Tag Archives: 233 Hillspoint Road

Roundup: 233 Hillspoint Road, 58 Saugatuck Avenue, Goats …

It may not be the biggest controversy in Westport, but it is the most visible.

On this week’s “Westport … What’s Happening” podcast, 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and anti-blight officer Steve Smith discuss the history — and latest action  — involving 233 Hillspoint Road: aka the blue eyesore at the old Positano restaurant near Old Mill Beach.

It’s quite a saga. Click below to listen to the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston production.


For decades, 58 Saugatuck Avenue has been an object of intrigue.

The tiny brick storefront has housed, at various times, a barbershop, florist, catering kitchen and (perhaps) a pre-Prohibition liquor store.

58 Saugatuck Avenue before …

It’s been vacant for years though, ever since the previous tenant — a pop-up art gallery — closed.

Recently, it’s gotten a nice (and much-needed) makeover.

(Photos/JD Dworkow)

What’s going in?

The use of the building is up to the owner. Current zoning allows almost any retail use, from another catering kitchen or gallery to a law office, or an artist’s or interior designer’s studio.

One fairly big drawback: There is absolutely no parking.

The building has been on the market for months. It’s in a residentially zoned lot (with a 2-family home, also recently renovated) behind.

A zoning permit was recently issued for the storefront, authorizing its continued (non-conforming) retail use. (Hat tip: Gloria Gouveia)


When it comes to pet health food, Earth Animal is the GOAT.

So it’s no coincidence that the Post Road all-natural shop is sponsoring Wakeman Town Farm’s summer goat program.

Earth Animal provides the goats with food, bedding, animal care, veterinary needs, pen maintenance and more to keep them healthy and happy.

The sponsorship also includes “goat classes.”

WTF’s goat husbandry program includes 30-minute private feeding and socialization sessions. Its “Bottle-Feed the Kids” class offers a goat-feeding experience, along with cuddling and playing.

Earth Animal funded the recent construction of a new animal barn at Wakeman Town Farm, adding an additional animal shelter, feed storage and veterinary care space.

Merritt and Abbey Goldstein, co-owners of Earth Animal, are not kidding around.


The world changed forever on September 11, 2001.

On September 11, 2023, servicemembers who were injured in post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will benefit from a special event.

Catch a Lift — the national non-profit that provides combat-injured veterans with nutrition, fitness, emotional wellness and community help, to heal emotionally, physically and spiritually — returns for a 9th year in Fairfield County.

The Patterson Club event includes pickleball, golf, dinner, and an inspiring program. Click here for more information on tickets, sponsorships and donations.


It’s official!

Senator Richard Blumenthal recently recognized the Westport Library, Verso Studios, and their compilation album Verso Records, Volume One, in the Congressional Record.

“This record is the product of collaboration among local artists and is the first of its kind issued by a public library,” Blumenthal said. “This endeavor is an example of Westport at its best — the vision and vibrancy of the community and its commitment to artistic achievement, powering culture throughout the State of Connecticut.”

Blumenthal added that the Library has enriched the community as a leading innovator for decades, noting the MakerSpace, Library of Things, Seed Library, Cafe and Store, and prized artwork collection.

“These resources make The Westport Library one of the best libraries in all of America — a ‘noisy library,’ as its supporters say, and a true jewel of the community.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal, at the Westport Library.


In 2012, the Suzanne Sheridan Band performed and recorded a concert of Leonard Cohen’s music at Voices Café.

Since then, Sheridan’s band has continued the tradition in many venues. On August 6 (12:30 p.m.), Sheridan (vocals, guitar), Bob Cooper (keyboard) and Joe Meo (woodwinds) will add the VFW to the list.

There’s a $10 cover. Brunch and a Bloody Mary bar (plus mimosas) are available for an extra charge.

Click here for tickets. For more information, email info@firstfolksunday.com, or call 203-222-1441.

… with Suzanne Sheridan.


Lyn McCarthy, development director of Caroline House, spoke yesterday to the Westport Rotary Club.

Bridgeport-based Caroline House — a regular recipient of Rotary grants — provides food, clothing, English language and life skills education to immigrant women.

Lyn McCarthy of Caroline House at the Westport Rotary Club. (Photo/Ellin Curley)


Today’s very compelling “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from 14-year-old Emae Forman. It’s from the frog pond on Marion Road.

(Photo/Emae Forman)


And finally … when Suzanne Sheridan channels Leonard Cohen on August 6 at the VFW, many of the tunes may be familiar. Here are 2 of my favorites:

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Roundup: Porta-john, Pot, Plants …

Next Wednesday’s Parks & Recreation Commission meeting (May 17, 7:30 p.m., Zoom; click here for the link) features 3 interesting agenda items.

Perhaps because of the increasing popularity of Old Mill Beach — it now attracts more than just nearby residents — the board will vote on a request for a “porta-john.”

Then they’ll introduce and discuss (but not vote on) a “proposed smoking/vaping policy.” Details are unavailable, but a source said it relates to a ban on smoking and vaping — including cannabis — at town beaches.

Then comes discussion of the Longshore Capital Improvement Plan final report.

It will be a busy night, involving 3 key topics: money, bathrooms, and weed.

Prime spot for a port-a-potty. (Photo/Dan Woog)


The Westport Garden Club does more than plant bulbs.

They’ve sponsored a youth poetry contest on “birds, bees and trees”; provided an all-terrain wheelchair to Wakeman Town Farm; donated beach grass plugs for Sherwood Island State Park’s dune restoration, and a new greenhouse at Earthplace for young naturalists and volunteers; and given a scholarship for a student studying horticulture or landscape design.

All of that — and also maintaining 7 public gardens in Westport — takes money.

And all of that funding comes from the Garden Club’s annual plant sale.

It’s tomorrow (May 13 — a first-ever Saturday date), from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Jesup Green.

On sale: over 1,000 plants from members’ own gardens, plus tomatoes and herbs.

The festive event includes an activity table for kids, a selection of garden books from the Westport Book Shop, and free saplings from Bartlett Tree Experts.

Wheelbarrows will be on standby. As always, Garden Club members offer advice on purchases.

One more idea: If you haven’t finished your Mothers Day shopping (and don’t have a green thumb), you can choose from a collection of gift-ready planters.

The annual plant sale funds Westport Garden Club displays all over town.


Yesterday’s glossy New York Times special “Homes” advertising supplement was filled with national real estate listings.

One — on page 3 — was from Westport.

It showed the controversial $7.9 million 233 Hillspoint Road home — described, of course, in breathless real estate prose:

There’s just one thing. If a buyer decides that’s his or her house because of the very cool chimney at the south end: no deal.

That was part of the reason construction was halted for 2 years. The illegal addition has now been removed. (Hat tip: John Karrel)


All of Fairfield County (and Westchester) loves Alison Milwe Grace.

On Tuesday, the rest of the country will too.

The Staples High School graduate/Weston resident/founder-owner of very popular AMG Catering & Events will be featured on Food Network’s parking lot culinary marathon show, Supermarket Steakout (Tuesday, 9 p.m.).

She taped the show in January, in California. It was her second appearance on Food Network. In 2015 she made it to the 4th and final round of elimination in an intense battle, preparing dishes that the judges praised as “creative, complex and delicious.”

Alison calls this “another opportunity, another fun show, another personal ‘cheffy; challenge, and more memories with the best network around, and the amazing Alex Guarnaschelli.

Alison’s motto is “Follow your dreams — just make sure to have fun too!”

She’s sworn to secrecy (and an iron-clad contract) to not reveal how she did ahead of time.

But hey: She wouldn’t want us watching if she burned, undercooked or otherwise messed up royally, right?

SIDE DISH: Finding Connecticut just posted a nice interview with Alison. Click here to see.

Alison Milwe Grace


College applications are almost a full-time job for teenagers.

Now Teens at MoCA — the museum’s junior board — are helping with that task.

At least, for anyone hoping to use his or her artwork to get into school, or pursue an art degree.

They’re holding a series of Zoom sessions, on how to create a portfolio in a variety of mediums.

Each will be led by a different senior — all of whom are off to great schools next fall.

This is a great opportunity for current sophomores and juniors. The lineup is:

May 18: Ava Waldman (New York University ’27) and Alex Beebe (University of Southern California ’27): Applying as a film student.

May 22: Lily Wickersham (Marist College ’27) and Mia Vindiola (Parsons School of Design ’27): Visual art and fashion.

May 24: Lexi Walsh (Washington University ’27): Architecture.

Click here to register.

Artwork by Mia Vindiola


Westport artist Cris Dam is our newest ACE.

Presented by the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County, the Arts & Culture Empowerment (ACE) award honors individuals, organizations and businesses that make significant contributions to the area.

An artist-entrepreneur who pioneered artists spaces in Berlin, Williamsburg and now Bridgeport, he is also a curator and community organizer.

After establishing his studio in Bridgeport, and reviving art events at the historic Arcade Mall, he established Ursa Gallery in 2020. Dam organized the first Bridgeport booth at Art Basel Miami in 2022. a

Dam is currently developing real estate on Fairfield Avenue in Bridgeport to create working spaces for fellow artists, raise community awareness, host events, and open a coffee roaster. He also teaches children in community art and leadership programs at Norwalk Community College. 

Dam receives his honor next month, at a Norwalk Shore & Country Club breakfast. A special President’s Award will be presented to Westporters Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, recognizing their significant impact on the arts, culture and children’s health in Fairfield County. The MC is Weston’s James Naughton. Click here for full details.

Cris Dam


Westport’s spring paving program begins Monday (May 15). It continues through mid-June.

The following roads will be paved (though not in this order):

  • Oak Street
  • Rodgers Way
  • Reimer Road
  • Sprucewood Lane
  • High Point Road
  • Adams Farms Road
  • Greystone Farm Lane
  • Wedgewood Road
  • Peaceful Lane
  • Chapel Hill Road
  • Pritchard Lane
  • Increase Lane
  • Harding Lane
  • Sunrise Road.

Questions? Call the Department of Public Works: 203-341-1120.


Jonathan Greenstein — the photojournalist/film director/tea importer/ athlete/world traveler/ environmentalist, whose battle with ALS inspired countless people around the world — died in 2021. He was 50 years old.

Westporters have not forgotten him.

A Wim Hof Fundamentals Workshop — teaching techniques that help patients breathe stronger and longer == is set for Saturday, May 20 (10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.).

A $225 donation benefits the Breathe4ALS Foundation. Attendees receive a hardcover book of Greenfield’s photography and log pants.

The event is free for people living with ALS. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Not long after his ALS diagnosis, Jonathan Greenfield (right) hiked in Spain with Wim Hof.


Britt Hennemuth — the 2008 Staples High School and 2012 Pepperdine University graduate, now the West Coast editor for Vanity Fair — has a great story in the May edition.

In “Suddenly, Stephanie Hsu is Everywhere,” the actress talks about her intense year, her love for Jamie Lee Curtis, and how her next movie, “Joy Ride,” defies stereotypes. Click here to read. (Hat tip: John Karrel)

Britt Hennemuth


Speaking of film: Generations of Westporters have thrilled to enormous, all-around movies at the Norwalk IMAX Theater.

Mountain climbers, deep sea divers, rock concerts — we’ve seen it all.

No more.

The building is being dismantled. It’s part of the state Department of Transportation’s reconstruction of the 123-year-old Norwalk River railroad span (the “Walk Bridge”).

A new 4D theater, built on the other side of the Maritime Aquarium, opened in 2021.

(Photo and hat tip: Whitmal Cooper)


Patti Brill’s peonies make a perfect “Westport … Naturally” picture.

(Photo/Patti Brill)


And finally … as the Parks & Recreation Commission debates a port-a-potty at Old Mill Beach (story above) — it’s not our usual song. But besides all the music at Woodstock, there was this:

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Roundup: Chimney Removal, Banned Books Meeting Moved, New Cops …

Over a week past its March 23 deadline — but finally — the illegal chimney has been removed from the long-dormant new home construction at 233 Hillspoint Road.

Work at the house — formerly the site of Positano restaurant — was halted in 2019. More than 3 years of legal wrangling ensued.

The cupola was also ordered removed, by the Blight Prevention Board.

It’s still standing.

The chimney is gone, from the left side of 233 Hillspoint Road. (Photo/Matt Murray)


The site for Monday’s schools superintendent’s ad hoc committee discussion of a resident’s complaint about material displayed in the Staples High School library has been changed. The new site is the Town Hall auditorium. The date (April 3) and time (3:30 p.m.) remain the same.

This is a follow-up to last week’s session, part of a 9-step process after Tara McLaughin sought the removal of 3 LGBTQ-themed books from the Staples collection.

Public comment will not be allowed Monday. It may be permitted at a later meeting.

Tara McLaughlin is seeking the removal of 3 books from the Staples High School library.


Over 400 people packed the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum last night, for a VersoFest feature concert.

The Smithereens — and special guest Marshall Crenshaw — rocked the room. With 3 Top 10 hits — including “A Girl Like You” — the group remains a huge draw.

The Smithereens.(Photo/Dinkin Fotografix)

VersoFest continues today and tomorrow, with a lineup of workshops, a vinyl swap, a 1:4-scale version of the Grateful Dead’s “Wall of Sound,” and much more.

Highlights today (Saturday) include a keynote address by Steve Lillywhite. The legendary producer of othe Rolling Stones, Peter Gabriel, U2, the Dave Matthews Band and Phish chats with Chris Frantz, co-founder of both Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club at 1 p.m.

Tonight (7 p.m.), Psychedelic Furs front man Richard Butler delivers the Malloy Lecture in the Arts.

Click here for today and tomorrow’s full VersoFest schedule.

Marshall Crenshaw warms up backstage. (Photo/Matthew Mandell)


Three new officers joined the Westport Police Department yesterday.

Ashley Calvao (age 26) comes from Monroe. A graduate of Shelton High School, she completed coursework at Housatonic Community College. She has family ties to both Westport and law enforcement.

In her previous position at Bridgeport’s Emergency Communications Center, she worked as a 911 emergency dispatcher for both police and fire.

Sean Fitzpatrick (30) lives in Stratford with his wife Taylor. He is a graduate of Housatonic Community College and American Military University. Sean holds the rank of E5 sergeant for the Coast Guard.

Tyler Mingo (30) is a lifelong resident of Norwalk, where he lives with his wife Taylor and children. He completed course work at Norwalk Community College.  Tyler is a volunteer firefighter in Darien, and spent the last 7 years with Westport’s Highway Department.

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Police Chief Foti Koskinas flank (from left) Officers Mingo, Calvao and Fitzpatrick.


No fooling: As of today (April 1), dogs are banned from Westport beaches.

Yesterday, Bentley enjoyed his final romp at Burying Hill Beach. The Weimaraner met many new friends there, and ran on the new jetty.

He looks forward to October 1, when he’ll be allowed back.

(Photo/Kat Palmer)


Meanwhile, grooming work continues at local beaches.

A lot of sand is being moved. It will all be de-rocked and smoothed soon, in time for opening next month.

June Rose Whittaker, with a temporary mountain of sand at Compo Beach.


Also seen at Compo:

Congratulations to Perseid — winner of the race to be the first boat of the season, at Ned Dimes Marina:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


Johanna Keyser Rossi zoomed in on the Fresh Market osprey this week.

When she got home, she noticed her photo included a scarf that the raptor had brought to her nest.

Hey: It gets cold up there at night!

The osprey’s gray scarf is on the right. (Photo/Johanna Keyser Rossi)


Want to see a Westport Country Playhouse show for free?

The theater needs ushers to scan tickets, distribute programs, answer questions and direct patrons to seats.

Volunteer ushers must be over 18, unless accompanied by a guardian who works with them. They must be patient, courteous, friendly, helpful — and able to read small print in low light.

For more information, email Kelly Richards Mikolasy, house manager: krichards@westportplayhouse.org, or call 203-571-1296.

The seats are empty. But soon, ushers will be needed to direct patrons to seats.


Three years ago, Westporter Carly Ridloff combined 2 interests. She created the Exchange Project — a “sustainable shopping event” where people can reduce their carbon footprint by exchanging clothing.

She launched it from her home. The most recent one took place here Thursday.

The movement has grown to several other areas, including New York and Florida. The first kids’ edition launches in Boca Raton this month.

Click here for more information. Follow on Instagram: @the.exchanageproject.

Exchange Project founder Carly Ridloff (right) and event co-chair Kate Freeman.


Last week’s “06880” story about Harry Houdini and a movie of his 1917 escape from a crate in the water off Longshore made its way to Vermont.

Charles Greene III saw it, and writes:

“I’ve written a book about a female magician/illusionist from 1910 who became a princess. Her son, Frank Tchitcherine, became involved in espionage for the British and Americans. He retired to Westport.

“I’ve spoken to a person who met him. He was quite the character.

“Frank and his mother (a princess) have a connection to the Westport Library.  Several years ago, the library had documents from her time in Russia (1914 – 1918). They wound up being sold by a Westport resident through a map gallery in New York.

“Frank died in Westport in 1978.”

“06880” readers: If you remember Frank Tchitcherine (or his mother’s document), click “Comments” and add details.


Longtime Bedford and Staples teacher Donald DiGennaro died peacefully last Sunday, at the Watermark. He was age 86.

The Bridgeport native — a longtime resident of Trumbull — taught science in Westport for virtually his entire career.

He was an avid gardener and cook, with a love for Italy and Italian food, and greatly devoted to his family.

Don was predeceased by his wife of 58 years, Theresa; son Leonard, and brothers Philip and Anthony.

He is survived by his children Philip (Dana Maiocco), Donna Pavitt (David); grandchildren Philip DiGennaro (Sarah), Michael DiGennaro (Kristyn), James DiGennaro, Joseph DiGennaro and Emly Pavitt; great-grandson Donovan DiGennaro, and many nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were held privately. To leave an online condolence, click here.

Don DiGennaro


We usually see deer alone, or in groups of 2 or 3.

But 9 live in or near Bob Weingarten’s Greens Farms back yard.

Here’s fewer than half of them, relaxing for today’s “Westport … Naturally” feature.

Hey, at least they’re not destroying his garden.

(Photo/Bob Weingarten)


And finally … happy April 1!


Roundup: Winslow Park, Hillspoint Road, Social Media …

What’s going on at Winslow Park?

Construction vehicles and materials are parked on the north side, by Compo Road North near East Main Street.

But no work is being done at the dog park. It’s a staging area for Burns Construction, the contractor for a sewage collection system project nearby.

The company will lay 10,000 feet of pipe, to serve 121 properties on Evergreen Parkway, Tamarac Lane, Lone Pine Lane, Gorham Avenue, Brookside Drive, and a small section of Compo North.

Because it’s a dense neighborhood with many children — and to avoid impacting residents — Burns and the town’s Public Works Department asked Parks & Rec for permission to use Winslow Park as a staging area.

(Photo/Nancy Vener)

Burns is stripping the topsoil, to avoid muddying the area. They’ll fence the section in too.

Their contract runs through December 28. However, the Engineering Department’s Bryan Thompson says, the work may not take that long.

When they’re done, Burns will full restore the area, including hydroseeding.

Signs will go up soon in the area, warning of construction vehicles entering the roadway.


“06880” has reported on the recent work done — after 3 years — on the (too)-large house being built to replace Positano restaurant, at 233 Hillspoint Road.

As Don Bergmann points out, it’s still not quite right. He writes: “The Blight Board gave the owner … 2 weeks to remove [not lower. as ‘06880’ reported] the chimney and cupola, by March 23.

“The minutes, in draft form, of the Blight Prevention Board meeting on March 9, make this very clear.  The removal of both items was to have occurred by March 23. The draft minutes are on the town website for meetings.”

The chimney at 233 Hillspoint Road must come down completely. (Photo/Matt Murray)


At 7:15 yesterday morning, the Westport Police Department responded to a residence on a report of a disturbing social media post.

The caller — a local student — felt concerned about going to school, based on the post.

Officers immediately identified the source of the post. Working with the School Resource Officer and Detective Bureau, they identified the person responsible.

Officers went to each school until they located the responsible party. By 8 a.m., they determined that there was no threat.


Looking for a way to celebrate Earth Day?

The Parks & Recreation Department is sponsoring a “Clean Up Westport” event that Saturday (April 22).

Letters have been sent to more than 2 dozen civic organizations, asking for help.

Groups should call Parks & Rec (203-341-5091) before April 14, specifying the time and site of their effort. The town will then collect bagged garbage from each spot.

But you don’t have to be part of any pre-set location. Anyone can clean up any litter, anywhere in town.

Free trash bags are available at the Parks & Rec office by the Longshore first tee on April 20, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. There’s a limit of 6 bags per organization, and they must be requested by April 19.

Westport is a mess. Do your part on Earth Day (or any day, really). (Photo/Lou Weinberg)


There were 2 sure signs of spring yesterday at Compo Beach:

Sand grooming equipment, and a kite.

Another springtime reminder: Starting Saturday (April 1), dogs are not allowed anywhere on the beach.

(Photo/Lauri Weiser)


“What’s Next in Weston” — the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston bi-weekly podcast — continues today.

It’s Part 2 of a discussion with 1st Selectwoman Sam Nestor of the the town’s grand list, mill rate, home values, and how it all relates to real estate taxes.

Click below to see:


Did you know there is only one zoo in Connecticut?

That it’s 99 years old, features 350 animals, and is just a few miles away in Bridgeport?

The Y’s Women learned all about the Beardsley Zoo, at a presentation by curators of education Jim Knox and Carolyn Rinaldi.

They described saving species from extinction, and the reintroduction of wild species into the state and beyond.

Beardsley Zoo’s Jim Knox, at the Y’s Women meeting.


Bassist Rich Zurkowski and his guitarist daughter Chloe bring their instruments — and voices — to this week’s Jazz at the Post.

There are 2 shows this Thursday (March 30), at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m. (VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399). Dinner service begins at 7.

They’re joined by pianist Jesse Gribbon, drummer Eric Kalb and saxophonist Greg “The Jazz Rabbi” Wall. Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.


Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities — the Norwalk-based non-profit founded by former Westporter Jane Ross — has grown into an important, influential organization. They educate and empower parents of children with learning and attention differences

Like many groups, they rely on annual benefits for funding. This year’s gala —  “Minds in Bloom: Cultivating Growth for Kids with Learning Differences — is set for April 20, at Darien’s Woodway Country Club,

The evening includes a cocktail reception, dinner, and silent and live auctions.

Tickets are $250 per person, $2,500 per table; click here to purchase. For sponsorships, call Ross: 203-216-3196. For more information, click here.


Longtime Westport teacher and devout Catholic mother and wife Mary Murphy died peacefully earlier this month in Trumbull, surrounded by her family. She was 91.

The Medford, Massachusetts native spent her life devoted to her faith, family and friends.

She served as eucharistic minister, Bible study leader and volunteer in her parishes. Mary also volunteered at CRIS radio. and taught English as a second language at the Mercy Learning Center.

Her family says, “Through hard times and happy times, Mary stayed true to her husband, family, friends and herself. She was a devoted wife to Ed for 39 years, raising their family and then caring for Ed until his death in 1993.

“As the central figure of her large family, Mary was present at just about all her children’s, grandchildren’s and great-grandchildren’s sporting events, school activities, concerts, graduations and parties. Our family was blessed to experience Mary’s love, light, wisdom, compassion and inner strength. She was a role model for all of us on how to ‘do it right’.”

Mary graduated from Regis College, and obtained her master’s degree in education from Fairfield University. She worked for the Westport Public Schools as a foreign language teacher for 25 years.

Mary passionately followed the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team, and the Boston Red Sox. She loved to travel, read, and play bridge and golf.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated this Saturday (March 25, 10 a.m., Church of the Assumption). Interment will follow in Willowbrook Cemetery.

Relatives and friends may greet the family on Friday (March 24, 4 to 7 p.m., Abriola Parkview Funeral Home, 419 White Plains Road, Trumbull).

Mary is survived by her children Ed (Carol) of Windham, New Hampshire, Ken (Pam) of Epping, New Hampshire, Kevin (Janet) of Sacramento, Sharon of Torrington, Maureen Burdick of Trumbull, and Terri Matsen (Eric) of LaGrange, Kentucky; daughter-in-law Kate Murphy of Newburyport, Massachusetts; grandchildren Kahley Apostolou (Mike); Erin, John and Brian Murphy; Peter, Edward and Mary Grace Burdick; Conor, Nolan, Bridget and Jack Matsen; Jillian and Shane Murphy (Marisa), and great-grandchildren Logan Burdick, and Lyla and Mason Apostolou; brothers John V. Gibbons Jr. of North Kingston, Rhode Island and Robert Gibbons of Mirror Lake, New Hampshire, and several nieces and nephews.

Mary was predeceased by her husband Ed, son Dennis, grandson Christopher Stephen Murphy Burdick, son-in-law Carl Burdick, and sister Claire Gibbons Boyle.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Down’s Syndrome of Louisville, 5001 South Hurstbourne Pkwy, Louisville, KY 40291 or Wigglewow, 10529 Watterson Trail, Louisville, KY 40299 (a natural dog biscuit company and retail center committed to providing disabled adults with supportive, purposeful employment opportunities).

Mary Murphy


It’s not often we run a “sky” image as our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

But it’s not often a photographer captures both the moon and Venus in the same shot.

The other day, Andrew Colabella did — framed by Saugatuck:

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)


And finally … in honor of the Earth Day town-wide cleanup (story above):

“06880” is your hyper-local blog. We’re a non-profit (click here for more info about our work). We rely on reader donations. Thank you!

Roundup: Linxweiler Trees, Races & Champions, Ukrainian Eggs …

The Post Road East improvement project has begun.

The first step — long before installing turn lanes, crosswalks, shoulders and sidewalks on the stretch between Volvo of Westport and New Country Toyota — was the removal of a dozen or so trees.

They stood for decades in front of Linxweiler House — the former blacksmith shop between Fresh Market and McDonald’s, now owned and operate by Homes with Hope.

That property looks a lot different today, than it did last weekend:

Linxweiler House, as seen from Crescent Road …

… and looking east, from near Fresh Market. (Photos/Molly Alger)

The good news: The 2 cherry blossom trees in front of Sakura still stand.


On your mark … get set … and get ready for the 44th annual Minute Man Races

The popular Westport Young Woman’s League — set for Sunday, April 30 at Compo Beach — includes a 10K run, 5K run/walk, and kids’ fun runs (from 50 yards to 1 mile).

For professionals, it’s a USA Track and Field-certified event. For kids, family-friendly activities will take place during and after the races.

As always, there will be music, food trucks and more.

Student and first responder discounts are offered for the adult races. Contact minuteman@wywl.com for a discount code. Click here to register, and for more information. Proceeds benefit local non-profits.


Registration is open for the 5th annual Day of Champions.

The event — family-friendly fun (and fierce competition) that raises funds for Experience Camps, the Westport-based network of activities for children who have lost parents or siblings — is May 21 (8:30 to 11:30 a.m., PJ Romano Field).

To create or join a team — or donate — click here.

To get psyched for the event, click the video below.


Ukrainian Easter Sunday is not until April 16.

But Westport artist Mark Yurkiw — who has Ukrainian heritage, and is a member of the group that raised $252,000 for our sister city, Lyman — is celebrating early.

Throughout his career, he’s been decorating Ukrainian Easter eggs. He sent “06880” a sample of his work:

The red egg in front celebrates the birth of Mark Yurkiw’s son Cooper, in 1994.

In 2001, he created this 5-foot “egg” for the White House.

It was signed by 256 members of Congress.

Slava Ukraini!


More progress on the house at 233 Hillspoint Road. Town officials halted construction there in 2019, after finding violations of the building permit.

Workers yesterday removed several feet from the top of the chimney. It had been built higher than its legal height.

Workers removing the top of the chimney at 233 Hillspoint. Road. (Photo/Matt Murray)


In 2020, COVID forced Saugatuck Elementary School to cancel “The Little Mermaid” at the final dress rehearsal —  before the opening curtain.

She’s back!

A new cast of 125 students in grades 3-5 act, sing and dance — and run the lights and sound, help construct and decorate sets and props, and operate special effects.

Saugatuck alums from 2020 (and even some of their parents) have helped with the show! Set designer Julie Colotti, costume designer Miriam Young, and prop managers Alexandra Dodwell and Amy Kopisz incorporated many original pieces, along with new additions.

After his daughter Phoebe returned as a student acting coach, John Nunziato jumped in as artistic designer and special effects consultant.

Shows are Friday, March 31 (7 p.m.) and Saturday, April 1 (1 and 6:30 p.m.). Click here for tickets, and more information.

“The Little Mermaid,” at Saugatuck Elementary School. (Photo/Kerry Long)


You can’t autograph an Mp3 download.

But you sure can sign a vinyl album.

VersoFest’s headliners and guests, including producer Steve Lillywhite, Psychedelic Furs front man Richard Butler, and Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth, will autograph copies of their records, for giveaways and auction items during next weekend’s VersoFest.

Festivalgoers can submit their entries for the giveaway starting with the March 30 kickoff concert featuring rising American rock band Sunflower Bean.

Submissions are open through Sunday, April 2. That final day features a record fair (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and a vinyl record panel brunch with WPKN DJ Alec Cumming, producer Dooley-O, Kraftjerkz Records’ Kid Ginseng, WFUV DJ and House of Wax host Eric Holland, New Haven Independent arts reporter Karen Ponzio, and moderated by the Zambonis’ Dave Schneider.

The silent auction (April 1-2) offers a chance to bid on a variety of signed albums associated with the festival’s speakers and guests. All proceeds support future VersoFests.

For more information, including concert tickets and workshops registration, click here.

VersoFest vinyl.


Speaking of music: The Grammy for Best Children’s Album went to Kaitlin McGaw, and her group Alphabet Rockers. (Sure, it was in February. But I just found out. It’s still worth sharing!)

And it’s “06880”-worthy because she’s the granddaughter of longtime Westporters Ed and Kay See.

Ed — an attorney — was longtime town counsel. He played a key role in Westport’s purchase of Longshore, in 1959.

Kay supported many local causes. She was on the Westport Library board, when the new building was built.

The See family’s stained glass window hangs over the altar of Assumption Church, near the Josê Feliciano window.

Eloise See — Ed and Kay’s daughter — is Kaitlin’s proud mother. Sandy is her equally proud uncle.

The award was even more special, because the presenter was presidential inaugural poet — and Kaitlin’s fellow Harvard graduate — Amanda Gorman.

Alphabet Rockers produces and performs music and dance that promotes racial and gender awareness.


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport is a beautiful building.

On April 1 (8 p.m.), its the site too of Damn Tall Buildings.

That’s the hot bluegrass/indie/roots/old-time/vintage swing/Americana band from Brooklyn. The trio will headline the UU’s Voices Café.

There’s table or individual seating. Bring your own beverages and snacks, or buy at the sweet treats table. General admission: $25 per person. A portion of the proceeds support the congregation’s Social Justice Council. Click here for tickets (live and livestream), and more information.


Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo proves: There’s nothing like a nice early spring day to put the top down, and enjoy the sun.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


And finally … on this date in 1721, – Johann Sebastian Bach dedicated 6 concertos to Margrave Christian Ludwig of Brandenburg-Schwedt. Today we know them as the Brandenburg Concertos.

(“06880” is your hyper-local blog. We’re a non-profit, dedicated to bringing the community together. We rely on your (tax-deductible) contributions. Please click here to help. Thank you!)

Roundup: Patti LuPone, Easter Eggs, Crime …

Patti LuPone is coming to Westport.

The 3-time Tony Award winner brings her “Don’t Monkey with Broadway” show to the Westport Country Playhouse. The special event is June 15 (8 p.m.).

It’s an appropriate concert for the 91-year-old stage. LuPone explores classic Broadway tunes by Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Jule Styne, Stephen Schwartz, Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim, Cole Porter and Irving Berlin.

In between, she describes her life-long love affair with Broadway, and the unpredictability of the Great White Way.

Tickets are $250, $150 and $75. All audience members are invited to a post-performance party. Click here to purchase.


After an eggs-ceptional first year, Westport Moms’ 2nd annual Easter egg hunt is back. The magic is set for this Sunday (March 26), at the Long Lots Elementary School playground.

They learned a couple of lessons. They pre-stuffed eggs with toys — not candy — and will offer 2 different hunts. Ages 2-5 begin at 11:30 a.m.; kids 6 and up begin at 12:15 p.m. 

Also on hand: food trucks, sweet treats, entertainment (dance party, sports games, art projects, make your own cookie, balloon twisting, face painting) — and of course the Easter Bunny.

Eggs-tra special: 40 gold eggs with gift cards to the Toy Post.

Westport Moms know that Easter is not until April 9. But with spring sports and the upcoming school break, they’re getting a (bunny-hop) jump on things.

The cost is $20 per family. Click here for tickets.


Westport Police report 7 custodial arrests between March 15-22

  • Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, illegal carry of a firearm while under the influence, operating a motor vehicle without a license, operating an unregistered motor vehicle, misuse of registration marker plate, insufficient motor vehicle insurance (following a traffic stop on Post Road East for registration credentials that did not match the vehicle
  • Forgery (creating and selling fraudulent Texas license plates and paperwork)
  • Larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny (after shoplifting from Ulta Beauty in February, of merchandise with a GPS tracking device)
  • Disorderly conduct (2 people, both for domestic violence incidents)
  • Violation of parole, 2 counts (following a traffic stop)
  • Failure to appear (after a traffic stop).

The police reporting system still does not include citations.

The only legitimate Texas license plates are those issued by the Lone Star State.


Speaking of crime:

The Westport Library is hosting “United Against Hate: Identifying, Reporting and Preventing Hate Crimes.” The interactive learning program focuses on the difference between a hate incident and a hate crime. Participants will learn who to contact when an incident occurs, and why reporting is important.

The event is set for next Tuesday (March 28; 6 p.m. reception, 6:30 program).  Registration is required; click here.

“United Against Hate” is held in collaboration with the US Attorney’s Office, Westport PRIDE, Westport and Norwalk chiefs of police, and the Connecticut State Police’s Hate Crimes Unit.


Four years after being halted due to permit violations, construction has begun again at 233 Hillspoint Road.

Scaffolding surrounds the chimney, at the site of what was once Positano restaurant. Since 2019, it’s been a blue-swaddled eyesore near Old Mill Beach.

(Photo/Matt Murray)


As the Staples High School boys basketball team continues to bask in the glow of the Wreckers’ best season since 1937 — they reached the finals of both the state and FCIAC tournaments — former player Chuck Haberstroh sends along a reminder that the crew was destined for stardom from a young age.

Seven years ago, 6 members of this year’s squad were part of the undefeated Westport PAL Blue team. They were champions of both the Fairfield County Basketball League regular season, and postseason tourney.

The 2016 Westport PAL basketball team (top row, from left): Coach Drew Carothers, Henry Levin. Jack Watkins, Will Holleman, Cameron Lyons, Chris Zajac, Gavin Rothenberg. Bottom: Noah Ambrifi. Cody Sale, Gavin Murphy, Charlie Honig. Ty Levine. Holleman, Zajac, Rothenberg, Sale, Honig and Levine went on to play for Staples.


The Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Westport hosts 2 great activities this weekend.

Hone your Jeopardy skills at Trivia Night tomorrow (Friday, March 24, 7:30 p.m.). Everyone is welcome (adult-supervised childcare available).

The annual Spring Choral Concert presents “Sondheim” at the church’s Sunday service (March 26, 10 a.m.). The choir will sing several works, offering attendees a look at their own lives and relationships. Chris Beaurline, Mike Costantino and Marcella Calabi are guest singers. The public is invited.

Stephen Sondheim will be at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Sunday — well, his songs will be, anyway.


Y’s Men of Westport and Weston and guests enjoyed a tour of the Housatonic Art Museum this week.

There were a couple of local connections, on the Housatonic Community College campus. The museum’s Burt Chernow Galleries are named for the longtime artist, teacher and founding member of the Westport Arts Center. Chernow also played a key role in establishing the Housatonic collection of modern art.

And included in the permanent collection: 2 pieces by Westport artist, Staples High School graduate and Artists Collective of Westport co-founder Miggs Burroughs.

Y’s Men member and event organizer Jay Dirnberger welcomes the group at the Housatonic Art Museum. (Photo and hat tip/Dave Matlow)


Speaking of art:

MoCA Westport invites anyone interested in learning more about art collecting to a discussion that demystifies buying and collecting.

Panelists include Takako Nagasawa (Phillips Auction House), Diana Mashia (Founder and CEO, Invest In Her Art) and Elizabeth Gorayeb (executive Director, Wildenstein Plattner Institute).

The event is March 30 (6 to 7 p.m.). Participants can explore MoCA’s current exhibition, and buy drinks or cocktails. It’s free for members, $10 for non-members.


College students are invited to apply for a very cool local internship.

Vanish Media Systems — the Post Road showroom for huge TV screens, which innovatively disappear into custom-built cabinets and other furniture — is looking for 2 talented and energetic interns.

Skills needed are product design and engineering, digital marketing and social media, creativity, website design, e-commerce and easy relationships with people.

To apply, send a resume, plus 5 sentences explaining Vanish Media Systems products, and how you’d market them, to hello@vanishmediasystems.com. To learn more about Mark Motyl’s Westport-based company, click here.

A room with water views on Beachside Avenue becomes a screening center, with a Vanish Media system.


La Plage — the popular Longshore restaurant — offers a special 3-course prix fixe Easter menu on Sunday, April 9 (noon to 7 p.m.). Click here to see how chef Frederic Kieffer showcases the flavors of spring.

The cost is $85 per person; $45 for children under 12. For reservations, click here for reservations, email laplagewestport.com, or call 203-684-6232.

PS: For information on a variety of Westport restaurants, click on our “Restaurants” at the top of the page (or click here).


Green’s Farms Church will livestream this Sunday’s 4 p.m. Duruflé Requiem Memorial Concert, honoring the life of longtime organist Rick Tripodi.

Click here to see. The concert will also be recorded, and available at that link.

The restored Green’s Farms Church organ.


Signs of spring are everywhere. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo shows a few of them, at Old Mill Beach.

(Photo/June Rose Whittaker)


And finally … Bobbi Kelly Ercoline — the 20-year-old woman whose photo, wrapped in a blanket with her boyfriend of 2 months (and then, for 54 years, her husband) became a symbol of Woodstock when it became the cover for the album that was the movie soundtrack of the same name — died Sunday.

She was 73 years old. (Click here for a full obituary. Hat tip: Matt Murray)

Bobbi and Nick Ercoline, well more than 10 Years After Woodstock.

(From Westport to Woodstock, “06880” has got you covered. Please click here to support our work. Thank you!)

Roundup: “Twelfth Night”, Stop & Shop Trees, Hillspoint House …

It’s easy to get audiences to see “Mamma Mia!,” “The Music Man” or “Guys and Dolls.”

It’s a lot harder for Shakespeare. Especially a play by The Bard that’s not “Romeo and Juliet” or “Macbeth.”

But Staples Players directors David Roth and Kerry Long rolled the dice.

“Twelfth Night” came up huge.

The show — the high school troupe’s spring production — is not what you would have seen at the Globe Theater.

In fact, this production comes from the Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the (Central) Park.

It’s a rocking, rollicking modern-ish musical, with music and lyrics by Shaina Taub.

The singing, dancing, pit and set are — as audiences have come to expect from Staples Players — near-Broadway quality.

There’s just the right amount of Shakespeare. There’s even a cheat-sheet synopsis in the program, telling you exactly what happens.

“Twelfth Night” was a gamble. Players relies on ticket sales to fund future productions.

Fortunately, the audience was near capacity last weekend.

Judging by their reactions — laughing, clapping, and a well-deserved standing ovation — there won’t be any empty seats this Friday (March 24, 7:30 p.m.) or Saturday (March 25, 3 and 7:30 p.m.).

So act fast. Click here to get yours.

Quinn Mulvey as Viola. (Photo/Kerry Long)


Just like the swallows of Capistrano, an osprey of Westport have returned.

Carolyn Doan reports that one of our town’s favorite raptors has returned from the south, to its perch near the Fresh Market parking lot.

“It most likely wintered in South America or Florida,” she notes. “This is probably the male, who usually returns first. The pair winter separately but meet back here every March.

“He’s a few days early this year, and is already sprucing up the nest. The female should join him soon.”

(Photo/Carolyn Doan)


Speaking of nature: “06880” has reported on the still-up-in-the-air fate of 2 cherry blossoms in front of Sakura.

What’s clear is that many other trees will definitely be removed — including those in the grassy Post Road median — between New Country Toyota and Volvo of Westport.

It’s part of a Route 1 improvement plan, in the works by the state Department of Transportation for nearly a decade.

The Post Road/Bulkley Avenue intersection is also in for some much-needed realignment.

Which means that some sycamore trees will come down there, too.

They’ve already been tagged for removal.

Red ribbons mean “removal,” in front of Stop & Shop. (Photo and hat tip/Debra McKinney)


It’s hard to tell from this photo, but Matt Murray saw at least one worker inside 233 Hillspoint Road — aka the former Positano/the current eyesore — yesterday.

(Photo/Matt Murray)

He lives nearby. It’s the first time he’s seen anyone doing anything there since a stop-work order was issued in December 2019, due to building permit violations.

A new home — minus the blue swaddling — is on the market for $7.9 million.


High school students can do advanced trigonometry. But they’ve never been taught to balance a checkbook.

Tom Henske will change that.

This Sunday (March 26, 2 p.m.), the Westport resident and financial industry leader brings his Total Cents program to the Westport Library for a talk, and panel discussion with fellow experts. It’s called “Raising Financially Savvy Kids.”

The goal: to help parents, grandparents and guardians get comfortable teaching their kids about money.

“Everyone sees the clear value and importance of developing good financial habits in our children,” Henske says. “It’s time for parents to take ownership of this part of their child’s development.”

He hopes that Westport becomes “the epicenter for teaching parents how to talk to their kids about money.”

Joining Henske are Caroline Barneyauthor, inspirational speaker, and parent of two Staples High School students; John Lanza, author of “The Art of Allowance” and an expert of youth financial literacy, and Kathy Soderholm, former Wilton High School personal finance teacher and founder of The Good Bookkeeper, specializing in nonprofit organizations.

Henske’s efforts with Total Cents include a book, “It Makes Total Cents: 12 Conversations to Change Your Child’s Financial Future,” and a podcast he developed in collaboration with the Library.

Tom Henske (center) and “It Makes Total Cents” panelists.


The Westport Library, Part II:

They host many non-book events: concerts, art exhibits, even the Fashionably Westport runway show.

This one though is right down the literary alley.

Westport Writers’ Workshop’s 2nd annual Pitch & Publish Conference is set for May 20 (in-person and virtual).

It’s a chance for anyone seeking an agent, looking to learn about the industry, or hoping to meet and be inspired by authors and editors. The event includes panels, and one-on-one pitches.

Keynote speaker Courtney Maum has written 5 books, among them “Year of the Horses,” the groundbreaking publishing guide “Before and After the Book Deal,” and “Touch.”

The conference also features a welcome party May 19 at the Westport Writers’ Workshop on Sylvan Road South, a light breakfast, and a wrap party.

Individual tickets for the conference only are $350 each. Tickets for the conference, plus 2 one-on-one pitches with literary agents, are $600 (early bird discount before April 1), $675 each thereafter. Click here to register, and for more information.

Liz Matthews and Julie Sarkissian of Westport Writers’ Workshop help organize the Pitch & Publish Conference. (Photo/Elizabeth Foley)


Over 80 students attended yesterday’s “Town Hall” meeting with Congressman Jim Himes at Staples High School.

He fielded questions about a range of topics, including the economy, inflation and banking; China and foreign policy threats; climate change; his experience inside the Capitol on January 6, and his optimism for bipartisan legislation and compromise in the 118th Congress.

Congressman Jim Himes, at the Staples Library.


Pianist Ted Rosenthal headlines this Thursday’s Jazz at the Post (March 23; shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.; dinner at 7 p.m.; VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399).

He has performed worldwide as soloist, with his trio, and with greats like Gerry Mulligan, Art Farmer, Phil Woods and James Moody.

Rosenthal has released 15 CDs. His latest reached #1 on iTunes and Amazon. He has has soloed with major orchestras, and is on the faculties of the Juilliard School and Manhattan School of Music.

He’ll be joined Thursday by bassist Martin Wind, drummer Tim Horner and saxophonist Greg Wall.

Reservations are highly recommended: JazzatthePost@gmail.com.


Longtime Westport teacher Jane Fraser died peacefully in her home March 1, with her family by her side. She had just celebrated her 95th birthday.

The Illinois native began her 25-year education career In Westport in 1967. She taught at Burr Farms Elementary School until it closed, and then transferred to Greens Farms Elementary.

In the early 1980s she became the district’s K-6 literacy staff developer. During that time Jane was connected with the Writing Project, Teachers College, Columbia University. She presented workshops for teachers throughout the Northeast, and at national professional conferences.

She returned to the classroom to teach 2nd grade at Coleytown Elementary School for 5 years, before retiring in 1992.

In 1994 Jane co-authored “On Their Way… Celebrating Second Graders as They Read and Write.”

Her family says, “She enjoyed her family, chocolate, and being at the beach (in that order). She had an adventurous spirit, both intellectually and physically. She was not afraid to travel a unique path. She was always good company, with interests that stretched from classical music to books to teaching to hiking and gardening.”

Jane’s husband Julius died in 2010. She is survived by her daughters Carol and Ann, stepson Tom, brother Peter and their spouses, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Contributions in Jane’s memory may be made to Planned Parenthood or the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Jane Fraser


Yesterday was the first day of spring.

The weather was still late-winter-ish. But soon the wind will die down. The weather will warm up. And all will be right with the world.

In the meantime, enjoy today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo. It’s from Becky Keeler, taken from her deck across from the Saugatuck Rowing Club.

(Photo/Becky Keeler)


And finally … in honor of Tom Henske’s upcoming “It Makes Total Cents” financial literacy program for children and teenagers, at the Westport Library (story above):

(We couldn’t have said it better ourselves: Money does change everything. Including how well “06880” can operate. Please click here to help support our work. Thank you!)

Scenes From A Storm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Matt Murray has sent in two early scenes.

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

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

Let’s see if they’re there tomorrow.

(Photos/Matt Murray)


Roundup: 233 Hillspoint, “Guys & Dolls” Drama, Post-Election Coffee …

For a few years now, 233 Hillspoint Road has sat half-finished. Swaddled in blue, with a chain link fence and weeds, it demolishes the beauty of the Old Mill neighborhood.

But one day, it will look like this:

And — from the beach — like this:

The property is listed for sale.

What would you get for $7.9 million? (Or $4.9 million, unfinished?)

The listing says:

233 Hillspoint Rd. is an exciting, sleek and sophisticated new construction waterfront home. A truly open floor plan that is drenched in sunlight through walls of glass that frame the water from every room. This stunning, beautifully designed, four bedroom all ensuite home, will be finished with high-end, understated elegance by noted architect, Lucien Vita.

The primary suite, with a true cathedral ceiling and private balcony, is next-level. The roof-top deck is beyond cool. Soak up the sun and fresh air while entertaining and watching the fireworks and sailboats on the horizon. Walk barefoot on the champagne sands, through the-beach level covered terrace to your personal elevator that will whisk you from the garage to where your life is lived with clarity, at a pace dictated by nature, the sun, the tides and the rhythm of the waves.

Only a handful of Westport homes have this incredible, panoramic view with a sandy beach. You’re home. And your home is on the beach with crazy gorgeous views.

Click here to see more (and make an offer).


David Roth and Kerry Long — co-directors of Staples Players — missed the opening night of “Guys and Dolls” in 2009. Kerry gave birth to their daughter Lucy, just 17 minutes before the curtain rose.

Henry Carson missed opening night of the same show on Friday. His absence was at least as significant.

The senior plays Nathan Detroit. But he caught the flu, and — with very little warning — his understudy had to go on.

His freshman understudy.

Will McCrea stepped up big time. He delivered an almost flawless performance, earning a huge hand from the sellout crowd.

That may not have been surprising. Will is Jack Lemmon’s grandson.

Will McCrea as Nathan Detroit, and Jackie Peterson as Adelaide. (Photo/Kerry Long)

The rest of the cast came through too — big time as well. The acting, singing, dancing, sets, lighting and pit make this one of Players’ best shows ever. And that’s saying something.

On Saturday, 2 more actors fell ill. Freshman Graham Griffin took over as Big Jule from senior Charles Watson. Junior Finley  Chevrier went on too.

Both Will and Graham’s Players debuts were impressive. Of course, they’ve been trained well: They shared the role of Daddy Warbucks in last year’s Bedford Middle School production of “Annie.”

Graham Griffin as Big Jule. (Photo/Kerry Long)

“Guys and Dolls” continues this weekend, with performances at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday (November 18 and 19), and a Saturday matinee at 3 p.m. Click here for tickets, and more information.


The League of Women Voters of Westport invites voters (and everyone else) to a “Post-Election Coffee.” It’s Wednesday (November 16, 10 a.m., VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399, 465 Riverside Avenue).

Westport’s registrars of voters Deborah Greenberg and Maria Signore will discuss the election, and what happens now the Connecticut’s early ballot initiative has passed.


Caroline Hendley and her husband rode to Saugatuck Shores this weekend.

She sent this image for “Westport … Naturally.” Check out the Buddha on the far right. Caroline thought that its head, resting on a dock, suggests that it can calm the waters.

(Photo/Caroline Hendley)


And finally … Jeff Cook, a founding member of Alabama, died last week in Florida. He was 73, and suffered from Parkinson’s disease.

The band had 32 #1 country hits between 1980 and ’93. Several crossed over to the pop charts. Click here for a full obituary.

(Alabama is great. But Westport is better. Please click here to support “06880” — your hyper-local blog.)

Roundup: Mark Blake, Sue Pfister, Consignment Furniture …

Bagpipes played, colleagues saluted, and hundreds of mourners grieved yesterday, as Mark Blake was laid to rest.

Mark Blake leaves St. Matthew Church for the last time …

The beloved Westport Emergency Medical Services crew chief and Weston EMS volunteer died last week, after a long battle with COVID. After a funeral at St. Matthew Church in Norwalk he was buried in Westport’s Willowbrook Cemetery.

“A servant on earth, now a servant in heaven,” one admirer said.

… as friends and colleagues pay tribute. (Photos/Andrew Colabella)


As soon as Sue Pfister announced her retirement yesterday, after 35 years as director of Westport’s Senior Center, tributes began pouring in.

They’ll continue through the day she leaves the place she loves, on Imperial Avenue.

I was fortunate to interview Sue on my “06880” podcast at the Westport Library last February. To get a sense of what she means to Westport — and to enjoy her energy, wisdom, enormous commitment and lively sense of humor — click here, then scroll down to February 18.

Sue Pfister


The saga of 233 Hillspoint Road — aka “The Blue House” — may be nearing an end.

For more than 2 years, construction of a large home to replace Positano restaurant has been halted, due to permit violations. The structure has been wrapped in blue construction material ever since.

This summer, the Zoning Board of Appeals reached a settlement with the owners.

This morning, lumber was delivered to the site.

Ah, progress! (Hat tip: Totney Benson)

Lumber at 233 Hillspoint Road (Photo/Totney Benson)


Speaking of blight … a reader writes:

“The Furniture on Consignment outlet on the Post Road near Izzo’s  and Castle Wine is a junk heap, and a blight on the whole area.

“I believe that residents of Regents Park across the road have tried to do something, without success. I think the same may be  true of Castle Wine, which is next door.

“Surely the town must have regulations on the  books which enable it to address issues like this.”

Furniture on Consignment

Well … click here for a copy of Westport’s “anti-blight provisions.”

Is the consignment store simply showcasing its merchandise? Or is it “dilapidated”?

That’s above my pay grade.


Positive Directions is taking its October 6 Open House & Wellness Fair in a very positive direction.

The event (3 to 6 p.m., 90 Post Road West) includes free behavioral health and blood pressure screenings, a “sensory café,” prevention awareness activities and more. For more information, click here.


The next “Andrew Wilk Presents …” is a musical highlight.

The Emmy Award-winning TV, film, music and media producer (and longtime executive producer of Live From Lincoln Center) brings American String Quartet violinist Peter Winograd and celebrated pianist Rohan De Silva to the Westport Library on October 16 (2 p.m.).

They’ll perform — and also answer questions from Wilk. Click here for more information, and to register for a seat in the Trefz Forum.


There’s something fishy about today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

Here it is: from the Ned Dimes Marina, at Compo Beach:

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)


And finally … speaking of today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo (above):