Category Archives: Sports

Roundup: Lacrosse, Blood Drive, Dog Licenses …

Tyler Clark’s dramatic goal 3:45 into overtime gave Staples’ boys lacrosse team a 9-8 victory over Ridgefield in last night’s state tournament semifinal.

The victory vaults the Wreckers — ranked #2 in the state L (large schools) division — into the final. They’ll face perennial powerhouse Darien, ranked 1st and 16-9 victors over Fairfield Prep in the other semi.

Coach Will Koshansky’s Staples squad is shooting for their first-ever state crown. The game is set for 3 p.m. this Sunday (June 12), at Sacred Heart University.

Tyler Clark’s winning goal for Staples, in yesterday’s state tournament semifinal. (Photo/Chris Greer, courtesy of The Ruden Report).

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The next Joseph J. Clinton VFW Post 399 Red Cross Blood Drive is Tuesday (June 14, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.). It’s sponsored by the Charley With A Y Foundation, in memory of Marine lance corporal Charles M. Rochlin USMC.

Click here for an appointment, or call 800-733-2767, Use this sponsor code: VFWWestport.

LCPL Charley Rochlin

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Allison Russell is the latest performer signed to the Levitt Pavilion’s “Stars on Tours” series.

The Grammy-nominate artist/activist/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/founding member of Our Native Daughters and Birds of Chicago Allison Russell will appear on Sunday, August 21.

Allison made history at the 2022 Juno Awards as the first Black artist to win for Contemporary Roots Album of the Year.

The record was named the #2 Best Album of the Year by the New York Times after its release in 2021, and Allison’s song “Nightflyer” made Barack Obama’s annual list of favorites.

The member pre-sale is live now. The public sale begins tomorrow (June 10) at noon.

Allison Russell

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Congratulations to Music Theatre of Connecticut.

They’ve been nominated for 11 Connecticut Critics Circle awards. Four are for the musical “Falsettoland” — and 2 have a Westport connection. The father-son team of Dan and Ari Sklar are up for “Outstanding actor, musical” and “Outstanding debut.” Both live here.

Though based in Norwalk, MTC has strong Westport roots. Broadway actors Mia Gentile and Jacob Heimer, plus noted songwriter Justin Paul, all performed there often.

Dan Sklar

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Speaking of theater: Summer is almost here. Which means the Westport Country Playhouse annual gala is not far away.

The event returns live — after a 2-year COVID hiatus — on September 17. The guest artist is Renée Elise Goldsberry: the original Tony Award-winning Angelica Schuyler from “Hamilton.” She’ll perform a high energy concert of Broadway, pop and soul.

Ticket details will be announced soon. t’s sure to sell out quickly.

Renee Elise Goldsberry

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June is dog license month.

Licenses good from July 1 to June 30, 2023, may be obtained online from the Town Clerk’s department, starting now. All dogs over 6 months old must be licensed.

Click here to license your dog online (desktop only; no mobile devices allowed). Have your spay/neuter and rabies certificates available to upload as a PDF. If these are not available, contact your veterinary office to obtain digital copies.

Paper applications accompanied by a check payment are also accepted. Mail or the drop box at the rear of Town Hall are preferred methods of delivery. Dog licenses can be processed in the Town Clerk’s offfice for those who need in person assistance.

Mail the application, payment, and required certificates (all certificates will be returned with license), and a self-addressed stamped return envelope to: Westport Town Clerk, 110 Myrtle Avenue, Westport, CT 06881. Click here to download the application. Visit Westportct.gov/dogs for all information related to dog licenses in Westport.

For more information, call 203-341-1110 or visit Westportct.gov/dogs.

“Before we play: Send in my license, please!” (Photo/Amy Schneider)

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“Senior Night” at the Remarkable Theater has been moved to has been moved to June 22 (8 p.m.). It’s a special showing of a 70-minute video, highlighting the Class of 2022’s unique 4 years at Staples High School.

Click here for tickets.

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Speaking of animals: The Gorham Island swan has not abandoned her nest. She was spotted sitting pretty yesterday morning, enjoying the sunshine and her motherly duties.

(Photo/Mary Stewart)

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Today there are 2 of these “Westport … Naturally” rabbits.

Tomorrow there will be many more. Naturally.

(Photo/Mark Mathias)

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And finally … did you know that the inspiration for songwriter Paul Vance’s classic “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” came from his 2-year-old daughter?

Neither did I, until I read his obituary. He died May 30 in Florida, at 92.

I also did not know that singer Brian Hyland — who recorded the #1 song — was just 16 at the time. Go figure

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Pic Of The Day #1877

Levon wonders why he wasn’t invited to play (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Roundup: Donuts, Swans, Missoula …

In honor of National Donut Day last week, the Senior Center ran a contest.

The results are in:

  • Chocolate: Coffee An’ (“by far,” I’m told)
  • Glazed: Coffee An’ and Dunkin’ Donuts (a tie!)
  • Plain: Dunkin

Sweet!

A Westport favorite for generations. (Photo/Katherine Bruan)

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Staples Players’ first Studio Theater production in over 2 years takes center stage on Thursday. Studios are directed, designed and run entirely run by students.

“At the Bottom of Missoula” portrays loss and grief in such an impactful way. Co-directors Chloe Manna and Chloe Nevas — both seniors — say, “It was a challenging piece but one we were excited to take on with our amazing cast and crew. The show takes the audience on a rollercoaster of emotions within its 35 minute run. The lighting design and sound is unique too, and creates  really beautiful moments we hope the audience will be touched by.”

The plot: After losing her family in a fatal tornado, college student Pan embarks on an unimaginable journey. She transfers schools and isolates herself, but cannot escape feeling sad and guilty. Finally, a classmate helps Pam realize that healing need not be a solitary endeavor.

Performances are Thursday and Saturday, June 9 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., in Staples’ Black Box Theater. Click here for tickets.

The cast of “At the Bottom of Lake Missoula.” (Photo/Chloe Nevas)

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Speaking of Staples:

The rugby team defeated Trumbull last night 41-21 in the state tournament semifinals.

The Wreckers advance to the state championship. The match is home (Paul Lane Stadium) this Thursday (June 9, 5:30 p.m.) against perennial powerhouse Greenwich — winner of 11 state titles. The Westporters shoot for their first.

Staples and the Cardinals have a great history. The Wreckers won their league match this spring; 3 weeks later, Greenwich got revenge at nationals.

Get ready to rumble!

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Award winning singer-songwriter Diana Jones headlines this Saturday’s Voices Café at the Unitarian Church. Her 8 p.m. concert is both in-person and livestreamed.

The concert is dedicated to the efforts of 6 area faith communities. All help settle refugees in Fairfield County, through the Connecticut Institute for Refugees and Immigrants.

Volunteers come from Westport’s Christ & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church,  Unitarian Church and United Methodist Church; Weston’s Norfield Congregational Church, the Greenfield Hill Congregational, and First Church Congregational of Fairfield.

Jones has performed at the Cambridge Folk Festival, Galway Arts Festival, Levon Helm’s Ramble in Woodstock, New York, and Bimhuis in Amsterdam, and shared stages with Richard Thompson, Janis Ian and Mary Gauthier. Joan Baez has recorded her songs.

Voices Café offers café-style and individual seating. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Diana Jones

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It took 3 years of planning (and COVID), but Staples’ Class of 1980 will celebrate their 40th reunion — okay their42nd — at LaKota Oaks in Norwalk. It’s also a giant 60th birthday party for all. LaKota Oaks’ 65 acres includes a pool, basketball and volleyball courts, horseshoes and more.

The event begins Thursday, August 11 at Viva Zapata; continues Friday at the Black Duck, and concludes Saturday at LaKota Oaks. There’s jazz music in the afternoon, and a DJ at night.

As always, the Class of ’80 will raise money for the Susan Fund, in honor of classmate Susan Lloyd. For tickets and more information, click here. Questions? Email amy@aapk.com or szrobins84@gmail.com.

The Susan Fund — in honor of Susan Lloyd, Staples ’80 — provides scholarships for students with cancer, and survivors.

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Several readers have noticed that the swan’s nest near Gorham Island seems abandoned.

Amy Schneider took this photo, which may show the reason why: cracked eggs.

If so, it’s a sad — but natural — “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

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And finally … if you’ve never heard of Diana Jones (story above) — or if you have, and enjoy her music — take a listen:

Roundup: Gun Violence March, Scholar-Athletes, Girls On The Run …

Westport Moms send word of a “Stand up Against Gun Violence” march this Wednesday (June 8). It begins at 10:30 a.m. on the Anthropologie steps, and continues through town.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Police Chief Foti Koskinas will join the crowd. Marchers are urged to wear orange, and bring signs.

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You can’t say the town is not responsive.

At 10 a.m. yesterday morning, the “06880” Roundup included 2 photos of Grace Salmon Park. They showed benches at the popular Imperial Avenue park, covered in weeds and brush.

This was the scene at 9 a.m. today — less than 24 hours later:

(Photo/Werner Liepolt)

What an improvement! Thanks for the quick action!

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Staples High School held its 21st annual Scholar-Athlete Dinner last night — but the first since COVID struck.

It was a fascinating evening. Each varsity sport selects one senior. Each coach asks each scholar-athlete a question about his or her passions, achievements, hobbies, extracurricular activities or sports.

The answers — a minute or so each — are insightful, poised, poignant, and often funny. Taken together, they paint a remarkable picture of the student-athletes at Staples.

Last night’s questions ranged from volunteer efforts (Food Rescue US, helping a Holocaust survivor, transcribing Library of Congress records) to lessons learned from coaching little kids, building models to predict the spread of COVID, working on political campaigns and against gun violence, and selling South African snacks.

Even more remarkably, the scholar-athletes were on top of their game despite having attended the senior prom the night before (and post-prom parties after that).

As several speakers noted after hearing the 36 students speak: The future is in great hands.

Scholar-athletes honored, and their sports:

Fall: Emily Epstein (cheer), Zach Taubman (boys cross country), Josie Dolan (girls cross country), Ava Ekholdt (field hockey), Andrew O’Loughlin (football), Ben Epes (boys golf), Aidan Mermagen (boys soccer), Madison Sansone (girls soccer), Raina Mandayam (girls swimming), Ally Schwartz (girls volleyball), Jasper Cahn (boys water polo).

Winter: Michael Brody (boys basketball), Sydelle Bernstein (girls basketball), Mimi Schindler (gymnastics), Johnny Raho (ice hockey), Rory Tarsy (boys indoor track), Emma Nordberg (girls indoor track), Will Heisler (boys skiing), Kate Smith (girls skiing), Brian Fullenbaum (boys squash), Romy Nusbaum (girls  squash), Jacob Lee (boys swimming), Reese Watkins (wrestling).

Spring: Finn Popken (baseball), Lizzie Kuehndorf (girls golf), Derek Sale (boys lacrosse), Sara DiGiovanni (girls lacrosse), Alex Harrington (boys indoor track), Tessa Moore (girls outdoor track), Nick Prior (rugby), Erin Durkin (sailing), Caroline Coffey (softball), Matthew Chiang (boys tennis), Jordana Latzman, Ethan Moskowitz (boys volleyball), Rachel Offir (girls water polo).

The evening also included the awarding of several scholar-athlete scholarships. The Coleman Brothers Foundation presented Brewster Galley with a $40,000 award. Jalen St. Fort and George Kocadag each received a $6,500 Laddie Lawrence grant. Jaden Mueller got the $2,000 Albie Loeffler Scholarship.

Two other honors were handed out. Rory Tarsy was named the Thomas DeHuff Award winner, while Molly Liles earned the Jinny Parker Award.

After dinner, the scholar-athletes posed with their plaques. Here’s boys skiing honoree Will Heisler, and his parents.

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Speaking of sports: The Staples boys tennis team has repeated as state champions.

For the 5th time.

The Wreckers won their 6th straight title Saturday. They beat Greenwich 4-1 at Wesleyan University.

Winners included singles players Robbie Daus and Noah Wolff, and the doubles teams of Luke Brodsky and Alex Guadarrama, and Brett Lampert and Lucas Ceballas-Cala.

The individual invitation tourney begins today, also at Wesleyan. Tighe Brunetti and Daus will play singles, Brodsky and Guadarrama doubles.

Congratulations and good luck to all — including coach Kris Hrisovulos!

The state champion Staples boys tennis team (from left): coach Kris Hrisovulos, Holden Dalzell, Clint Graham, Hayden Frey, Noah Wolff, Tighe Brunetti, Luke Brodsky, Robbie Daus, Matthew Chiang, Jared Evans, Brett Lampert, Alex Guadarrama, Lucas Ceballos-Cala. (Photo/Bob Daus)

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Speaking once again of sports: Good luck to Staples’ boys lacrosse team. Ranked #2 in the state tournament, they face #3 Ridgefield on Wednesday (5 p.m., Fairfield University), in the semifinal round.

Go Wreckers!

Staples’ boys lacrosse team takes the field.

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This past weekend, 5 girls from Saugatuck Elementary School participated in the Fairfeld 5K along Jennings Beach.

But they didn’t run alone. The youngsters took part in Girls on the Run. The after-school program is part of a national positive youth development project for grades 3 to 7.

The season runs for 10 weeks. Twice a week, girls learn about and practice skills and positive mindsets, including positive self-talk, friendship, and the importance of individuality.

Each session includes running. Girls build endurance, culminating in that celebratory 5K.

Westport’s Girls on the Run has partnered with Westport Continuing Education. Three parent volunteers lead the local program. They hope to bring the program to other schools in town. Parents interested in helping can email mary.bentley@girlsontherun.org. All abilities are welcome.

Girls on the Run participants.

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Tower of Power rocked the Levitt Pavilion this weekend.

Which means another great season has begun.

Click here for upcoming concerts and special events. There’s something for everyone!

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David Ader writes:

“I admit this photo has the quality of some yahoo’s version of a sasquatch. I have sympathy for that yahoo.

“On Saturday night as I sat at my dinner table a very large and muscular bobcat sauntered across my backyard. I was both shocked and anxious as I dropped some pizza to distract my dog, and scrambled to get this photo.

“In its confident walk, the bobcat stopped for a moment to look at me while I feebly attempted to get my phone open for the photo. Imagine if it was a sasquatch!”

(Photo/David Ader)

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The sold-out audience at Saturday’s Westport Pride drag show at MoCA included a numberof families with children. In addition to dancing the performers offered a bit of LGBTQ history.

Yesterday, the mother of one youngster wrote to “06880”: “I feel very strongly that exposing children to all sorts of personal expressions and pathways is essential in order for them to know that there is not one cookie-cutter way to be in this world.

“To have our children witness a person living life, full of joy, as their 100% authentic and beautiful selves is a powerful gift I intend on exposing them to always.”

15-year-old Desmond is Amazing — a New York City drag artist — posed with young fans.

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Diane Bosch spotted this new object, bobbing in the channel at the mouth of the Saugatuck River.

She suspects it has something to do with the dredging plan. Is she right?

If any “06880” readers know for sure what this is, click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Diane Bosch)

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It’s strawberry season at the Westport Community Garden.

Lou Weinberg shared this luscious one — unfortunately, only photographically — for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … you knew this was coming, right?

Roundup: Grace Salmon Park, Garbage, Gerber Baby …

The other day, David Meth was at the transfer station. He saw a resident take 2 perfectly good children’s bikes from her SUV. He writes:

“I offered to take them to Cycle Dynamics because Charlie, the owner, donates them to churches in Bridgeport. However the attendant, who was very nice and very afraid to get in trouble because there are cameras everywhere, refused to allow me to take them because they were placed on the ground near the attendant’s booth.

“These bikes were in excellent condition. Why allow them to be trashed? Why not have an area to ‘exchange’ items that could sustain a small economy elsewhere, yet are thrown away here without another thought. It is very wrong.

“Cardboard, glass, cans and paper are recycled for future use. Food scraps are recycled. Leaves and brush are recycled. Why not recycle perfectly good, even repairable goods and equipment, to benefit others?

“This is an awful policy in a town that prides itself in helping others. It can be changed, and it should change soon.”

Sign at the transfer station.

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Speaking of trash:

A reader who loves Grace Salmon Park — but thinks it needs a bit of care — sent several photos of benches overgrown with weeds. Here are 2:

He adds: “Want a seat by the river? Bring your Claritin.”

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Ann Turner Cook — the original Gerber baby — died Friday. She was 95 years old.

The reason that’s “06880”-worthy is that — nearly 100 years ago — the iconic sketch was “born” here.

In 1927, artist Dorothy Hope Smith made a charcoal drawing of her 4-month-old neighbor, Ann Turner. Ann’s father, Leslie, was an artist too; his comic strip “Wash Tubbs and Captain Easy” ran in 500 newspapers every day.

The original charcoal sketch of Ann Turner, and Ann Turner Cook today.

The original charcoal sketch of Ann Turner, and Ann Turner Cook in 2010.

The next year, Gerber needed a face for its new line of baby foods. Smith entered her simple drawing in the contest. She competed with elaborate oil paintings — but the company loved it. By 1931, Ann Cook was the “official trademark.”

She was on every Gerber ad, and on every package, since.

But no one knew her. In fact — in an effort to appeal to both sexes — for many years Gerber did not even say if the baby was a girl or boy.

As years passed, several women claimed to be the Gerber baby. To end the discussion, Gerber paid Turner — by then married, named Ann Cook –$5,000 in 1951. That’s all she got — no royalties, nothing. (It’s better than Smith, though. She earned just $300 for her efforts.)

The Gerber baby at work -- and all grown up today.

The Gerber baby at work — and all grown up, some years ago.

Cook left Westport long ago. She had 4 children, and spent 26 years teaching literature and writing in  Tampa. After retiring in 1989, she wrote 2 mystery novels.

But nearly a decade ago, when she was 88, she was rediscovered. Oprah profiled Cook on her “Where Are They Now?” series. Huffington Post picked up the story.

Neither Oprah nor HuffPo mentions Westport. Nor does the official Gerber website. ( For a full obituary, click here. Hat tips: Deej Webb and Jonathan McClure)

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“Challenger Recognition Day” is always fun.

The Westport Baseball program for players with disabilities includes an announcer introducing each batter, and calling play-by-play. Dustin Lowman did the honors, and hit it out of the park.

A pizza party ends the day.

Congrats to all who made yesterday possible — and a tip of the baseball hat to all the players!

Jonah Atienza and his dad. (Photo.Beth Cody)

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Yesterday’s 1st-ever Drag Show was anything but a drag.

A sold-out crowd at MoCA Westport — including many families with young kids — enjoyed 4 drag queens who strutted, danced, engaged the audience and even provided a bit of LGBTQ history.

The event was sponsored by Westport Pride. Next up: a townwide Pride Month celebration on Jesup Green, next Sunday (1 to 3 p.m.).

Getting in the swing of things. (Photo/Jerri Graham)

Weston High School senior Zac Mathias served as MC. (Photo/Jerri Graham)

Ambrosia Black (Photo/Jerri Graham)

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The Westport Book Shop’s guest exhibitor for June is Kerstin Rao.

Known to many for her years as a gifted teacher of gifted students at Bedford Middle School, Rao is displaying 4 prints, plus a QR code through which you can see each piece being created via time-lapse video.

Rao’s work is hyper-local. Her pieces begin at the Westport Farmers’ Market. They’re scanned in Westport, and printed in Norwalk. Her art business, Vivid Cottage, offers luxury stationery and home good based on her original artwork. It’s available online, and at the Westport Book Shop.

Rao majored in fine art at Vassar, and earned a master’s in special education at Bank Street College. She moved from teaching to art during the pandemic. She also volunteers at the Westport Library, facilitating author panels and book talks, helping and helping plan events. She was a founding member of Westport’s Maker Faire.

Kerstin Rao, with her prints at the Westport Book Shop.

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Speaking of art: MoCA’s next show — “Women Pulling at the Threads of Social Discourse” — is a collaboration with The Contemporary Art Modern Project (The CAMP Gallery) and the Fiber Artists Miami Association. It explores how female artists, utilizing textiles as their medium, subvert the social expectation of crafting by lambasting this soft medium with political and social awareness.

It opens June 30 with a 6-8 p.m. reception, and runs through September 4.

Several local artists are in the exhibition, including Camille Eskell, Susan Feliciano,  Sooo-z Mastropietro and Norma Minkowitz

For more information, email liz@mocawestport.org or call 203-222-7070.

“Red, White, and Pink: The Colors of Politics” (Laetitia Adam-Rabel). Thread, yarn, ink, acrylic on canvas.

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On a windy, rainy Friday, Westporter Nathalie Jacob was on a boat with a friend. Suddenly — off the Darien shore — she realized her Gill sailing jacket (with iPhone 11max in its pocket) was gone.

She figured a gust of wind blew it into the water. The weight of the phone must have pulled it to the bottom of the Sound.

Her friend tried “Find My Phone.” Nada. Nathalie figured it was gone forever.

But 12 days later, her husband got a call. The caller said he’d spotted the jacket that day, in Westport waters — a mile from shore. He found the phone, took it home, plugged it in — and called the emergency contact number on it.

That’s right: After nearly 2 weeks in salty, wavy water, the iPhone still worked.

The jacket was full of live crabs and seaweed, Nathalie adds. But after 3 washing cycles, it’s usable too. She loves her Gill jacket.

PS: She brought a bottle of whiskey to the man who found it.

Nathalie Jacob …

… and her Gill jacket and iPhone.

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Staples High School’s senior prom — the first “normal” one after 2 COVID years — was held last night at the Greenwich Hyatt.

Most attendees were too busy having fun to take photos. But “06880”s great senior intern, Lyah Muktavaram, sent this photo along.

I’ve heard from 3 students who were there that it was a great one. I’m sure when they wake up — late this afternoon? — they’ll enjoy this image.

(Photo/Lyah Muktavaram)

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Nile Rodgers’ home here is still on the market.

To avoid realtors being there when realtors showed potential home-buyers through the house — or, more probably, because who can turn down an invitation from Buckingham Palace? — the international recording star/producer was in London, not Westport, last night.

He had an important gig: performing at Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee coocert.

Just one more day in the life of our soon-to-be-former neighbor.

Nile Rodgers, at the Queen’s Jubilee. (Photo/Ellen Wentworth)

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Former Westport Woman’s Club president Natacha “Nat” Sylander died last month. She was 86.

The Auburn, New York native earned her bachelor’s degree in hotel management from Michigan State University. She then moved to Chicago to work at the Palmer House.

In 1960 she married Dick Sylander, and became a mom. In 1967 the family moved to Westport, where they lived for 44 years. She was a teaching assistant at Bedford Elementary School before starting a company with her husband in 1976. R.L. Sylander Associates did custom computer circulation fulfillment. They ran it for 25 years, until they retired.

Nat was active in the community, including president of the Westport Woman’s Club and chair of the Yankee Doodle Fair. She was a member of the St. Luke Church choir for many years. She was a wonderful cook and loved to entertain, with a flair for storytelling.

She is survived by her children, Rick of Milford, Karen of Chicago and Beth of Long Island; as well as a grandson, Owen Hammond, serving overseas in the Army.

A funeral service is set for Saturday, June 11 (11 a.m., St. Luke Church) with a Mass of Christian Burial. A reception follows immediately. Interment will be private. Condolences may be left online. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Westport Woman’s Club Scholarship Program, 44 Imperial Ave, Westport, CT 06880.

Nat Sylander

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This guy crawled onto Molly Alger’s deck, then posed for his “Westport … Naturally” closeup:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … one famous “baby” deserves another:

 

Roundup: Beach Rules, Gun Violence, Dog Poop …

The cost of a Westport beach sticker for out-of-towners — $775 — has been the subject of heated debate, everywhere from the pages of “06880” to the halls of the State Capitol.

This past wee, radio listeners around the state heard about it.

“Ethan & Lou” discussed it on their i95 show. in typical 2-radio-host-trying-to-engage-listeners style.

The station put a variation of the riff on their website too. In the context of complaints about Connecticut’s “rocky (not sandy)” beaches, they mentioned both the expense of Compo, and the many rules posted on the town website. (Hey, guys: The rules are posted at the beach, too.)

The website complains: “No Alcohol!? Can’t bring my dog? Can’t listen to music? No hooch, no pooch and no Scooch? Sounds un-American.”

Of course, alcohol is permitted on South Beach (unlike most state beaches). The “music” ban refers to “amplified music, including bands and DJs” (though they seem to be okay, upon request to Parks & Rec). As for “Scooch” — well, at least it rhymes.

Click here for the full story — including a link to the “Ethan & Lou” segment.

There are definitely lots of rules at Compo Beach.

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The Remarkable Theater continues to be a remarkable resource for Westport.

This Tuesday (June 7, 8 p.m.), they’ll screen a special show for the soon-to-graduate Staples High Class of 2022.

The 71-minute video includes never-before-seen footage of their 4 yeas at school.

Tickets are only $5. Click here to reserve a spot; then pile your friends into a car and head to the Imperial Avenue parking lot!

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Yesterday was National Gun Violence Awareness Day.

The timing — coming after a slew of mass shootings — was propitious. But in a cascade of bad news, the day itself might have been missed by many.

One Westporter, however, marked the occasion on the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge:

(Photo/Dina Upton)

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“06880” has posted photos previously of 1 or 2 plastic poop bags left in otherwise pristine parks, or on people’s lawns and driveways.

But this image — sent by David Brant, executive director of Aspetuck Land Trust which oversees (among many other properties) Haskins Preserve — seems almost perverse. The sign about dog waste — and that there is no “Poop Fairy” — are literally inches away.

Is it a “Candid Camera” stunt? Part of an elaborate psychology experiment?

Or are Westporters just dumping on us?

Whatever the reason: It’s not funny.

Whoever you are: Shame on you.

And just remember: Whatever goes around, comes around.

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The Staples High School baseball team plays in the state “LL” (extra large schools) quarterfinals today (Trumbull High School, 2 p.m.).

But win or lose, they’re already champions.

On Thursday — the day after their 2nd-round upset of higher-ranked Amity-Woodbridge — the Wreckers collected thousands of dollars of cleats, bats and other equipment.

They donated it to Bluefish Travel Baseball, a program in Bridgeport.

The 2022 Staples High School varsity baseball team. (Photo/John Videler for Videler Photography)

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A recent pre-Memorial Day story about a Westport connection to an American soldier saved by a German guard during World War II was fascinating.

But Tom Feeley — who recounted the tale — had misremembered the name of the soldier, whom he met and befriended at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399.

Tom called him “Mike Brody.” His name was actually Samuel Meyer Brody.

And — because this is “06880,” where “Westport meets the world” — there is another local tie. Sam Brody was longtime resident and RTM member Dick Lowenstein’s 3rd cousin.

Here is a photo of Sam (left) and Dick at the Senior Center. Sam died the next year, at 96. Click here for a full obituary.

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Lifelong Westporter and former firefighter Stanley Prackup died on Wednesday. He was 87.

One of 8 children, he graduated from Staples High School in 1953. He played baseball there, and was a sharpshooter in its Rifle Club.

Stanley enlisted in the Navy after high school, and served on the USS Valcour and Intrepid.  He was awarded the Navy Good Conduct Medal.

After the navy he attended the University of Connecticut.

He was a postal carrier for several years before joining the Westport Fire Department. He served as a firefighter for 20 years, until 1988. He also owned his own landscaping business.

Stanley and his wife Joan built a home here, and lived in it for over 40 years. Devoted to his religion, he was happiest in his garden, and spending time with family and friends.

He was predeceased by his brothers, Frank, Michael and George, and sisters Rose, Barbara and Alice.

Stanley is survived by his wife of 58 years, Joan Prackup; daughters Brenda Prackup, Linda Prackup-Desautels and Sandra Prackup; grandson Luke Desautels; sister Virginia Fiordelisi, and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

A memorial mass will be held Monday (June 6, 10 a.m., St Luke Church), followed by interment at Assumption Cemetery on Greens Farms Road. Click here for a livestream of the service.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Cancer Research Institute.

Stanley Prackup

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Ordinarily this bad parking job at the Taylor Lot near the Westport Library would not be “06880”-worthy.

But the car has been there since at least early last week.

With the window open, people have left angry messages for the owner.

If it’s yours, please claim it. If there’s a problem, please contact the police!

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David Fiore sends today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, noting: “As seen from our kitchen window at breakfast. A chippy enjoying the view, having his own breakfast on our weeping cherry tree berries.”

(Photo/David Fiore)

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And finally … speaking of chipmunks:

Roundup: TikTok Teen Arrests, Water Main Break, Wall That Heals …

Last Saturday night, the Westport Police Department received several calls from locations around town. All concerned a group of youths in a vehicle, shooting projectiles at pedestrians. One victim was struck in the eye.

Callers provide a detailed description of the vehicle. Officers found and stopped it near Greens Farms Road and Compo Road South.

All 3 occupants were juveniles. Police found toy air guns that fired gel-like projectiles at high speed.

The teens were participating in TikTok’s viral “Orbeez Challenge.”

The 3 juveniles were charged with multiple counts of assault 3rd degree, reckless endangerment 2nd Degree, and breach of peace 2nd degree. They were released to their parents.

Victims from that evening are encouraged to report the incidents to the Westport Police Department.

Gun and pellets used in the Orbeez Challenge.

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A photo contest for the cover of the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce 2022-23 Visitors/Membership Guide is now open.

In 2015 and ’17, the Chamber received over 1,000 pictures from dozens of photographers, amateur and professional. Westport residents Mark Litvinoff and William Scalzi won, with their shots of the Levitt Pavilion and a serene dock setting respectively.

Scores of runner-up photos were used inside the 68-page booklet and map guide. Every winner received credit in the publication.

Any resident or businessperson from Westport or Weston may submit what they believe is the “quintessential” photo that represents our community. Use Dropbox, Google or an email attachment to send one or more photos to matthew@westportwestonchamber.com; use the subject line “Photo Contest.”

The deadline is June 19.  Be sure to have a full resolution of the photo for printing, but email a lower resolution for greatest efficiency.

Questions? Use the email above, or call 203-227-9234.

The 2017 guide.

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An “06880” reader reports that on Sunday, a number of homes in his Long Lots neighborhood lost water.

He called Aquarion, and was told there was a water break somewhere on Long Lots Road. That’s a first for him, in over 30 years here.

The break — apparently near Fairfield County Hunt Club — was fixed a few hours later. However, brown water persisted at least through yesterday.

What’s particularly distressing to him is that Aquarion never called him — either about the break, its cause or its resolution. There was a notice briefly on the water company’s website, he says, but it was soon gone.

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As Rev. Alison Patton heads to her sabbatical, visiting minister Rev. Dr. Jim Antal hits the ground — and Saugatuck Congregational Church — running.

The climate activist delivers a public lecture on June 9 (7:30 p.m.): “Let’s Makek our Coastal Community a Climate Leader!” The event is co-sponsored by Wakeman Town Farm and Sustainable Westport.

The lecture is followed by a community conversation about the topic.

In addition to his public talk, Rev. Antal will share a 3-sermon series, “Responding Faithfully to the Climate Crisis,” at Saugatuck Church on the first 3 Sundays in June.

Drawing from his activism and his book “Climate Church, Climate World: How People of Faith Must Work for Change,” Antal will challenge attendees to see their place in the work of climate justice.

The 10 a.m. topics are:

  • June 5: “Welcoming the Fullest Truth”
  • June 12: “Attenting to the Source”
  • June 19″ Living Into a New Story.”

The public is welcome to attend those services too.

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Terrence Dunn was sworn in as Westport’s new fire marshal yesterday. He replaces Nate Gibbons, who has retired.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker calls Dunn “a genuine and humble leader who has the skills and experience necessary to ensure that the Fire Department continues to provide exceptional service to the community.”

He was hired as a Westport firefighter in 2003, and promoted to fire inspector in 2009. He graduated from the University of New Haven with a major in arson investigation and a minor in criminal justice.

Along with state certification as a fire marshal, Dunn is licensed as an assistant building official. He is first vice president of the Connecticut Fire Marshal’s Association, a member of the Fairfield/New Haven County Fire Marshal’s Association, the International Association of Arson Investigators, and District 8 Building Official’s Association.

A formal pinning ceremony on June 21 (5 p.m., Christ & Holy Trinity Church) will celebrate the department’s promotions and medals.

Fire marshal Terry Dunn

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“The Wall That Heals” is a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. Since its dedication in 1996, it has been displayed at nearly 700 communities across the country.

From tomorrow (June 2) through June 5, it will occupy a place of honor at Veteran’s Memorial Park in Norwalk.

Yesterday, the Westport Police and Fire Departments helped escort it from its staging area at Sherwood Island State Park to the park. Click here for details of the exhibit.

The staging area at Sherwood Island. (Photo and hat tip/Chris Swan)

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Anthony LoFrisco is a Westport motorcycle rider. He’s organized a series of rides.

But they’re not just rev-up-the-engines-and-make-loud-noises jaunts. Starting last Sunday, and continuing each month through August, they deliver donated items to food pantries throughout Fairfield County.

The first was to the Gillespie Center in Westport, from Grace Community Church in New Canaan. Parishioners provided cereal, peanut butter, jelly, pasta sauce, canned goods and other items.

The weather was beautiful. The riders — on 4 BMWs and 1 Harley — met at the Westport train station, headed to the church, then returned here for the drop-off.

The next deliveries will be in Stamford, Bridgeport, and then the Gillespie Center again. Anthony invites everyone to drop off non-perishable food items at 11:15 a.m. on June 26, July 31 and August 28 — and/or join the motorcycle riders.

For more information, email anthony@lofrisco.com.

Motorcycle gang at the Gillespie Center.

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This weekend, celebrate Connecticut Trails Day (actually, 2 days). The event draws thousands of people of all backgrounds, ages, abilities and interests, across the state. 

Friends of Sherwood Island State Park will host 4 hikes:

Saturday, June 4: Butterfly Walk (10 a.m.): Explore the gardens and natural areas around the park’s Nature Center, searching for caterpillars, skippers, moths and butterflies. Bring binoculars and a camera or smartphone. You’ll learn how to report your findings on iNaturalist, so scientists everywhere can see how these insects are doing.

Saturday, June 4: Kayak Paddle (1 p.m.): See Sherwood Island from the water. Explore the park’s shoreline. Bring your own kayak, canoe or other paddle craft, and a pump/bailer. A life vest and whistle/horn are required by state boating regulations.

Sunday, June 5: Archaeology Walk (1 p.m.): See interesting terrain, and examine traces of past inhabitants, from 1000 B.C. to the 1940s. Learn about recent excavations, including Native American, early settlers, and onion farmers.

Sunday, June 5: Nature Walk (2 p.m.): Go beach to beach  along Long Island Sound. Discover habitats, inhabitants, birding locations, viewing platforms, a purple martin enclave, and other special features of this waterfront park. Other points of interest include Connecticut’s 9/11 Memorial, model aircraft airport, trail heads, wetlands, and a pine forest.

Click here for more details. For questions, and to register (recommended, but not required), email cece@historicalperspectives.org, or call 203-984-1488.

Sherwood Island State Park is a natural wonderland. (Elena Nasereddin)

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1999 Staples High School graduate Kyle Martino has been the National High School Soccer Player of the Year, MLS Rookie of the Year, a US men’s national team athlete, and a highly regarded analyst on NBC Sports.

Now he’s the founder of the Over Under Initiative. The non-profit increases access to sports in urban neighborhoods, by converting basketball courts and other blacktops to multi-sport spaces. Martino designed the innovative and elegantly simple conversion process himself.

On June 13 (5:30 p.m., Autostrada, 499 Post Road East), Martino joins Westporters Dan Donovan, Mark Kirby and friends for a fundraiser. Tickets are $250 each. To attend and for more information, email rsvp@overunderinitiative.com.

Youngsters play at Cesar Batalla School’s new multi-sport court. The soccer goal can be pulled out of the ground, then sunk back into the ground, with ease. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Lou Weinberg sends along this gorgeous “Westport … Naturally” image of a Lansdowne song sparrow — and adds a link to its equally beautiful song:

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … Happy Connecticut Trails Day!

Roundup: Oystercatchers, Longshore Survey, Dr. K …

We all feel battered by bad news. This morning — reminded of Sandy Hook, Buffalo and so much more by the tragedy in Texas — seems especially difficult.

Fortunately, birds don’t read the papers. They just live their lives — and bring joy and beauty into ours.

A tiny bit of good news: The oystercatchers have hatched at Compo Beach.

Please give them space. They need it. Enjoy them from afar — as in this great telephoto view.

(Photo/Tina Green)

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Longshore is on the drawing board.

As Westport plans “replacement, relocations and/or enhancements of existing facilities and new facilities” for Longshore, the town seeks residents’ input.

Stantec — a landscape architect, planning and engineering firm — has developed a town-wide survey. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Click here to participate. The link will be active until June 14.

Click here for more information, and project updates.

The Inn at Longshore and 18th hole are just a small part of Longshore Club Park. (Drone photo/John Videler for videler.com)

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The Staples girls golf team — ranked #1 in the state — added to their superb season by defeating Greenwich 181-186 yesterday. The win clinches the FCIAC Western Division championship, the Wreckers’ first solely held division title since 2016.

Staples — now 13-1 — vies for the FCIAC crown on June 2. Two days earlier, they end the league season with a match against Eastern Division champion New Canaan.

Congratulations to coach Patty Kondub and her team!

The 2022 Staples High School golf team. Seated (from left): senior co-captains Lizzie Kuehndorf and Leni Lemcke. Standing: freshman Rachel Pontoriero; sophomore Kathleen Coffey, juniors Reilly McGeehan and Keeva Boyle.

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No one loved Staples High School more than Gerry Kuroghlian. The beloved English teacher collected many Wrecker items during his long career — including yearbooks.

“Dr. K” died last November. Now his wife Ellen is offering some of those yearbooks to anyone who wants them. They’re free — but she hopes their new owners will make a donation to the Dr. K. Humanitarian Scholarship, created by friends and administered by Staples Tuition Grants.

(The first award will be given out May 31. Donations are always welcome!)

The yearbooks are from 1970, ’71, ’72, ’75, ’79, 2000, ’02, ’03 and ’05. Email 06880blog@gmail.com for details.

Dr. Gerry Kuroghlian

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Speaking of Staples collectors’ items:

Yesterday’s Roundup included an item about the Class of 1967 Homecoming Queen ballot, now for sale on eBay.

Robert Gerrity — who sent that link — has discovered another Class of ’67 eBay goodie. This one has a bit more appeal: a vinyl recording of an Orchestra concert.

Click here to buy this rare item. If, that is, you’ve still got a turntable. And are willing to pay $100.

The 1966 Orchestra record, with conductor Robert Genualdi.

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There’s only one week left in Gilbertie’s Herb & Garden Center’s town-wide scavenger hunt. It’s one of the fun lead-ups to the family-owned business’ 100th anniversary celebration June 4.

All you need for the scavenger hunt is a smartphone, car and driver, and the clues (click here).

It takes half an hour. It’s a great activity for families, anyone new to Westport, anyone who’s lived here a long time and loves Gilbertie’s — or anyone else.

Click here for details. Then click your seatbelt, and scavenge away. When you’re done, you’ve got a chance to win a $50 Gilbertie’s gift certificate.

Meanwhile: Congratulations to the first winners: Bonnie and Allan Arkush.

A scavenger hunt map.

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Some youngsters with critical illnesses ask Make-a-Wish for a trip to Disney World, or to meet a celebrity.

Aaron James wanted to serve food from a truck.

The 17-year-old was diagnosed with cancer 5 years ago. It’s now in remission. So the other day he happily took over Dan Kardo’s food truck at Don Memo. Along with great chefs like Bill Taibe (Don Memo, Kawa Ni, The Whelk), Jess Bengtson (Terrain Café and Amis Trattoria), Matt Storch (Match Burger Lobster, Match) and Robin Selden (Marcia Selden Catering), he served up tacos, oysters and more.

Aaron’s goal is to have his own food truck one day. Here’s hoping that’s one more wish that comes true.

Aaron James outside Don Memo.

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Yesterday, Westport Police released the name of the man killed in Monday evening’s fatal automobile accident on Saugatuck Avenue. He was Mark Lemoult, age 59 of Norwalk.

The incident remains under investigation.

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Westport Country Playhouse’s current production — “Straight White Men” — is both funny and thought-provoking. In between male bonding rituals and conversations about money, work, and love, a father and his 3 adult sons face serious questions about their own identities.

The play runs now through June 5. But the Playhouse is offering free post-curtain events, open to all who want to learn more about the production and its themes.

Anyone can attend; tickets are not needed. Just arrive at the Playhouse 90 minutes after curtain time.

The first (Thursday, May 26) is a conversation with director Mark Lamos,

A symposium after this Sunday’s (May 29) 3 p.m. matinee features the full cast, in an in-depth discussion. of “Straight White Men” for an in-depth discussion about the show.

On June 3 Edson Rivas, executive director of the Triangle Community Center, leads a discussion on gender expectations

Click here for more information “Straight White Men.”

Westport Country Playhouse

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The threshold for entitled parking photos on “06880” is now taking up 3 spaces — not just 2. And a parking job must be a lot more egregious than just a “No Parking” zone to make the cut these days.

But this driver managed to do both yesterday, at the Westport Library. He or she came all the way from Florida (or registers his or her car there, to avoid Connecticut taxes), just to 1) hog 2 spaces perfectly and 2) ignore the sign that says — smack in front of the driver — “No Parking/Loading & Unloading Only.”

But hey: It is a very nice car.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

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Spring brings a riot of colors to Westport. Sunil Ghirani captured some of them on Soundview Drive, for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

The sailboat in the distance adds even more.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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And finally … on this day in 1878, Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera “HMS Pinafore” opened in London.

Roundup: Affordable Housing Survey, Porch @ Christie’s, Chocolate …

The Planning & Zoning Commission is creating Westport’s first 5-year Affordable Housing Plan — a state mandate.

To ensure that the plan represents town values, the P&Z is conducting a community survey. Click here to begin.

Meanwhile, a draft of the Affordable Housing Plan has been posted to the Town’s website. Click here to see; click here for the “06880” back story.

The survey will be available until June 23.

Among the Planning & Zoning Commission ideas for affordable housing: this  “model pocket neighborhood/cottage commons” design, courtesy of Ross Chapin AIA.

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The Porch @ Christie’s opened in the middle of COVID. It’s been a great success, and a worthy addition to all of northern Westport.

But because the pandemic, there was never an official ribbon-cutting.

Finally, there will be. It’s tomorrow o(Wednesday, May 23, 11:30 a.m.), on (I’m guessing) the Porch’s Cross Highway porch.

Everyone is invited. And — this is really sweet — there are free cookies too, courtesy of Sweet P Bakery, for the first 150 guests.

The Porch @ Christie’s co-owner Bill Pecoriello, on the porch.

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Speaking of food: The Chocolatieree just opened on Church Lane, near Myrtle Avenue. Owner Laureen Haynes — a former laboratory diagnostics worker, who traveled to South America to learn the chocolate business — makes all the treats herself.

The name is a combination of “chocolatier” and “Ree,” Haynes’ nickname. Click here for the full story, in Westport Journal.

“Chef’s Selection,” at The Chocolatieree.

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Speaking of downtown: In years past, Bridgeport artist Linda Colletta was a popular exhibitor at the Westport Fine Arts Festival.

In April she opened her own gallery on Elm Street, in the new building near Brooks Corner.

This weekend, the 49th annual Fine Arts Festival takes place all around her new space.

That’s one of the many intriguing stories surrounding the long-running event. It’s set for Saturday and Sunday (May 28-29, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

The juried show features national and international fine artists exhibiting in a variety of categories, from painting, photography, sculpture, fiber and  printmaking to mixed media, glass, ceramics, jewelry, wood and graphics. All artwork is for sale in a wide variety of price ranges

The Fine Arts Festival includes food, live music and children’s activities. Click here for details.

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Staples has a new national team athlete.

Freshman Sofia Fidalgo debuted for the U-16 national field hockey team this past weekend, in a series against Canada in Vancouver.

Congratulations, Sofia, on this great accomplishment — and on helping the US sweep all 4 games!

Sofia Fidalgo, representing the US in Canada.

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I know, I know: The universe of “06880” readers interested in this item is astonishingly small.

But I’m posting it as an example of the kinds of things for sale on eBay — and the kinds of things anyone can (apparently) sell, if you 1) keep it in the first place, and 2) hold on to it for decades.

So here it is: The 1966 Staples High School Homecoming Queen Candidates’ ballot.

It’s “used,” and has “various creases.” So it can be yours for the bargain price of $9.99. Click here to buy! (Hat tip: Robert Gerrity)

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Susan Iseman writes:

“This sign was recently installed at Haskins Preserve. Some smart alec  left their poop bag on the ground next to it. I walk my dog there, as well as around town, and am mystified why folks bag the stuff and leave it about.

“Grrrr. Such a sh$&#y situation!”

(Photo/Susan Iseman)

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Longtime Westporter Crescienzo (Christy) John Boccanfuso of Saugatuck Shores died peacefully May 20, surrounded by loved ones.

Christy was born in New York City but moved to Saugatuck Shores in 1948 with his family. He was a life member of Saint Ann’s Club in Norwalk, and a former Engine 4 volunteer firefighter. He took pride in his work, and built his life with his own two hands.

The former owner of Boccanfuso Brothers, Christy lived for fixing, building and improving things around him. For the last 18 years he helped his 2 sons run their auto repair shop.

He loved spending his time with his children and grandchildren, making (and drinking) wine with his brother, and cooking.

He is survived by his wife of 39 years Judith Capossela Boccanfuso; sons Giuseppe (Olivia) Boccanfuso of Easton and Crescienzo (Andrea) Boccanfuso of Fairfield, and daughter Anna Maria (Steven) Angelo of Chesapeake, Virginiia; his twin brother Dominic Boccanfuso and sister Sophia Freitag; 9 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sisters Mary DiMeglio and Carmella Oboy, and brother Joseph Boccanfuso.

Visitation will take place tomorrow (Wednesday, May 25, 4 to 8 p.m., Harding Funeral Home), with a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday (10 a.m., Assumption Church). Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, Greens Farms. Click here to leave online condolences.

Christy Boccanfuso

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Longtime Westporter Francine Gram died last year, at 100 years old.

We just saw her obituary. It is impressive — and timeless. It reads:

“Francine was born on April 23, 1920 in her grandmother’s house in the medieval walled town of Semur-en-Auxois in Burgundy, France.

“She grew up in Paris, and lived under Nazi occupation. When the US entered World War II, she and her family fled the country because her father was a former US Army officer and expatriate American citizen working for the Paris Herald Tribune.

“Francine and her family traveled through southern France to Spain. She crossed the last Nazi checkpoint at Irun in Basque country, carrying photos of British pilots shot down over France hidden in her undergarments.

“They made it to Sintra, Portugal, where they lived for a year before obtaining passage to the United States on the USS Excalibur.

Once in this country, our mother went to work for the Office of War Information’s Voice of America in the French department, as a broadcaster and feature writer. She sent messages of hope to Nazi-occupied France.

“At the VOA she also worked on the radio adaptation of Jean-Paul Sartre’s “Rue Sans Issue” (“No Exit”), and with André Breton, the father of surrealism. She was a frequent visitor to the White House; her godfather, Dr. George Fox, was President Roosevelt’s personal physician.

“In 1946 she met naval oficer and PT boat commander Albert Whitworth Gram, at an Officers’ Club dance at the Delmonico in New York. They married the next year.

“Our parents eventually settled in Westport, where they raised their family. Francine was active in the Alliance Française, the Officer’s Club of Fairfield County, St. Luke’s Parish Church, and the Westport Dance Cotillion.

“She is survived by her daughters Nathalie Emerson and Christine Croarkin; 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.”

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Mark LaClair spotted a loon fishing off Harbor Road. One or two frequent the area every spring and fall, he says.

He sends along the “looniest” “Westport … Naturally” photo ever.

(Photo/Mark LaClair)

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And finally … it’s hard to believe, but Bob Dylan turns 81 years old today.

I could pick dozens of songs. Instead I’ll just give you this bang for your buck: 5 of his best — and longest. (Hat tip: John Richers)

Roundup: Community Gardens, Jeff Clachko, Cote Manche …

It was a groundbreaking weekend at Westport Community Gardens.

Literally.

Work began on the Long Lots Preserve — the area surrounding the 100 plots lovingly tended to on Hyde Lane, where a true “community” of gardeners has grown.

However, the property is overrun with invasive plants. They’re being removed now. Soon, the area will be densely planted with native, pollinator-friendly trees, shrubs, wildflowers and wild grass, making it more ecologically sound.

Stakeholders include the Audubon Society, Aspetuck Land Trust, Earthplace and Westport Community Gardens.

Robbie Guimond and Bartlett Tree Service provided in-kind donation, to get the project off the ground.

Taking a break from working at the Westport Community Gardens (from left): Jeff Wieser, Daryl Kowalsky, Louis Weinberg, Joe Wiles..

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Many Westporters know Jeff Clachko. He’s very involved in many local activities. And he has a great sense of humor.

So when he had a close encounter of a deer kind — and realized it was captured by his Ring video — he quickly put it online.

Just as quickly, it went viral. As of last night, it had 8 million views.

And when “06880” readers click this TMZ link, there will be many more. Be sure the audio is cranked up high! (Hat tip: Amy Hochhauser)

Closeup of a screenshot: deer (left) and Jeff Clachko (right).

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Saturday’s Roundup item on the 2022 Westport PAL scholarship recipients was noticeable for 2 things: They’re a great group of Staples High School students.

And they’re all male.

Several readers wondered about that in the Comments section. I did too.

I asked PAL president Craig Bergamo. He quickly replied: “No girls applied this year. If they had, they would have gotten scholarships too.”

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Earlier this month, a ceremony in France honored a long-forgotten (at least here) Westport woman. Charlotte MacLear — a driving force behind our town’s friendship with Marigny, in the 20 years following World War II — were commemorated by officials in the Normandy village. They named a room in their Town Hall in her honor.

Now the event has been noted in a local website, Coté Manche. Click here for the site; then use Google Translate to read.

The new Charlotte MacLear room at Marigny Town Hall.

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The Staples rugby team battled the top teams in the nation — along with injuries and the flu — at this weekend’s national tournament in Elkhart, Indiana.

But they finished 7th in the country. And when their bus pulled off I-95 at Exit 18 yesterday afternoon, they enjoyed a police escort back to the high school.

Congratulations, Wreckers. You’ve done us proud!

On the Sherwood Island Connector. (Photo/Doug Tirola)

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It was a beautiful weekend for walking. On Beachside Avenue, Barbara Phillips spotted this gorgeous bird. It’s a handsome start to our “Westport … Naturally” week.

(Photo/Barbara Phillips)

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And finally …  today is the birthday of Robert Moog. The inventor of the famed synthesizer was born in 1934. He died in 2005. But his impact will last for a long, long time.