Tag Archives: AAPI Westport

Roundup: Ramadan, Ignazio’s, Westport Inn …

On Thursday Adil Kassam, and Mehnaz and Atif Bhanjee — representatives of the Ismaili Muslim community — presented 1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker, 2nd Selectwoman Andrea Moore, and the Westport Police and Fire Departments with gifts of appreciation.

During the holy month of Ramadan, it’s traditional to visit municipal offices, to express thanks and appreciation for the valuable contributions and services they provide.

Town officials, in turn, expressed gratitude for the Muslim community’s thanks.

Town officials and Ismaili Muslim community representatives, on Thursday.

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Two Westport pizza restaurants are looking for new owners.

Ignazio’s — which after many delays opened in November 2019, just 4 months before COVID struck — is one.

A description on BizBuySell reads: “Fantastic opportunity to take over a well executed and furnished Pizza restaurant. Casual and contemporary interior with a wood fired Pizza oven as the center piece makes for a great setting. Keep the existing, highly acclaimed concept….

“Capitalize on this highly trafficked corridor on the Post Road E. in Westport with great visibility, easy access and a parking lot that can accompany 30+ cars. Indoor seating capacity of 60 plus outdoor seating.

“Seller will stay on to train incoming buyer on all operations and recipes. Add a driver(s) to your staff to capitalize on delivery. Target marketing and added delivery will definitely bolster the bottom line.”

The asking price is $275,000. Rent is $8,000 a month. Ignazio’s lease runs through 2028.

The other restaurant is Golden Pizza, in the Westfair strip mall. Less information is available; the price for this business is $85,000. Click here for details. (Hat tip: Tony Litman)

Ignazio’s Pizza.

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The Westport Inn renovation continues.

On Tuesday, May 24 (7:30 p.m.; Zoom link), the Architectural Review Board will review the proposed transformation of the long-closed hotel, from 117 rooms to 41 hotel rooms, and 10 apartments.

According to the application, the front of the building would be demolished to create better parking, circulation, landscaping, and a new addition to the west side.

The Westport Inn,

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Opening night at the Levitt Pavilion opens with Fleetwood Mac.

Well, with Tusk, anyway — the ultimate Fleetwood Mac tribute band.

The Sunday, June 12 show kicks off a season of over 50 nights of free entertainment. The Tusk show is free too.

Free tickets will be available to Levitt Pavilion members today (Saturday) at noon. Public access begins tomorrow (Sunday) at noon. Click here for tickets, and more information.

Tusk

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For those who missed the Westport Library “#StopAsianHate: One Year Later” program last week, video links are available.

Click here or below for part 1 of the documentary “We Need to Talk About Anti-Asian Hate.

Click here for the panel discussion that followed.

Up next: a Remarkable Theater screening of “Everything Everywhere All at Once” (May 19, 8 p.m.). A short film about AAPI Westport will be shown before the feature. Click here for tickets.

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Aspetuck Land Trust’s next “Lunch & Learn” is “Designing Biodiversity: Pollinator Habitat Creation, Connectivity, and Research at the Aspetuck Haskins Preserve.”

Evan Abramson leads the session this Friday (May 20, noon to 1:15 p.m.). He’ll discuss current research at ALT’s Haskins Preserve in Westport, to improve the landscape for at-risk pollinators.

Participants will receive a PDF of the Pollinator Toolkit to use on their own properties. Click here to register.

Haskins Preserve, a hidden Westport gem.

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Cheese fries and Froot Loops may not be on the menu at any Westport restaurant. But it’s the name of a one-man show at Fairfield Theater Company May 23 (8 p.m. — free!).

Westporter Mark Graham is directing Chris Fuller’s production, getting ready for Off-Broadway. The star is the son of noted Weston author Elizabeth Fuller, and grew up there.

It is described as “a true, moving and humorous story of a professional golfer’s struggle with bipolar disorder, and his unexpected journey to enlightenment.” Click the teaser below:

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Janette Kinnally sends this obituary for her mother, Janet Kinnally, who died last week at 80.

“She was a loving, kind soul that cared deeply about her family and friendships. I don’t think I ever met a person who did not remember her with great affection and fondness.

“She grew up in London, during the war, and her family of 5 girls was displaced. She lived in a convent for 5 years. When she returned back home, her father suddenly passed away when she was 15. She needed to make money and worked in many jobs, including as an usherette. She met the Beatles. She worked in England until she moved to the States to help her sister, who had moved to Connecticut.

“While on a work visa, she met my father at an insurance company at the age of 23. It was love at first sight for my father. They dated for several weeks until she told him she had to go back to England. My father wrote and said he would like to visit. He went to England, but bought 2 tickets back to the States. He asked her to move back and stay with his family.

“They got married in 1967. They had a true love story. The ones you read about in books, that you wish you had; that was their love and affection for each other. They held hands and walked every day at the beach or her favorite place, Sherwood Island, until my mom could no longer walk a few months ago. They were married for 55 years. She was my dad’s one true love.

“My mom and dad moved to Westport in 1967 and gave birth to me in 1969, her one and only child. We had a special bond. She said I taught her what true unconditional love was. I understand what she means, now that I have 2 boys (ages 16 and 11) of my own. She loved her two grandchildren, Mikhail and Andrew, more than anything.

“My mom was also a lifelong health and wellness pioneer. She sought out Eastern and holistic healing modalities throughout her life. She worked for a chiropractor, a naturopathic doctor and as a caregiver for end-of-life patients. She loved nature, gardens, the ocean and animals, and was a dog walker. She loved helping others. She was truly an amazing woman who inspired me daily.

“My mom and dad enjoyed traveling around the world. Every year they met up with her sister and brother-in-law to travel to a different destination around the globe. They had many stories to share of their adventures and the amazing people they met around the world.

“I moved back to Westport  in 2012 with my husband Andrey and my two boys, wanting to be close to my parents as my mom’s health declined from dementia/Alzheimer’s. We lived together until the end of her life.

“I feel grateful that we had the last 10 years together, so she could spend time with me and my children. We have many special memories together, but the ones I remember most are singing at the dinner table and afterwards dancing to the music from the ’50s and ’60s, or doing karaoke at our house during the holidays with our extended family.

“My mom will be greatly missed by our family every day, but her love and her life lessons and generosity of spirit will live on in us forever!

“Please make donations in her honor to the Westport Senior Center or alz.org, an organization providing support, care and research for Alzheimer’s.”

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A memorial service and reception to celebrate the life of Joel Hallas is set for Saturday, May 21 (2 p.m., the Memorial Garden of Saugatuck Congregational Church). A reception will follow also in the garden.

Joel Hallas died in November.

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Every May, hundreds of turtles from the Saugatuck River collect on the low tide island south of the Levitt Pavilion.

It started yesterday. Soon, there will be a lot more.

Tom Feeley sent today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo, taken from the west bank. That’s Grace Salmon Park in the background.

(Photo/Tom Feeley)

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And finally … if you’re wondering where Tusk — the Fleetwood Mac band that opens the Levitt Pavilion season next month (story above) got its name — click below.

 

Roundup: Best Music Community, Dog Fest, Cajal Academy …

How good a community for music is Westport?

One of the best.

That’s not “06880” talking. It’s the NAMM Foundation. They just named us one of their “Best Communities for Music Education.”

For the 10th year in a row.

Th honor comes for our public schools’ efforts to provide music access and education to all students. The application process included detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instructional time, facilities, music program support, and community programs.

Westport’s Music Department has benefited from partnerships with organizations like the Westport Library, Levitt Pavilion, PTA Cultural Arts, WestPAC and Westport Arts Advisory Committee.

Staples High School’s Candlelight Concert — involving hundreds of singers, and orchestra and band members — is one culmination of music programs at every school, and every level. (Photo/Danielle Dobin)

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The Asian American Pacific Island community — and allies — celebrate AAPI Heritage Month today (Tuesday, May 10), with a cash bar at MoCA Westport (19 Newtown Turnpike, 5 to 7 p.m.).

Mecha-Uma will be there with a food truck too. All are welcome!

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The Dog Festival returns to Winslow Park this Sunday (May 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) for its 6th run.

The event includes fun competitions (best tail wagger, best dressed, best kisser, best trick, best lap dog over 50 pounds, dog that most looks like its owner), demonstrations, Police K-9 presentations, an obstacle course, kids activities, information booths, food trucks and more.

Also on tap: over 60 pet-related vendors, caricaturists and giveaways.

Parking is available at the Westport Country Playhouse, and other nearby lots. The festival entrance fee is $10 per person, $30 for a family of 4. Proceeds benefit nonprofit organizations.

Dog owners can register for the competitions online or at the festival. To register for the competitions and for more information, click here.

The Dog Fest is sponsored by the Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce, in association with TAILS.

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Yesterday’s “06880” lead story noted that Cajal Academy — a new school based on the latest neuroscientific research, for gifted students with special education needs — was going before the Planning & Zoning Commission last night.

In a unanimous vote, the board approved the application for 25 Sylvan Road South.

Stony Brook runs next to the 25 Sylvan Road South building.

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Sunday’s pro-choice rally was sponsored by DefenDemocracy.

This Saturday (May 14, 11 am to 1 p.m.), Planned Parenthood plans an event. It too is set for the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen downtown bridge.

Click here for details.

A sign held during Sunday’s pro-choice rally. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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Among the winners of the Cultural Alliance of Fairfield County’s Daniel E. Offutt III Arts & Culture Empowerment Awards: William Felton, former chair of the Westport Arts Center who led a long effort to find, secure and improve its new home as MoCA Westport, on Newtown Turnpike.

Honored posthumously: Alexandra Korry. The Westporter was a trailblazing lawyer, educator and civil rights advocate, and the guiding spirit behind converting a 1935 Norwalk church into a space to enhance educational opportunities for underserved students, promote underrepresented local artists, and provide a welcoming space to enjoy art and music. The Norwalk Art Space opened last June, just a few months after she died.

An awards breakfast is set for the Shore & Country Club in Norwalk on June 15, (7:30 a.m.). Click here for tickets. 

Norwalk students flock to the Art Space.

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Do “Cocktails & Clams” go together?

Sure! That’s the name of Earthplace and Harbor Watch’s fundraiser, set for Copps Island Oysters in Norwalk on June 11 (5 to 7 p.m.). There’s an unlimited raw bar, hors d’oeuvres from Harbor Harvest, and wine and beer from Black Bear — plus a silent auction, live music, and very cool views.

Click here for tickets.

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Mother Nature surprises us in many ways. This little flower blooms unexpectedly, but beautifully. Spring has sprung, here in “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/JD Dworkow)

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And finally … Spinal Tap was a fake band. But Ric Parnell was a real drummer.

He was perfect for the perfectly played satirical 1984 film, “This is Spinal Tap.” He had the looks, the chops, and he was in on the joke.

Including the fact that, somehow, Spinal Tap’s drummers kept dying in bizarre ways. He himself (as Mick Shrimpton) spontaneously combusted on stage. When the fake band went out on tour in the 1990s — life imitating art — Parnell was introduced as Mick’s twin brother Rick.

Ric Parnell died this month in Missouli, Montana, of organ failure. He was 70.

But Spinal Tap lives on. Play the video below loud — all the way to 11! (Click here for a full obituary.)

Roundup: Transit $$, Farmers’ Market, The Universe …

Last night, the Representative Town Meeting voted 30-1 to restore $133,000 the Board of Finance had cut, to Wheels2U Westport’s 2022-23 budget.

Wheels2U Westport, is the Westport Transit District’s on-demand, group ride shuttle service. It takes riders from their door to the Saugatuck and Greens Farms train station platforms, and from the stations to their jobs and other places in Westport.

The restoration will keep Wheels2U operating through June 30, 2023.

Peter Gold, Westport Transit District director (and an RTM member), said he and his colleagues received over 200 letters from “all segments of Westport’s population” in support of restoring the funds.

For more information about Wheels2U, click here. For more information about the Westport Transit District’s services for the elderly and people with disabilities, click here,

A Wheels2U bus.

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If you’re starved for good news, listen up: The Westport Farmers’ Market returns to the Imperial Avenue parking lot on Thursday, May 12.

Favorite farmers return, including Fort Hill, Riverbank, Ox Hollow, Calf + Clover Creamery, Beaver Brook, Herbal Deva, Muddy Feet Flower Farm, Two Guys from Woodbridge, Bee Love Project, Horseshoe, Deeply Rooted, Popp’s, Rose’s Berry, Seacoast Mushroom, Lost Ruby and Woodland. There are a few surprises too, says director Lori Cochran-Dougall.

Prepared food vendors include fresh faces alongside those you have come to rely on for your weekly shopping and entertaining needs, including Boxcar Cantina, NitNoi Provisions, Farmers and Cooks, Simply Local, Herbaceous Catering, Badass Bagels and Parlor Pizza, among others.

After 2 years, dining returns 🙂 . Music again fills the air , kids’ activities take center stage, and chef and other demonstrations are back as well

A 10 a.m. mindful opening will be led by Pause + Purpose. A toast follows at noon, with Cross Culture Kombucha.

The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Thursday, through November 10. For more information, including a full list of vendors and programs, click here.  find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, too!

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What a sweet way to celebrate AAPI Heritage Month!

1st Selectwoman Jennifer Tooker presented the town’s official proclamation on Sunday, before an excited group of Asian American and Pacific Islander Westport families — at Saugatuck Sweets.

2nd Selectwoman Andrea Moore, Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein and RTM member Sal Liccione joined in.

To celebrate the month, Saugatuck Sweets is lighting their Westport and Fairfield stores yellow.

Happy AAPI Heritage Month at Saugatuck Sweets!

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Staples High School’s AWARE Club is not only aware of the world.

They’re doing something to help.

The acronym stands for Assisting Women through Actions, Resources & Education. It’s affiliated with local and national AWARE organizations.

The teenagers are supporting refugees their age from Ukraine and Afghanistan, who will arrive in Connecticut this summer. They’re collecting new beach towels and water bottles, so their peers can have a bit of enjoyment.

The towels and bottles can be dropped off from now through May 11. There’s a bin by the front door at 14 High Point Road (off Long Lots).

Teens who would like to join Staples’ AWARE Club — or volunteer at the “Tapas & Twilight” May 14 AWARE fundraiser, to benefit the Women’s Mentoring Network — should email info@awarect.org.

 

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The Martin Luther King Day presentation by noted author Heather McGhee — postponed from January — has been rescheduled. It’s now set for May 18 (7 p.m., Westport Library).

Her book “The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together,” spent 10 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and was longlisted for the National Book Award. Her 2020 TED talk “Racism Has a Cost for Everyone” reached 1 million views in just 2 months.

The MLK Day program also includes a recital by the Bridgeport Boys Choir, and a dance by the Regional Center for the Arts.

Click here to register for the free program in the Library’s Trefz Forum, or via livestream, and to purchase a copy of “The Sum of Us.”

The event is sponsored by the Westport Library, Westport Country Playhouse, TEAM Westport, Westport/Weston Interfaith Council, and Westport/Weston Interfaith Clergy.

Dr. Heather McGhee

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Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race returns for its 13th running on July 9. The location is new: Jesup Green.

On Sunday, the Rotarians tried out their new design. The Westport Fire Department provided the water; AJ Penna donated the front loader, to dump the ducks. In case you missed it:

The test will help the event run smoothly. Meanwhile, tickets are already on sale from any Sunrise Rotarian or online. $10,000 in prizes will be awarded — and all proceeds go to charity.

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The Housatonic Museum of Art is out of this world.

Actually, it’s just a few minutes away in Bridgeport. But they’re hosting :How Beautiful, The Universe …” — a free exhibition of 20 astrophotography prints — in association with the Westport Astronomical Society.

The Museum is on the 3rd floor of Beacon Hall. It’s open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (until 7 p.m. on Thursday).

Next Monday (May 9, 7 p.m.) there’s a special viewing and talk on the art and science of astrophotography. Right after, there’s guided use of telescopes and moon viewing in the Housatonic Community College courtyard.

Families are welcome. To reserve a seat, click here.

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Thursday is forecast to be beautiful. Which means it’s perfect for a drive-in movie.

The Remarkable Theater screens “The Hangover” with Bradley Cooper, at the Imperial Avenue lot. Tailgating begins a half-hour earlier than usual, at 6:30 p.m.; the film is at 8.

The next day (Friday, May 6) is Family Night: “Dumbo.” The length — 1 hour, 4 minutes — is perfect for young kids.

Saturday (May 7) is Mothers Day Eve. Celebrate with “Mermaids.” starring Cher and Winona Ryder — the cult mother-daughter classic.

Click here for tickets and more information.

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June is LGBTQ Pride Month. June 3 is the day it will be celebrated in Westport schools.

Westport Pride — the townwide organization — is offering “Don’t Hide Your Pride” shirts for the month, and the day. The ones with the WPS logo are fundraisers for the  fundraise for the Westport Public Schools Pride Coalition, which includes Staples High, and Bedford and Coleytown Middle Schools.

Click here to order. The deadline is May 10. Shirts can be picked up at Nice Threads in Westport on June 1.

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Nashville trio South for Winter headlines the Unitarian Church’s Voices Café this Saturday (May 7, 8 p.m., in-person and livestream).

South for Winter blends acoustic duets with folk and bluesy ballads, combining cello, guitar, mandolin and harmonies in what’s been called “a genre-bending ‘impeccable sound.'”

Voices Café and South for Winter share a commitment to social justice. A portion of the concert proceeds benefit community organizations under the Unitarian Church in Westport’s social justice programs, including anti-racism, identity and equity, immigration and refugee efforts, and projects serving under-resourced communities.

Groups of 4 or more can reserve table space. General admission is $25 per person; livestream tickets are also available. For more information and tickets, click here.

South for Winter

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Nature can be brutal. This crab learned that the hard way the other day at Compo Beach. Today’s “Westport … Naturally” food-chain photo comes courtesy of Nancy Lally, who saw similar scenes all along the shore.

(Photo/Nancy Lally)

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And finally … Naomi Judd — with Wynonna, the older half of the famed mother-daughter country music duo the Judds — died Saturday hear Nashville. She was 76.

Naomi’s other daughter, actress Ashley Judd, said, “We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness.”

The Judds had 14 Number 1 hits. They racked up 9 Country Music Association Awards. and 5 Grammys. Click here for a full obituary.

Westport Welcomes AAPI Heritage Month

Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month begins Sunday — and AAPI Westport is ready.

With a full slate of activities, the group invites all residents to learn, connect and celebrate together.

  • Kickoff AAPI Heritage Month at Saugatuck Sweets on Monday, May 2 (4:30-6pm). Get an ice cream cone discount, and hear First Selectwoman Jen Tooker’s official proclamation.
  • Join the discussion: #StopAsianHate: One Year Later (Wednesday, May 4, 6 p.m., Westport Library). The film We Need to Talk About Anti-Asian Hate will be shown. NBC News correspondent Vicky Nguyen will moderate a discussion with Connecticut Attorney General William Tong, Organization of Chinese Americans of Fairfield County president Miriam Yeung, #IAmNotAVirus founder Mike Keo, and AAPI Westport co-founder Patra Kanchanagom.  Click here to register.

Vicky Nguyen

  • Enjoy performances and food at the AAPI Festival (Westport Weston Family Y, Saturday, May 7, 2 to 4 p.m).  Mecha-Uma will sell Japanese food. Admission is free; register click here to register.
  • Cocktails, conversation and fellowship are on tap at the AAPI & Allies Happy Hour (MoCA Westport, May 10, 5 to 7 p.m.).
  • Middle and high school students are invited to an interactive workshop about AAPI History: Fighting Anti-Asian Hate with Immigrant History Initiative (May 14, Toquet Hall, 4 to 6 p.m.). Admission is free; pizza provided. Click here to register.
  • To experience the multiverse and see Michelle Yeo, watch  Everything Everywhere All at Once (May 19, Remarkable Theater, 8 p.m.). A short film about AAPI Westport will be shown too. Click here for tickets.

Fore more information click here. Sign up on Instagram (@aapiwestport) for updates.

Roundup: JoyRide For Ukraine, AAPI T-Shirts. Pickleball …

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JoyRide — the very community-minded cycling studio — teams up with WestportMoms to host a “Ride for Ukraine” fundraiser April 13 (6 p.m., 1200 Post Road East).

Five popular teachers will team up. DJ Mo will spin tunes. A minimum $25 donation is requested; proceeds go to Americares.

Click here to purchase a free class credit. Choose your bike for the April 13, 6 p.m. class. Then bring your donation the day of the ride.

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May is AAPI Heritage Month.

To get ready, AAPI Westport — our great local Asian American/Pacific Islander group — is selling t-shirts.

“Love comes in all languages,” the organization says. To prove it, the word “love” is spelled out in a variety of languages, around a heart. Click here to order.

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Congratulations to Drew Douglas and Wendy Ford!

They beat Lauren Festa and Patti Brill in the 2-out-of-3 finals of Westport Parks & Recreation’s 1st-ever pickleball tournament.

Sixteen teams competed in the single elimination event, held Sunday at Bedford Middle School. Don Christopher ran the event.

Wendy Ford and Drew Douglas, pickleball champs.

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Real-world issues — the supply chain and labor shortages — have forced Westport Country Playhouse to cancel the first preview performance of its first 2022 production, “Next to Normal.”

The pop/rock musical was set to begin tonight. Previews now run tomorrow (Wednesday through Friday, April 6 to 8). Opening night remains Saturday, April 9.

“Next to Normal” is a story about a family’s loss and endurance. The lives of what seems to be a typical suburban American family are anything but ordinary, as the mother struggles with mental illness. The musical presents the family’s story with love, compassion and spirit.

For more information and tickets, click here, or call 203-227-4177.

The Westport Country Playhouse 2022 season begins with “Next to Normal.”

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We’ve featured plenty of birds in our “Westport … Naturally” series. But this is our first mockingbird.

He (or she) sat recently on a gray Compo Beach fence, on an equally gray day. We have no idea who he (or she) was mocking.

(Photo/Jo Kirsch)

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And finally … in 1976, CB radios were all the rage. All of America, it seemed, communicated from car to car like truckers.

C.W. McCall — in reality Bill Fries, an Omaha advertising executive — picked up on the craze with an unlikely #1 song, “Convoy.”

Fries died last week in Colorado, at 93. Click here to read his full obituary. Click below to hear what the country was listening to, in that bizarre bicentennial year.

Roundup: State Of The Town, Cheesecake, Bagels …

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We have the State of the Union speech, and the clumsily named State of the State speech.

But what about Westport?

1st Selectwoman Jen Tooker and Board of Education chair Lee Goldstein address the “State of the Town” on Sunday, February 6 (2 p.m., Westport Library).

The pair will review accomplishments during the past year, and preview some upcoming initiatives. A question and answer session will follow, led by RTM moderator Jeffrey Wieser.

Questions may be emailed before and during the State of the Town to WestportSOTT@gmail.com.

The event will be livestreamed on www.westportct.gov, and broadcast on public access channels 79 (Optimum) and 6020 (Frontier). Click here to register for in-person attendance or a Zoom link. The event is co-sponsored by Westport Sunrise Rotary and the Westport Rotary Club.

 

What’s the state of our town? Find out on February 6. (Photo/JC Martin)

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Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist — and 1991 Staples High School graduate — Lynsey Addario spent nearly 3 years photographing Marieke Vervoort as she prepared to die. The Belgian woman — a Paralympics gold medalist as a wheelchair sprinter — suffered from a painful degenerative muscular disease.

Under Belgian law, she chose to end her life. Addario’s 2019 New York Times story was raw, intimate and powerful. She also wrote about what the reporting and photography of that story meant to her, personally.

Yesterday, the Times released a podcast of that story. Addario revisits that story, and all its emotions, in a riveting episode. Click here to access it. (Hat tip: John Hartwell)

In her final hours, Marieke Vervoort embraces her parents. (Photo/ copyright Lynsey Addario for New York Times)

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The Joggers Club Jr. is back for a 2nd season of fun.

Youngsters in kindergarten through 8th grade can train with accomplished athletes, including speed and strength coaches.

It “runs” (ho ho) Sundays (2 to 3:15 p.m.), from April 3 to May 22, at the Staples High School track. The cost is $49 for Joggers Club members, $99 for non-members.

The camp is open to only 35 runners, and sold out last year. To join, Venmo @TheJoggersClub.ct.

Registration opens this Sunday (January 30, 6 a.m.). Click here, then complete the waiver under the “Members” section. Once that is complete, email the name and age of the registration to TheJoggersClub@gmail.com. Confirmation will be sent within a day.

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Speaking of jogging: It’s a good way to work off any extra pounds from The Cheesecake Collection.

Westporter Anthoula Pantzos now makes beautiful, custom — and superb — cheesecakes. She grew up around the desserts — including at her family’s Greek restaurant in Stamford — and her husband (a chef) makes them too.

They come in Classic, Trendy and Seasonal varieties. Customers can also build their own. Pantzos offers 8-inch and 10-inch cheesecakes, plus mini-cakes, cheesecake bars, and special items for Valentine’s Day. Click here for the website.

Pick-up is available with 2 days’ notice. Free delivery is available on Saturdays, within a 10-mile radius of Westport.

Click here for the full story on CTBites. (Hat tip: Christine Meiers Schatz)

Anthoula Pantzos, with one of her cheesecakes. (PHoto courtesy of CTBites.com)

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Speaking of food: A Westport bagel maker has made the New York Post‘s list of “the most sought-after pastries at NYC’s best bakeries.” The paper says:

“Putting it bluntly, New Yorkers are begging for these bagels. Popup Bagels, a subscription-based bakery with roots in Westport, Connecticut, won the vaunted title of best bagel at the Brooklyn BagelFest last October.

“Owner Adam Goldberg, 47, told The Post that his bagels’ ‘fun collaborations and freshness’ make them real winners. His recent ‘awesome flavors’ range from dill pickle and caramelized onion to Utz Cheese Ball powder and Mike’s Hot Honey.”

Adam Goldberg with his Brooklyn Bagelfest award.

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As of this week, the FCIAC is allowing non-parent fans back into winter high school sports events.

The Staples gym was packed last night, for the first time in 2 years. Students from the home team and Wilton were equally raucous in support of their squad, 2 of the top in the league. The Warriors prevailed 50-47 in overtime.

The 2021-22 Staples High School boys basketball team.

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The link provided by AAPI Westport for the February 5 Lunar New Year celebration (Westport Weston Family YMCA, 1 p.m.) was broken. Registration is requested, but not required. Click here for the correct link.

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Dale Eyerly Colson — a Westport resident for over 60 years, and a 1963 Staples High School graduate — died last week in Pittsboro, North Carolina. She was 76.

While studying sociology and economics at Salem College in Winston-Salem, she met West Point Cadet Robert Colson on a blind date before the Army-Navy football game. In June of 1967, they both graduated college and were married — all in the same week.

During 54 years of marriage they lived in 7 states, courtesy of the US Army. They were apart only while Robert served in Vietnam.

When he left the Army in 1976 they returned to Connecticut. Dale joined Travelstar, a full-service travel agency started by her mother. She was influential in the industry. She wrote “View from the Bilge,” a humorous column that ran regularly in a travel industry trade publication, and started the Cruise Compendium, which offered training to travel agents who hoped to specialize in cruises.

When her mother retired, Dale took over Travelstar and led the agency to a national award.

After closing the agency in 2003, she worked for 10 years with Tauck World Discovery as a proofreader and fact checker. Her work in the travel industry was matched by her love of travel itself. She visited relatives in England and Scotland, and traveled to 5 continents.

In 2013, Dale and Robert moved to Fearrington Village in Pittsboro. Their home became known as the “house on the edge of the deep, dark woods.” Friends on social media read frequent accounts of her adventures there.

She was active in her community, editing the newsletter for Women of Fearrington, volunteering in elementary schools in Chapel Hill and Chatham County, and singing first alto with the Fearrington Village Singers.

Dale is survived by Robert; daughter Amanda (David) of Chapel Hill; granddaughters Claire of Berlin, Germany and Lucy of Chapel Hill; sister Beth van Dijk of Little Britain, Ontario, and many nieces and nephews.

Because she made an anatomical gift to Duke Medical School, no funeral arrangements are planned. Those wishing to honor her life may make donations to the Jordan-Matthews Arts Foundation in Siler City, NC or CORA Food Bank in Pittsboro, NC, 2 organizations she supported.

Dale Eyerly Colson

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Okay — so the Compo Beach jetty doesn’t qualify as “natural,” for our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

But the dusting of snow yesterday, and the waves lapping up against it, sure do.

(Photo/Betsy Amitin)

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And finally … on this date in 1858, Felix Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March” ws played at the marriage of Queen Victoria’s daughter (also named Victoria), and Friedrich of Prussia. It’s still heard 164 years later, at nearly every wedding, everywhere.

Roundup: School Visitors, Stop & Shop, Lunar New Year …

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With COVID cases decreasing, Superintendent of Schools Thomas Scarice has announced that as of January 31, visitors will be allowed back in buildings. All visitors will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative test administered 72 prior to the visit.

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Stop & Shop may still be confounding customers with its “redesign.” But they are on the ball with one thing. Last week, “06888” called the supermarket out on their flyer, which announced their “reopening” (though they never closed) as taking place in “East Westport.”

This week, they got it right:

Now, if we can just figure out where they moved the coffee to … (Hat tip: Beth Keane)

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In just a year of operation, AAPI Westport has made its mark on Westport.

Next up: a Lunar Year celebration. It’s set for the Westport Weston Family Y, on Saturday, February 5 (1 to 3 p.m.).

On tap: crafts, games and a cooking demonstration (dumplings!). Everyone is welcome.

The event is free. Registration is recommended, but not required; click here.

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Congratulations to the Staples/Stamford/Westhill girls ice hockey coop team. They’re the Ruden Report Team of the Week, following a great 0-0 tie against powerhouse Darien.

The girls practice at 5:30 a.m. — in Stamford — once a week. But you can catch them working out on Fridays after school, at the Longshore PAL rink.

The Staples/Stamford/Westhiill girls ice hockey coop team.

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Ever since COVID struck, Westporters have discovered the wide open spaces and beauty of Sherwood Island State Park. Fred Cantor took this “Westport … Naturally” photo last week.

(Photo/Fred Cantor)

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And finally … today is the birthday of Chita Rivera. The actress/singer/dancer is 89 years old.

Roundup: Rev. Patton, AAPI Westport, Staples Sports …

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Saugatuck Congregational Church has been awarded a $50,000 Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program grant. Funds allow congregations to support their pastors with the gift of extended time away from their ministerial duties and responsibilities.

Rev. Alison Patton will begin her 3-month sabbatical in June. She will volunteer with a marine conservation program in the Maldives, and spend time with her family on a regenerative farm in Costa Rica.

Patton says, “I used to think I wanted to be a marine biologist. I now know I’m not a scientist; I am an admirer of the natural world in all its rich biodiversity. In the face of a worsening climate crisis and multiplying threats to biodiversity, I believe we are called to help craft a sustainable future for our planet. I am excited to use this time to take a deep dive into 2 biodiverse environments, to witness the impact of climate change, explore what’s being done to combat it and share some of that adventure with my family.”

Kim Mathias — moderator of Saugatuck’s Church Council — says the congregation will also benefit from this time of rest and renewal.

“Spending time outdoors during the pandemic and working on this grant application have fueled SCC’s interest in environmental issues,” she notes. “While Patton is away, the congregation will deepen its connection with our local ecosystem, exploring the beautiful coastal community of Westport and surrounding towns and digging deeper into the issues surrounding climate change. They look forward to renewing relationships with one another while learning how to better protect our coastal environment.”

Rev. Alison Patton

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AAPI Westport was created in March 2021, following a rise in violence and racism against the Asian community. The mission of the group — which stands for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — is to foster a sense of belonging within the community, while increasing AAPI visibility and awareness throughout Westport and beyond.

The organizers — all mothers — hope to create an environment where their children feel proud of their heritage.

Today they launched a website. Their Instagram is @aapiwestport.

Anyone interested in helping further their mission, through financial support or volunteering time, should email aapiwestport@gmail.com.

At an AAPI rally on Jesup Green last March, a flag flew at half staff in memory of Asian-Americans killed last week in Atlanta.

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It seems like every week, the Staples High School girls swim and dive team sets new records.

The latest came at the FCIAC championships last week. And not 1, but 3 records fell.

In a big way.

Freshman Annam Olasewere set a state and FCIAC record in the 50 yard free, with a time of 22.77. Her 50.18 in the 100 yard free also set a new FCIAC record.

Senior Jessica Qi finished second in that event, with a season best 52.21. Qi also took second in the 200 free with a time of 1:56.05

The relay team of freshman Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere and seniors Ella Alpert and Jessica Qi set a new FCIAC record in the 200 free relay (1:36.27) and also won the 400 free relay (3:31.87)

Staples moves on to compete in the Class LL and state open championships. More record-setting performances may be in the works.

Winning 400 meter free relay: From left to right Ella Alpert, Annam Olasewere, Ayaan Olasewere and Jessica Qi

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Speaking of sports: The Staples High School boys soccer team raised thousands of dollars for their program — and several thousand more for Bridgeport Central High School’s soccer team — at last night’s annual Quiz Night.

The winning trivia team — Jacob Greenberger, Jackson Hochhauser Spencer Levine, Murilo Moreno, Jaden Mueller and Caleb Tobias. plus Oliver Clachko, wrestler/lacrosse player Nick Augeri and lacrosse player/WWPT-FM sports director Max Udell — answered questions like “What was the first word spoken on the moon?” (“Houston”), what is the only mammal that can fly (bats), and what is the first game played in “Squid Game” (Red Light Green Light).

They also took first place last year during COVID, when Quiz Night was virtual. This year’s event — which drew about 150 participants — returned again to the Staples cafeteria.

Quiz Night winners!

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As the weather turns cool, some equally cool classic cars turn up at Compo Beach.

Andrew Colabella spotted several — including this one, with a classic pose — over the weekend.

(Photo/Andrew Colabella)

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“Westport … Naturally” never gets tired of autumn leaf pictures.

Of course, before we know it they’ll be done. And we’ll move on to snowscapes.

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … on this day in 1932, Franklin Roosevelt was elected 32nd president of the United States.

Roundup: Change Clocks, Diwali, Veterans Day …

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Tonight — well, actually tomorrow morning — is our reward for last March.

Set your clocks back before bed. Bingo! You get an extra hour of sleep. It’s the “fall back” part of the “spring forward…” saying.

But here’s the thing: Why are we now on “Standard Time”?

It’s only from tomorrow through early March. That’s 4 months.

The other 8 months are “Daylight Savings Time.” Shouldn’t that be the standard? And maybe call these next 4 months “Nighttime Darkness Time”?

I’m just sayin’…

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Over 100 people — Hindus and others — headed to MoCA yesterday. They celebrated Diwali, the festival honoring the triumph of good over evil, light over darkness and wisdom over ignorance. It is an auspicious day, for new beginnings.

And an auspicious start for — we hope — one of Westport’s newest traditions.

For more information, including upcoming events, email aapiwestport@gmail.com. You can follow AAPI Westport — our local Asian American and Pacific Islander organization — on Instagram (@aapiwestport),

One of the many children’s activities at yesterday’s Diwali celebration. (Photo/Sarin Cheung)

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One of our nation’s most meaningful — and too often overlooked — holidays is Veterans Day.

Westport’s observance is always impactful. And seen by too few people.

This year it’s set for Thursday, November 11, outdoors in the  parking lot of VFW Joseph Clinton Post 399 (465 Riverside Avenue).

The program begins at 10:30 a.m., with patriotic music by the Westport Community Band.  The services begin at the traditional armistice hour: 11 a.m.

The program includes remarks by 1st Selectman Jim Marpe; placing of a memorial wreath by members of VFW Post 399, and “Taps.”

The public is invited. And “06880” encourages the best attendance ever.

Former Bedford Middle School teacher Kerstin Rao always planned extensive Veterans Day celebrations.

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Like many pediatricians, Village Pediatrics has begun vaccinating 5-to-11-year-olds.

One of the first to receive the COVID shot yesterday was Dr. Robin Abramowicz’s son, Gabriel Sergi. He’s shown (happily) below with Drs. Jennifer Gruen and Nikki Gorman.

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As NBC Sports’ contract ends, broadcasters around the world are battling for rights to the Premier League: world soccer’s biggest yearly showcase. The deal may reach $3 billion over 9 years.

That’s a far cry from what Westporters Joe Pierce and Norm Bierman paid a couple of decades ago. As partners in rights to the first season in the USA, they paid $45,000 — and that included all languages.

Matches were shown on Prime Network, and on closed circuit to bars.

So — in a sense — perhaps there would be no US bidding war for the English league, were it not for a couple of Westport fans who only wanted to watch their favorite teams, back in the day.

Joe Pierce

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The Camp Gallery has an opening reception today (Saturday, November 6, 4 to 8 p.m., 190 Main Street), for its new exhibit: “An Autumnal Ode to Seasons Past.”

The featured artist if Franck de las Mercedes. A portion of sales proceeds will benefit Fashion Fights Cancer. Chris Coogan and Linda Couturas play jazz, from 5 to 7 p.m.

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Regina Pape died last month in Paoli, Pennsylvania, surrounded by her family. She was 79.

The Philadelphia native graduated from Manor College. She worked as a medical secretary at Pennsylvania Hospital. Reggie lived in Westport from 1976 to 2006.

While raising her children here, Reggie volunteered with their schools and other activities. She also worked as a freelance typist and editor. She had a close-knit circle of friends here, and loved to entertain and spend time at the beach. Reggie was an avid reader and traveler.

Reggie is survived by her husband of 57 years, Morgan Pape Sr.; sons Morgan Jr. (Christine) and Timothy; daughter Regina Carron (Thomas); 5 grandchildren; sisters Judith Riley and Mary Clare Hogan, and brothers Charles Jr. and Daniel. She was predeceased by siblings John T. Sweeney and Jean Cummins.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial contribution in Reggie’s memory to The Paoli Hospital Foundation or the charity of your choice.

Reggie Pape

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo is as autumn-y as it gets.

You’ve gotta love fall leaves. Now go rake them!

(Photo/Linda Stern)

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And finally … on this day in 1860, Abraham Lincoln was elected our 16th President. He got only 40% of the popular vote though, defeating John Breckinridge, John Bell and Stephen A. Douglas in a 4-way race.