The Downtown Plan Implementation Committee’s idea for Parker Harding Plaza — eliminating the cut-through from Main Street to the Post Road, in favor of 2-way traffic closer to the back entrances of stores in the lot, along with the loss of 44 parking spots — has run into heavy traffic.
A petition on Change.org has garnered over 500 signatures. It says:
“We, the undersigned, respectfully OPPOSE the Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee’s proposed plan to eliminate the Parker Harding Access Road and 44 parking spaces as part of a larger proposal to re-conceptualize and redesign Parker Harding Plaza. If approved, this proposed plan will result in a dramatic increase in traffic throughout Westport and make finding Downtown parking more difficult.
“The Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee is an appointed committee responsible for initiating and carrying out the implementation of the Downtown Master Plan. We encourage the Westport Downtown Plan Implementation Committee to propose a viable alternative that does not impose further burdens on the residents of Westport, visitors, and downtown business owners/employees.”
The proposed plan eliminates the cut-through, and reconfigures spaces. Click on or hover over to enlarge.
Meanwhile, a minute or two from downtown, Winslow Park just got a bit safer.
Mark Mathias writes: “It’s great to see an AED (automated external defibrillator) back at Winslow Park. It was missing for at least a couple of years.
“I also like that despite the ‘Call 911 for code’ label, there’s no lock on the hasp. When seconds matter, having to call for a code seems wrong.
“I hope the AED stays in the locker in case someone needs it. I also hope that the other AEDs around town have been deployed.”
AED at Winslow Park. It’s located near the Westport Country Playhouse parking lot. (Photo/Mark Mathias)
Monday’s fire on Old Hill Road destroyed the home — and all personal possessions — of a Westport family.
Grace Firth — a single mother, whose family lives abroad — along with her daughter Bria (a Coleytown Middle School 7th grader) and an aunt, Sylvia, who is with them — escaped with only the pajamas they were sleeping in.
They have lived in Westport for several years. Friends have created a GoFundMe campaign, to help.
All money raised will pay for clothing, household items, and new housing — the most urgent need. Click here to help.
A Facebook “Westport Front Porch” post by Julie Einziger Sternberg lists sizes:
Shoes (Grace 6, Sylvia 9 or 9.5, Brie junior 4); clothes (Grace medium/large size 10, Sylvia xl tops/large bottom, Brie large kids/sweats and hoodie — she loves those).
A meal train has been set up too. Click here to sign up.
Grace and Bria Frith.
“Work, Live, Ride” — a bill increasing housing density near train stations, including Saugatuck and Greens Farms — will probably not be enacted during this Connecticut General Assembly session.
Click here for the full Connecticut Mirror story.
The “Work, Live, Ride” bill could have increased housing around the Saugatuck and Greens Farms railroad stations.
Firefighters from across the region gathered yesterday evening at Assumption Church. A solemn ceremony sponsored by the Bridgeport Area Retired Firefighters honored all those who lost their lives in the line of duty.
A reception followed at the VFW.
At 6:30 a.m., 79 years ago yesterday, Allied forces began the largest sea invasion in American history. Over 350,000 soldiers and naval personnel landed on the Normandy beaches. Thousands of paratroopers assisted.
Five days later, the beaches were secured. Nearly 2,500 mile of coastline was taken. “Operation Overlord” turned the tide of World War II.
Over 5,000 Allied forces — including 2,001 Americans — were killed on D-Day. Many more perished, and were injured, during the ensuing Battle of Normandy.
Robert Loomis — a 19-year-old infantryman at Utah Beach — was fortunate. He returned home.
He was honorably discharged later, as a sergeant first class. His decorations include the Silver Star, Bronze Star, Combat Infantry Badge, Presidential Citation, Army Meritorious Citation, French and Belgian Fourrageres and the French Legion of Honor.
He and his family moved to Westport in 1958. He commuted to New York as an art director.
He was also very involved here, as a volunteer. He spent 25 years as an EMT with the Norwalk Hospital Emergency Department and Westport Emergency Medical Service. He also helped his wife with Meals on Wheels.
In 1985, Bob Loomis designed the logo for Westport’s 150th anniversary celebration.
In 1994 Loomis returned to France, for the 50th anniversary celebration of D-Day. He and fellow Westporter Clayton Chalfant visited Marigny, Westport’s sister city in Normandy.
Loomis died on June 8, 2016 — in the midst of the 72nd anniversary of Operation Overlord. He was 91. Click here for his full, fascinating, obituary.
Last night’s Representative Town Meeting session included a moment of silence for Sgt. Loomis, and all who served on D-Day. (Hat tip: Andrew Colabella)
Bob Loomis proudly displays some of his medals. The next day, he added the Croix de Guerre.
Also last night at the RTM: member Jessica Bram paid tribute to former moderator (and later, 1st Selectman), on what recently would have been his 78th birthday. Joseloff died in 2020.
Bram said: “Gordon contributed so much to Westport. He was a volunteer EMT, Westport firefighter, and what he may have been proudest of, publisher of WestportNow.com which was a groundbreaking hyper-local blog that connected us all as a community in real time.
“Gordon was so modest you might not know he had lifelong career at CBS News, the only journalist who got into the Gdańsk Shipyards — for anyone who remembers that—was an Emmy winner, served as both Moscow and Tokyo bureau chief, and sat just off camera alongside Walter Cronkite during CBS evening news broadcasts.
“I take note especially of how much he contributed to this RTM, where he was proud to serve as Mmderator for 10 years. He told me that he always wore a jacket and tie at RTM meetings to show his respect for his role as moderator….
“We have much to be grateful to Gordon for, for how much he contributed to Westport. But perhaps here especially, where he served 10 years as moderator of this RTM.”
Gordon Joseloff (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
Gordon Joseloff (Photo/Lynn Untermeyer Miller)
On July 13, “Booked for the Evening” honoree Laura Linney will entertain and enlighten an already sold-out Trefz Forum audience.
It’s a major fundraiser for the Westport Library.
Now there’s a way to see the Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actress — in the comfort of your home. And you don’t even have to live in Westport.
The Library will livestream the ceremony, and Linney’s talk. The cost is just $20. Click here for details, and to purchase a virtual link.
Speaking of the Library:
Verso Records: Volume One — the debut album from Verso Studios, which was launched Sautrday night at the Trefz Forum — is now on sale.
It’s available at the Library Store, online via Bandcamp, through the Verso Records website, and soon at record stores around the area.
The bright yellow vinyl sells for $22, and includes a digital download. A $10 digital-only version is also available.
Speaking of music at the Library:
On Monday night, the Y’s Men of Westport and Weston welcomed the Staples High School Jazz Band Combo Blue. The Trefz Forum was packed for the sextet’s 40-minute set, with Y’s Men and jazz lovers (some were both).
Click below to enjoy:
This year, Neighbors & Newcomers of Westport celebrates its 60th anniversary.
The organization — far more than a “welcome wagon” — offers an array of activities for new Westporters (and those who are not so new). Lasting friendships are formed.
All residents — members or not — are invited to their 60th anniversary celebration this Friday (June 9, 6:30 p.m.) at the Compo Beach brick pavilion.
Food and water will be provided; BYOB. And — as old-timers know: No glass!
For more information on the group, click here.
Neighbors & Newcomers enjoy a hike.
Last night’s News 12 “Crime Files” segment on the Joan Wertkin murder included interviews with family members, police officers and others — and archival footage from the days immediately after the May 24, 1989 crime.
But — despite hints that the killer is known — no names were revealed.
According to the show, however, investigators are coming close to closing the long-open case.
A News 12 “Crime Files” screenshot shows an aerial view of the Main Street shopping plaza — the site of Coffee An’, among others — behind which Joan Wertkin’s body was found.
TAP Strength celebrates the summer solstice with a special drop-in class (yoga and sound bath).
The date is June 21 (of course); the time is 6 p.m. Call 203-292-9353 or email email@example.com to register.
Today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo comes from Tom Feeley.
He shot it at 6:05 a.m. yesterday, at PJ Romano Field. It’s not edited or altered in any way. “Courtesy of Canadian wildfires,” Tom says of the bright orange hue.
And finally … wildfires are deadly. This song, however, is beautiful:
(Every day, “06880” scours Westport — and the world — for interesting Roundup features. If you enjoy this feature, please help support our work. Just click here — and thank you.)