Tag Archives: Alan Fiore

Roundup: Little Barn, Kelli O’Hara, Alan Fiore …

On Friday night, Little Barn was the place to be for Hibachi Dinner.

The popular Post Road restaurant’s menu has not changed. Hibachi Dinner is the name of an equally popular band, featuring 3 Brannigan brothers — Terry, Eamon and Seamus — plus Maddy Cerito, and special guest Dylan Curran.

The place was packed. Some of the most energetic fans were members of Staples Players. A week after their great “Guys and Dolls” show closed, they were there to support Seamus, a cast member.

Friday’s Little Barn crowd.

The high school band Dulcit (Grant Hill, Freddie Aldridge, Liam Donaldson and Jake Weissman) opened for Hibachi Dinner. Last night, it was Strictly Business. (That’s the name of another local band that played.)

High school audiences don’t buy drinks at the bar. But Little Barn owner Scott Beck doesn’t mind. He’s happy to provide a venue for them, and their friends.

Kudos to him and his staff. And of course, to Hibachi Dinner, Dolcit and Strictly Business, we say: Rock on!

Hibachi Dinner (from left): Seamus Brannigan, Maddy Cerito, Terry Brannigan, Eamon Brannigan, Dylan Curran.

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Speaking of entertainment: Our neighbor Kelli O’Hara opened at the Metropolitan Opera last week as Laura Brown in the new American opera “The Hours.”

Her costars include legendary star Renee Fleming and multi-Grammy winner Joyce DiDonato.

This is Kelli’s 3rd Met appearance. She starred previously in “The Merry Widow” and “Cosi Fan Tutte.”

Brava!

Kelli O’Hara acknowledges a standing ovation, after her Metropolitan Opera debut. Joining in: Renee Fleming (white dress) and Joyce DiDonato (red dress). (Hat tip and photo: Nancy Diamond)

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Alan Fiore has done it again.

The 2021 Staples High School graduate and current Berklee College of Music student has just released his new single, “A Matter of Time.”

It’s part of an EP, with several previous songs.

It’s just “a matter of time” before Alan hits the big big big time. You heard of him first on “06880.”

Click here to listen, on your favorite streaming platform.

Alan Fiore

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Remarkable Theater closed for the season last month, with some blockbuster Halloween films.

A month later, here’s the scene at the Imperial Avenue parking lot:

(Photo/Amy Schneider)

No worries. There’s plenty of time before the 4th season begins next spring.

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Before this holiday weekend gets too far in the rear view window, here’s one more turkey-themed “Westport … Naturally” image:

(Photo/Rusty Ford)

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And finally … Irene Cara, the Academy and Oscar- Award-winning singer most famous for her title songs from the films “Flashdance” and “Fame,” has died. She was 63. Click here for a full obituary.

(“06880” is your place for all kinds of entertainment news. Please click here to help keep it coming. Thank you!)

Roundup: Real Estate, Pumpkins, Burying Hill …

2022 third quarter statistical comparisons to 2021, from Westport’s real estate market:

  • Number of houses closed: 130, down 32% from 190
  • Average closing price: $2,435,669, up 31% from $1,868,553

Comparisons year-to-date:

  • Number of houses closed: 362, down 26% from 456
  • Average closing price: $2,422,212, up 31% from $1,853,479
  • House inventory on September 30: 102, down @8% from 141.

(Hat tip: Rose Marie Colletti)

New construction underway at 2 Owenoke Park is lsited for $8,795,000.

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Yesterday’s “Oaktober” event drew plenty of visitors to Jesup Green.

The Westport Tree Board gave away white oak saplings (courtesy of Bartlett Tree Experts).

There was pumpkin decorating too, thanks to the Westport Book Shop, and Earthplace animals.

Kudos to all — and to whoever coordinated the weather. It was perfect.

Pumpkin decorating on Jesup Green. (Photo/Frank Rosen)

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Yesterday’s gorgeous weather brought crowds outdoors, everywhere in Westport.

Including Burying Hill Beach.

Even in summer, there’s usually space there to spread out. But the small Greens Farms spot was filled yesterday, with a large group enjoying the spectacular view, from atop the hill.

And — because it’s after October 1 — they brought their dogs.

(Photo/Nico Eisenberger)

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One of the town’s most popular shows — CraftWestport — returns November 5 and 6. It’s been on hiatus since COVID.

As always, the Staples High School fieldhouse will be filled with fashions, accessories, jewelry, home décor, furniture, photography, fine art, ceramics, glass, metal, wood, mixed media, skincare products, soaps, candles and more.

Gourmet specialties boutique featuring: bourbon-barrel aged maple syrup, hand-painted chocolates, teas and honey, cheese spreads, curds and baked goods.

CraftWestport brings more than 175 contemporary craftspeople and modern makers from across the country, to Connecticut’s largest indoor fine crafts festival. Net proceeds from admission fees are distributed to local charitable agencies by the Westport Young Woman’s League,.

For more information, including hours and admission, click here.


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Alan Fiore’s new song has just dropped — and it may be his best ever.

The 2021 Staples High School graduate now studies at Berklee College of Music. If he keeps making music like this, he could become one of their most famed alums ever.

Click here for your favorite platform. Click below for the YouTube version.

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Eight years ago, “06880” reported that Long Lots Elementary School teacher Jenn Giannino had donated a kidney to Sammy Brownlow — a former kindergarten student, when Jen had taught at Unquowa School. (Click here to read.

It was a hell of a story.

Anna & Raven thought so too.

The radio personalities featured it Friday on their show — in the “Helluva Story” segment.

Eight years later, it’s a story still worth telling. Click here to listen.

Sammy and Jenn, 2 days after the transplant.

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The Remarkable Theater provided incorrect information yesterday for their kids-friendly Halloween weekend double feature.

“It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” and “Curious George: A Halloween Boo Fest” will be shown on the Imperial Avenue parking lot big screen on Sunday, October 30 — not the day before. Gates open at 5 p.m.; the films begin at 6.

That’s actually a triple feature day. A very adult film — “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” — follows at 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 8.

Click here for tickets, and more information.

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No, this is not a tennis ball.

This is “Westport … Naturally” — so the photo is of a fruit.

Photographer Wendy Levy identifies it simply as “weird, falling from a tree.”

(Photo/Wendy Levy)

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And finally … happy 74th birthday to Jackson Browne!

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Roundup: Bay Street, Housing Prices, Lynsey Addario …

While “06880” readers were debating the (un)safety of the Post Road crosswalk by Design Within Reach yesterday, this happened a few yards away, on Bay Street:

(Photo via Facebook/Claudia Besen)

Incredibly, no one was hurt.

But inquiring minds want to know:

  • How on earth did that car get there?
  • What was the driver doing, besides paying attention to the road?
  • Will anyone ever use that crosswalk — or the sidewalk on Bay Street — again?

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Every Friday, a local realtor emails me a list of homes for sale.

Yesterday’s included several eye-popping asking prices: $8,795,000 (2 Owenoke Park), $6,985,000 (6 Clifford Lane), $5,500,000 (3 Kensington Place) and $4,995,000 (4 Ferry Lane East).

But what really grabbed my attention were these:

  • $3,999,999 (37 Bermuda Road)
  • $3,999,000 (13 Caccamo Lane)
  • $3,999,000 (4 Authors Way)
  • $3,999,000 (121 Imperial Avenue)

I understand why McDonald’s sells its spicy deluxe crispy chicken sandwich for $6.96: You think you’re paying $6, not $7.

But if you’re smart enough to be able to afford a home like those above, are you really stupid enough to think you’re paying $3 million, not $4 million?

Anyway: Hurry! At these prices, they won’t be on the market long.

This house at 37 Bermuda Road can be yours for just $3,999,999. (Photo courtesy of Zillow)

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Since graduating from Staples High School in 1991 Lynsey Addario has earned international renown as a photojournalist. She documents war zones, countries in crises, refugees, and — a special focus — the plight of women and girls.

On September 8 (6 to 8 p.m., SVA Chelsea Gallery), New York’s School of Visual Arts will honor Addario with its 32nd annual Masters Series Award. The next day, she’ll give an artist talk, with Times director of photography Kathy Ryan.

A retrospective  (September 2 through October 29, SVA Chelsea Gallery) looks at her career — including her long work with the New York Times, and her 2 best-selling books. Click here and also click here for details. (Hat tip: Kathie Motes Bennewitz) 

Lynsey Addario was pregnant while photographing a child dying from malnutrition in Mogadishu, in August 2011. (Photo/New York Times)

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Tomorrow night’s Levitt Pavilion show is special.

Rock-harpist Erin Hill‘s “The Music of Kate Bush: Night Scented Harp” is a full band show, with cool video projections.

Hill’s Celtic album reached #1 on the Billboard World Music Chart. She has performed with Moby, Sinéad O’Connor, Enya, a-ha, Randy Newman, Jewel, Josh Groban …

… and Cyndi Lauper. Who, of course, will also come to the Levitt, on September 30.

(Erin Hill performs at 7 p.m. on Sunday, August 28. Click here for more information.)

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Mark Noonan has an impressive sports resume.

After winning 2 state championships as a Staples High School soccer player, he helped propel Duke University to its 1st-ever national title — in any sport — in 1986.

The founder of FocalSport, an international sports and entertainment agency, Noonan has worked in high positions with US Soccer, MLS, the New York Mets, Gatorade, the Professional Bull Riders tour, and the World Surf League. He recently served as CEO of Hearts of Oaks, Ghana’s biggest soccer club.

His new gig: commissioner of the Canadian Premier Soccer League.

With its women’s team as reigning Olympic champs, its men’s team set to begin play in the World Cup this November, and Canada joining the US and Mexico as World Cup hosts in 2026, soccer in Canada is now on the world stage.

Noonan’s new position also makes him CEO of Canada Soccer Business. He will be based in Toronto. (Click here for the full Toronto Sun story.)

Mark Noonan: commissioner of the Canadian Premier League.

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Chip Young — a 3-sport athlete in Staples High School’s Class of 1968, and a soccer All-American at Brown University — died Thursday in Rhode Island. He was 72.

The former soccer, basketball and baseball Wrecker legend was known for many things: journalism, environmental activism, rabble-rousing, and a larger-than-life personality.

A lifelong Ocean Stater after Brown, he served as head of public relations for Save the (Narragansett) Bay, and as a senior fellow for communications at the University of Rhode Island Coastal Institute.

He spent over 40 years as a columnist — one-half of the “Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World” duo — for the Providence Phoenix and Motif Magazine. Motif said: “Chip’s commentary, often incendiary, generally wry and barbed, helped shape RI’s cultural and political landscape….he was a wise source of advice and support, a greatly valued contributor and a friend.”

Chip played semi-pro soccer in New England after graduation, and served as public relations director of the American Soccer League. He had also been sports editor of the Providence Eagle, controller of Bear Wear Company of Providence, a member of the Professional Soccer Reporters Association, and New England correspondent for Soccer America magazine.

Chip’s stellar athletic career may never have happened, though. Born with a hole the size of a half-dollar in his heart, he had open heart surgery in 1959. He was 9 years old — one of the first children to undergo the procedure.

“Without the operation,” he said, “I would not have been able to even participate in gym class by my teens, and probably wouldn’t have lived past my 20s.”

 

 

 

Chip Young

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Longtime Westporter and Staples High School 1964 graduate Jeff Simon died suddenly.

He was a standout swimmer, pole vaulter, cameraman and photographer, He adored nature, and photographed it adeptly.

Jeff is survived by sons Forest and Sean, brother Steve, former wife Sheryl, and companion Arline Gertzoff.

An informal memorial service is set for today (Saturday, August 27, 5 p.m., at the Burying Hill Beach picnic tables.

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Staples High School Class of 2021 graduate Alan Fiore continues to drop great tunes.

His latest — “dreamerboi” — shows off the singer/songwriter/producer/Berklee College of Music’s many talents. Click below to enjoy:

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As our summer-long drought continues to dry out our lawns and shrubs, the importance of water comes into sharp focus.

How sharp? Jo Shields Sherman sent 2 photos along. They were taken just one day apart.

Here is the scene before watering …

… and after:

(Photos/Jo Shields Sherman)

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Speaking of living things:

Tracy Porosoff spotted this Living Wall at Studio Café, in The Tailored Home at Sconset Square.

We’ve highlighted plenty of living things in our “Westport … Naturally” feature.

But never a living wall.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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And finally … speaking of drought (story above): alert (and parched) “06880” reader Gary Shure suggests:

(“06880” is your hyper-local, reader-supported blog. Please click here to donate. Thank you!)

Roundup: Rally Speaker, Cavalry Road Bridge, Wafu Brawl …

Tomorrow’s reproductive rights “Rally Against Regression” includes a high-profile speaker: Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz. The event begins at 11 a.m. Sunday, at the Ruth Steinkraus Cohen Bridge.

Last month — in anticipation of yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling outlawing Roe v. Wade — Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed a bill protecting medical providers, and patients seeking abortion care here who travel from states that outlaw it. The legislation — the first in the US — expands abortion access in the state, by expanding the practitioners eligible to perform certain types of care.

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Cavalry Road residents were up in arms recently. The long-running bridge replacement ended with a surprise: industrial-looking guardrails and a chain link fence suddenly appeared. Neighbors claimed they had not seen those in any previous plans. They appealed to officials in both Westport and Weston.

Late yesterday, Weston town administrator Jonathan Luiz said:

“The new bridge is open to traffic!

“We understand that Westport and Weston residents have concerns about the bridge. Staffs from both Weston and Westport have collated the concerns that were communicated to us in person, via email and by phone. The list was shared with the project engineer/designer who has already begun to examine each of the issues.

“At the advice of the Weston Police Chief and the Westport Police Chief, the Weston Public Works staff has performed stop sign related work near the bridge. Specifically, they have reset stop signs, repainted white stop bars on the ground, and cut back vegetation near a particular stop sign. A speed monitoring sign has also been placed near the bridge by Westport Police.

“Weston invites the public to attend a virtual meeting on Wednesday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m. for the purpose of discussing the concerns that have been raised to date. The Weston First Selectwoman, Weston Town Administrator, Westport staff, and the project engineer/designer will be in attendance. The meeting will be held via Zoom. To join via internet, use this link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84296566039 To join via phone, dial: 646-558- 8656. The Webinar ID is 842 9656 6039.”

That’s a start, for sure. But I don’t see any reference to “guardrails” or a chain link fence anywhere in the Weston town administrator’s response.

Buckle up for that July 6 meeting.

Guardrail and fencing on the Cavalry Road bridge.

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As yesterday’s “06880” noted, Chris Bousquet’s “Gloria” — an ode to Alan Sterling’s oyster boat — is the theme song for a CPTV/PBS documentary about oystering in Connecticut.

The film airs just as the craft is in its final stages of disintegration. Gloria has floated — and broken apart — in Gray’s Creek, ever since owner Alan Sterling’s death nearly 8 years ago.

Bruce McFadden regularly paddles past. The other day, he snapped this sad — and perhaps final — shot:

(Photo/Bruce McFadden)

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Wafu is technically just over the town line, in Southport. But the Post Road restaurant has many Westport fans. They’re drawn by — as its website says – “the warmth of our hospitality and our pride in offering you an elegant combination of traditional Asian recipes and innovative sophisticated dishes.”

But it just got tougher to order a sake or Kirin with your meal.

Its liquor license has been suspended by the state Consumer Protection Commission. The action came after a “brawl” there last Sunday. At least 10 shots were fired, and one person was hit.

That was not an isolated instance. The day before, a patron was assaulted there. In March, 10 minors were served alcohol. A couple of weeks before that, the fire marshal closed Wafu, due to overcrowding. And in February a bouncer allegedly pepper-sprayed 6 guests.

WTF, Wafu? (Hat tip: Chris Grimm)

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Alan Fiore — the on-fire 2021 Staples High School graduate studying at Berklee College of Music — has just released his newest song.

“Locked Up” is an indie pop/rock tune, inspired by artists like Sarah and the Sunday, COIN, Why Don’t We and Jeremy Zucker.

Click here for a “Locked Up” link. Click here for the musician/producer’s website.

Alan Fiore

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Up next at the Remarkable Theater: “Caddyshack.”

The 1980 classic — starring our much loved (seriously!) late neighbor Rodney Dangerfield — screens at 8:30 p.m. Monday (June 27); gates open for tailgating at 7:30. Click here for tickets.

Fore!

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This stunning Northern catalpa sits at the entrance to Marion Road, off the Post Road near Norwalk. It’s a great way to celebrate “Westport … Naturally.”

(Photo/Mike Vitelli)

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And finally … in honor of Monday’s showing of “Caddyshack” at the Remarkable Theatre:

(Alright — just a reminder that “06880” relies completely on reader support. Please click here to donate.)

Roundup: Battle Of Compo Hill, Willy Wonka, Take Back Drugs …

Susan Iseman subscribes to the “Today in Connecticut History” news feed. Every day, a different event is highlighted.

Today is Westport’s turn. The site cites the 245th anniversary of 1,800 British troops’ march from Compo Beach to Danbury, where they burned a supply depot.

April 26: British Forces Attack, Burn Danbury

The event — including the subsequent retreat back to their ships off Compo Beach, and the Battle of Compo Hill on April 28, when the patriots made life miserable for the invaders — is memorialized by our iconic Minute Man monument.

Click here for the fascinating story of those historic 1777 days.

Remembering 1777.

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Happy National Prescription Drug Take Back Day!

This Saturday (April 30, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Senior Center), the Westport Police Department partners with the US Drug Enforcement Administration to accept medications (pills or patches) that are no longer needed.

The Senior Center cannot accept liquids, needles or sharps. Vape pens whose batteries can be removed are okay, those whose batteries cannot be removed are not.

The service is free and anonymous; no questions are asked.

Since its inception 22 years ago, the program has removed more than 15.2 million pounds of medication from circulation nationwide.

The WPD also has a year-round collection bin in the lobby of police headquarters. Prescription drugs can be disposed of any time there.

For more information about Take Back Day, click here.

Bedford Acting Group — the middle school theatre program — returned to the stage this year after a tough, 2-year hiatus due to COVID,

The fall production of “Annie” was a success, thanks to a cast of 7th and 8th graders (and professional actor dog Sandy).

This weekend the 6th graders debut on the Bedford stage. They perform “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory,” with the help of director Ryan Smith and nearly two dozen 7th and 8th grade student directors.

The youngsters shadow Smith, run scenes and lines, create blocking, make suggestions on character choices, and step in to read when students are absent.

This is Smith’s first year at the Bedford Acting Group helm. After performing with Staples Players before graduating in 1996, he acted professionally on national tours.

He returned to his hometown and served as associate director of Bedford Acting Group alongside Kevin Slater, then helped run the program with longtime director Karen McCormick.  Now in the head role, he works with assistant director Melisa Didio.

“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” features audiovisual and special effects, and surprises in the Wonka factory. Costumes reflect the 1970s, and the set is vibrantly colored.

Among the volunteers: theatrical designer Karen Root, whose daughter Helen acts in the show, and actor Colin Walker, whose daughter Brady is a student director.

Performances are Friday, April 29 (7:30 p.m.), Saturday, April 30 (2 and 7 p.m.), and Sunday, May 1 (2 p.m.). Click here for tickets and more information.

Harper Iglehart and Samantha Skopp are double cast as Willy Wonka

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A few days ago, “06880” announced the release of Alan Fiore’s first song, “Take the Bait!”

The 2021 Staples High School graduate/current Berklee College of Music student produced, mixed and mastered it all himself.

It’s already registered over 5,000 Spotify streams, and 2,000 on Apple Music. It earned rave reviews in Darkus (which called Alan “one of 2022’s newest rising stars”) and Wolf in a Suit (“with this stunning showcase of feelings and emotions (Alan) gives life to a tale so raw and so true”).

Click here for links to all streaming platforms. Click here for Alan’s website, and more music.

Alan Fiore

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The “06880” community has been heartbroken to learn of Charlie Capalbo’s death. The 23-year-old Fairfield hockey player — grandparents Ida Chadwick and Richard Epstein live in Westport, and whose mom Jennifer Wilde Capalbo graduated from Staples — battled cancer 4 times, before succumbing on Sunday.

The emotional toll on Charlie’s family over the past 5 years has been devastating. So is the financial toll.

A GoFundMe page is helping with medical expenses. Click here for more information, and to contribute.

Charlie and his mother, Jennifer Wilde Capalbo.

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Destination Haus — the new gallery and home décor store at 56 Riverside Avenue — invites everyone for cocktails and light bites this Thursday (April 28, 4 to 7 p.m.)

Like the original store in Montauk, Destination Haus offers

Offering curated artwork, furniture, glassware, candles, pillows, pottery, home accessories and jewelry from around the globe. It’s a “destination” for anyone moving into, redesigning or redecorating their “haus.”

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Designer/entrepreneur/humanitarian/Prince Charles’ goddaughter India Hicks comes to MoCA Westport on May 12 (5 to 7 p.m.).

After a cocktail hour, she’ll chat with Connecticut Cottages & Gardens editorial director DJ Carey about her recent book, “An Entertaining Story,” and more.

Tickets include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and a copy of India’s book. Guests also get a peek at Hicks’ new collaboration with British luxury brand Tusting. Click here to purchase and for more information, or call 222-7070. Funds support visual arts, performing arts and educational offerings for the community.

India Hicks

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There’s no better sign of spring … nor a better candidate for “Westport … Naturally” than this image. Jill Grayson captured it, in her yard.

(Photo/Jill Grayson)

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And finally … in honor of Jill Grayson’s photo above:

 

 

 

Roundup: Hazardous Waste, Earth Day, Queer Cook-Off …

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Get ready to “waste” a whole day on April 23.

That’s Westport’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Day (Greens Farms railroad station, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

Sponsored by the Department of Public Works, it’s a free program for residents of Westport, Norwalk, New Canaan, Darien, Stamford and Greenwich.

Among the items accepted: gasoline, kerosene, spray paint, paint strippers, paint thinners, solvents, paints, stains, turpentine, varnishes, wood preservatives, degreasers, fertilizers, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides, bleach, charcoal lighter, cleaning chemicals, drain cleaners, mercury thermometers, moth balls, pet flea shampoos, photo chemicals, rug shampoos, spot removers, art supplies and paints.

Before bringing household hazardous material to the collection site:

  • Make sure items are clearly labeled
  • Do not mix chemicalsIncompatible products may react, ignite, or explode, and mixed waste may become non-recyclable.
  • Keep products in original labeled container.
  • Place leaky containers in clear plastic bags.
  • Tighten lids of all containers and pack items in sturdy cardboard boxes lined with paper.
  • Put boxes in the trunk or in the back of the vehicle away from passengers.
  • Leave pets and children home.
  • Keep your windows open and drive directly to the collection site.

REMINDER: Westport residents can recycle antifreeze, motor oil, batteries of any type, light bulbs and electronics at the transfer station on the Sherwood Island Connector, weekdays from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturdays from 7 a.m. to noon.

Questions? Call 203-341-1793.

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Don’t believe everything you read here.

Of course Earth Day is not today (as I mistakenly said yesterday). Which means all the events sponsored by Friends of Sherwood Island will not take place tomorrow.

The correct date for the Sherwood Island activities is Saturday, April 23. They include:

Friends’ Garden Team Activities (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the Friends’ table on East Beach across from the Nature Center).

🌱Bring a reusable water bottle; get a “Protect Our Wildlife” sticker (while supplies last).

🌱Tour the Dunes Restoration project site; plant a stem of American Beach Grass.

🌱Learn about native plant species planted for wildlife at the park; get a list for planting at home.

  • “Why Reducing Food Waste is Critical to a Sustainable Future” (9:30 to 11 a.m.).
  • “Walk Through Sherwood Island’s History (From 12,000 Years Ago)” (noon to 1:30 p.m.).
  • “Salt Marshes and Marsh Migration at Sherwood Island” (12:30 to 2 p.m.)
  • “Environmental Role of Trees at the Park”(2 to 3:30 p.m.)

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Aspetuck Land Trust celebrates Earth Day too (naturally).

Next Friday (April 22, noon) there’s a virtual “Lunch & Learn” webinar called “2/3 For the Birds.” That’s because birds need 70% (approximately 2/3) native plants to maintain healthy population levels. Click here to register.

The next day (Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. to noon, Trout Brook Valley Jump Hill Preserve), there’s a vernal pool hike with wetland scientist Edward Pawlak. Space is limited; click here.

On Sunday, April 24 (10:30 a.m. to noon, Trout Brook Valley orchard and blueberry patch), the Spring Hawk Walk returns. Raptor specialist Larry Fischer hopes to catch one or more hawks to present to the group, while discussing fascinating details about those extraordinary creatures. Space is limited; click here.

Birds need native plants to thrive.

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LGBTQ Pride Month is June.

Westport Pride gets a jump on the festivities May 19 (6 p.m.). Three teams of “chef-testants” (a local chef, plus members of the local LGBTQ community and allies) has 30 minutes to whip up an appetizer and entrée — using items in a mystery box — for 5 judges in a “Queer Cook-Off.” It all takes place in Aitoro Appliance’s Norwalk kitchens.

Celebrity chefs include Bill Taibe (owner/chef of Don Memo, Kawa Ni, The Whelk), Jes Bengtson (executive chef of Terrain Café and Amis Trattoria), and Arik Bensimon (executive chef of the Monogram Design Center).

Judges include Brian McGunagle (founder, Westport Pride), Tony Aitoro (CEO, Aitoro Appliance), Matt Storch (chef/owner of Match and Match Burger Lobster), Stephanie Webster (founder/editor-in chief, CTBites) and yours truly (Dan Woog, executive editor of “06880”).

Guests can observe the competition while enjoying hors d’oeuvres and beverages. It’s a fundraiser for Westport Pride — and a great way for the LGBTQ community and allies to get together, get ready for Pride (and eat well). Click here for tickets.

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Meanwhile, there’s always something cooking at Wakeman Town Farm.

Upcoming classes, workshops and more include:

  • “Modern Japanese Cooking with Chef Caroline Fey” (April 27, 7 to 8:30 p.m.). A 4-course menu celebrating modern flavors.
  • “Make Your Own Spa Essentials” (May 2, 7 p.m.). Do it without harmful additives. Take home your own creations!
  • “Blooming with Paints” (May 9, 6 to 8 p.m.). An art workshop brings to life a floral still life arrangement.
  • “Pizza-Making Class for Grades K-1” (May 12, 4:15 to 5:15 p.m.). Topped off with eating!
  • “Learn to Make Goatmilk Soaps” (May 21, 11 a.m. to noon or 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.). Enjoy!

Click here for more information, and to register.

Kids learn pizza-making, using Wakeman Town Farm’s own brick oven.

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Staples High School soccer fans knew Alan Fiore as a passionate, high-scoring attacker.

Music fans will soon know him as an indie pop/rock artist.

The 2021 SHS graduate — now studying at Berklee College of Music — has just released his first song. “Take the Bait!” was inspired by artists like Dayglow, the 195, the Bleachers and COIN.

Alan produced, mixed and mastered it all himself. Click here for links to all streaming platforms. Click here for Alan’s website, and more music.

Alan Fiore

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Whether you’re hunting eggs or afikoman this weekend, Jolantha has you covered.

This was Weston’s favorite pig* yesterday:

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

*Good for Easter ham; not kosher for Passover.

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Nearly every “Westport … Naturally” photo shows an outdoor Westport wonder. That’s (naturally) where most are.

Today, Molly Alger takes us inside the Senior Center for this beautiful, patriotic and Ukrainian-colorful arrangement:

(Photo/Molly Alger)

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And finally … today is April 15. It’s also Good Friday. Tomorrow is Saturday. So taxes are not due until Monday (April 18).

Still, because this is the traditional IRS deadline, we present: