Tag Archives: “06880: The Podcast”

“06880” Podcast: Annette Norton

Annette Norton loves downtown.

The owner of Savvy + Grace — the fun, funky gifts-and-more Main Street store — takes every opportunity she can to talk up the shops, restaurants and events that once again draw folks to the area.

She spoke passionately and insightfully about downtown — its past, present and future — along with her recent decision to become a Westport homeowner on “06880: The Podcast.”

Annette’s thoughts will get listeners thinking too. Click here for the latest edition of “06880: The Podcast.”

Screenshot from Annette Norton’s “06880” podcast.

“06880” Podcast: Steve Ginsburg

The recent rise in hate crimes concerns many people.

Unlike many, Steve Ginsburg can do something about it.

The Westport resident is the Anti-Defamation League’s Connecticut director. He’s at the forefront of the fight against hate in all forms — not just antisemitism, but racism, Islamaphobia, LGBTQ bias and more.

The other day at the Westport Library’s Verso Studios, Ginsburg talked about prejudice — where it comes from, what it means, where we’re headed. He also discussed his own route to the ADL, and how a Midwestern sports lawyer ended up in Westport.

Click here for the latest edition of “06880: The Podcast.”

Screenshot of Steve Ginsburg, from “06880: The Podcast.”

“06880” Podcast: Helen McAlinden

You know there’s a story behind Westport’s decades-long embrace of a homeless shelter — in the midst of downtown, a few yards away from Tiffany.

In fact, there are many stories. And no one tells them better than Helen McAlinden.

Her first year as president and CEO of Homes with Hope — Westport’s umbrella supportive housing agency — was filled with challenges. COVID — which hit just 2 months after she began — forced residents out of their shelters, and into hotels. It affected everything from volunteers cooking and serving meals, to fundraising.

But — like Homes with Hopes’ clients — Helen weathered the many storms. The other day, she discussed her work, Westport’s response, and many issues around homelessness and food insecurity.

The most recent episode of “06880: The Podcast” is eye-opening. And no one tells that story better — or in an better Irish brogue — than Helen McAlinden. Click here to watch.

Screenshot from Helen McAlinden’s podcast.

“06880” Podcast: Trey Ellis

Trey Ellis is one of the most interesting — and accomplished — people in Westport.

He is a leading chronicle of the Black experience. An award-winning novelist, Emmy and Peabody-honored filmmaker, playwright and professor of screenwriting in the Graduate School at Columbia University, he recently served as executive producer and interviewer for the HBO documentaries “True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight For Equality,” and “King in the Wilderness.”

The other day, I spoke with Trey. We talked about writing, creativity, Black lives here and elsewhere, raising children in Westport, and much more.

It was a fascinating, wide-ranging conversation. Click here for the newest “06880: The Podcast” episode.

Screenshot from the Trey Ellis podcast.

“06880, The Podcast”: John Dodig

As Pride Month begins, there is no better LGBTQ role model than John Dodig.

An educator for 47 years, it was only in his last 11 that he was out publicly as a gay man. But what an 11 years those were.

As principal of Staples High School, Dodig fostered an atmosphere of inclusion and acceptance for all. He was admired and adored by students, staff, and the entire community.

But it took a lifetime of struggle for Dodig to get there.

The other day, I sat with him in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum. We talked about his career in education, his journey as a gay man, and what it all means for him and our community today.

As always, Dodig was clear, honest, incisive, and very funny. Click here for the newest “06880: The Podcast” interview.

Happy Pride!

Screenshot from John Dodig’s podcast interview.

“06880, The Podcast”: Rosie Jon

My goal with “06880: The Podcast” is the same as with “06880,” the blog: shine a light on some of the most interesting Westporters I know.

Rosie Jon tops the list. Born without arms, she is an amazing artist. Multi-racial, she’s a strong voice for Asian Americans.

Rosie is a role model for us all. In our podcast, we chatted about many things: her art. Her advocacy for people with disabilities, and the AAPI community. Her life as a Westport mom.

It was a fascinating half hour, on the Westport Library stage. Click here, then click on my photo on the right to meet our amazing neighbor.

Screenshot of Rosie Jon, during the “06880” podcast.

“06880, The Podcast”: David Waldman

The inaugural episode of “0688o: The Podcast” was a hit. I chatted with superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice about how he came here, his challenges and joys, and what’s ahead for the district.

This week’s guest — David Waldman — is a native Westporter. He too has a huge impact on our town. He’s the developer behind Bedford Square, and the new offices and condos on the west side of the Saugatuck River. He’s revitalized Sconset Square, and turned an old bank into Patagonia.

There’s much more he’d love to do, in the town he loves. I asked him about Westport — what works, what doesn’t, and why — and he answered candidly.

We had a great time at the Westport Library’s Verso Studios. Click here to see my interview with David Waldman.

When you’re done, you’ll never look at downtown the same way again.

Screenshot of David Waldman on “06880: The Podcast.”

And Now … “06880: The Podcast”

Westport is full of interesting people. Every day since 2009, I’ve told their stories in “06880.”

But hey, this is 2021. It’s time to spread my wings. Let’s add some audio and video to those stories!

Thanks to a partnership with the Westport Library — and their state-of-the-art Verso Studios — today we launch “06880: The Podcast.”

Every other Monday, we’ll release a new casual conversation with one of the many people who make this such an intriguing town. We’ll talk about what got (and kept) them here; what they love (and don’t like) about this place; what they do, how they do it, and what it all means here and in the world.

My first guest is Tom Scarice. Nine months into his gig as superintendent of schools, he chats candidly, passionately (and with humor) about his decision to sign on in the middle of a pandemic; his goals for the district; students and staff today, and how education will change in the future.

I’ll post a new podcast every other Monday, at noon. It will be available simultaneously on the Westport Library website.

Watch or listen at your leisure. Enjoy “06880: The Podcast” — the newest way in which “Westport meets the world.”

Podcasts A-Plenty

Today is Podcast Day at the Westport Library.

Chip Stephens

At noon, yours truly introduces “06880: The Podcast.” Once a month, I’ll chat with an intriguing Westporter. We’ll talk about life in this wild, wacky, wonderful place we call home. Today’s guest is Chip Stephens: native Westporter, longtime Planning and Zoning Commission member, civic volunteer, and great raconteur.

Then at 6 p.m., Lindsay Czarniak and Marysol Castro chat for the weekly Persona podcast.

Lindsay Czarniak

Czarniak was the first anchor to serve as solo host for ESPN’s SportsCenter. She’s now a studio host for Fox Sports’ NASCAR coverage, and a sideline reporter on NFL games.

Castro is the in-stadium voice of the New York Mets, the first Latina in that role for a Major League Baseball team. She has been a weather anchor on “Good Morning America,” and “The Early Show,” as well as a reporter on ESPN.

Marysol Castro

Both podcasts will be available later in a variety of formats, including the library website and its social media. The Persona app can be downloaded wherever you get your podcasts.

The public is invited to both events, at the Library Forum.