Tag Archives: Amy Chatterjee

Roundup: Staples AD, Coffee Mugs, De TAPAS …

Staples High School will soon have a new athletic director.

Vincent J. “VJ” Sarullo succeeds Marty Lisevick on February 1. 

Sarullo has spent the past 17 years as athletic director at Jonathan Law High School in Milford. Before that he was AD at Sheehan High-Wallingford and Notre Dame of Fairfield.

Sarullo currently serves as president of the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors.

Lisevick retires on January 31, after more than 2 decades in the post. The other finalist for the position, Colin Devine, spent 15 years as Staples’ boys basketball coach.

VJ Sarullo, iin 2014.

=======================================================

With 3 Starbuckses, 3 Dunkin’ Donuts, and many more places to buy coffee, Westporters use plenty of cups.

We don’t have to.

Sustainable Westport has just launched “Refill Not Landfill.”

The program encourages residents to use reusable cups and mugs at participating coffee shops to reduce waste, combat climate change, and help support small businesses.

Most paper cups used for hot coffee, tea or hot chocolate are coated with plastic to prevent leaks, so they can’t be recycled. Plastic cups used for iced coffee, tea and other drinks, often end up in the trash. It is estimated that only 5% of plastic is ever recycled.

By committing to bring their own reusable mug or cup to participating locations, residents can help reduce waste — and be entered to win monthly prizes.

Beginning this Sunday (January 15), bring a clean, reusable cup or mug to a participating location. (NOTE: They do not wash cups or mugs.)

Order a drink that’s eligible to be filled (some, like smoothies, are not).

At checkout, scan a QR code. Submit your name and email address for each drink you purchased using a reusable cup, to receive credit for your visit.

To be eligible for the monthly raffle, you must participate at least 5 times within a month.

Each month through July 15, Sustainable Westport will draw one winner, for a prize from a local business.

Participating locations include:

To add your business, email emilyabate@gmail.com.

Don’t have a mug?Purchase a Sustainable Westport “Refill Not Landfill” travel mug Thursdays at the Westport Farmers’ Market, or the Earthplace gift shop.

For more information, click here. Questions? Email admin@sustainablewestport.org.

A familiar sight in Westport. But it doesn’t have to be.

====================================================

Speaking of restaurants:

DeTAPAS celebrates its 1-year anniversary this weekend with a complimentary glass of Cava.

Carlos Pia’s Spanish gastrobar has become one of Westport’s hottest spots. A native of Barcelona, he’s brought the flavors of his native country here — and the culture and the colors too.

Pia’s Flamenco Nights, Jamon Jamoon Iberico and wine tasting, and other events have added to DeTAPAS’ allure.

Carlos Pia in his vibrantly decorated De Tapas.

=====================================================

Club 203 — Westport’s social group for adults with disabilities — held its January event at the Westport Weston Family YMCA on Saturday.

A huge turnout of enjoyed basketball, line dancing, stretching and yoga, crafts (hosted by MoCA Westport), a photo booth and snacks. Among the volunteers: Staples High School’s Service League of Boys (SLOBs).

The next event will is at the Westport Playhouse (February 2). It’s a Valentine’s dance — details soon.

Fun at Club 203.

=======================================================

Stressed-out parents, take note: S4 Study Skills is hosting a free webinar.

In “Why Course Selection is Important to the College Application Process” (January 17, 7 p.m.), college admissions counselor and Westport resident Amy Chatterjee explains what course selection reveals about motivation and focus, and how it impacts college admissions. Click here to register.

====================================================

Jazz vespers comes to the United Methodist Church of Westport & Weston.

The service combines liturgical traditions with the soulful sounds of the John Collinge Quartet.

The worship — for all ages and denominations (and a great introduction to jazz for young audiences) is Sunday, January 22 (4 p.m., United Methodist Church sanctuary).

The United Methodist Church on Weston Road.

=======================================================

There weren’t many people the other day, at Compo Beach.

But the sun is there, regardless. Naturally.

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” image was captured by Bob Mitchell.

(Photo/Bob Mitchell)

=======================================================

And finally … Jeff Beck died yesterday of bacterial meningitis, in England. He was 78.

Though never as flashy or well-known as Eric Clapton or Jimmy Page, he was a member of the Yardbirds and other very important blues-based groups.

Westport has a couple of ties to the legendary guitarist. When the Yardbirds played at Staples High School in 1966, he was part of the band.

A young photographer in New York heard they would be in Westport. She came here, and photographed Beck and a very young Jimmy Page tuning up backstage, in the choral room.

The photographer’s name? Linda Eastman.

Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, in the Staples High School choral room. (Photo/Linda Eastman)

And the offices of Connoisseur Media in Westport — owner of some of the most successful radio stations in the area — contain plenty of music memorabilia.

One of the most prized possessions hangs on the wall by CEO Jeff Warshaw’s desk. It’s a guitar, signed by Beck.

On the wall in Jeff Warshaw’s office: a guitar signed by Jeff Beck. (Photo/Dan Woog)

Click here for a full obituary.

 

Roundup: Election Day, Thanksgiving, Kristallnacht …

Pigs can’t vote.

But people can.

And everyone should. It’s the central tenet of democracy. Millions of people have marched, sacrificed, even given their lives for this country to ensure that right.

Billions of people around the world wish they had what we have.

Jolantha — Weston’s favorite pig — reminds “06880” readers, wherever in America they are, that today is Election Day.

If you live in Westport, click here for a sample ballot. (Thanks, Jeff Looby!)

If you live in Connecticut, click here to find your polling place. Then go there!

NOTE: Voters at Coleytown Middle School polling place should take the first entrance on North Avenue (the one right after Coleytown Elementary School), rather than the one at the top of the slight hill.

(Photo/Hans Wilhelm)

Turnout was light this morning. This was the scene at the Westport Library polling station.

(Photo/Dan Woog)

======================================================

Speaking of the election: It’s a bit late. And most voters have probably made up their minds.

But yesterday, Sustainable Westport said: “This year, in lieu of environmental debates (issues with scheduling), we provided candidates with questions on environmental issues and sustainability. They submitted answers at the end of last week.”

For candidates for State House District 143, click here. Candidates for District 136 did not respond. For candidates for State Senate District 26, click here.

=======================================================

Saugatuck Congregational Church will not host their traditional community Thanksgiving feast this year.

However, Westport’s Department of Human Services will once again join with the Westport Housing Authority and Homes with Hope to provide food gift cards and meals to those in need.

Those organizations are working with Coleytown Elementary School, Coleytown Middle School and Temple Israel to continue their traditions of offering homemade cards, gifts and pies.

Human Services director Elaine Daignault adds, “We are grateful to the Westport Woman’s Club. They provide grocery gift cards to distribute to food-insecure residents, and assist with the cost of specially catered meals from the Sherwood Diner for Westporters who receive home-delivered meals through the Senior Center.

For more information, contact Human Services by phone (203-341-1050) or email (humansrv@westportct.gov). “We are here to help!” Daignault says.

======================================================

With antisemitism on the rise in the nation, The Conservative Synagogue invites all Westporters to commemorate Kristallnacht — the Nazis’ “Night of Broken Glass” — this Saturday (November 12, 5:30 p.m., 30 Hillspoint Road).

The service includes Havdallah and hearing eyewitness testimony from Kristallnacht survivor Fred Behrend.

Click here to register.

======================================================

Saugatuck Rowing Club’s junior athletes won several medals at last month’s season-ending Head of the Schuylkill Regatta in Pennsylvania.

But they’re winners off the water too. The young rowers (and their parents) spent last weekend cleaning up the banks of the Saugatuck River, right by their home boathouse.

Thirty participants amassed over 300 pounds of trash. That’s 10 pounds of garbage per person.

Keep Norwalk Beautiful provided supplies. Jen and Adam Goldberg of Pop-Up Bagels donated nearly as many bagels as there were pounds of trash.

Saugatuck Rowing Club plans an encore this spring.

A small bit of the large amount of trash collected by Saugatuck Rowing Club volunteers.

===============================================

Speaking of Saugatuck: Slice of Saugatuck delivers. The September event raised $5,000 for Homes with Hope.

The 10th annual festival brought over 2,000 people to  experience, sample and taste their way through the neighborhood. To date, donations from the Slice to Homes with Hope, for use in their Gillespie Center Food Pantry, total over $40,000.

“The Festival is all about food — food for those who can afford it, and now food for those who can’t,” says Matthew Mandell, executive director of the Slice’s sponsor, the Westport Weston Chamber. “We are so pleased we have been able to make these donations each year to help ease food insecurity. It’s a win-win.”

From left: Bob O’Mahoney and Harry Brady Viva Zapata owners; Bill Rizzuto owner of Rizzuto’s; Helen McAlinden director of Homes with Hope; Matthew Mandell, Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director; Robert Curwen, Chamber member.

=======================================================

In 2010, former Red Sox pitcher John Trautwein lost his son Will to suicide. There was no sign or warning.

Trautwein and his family formed the “Will to Live Foundation.” The goal is to encourage teenagers and young adults to “talk about it,” and serve as “life teammates” for each other.

On November 17 (7:30 p.m., Town Hall), Trautwein will speak about this important topic. The event is sponsored by Westport Youth Services, the Police Athletic League, and the Teen Awareness Group.

Trautwein spoke to high school athletes in August, at the FCIAC leadership conference. His message was strong, and well received.

This program is aimed at parents, middle and high school students, coaches, and anyone who works with young people. Additional resources and counseling support will be available through Kids in Crisis and Positive Directions during and after the event.

=====================================================

Why is a college transcript so crucial?

This Thursday (November 10, 7 p.m., online), Amy Chatterjee — senior college counselor from Collegewise, — discusses what a transcript actually is, how it can “show a love of learning through courses,” and why it’s the most important part of the college application.

Click here to register.

==================================================

Usually, it’s music teachers who watch their students perform on stage.

On November 20 (MoCA Westport, 4 p.m.), faculty members of the Westport School of Music will be on stage for a special concert. “Autumn Colors” will celebrate nature’s splendor, through piano, strings, flute, guitar and voice.

Highlights include “Autumn in New York,” “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” from “Charlie Brown,” and “Autumn” from “The Four Season of Buenos Aires.”

After the concert, guests can greet the musicians, and enjoy refreshments and drinks at the MoCA Bar.

=======================================================

This week at Jazz at the Post: Spain’s “finest and most celebrated jazz pianist,”  Abé Rabade. Very popular throughout Europe, he’ll perform at VFW Joseph J. Clinton Post 399 this Thursday.

Rabade’s music blends classic Catalonian and Galician styles, along with the soulful and swinging “great jazz tradition.”

Joining in are Rale Micic (guitar), “Jazz Rabbi” Greg Wall (saxophone), David Richards (bass0 and Tim Horner (drums).

There are shows at 7:30 and 8:45 p.m., with dinner starting at 7. Tickets are just $15. Email Jazzatthepost@gmail.como for reservations.

======================================================

Longtime Westporter Joan Kahn died Saturday, in Norwalk Hospital. She would have been 98 next month.

Joan’s family described her as “feisty, independent, determined, brilliant and caring.:

A “founding mother” of modern Westport, she and her husband Ed moved to Westport in 1953 from New York City. They lived first on Charcoal Hill, then built a home on Coach Lane.

Joan’s family called her “a sounding board and encourager of husband Ed throughout his town leadership as he chaired the Representative Town Meeting, spearheaded efforts to save Cockenoe Island, positioned Westport as the first town meeting to vote against the war in Viet Nam, and was a part of the committee that bought Longshore.”

With a group of mothers, Joan started the Westport Cooperative Nursery School (now Westport Nursery School).

Joan was valedictorian of her high school class at Calhoun High School in
New York, graduated from Smith College, and earned her social work degree from Columbia University in 1952.

She was an early “career mother,” as a social worker at Norwalk Hospital, then Bridgeport Hospital, and finally in the Norwalk school system, from which she retired.

She was an avid follower of politics, curious world traveler, and consummate reader. She was also an active, loving, mother of 3 children. all of whom attended Westport schools: Karen, Shoshi
and Dan.

She also leaves 6 grandchildren — Ron, Edwina, Maya, Eli, Max  and Emma =- and 4 great-grandchildren.

Joan Kahn

======================================================

Wakeman Town Farm volunteer Thomas Schmidt stopped feeding breakfast to the animals just long enough to snap today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Thomas Schmidt)

======================================================

And finally … Alice Cooper wanted to be elected.

If you want your candidate to be elected too … head to the polls! They’re open until 8 p.m. tonight.

(Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Greens, independents, Whigs, Know-Nothings, and everyone else: Vote with your wallets. Please click here to support “06880.”)

 

 

 

Roundup: George And Pat Jensen, Kids’ Yoga, Cumby’s …

=======================================================

Due to today’s snow, the Westport Library will open at 1 p.m. today.

=======================================================

It’s 10 a.m. Are your kids bored with their snow day yet?

Here’s something they might enjoy: Carly Walker’s first yoga video aimed at youngsters. It comes from Child’s Pose Yoga, the Church Street South studio.

Namaste.

======================================================

Longtime Westporters Jørgen and Pat Jensen died peacefully, together, at their home on December 22. He was 92; she was 88.

Jorgen — known as “George” — served 9 terms on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM), and was a prominent member of the Y’s Men and their Hoot Owls singing group. He was also an avid bridge player.

Pat worked for many years for the Westport Public Schools. She also served  with the Westport Woman’s Club.

Both were active in retirement at the Senior Center, and were lifelong boaters. At the Senior Center George was in charge of the Garden Club. He grew tomatoes, and distributed them widely.

George was born in Copenhagen, and graduated from the university there with an MS in mechanical engineering.

Pat — a native of Bridgeport — graduated from Sacred Heart University.

Both were world travelers. They met while working at General Electric in Bridgeport. He worked there until retirement, in 1985.

Pat retired in 2000, after serving as director of purchasing at Staples High School. She was a master knitter and crocheter.

While on the RTM, George worked to purchase the Baron’s property, and on construction of the Senior Center and Saugatuck senior housing. Both he and Pat were active in the movement to save Cockenoe Island from becoming a nuclear power plant, in the 1960s.

George and Pat are survived by their children Elisa (John McKay), Eric (Michele Ryan) and Aline Maynard (Garth); 7 grandchildren and George’s brother Steen Folmer.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Westport Center for Senior Activities, 21 Imperial Avenue, Westport, CT 06880.

Pat and George Jensen (Photos courtesy of Westport Journal)

=======================================================

Three of Westport’s most important institutions — The Library, Wakeman Town Farm and Westport Farmers Market — are partnering for a delicious presentation.

“Dinner Disrupted: How We Eat” (Tuesday, January 11, 7 pm., in-person at the Library and via Zoom) features a conversation with market researcher and author of How We Eat: The Brave New World of Food and Drink, Paco Underhill.

The book describes how cities are getting countrified with the rise of farmer’s markets and rooftop farms; how supermarkets use their parking lots to grow food and host community events, and how marijuana farmers have developed a playbook so mainstream merchants and farmers across the world can grow food in an uncertain future. Click here to register.

=======================================================

Among other effects, COVID’s Omicron variant has created staffing shortages at businesses around town.

Among them: Cumberland Farms.

The always-reliable convenience store has posted this brief — but telling — notice on its door:

(Photo/Matt Murray)

=======================================================

Every Martin Luther King Day, I run a story on the civil rights leader’s visit to Westport — and the wood carvings that local artist Roe Halper presented to him. They hung for years in his Atlanta home.

Halper is still a working artist. Her works are now colorful and abstract.

They are so colorful, in fact, that her current exhibit — at the Westport Library — is called simply “Orange.”

It is “a warm, radiant color with positive energy,” Halper says — “exactly the message I wanted to portray as I pushed bold strokes of power on the canvases  with my Chinese brushes. A person must have a positive attitude to survive in life, and be able to be productive.”

Check out “Orange” — and many other colors — at the Westport Library Gallery.

Roe Halper, at her exhibit.

======================================================

It’s school course selection time. What to take? When? Why?

College admissions counselor Amy Chatterjee offers a free webinar on Tuesday (7 p.m.): “Why Course Selection is Important to the College Application Process.” Click here to register.

=======================================================

Today’s “Westport … Naturally” creature is perfect. A “snowshoe Siamese” cat is quite happy to stay indoors!

(Photo/Jo Shields Sherman)

=======================================================

And finally … on this day in 1904, the distress signal “CQD” was established internationally. Two years later, it was replaced by a different one: “SOS.”

Long Lots Parents Thank Principal

Amy Chatterjee sent this along, on behalf of a group of Long Lots Elementary School parents:

This past week we learned that we will say farewell to Long Lots principal Jeffery Golubchick.

He is a lifelong educator, who prior to running one of our outstanding elementary schools cut his teeth as a teacher in the New York City public school system (as did both his parents before him!).

Jeffrey Golubchick and Amy Kass. (Photo/Jenny Anderson)

He married his wife Amy last summer in New York City, where they currently live. We think it appropriate to share our thanks publicly for all he has given to the Westport community over the last 2 1/2 years.

Teachers and school administrators come in and out of our children’s lives each year. Whether they plan to stay in our community for a few years or their entire careers, the best educators behave as if they are doing their life’s work. They always look for ways to become better, more knowledgeable, more impactful.

Mr. Golubchick made it his mission to be great at his job. Whether he was focused on curriculum development, bringing the magic of live theater to the lower grades, lobbying for building improvements or taking time to visit every classroom to really know our children and hold our teachers to the highest possible standards, Mr. Golubchick honored his work by doing it the best way he knew how.

No teacher, no staff member and no child was insignificant. Every role was important and worth doing well. He never stopped trying to get better, and challenged those around him to do the same.

Jeffrey Golubchick and the Long Lots Lion, at a school party.

In life we can only hope to bring so much to a role that we fundamentally change the experience for those around us. Too many families to count have stories of Mr. Golubchick’s compassion, professionalism and dedication to this community. Probably hundreds of students have stories of positive interactions with Mr. Golubchick.

We know that any principal must walk a delicate line, simultaneously wearing the hats of disciplinarian, cheerleader, arbitrator, educational architect and advocate for many different constituents. One’s cumulative impact in these multiple roles can never be listed on a resume, and if done right will never please everyone. Mr. Golubchick’s impact will be appreciated and remembered by so many of us who were touched by it.

While Mr. Golubchick will start a new chapter, his legacy will live on for years because of his hard work. From upgrades to the building and the birth of musical theater at Long Lots, to his awareness of the evolving demographics in our community and the needs of working mothers, we will not forget the initiatives that Mr. Golubchick introduced to Long Lots.

Thank you Mr. Golubchick for everything! For giving so much of yourself to each of us, and for your passion and dedication to creating a modern education environment for our children to thrive in. Enjoy whatever will come next for you. We are sure that it, and you, will be great together.