks. The adult female is limping, but will hopefully recover soon.

“The federally protected piping plovers are nesting on the most northern edge of the roped off area. I had the good fortune to witness the first egg being laid while observing the female early yesterday morning.

“Westporters are lucky to have a variety of bird species nest within our borders. About 88 species breed in the wide variety of  habitats around town, including back yards, town parks, beaches and open spaces like Cockenoe Island and Aspetuck Land Trust properties.

“If the pandemic got you into birdwatching while at home, this is one of the best towns in the state to see and observe our feathered friends.”

American oystercatcher at Compo Beach (Photo/Tina Green)

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Longtime Westporter Ronald Joseph Melino died on May 22. He was 91.

The South Bronx native transplanted himself and his family from the city he loved to Westport in 1967.

Melino studied biology at City College, and was a proud employee of American Airlines. He worked his way up from the La Guardia Airport terminal to the company’s executive offices at the Chrysler Building.

Original to his core, naturally charismatic and never shy, he lived life on his own terms. He loved beach walks, tennis with pals at the Westport Tennis Club and Longshore, workouts and saunas at the Westport YMCA, reading, train travel to San Francisco, and above all else his grandchildren.

He was predeceased by his wife of 55 years, Maureen. He is survived by his children Stephen Melino (Margie), Frances Zahler (Gary), Barbara Deecken (George), and James Melino (Ilana); grandchildren Alexsis Adams, Christina Deecken, Cody Zahler, Christian Zahler, Avery Chung-Melino, Rachel Melino, Emily Zahler, and Katey Melino, great grandson Isaiah, beloved nieces and nephews and their families, and his brother Eugene.

A private Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Assumption Cemetery, at a time to be determined.

Ronald Joseph Melino

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Westport’s newest police officer is Stephen Silva has joined its ranks. He was sworn in yesterday at a small ceremony, in front of his family and friends. Two brothers serve with the Trumbull Police Department.

Silva started his career in law enforcement in 2016 with the Bridgeport Police Department. He worked in the patrol division, served as an acting detective, and was a member of the department’s honor guard.

In addition to working full time as a police officer, Silva is pursuing a degree in emergency management at Post University.

Officer Stephen Silva (right) is congratulated by Police Chief Foti Koskinas.

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The Staples girls golf team — ranked #4 in the state — beat St. Joseph yesterday. The win solidified a spot in the FCIAC tournament, beginning next Thursday.

After the match, the Wreckers posed for a special Memorial Day photo.

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While Charles MacCormack traveled the world as CEO of Westport-based Save the Children, his wife Susan Ross devoted her life to public service of a more local scope. For 40 years she worked with Fairfield County’s Community Foundation; for 12 years, she was its CEO.

Susan died 4 years ago this month, after a 7-year battle with breast and pancreatic cancer. In her memory, her husband of 45 years has helped established the Susan M. Ross Fund for Great Leadership at Fairfield County’s Community Foundation. It targets the organization’s Center for Nonprofit Excellence, which provides leadership develop opportunities.

For more information or to donate, click here.

Susan M. Ross

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And finally … happy 76th birthday to John Fogerty. I’ve played tribute to his band — Creedence Clearwater Revival — and I will again. So today I’ll honor his solo work. (PS: Thanks again for that great Levitt Pavilion concert in 2017. I’m still smiling.)

 

Traffic Cop, Traffic Light: The Sequel

Police Chief Foti Koskinas feels Westport drivers’ pains. He hears their pleas for a traffic cop on Riverside Avenue, at the Cribari Bridge. The Westport Police Department is on the case.

But there is another side to Westport’s traffic woes too.

Driving habits have changed dramatically during COVID, Koskinas and public safety officer Al D’Amura say. Though Westporters have returned to work, all but 1oo or so of the Saugatuck and Greens Farms train station parking spots are empty every day. Those folks drive instead.

The situation is the same at every train station from Greenwich to New Haven. That’s why I-95 and the Merritt Parkway have become parking lots.

Looking for every bit of help, drivers turn to apps like Waze. Offered an alternate route, they take it.

Which is why we see more and more backups on Riverside Avenue. As well as Wilton Road, Cross Highway, Long Lots Road — anywhere Waze says is even slightly better. It’s a problem at I-95 exits 17 and 18, and Merritt exits 41 and 42.

When William Cribari and other officers were posted at what was then called the Bridge Street Bridge, Koskinas says, they facilitated 100 to 200 vehicles to and from trains.

Traffic is no longer timed to trains, Koskinas explains. Moving traffic off the bridge in the morning, and through Riverside Avenue in the evening, sounds like a great idea.

But Waze and traffic apps would immediately sense the smoother flow — making the alternate route off I-95 even more appealing to highway drivers.

A traffic officer will immiediately take over the Riverside Avenue post made famous by William William Cribari (Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

Still — starting immediately – there will be an officer on Riverside by the bridge, in the late afternoon.

“We’ll monitor the situation, to see if it helps or hurts,” Koskinas says.

“We may find that as much as people don’t like waiting through 4 or 5 light cycles, it’s better than having 300 more cars coming through Saugatuck. We don’t know what we’ll find for sure. We’ll study it.”

That’s not the only new traffic post in town. An agent will be posted from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Post Road/Wilton Road/Riverside Avenue intersection.

Actually, it’s not “new.” As a young officer, Koskinas once manned that corner.

Facilitating traffic there impacts other lights on the Post Road. For example, waving through more cars from Wilton Road might cause more of a temporary backup through the already congested downtown area.

“We understand the importance to merchants, and everyone,” Koskinas says. As with Saugatuck, he and D’Amura will monitor the situation closely.

As for another suggestion from an “06880” reader — installation of a light at the top of I-95 eastbound Exit 18 — Koskinas says, “we fully support it. It’s come up before.” His department — in collaboration with the Board of Selectmen — will make that recommendation to the state Department of Transportation.

Sherwood Island Connector is a state road. There will be engineering studies, and budget issues. It could take a while.

So for now, you might want to get off at Exit 17. A traffic cop there will move traffic along.

Or maybe he’ll inadvertently invite other I-95 drivers to join you.

[OPINION] Traffic Cop Needed At Cribari Bridge

For the past 8 years, Rick Rosencrans has commuted to work from I-95 Exit 17 in Westport, to Exit 7 in Stamford. Recently — as the pandemic has eased, and the drive has gotten longer — he’s had time to think. Rick writes:

For 8 years I have watched traffic patterns on I-95 ebb and flow, often based on the day of the week, time of day, construction projects and accidents.

During the early months of COVID, and into this past winter, traffic was light. My pre-COVID 40-minute commute turned into a 15 to 20-minute ride, door to door. Yet while the shorter commute was nice, I’m not selfish enough to think the trade-off was worth it.

Fast forward to late winter and this spring. While many offices and businesses between Westport and New York still work with limited staff, traffic seems to have returned to pre-pandemic levels.

I assume that since the train station parking lots are hardly used, many of the people who have returned to work now commute by car instead of train.

On my daily Stamford to Westport return trip — particularly on Friday afternoons — traffic seems worse than ever. Due to Waze, Google Maps and natural instincts, many drivers get off at Exit 17, head up Charles Street, turn left on Riverside Avenue at Tutti’s, make a right on Bridge Street, and continue on to Greens Farms Road towards Exit 18 and points north.

This backs cars all the way up on to the exit ramp, and often on to the right lane of northbound 95.  It can take 25 minutes to get from the ramp to the Cribari Bridge in Saugatuck, a distance of about 1 mile. 

Saugatuck, on a rare day with little traffic. It often backs up on Riverside Avenue, from Exit 17 to the Cribari Bridge.

The streets of Saugatuck were not meant for this volume of traffic. But one impediment makes the situation even worse.

With no “No Right on Red” sign by Dunkin Donuts, bridge-bound cars idle in front of the firehouse and Saugatuck Sweets, while traffic flows from the bridge into Saugatuck.

I have no problem with the sign, during normal hours. But what I have observed over the years is that a  traffic officer at the Riverside Avenue/Bridge Street intersection, safely waving drivers to make a right on red, has a significant effect on the overall traffic flow.

I would guess that an additional 15 to 20 cars could be waved around the corner of Bridge Square during each cycle of lights. That would also allow for adjustment in the timing of the lights so that cars coming from the other direction on Riverside Avenue have more time allotted to make a left on to the bridge.

The William F. Cribari Bridge. A police officer could wave more cars onto it, during rush hour.

We need a traffic officer at the intersection on weekday afternoons, and perhaps at certain weekend times when I-95 is backed up.   

Once upon a time, there WAS a traffic officer — every day — at that intersection. He was visible, efficient, and very, very theatrical.

His name was William F. Cribari. And yes, he’s the guy they named the Bridge Street bridge after. 

Bill Cribari, at work (and play). (Photo courtesy of Paul Ehrismann)

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Meanwhile, “06880” reader Gary Shure has a solution for another traffic chokepoint, a couple of miles east:

During rush hour there is often a long backup at the northbound Exit 18 ramp (Sherwood Island connector). It goes down the whole ramp, continuing onto the right lane of the highway itself.

It would be so easy to fix. Just put a traffic light there, timed to be green 80% of the time for people getting off 95.

Right now, the 4-way stop sign puts everyone getting off the highway on an equal footing with the occasional perpendicular vehicle on the connector.

Furthermore, with a light you could have 2 useful lanes on the ramp: the left lane (only for left hand turns), and the right lane (for left turns, and going right).

Exit 18, at the Sherwood Island Connector.

Roundup: RTM’s Petition, Martin Crouse’s Bench, UConn’s President …

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Town Clerk Jeffrey Dunkerton has certified a petition requesting that the Representative Town Meeting review the Planning & Zoning Commission’s settlement of a lawsuit, permitting Summit Saugatuck to build 157 units of housing on Hiawatha Lane.

The RTM has 30 days to render a decision.

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The saga of Martin Crouse’s memorial bench — first gone from Compo Beach, then located by Westport Police — is over. And the ending could not be better.

Martin’s wife Laurie reports that bench is back at its cherished spot near Ned Dimes Marina, after repair work by the Parks & Recreation Department.

It was delivered there yesterday. A new anchoring system will keep it there.

Laurie asked “06880” to thank Debbie Detmer and Ed Frawley at Parks & Rec, Westport police, and the many Westporters who offered support.

Westport Parks & Recreation staff secure Martin Crouse’s memorial bench.

Laurie Crouse, back at her favorite spot.

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The Remarkable Theater announces its schedule for Memorial Day week:

Thursday, May 27 (8 p.m.): “Private Benjamin” (“I wanna wear my sandals. And I wanna go out to lunch. I wanna be normal again.”)

Friday, May 28 (8 p.m.): “Finding Nemo” (In association with Sped*Net Wilton)

Saturday, May 29 (8:30 p.m.): “Rocky Horror Picture Show” (Special Best Costume contest)

Sunday, May 30 (8 p.m.): “Saving Private Ryan” (Special $25 Memorial Day price)

And don’t forget: “Happy Gilmore” tomorrow (Saturday, May 22, 8:30 p.m.).

Click here for tickets and more information.

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There’s a new interim president at the University of Connecticut.

And he’s a Westport resident.

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi and his wife Elizabeth (also a physician) moved here 2 years. He has served as CEO of UConn Health — a position he will continue in. He is the first person of color to be named president in the university’s history.

Click here for the full story.

Dr. Andrew Agwunobi

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Westport firefighters joined their brothers and sisters from across the state yesterday. Over 130 Connecticut fire departments, many first responder agencies, and fire departments from as far as Detroit gathered to pay respects to Firefighter Ricardo “Rico” Torres. He died last week battling a blaze in New Haven.

He leaves behind his wife Erica Martinez, and sons, due to be born in August. Click here for a fundraiser to support his family and unborn sons.

Firefighters at the funeral for Ricardo Torres. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is not just a couple of horseshoe crabs.

They’re a pair that was rescued by MaryLou Roels, after being stranded by low tide. They look as good as ever.

(Photo/MaryLou Roels)

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And finally … on this day in 1927, Charles Lindbergh landed in Paris. It was the world’s first solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

Special Westport connection: Lindbergh and his wife Anne Morrow lived for several years on Long Lots Road, near the Fairfield border.