Rev. Alan Taylor: “Grace Happens”

More than 20 years ago, Rev. Alan Taylor helped the Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church near Seattle build their own worship home.

On a whim, he printed bumper stickers with the message “Grace Happens,” and passed them out to congregants.

In 2003, Rev. Taylor moved to Oak Park, Illinois. At Unity Temple, the longtime social justice advocate developed a refugee resettlement program and mental health awareness team. His congregation combined civic engagement, legislative advocacy and charity work.

Rev. Alan Taylor

Rev. Taylor then worked with Live Free Illinois, a Black-led, faith-based non-profit working at the intersection of gun violence prevention and the criminal justice system.

He transformed Oak Park’s Community of Congregations into a more active multi-faith body that engages Chicago’s West Side, advocates for undocumented immigrants, and addresses the history of race in the community.

A few months ago, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport’s search for an interim minister to replace Rev. Dr. John Morehouse caught Rev. Taylor’s eye.

He was content in Oak Park. But he knew UU Westport’s pioneering activists Jerry and Denny Davidoff from their national leadership, and offered his name.

Three hours later, the search committee called. They had a great, relaxed conversation. When Rev. Taylor noted that he would not uproot his 15- and 12-year-olds from their home, the Westporters were unfazed.

Rev. Taylor and the leaders worked out a hybrid model. He will carry out his duties both in person in Westport, and virtually via email, Zoom and phone from his home office in Oak Park. He serves in partnered ministry with UU Westport’s longtime minister of music, Rev. Ed Thompson.

Last month, he made his first trip to Westport. On the third day, he opened the vestments closet. There, on a top shelf, was one of his “Grace Happens” bumper stickers.

“That confirmed that I should be there,” he says.

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport. 

Rev. Taylor grew up in a UU fellowship in Bakersfield, California so small it had no minister. At Pomona College he was drawn to religion and philosophy, but figured that — like many members of his family — he would teach.

After college he spent 8 months in India, focusing on traditions that bring Muslims and Hindus together. He spent 3 years as a counselor for abused children with emotional difficulties, then was inspired into the Unitarian Universalist ministry in Oakland.

After seminary at Starr King School, he served in Worcester and Littleton, Massachusetts. Calls followed: first to Woodinville, then Oak Park (where the temple, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1905 and considered by some architects to be the first “modern building” in the world, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site).

Unity Temple in Oak Park, Illinois.

Now he’s in Westport.

And still in Oak Park.

Fortunately, Rev. Taylor says, his new church has a great tech team and system. He looks forward to helping — in person, and via technology — Westport’s UU congregation figure out their core values, and what they’re looking for as they search for their next settled minister.

He’s signed on for one year, with an option to renew. The process could take 2 to 3 years, he says

In Westport, Rev. Taylor is meeting the many types of people in the UU church. There are corporate CEOs, he says, and others who were “dealt a poor hand in the world.”

One big surprise: the number of congregants who love music and art. “This is a highly creative congregation,” he says. They are “highly committed and deeply invested” in their UU church.

But everyone joins for different reasons.

“Some are there for the social connection. Some are there for the music, or the social justice work,” Rev. Taylor notes.

“But this is not a social club, a music club or a social justice club. It is first and foremost a faith community that makes possible all those things.”

His first sermon, earlier this month, started outside. A sudden storm moved them indoors.

That was an apt metaphor. As Rev. Taylor learns the history of his new church, he realizes tat it has been buffeted by storms — “a fair amount of conflict” — over the past decade.

But the Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport has weathered those storms. Now he will help them look ahead.

Meanwhile, of course, “Grace Happens.”

Click below for Rev. Taylor’s first full service in Westport. His sermon begins at 25:20.

 

 

 

 

Pic Of The Day #2345

Sherwood Mill Pond and Hummock Island (Photo/JD Dworkow)

Juvenile Arrested In Westport Carjacking

The Westport Police Department has issued this press release:

Earlier today, the Westport Police Detective Bureau arrested a 16-year-old juvenile in connection with the carjacking that occurred this past Sunday.

Based on information obtained by the Westport Detective Bureau, a warrant to search a residence in Berlin, CT was secured.

(Yesterday), the warrant was executed by members of the Bridgeport Auto Theft Task Force, of which Westport is a member, along with members of Berlin Police Department.  During this search 4 stolen motor vehicles were recovered, one of which was the Aston Martin taken during the carjacking.

 

Aston Martin recovered in Berlin.

A 2021 BMW 530i that was stolen from Westport on September 16 and used in the carjacking was also located during the search.

Finally, a BMW stolen from Ridgefield and a Porsche stolen from Rhode Island were also recovered. Thirty-nine-year-old Derrick McGill, who lives at the home where the stolen cars were found, was placed under arrest  by the Bridgeport Auto Theft Task Force but does not currently have charges pending in Westport. He is being held on a $250,000 bond and has been charged with the following crimes:

  • Larceny of Motor Vehicle 1st Degree (4 Counts)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Larceny of Motor Vehicle 1st (1 Count)
  • Payment Card Theft (1 Count)
  • Illegal Operation of a Chop Shop (1 Count)
  • Conspiracy to Commit Illegal Operation of a Chop Shop (1 Count)

BMWs stolen  from Westport and Ridgefield.

On September 19, 2023, Westport Police Detectives, the Connecticut State Police Violent Crime Task Force, and members of the Waterbury Police Department executed a second search warrant on a residence in Waterbury. A handgun with an extended magazine was seized.

A 16-year-old juvenile who resides in the home was arrested by Westport police after evidence linking him to the carjacking was uncovered. He was charged with the following crimes:

  • Strangulation 1st Degree
  • Robbery by Carjacking
  • Burglary 1st Degree
  • Criminal Attempt to Commit Larceny of Motor Vehicle 1st Degree
  • Assault 3rd Degree
  • Home invasion

Additionally, he was arrested for his alleged involvement in the theft of the BMW on September 16, 2023, and used in the carjacking. The juvenile was charged with the following:

  • Larceny of Motor Vehicle 1st Degree
  • Illegal Taking of Payment Card

Westport detectives will seek an order to detain and if granted the juvenile will be transported to Bridgeport Juvenile Detention Center later today.

Westport Police Chief Foti Koskinas stated, “By utilizing technology, inter-departmental cooperation, and good old fashioned police work, the Detective Bureau in concert with Bridgeport Auto-theft Task Force was able to make rapid progress in this investigation which resulted in the arrest of one of the suspects less than 36 hours after the incident occurred.”

First Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker said, “As always, the professionalism, expertise and experience of our Westport Police Department, was on full display as they worked diligently and rapidly to solve this case. I am also grateful for the assistance from the other State and municipal agencies and the Task Force who helped bring it to a swift conclusion.”

She added, “Together with our public safety officials, we will continue the conversations and daily practices to deter further incidents, and to make Westport a community that remains safe and welcoming for all.”

Westport Police want to thank the Connecticut State Police Violent Crime Task Force, Bridgeport Auto Theft Task Force, Berlin Police Department and Waterbury Police Department for their assistance with the investigation.

Westport Police Detectives continue to work with partner agencies in developing leads to identify additional suspects involved in this incident.

“06880” Podcast: Craig Bergamo

Craig Bergamo has a full-time job: Westport Police Department officer.

He’s also married, with young kids.

But he finds time to serve our town — and thousands of boys and girls in it — as president of the Westport Police Athletic League.

PAL sponsors sports teams. They endow scholarships. And the outdoor skating rink at Longshore — that’s theirs too.

But Craig’s personal journey is equally compelling. The other day, he joined me on the Westport Library stage, to talk about his many passions — PAL, police work, family — and how he got to where he is today.

Click below, to watch and listen:

Roundup: “06880” App Update, Patty Haberstroh, LobsterFest …

The “06880” app continues to improve.

A couple of readers thought the type size on the new app was difficult to read.

So developer Joshua Jordan went to work. He added the ability to increase type size — and/or the spacing between lines — in the easiest possible way.

There’s now an “eyeball” icon on the top right of any story you read (see image below). Just click it, and adjust the type size and spacing. It stays there automatically, every time you visit.

The eyeball icon.

If you’ve got the app, it should have automatically updated to include the new feature. If it did not, click “Updates” in your app store. The “06880” app is available for both iOS and Android phones.

Thanks again to Joshua, for taking time out of his busy schedule as a Staples High School senior to add this feature.

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It was standing room only yesterday afternoon, for Patty Haberstroh‘s memorial service at The Inn at Longshore.

The longtime Department of Human Services social worker/former PTA Council president/Staples Building Committee member/beloved wife, mother, grandmother, friend, confidante was remember warmly, personally, insightfully and laughingly by her husband Charlie, 3 sons, daughter, grandchildren, neurologist and minister.

Videos of Patty accepting an award from a national ALS organization — midway through the disease that ultimately took her life this summer — and of the Haberstroh family’s “ALS Pepper Challenge” that raised over $1 million for research added extra spice to the afternoon.

People of all ages came from near and far to honor Patty. She got a sendoff worthy of her wonderfulness.

Patty Haberstroh’s children address the SRO crowd at yesterday’s Inn at Longshore memorial service. (Photo/Mark Mathias)

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The Westport Rotary Club’s LobsterFest is always a highlight of late summer/early fall.

This year’s event — set for Saturday (September 23, 3 to 7 p.m.) — is even more highlight-y than most.

It’s also the kickoff for Rotary’s Centennial Project: a rehab of the Compo Beach playground, in partnership with the Westport Young Woman’s League and town of Westport.

The ginormous fundraiser — the biggest 1-day Rotary event in New England — sold out just 4 days after tickets went on sale, in July.

It’s an enormous effort. Volunteers — Westport Rotary members, and others — feed 2,000 people, in 4 hours.

This year’s LobsterFest includes many new activities for the 400-plus youngsters who will attend. For the first time, a “kids’ meal” food truck will be on site.

Over the last 12 years, the event has raised $1.5 million. Over $1 million has been reinvested in local and regional program, while $350,000 has supported international humanitarian projects, mostly in Central America and Africa.

This year, $100,000 will go toward the playground project.

Planning has already begun. The organizing committee is looking for volunteers (click here to help).

LobsterFest also kicks off 2 weeks in which the public can provide input on features they love and want to keep, those that are not great and could be replaced, and new elements they’d like to see.

The data will then be analyzed and sent to Play By Design. They’ll generate a preliminary design, which will be revealed to Westport at the end of October. Click here to provide input on the redesign.

 Everyone loves the Westport Rotary Club’s LobsterFest.

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This is fall gala season.

One of the best — and most underrated — is Saturday, September 30  (7 to 10 p.m.). Earthplace’s “Woodside Bash” includes an open bar, harvest dinner, fire pit, music by Pimpinella, and a mechanical bull (with a prize for the longest time on it). It’s all under the stars (with, of course, a tent).

This year’s signature cocktail is a spiced apple cider margarita.

Click here for tickets.

A small part of the large crowd at the Earthplace Harvest Fest.

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Tickets are going fast for Westoberfest.

They include beer tasting from dozens of craft breweries; live music; food by Walrus Alley, Kneads Bakery, Lobstercraft and Little Pub; a children’s area run by the Artists’ Collective of Westport and MoCA; a street magician, bubbles and face painting; pumpkin and apple giveaways; food trucks, and vendors like Savvy + Grace.

Take-home tasting glasses with koozies are courtesy of Lux Bond & Green.

It all takes place October 14 (2 to 5 p.m.), off Elm Street. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Westport is chockablock with organizations that change lives. “06880” reports often on them.

But we’ve never mentioned PEO. That’s because until yesterday, we’d never heard of it.

That’s amazing. It’s been around for over 150 years.

Philanthropic Educational Organization was created in 1869 in Iowa to offer more educational opportunities to women. There are now 225,000 members in 6,000 chapters in the US and Canada.

Over the years, PEO has provided over $398 million in financial assistance through direct scholarships and special projects to more than 110,00 women worldwide.

The local chapter – Chapter B CT — created its own scholarship fund last year in honor of the chapter’s 80th anniversary. They’ll award a scholarship to a female high school senior beginning next spring.

Young women with a successful academic record and financial need can apply here. Click here for the Chapter B CT website — designed by Miggs Burroughs — which includes donation information and details on other scholarships.

For more information, email chapter president Angela Wormser at aworm@aol.com, or scholarship chair Priscilla Long at pal9948@aol.com.

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Her Time is a Bridgeport-based social justice program that serves women and children impacted by incarceration.

The women were either formerly incarcerated, or work multiple jobs and carry the loads their spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends and children left behind during incarceration.

On September 30, 2 powerful contemporary folk artists — Abbie Gardner and Tracy Grammer — will bring their energy and positive vibes to Voices Café (Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport, 8 p.m.). All proceeds benefit Her Time.

Voices Café offers tables and individual seats. Bring your own beverages and snacks, or buy a snack from their sweet treats table. Groups of 4 or more can reserve table space. General admission: $25 per person.

Click here for tickets and information.

Abbie Gardner (Photo/Jeff Fasano)

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Drummer Joe Farnsworth wowed the crowd at his first Westport appearance.

He returns this Thursday to Jazz at the Post (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399; shows at 7:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m.; dinner from 7 p.m.). He’ll be joined by bassist Brandi Disterheft, pianist Caelan Cardello, and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall.

Reservations are strongly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.

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Goldfinches and woodpeckers love sunflowers.

They find plenty at the Westport Community Gardens — more even than at an MLB dugout.

It’s all part of a great ecosystem — and just right for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

(Photo/Lou Weinberg)

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And finally … happy birthday to Westport’s own Nile Rodgers.

The Chic front man/3-time Grammy Award-winning/Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee/ “We Are Family” songwriter-producer has played at the Levitt Pavilion, helped out the Library, and contributed to the Saugatuck Shores vibe.

He’s 71 today. Here’s to many, many more!

(Nile Rodgers is a local guy. And “06880” is Westport’s favorite source for local news. Thanks for clicking here, and supporting your hyper-local blog.)

 

Il Pastaficio Adds To Downtown Dining Flavor

The short stretch of Post Road between Myrtle Avenue and Main Street is chockablock with restaurants. Italian, Spanish, Thai, Mexican — it’s all there.

Around the corner on Church Lane, there’s American, Japanese and (soon) Israeli.

Is there room for one more — another Italian, at that?

Federico Perandin says, fervently: Sì!

For several months, diners have discovered — and loved — Il Pastaficio’s takeout menu. Whether ordering to-go or buying raw pasta and sauces (with step-by-step cooking instructions), they’ve embraced the spot in a former clothing store, across from Design Within Reach.

Now — building on the success of his first restaurant with the same name in Greenwich — the Padova native has add full service, in-house lunch and dinner.

News of the soft opening earlier this month spread quickly. Il Pastaficio has established itself as one more downtown dining destination.

Perandin attended 2 international hospitality management schools in his native country. In the 1990s he changed his professional path, and became a successful advertising executive.

But he never lost his passion for cooking. Each summer, he catered for the Ferrari racing team.

As he traveled throughout Italy for the advertising and communications firm he founded, he explored regional cuisines. He was fascinated by the art of pasta making.

Federico Perandin, at Il Pastaficio.

In 2015 he, his wife and young son made a major move. They came to the US, and in 2018 he opened the small Il Pastaficio in Greenwich. (The name is a play on “pastificio,” Italian for a store that makes pasta.)

The flavorful dishes — all made on the premises (including sauces), “following traditional recipes, with no compromises,” he says — was an instant success. Customers appreciated the little touches, like organic flour imported from Italy.

Perandin began searching for space in Westport — a town, he thought, whose cosmopolitan, well-traveled residents would appreciate his approach. “People here know how to eat well,” he notes.

It took a while — and the pandemic did not help. But after looking at nearly 2 dozen different locations, he found the current one.

“It’s a mecca of culinary experiences,” he says. He appreciates the many nearby restaurants, including the traditional Italian spots.

“People love pasta,” Perandin explains. “I eat it every day.” His pasta contains no additives or preservatives, he says, so it is organic, artisanal, very flavorful — and light.

“I feel like I’m in Italy,” one diner told him. “That’s my goal,” Perandin replied.

The menu includes appetizers like homemade fresh potatoes fried gnocchi;  gourmet dishes like lemon linguine with Siberian Baerii caviar and black tea Alpine butter; lamb racks cooked with sous vide technique, creamy potato and red beets Parmanatier with roasted leeks, and roasted cauliflower in a mint and creamy goat cheese sauce.

Dinner: Wild boar handmade ravioli in a saffron sauce and hazelnut crumble. The black stripe in the ravioli is made with squid ink. 

Il Pastaficio also offers wine (Italian only, of course) and cocktails and desserts (pastries and gelato).

Dessert: Millefoglie with authentic Sicilian ricotta (imported from Italy) and mixed berries.

The décor is fresh and inviting. His chef and baker, Perandin says,  have both worked for Michelin-starred restaurants.

He plans monthly special regional dinners, and pasta-making classes (for individuals, parties and corporate team-building). Il Pastaficio also caters.

But that’s not all. Just outside the restaurant, a vending machine will soon sell fresh pasta — 24 hours a day.

Designed by an Italian company Perandin says it is the only one of its kind in the world.

“If you’re coming home late from the train station, even if our kitchen and takeout is closed, you can have fresh pasta.”

Mangia bene!

(Il Pastaficio’s grand opening is Saturday, September 30 (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.) Highlights include tastings, music, and a raffle to win a $300 gift basket.) 

 

 

Pic Of The Day #2344

Saugatuck train station towers (Photo/Patricia McMahon)

Townwide Forum On Wednesday Will Address Auto Thefts, Carjacking

Yesterday’s carjacking — and the recent spike in car thefts — has rattled many Westporters.

This Wednesday (September 20, 7 p.m., Town Hall auditorium) Westport Police Department and 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker will host a town forum on public safety. It will focus on car thefts, vehicle break-ins, and Sunday’s carjacking.

Police Chief Foti Koskinas will lead a discussion on safety concerns voiced by residents. He and members of his command staff will describe the work of the Regional Auto Theft Task Force, formed in response to increased car thefts and vehicle break-ins in the area.

The discussion will also include police practices utilized to combat vehicle thefts.

All Westporters are invited to Wednesday’s event.

Meanwhile, Westport Police have released Ring videos of the carjacking. Portions of the video have been redacted, to protect the victim’s identity.

 

State Policy On Police Pursuits

In the wake of yesterday’s carjacking, questions have been raised about state rules regarding police pursuits.

According to the Connecticut Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection’s Administration and Operations Manual:

(1) A trooper or police officer may only engage in a vehicle pursuit if he or she has reasonable suspicion to believe the driver or occupant(s) of the pursued vehicle has committed, is attempting to commit or will imminently commit a crime of violence (actual or threatened), or there are articulable exigent
circumstances that warrant the need to apprehend the suspect in a timely manner because of the potential for harm to the public if apprehension does not occur.

(a) Infractions, property crimes (including stolen vehicles) and non-violent misdemeanors and felonies are not cause to engage in pursuit, absent articulable exigent circumstances.

1. The act of eluding alone by a violator shall not constitute justification to engage in a pursuit of such a violator.

(2) A pursuit shall not be automatically undertaken, even if otherwise allowed by subsection (1) of this policy immediately above. A trooper or police officer shall make an objectively reasonable determination to engage in or continue a vehicle pursuit based on an assessment that the immediate danger to the trooper or police officer and the public created by the pursuit is less than the immediate
or potential danger to the public should the vehicle occupants remain at large. Such a determination shall be based on the following factors:

(a) The underlying crime for which the suspect is being pursued (e.g. whether the crime is a violent felony versus a property crime);
(b) The actions of the violator vehicle;
(c) Whether the identity of the suspect is known to the point where later apprehension is possible;
(d) Volume, type, speed and direction of vehicular traffic, including the vehicle pursued;
(e) Nature of and familiarity with the area (e.g. residential, commercial, school zone, limited access highway);
(f) Environmental factors (e.g. weather, darkness, lighting, visibility);
(g) Road conditions (e.g. roadway topography, road surface condition, work zone, traffic controls, ice);
(h) Population density and volume of pedestrian and bicycle traffic;
(i) Police vehicle capability and condition;
(j) Type of vehicle being pursued;
(k) The pursuing trooper or police officer knows, or reasonably believes the operator of the fleeing vehicle is a juvenile; and
(l) The perceived mindset of the violator, if known, and their ability to properly assess the dangerousness of their actions during the course of pursuit.
(3) The factors listed in subsection (2) above shall be continuously reassessed for the duration of the pursuit.

Click here to read the entire section on Vehicle Pursuits.

Roundup: Lottery Win$, Jeremy Schaap, James Naughton …

Westport figured prominently in 2 recent Connecticut Lottery wins.

A Milford resident won $1 million with a “$1,000,ooo Extreme Cash” scratch-off ticket sold at the Wheels gas station on Post Road East. The odds, the Lottery website says, are one in a million.

In addition, a Westporter won $300,000 in the same contest. The ticket was bought at B.J.’s Wholesale Club in Wallingford. 

A third connection: Westport resident Rob Simmelkjaer is chair of the Connecticut Lottery board of directors.

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Among Westport’s many ESPN connections, Jeremy Schaap is one of the best known.

The 1988 Staples High School graduate has been with the network since 1994. He hosts E:60 and Outside the Lines, ESPN’s showcase journalism shows, and the award-winning weekly radio show and podcast The Sporting Life.

Schaap has covered the Summer and Winter Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, World Series, Super Bowl, tennis and golf US Opens, Wimbledon, Final Four .. you get the idea.

He won the Robert F. Kennedy Award for his story exposing the plight of World Cup migrant laborers in Qatar, as well as the Dick Schaap Sports Emmy — named for his father — for a profile of chess champion Bobby Fischer.

He interviewed Bobby Knight after he was fired by Indiana, and Darryl Strawberry after his colon cancer diagnosis.

This Thursday (September 21, 7 p.m.), Schaap joins fellow Westport journalist Dave Briggs in a conversation at the Westport Library. They’ll take about his long career, including sports, the media and much more.

Click here to register, and for more information.

Jeremy Schaap

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Westport Sunrise Rotary Club’s early morning speakers are always interesting.

This week’s guest is particularly note-worthy. And the public is welcome to attend.

On Friday (September 22, 7:45 a.m., Green’s Farms Congregational Church), Tony Award-winning actor and Weston resident James Naughton will talk.

But not about his career. Naughton’s topic is the Medical Assistance in Dying Act. He’s a powerful advocate for state legislation that would allow adults with a terminal illness to submit written requests for lethal medication. Under the proposed bill, adults who have been residents of Connecticut for at least a year and have been given less than 6 months to live can submit 2 written requests for lethal medication, at least 15 days apart.

Naughton is to help people at the end of life, for whom hospice palliative care is not enough, because his late wife Pamela was in that same situation.

Email president Liz Wong at info@WestportSunriseRotary.org if you plan to attend, or have questions. Coffee, bagels and muffins are served starting at 7 a.m.

James Naughton

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Have a heart!

That’s the suggestion of Westport Volunteer Emergency Medical Services — and the theme of their fundraising gala.

“The Heart of Westport” will raise money to replace our first responders’ Automated Electronic Defibrillator (AED) machines. The event is October 21 (Christ & Holy Trinity  Church, 6 p.m.).

Hosts include WVEMS president Michael Burns, celebrity stylist Jeni Bianco, and Westport Moms Megan Rutstein and Melissa Post.

The $75,000 goal will ensure that every Westport emergency vehicle — EMS, Police and Fire — to have life-saving machines. Current machines are becoming outmoded.

The event includes food, drinks, entertainment, and auction items donated by well-known Westporters.

Click here for tickets and more information. For questions and sponsorship opportunities, email jenielizabeth@gmail.com.

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Aztec Two-Step 2.0’s “Simon & Garfunkel Songbook” show has drawn raves everywhere.

This Saturday, area residents can see it in (almost) their back yard.

Rex Fowler and Dodie Pettit bring their show to the SHU Community Theatre, in the heart of Fairfield. Show time is 8 p.m. Click here for tickets, and more information.

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Speaking of music: The October 1 “First Folk Sunday” is special. It’s the release party of Suzanne Sheridan’s “Standing Ovation” CD. It includes the country hit “90 Pound Suburban Housewife Driving in Her SUV.” (Yes, Westport — Sheridan’s longtime home — was her inspiration.)

Every audience member gets a free copy of the CD — and a slice of cake.

At First Folk Sunday (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399, 12:30 p.m.; $10 cover charge), Sheridan (vocals and guitar) will be accompanied by Bob Cooper (keyboards).

Musicians on the CD include Chris Coogan, Beth Styles, Andy Gundell, Ed Thompson, Scarlett Lee Moore, John Lathan, Mary Bond Davis, Leslie Miller, Jeff Gomard, the late Giff Foster and Matt Nozzolio, John Moses, Mike Mills and “Children of the Sun” Drumming Circle, and The Studebakers of Austin, Texas.

The songs were recorded over several years, in studios in various towns and cities.

Click here for tickets to Sheridan’s release party. For more information, email info@firstfolksunday.com, or call 203-222-1441.

Suzanne Sheridan

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For a while, the Post Road East wood pile at the corner of Roseville Road looked a little less haphazard and dangerous than before.

No longer.

Here was the scene yesterday:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

A word to the crew working on the Route 1 renovation project: “Be careful out there.”

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One of the joys of Compo Beach’s  South Beach is scrambling up the trees near the kayak launch.

Kids do it all the time.

Yesterday, Ken Schwarz did it too.

Why is this “06880”-worthy?

Because he’s 87 years old.

There’s a saying: “Once a kid, always a kid.”

No kidding!

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image is not a banana.

Or a banana slug.

It is, Steve Halstead assures us, a spicebush swallowtail larva.

And, he says, it will eventually morph into a beautiful adult butterfly.

We’ll take it over a spotted lanternfly any day.

(Photo/Steve Halstead)

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And finally … in honor of our Westport-related Connecticut Lottery winners (story above):

(“06880” could buy lottery tickets. But we prefer to rely on the support of our readers. Please click here to donate. It’s a sure bet. Thank you!)