Tag Archives: B3

Roundup: Dog Festival, Banned Books, Social Anxiety,

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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.

Anne Lutz Fernandez

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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.

This guy loved the 2017 Dog Festival. (Photo/Dan Woog)

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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 …

A welcome sight, once again. (Photo courtesy of Google Street View)

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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.

Dr. Scott Gottlieb

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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.

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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)

Horace Lewis

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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.

Steven Parton, with one of his works.

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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.

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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.

(Photo/Tracy Porosoff)

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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:

Roundup: B3, Earthplace, Butterflies …

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Hard to believe, but B3 starting its 30th year of helping teenagers build character and responsibility while improving communities in need at home and around the world.

Enrollment is open for both the local (Fairfield County) program (8th graders) and the traditional high school (Latin America) program.

Since 1992, B3 has volunteered in 13 countries, with over 7,000 volunteers. This year they’ll construct facilities in Guatemala.

There’s an open house with more information tomorrow (Thursday, September 2), and another on October 6. Both are from 5:30 to 7 p.m., at the B3 office (66 Fort Point Street, Norwalk). Click here to register. Click here for the B3 website.

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Earthplace is gearing up for 2 great events. One is for adults; the other is family friendly.

The (adult) event — “Woodside Bash” — includes a harvest dinner under the stars, open bar, mechanical bull and music by the party band Pimpinella. It’s Saturday, October 2 (7 to 10 p.m.). Click here for tickets.

The next day (Sunday, October 3, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) is a Family Festival. Activities include a climbing wall, apple slingshot, donuts on a string, pumpkin bowling, hayride, corn pool, food trucks and more. Kids under 2 go free!

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Thomas McCarthy died peacefully at his Westport home on Sunday. He was surrounded by his children, holding the hand of his wife of 61 years, Mary, who he called the most beautiful woman in the world. He was 89 years old.

He was a member of the Class of 1954 at Dartmouth College. After serving in the Army in Berlin, he purchased a 1-way Greyhound tickeet to New York City.

Within a week he met the love of his life, Mary, at a St. Patrick’s Day CYO dance on 7th Avenue, and embarked on a successful career in the insurance industry.

Thomas worked for almost 40 years for General Reinsurance Corporation, where he spearheaded groundbreaking innovations in the pricing of reinsurance policies for individual properties. His department was known for its underwriting profitability for many years. He was a great leader and mentor for many. His career culminated with successful international assignments in London and China.

While he traveled the world extensively, he felt there was no better place to be than the front porch of his home in Westport, which he called the most beautiful place on Earth.

Thomas was deeply curious, with a passion for the world, and an extraordinary eye for beauty and the works of talented artists and artisans. In addition to his collection of children, he amassed a world-class collection of antique and modern glass paperweights. He cultivated a spectacular rose garden that brought beauty and joy to many.

A lifelong lover of golf, he played many of the world’s greatest courses but enjoyed a round at Longshore most of all.

He was a proud progressive and a faithful Catholic. He volunteered for many years at the Gillespie Center where he and Mary served dinner one Monday each month for many years.

An avid reader and student of history, he gladly shared his books and his opinions with any who asked. He was extraordinarily generous with his good fortune, and always willing to give a helping hand to those in need.

He served as an inspiration to his grandchildren and took great pleasure in watching them grow.

He is survived by his wife Mary; children Christine, Thomas, John (Susan), Maggie, Michael (Stacy), Paul (Ann) and Stacey), and grandchildren Kathleen, Thomas, James, Crissy, Patrick, Jack, Danny, Siobhan and Sean.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Catholic Relief Services or the ACLU.

Family and friends are invited Thomas’ funeral this Friday (September 3, 11 a.m., Assumption Church for a Mass of Christian Burial. Interment will follow in Assumption Cemetery, 73 Greens Farms Road. The family will receive friends in the Harding Funeral Home (210 Post Road East) tomorrow (Thursday, September 2, 4-8 p.m. Masks are required.

Click here to leave online condolences.

Thomas McCarthy

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Former Westporter Carl Spagnuolo of Fairfield died August 27, surrounded by his family. He was 87.

A Bronx native, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University. He had a career as a marketing executive at Union Carbide, Stauffer Chemical and Lonza.

An avid reader and New York Giants fan, his true love was travelling the world with his wife and family. His travels spanned 4 continents with his favorite stops being Aruba and Italy.

He and his wife Margaret celebrated 65 years of marriage in June. He also leaves behind daughters Dawn Curtis (Brian) and Elisa Brennan (Christopher) and grandchildren Justin, Christopher, Ryan, Olivia and Brittany.

Private services will be held. Click here for online condolences.

Carl Spagnuolo

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Up next at Amy Simon Fine Art (123 Post Road East): “Good Company.”

The exhibit features Cara Enteles, Kristina Grace, Takefumi Hori, Maura Segal, Louise P. Sloane and Ayse Wilson.

It opens tomorrow (Friday, September 3), and runs through October 8.

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Bryan Schwartz is visiting from Boston. He collected 15 Monarch butterfly eggs from the leaves of the milkweed plant, then placed them in a special container where they changed into caterpillars. They became butterflies a month later. He holds them for an hour or so, drying their wings before flying.

Yesterday, he was at Compo Beach. People were amazed to see a magnificent monarch butterfly perched on his hand, ready to fly away. Thanks to Barbara Schwartz and Karen Como for today’s “Westport … Naturally” photo.

(Photo/Karen Como)

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And finally … speaking of butterflies taking off (above): Elton John knows as well as anyone. “Butterflies are free to fly away …”