Tag Archives: Andy Friedland

Roundup: Scarice Memo, Outpost Pizza, Sun Reflexology …


As Westport — and the nation — grapple with COVID’s Delta variant, superintendent of schools Thomas Scarice sent this notice to families:

“Greetings and Happy Summer! I hope that each of you are taking the time to rest, recharge, and most importantly, make some great memories with family and friends. As a parent, the time with my wife and 3 children feels like water through my hands…you cannot hold it, but you can feel it in the moment and you can remember that feeling forever.

“We have entered the beginning of August. This is typically the time of year that we provide some brief updates to our faculty and staff, and to our families. However, as the summer unfolded over the past few weeks, it became apparent that this will again not be a typical summer transition back to school. With that I’d like to share that we will provide updates throughout the month as soon decisions are made, and as guidance is provided to schools from the Department of Public Health and the State Department of Education.

“At the moment, the Governor has extended executive orders through September 30. This includes the masking mandate for all schools through September 30.  However, I want to caution the entire school community that there will likely be many changes in guidance provided to schools over the next few weeks. This is frustrating for parents and students. I can assure you that this is equally frustrating for faculty and staff.

“At this time, we expect to follow the mandates that are required of public schools, but to emphasize as much normalcy as permitted within areas of discretion.  Our year ended with some positive moves towards normalcy (i.e. changes to our elementary recess), and we will continue to move in that direction, where permitted, while maintaining a balance between safety and the social/emotional wellness of our students.  .

There will be much more to come. I want to assure our families that we will build off of our success at the end of the 20-21 school year to make the upcoming year a positive experience for our students. Be well, and continue to make more positive memories over the next few weeks!”

Superintendent of School Thomas Scarice was vaccinated last spring. EMT (and Coleytown Middle School theater teacher) Ben Frimmer did the honors. (Photo/John Bayers)


Six weeks after a driver (somehow) demolished the side and front of Outpost Pizza, it’s back in business.

Work on the façade of the restaurant across from Hudson Malone, near Coffee An’ and Grapevine spirit shop still continues.

But don’t worry. The best pizza — guaranteed!!! — is once again in the oven.

(Photo/Dan Woog)


One business opens, another closes: Sun Reflexology has been hit with a Stop-Work Order.

The state Department of Labor charges the massage therapy business in the small shopping plaza near Layla’s Falafel and Dunkin’ Donuts with “misrepresenting employees as independent contractors,” and “materially understating or concealing payroll.”

A phone call to the spa — and to its 2nd location, between Shearwater Coffee and the Sherwood Diner — went unanswered.


The Lone Bellow has quite a Westport following.

The Brooklyn band brought their indie-folk act to the Levitt Pavilion last night, for a benefit show. A good-sized crowd enjoyed the music, sang along, and danced (in their pods).

(All photos/JC Martin)

This week’s Levitt lineup:

  • Tonight (Saturday, August 7): Isaiah Sharkey
  • Sunday, August 8: Mimi & the Podd Brothers
  • Tuesday, August 10: Tony Trischka, Banjo Master
  • Wednesday, August 11: Elena Moon Park & Friends
  • Thursday, August 12: The Sweet Remains
  • Friday, August 13: Baskin & Batteau, and Jesse Terry
  • Saturday, August 14: The Simple Radicals
  • Sunday, August 15: Dan Levinson’s Palomar Jazz Band

Click here for times and (free) tickets.


Andy Friedland has always watched out for others. The Staples High School graduate worked with AmeriCorps, and for the ADL. Now he’s at the University of Connecticut, earning a master’s to teach English.

It’s for us to watch him. He’ll be on ABC’s “The $100,000 Pyramid” this Wednesday (August 11, 9 pm EDT) — with New York Giants legends Michael Strahan and Tiki Barber.

The show was filmed nearly a year ago. Since that time Andy has scrupulously adhered to his Non-Disclosure Agreement. Even his closest relatives don’t know the outcome.

But whatever happens: Westport knows Andy is a winner.

Andy Friedland (Photo by Harold Shapiro for Connecticut Magazine)


Jon Lindbergh — son of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, whose life the New York Times says “was shaped by the height of fame and the depths of tragedy that his family experienced” — died recently in West Virginia. He was 88.

The Times obituary mentions that his family lived in Westport. That surprised many people.

Though their time in Darien is more well known, the Lindberghs lived on Long Lots Road — on the right side, just before the Fairfield line — from 1944 to 1946. They kept a low profile, having endured both the kidnapping and murder of Jon’s 20-month brother Charles Jr. (5 months before Jon’s birth in 1932), and Charles’ unpopular political views as an isolationist and possible Nazi sympathizer during World War II.

Click here for the full New York Times obituary. (Hat tip: Peter Gold)

Jon Lindbergh (Photo courtesy of NY Times)


One last look at Sunny the Duck. He (she?) advertised Westport Sunrise Rotary’s Great Duck Race/Raffle, which was held yesterday.

He (she?) will now be deflated. Here’s hoping he (she?) will rise again next year, and that 2,000 plastic ducks will once again bob in the Saugatuck River.

Sunny the Duck, yesterday on Jesup Green. (Photo/Mark Mathias)


This week’s #FridayFlowers grace the entrance to Compo Beach. The gorgeous arrangement is courtesy of Westport Garden Club members Ginger Donaher and Tracy Pollard.

#FridayFlowers, at Compo Beach.


This has nothing to do with Westport (although many “06880” readers can relate). But this is my blog, so I’m sticking it in.

What’s up with email lists that — once you click “unsubscribe” — send you another email to confirm.

PS: This is 2021. It should not take “up to 10 days” for a request to be honored.


Elaine Clayton had never heard of a hummingbird moth. Neither had I.

But the other day, she spotted one near Bayberry Lane. It is a giant moth — but it behaves like a hummingbird. Who knew?

It’s  today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo:

(Photo/Elaiine Clayton)


And finally … if you missed the Lone Bellow last night, no problem. Here they are again:


2 For 40 Under 40

There are 169 towns and cities in Connecticut. But 2 Westporters — one current, one former — have made Connecticut Magazine’ s “40 Under 40” list. The feature celebrates 40 Nutmeggers doing interesting and/or important work, all before their 40th birthday.

Andy Friedland now lives in New Haven, but he grew up here. Here’s the magazine’s shout-out to the 2008 Staples High School graduate:

With a sharp rise in hate crimes statewide nationally and internationally in the past 3 years, Friedland’s job as associate director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Connecticut office keeps him busy.

A former team leader with AmeriCorps, he is a primary responder to combat anti-Semitism, other bias incidents and all forms of bigotry. He works with schools, law enforcement and “whoever comes into the picture” to educate people about anti-Semitism and its local origins.

Friedland has led educational programs on topics such as the Holocaust and genocide and the separation of church and state. He has lobbied for and testified for the ADL’s initiative Backspace Hate for legislation to address online harassment, including cyberstalking.

Connecticut has good laws, Friedland says, but adds that it’s important to “keep laws up to date and take on the issues that are really important and dangerous.”

Andy Friedland (Photo by Harold Shapiro for Connecticut Magazine)

Dan Orlovsky grew up in Shelton, but lives here now. His writeup says:

Orlovsky has been famous in Connecticut since he was a teenager. In 2000, the senior quarterback led Shelton High School to an undefeated season and the Class LL state championship before being named state player of the year.

Despite receiving interest from traditional college football powerhouses, Orlovsky stayed in state and attended UConn. He rewrote the school’s record book — still holding every major passing mark in Huskies history to this day — and also led UConn to the program’s first bowl game, a 39-10 win over Toledo in the Motor City Bowl in 2004. Orlovsky was named MVP of the game.

The Detroit Lions selected Orlovsky in the fifth round of the 2005 NFL Draft. Serving mostly as a backup QB in his 12 years in the league, Orlovsky was uniquely preparing himself for his second career as an ESPN football analyst.

Orlovsky was already considered a rising media star when he joined the network in 2018. Now he provides color commentary in the broadcast booth (he recently called the Camping World Bowl on TV and the Rose Bowl for radio) and intelligent and insightful analysis on studio shows including Get Up!, NFL Live and SportsCenter.

Dan Orlovsky (Photo by Melissa Rawlins/ESPN for Connecticut Magazine)

Congratulations, Andy and Dan. And to all you other Westporters under 40: Get to work!

(For the full “40 Under 40” story, click here. Hat tip: Amy Schafrann)

Staples Grads Serve America, Find Themselves

Nellie Stagg has led teams that created trails in the Rocky Mountains, surveyed endangered cacti in the Sonoran desert, transformed a burning landfill into a nature preserve in Texas, tutored struggling 6th graders in Denver, and built homes for low-income families in Oklahoma.

And those are just the highlights of 2 years of service.

“I gained a lifetime’s worth of interesting stories, and more leadership experience than some managers earn in their careers,” Nellie — a 2009 Staples High School graduate — says.

More important, though, she “learned I had the power to get things done. My team and I worked every day towards the world we want to live in.”

Nellie Stagg (center, in green) with her team. They built Habitat For Humanity homes in Oklahoma.

Nellie Stagg (center, in green) with her team. They built Habitat For Humanity homes in Oklahoma City.

Nellie was a team leader for Americorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps), a program called “the domestic Peace Corps.” Teams of 10 volunteers — between 18 and 24 years old — travel around a region in a van for 10 months. They work on diverse projects for 6-13 weeks at a time.

Every NCCC experience is different. “The mystery is part of the fun,” Nellie says. “You learn to adapt quickly to constant change.”

Both Nellie and classmate Andy Friedland served as team leaders. Both, she says, “had the transformative experience of being trusted to lead teams in the field, empowering our members to grow in sometimes unexpected and beautiful ways.”

Andy worked with HERO and Habitat for Humanity in Alabama and Florida, assembled and distributed care packages to victims of flooding after Hurricane Joaquin in South Carolina, and fixed trails at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield in Georgia.

Andy Friedland, hard at work for AmeriCorps NCCC.

Andy Friedland, hard at work for AmeriCorps NCCC.

Thrown together with a diverse group, Nellie says the “immersion experience of living and working with communities in need taught me more about poverty in America than I ever learned in a sociology textbook or documentary.”

She learned hard skills too. “If you need a trail built, a long division lesson taught, a huge hole dug, a wall built or demolished, a house weatherized, or some 2x4s cut at 45 degrees, I’m your gal.” She learned not only how to use and love power tools and pickaxes, but how to harness her strength and skills in physical labor.

NCCC covers travel costs, housing and food. They even pay a living stipend.

While serving with AmeriCorps, federal student loans go into forbearance — and the government pays the interest that accrues. Graduates of the program get an award of $6,000 to pay back student loans or put toward future schooling.

Nellie calls it “a community service road trip bonanza — hands-down the best thing I’ve ever done.” The experience catapulted her into a job managing AmeriCorps programs for the governor of Colorado. Andy works as an assistant regional director at the Connecticut office of the Anti-Defamation League.

AmeriCorps NCCC is not all about backbreaking work. Nellie got eaten by this hippo, while helping renovate a Head Start playground in Idabel, Oklahoma.

AmeriCorps NCCC is not all about backbreaking work. Nellie got eaten by this hippo while helping renovate a Head Start playground in Idabel, Oklahoma.

As Nellie watches her younger brother, JimmyRay, navigate the college process at Staples, she reflects on the expectation in Westport that everyone go immediately to a 4-year university. She wants Staples students to know that there are other options — and AmeriCorps NCCC is one of them.

She joined NCCC after graduating from the University of Connecticut. She did not know what she wanted to do next (other than not live in her parents’ basement). A former boss at the Longshore pool had joined NCCC.

Regardless of why people start, she says, everyone leaves the NCCC journey with “new friends, countless stories, a new perspective on the US, and a service ethic that stays with you.”

Nellie asked “06880” to spread the word about her life-changing experience. And, she adds, “if the whole living in a tent/church basement/empty office building with 10 other people isn’t your style, there are thousands of different AmeriCorps positions across the country to choose from.” For more information, click on www.nationalservice.gov.

Nellie Stagg's team builds a trail in Ridgway, Colorado.

Nellie Stagg’s team builds a trail in Ridgway, Colorado.