Tag Archives: “06880: The Podcast”

“06880” Podcast: Vasili Tziolis

“06880: The Podcast” has featured plenty of powerful Westporters.

Sure, the 1st selectwoman, superintendent of schools and police chief are important. But without Vasili Tziolis, Westport might grind to a halt.

He’s the general manager of the Sherwood Diner. Actually, just say “the diner” — everyone knows what you mean.

And everyone — town workers, lawyers, Staples students, families with young kids, retirees — goes there. Often.

(You can even go during hurricanes and blizzards. No matter what, they’re open.)

What makes the diner go? What’s its back story? How did it survive COVID? What’s ahead? And does the menu ever change?

The other day, Vasili sat down with me at the Westport Library, for an “06880” podcast. He served up quite an interview. Click below to listen.

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“06880” Podcast: Jay Norris

I’ve welcomed a few dozen extremely interesting guests to “06880: The Podcast.” But there’s never been one with quite the background of Jay Norris.

He’s helped market the careers of Notorious BIG, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Pink, Toni Braxton, Alicia Keys and many others.

He’s an innovative business leader. He knows tech, media, retail and real estate.

Jay brings people together. He builds inclusive communities. In his 6 years in Westport, he’s made a mark here. And — in new positions, like Westport Library board member and co-founder of Westport10, for Black families — he’ll make this an even better, more exciting and more inclusive town.

Click below for our fascinating half hour chat.

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“06880” Podcast: Liz Milwe

Westport began as a farming community. We’ve moved from onions to everything under the sun.

Along the way we added manufacturing, then arts, marketing and hedge funds.

But we always go back to our roots.

The other day, I sat at the Westport Library with Liz Milwe. A native Westporter and active volunteer who served on the RTM for over 10 years, she’s best known now for her work as co-chair of Wakeman Town Farm.

We talked about WTF’s growth over the past decade; its role in Westport; our town’s commitment to sustainability, and much more.

Click here, for a very informative half hour.

Screen shot of Liz Milwe, on “06880: The Podcast.”

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“06880” Podcast: Jen Tooker

It’s been 8 months since Jen Tooker took over the 1st Selectwoman’s office at Town Hall.

She’s spent that time settling in, setting priorities, and putting them in motion.

Now it’s time to reflect on it all.

The other day, 1st Selectwoman Tooker and I sat on the Westport Library Trefz Forum stage. We chatted about those first months: what she’s done, what she’s learned, what’s her style, and what compels her to serve.

It was a fascinating, draw-back-the-curtain half hour. It’s an instructive podcast too, for every Westporter — and those who once called this place home. Click here for the link to view.

Screenshot of Jen Tooker on “06880: The Podcast.”

“06880” Podcast: Diederik van Renesse

It’s summer, so let’s talk about … college.

The season doesn’t really matter. In Westport — and communities around the country like it — college admissions is a year-round interest obsession.

And it starts long before the summer before senior year.

This newest “06880: The Podcast” features a very interesting chat with Diederek van Renesse. His 24 years as a teacher, admission director and private school college counselor have served him well as a senior partner at Westport’s Steinbrecher Educational Advisors.

He works with families around the world on college, boarding and day school, and therapeutic treatment placements. He’s got a fascinating, 360-degree view of admissions processes, and he shared them the other day in our chat at Westport Library’s Verso Studios.

“06880” Podcast: Jane Green

The world knows Jane Green as a best-selling author. Her books have sold more than 10 million copies, and been translated into 31 (!) languages.

Westport knows Jane Green as our neighbor. Her volunteer activities are broad and unique. Only she would think of building a free, mobile library “bookcycle,” naming it after our late, beloved Remarkable Book Shop — and adding its joyful “dancing man” logo.

Jane also founded Westport Back Front Porch, the Facebook page that gets even more comments than “06880.”

The other day, Jane and I chatted at the Westport Library for my “06880” podcast. We talked about her new book, “Sister Stardust”; her (yes) remarkable career from journalism and Cosmo to novelist; and of course, her life in Westport.

Click below for 30 minutes with one of Westport’s most interesting people.

“06880” Podcast: Sue Pfister

From the time she visited her grandmother in a nursing home, Sue Pfister felt drawn to older people. She earned a social work degree, and in 1986 interned at Westport’s Senior Center.

She’s been there ever since.

The other day, Sue — now its beloved director — traveled the short distance from the Senior Center to the Westport Library’s Verso Studios. We chatted about her career path, the Center’s journey through many stops to its current beautiful home, the Center today and tomorrow, demographic trends in town, and much more.

As always, I learned a lot from Sue. You will too. Just click here and scroll down, for the latest “06880” podcast.

Screenshot of Sue Pfister

“06880” Podcast: Dr. Bob Selverstone

Some Westporters may not have heard of Dr. Robert Selverstone. But as Westport renews its focus on social and emotional learning, his name is as important as ever.

A longtime psychologist working with adults, couples and teenagers, he spent 35 years in the Westport Public Schools. He pioneered “human relations” courses, offering very popular — and extremely valuable — classes in Values Clarification and Sexuality Education at Staples High School.

Selverstone is a nationally known educator, and sought-after speaker. He’s conducted more than 1,000 programs in 31 states and on 3 continents, opening minds to the wonders of values, sexuality and communication — and enabling teens, parents and teachers to think and talk about them.

Our podcast at the Westport Library was exciting and eye-opening. Using plenty of examples and analogies, Selverstone tied his work in the 1970s through ’90s to the even more fraught world of today.

Click below for a riveting half hour. Click here for all the “06880” podcasts at the Library’s Verso Studios.


“06880” Podcast: Thomas Scarice On Critical Race Theory

Last April, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice was the first guest on my “06880” podcast. He spoke eloquently about his background, the Westport school system, and education in general.

This week he visited the Westport Library again. This time, we chatted about one specific topic: Critical Race Theory.

CRT has generated a lot of controversy, nationally and locally. The town’s chief education official discusses where it came from, what it is, and how it impacts the Westport schools.

Click below to watch.

“06880” Podcast: Jimmy Izzo

Everyone in Westport knows Jimmy Izzo.

Former owner of Crossroads Ace Hardware, current RTM member, he’s got his finger on the pulse of every issue in town. He knows the ins and outs, pros and cons of life here today. He’s got plenty of opinions — but he delivers them with grace, warmth and optimism.

No one loves Westport more than Jimmy. And no one articulates that love better than he.

The other day, we sat  on the Westport Library Forum stage. Thanks to Verso Studios, our conversation is now part of the “06880: The Podcast” series. Click here to enjoy Jimmy Izzo’s memories, insights and ideas.

Jimmy Izzo