Tag Archives: Aspetuck Land Trust

Roundup: Real Estate, Seatbelts, Lars Bolander …

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We all know that Westport’s real estate market has been hot during COVID.

But did you know that it’s the hottest in the entire state?

Our town has gained 672 people since 2019, according to CBRE. That’s the most of any place in Connecticut. Other Fairfield County towns showed strong gains too. Cities like Stamford and New Haven lost residents.

Click here for a report from WTNH-TV. (Hat tip: Tricia Freeman)

Westport has been an attractive destination for homebuyers since COVID struck. (Photo courtesy of Compass)

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Meanwhile: How has Westport handled the pandemic, overall?

Tri-state viewers will find out on Wednesday Tuesday (May 19 18, at 5:30 p.m.). ABC News7 sent a camera crew here last week.

Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell talked about outdoor dining, drive-in concerts and the Remarkable Theater.

Matthew Mandell is interviewed by ABC News7 on Church Lane.

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It’s May, which means it’s time to … “click it or ticket.”

That’s the Westport Police Department’s annual campaign to remind drivers and passengers to buckle up every time they drive or ride.

All month long — leading up to the Memorial Day unofficial start-of-summer/ let’s-hit-the-road holiday — local and state law enforcement will vigorously enforce seatbelt laws for everyone in a motor vehicle.

Connecticut law requires that all drivers and passengers in the front seat regardless of age — and all children under 16 anywhere — wear seatbelts. Fines start at $92 for the first offense.

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Attention, lacrosse (and all sports) fans. And anyone else who wants to honor our military.

Staples is the Staples High School boys lacrosse program’s 9th annual “Sticks for Soldiers” event.

The JV (12:30 p.m.) and varsity (2:30 p.m.) host Ridgefield. The Wreckers are ranked #5 in Connecticut. The Tigers are #4.

The varsity game includes a presentation of colors by the Westport Police honor guard, and a brief address by John Sabino. A Westport resident, he served as an Army Ranger in Bosnia, Kosovo and Macedonia.

Donations at the gate go to Sticks for Soldiers, which raises funds for wounded military personnel.

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Lars Bolander just opened a new store at 1300 Post Road East (opposite the Lexus dealer). It joins others in New York, Easthampton, Miami and Palm Beach.

The shop features contemporary furniture, textiles and decorative accessories from all over the world, alongside a mix of 19th century Scandinavian, European and Swedish antiques.

Highlights include tents from India, lacquerware from Hong Kong, faux Mediterranean olive trees, custom Venetian paintings and umbrellas from Bali.

The store is light, colorful and eclectic, with a mix of colors and styles. Owners were attracted to Westport by its artistic heritage, institutions like the Playhouse and MoCA, and the diversity of stores in the area.

Chris Kalachnikoff runs the Westport operation. His father and mother are involved too.

Hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Part of the new Lars Bolander store.

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Organizers of a community, outdoor art event at the Aspetuck Land Trust’s Leonard Schine Preserve (Glendinning Place, off Weston Road) are all set. The event is June 12 (2 to 6 p.m.).

They just need your art.

Works will be hung along the paths. The natural playground will be the site of live music

The prompt is: “Something about nature that makes you feel wow!” Submissions can include drawings, paintings, photos and writings. The maximum size is 15″ x 15″.

Email woodlandartexpo@gmail.com with an image of your work, or for questions. Deadline is June 1.

Part of the Children’s Playground at the Leonard Schine Preserve. Artwork will hang there on June 12.

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Susan Filan has been a trial lawyer, Connecticut state prosecutor and senior legal analyst for MSNBC.

As a child growing up in Weston, she found an arrowhead and mortar in the woods behind her house. Ever since, she’s been fascinated by the history and culture of Native Americans.

That led her to the Indigenous Peoples Law & Policy Master of Laws program at the University of Arizona Law. She just graduated, and is focusing on indigenous human rights.

She’ll start work on a doctoral degree in juridical science there. Her goal is to become an advocate and scholar, and teach, write and argue before international human rights bodies and domestic courts.

Click here for a full story on the University of Arizona website.

Susan Filan

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As the Levitt Pavilion gears up for their 2021 season, they announce another ticketed event.

The Lone Bellow takes the stage August 6, for a socially distanced concert.

Tickets for the Brooklyn group are sold in pods of 2, 4 and 6. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

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Today’s “Westport … Naturally” shot is from Ned Dimes Marina. Boaters, beware!

(Photo/Jeanine Esposito)

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And finally … in honor of “Click It or Ticket” month:

 

 

 

Roundup: Y’s Hikers, David Waldman, Amazon’s Gatsby, More


COVID has caused many organizations to move meetings online.

You can’t do that with a hiking club, though. So the Y’s Men group has adapted. They meet in smaller numbers now. They maintain strict social distance — 8 feet, just to be sure. They wear masks when they assemble.

But they still get their exercise. And their miles.

Twice a week, Chris Lewis leads 10 to 15 hikers. He knows all the trails, throughout the county.

Wednesday hikes are 2 hours long. Friday’s are more strenuous, and can take up to 3. Only heavy rain or extremely slippery conditions stop the Y’s Men.

In addition, “walkers” meet nearly every day. They avoid difficult trail conditions.

This may not be the Y’s Men’s motto. But it should be: “COVID? Take a hike!”

(Hat tip: Michael Hehenberger)

A recent hike at Trout Brook Preserve, owned and managed by Aspetuck Land Trust.
Tom Johnson (3rd from left) is a Y’s Men hiker and ALT member. (Photo/Sal Mollica)


Dave Briggs is one of the best interviewers around. He brings out the best in his subjects, in a relaxed, fun and insightful way. His Instagram Live chats are always intriguing.

And I’m not just saying that because I was a recent guest.

Today (Wednesday, January 6, 4 p.m.), he’ll chat with David Waldman. They’ll talk about the commercial realtor’s work developing Bedford Square and the west bank of the Saugatuck River, bringing Barnes & Noble downtown, and much more.

Head to @WestportMagazine on Instagram. You’ll be entertained — and learn a lot.


“Gatsby in Connecticut: The Untold Story” is ready for prime time.

Or at least, Amazon Prime.

The 70-minute movie by Robert Steven Williams — starring Sam Waterston and Keir Dullea, covering F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald’s formative summer in Westport — is available on the streaming service.

The New Yorker called it one of the best films of 2020. Click here, and judge for yourself. (Hat tip: David Meth)


David Tarqueno died on December 24 at Norwalk Hospital, from complications of COVID-19. He was 61 years old.

His obituary says, “David left behind an incredible number of friends who loved him. His personality was like no other. His presence could light up a room. His smile, his laughter and his humor will remain with every heart he touched.

“David loved fishing — he was out there every fishing season opening day. Nature and animals were an important part of his life. He was devoted to his family and friends. That devotion was selfless, his trust boundless, and love endless.”

The Staples High School graduate is survived by his parents, Joseph and Marianne Tarqueno; sister Lisa Tarqueno-Crawford; brother Peter Tarqueno, and his beloved dog Harry.

David Tarqueno


And finally … today, the Electoral College meets. Will Vice President Pence do what Joe Biden did as vice president 4 years ago (and Al Gore, George H.W. Bush and many others before him), affirming the legitimate winner of the election 2 months earlier?

Or will American democracy be launched into a parallel universe, one in which lunacy rules and losers’ temper tantrums make us the laughingstock of the world?

Fingers crossed!

Sure, It’s December. But Westport Loves A Good Osprey Story Any Time.

We don’t have a nickname.* But if we did Westport might be called “Ospreyland USA.”

Every spring we go ga-ga when the magnificent raptors return. In the past few years we’ve forced an electric utility, shopping center owner and large corporation to protect nests, move equipment — or else!

So even though our ospreys are wintering down south, we’ll highlight some important news.

The Aspetuck Land Trust owns 2 significant parcels in Sherwood Mill pond. It’s an exceptional habitat for osprey and many other bird species.

There’s long been a well-producing osprey platform on the Allen Salt Marsh Preserve there.

A couple of years ago, the Land Trust dreamed of adding another. Board member Heather Williams asked birder extraordinaire (and fellow Westporter) Tina Green for advice on a suitable spot.

Tina contacted Terry Shaw at Menunkatuck Audubon in Guilford. He donates his time building platforms around the state, and was eager to help. It would be his 99th installation in Connecticut.

Not long ago, on a calm and beautiful morning at high tide, the platform was rowed out in sections, then assembled.

Ready to row out to the site … (Photo/Nancy Moon)

Terry says it was a perfect day, a relatively easy job — and a perfect spot.

This was the 2nd osprey platform Terry built here this year. The other is behind the Nature Center at Sherwood Island State Park.

Two years ago he added the replacement platform on the southern end of the pond.

… and the assembled platform. From left: Heather Williams, Terry Shaw, Ed Haesche, Tina Green. (Photo/Deanna Broderick)

Now all we need are the ospreys to come back. Fortunately, they love Westport.

Almost as much as we love them.

Well, we do, but “Land of Entitled Drivers” is not one we’re proud of.

(To learn more about Aspetuck Land Trust, click here. Hat tip: Nancy Moon.)

Roundup: Election Day, Fall Cleanup, First Graders, More


They’re running for the same Connecticut House of Representatives District 136 seat.

But incumbent Jonathan Steinberg and challenger Chip Stephens — both Staples High School graduates, a year apart (1974 and ’73, respectively) — gladly posed for a COVID-compliant fist bump this morning, at the Coleytown Elementary School polling place.

That’s the type of politics everyone can agree on!

Jonathan Steinberg (left) and Chip Stephens. (Photo/Jack Whittle)


Meanwhile, as the nation votes, 10 Westporters are spending their 2nd day in Pennsylvania.

Part of the Biden Voter Protection Team, they found an “energized” electorate yesterday. First-time voters were excited; others said they planned their whole day around voting today.

The group fanned out in Northeast Philadelphia and Bucks County.

Bottom row (from left): Catherine Lewis, Zoe Tarrant, Nicole Gerber. Top: Lauren Cohen, Ana Johnson, Candace Banks, Kevin McLaughlin, Danielle Dobin, Jenny Perlman, Ariana Napier.


With fall yard cleanups at hand, Aspetuck Land Trust advises:

Tell your landscaping companies to make changes. You’re paying them; you don’t have to do 100% of what they recommend. Do what’s right for your yard and our environment.

For example:

Tuck in your beds. Rake leaves into your garden beds or under trees. Up to 3 inches of leaves can be stored here — and you’ll save on mulch in spring.

Mow, don’t blow. To promote biodiversity, don’t use leaf blowers. Mulched leaves are decomposed by earthworms and microorganisms,and turned into plant-usable organic matter. You can either remove the mower bag and simply go over a thin layer of leaves with your mower, or invest in a mulching lawn mower. Mulched leaves will put nutrients back into the soil.

Procrastinate: Sure, procrastinating gets a bad rap. But there are residents in your dead stalks. Little sweat bees survive the winter in hollow flower stalks, and birds shelter between dead branches. Put cutting off until the spring, to let them rest in peace.

For more information on fall clean up, click here for an article by Liz Craig from the Pollinator Pathway. And Healthy Yards of Westchester has great information about the many benefits of mulch.


Normally at this time of year, the Westport Library would be hosting 1st graders on tours, reading them stories, helping them select books and giving them their first library cards.

To cope with COVID, the Library created a “Virtual Field Trip.” First take a brief tour, see a Maker demonstration, and have a story read to them. The tour includes a link for parents to request a Westport Library card for their child.

This month, librarians will deliver the cards to each elementary school, plus a special gift: kids’ own copies of It’s Snowing by Gail Gibbons. The Library has asked administration to help them contact elementary school age virtual learners.

Questions? Email kids@westportlibrary.org.

The view from the Children’s Library. (Photo/Lynn U. Miller)


And finally … with not much going on today, I just picked a totally random song, completely out of thin air. Go figure.

Roundup: Water Conservation; Hoodies And Wristbands; Aspetuck Dogs; More


High temperatures, low rainfall and high water demands have reduced reservoir levels.

Aquarion says that Westport customers — under a mandatory, twice-weekly irrigation schedule — are asked to continue reducing water usage by 20 percent.

If the last number of your address is even, you should water only on Sundays and Wednesdays, 12:01 a.m. to 10 a.m. or 6 p.m. to midnight. If the last number is odd, watering should take place Saturdays and Tuesdays (same times as above). If you have no street number, water Sundays and Wednesdays (as above).

Based on current water demands and expected rainfall, additional mandatory restrictions may be required in the coming weeks.

Aquarion offers these tips for efficient water usage:

Outdoors

  • Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture.
  • Reduce your sprinkler setting to 2 days per week. The grass roots will grow deeper and make your grass more drought tolerant.
  • Adjust your sprinklers so they water your lawn and garden, not the street or sidewalk.
  • Turn off your irrigation system; use hand watering or drip irrigation for shrubs and flowers.
  • Inspect your irrigation system for leaks, broken lines or blockage in the lines. A well-maintained system saves you money, water and time.

Indoors

  • Turn off water while lathering, shaving, or brushing your teeth.
  • Minimize the amount of water you use for baths. Trim 1 minute off the length of your showers.
  • Wash only full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine.
  • Hand wash dishes in a pan or the sink, not under continuous running water.
  • Reuse dehumidifier water. or use a bucket to capture shower and bath water while you wait for it to warm up; use the water to water your plants.

Click here for more tips.


Amy Smith knows education. A 2011 Staples High School graduate who taught 1st and 4th grades at Long Lots Elementary School — and the daughter of Bedford Middle School 6th grade science teacher Liz Smith — she and her mom created a company with a very modern mission.

Called My Covid Color, the aim is to keep students, families and educators safe during the return-to-school process.

Their My Covid Color wristbands come in red, yellow and green. The colors indicate the wearer’s comfort level for social distancing in public.

Red means you need others more than 6 feet away. Yellow means you need others 6 feet away, while green indicates you are comfortable with people being closer than 6 feet.

Of course, they’re not just for school. Anyone of any age can wear a wristband, anywhere in public. Click here for details, and purchase information.

“06880” gives My Covid Color an A+. And a gold star too.

 


Dog lovers, wag your tails: Leashed dogs are now allowed back at all Aspetuck Land Trust nature preserves (except those specifically reserved as wildlife refuges — click here for more information). NOTE:

  • Dogs must be leashed (except for certain off-leash areas).
  • Leashes must be 6 feet or less
  • Dogs must be reined in when approaching other people (and dogs), to prevent contact
  • Owners must remove their pet’s waste.

For more Aspetuck Land Trust info, click here.


Rio Bravo restaurant on Post Road East — known for its good food, large portions and reasonable prices — is closed. The interior has already been cleaned out.

The Fairfield location remains open, however. (Hat tip: Dick Lowenstein)


Staples High School graduate Jonathan Kaner is now an economics major at the University of Michigan. He’s part of TAMID Group, which consults with Israeli startups. He was ready for an internship in Israel this summer. Then COVID struck.

In true entrepreneurial spirit, Jonathan and 2 friends — including Westporter Alex Reiner — started a clothing brand.

They’re already making high-quality hoodies, with unique features like holographic foil printing. In the works: t-shirts, sweatpants and shorts.

Jonathan’s company is Low Maintenance — that’s the name, and also the “loungewear meets streetwear” concept. Click here for products and more.

Low Maintenance: lookin’ good!


And finally … 51 years after its release, “Bad Moon Rising” sounds as apocalyptically apt as ever.

Yet despite its “voice of rage and ruin,” Creedence Clearwater Revival’s classic also contains a classic misheard lyric: “There’s a bathroom on the right.”

That’s what John Fogerty sang — with a knowing wink — at the Levitt Pavilion a couple of years ago. He’s 75 now, and despite all those earthquakes and lightning, he’s made it to 2020 looking and sounding great.

COVID Roundup: Rizzuto’s; Coffee An’; Plant Sale; More


It’s nice to hear that Westport restaurants are reopening.

It’s also nice to hear that town and civic officials are doing all they can to help.

Rizzuto’s and The Lobster Shack were back in business Friday. Owner Bill Rizzuto says, “our Planning and Zoning people and fire marshal were fantastic. And a big hats-off to Westport Weston Chamber of Commerce director Matthew Mandell, who worked tirelessly to support us all.”

Rizzuto’s offers outdoor dining Monday through Thursday 4 to 9  p.m., Friday and Saturday 12 to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 to 8 p.m. They’re continuing curbside service and delivery too. Click here to order.

The Lobster Shack is open for curbside pickup and delivery Monday through Thursday, 4 to 8 p.m., and Friday through Sunday, 12 to 8 p.m.


Also reopening tomorrow at 7:30 a.m.: Coffee An’!

(Photo/Katherine Bruan)


Aspetuck Land Trust — whose 40+ preserves have provided area residents with healthy, mood-lifting walking trails throughout the pandemic — is sponsoring its first-ever native plant sale.

It’s simple: Order online, and reserve a curbside pickup time. Plants can be picked up at Gilbertie’s Organics in Easton in 2 weeks.

Up to half of the purchase price is a tax-deductible contribution to Aspetuck Land Trust!

Choose from pollinator herb variety packs; pollinator garden kits; mailbox garden kits; shrubs and trees, and eco-type plants (plugs) for containers and gardens.

Prices range from $9 to $80.

Click here to order. To join a webinar this Wednesday (May 27, 10:30 a.m.) about the importance of planting natives, click here, then scroll down.


What’s a Sunday without former FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb on “Face the Nation”? At least this week his live-remote hometown got a shout-out on the chyron. (Hat tip: Alan Shinbaum)


And finally … sing it, Dionne!

COVID-19 Roundup: Trout Brook, Barnes & Noble Reopen; Face Mask Messages; More


After discussions with Weston officials, Aspetuck Land Trust is reopening Trout Brook Valley’s largest parking lot — the one on Bradley Road. It will be available starting tomorrow (Monday, April 27), on weekdays only. NOTE: Dogs are not allowed!

Click here for information on all 42 ATL preserves’, and their hiking trails.


Staples High School 1988 graduate Scott Froschauer is now a Los Angeles artist. He’s gotten lots of attention for works that use street signs to convey more useful instructions (like “Breathe” and “All We Have is Now”).

Longtime Westporters Ann Sheffer and Bill Scheffler — who spent part of the year in Palm Springs — are huge fans. They bought some of his work even before they knew the local connection.

Now, Ann reports, Scott is making face masks. They’re like his street signs, with messages like “Dream,” “Smile” and “Do Your Best.”

And, of course, “Breathe.” Click here to order.


Good news: Barnes & Noble is back open. Curbside pickup is available from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

That news comes from Nina Sankovitch, who has particular reason to be pleased. Her newest book — American Rebels: How the Hancock, Adams, and Quincy Families Fanned the Flames of Revolution — is well stocked there.

Anyone buying her book there will receive a nice gift: one of Nina’s American Rebels tote bags (below).

And, she promises, once the virus is gone, she’ll be happy to sign your book.


Two weeks ago, “06880” posted a video of 1970 Staples High School graduate Stephen Wall — now a tenor with the Seattle Opera — entertaining his socially distancing neighbors with a rousing rendition of “Nessun Dorma.”

This week he’s back, bolder and more rousing than ever. Here he is, with his “Friday Figaro.”


This is not stop-the-presses news: raising teenagers is hard. These days, it’s even tougher.

Tomorrow (Monday, April 27, 12 to 1 p.m.), Westport Together sponsors a webinar: “Parenting High School Juniors and Seniors During the Coronavirus Pandemic.”

The program features local mental health professionals Deb Slocum of the Staples High School Counseling Department, Karen Krupnik of Positive Directions, and director of Westport Public Schools psychological services Dr. Valerie Babich. They’ll discuss ways to develop social, academic and emotional skills needed for life after high school. To register, click here or watch on Facebook Live.

Next month, Westport Together hosts more virtual discussion groups for parents of elementary, middle and high school students. Click here for their website.


Beechwood Arts’ “Coming Out Of COVID” event planned for this Wednesday (April 29) is postponed. The reason: a death in the organizers’ family. from complications of the coronavirus.

It will be rescheduled. For more information, click here.


And finally … Dionne Warwick reminds us of a simple, yet very important, truth:

COVID-19 Roundup: Bells, Seders, Easter, Entertainment, Saugatuck Island, More

Yesterday marked one month since the Westport Public Schools closed — and the full impact of the coronavirus hit home.

The original “2-week” period has been doubled. Though there has been no word from the governor, it looks increasingly likely that schools will remain shut through June.

Four weeks ago, we could not imagine being out for 2 weeks. Now, we realize we can do this. And we can do a lot more, in all facets of our lives.

Human beings are remarkably adaptable creatures. But it takes an enormous amount of support and collaboration to adapt. Here’s a shout-out to all who have done whatever they can, to help us through that very tough first month.


It’s still too early to get a handle on the financial impact of COVID-19 crisis on Westport. When Board of Finance chair Brian Stern sat for an interview with Rob Simmelkjaer yesterday, he noted that it is too early to know about its effect on the mill rate, which will be set in mid-May. Click on the app for the full interview; download it here.

Brian Stern and Rob Simmelkjaer.


Yesterday marked Westport’s 2nd Wednesday of bell ringing. Churches, businesses, families — all got together at 5 p.m., to show support for medical personnel and frontline workers.

One of the special ringers was Rebecca Schachter. Her bell came from her dad Seth’s World War II collection. It was used by British wardens during air raids.

Eight decades later, we’re in a different war. But the bell is as important as ever.


Like many Westport families last night, the Aders and Yormarks celebrated Passover — commemorating the Israelites’ escape from slavery when God inflicted 10 plagues upon the Egyptians — in the midst of a plague. Here’s their “virtual” Seder:


Also yesterday, Governor Lamont ordered all flags lowered to half staff statewide, mourning those affected by COVID-19. Flags will remain lowered throughout the emergency.

Reader Brendan Byrne spotted a firefighter at the Saugatuck station responding immediately:


Posted without comment (though there undoubtedly will be some from readers):

“SISTD” is the Saugatuck Island Special Taxing District. It was established in 1984 to tax island property owners on the land just beyond Harbor Road for local costs — mainly road maintenance. (Hat tip: NextDoor)


St. Luke Church will livestream all Holy Week masses and services. That’s Holy Thursday (tonight, 7:30 p.m.); Good Friday (8 a.m., 3 p.m.), Holy Saturday (8 a.m., 8 p.m.) and Easter Sunday (7:30 a.m.).

After livestreaming, they’ll be available on YouTube. Click here for details.

(Photo/Julie Mombello)


Aspetuck Land Trust’s 44 preserves are still open. They’re great places to walk, de-stress, and leave the coronavirus world behind.

But — unless people start obeying the well-marked rules — they won’t be open much longer.

There is a clear “no dogs” policy. The reasons make sense: the COVID-19 virus may be spread on dog fur just like on other surfaces. Plus, the heavy volume of dogs harms wildlife.

Yet people still bring dogs. And recently, people who did not want to follow the rules went further, and ripped up signs.

Beaches and athletic fields have been closed. Aspetuck’s preserves are still open. But some entitled morons may soon put an end to that.


Just in case you haven’t gotten the memo that Westport sports facilities are closed: There are new electronic signs at Staples High School. They rotate 3 messages: “No Trespassing.” “Athletic Fields Closed.” “Area Patrolled.”

(Photo/Jennifer Kobetitsch)


With Westport’s schools and town buildings shut, the Westport Public Art Collections presents 2 new online exhibits. They feature artwork that’s part of the new Learning Galleries — spaces at each school for displays responding to teacher requests.

Click here for “Face to Face: Looking at Portraits from the Westport Public Art Collections.” Click here for “Ties that Bind: Westport and Yangzhou.”  For more, click on the WestPAC website.


If you’ve been de-cluttering your house like crazy: Good news! Goodwill donation centers are open.

Goodwill’s career centers are open too — virtually. That’s a great resource for people looking for work. Click here for more info, and/or to make an appointment with a job counselor.


John Richers spent 40 ears in corporate finance. He owned a couple of guitars and harmonicas that were gathering dust, but for the past 5 years he’s attended a weekly jam group with “musicians of a certain age.” Now also done open mic shows, covering Dylan, Tom Petty, Neil Young and the like.

Now — in the new normal — John has started writing songs. H ejust began posting them on YouTube. Who knows? With a push from “06880” readers (and perhaps a nudge from Weston’s Keith Richards — see why below), the Westporter may soon be a pandemic star.


Richard Epstein — the Westport dentist who moonlights as a WPKN programmer — wants everyone to know that the 89.5 FM station is livestreaming a “Global Dance Party” tomorrow (Friday, April 10) from noon to midnight.

All hosts are live — from their homes. Among them: Talking Heads drummer and Sturges Highway resident Chris Frantz playing disco, house and funk, and Westonite Eric Cocks (surf, garage, psych).

Other genres include big band, swing, bluegrass, American and roots, Middle Eastern, ska, dance hall, hip hop, salsa, Latin, Afrobeat, blues, rockabilly, Bollywood, new wave, punk, and unclassifiable.


Stew Leonard’s has changed their minds. They will be open on Easter: 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.


And finally, because this is our new reality:

Leave Leaves Alone!

Last weekend’s “06880” post about Westport’s leaf collection program — which included a brief note at the end about the alternative of composting — drew approving comments from readers. 

Alert — and environmentally conscious — reader Bill Kutik followed up with some information on alternatives to leaf blowers from Aspetuck Land Trust. They say:

Hate the sound of leaf blowers ?

You can leave the leaves alone! You really can leave them on your lawn.

Here are 3 simple steps this fall to do less, and help nature more.

Mulch Leaves on Lawns

Leaves are not litter! Mulch mow these leaves right into the lawn. This adds organic matter and nutrients to the soil, which is good for the grass, prevents weeds, and reduces need for fertilizer in the spring. Here’s a video about how to mulch mow. It really is as simple as mowing over the leaves on the lawn.

Leave Leaves in Beds

Leave leaves in your garden beds. They will decompose, adding nutrients and organic matter to your soil, improving drainage and water retention as well as feeding beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

If you must cut back your plants, just leave the cuttings in the bed so the insects and birds can benefit from them. Birds also love last season’s garden debris for spring nest building.

Ease up on the Leaf Blower

If you love nature, ease up on the leaf blower. Aside from the horrendous noise (90-120 decibels) — which in itself is harmful to all sorts of creatures (including human’s ears) — butterfly eggs will be blown far away; luna moths wrapped in leaves will be totally blasted, and frogs and salamanders, snuggled in moist seclusion, will be ripped apart by hurricane-force winds (180-200mph).

If you use landscapers, please tell them you don’t want them using leaf blowers anywhere except on hardscapes. Mulch-mow the lawns. and let nature settle down for the winter.

The Bottom Line…

Tell friends and neighbors to “leave leaves alone.”

Leaves are not litter; they are nutrients for your lawn and garden. Leave them on your property. It’s less work for you — and it’s better for the planet.

Celebrate fall — don’t blow it!

(For more details on what to do with autumn leaves, click here.)

Eventually, fall leaves fall. What are you going to do with those leaves? (Photo/Andrew Colabella)

Photo Challenge #244

Whenever I post a photo of a bucolic, water-rippling-over-boulders, looks-like-Vermont-but-it’s-actually-Westport shot, the default response is: the Saugatuck, River, at Ford Road.

Sure, that’s one of Westport’s most beautiful, underrated spots.

But it’s not the only one.

Last week’s Photo Challenge showed a scene that readers thought was Ford Road. (Click here to see.) In fact, it was Newman Poses Preserve. The river is the Aspetuck.

Leigh Gage was first with the correct answer. Seth Schachter, Jonathan McClure and Alice Ely followed soon.

This hidden gem — located off Bayberry Lane and Easton Road — is the only public memorial approved by the family of the late Paul Newman as a way to honor the actor/philanthropist/race car driver/popcorn and salad dressing king. He lived nearby, and donated much of the land for the preserve.

The parcel also includes land sold to the town by Lillian Poses, a neighbor and friend of the Newmans. She worked on the New Deal in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s administration, and was one of the first female graduates of NYU Law School.

Newman Poses Preserve is managed by the Aspetuck Land Trust. For more information, click here.

This week’s Photo Challenge is also wonderfully scenic. If you know where in Westport you’d see this — and everyone here has — click “Comments” below.

(Photo/Larry Untermeyer)