Anne Lutz Fernandez is a former English teacher at Staples High and Bedford Middle Schools.
She’s also an author, and a contributing writer for NBC News’ “Think” website.
The other day, she started a “Think” essay this way:
“A few years ago, I was asked to phone a parent who wanted her high school senior to switch English classes. Her daughter had selected the class ‘Women in Fiction,’ but the mother wanted her to take my class instead to avoid books that would go against the family’s Christian beliefs.
“Her daughter would be welcome, I said, but warned that my course, ‘Literature of Suspense,’ might also prove problematic. The books include a lot of crime, some violent, I explained. That’s okay, she replied. Supernatural evil? Not a problem. Substance abuse? Fine. Death, demons, and drugs: all were judged inoffensive. This parent just didn’t want her daughter reading books in which characters have sex.
“Death, demons, and drugs: all were judged inoffensive. This parent just didn’t want her daughter reading books in which characters have sex.
“I’ve been pondering this exchange during Banned Books Week and as numerous states have passed legislation purportedly meant to protect America’s K-12 students from ‘discomfort’ when learning about history or contemporary issues.”
It’s a provocative, insightful essay. To read the rest, click here.
Forget the dog days of autumn. This Sunday (October 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Winslow Park) marks the return of the Westport Dog Festival.
The popular event was knocked out 2 springs in a row by COVID. But you can’t keep a good dog down.
The Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce and TAILS bring attendees — human and canine — a day filled with fun competitions, kids’ activities, demonstrations, police K9 presentations, giveaways, vendors, food trucks and more.
Piglet — the blind and deaf chihuahua — will be there. So will Earth Animal, presenting prizes for best tail wagger, best dressed, best kisser, best trick, best lap dog over 50 pounds, and the dog that most looks like its owner.
Parking is available at the Westport Country Playhouse, and lots along Post Road East. Tickets are $10 per person; $25 for a family of 4. Proceeds benefit non-profit organizations.
To register for competitions, and more information, click here.
With little fanfare, the Kings Highway North bridge by Canal Street has reopened to traffic.
In only slightly less time than it took to build the pyramids or create the NASA program that put a man on the moon, crews have completed work on a project that most Westporters never even realized was a bridge.
The new route to Wilton Road from Main Street should ease downtown traffic a bit. Fingers crossed …
Eighteen months into the pandemic, Westport moms want to know as much about COVID as possible.
So tonight (Tuesday, October 5 (8 p.m.), Westport Moms is hosting an Instagram Live session with Dr. Scott Gottlieb.
The former FDA commissioner — and current local resident — will talk about vaccines, kids, and where we go from here.
Westport Moms is a multi-platform resource. Look for @WestportMoms for tonight’s IG Live event.
Kids are talking about popularity and social anxiety.
And this week’s “Kids Are Talking” — the online, Westport-based, multi-platform show — tackles that fraught topic.
This week’s show will be talking about popularity and Social Anxiety.
What does popularity mean to teenagers today? How does pressure to fit in affect self-esteem and confidence? Do the stresses of being popular come at a price, and how important is it?
Click here for the link.
An update on the GoFundMe drive for Horace Lewis, the beloved Staples High and Coleytown Middle School custodian who suffered a devastating stroke on his anniversary in July.
The goal of $50,000 has been surpassed. Grateful Westporters have donated $54,990 so far. But more is needed, for costs not covered by insurance. He receives physical and occupational therapy, and has still not returned home. Substantial renovations will be needed to make the house accessible for him.
Click here to help Horace. (Hat tip: Andrea Cross)
Three bits of art news:
The George Billis Gallery on Main Street hosts an opening reception this Friday (October 8, 4 to 7 p.m.) for its next exhibition. Artists include Nancy Bass, Paige Bradley, Steve Cosentino and Denise Petit.
On Saturday (October 9, 1 to 3:30 p.m.), One River School of Art + Design presents a solo exhibition of work by Chuck Webster. His mediums include painting, drawing, collage and printmaking. His works are on display through December 19.
And Westporter Steven Parton has been named a Signature Member by the American Artists Professional League. That brings him one step closer to being recognized as a Living Master by the organization.
Builders Beyond Borders — the international service organization for teenagers — hosts an open house tomorrow (Wednesday, October 6, 66 Fort Point Street, Norwalk, 5:30 to 7 p.m.). Students and their parents are invited to learn more about programs and possibilities.
As of last Friday, dogs are allowed back at Compo Beach.
Yesterday — right on cue — these pooches enjoyed their freedom. Tracy Porosoff was there to capture this iconic “Westport … Naturally” scene.
And finally … Bob Moore, who played upright bass on hundreds of country music’s biggest hits, died last month in Nashville. He was 88.
The New York Times said: “Over 40 years Mr. Moore elevated the bass in country music from a subordinate timekeeper to an instrument capable of considerable tonal and emotional reach. By turns restrained and robust, his imaginative phrasing revealed a gift for seizing the dramatic moment within a recording or arrangement.” Click here for the full obituary.
Among his most noteworthy recordings: