Category Archives: Weather

Scenes From A Storm: Part 2

Our 10 a.m. report:

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)

Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Parker Harding Plaza (Photo/Jennifer Johnson)

Stores in Parker Harding Plaza (Photo/Jennifer Johnson)

Tree down on South Compo, near Ferry Lane East. (Photo/Fred Cantor)

Baker Avenue at Imperial Avenue (Photo/Jennifer Johnson)

Burying Hill Beach (Photo/John Karrel)

Compo Beach (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Compo Beach (Photo/Matt Murray)

The scene near Soundview Drive. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Compo jetty (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Schlaet’s Point, on Hillspoint Road (Photo/Jim Hood)

Another view of Schlaet’s Point. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Old Mill Beach near Compo Cove (Photo/Fred Cantor)

No one watched the waves this morning. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Scenes From A Storm

The “bomb cyclone”/”once in a generation” pre-holiday storm delivered its first part as promised early this morning.

As of 8 a.m., 685 out of Eversource’s 12,678 customers were without power. That’s 5.4% of the town.

Weston reported 370 outages — 9.5% of 3,896 customers.

Statewide, Eversource reported 97,835 customers without power. That’s 7.55% of Connecticut.

Winds have momentarily died slightly. Rain has stopped. though it may start again around noon.

Next up: The temperature — about 53 now — will begin falling sharply in mid-afternoon. By 6 p.m. it will be 25; tomorrow at dawn, just 11 degrees.

Matt Murray has sent in two early scenes.

On Hillspoint Road, the eyesore that is the halted residential construction of the former Positano restaurant got even eyesore-ier, when the wind tore some of its blue siding.

Just a few yards away, 2 folks took advantage of the warm air for a dip at Old Mill Beach.

Let’s see if they’re there tomorrow.

(Photos/Matt Murray)

 

Pics Of The Day #2066

Downtown Westport in the fog — captured by Lynn Untermeyer Miller.

National Hall

Giegerich building

Library Riverwalk (All photos/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)

Pic Of The Day #2065

Winslow Park this morning, after the season’s first snowfall. This afternoon, it was all gone. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

Roundup: James Montgomery, Teens’ Songwriting Workshop, Shrimp Farming …

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.

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Speaking of music at the Library:

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.

Click here to register, and for more information.

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John Brawley grew up on Saugatuck Shores. He became a marine biologist, living (and fishing) on Cape Cod for many years.

He now owns Sweet Sound — Vermont’s first shrimp aquaculture outfit. He harvests 100 pounds of Pacific white-leg shrimp each week from indoor, aboveground recirculating saltwater pools.

Brawley was featured in Friday’s Washington Post piece on how the Green Mountain State has pivoted from dairy farms to other types of agriculture. Click here for the full story. (Hat tip: Scott Smith)

John Brawley, at Sweet Sound Aquaculture.

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Yesterday’s rain kept many Westporters inside.

But it did not deter the weekly Compo Beach runners. Neither it, nor the wind whipping off the water, deterred them from their jaunt down Soundview Avenue.

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

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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.

Click here for more information.

Frank Townsend Hutchen’s “Compo Beach Sunset.” The Saugatuck train towers are visible in the background.

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“Westport … Naturally” can never resist a cute dog photo.

This one sure qualifies.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

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And finally … James Montgomery (see story above) is a blues legend. If you haven’t heard of him, check out this 41-year-old clip:

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Pics Of The Day #2053

The weather got progressively nastier today. This was one view of Compo Beach … (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

… and another. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Friday Flashback #320

What were you doing 10 years ago today?

If you lived in Westport — or anywhere in the Northeast — you were probably cleaning up from Sandy.

The superstorm — not even a hurricane when it landed here — roared in on October 29, 2012.

Here are some scenes from those days:

Hillspoint Road, at what was then Elvira’s and Positano. (Photo/Matt Murray)

Old Mill Beach (Photo/Matt Murray)

Burying Hill Beach.

Saugatuck Shores. (Photos/Inklings staff)

Underneath this garage was a 1960 Mercedes. (Photo by Kathie Bennewitz)

North Avenue.

The Westport YMCA childcare center (then on Church Lane).

The sign on the garage says “Welcome to the Beach.” (Photo/Betsy Phillips)

Public Works took care of a section of boardwalk that ended up far from home.

The view from the Longshore golf course parking lot. The Parks and Rec office is in the background.

Grove Point Road.

Soundview Drive was “sandy” indeed.

Every grill on Compo’s South Beach was knocked over.

Colony Road. (Photo/Drew Angus)

Playhouse Square.

The corner of Highwood Lane and Calvary Road. (Photo/Larry Perlstein)

North Compo Road.

Cob Drive.

North Turkey Hill Road.

Hillspoint Road, near Schlaet’s Point. (Photo/Betsy Phillips)

Main Street.

Soundview Drive. (Photo/Mary Hoffman)

The Wakeman Field port-o-potties.

This satellite image of then-Hurricane Sandy,

Where were you when Sandy struck?

What lessons have we learned (or already forgotten) since then?

Click “Comments” below to share!

(From Superstorm Sandy — and through Hurricanes Irma and Isaias, blizzards, and through gorgeous weather too — “06880” is here for you. Please click here to support your hyper-local blog.)

Pic Of The Day #2018

Birchwood Country Club, this morning (Photo/Amy Schneider)

Pic Of The Day #1984

Rainy Thursday at the train station (Photo/Jonathan Alloy)

Roundup: Chief Foti, Mark Blake, Food Inequality …

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.

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Autumn arrives tonight at 9:04.

This morning, Westport said goodbye to summer with a quick thunderstorm. Andrew Colabella captured this dramatic lightning strike over Cockenoe Island:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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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.”

Mark Blake

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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).

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The state of Connecticut will help fund replacement sidewalks near Greens Farms Elementary School, and renovations at the Weston Police Department.

The sidewalk project includes $250,000 from the state, and $100,000 in town funds. The police building includes $500,000 in state funds, and $264,926 from Weston.

State grants come from the Small Town Economic Assistance Program.

A sidewalk replacement project is coming soon to Greens Farms Elementary School.

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Up Next Teens is a Staples High School student-founded and run organization. They’ve just launched a new project: #FeedFairfield County.

The goal is to raise $25,000. That would supply meals for nearly 10,000 hungry residents.

They asked Wakeman Town Farm for help. The result is a great partnership.

On October 6 (6 p.m.), WTF hosts an intimate chef’s dinner. Marcia Selden caters; Greens Farms Spirits supplies the wine and bubbly — and UpNext Teens will serve.

They’ll also speak to guests about their goals and projects. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Massimo Tabacco — the former owner of Bar Lupa, and other restaurants — has a new venture.

He’s partnered with lifelong Westporter Matthew Balk to open Il Pellicano, at 1460 Post Road in Fairfield.

The Italian restaurant features classic and contemporary dishes, including small plates, steaks, fish and piadina (an unleavened thin bread with delicious fillings).

There’s an extensive cocktail menu too, with experienced mixologists.

Il Pellicano opens tomorrow (Friday, September 23). A roof patio has just been approved, and will be ready soon. Click here for more information.

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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.

The program is free. Spots are limited, and pre-registration is required.

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The next Amy Simon Fine Art show is “Slow Motions,” with Liz Barber, Christopher Jeffries, Carolanna Parlato and Paul Shakespear.

It runs September 24 through November 5, at 123 Post Road East.

“Summer Fold 2” — mixed media on canvas (Liz Barber)

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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.

Michael Stashower

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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.

(Photo/Stuart Schmerzler)

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And finally … in honor of the great “Westport … Naturally” photo above, I had to include this song, by this band.

Get it?

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