A coastal flood warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. today. Westport Fire and EMS say: “We expect flooding along the shoreline imminently. Please move vehicles now, if they are in vulnerable and low-lying areas.”
Areas to avoid include Morningside Avenue South near Clapboard Hill; Cross Highway between Bayberry Lane and Sturges Highway; Compo Road South near Rockland Place, due to downed trees and wires, and Turkey Hill Road South between Clapboard Hill and Arrowhead Road.
If anyone needs help of any kind, please click “Comments” below. Other readers will do their best to respond.
Saugatuck River, downtown (Photo/Jennifer Johnson)
The “Blue Sunday” concert series at the Westport Library will end with a bang.
World famous blues rocker James Montgomery joins Mark Naftalin’s all-star lineup next week (December 11, 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.).
The house band includes Blues Hall of Fame guitarist/singer/songwriter Paul Gabriel, lowdown bassman Paul Opalach, swingin’ drummer Nick Longo and the host: Westport’s own Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Mark Naftalin on keyboards.
The show is (amazingly) free, but registration is highly recommended. Last month’s show was completely sold out. Click here to register.
Verso Studios has partnered with the Song Arts Academy, with an 8-week songwriting program for 15 middle and high school students.
The program runs from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Mondays, beginning January 30.
It’s free (!), thanks to the support of Fred Reynolds and family. (A refundable $25 registration fee reserves a spot.) .
The workshop offers young songwriters a chance to record songs written in the workshop at Verso Studios.
The program is led by Billy Seidman, a Westport native and veteran New York songwriter, guitarist and producer. He’s worked with Jimi Hendrix, and top pop producers like Jimmy “The Senator” Douglass, (Justin Timberlake, Pharrell Williams) and Steve Jordan (John Mayer, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton).
Each week, students will learn new craft and perspective tools, then write an original song using them.
The New Canaan Museum & Historical Society is spotlighting the Silvermine Art Colony.
Several of those artists lived in Westport between 1908 and 1922: Karl Anderson, George Hand Wright, George Wright Picknell, Ernest Funt and Edmund Marion Ashe. They met frequently, and critiqued each other’s work.
The 2 exhibits feature over 120 pieces of Silvermine artists’ work, including several of those Westporters. One of the standout pieces is Frank Townsend Hutchen’s “Compo Beach Sunset,” from around 1925.
The other day, Police Chief Foti Koskinas took CNN’s Alisyn Camerota for a spin.
The footage wound up yesterday on the network’s “Champions for Change” segment.
Foti was cited for his innovative community involvement, including helping the department handle demonstrations calmly and respectfully. He spoke candidly about the state of American policing, noting that he would take a knee with George Floyd protesters in solidarity, prayer and against police brutality — but not against police or the flag.
TEAM Westport chair Harold Bailey praised Foti’s ability to listen. “There was some change in his position” during discussions after the Michael Brown incident, Bailey said — “and change in ours as well.”
The piece will be rebroadcast this Sunday (September 25, 8 p.m.), as part of a CNN special hour-long “Champions of Change.”
Click here to see the segment. Spoiler alert: I’m on camera for a few quick seconds. And I provide the voice-over intro, conclusion and other thoughts.
It was an honor to be included.
Screenshot from CNN: Alisyn Camerota and Chief Foti Koskinas.
The Westport Police Department and Emergency Medical Services mourn the death of Mark Blake. The popular and generous EMS crew chief died Tuesday.
He was hired in May of 1990, and had a long, rewarding career serving Westport. He was a representative for the Southwest EMS Council for over 10 years, and was most recently its president.
Blake was a certified child safety seat instructor, and organized many car safety seat clinics throughout Fairfield County.
Blake also volunteered with Weston’s fire department and emergency medical services, for over 39 years. He was the department’s vice president, and earned the rank of lieutenant.
Westport Police and EMS say: “Those who knew Crew Chief Blake quickly realized that his passion was to help any way he could. Whether organizing a safety clinic, treating a sick patient or helping at the scene of a fire in Weston, he was there. His dedication and passion will most certainly be missed.
Deputy Chief Sam Arciola oversees Westport EMS. He says: “Mark was an incredibly dedicated public servant as well as a widely respected EMT. He never hesitated to put the needs of others above his own.”
First Selectwoman Jen Tooker adds, “I was saddened to hear of the passing of Crew Chief Blake. On behalf of the town, I want to extend my condolences to his friends and family as well as express how appreciative the town is for all his years helping our community.”
One more police item: Local departments were recognized recently, in a ceremony at Beth Israel Chabad in Norwalk.
Westport was represented by Police Chief Foti Koskinas, Weston by Police Chief Ed Henion. The event included plaques of appreciation, music and brunch.
Among the officials at the Beth Israel Chabad ceremony: Rabbi Yehoshua Hecht (far left), Weston Police Chief Ed Henion (4th from left), Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas (5th from left) and Westport 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker (6th from left).
The Westport Library’s Verso Studios are leading-edge.
So they’re a perfect spot for a new education initiative. The Fairfield County-based LiveGirl non-profit will co-host a 9-week Leadership Lab for high school girls there. Sessions start October 3, and run each Monday through December 14.
Founded in 2014, LiveGirl’s mission is to “prepare the next generation of diverse, brave female leaders with the skills, community, and connections so that all girls may thrive and make a positive impact on the world. LiveGirl’s vision is to contribute to a world free from both gender and racial inequality.”
Utilizing state-of-the-art Verso Studios media facilities, the LiveGirl Leadership Lab will focus on creative arts empowerment, multimedia expression and training. Participants will develop storytelling skills through creative channels like video, music and podcast production.
Longtime Westporter and former Planning & Zoning Commission member Michael Stashower died yesterday. He was 96 years old.
The Cleveland native attended Hobart College as part of the US Navy’s V-12 Officer Training program, then received BA degree and MBA degrees from Cornell University.
After retiring from a long and successful career in corporate finance, Michael continued used his expertise as an overseas volunteer with the International Executive Service Corps, and to help with New York City’s 2012 Olympic bid.
In more than 50 years in Westport, he was actively involved in the community. He was elected twice to the town’s Planning & Zoning Commission. He was a past president of the UJA/Federation of Westport-Wilton-Norwalk, treasurer of Temple Israel, and served on the board of directors of the Council of Jewish Federations and the Jewish Home for the Elderly.
He loved sailing, tennis, and playing clarinet with the Westport Community Band.
Michael is survived by Gloria, his wife of nearly 72 years; their Susan (Paul Milbauer), Debby Missal (Michael) and Jon (Allison), and grandsons Jordan, Scott and Matthew.
A service is set for tomorrow (Friday, September 23, 10 a.m., Temple Israel). Shiva will be observed tomorrow from 1 to 5 p.m. at 321 Lansdowne.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests consideration of a donation to Temple Israel of Westport.
Staples High School Class of 2010 graduate Keith Gelman moved back to Westport with his wife, in June.
The other evening he saw this barred owl, in his front yard. Classmate Stuart Schmerzler snapped this stunning “Westport … Naturally” photo. Follow @schmerzlertakesphotos on Instagram, for more great shots.
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