Category Archives: Westport Country Playhouse

Roundup: Malone Refuse Gets Scammed; Turkey Trot T-Shirt Goes Viral …

Kristen Stroud posted this important — but depressing — information on social media:

“My family owns Malone’s Refuse Service. A customer brought to our attention that someone is fraudulently soliciting holiday tips.

“The person placed these cards (photo below) in mailboxes, hoping the customer will then mail them a holiday gift. This person is not employed by Malone’s Refuse Service. We will be reporting it to the police.

“Between this scam and all of the recent issues with check washing and mail being stolen, if you would like to gift your actual refuse collector, you can email me at malonesrefuse@gmail.com and we will figure out the safest way to do so.”

Calling Sherlock Holmes!

Or really, any 1st grader who can read.

With the address provided, it should not take long to crack this case wide open.

======================================================

Every organization in Westport (and beyond) asks Miggs Burroughs for favors.

He always obliges.

For over 30 years, the talented and generous artist/graphic designer (and longtime runner) has designed t-shirts for the Pequot Running Club’s annual “Turkey Trot.” Proceeds go to the club, and charity.

They’re great souvenirs. Then they end up in the bottom of runners’ drawers, replaced by their next race t-shirt.

This year Miggs commemorated 45 years of Turkey Trotting. He chose historic national and world events from those past years, and included them in the design.

Uh oh.

A Tik Tok user named “Crawlie” — who did not run in the race, and apparently had way too much time on her hands — did not like Miggs’ choices. She posted her thoughts.

@crawlie

#greenscreen my outfit is giving miscallaneous star wars girlie but i cant do anything about it now #thanksgiving #fyp #kellyclarkson

♬ original sound – crawlie

For reasons known only to Tik Tok users, Crawlie’s post has received over 688,000 views. It’s generated more than 2,800 comments.

Most people did not share her outrage.

In fact, requests to buy t-shirts have poured in from across the country.

Take that, Crawlie!

PS: Another Tik Toker attempted a Billy Joel/”We Didn’t Start the Fire”-style video. It’s pretty weak. Still, it gives you an idea of the “controversy” surrounding the shirt.

@lucybiggers

Our towns Turkey trot shirt decided to make a “run through history list” and this is what they came up with…

♬ We Didn’t Start the Fire – Billy Joel

=======================================================

Staples High School’s elite Orphenians sang …

… and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker made brief remarks (including a shout out to the Public Works Department, for decorations). She then asked kids in the crowd to join her, counting down “3 … 2 … 1!” …

… and wham! Last night, Westport’s Christmas (aka Holiday) tree was lit, in front of Town Hall by Myrtle Avenue.

(Photos/Dan Woog)

Missed it? No problem!

There’s another tree lighting tonight (Friday, 4:30 p.m., Wakeman Town Farm). Stick around for carols and treats, too.

======================================================

Speaking of Christmas songs: The Saugatuck Caroling Crawl returns a week from tomorrow (Saturday, December 10).

The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce event was last held in pre-COVID 2019.

This year once again, 6 Staples Orphenians will sing holiday songs, moving from one restaurant to the next. They’ll hit 14 in all.

Carolers begin their rounds at the Boathouse at 6:30 p.m. They’ll head to Parker Mansion, Kawa Ni, The Whelk, Tutti’s and the Black Duck, before making their way to Railroad Place to sing at Tarantino, Harvest, Romanacci and Allium.

They finish by 8:30 p.m., after entertaining diners at Match Lobster Burger, Rizzuto’s, Viva Zapata and Dunville’s.

Participating Orphs include Sophia Betit, Madelyn Spera, James Dobin-Smith, Alyssa Lee, Deneil Betfarhad and Ethan Tober will be performing.

Reservations are recommended.

 

A scene from the 2018 Caroling Crawl.

======================================================

The Westport Farmers’ Market adds a special “Holiday Artists’ Market” a week from tomorrow (Saturday, December 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Gilbertie’s Herbs & Garden Center, 7 Sylvan Lane). The market features a wide range of handcrafted gift ideas, from 25 local artists.

Carolers will entertain. Bubble & Brew will provide cold and hot beverages, plus sweet treats.  Chef Dan Kardos will bring his Oak & Oar food truck too. “Mark(et)” the date right now.

=======================================================

Yesterday’s “Roundup” featured a Jeep smushing a traffic pylon on Main Street.

Today we feature a different scene, from almost the exact same spot:

After zipping past several prominent “One Way/Do Not Enter” signs, the driver continued the wrong way, refusing to back up or turn around — even when told to. (Had she looked around, she might have noticed every other car pointed in the other direction.)

The driver never stopped (or acknowledged reality). She just kept going, all the way to the Post Road.

======================================================

‘Tis the holiday season. So Westport Country Playhouse ends its 2022 Script in Hand series on December 12 with …

… “Bad Jews.”

Spoiler alert: It’s a comedy.

The night after their grandfather’s funeral, 3 cousins engage in a verbal (and sometimes physical) battle. There’s Daphna Feygenbaum, a “Real Jew” who is volatile, self-assured and unbending; her equally stubborn cousin Liam, a secular and entitled young man with a shiksa girlfriend Melody in tow, and Liam’s brother Jonah, who tries to stay out of the fray.

There’s live music at 6 p.m. in the lobby before the show. Click here for tickets, and more information.

=======================================================

Baby, it’s cold outside. But Misty shows off her fashionable winter coat, in today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

======================================================

And finally … Lucy Biggers tried to mock the Turkey Trot t-shirt, by channeling her inner Billy Joel (story above).

She failed miserably. Here’s how it’s done:

(You won’t get a souvenir t-shirt for supporting “06880” — just our eternal thanks. Hopefully, that’s enough. Please click here to donate.)

 

Roundup: Clarendon Fine Art, Blues, Jazz …

Clarendon Fine Art has over 80 galleries across the UK.

But none in the US.

Until next month.

Clarendon’s very first American gallery opens at 22 Main Street. That’s the new construction on the right side, just north of Post Road East.

The world’s largest gallery group wants to make art “accessible to all.” They boast an eclectic portfolio of artists, across a broad range of genres. 

The new 3,200-square foot building will showcase an international portfolio of originals, collector’s editions, and sculpture from famous names, alongside emerging talents.

Works from artists like Picasso, Miro, Warhol and Hockney; cutting edge pop, street, and contemporary art; more traditional work including landscape, wildlife, still life, figurative and abstract art, is all on sale at Clarendon.

CEO Helen Swaby calls Westport “a thriving cultural and creative center (which), like Clarendon, has a strong commitment to the preservation of community, traditions and quality of life.”

A British Clarendon gallery.

=======================================================

Yesterday was special not only because America voted.

There was also a lunar eclipse.

Maggie Dobbins was up early, to capture both it and the sunrise.

(Photos/Maggie Dobbins)

But wait … there’s more!

Twelve hours later, a full beaver moon rose over Compo. Seth Goltzer was there.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

And Rick Benson was at Sherwood Mill Pond …

(Photo/Rick Benson)

… while not far away was Seth Goltzer:

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

=======================================================

Mark Naftalin’s 3rd “Blue Sunday” rocks the Westport Library on November 20.

The keyboardist/producer/radio host/Rock & Roll Hall of Famer has curated a great set of blues musicians, for the latest in the monthly series.

The November Blue Sunday features “Beehive Queen” and “Saturday Night Live” chanteuse Christine Ohlman, blues and soul man Willie J. Laws, plus Naftalin’s already legendary Blue Sunday Band, with Crispin Cioe, Paul Gabriel and JD Seem.

The first 2 Blue Sundays drew packed houses to the Library’s Trefz Forum. The November 20 concert begins at 2:30 p.m.

You won’t be wailing over the admission price. Unbelievably, it’s free.

=====================================================

On Friday, the Westport Police Department’s 3rd annual Officer Awards ceremony recognized outstanding from 2021.

Among the honorees were 2 civilians: “06880” Unsung Hero Tucker Peters, for saving a friend from drowning after their boat tipped over last summer, and Jose Rodriguez, who helped a woman climb to safety after falling onto the train tracks.

Also recognized: Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Cohen and firefighter Michael Durette who assisted officers in locating a dangerous felon.

Westport Police Department officers were of course recognized for their success in a variety of incidents involving armed suspects, barricaded subjects, the mentally ill, and time consuming, in-depth investigations.

Detectives Ashley Delvecchio and Marc Heinmiller were co-recipients of the 2021 Officer of the Year Award, for their consistent and innate ability to solve investigative cases.

In all, 40 officers received awards. Many were multiple recipients.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas, with Marc Heinmiller and Ashley Delvecchio, co-Officers of the Year.

======================================================

The Westport Library’s Book Sale is (almost) here.

The upcoming event (Friday through Monday) features thousands of gently used books in more than 50 categories, including children’s, classics, fiction, mysteries, sci-fi/fantasy, art, photography, math, science, psychology, religion, biography, business, cooking, gardening, performing arts, travel, foreign language — to name just a few.

Items of special interest: leather-bound vintage book sets; extensive collections of history books and cookbooks; a new “Fiction for $1” room; from the personal library of Joseph Califano, former US Secretary of HEW, books signed to him by their authors, including one by Dr. Seuss. and a card from the Broadway show “In the Heights” signed by Lin-Manuel Miranda and other cast members.

Also on sale: a broad array of DVDs and CDs, and a limited selection of collectibles and artwork.

The book sale benefits both the Library and Westport Book Shop, the used bookstore on Jesup Green that provides employment for people with disabilities.

Volunteers are still needed. To help, email volunteers@westportbooksales.org.

Admission to the book sale is free (except early access Friday morning. Click here for more information, including times and daily specials.

The Westport Library Book Sale.(Photo/Dan Woog)

======================================================

It’s become a tradition: Because the Westport Rotary Club meets each Tuesday at noon, the 1st selectperson now address addresses the group every Election Day.

Westport First Selectwoman Jen Tooker did the honors yesterday, at Green’s Farms Congregational Church. She talked about traffic congestion, Longshore and downtown.

She also expressed concern about the state of public discourse in the US, and how it impacts who chooses to serve in positions like hers.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker at yesterday’s Rotary Club. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)

=======================================================

Westport Country Playhouse is going mobile.

The 91-year-old institution now brings live theater to schools, parks, community centers and other gathering spots.

They supply the fully staged play. Your group supplies the audience.

The first production –“Scaredy Kat Presents” — is designed for grades 5 through 9. But it entertains audiences of all ages, while fostering an understanding of social/emotional wellness.

The tour begins in January, with dates available for booking. School, religious institution, library and community space administrators can click here for more details, and booking information.

=======================================================

Congratulations to Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

The Staples High School musicians participated in the National Association for Music Education conference, as part of the All-National Honor Ensembles. They were selected by video audition, from the top music students in the country.

Delaney played trumpet in the All-National Orchestra, while Witt Lindau was a drummer with the All National Modern Band) (aka known as a “rock band”).

Congratulations too (of course!) to Staples band director Phil Giampietro.

Witt Lindau and Delaney McGee.

=======================================================

The recent HBO special on Paul Newman, and publication of his memoir, has brought Paul Newman back in the spotlight.

Nearly everyone in Westport has a story about our down-to-earth neighbor. Gil Ghitelman shares his:

“Kenyon College — Newman’s alma mater — is mentioned frequently in his new book.

“My son Nick (Kenyon ’94) gave me a hoodie I occasionally wear on spirited walks to town. Recently several Westporters asked if I knew Paul.

Gil Ghitelman, in his Kenyon hoodie.

“I never met him. But my wife had an encounter that is worth telling.

“They both were in the checkout line at Organic Market in Playhouse Square. Paul was buying, of all things, a couple of Newman’s Own peanut butter cups.

“Dispensing with the unwritten protocol to ignore local celebrities — let alone initiate a conversation — she said, ‘Excuse me. Are those any good?’

“Newman smiled and replied, ‘They better be.  I’m paying full retail for them.’”

======================================================

When Marisa Zer arrived home the other night, she could not get in her Greens Farms area driveway.

Two bucks fighting for supremacy blocked her way.

She did not get involved. Instead, she took a photo for “06880,” Day or night, anything can happen in our “Westport … Naturally” world.

(Photo/Melissa Zer)

======================================================

And finally … the day after Americans voted, all the results are not yet in. Some may take days to tabulate.

While the count goes on, let’s all heed Jackson Browne’s words:

We may lose, and we may win …
Take it easy.

Roundup: Rob Simmelkjaer, Paul Newman, President Kennedy …

On the even of today’s New York City Marathon — and a couple of weeks before Roh Simmelkjaer takes over as CEO of its organizer, New York Road Runners — the New York Times sat down for a chat with the Westport resident.

Simmelkjaer is familiar to local residents. He’s a former member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Democratic Town Committee.

Persona — the interview and conversation-focused social media startup he founded — had a heavy local presence.

Simmelkjaer has also been a top manager at ESPN, an on-air Olympics personality for NBC, and — most recently — director of the Connecticut State Lottery.

He calls the Road Runners gig his “dream job.” (He comes prepared: He’s finished the New York Marathon twice.)

Click here to learn about Simmelkjaer’s plans — including a greater focus on the mental health aspect of running, and expanding the organization’s reach — in the Times’ Q-and-A. (Hat tip: John Suggs)

Rob Simmelkjaer

=======================================================

Also in today’s New York Times: a review of Paul Newman’s new posthumous memoir, “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man.”

It’s by Richard Russo, who has some skin in the Westport actor’s game. Newman’s portrayal of Sully in the film adaptation of Russo’s novel changed the author’s life, opening doors to a screenwriting career.

Click here for the full Times piece.

======================================================

CraftWestport — the Young Woman’s League’s mega-pre-holiday fair — returns to the Staples High School fieldhouse today, after 2 COVID years off.

Among the 175-plus exhibitors: Aiden Schachter.

The Staples High School student is selling his LED lightclouds. That may be a first for the event — and he may be the youngest vendor ever.

The show runs until 6 p.m. today. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Aiden Schachter, and his lightcloud booth.

======================================================

As the political season heats up, so does the work of Marc Selverstone.

The 1980 Staples High School graduate — An associate professor in presidential studies at the University of Virginia, and chair of the Presidential Recordings Program at the Miller Center of Public Affairs there — is about to publish “The Kennedy Withdrawal: Camelot and the American Commitment in Vietnam.”

It’s called “a major revision of our understanding of JFK’s commitment to Vietnam, revealing that his administration’s plan to withdraw was a political device, the effect of which was to manage public opinion while preserving United States military assistance.”

Selverstone is an expert on the subject. At the Miller Center he edits the secret tapes of Presidents Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon.

Click here for more information, and to purchase.

======================================================

How do stress levels affect children’s brain development?

That’s the topic of the next Positive Directions “Lunch and Learn” series.

Frank Castorina, PD clinical supervisor, provides insights on November 16 (noon to 1:30 p.m., Westport Weston Family YMCA0.

It’s an important and timely topic. And lunch is provided! Click here to RSVP.

=====================================================

Speaking of stress: Relax with some wine! (Adults, not kids …)

Westport Sunrise Rotary has just the ticket. Their “Westport Uncorked” wine tasting fundraiser is set for The Inn at Longshore (Friday, November 18. 6:30 p.m.).

Heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served, along with dozens of fine wines provided by The Fine Wine Company of Westport. (All wines are available for purchase).

Every dollar raised goes directly to charities supported by Westport Sunrise Rotary. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Good times at the 2019 Uncorked wine tasting, at the Inn at Longshore.

=======================================================

In advance of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers’ November 25 release of “Live at the Fillmore 1997” — their first live record in over a decade — Emmy-winning Westport animator Jeff Scher has created a great video.

Viewers will recognize plenty of local scenes, including Compo Beach, North Avenue and Cross Highway. There’s also the “Heroes Tunnel” through West Rock Ridge near Wilbur Cross Parkway Exit 59 in New Haven.

Click below to see:

=======================================================

Westporters turned out in force yesterday, to help the Westport police force — and folks in need.

The Police Department and Stop & Shop sponsored their annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. All donations — 436 bags, filled to the brim — support Homes with Hope’s Food Pantry at the Gillespie Center. and Westport Human Services’ Food Pantry.

Some residents went out of their way to bring food. Others spotted the food drive, and added non-perishable items to their shopping lists.

At the end of the day, an entire (and enormous) truck was filled with much-needed goods. Thanks to all who contributed — and of course to the WPD, and Stop & Shop.

RTM member Jimmy Izzo, former 1st Selectman Jim Marpe (with his wife Mary Ellen and grandson Charlie), and Police Chief Foti Koskinas (center), with volunteers and Westport Police Department officers at the Thanksgiving food drive by Stop & Shop.

=======================================================

“Script in Hand” — the Westport Country Playhouse’s very popular series of staged readings — returns November 14 (7 p.m.). The show is “Ripcord.”

Click here for details (including a plot summary) and tickets.

======================================================

If you’ve eaten at La Plage, you know there’s fine dining by the water.

If you’re a bald eagle, you agree. Seth Goltzer spotted this bird enjoying a tasty meal of squirrel at Longshore.

It’s the real world. And it fits perfectly with our “Westport … Naturally” concept.

(Photo/Seth Goltzer)

=======================================================

And finally … Aaron Carter, the singer and actor (and brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter) was found dead yesterday at his California home. He was 34.

(Your clock should have been set back an hour last night. And don’t forget to support “06880” either! Please click here to contribute.)

Roundup: Foliage Hikes, “Guys & Dolls,” Lunar Eclipse …

With fall foliage at its peak, Aspetuck Land Trust recommends several great hikes. Two are in Westport.

Caryl & Edna Haskins Preserve is tucked away off Compo Road South. Gentle flat trails circle both ponds. They’re great spots to observe wildlife, and beautiful foliage colors reflecting off the water. A wooded trail near the brook is moderately steep. Click here for the back story on Haskins Preserve.

The red trail through the Newman Poses Preserve (off Bayberry Lane) winds through a wetland on a boardwalk to a meadow marked by large bayberry bushes. Through the meadow towards the lowlands lies the Aspetuck River. A favorite spot for quiet contemplation is the stone bench on the riverbank where neighbor Paul Newman enjoyed floating. The trail loops back by the meadow, into the uplands and back to its starting point.

Trout Brook Valley Conservation Area in Weston is ALT’s biggest preserve: 1,009 acres, with 20 miles of trails. For the best views, start at the orchard. Hike to the highest point; then look south all the way to the Sound and Long Island.

Click here for full details on Aspetuck Land Trust’s preserves.

Haskins Preserve (Photo/Wendy Cusick)

======================================================

Tickets went on sale yesterday for Staples’ Players fall production of “Guys and Dolls.”

They’re selling fast — even without mobile advertisements like this:

(Photo/Julianne Mulvey)

The show runs November 11, 12, 13, 18 and 19. Click here for tickets, and more information.

=======================================================

Cris Jacobs and his band returned to Westport last night for a long-awaited return of the “Supper & Soul” series.

The event — sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce — included a concert at the Westport Library. It was sandwiched in between a 3-course dinner at participating restaurants, and post-concert drinks.

A large crowd enjoyed the music, the food and beverages — and the return to normal entertainment, following the long COVID siege.

“Supper & Soul” at the Westport Library. (Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

========================================================

Jonathan Alloy writes: “Did you know there are charging stations for electronic devices at the Westport train station platforms? I just noticed today.

“It is BYOC (bring your own cable). I count 3 on the southbound platform and none northbound.”

One of the charging stations for electronic devices. It opens up flat for your device.

====================================================

The Westport Country Playhouse production of “From the Mississippi Delta” explores the African American experience in the South, during the Great Migration and civil rights movement.

An insert in the program describes Westport’s role in the movement. An accompanying exhibit on the Great Migration of Blacks out of the South is on view at the Playhouse’s Lucille Lortel White Barn, weekdays from noon to 6 p.m. and on performance dates until intermission.

But the Playhouse also acknowledges current issues. Another insert urges theater-goers to support the Mississippi Rising Coalitions, which addresses the water crisis in Jackson. Click here for more information on that project.

Clck here for more information on “From the Mississippi Delta.” The show runs through October 30.

The cast of “Mississippi Delta” acknowledges applause, From left: Tameishia Peterson,  Claudia Logan, Erin Margaret Pettigrew. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

======================================================

Diwali — the Festival of Lights — is one of the most important events in Hinduism.

The Unitarian Church of Westport hosted a Diwali celebration last night. It was light, bright — and very, very festive.

Diwali last night at the Unitarian Church. (Photo/Sarathi Roy)

=======================================================

Election Day: It’s not just for voting.

If the weather is clear Tuesday, November 8, the Westport Astronomical Society will have telescopes available for the public to view the lunar eclipse. The observatory is at 182 Bayberry Lane, behind the Aspetuck Health District.

It’s from 4 to 6 a.m. — before the polls open. They’ll post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Meetup if bad weather scraps their plan.

This is the first Election Day total lunar eclipse in US history. The next one won’t happen again until November 8, 2394. Chances are good you won’t be around for that one.

Unlike a solar eclipse, a lunar eclipse is perfectly safe to view == and lasts hours. The moon glides into earth’s shadow, and can be viewed over a large part of the planet.

It will turn a notable reddish color for 84 minutes, as the light from the sun passes through the earth’s atmosphere to reach the moon’s surface. This “blood moon” is the final total lunar eclipse visible from North America until 2025.

This partial lunar eclipse was photographed by Westport Astronomical Society member Carl Lancaster this past May.

=======================================================

“Who” saw this beautiful barred owl in his back yard?

Tom Carey. And he captured it — on his camera, anyway — for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Tom Carey)

=======================================================

And finally … on this day in 1998, a court supported the superintendent at Fort Zumwalt High School in St. Louis, and his decision that the marching band could not play “White Rabbit” in their act, because of its drug references.

(After your Aspetuck Land Trust preserve hike, thank “06880” for the suggestion. Contributions of any amount are welcome! Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Breast Cancer Awareness, Playhouse, Chess Cheating

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Among the lives we’ve lost: Westporter Lisa Laudico, in August.

Her friend Anne Craig says, “It was her dying wish, to help create awareness about metastatic breast cancer, nd continue her work supporting other women with the disease through research, grants, funding and love.”

A nonprofit — started in 2019 by a Madison woman, Roberta Lombardi — helps single mothers with MBC from underserved populations pay rent, and get gas , groceries and clothes for their children. Monthly grants of $1,000 change lives.

For more information, email roberta@infinitestrength.org, or call 203-812-0549.

Click below for Anne’s very moving video:

=======================================================

Audiences are very impressed with “From the Mississippi Delta.” The Westport Country Playhouse’s final production of 2022 ended previews yesterday. The official opening is tonight at 8.

The Pulitzer Prize-nominated play traces the story of one woman’s triumphant journey out of a difficult childhood in Mississippi, through the civil rights movement and beyond. It’s a gripping tale of resilience, and the human spirit.

The show runs through October 30. For more information and tickets, click here.

The cast of “Mississippi Delta” acknowledges applause last night. From left: Tameishia Peterson,  Claudia Logan, Erin Margaret Pettigrew. (Photo and hat tip: Dave Matlow)

=======================================================

The latest twist in the bizarre yet compelling Hans Niemann-Magnus Carlsen chess saga:

Niemann is counterattacking. He is suing the world champion — who suggested that Niemann cheated in an upset victory — for defamation. You can read the latest here, from NPR.

And why is this “06880”-worthy?

For 2 years, Niemann — now 19 years old — attended Weston High School. He left after sophomore year.

Hans Niemann

=======================================================

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo makes all of us reflect on the beautiful Saugatuck River.

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

=======================================================

And finally … today is the final day of National Teen Driver Awareness Week.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. Please click here to support it!)

Roundup: Halloween Parade, Mike Sansur, Paul Newman …

Halloween comes early!

The annual downtown Children’s Halloween Parade is set for next Wednesday (October 26). Kids and parents meet at the Post Road East/Main Street intersection at 3:30 p.m.

They’ll march up Main Street, turn right to Avery Place, then turn left on Myrtle Avenue to Town Hall and Veterans Green. Children may trick-or-treat along Main Street and outside Town Hall. 

Entertainment, refreshments and a small gift will be provided on Veterans Green across from Town Hall at 4 p.m. 

The Parks and Recreation Department, Westport Downtown Association and Westport P.A.L. are sponsoring the event. It’s for all children — “especially those 8 and under.”

NOTE: There is no parkin on Main Street between 2 and 4 p.m. during the parade.

Seen at a previous Halloween parade.

=======================================================

The Westport Education Association is raising funds to honor one of its own.

Beloved Staples High School technology education teacher Mike Sansur was killed Saturday, when his vehicle was rear-ended on I-95. His 21-year-old son — who is studying to be a teacher too — is hospitalized with serious injuries.

A GoFundMe page will help defray medical costs for Mike’s son, and help with future college costs for his 2 high school daughters.

The WEA says, “Mike touched the hearts of all students who walked through his door. A former student said was the “the only class where I felt like I belonged. He opened up a world of possibilities, and a desire to learn more. He taught the importance of attention to detail, design, and craftsmanship, which influenced me to pursue architecture. As I write this, the lamp he helped me build is still on my desk. Its light will not go out.”

Click here to contribute, and for more information.

Mike Sansur

=======================================================

In the wake of “The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Man” — Paul Newman’s new memoir — it’s hard to keep up with media mentions.

But a story in the current issue of The New Yorker caught my eye.

Twice, writer Louis Menand references the book’s genesis: over 100 interviews with and about the actor, conducted by his screenwriter friend Stewart Stern.

But in 1991, Newman asked Stern to stop. In 1998, Newman “took the cassettes to the dump and burned them all.”

Later, Menand mentions the incident again: “the auto-da-fé at the town dump seems a pretty clear indication that Newman did not want a memoir.”

The New Yorker is well known for its rigorous fact-checking.

It seems pretty clear that “the town dump” is our town dump. After all, this is where Newman lived. It’s where he kept the tapes.

But wait! We don’t have a “town dump.” It’s a “transfer station.”

And there’s no place there to burn anything.

So … maybe Paul Newman did not burn those hundreds of tapes here, but somewhere else?

Or maybe they were never burned at all?!

=======================================================

One of the major themes of “From the Mississippi Delta” — the current Westport Country Playhouse production — is civil rights.

That’s inextricably tied in with voting rights. So — with an election looming next month — Westport’s League of Women Voters is offering political information in the Playhouse lobby through the show’s run. It ends on October 30.

For over 70 years, the LWV has been a non-partisan Westport institution. They do not support individual candidates; instead they advocate for voter education and enfranchisement. They actively register voters, and organize candidate debates.

Before each performance of “From the Mississippi Delta,” LWV volunteers will offer information on times, locations and requirements for voting in the November 8 mid-term election, including how to get an absentee ballot and online registration.

They will conduct in-person voter registration for people with valid identification (driver’s license, passport, or Social Security card).

The LWV will also explain the ballot referendum about adding days to voting in Connecticut. Right now, we are one of only one 4 states that limits voting to one day.

=======================================================

Before Halloween and Election Day, there’s another holiday.

United Nations Day is not a big one. Except for the people who believe in things like, um, world peace.

To celebrate, the United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut is sponsoring a talk and Q-and-A at the Westport Library (October 24, 7 p.m.).

Dr. Mary Evelyn Tucker, co-founder of the Yale Forum on Religion & Ecology, will speak on “Reimagining Our Environmental Future Together.” Her goal is to inspire people to “preserve, protect and restore the earth community.”

After nearly 3 COVID years away from cabaret,  Leslie Orofino is back. And “Laughing at Life.”

This Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Lecture honors the founder of the UNASC. She was  a longtime Westporter, and advocate for all things UN-related.

====================================================

Speaking of world peace: World-famous photojournalist (and 1991 Staples High School graduate) Lynsey Addario has spent more than 2 decades reporting in the face of conflict, corruption and censorship. She’s done it in the Middle East and Africa; now she capturing the horrors of war in Ukraine.

On November 9, she’ll receive a “Courage in Journalism” award from the International Women’s Media Foundation.

The virtual ceremony is set for November 9 (5:30 p.m.). CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell will host. Click here for free registration, and more information. (Hat tip: Naree Viner)

Lynsey Addario

=====================================================

Westport’s prized vocalist joins director (and fellow townie) Louis Pietig in 2 performances at New York City’s Don’t Tell Mama.

“Laughing at Life” — that’s the show’s name — is a “foot-stomping, life-affirming journey of love.” It includes songs by Alberta Hunter, Fats Waller, Cole Porter, Bob Dylan and many others.

The first show is this Saturday (October 22); the next is Sunday, October 30. Both are at 4 p.m. There’s a $20 cover, with a 2-drink minimum. Click here for reservations.

Leslie Orofino

=================================================

Not much gets by Bob Weingarten.

He spotted frost yesterday morning on a Morningside Drive South roof.

“It’s the first of the season,” he reports.

Spring arrives in 152 days.

Frosty roof. (Photo/Bob Weingarten)

=======================================================

Autumn continues to awe. Jonathan Alloy sends along today’s spectacular “Westport … Naturally” foliage. It’s at Long Lots Elementary School. Similar scenes can be found all over town.

But not for long.

(Photo/Jonathan Alloy)

=======================================================

And finally …  On this date in 1977, Lynyrd Skynyrd’s plane crashed in the Mississippi woods. Six people, including 3 band members, were killed.

(“06880 relies entirely on reader support. Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Politics, Trees, Music …

Candidates for State Senate and House seats squared off yesterday, at the Westport Library. The debate was sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce. Chamber director Matthew Mandell moderated.

Among the main topics: reproductive rights and affordable housing.

Candidates at yesterday’s Westport Library event. (Photo/Dave Matlow)

======================================================

Bob Weingarten reports on the latest tree-cutting: He estimates more than a dozen have been felled at 31 Turkey Hill Road South, “and more” to come.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)

======================================================

Fall is in full force. But the Westport Farmers’ Market plows on in its summer location — the Imperial Avenue parking lot —  every Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

They’ll be there another month, through November 10.

In addition to vendors with seasonal vegetables and fruits, meat, milk, cheese, seafood, baked goods, prepared foods (plus knife, scissors and tool sharpening), the Farmers’ Market hosts different musicians each week.

Tomorrow (October 20), hear Picnic on the 4th of July. Guitars, banjo, harmonica, washboard and vocals offer “new grass” music – songs with a bluegrass twist. The band includes Westporters Louis Fuertes and Pat Blaufuss.

Picnic on the 4th of July band members (from left): Martin Daniels, Jeff Carroll, Pat Blaufuss, Louis Fuertes. (Photo /Lynda Carroll)

=======================================================

Westport Country Playhouse has added a 5th play — the comedy of manners “The Cocktail Hour” by A. R. (Pete) Gurney, to its 2023 seaso

“Pete Gurney has been a Playhouse audience favorite for many decades,” says WCP artistic director Mark Lamos, who will direct the show.

“My long association and friendship with him, both at the Playhouse and Off-Broadway, makes me happy to be reunited with his work.”

For more information on the 2023 season, including tickets, click here.

Westport Country Playhouse (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)

=================================================

Several dozen Westporters received flu shots yesterday, at the Senior Center.

The event was sponsored by the Aspetuck Health District. The Fire Department’s Rescue 3 unit was on hand to help.

Getting ready for flu season. (Photo/Molly Alger)

=======================================================

Sherwood Mill Pond presents ever-changing scenes — perfect for “Westport … Naturally.”

This morning, Matt Murray spotted egrets in the fog:

(Photo/Matt Murray)

=======================================================

And finally … Peter Tosh was born today in 1944. From 1963 to 1976 he, Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer were the heart of the reggae band the Wailers. He then became a successful solo artist. He was killed in 1987 during a home invasion, at age 42.

=======================================================

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. Please click here to add your support.)

Friday Flashback #317

Most old Westport Country Playhouse photos show the famed “summer theater” during that season. Trees obscure the handsome one-time tannery.

The Playhouse season now begins earlier, and ends later. As they prepare for “From the Mississippi Delta” — their final production of 2022 — here’s a fascinating look, with the trees bare.

The photo is undated. But the Westport Country Playhouse is timeless. If you’ve got a Playhouse memory, click “Comments” below.

(Photo courtesy of Bill Stanton)

(Like the Playhouse, “06880” depends on local support. Please click here to help.)

Roundup: Cumby’s Gas, Main Street Paving, FEMA Grants …

On Wednesday, “06880” reported that the Cumberland Farms at Bulkley Avenue South near Stop & Shop — formerly Mercury — was charging customers Super Premium prices for Unleaded gas.

Yesterday at 2 p.m., an “06880” reader was getting gas (hopefully for the correct price). In mid-pump, a woman emerged from the mini-mart and told her — and 4 other customers — that the station was short-staffed, and had to close.

Then the pumps were immediately shut off. The customers could not even finish filling their tanks.

The lights were turned off inside. No gas, no Ring Dings, no processed pizza. Nothing.

“Very strange,” the reader notes.

Yesterday’s sign at Cumberland Farms.

=======================================================

Earlier this week, parts of Westport were affected by paving projects. Traffic backed up near Saugatuck and Jesup Road.

Here’s the next site. Main Street between Post Road East and Avery Place, plus Avery Place itself, will be milled beginning Monday (October 17.

Main Street will be closed to through traffic and parking starting at 5 a.m. Monday. Avery Place will be closed to through traffic beginning around 10 a.m.

Once milling is done, both roads will be re-opened to traffic until paving begins. It is scheduled for Tuesday, October 18, and follow the same schedule as milling. However,  a weather system may postpone paving until Wednesday, October 19.

You won’t see this early next week. Paving and milling will close Main Street.

=======================================================

One of the the Westport Library’s most popular technology events — the “Anyone Can Use…” series — returns next month.

The classes offer live tech instruction, for all users. They include:

The sessions run from 11 am to noon, near the checkout desk.

Use your library card to download stuff!

======================================================

FEMA grants help property owners make homes and businesses resilient against future floods, or relocate to safer locations.

The Western Connecticut Council of Governments’ Regional Flood Mitigation Assistance Program helps educate property owners about opportunities, determine if they qualify, and aid in applications.

An informational session is set for October 27 (6:30 p.m., Stamford Government Center, 888 Washington Boulevard). The public is welcome. It will be recorded, and available at www.westcog.org afterward.

Questions? Call or email Todd Fontanella: 475-323-2070;  tfontanella@westcog.org(Hat tip: Sal Liccione)

Flood-proofing, at Old Mill Beach. (Photo/John Videler, Videler Photography)

=====================================================

The winds picked up yesterday. Not enough for a flood (see story above) — but enough to draw at least one man to Compo Beach:

(Photo/Sunil Hirani)

=======================================================

The first public reading of “The Incubators” — a new comedy by Madison Fiedler — is set for the Westport Country Playhouse (November 7, 7 p.m.).

It’s an absurdist dark comedy, as the “Pro-Life Generation” is just getting started.

On the first day of California Right To Life Leadership Camp Age Division 15-17, everyone is nervous. But they’re excited to be surrounded by what they believe in, with new strategies of warfare.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

====================================================

A few days ago, our “06880” Roundup included a photo of pink ribbons on several trees in Grace Salmon Park.

We figured they honored Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Nope.

Nathalie Fonteyne writes: “They were placed there by Monica Buesser (conservation chair of the Westport Garden Club and chair of the Westport Tree Board) and myself (civics chair of the Westport Garden Club).

“They highlight the prevalence of the invasive Ailanthus altissima — also known as tree of heaven — at the park. We tagged 20 trees there.

“The Westport Garden Club is working with Mike West of Westport’s Parks & Recreation Department to get the trees removed. Removing invasive species can be an arduous process because of their extensive root system, and their ability to re-sprout. The fact that the trees are in a wetland complicates the process.

“However, the Westport Garden Club and the town are committed to removing the invasive species at the park and planting new native species in their place, hopefully very soon.”

Pink ribbons on trees of heaven.

=======================================================

Just in time — well, a bit ahead of — the shopping season, the “Ugly Westport Holiday” collection has landed in Finding Westport’s e-store.

The design is available as a sweatshirt, bodysuit, fleece, hoodie or blanket. Click here for more information, and to order.

=====================================================

Speaking of Grace Salmon Park (see story above), Peggy O’Halloran says of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo: “It looks like this poor tree already has a headstone.”

(Photo/Peggy O’Halloran)

=======================================================

And finally … speaking of Cumberland Farms (story above):

 

Roundup: Longshore, Angela Lansbury, Cumby …

The Longshore Capital Improvement Plan is moving ahead.

The next phase of public input takes place soon.

Stantec — the town’s consultant — will present preliminary concept diagrams at  the October 19 Parks & Recreation Commission public meeting (7:30 p.m.). The Zoom link will be available when the agenda is posted here.

Open houses will follow, at the Westport Library:

  • Wednesday, October 26: (10 to 11:30 a.m.; 3 to 4:30 p.m.; 7 to 8:30 p.m.)
  • Saturday, October 29:  (9:30 to 11 a.m.; 1 to 2:30 p.m.).

At the open houses residents can examine diagrams up close, and ask questions and offer feedback to the consultants.

The presentation will be available on the project website Stantec Longshore Club Park, starting October 20.

A survey will be available on the website beginning October 31.

Public input is sought for the Longshore Capital Improvement Plan.

=======================================================

Angela Lansbury died yesterday, age 96.

In 2008, in honor of her dedication to the performing arts, she was presented with a special tribute by Bernadette Peters at Westport Country Playhouse.

Lansbury said, “I never played (at the Playhouse). I wasn’t a big enough star! If I don’t perform one small thing on this stage tonight, I’ll feel I’ve missed the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Then she enthralled the audience with “Not While I’m Around,” from Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd.”

A legendary shot from the Westport Country Playhouse green room. prior to the 2008 gala performance, From left: Bernadette Peters; Joanne Woodward, Playhouse co-artistic director; Julia Roberts, gala host; Angela Lansbury, honoree; Anne Keefe, Playhouse co-artistic director. (Photo/Kathleen O’Rourke)

=======================================================

For several years, Staples High School Class of 2021 graduate Brandon Malin has contributed great photos and drone videos to “06880.”

His most recent effort is one of his most intriguing.

The other day — home for a quick break from the University of Michigan, where he is studying lighting design — Brandon headed to the Westport Library.

When he spotted the paving project on Jesup Road, the ever-curious Brandon grabbed his drone. He wanted to see what it looked like above.

It looks very cool.

He saw the road get chewed up by a milling machine, and watched various types of machinery work together.

Brandon send the video along. He recommends watching at 2x speed. “The machines move slowly,” he notes.

=======================================================

Robbie Guimond lives in Saugatuck. But he battles traffic nearly every to head across town to The Porch @ Christie’s.

They serve “the best bacon egg and cheese in Westport,” he says.

But the vibe is just as great too.

Robbie writes: “The staff has impromptu ‘contests.’ This one in this photo was ‘Pride in Your Culture/Heritage Day.'”

(Photo/Robbie Guimond)

They also have “Best Hat,” “Favorite Sports Team,” etc. Customers vote throughout the day. The winner gets bragging rights — and more importantly, smiles.

“They’re a lovely group, and a wonderful part of Westport,” Robbie says. “I go there for the food. But mostly for the employees, and to support this business model of inclusivity and diversity.

=======================================================

Everyone wonders about “The Cost of Success: What Pressure is Doing to Our Kids.”

Positive Directions wants to talk about it — positively.

That’s the topic of a program they and the Westport Weston Family Y are sponsoring (October 19, 7 p.m., Westport Library; reception at 6:30).

Panelists include Valerie Babich, Westport Public Schools coordinator of psychological services; Frank Castorina, Positive Directions clinical supervisor; Alicia Briggs, pediatric hospitalist, and students from Staples High School’s Teen Awareness Group.

They’ll discuss what causes pressure; how to recognize signs that your child is struggling; strategies for reducing anxieties, and local resources.

Positive Directions will host a follow-up “Lunch and Learn” series at the Y, on related topics. More information will follow.

For more information, call 203-227-7644.

=======================================================

Spotted on social media, by MaryLou Roels:

“Please avoid getting gas at the Cumberland Farms near Stop & Shop. I was charged for Super Premium, after clearly choosing the Unleaded button.

“The police reviewed the video, which confirms the Unleaded button being pushed. The manager insisted the video would be backwards when speaking with the officer so would be difficult to determine. The officer assured him it would not, as it would be the furthest button from the nozzle.

“He insisted it is a franchise, and he has no idea who he works for. We are pursuing a refund from Corporate, but it’s really the principle at this point.

“Please let Officer Kelly in Westport know if you have experienced similar there, or any other station.”

She added a PS: “When he printed the receipt inside, it read for Super Premium. Clearly something being manipulated, and was a $25 difference from the Unleaded choice that was made.”

NOTE: This took place at the Cumberland Farms by Stop & Shop — not the one  near McDonald’s and Sakura.

=======================================================

The Staples boys basketball  program invites all elementary and middle school players to play ball with the Wreckers varsity.

It’s Sunday, October 23, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. There’s a tour of the gym — and, for the parents, a silent auction.

Funds are being raised to revamp the “Players’ Lounge,” improve film and video, and defray the cost of a new varsity preseason training camp.

=======================================================

Westport Representative Town Meeting District 2 has a new rep.

Michael Perry — a Westporter for over 30 years who recently retired from a career in sales and marketing — was sworn in at last night’s meeting.

He was selected by District 2 members to fill the vacancy of Christine Meier Schatz.

Michael Perry isi sworn in at last night’s RTM meeting. (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

=================================================

As traffic rushed past on nearby I-95 yesterday morning, there was this Sherwood Mill Pond congestion of cormorants too.

Matt Murray captured the peaceful-yet-cluttered scene, for “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Matt Murray)

=======================================================

And finally … on this date in 1810, citizens of Munich hold the first Oktoberfest. It celebrated the marriage of Crown Prince Louis of Bavaria and Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. Prost!

(Celebrate Oktoberfest with a donation to “06880.” Please click here!)