Category Archives: Totally random

“38 Minutes Of Sheer Terror”

The alert blared on Anthony Dohanos’ phone a few minutes after 8 a.m.

It was a false alarm. Still, for more than half an  hour Anthony Dohanos — former Westporter, longtime resident of the big island of Hawaii, and son of famed illustrator Stevan Dohanos — had no reason to disbelieve the alert.

Instead, he had every reason to believe he — and everyone else in the state — would die.

“We all said our goodbyes,” he told “06880” this afternoon. He expected the missile — or missiles — to hit within 15 minutes.

It took another 20 minutes or so before the 2nd — and astonishingly more reassuring — message came through.

I spoke with Anthony a few minutes ago. It was 4 hours since the petrifying ordeal. He — and nearly everyone else in Hawaii — was still shaken up.

Another former Westporter — Bill Briggs, 1964 Staples High School graduate who earned fame as the Remains’ keyboardist — is vacationing in Hawaii.

He posted on Facebook:

I’m a little bit of a “prepper.” I says to myself, “We’re screwed!”

No shelters. No civil defense instructions. No nothin’! I had a little bit of extra medication and a really good flashlight but that’s it.

People were freaking out! We kept our cool and figured if it was true we were screwed anyway, so why panic. Incredible degree of ineptitude.

Anthony sent a GIF that’s making its way around Hawaii:

But it may be quite some time before he — and everyone else — can truly relax.

Today’s Most Entitled Westporter Is NOT A Driver!

However, he had to get in his car to earn this sleazeball award.

An alert — and legitimately ticked-off — “06880” reader reports: “some jerk dumped not 1, but 2 Christmas trees in front of our house.”

The reader — who is in great shape physically, but nonetheless one year shy of his 80th birthday — adds: “Anyone who was too lazy to take trees to the town brush center, or too stupid to call the Boy Scouts for free pickup, is really a slob.”

He’s too kind. I’d have used much harsher words.

Happy New Year!

Let’s hope it’s a good one,

Without any fear…

Holiday Thieves Have (Half) A Heart

Last Saturday evening, someone stole Aradh Ana’s son’s backpack from the parking lot of a shopping center.

“They probably thought it had a laptop, iPad or other expensive electronic device,” the Westport woman says. But it only held a homework binder.

The thief kept the backpack. But he or she took the time to find out where Ana lived, drive over, and throw the binder in the front yard of the first house on the road.

A “kindhearted and vigilant” neighbor noticed it in the snow, and brought it over.

“We were upset with the theft. But we were thankful my son got his school binder back,” Ana says. “His class and homework assignments were very important to him.

“It appears these holiday thieves have a heart, but unfortunately not the right mindset. I hope and pray they get the wisdom to stop stealing, start working hard and follow the right path.”

And, she warns, “Stay alert and safe. Lock up your cars while shopping, and also in your driveway. Cheers and happy holidays!”

Nice Crosswalk — Just Don’t Cross!

It only took, oh, a year or so since the Main Street/North Compo/Clinton Avenue improvement project was completed.

But a new crosswalk was finally striped today.


Except for one minor detail:

Hey, no biggie! I’m sure the state will get around to removing it — and the others nearby — soon.

Like, say, a year from now.

Scott Smith’s Concrete Questions

The roads of Westport play an important — if often unrecognized — role in our lives. When we do think about them, it’s in the context of traffic, alternate routes, that sort of thing.

Scott Smith thinks of asphalt and concrete. The longtime Westporter writes:

The autumn flurry of repaving Westport’s road before the asphalt plants shut down for the winter makes me wonder about the status of some other byways around town. I’m thinking of the local streetscapes I travel that are still paved with concrete.

Three spots come to mind: the mile or so along Greens Farms Road between Compo and Hillspoint, and 2 blocks on Riverside — one heading toward the train station, the other from Viva’s to the VFW. Made of poured aggregate cement and laid down in blocks of 20 feet or so, these stretches of old roadway remind me of a time when things were built to last.

Concrete on Greens Farms Road …

But not always. Years ago, while re-landscaping a home I lived in off Imperial Avenue, I dug up a bunch of old concrete blocks. They were odd shapes, most 2 or 3 feet across and all 6 to 8 inches thick, smooth on one side and jagged on the other.

The house was built in 1960, on low-lying property, so I figured they were fill from when construction of the I-95 Turnpike tore through town. The chunks of pavement were a bear to raise up out of the ground, but made great stepping stones. I bet they are still there.

… on Riverside Avenue north of the Cribari Bridge …

It’s probably a state versus town issue, but as I see other local roads in the continual process of getting stripped of asphalt and replaced with new black pavement, I wonder what’s up with these concrete remnants of vintage Westport.

Are there any longtime townies — or people in Public Works — who could let the rest of us know when these roads were first laid down, and how long they might stick around?

… and near the train station. (Photos/Scott Smith)

And The Answer Is …

Today’s New York Times crossword puzzle starts easily.

1 Across:  “Home to Santa’s workshop.” 4 letters. Hmmm…”North Pole” doesn’t fit. So…just “Pole,” right?

Okay. 1 Down: “Affluent Connecticut town.” Also 4 letters.

Wow. I can’t think of any towns that start with “P.” Or even any 4-letter affluent Connecticut towns. Well, maybe Avon…

On to 5 Across, to the immediate right:  “Popular outdoor clothing brand, with ‘The.'” The only one I can think of is “North Face.” But there are only 4 squares. Leave that for later…

I’ll try the next one on the top line. 9 Across:  “Minnesota NHL team from 1967 to 1993.” That’s simple: “North Stars.” But wait — there are only 5 letters. So…just “Stars,” no?


Every answer on the top is missing “North.”

Why would that be?

Oh yeah! Because they’re on the top line — in other words, the “North”!

So that must mean, um — the bottom line would be “South.”

Let’s check it out. 67 Across is “Country hosting the 2018 Winter Olympics.” I haven’t paid attention yet, but I’m guessing it’s not South Africa. What about…South Korea?

Yep — there are 5 squares. Bingo!

So back to the top — 1 Down. I’m betting every answer on the left side starts with “West.”

Which would make that “affluent Connecticut town” — the one with only 4 letters, starting with a “P” — “Westport”!

It’s a clever crossword. And I’ll be sure to thank Times puzzle editor Will Shortz for it personally, next February.

You know — when he makes his annual appearance at the Westport Library Crossword Competition!

Will Shortz at the Westport Library, last February.

(Hat tip: David Schwartz)


It’s November 4. Turn Back Your Clocks. And Buy Your Christmas Ornaments.

Alert “06880” reader — and dumbfounded shopper — JP Vellotti spotted this yesterday at Michaels, the crafts and hobby store:

A couple of things come to mind:

  • Aren’t big sales supposed to happen after the holiday?
  • And speaking of holidays, it’s not yet Thanksgiving. Or Veterans Day. It’s not even Election Day. In fact, there are still a few hours left of Daylight Savings Time.

Ho ho ho!

“06880” Endorses…

No other candidate for kayak commissioner has such a great Abba-esque slogan.

Or a Swedish flag.

Of course, there are no other candidates for kayak commissioner.

Because the post doesn’t exist.

But if it did, we’d definitely vote for Magano.

(Hat tip: Dana Kuyper. She took this photo at the Spicer/Rayfield Road intersection.)


“Love More Than Ever”

(Photo/Frank Rosen)

This sign — hanging by the Taylor Place parking lot, between the Westport Library and Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Post Road bridge — comes courtesy of an artist using the alias 5iveFingaz.

A Norwalk native who studied art at Sacred Heart University, his works pop up all over Fairfield County — and the country.

According to the Norwalk Hour:

He’s left his art hanging on walls under the SoNo train bridge, perched against a fence in Stamford’s Harbor Point, in the VIP lounge at Coachella, the streets of Chicago, New Mexico, Seattle. New York City subway stops, leaning against a tree in Sequoia National Park, you get the idea.

On Instagram — where he has over 8,000 followers, and uses the hashtag #mygalleryisoutside — 5iveFingaz says:

Creating is my therapy. Painting helps to curb anxiety and depression. On average, I paint about 2 paintings a day. They range from street art, realism, abstract, neo-expressionism, pop art or just words on canvas. They also range in size from 2 inches to 92 inches. Everything is calculated. Light, shadow and composition. Every painting has raw emotion mixed in with the paint.

And — judging by his contribution to Westport — a very important message.

(For the full Hour story, click here. Hat tip: Frank Rosen)